This is the first version of DAZ in a long while I'd recommend wholeheartedly.
1. Iray, which I'm sure you knew I was going to touch on first, rather reminds me of Luxrender - which I loved the little bit I was able to try it. But with Luxrender, I guess because it was so complicated or because I have such a weak computer for rendering, I'd put an image on the go and four days later it was still too grainy to do anything with. I even enlisted the help of , I was so desperate to make purty images.
With Daz's new iray, even though it's mostly geared towards folks with NVIDIA cards (which I am not), I've been able to make better progress. So far in the forums everyone wants to crow about the engine's lighting, and uh... hooray. It does lighting realistically. I'm thinking so what. If I only get grainy renders like I did with Luxrender, who gives a f***. So I've been struggling to render this image with an 1100 hours sun for a couple of days now. Finally I've got it going and it's mostly nongrainy after about 8 hours, through which I slept. If I had a decent computer just for rendering, I could crank out a lot of pictures this way. And love them. Furthermore, a lot of iray is common sense once you read some documentation about it. Loving that a lot.
2. PWTOON!!!!!!!! The bane of my DAZ existence, the reason for my various buckets of tears ever since DAZ 4.6. They fixed it! And they didn't just finally freaking fix it. They made it *better*. The lines are smoother, oh how much smoother. I have my glorious various levels of shading back. The limitations imposed on me by their broken system are now gone. And I have went back to make this neat little hair pack I hope people will appreciate.
Of course, www.10confessions.com is all but killed by their delay in fixing the one system I needed the most from them. Through this time I have bought other toon and manga shaders, and really tried to replace the broken shader. Nothing worked right and my work time went to 0 because I couldn't do it. I'm not sure if I'll be able to save 10 Confessions this late in the game, but dayum if Heavenly Bride isn't looking purtier. As god is my witness, I'll never upgrade indiscriminately again.
3. 3Delight render times are even faster! You gotta love that.
And all of this is only with the beta. I hope that features they've put in will stay, as the DAZ developers have this annoying habit of taking out things in the final releases. Unfortunately you have to use their annoying cloud installer piece of crap (which effectively broke my version of 4.7 when I put it in) to install 4.8. I do not like that a single bit. I'd like to have the install files on hand in case they did manage to break pwtoon in the final release. You know, just in case.
Back to you, Kermit.