A key part of using Poser and DAZ Studio is using installed content. It's possible to load models and figures into the view port and then apply clothing and textures to the figure. This distinction applies equally to content use in Poser and in DAZ Studio.
In this article, 'icon' is used to identify a content preset. An icon is in the strictest meaning just the graphic for the preset that you see in your content library, but it is used to mean the preset itself in this article. For every 'icon' (graphic) that you see, there is a corresponding file on the hard drive that means something to Poser or Studio. When you click the 'icon,' the software (Poser of Studio) attempts to load or apply the information for the corresponding file (.pz2, .dsa, .duf, etc.).
It's important to understand that there are in general two kinds of icons for content. Some icons will load a model into the scene and some will only modify a model in the scene. There are other icons that can load scenes, lighting, or cameras, but these types are less frequent.
An icon that loads a model into the scene is different in this function from an icon that modifies a model already loaded in the scene. For example, you can have an icon of blond hair. This icon could possibly load a blond hair model into the scene, but it could also modify a hair model in the scene to change it from gray or brown to blond hair. These are two different functions. If you try to use the preset that makes hair blond and you don't have the hair model loaded and selected, nothing will happen.
A model can be anything that has geometry. A human figure, an animal figure, a car, a building, a prop, a hair figure, a hair prop, clothing -- all of these are models with geometry. Keep in mind that all of these can potentially have texture or material add-ons. While the graphic for these may look the same or similar, the function is different.
A modifier is anything that changes the model. It can change the texture, the pose, add an animation, inject or remove a morph, or apply a morph value. The modifier preset is fairly specific to what it will work on. For example, a modifier preset that applies blond material to "Joanie's Hair" will only work on the "Joanie's Hair" model. It will not work on Amarseda Hair, even though both of these models are hair models.
In addition to icons that load geometry (models) or modify geometry (materials, poses, morphs, etc.), there are icons that can load scenes, light presets, or camera presets. These are not as common as icons that load models or modify them.
STUDIO 4.5 COLOR BANDS
In Studio 4.5, a new feature is the identifying color band across the top half of a preset icon. This will show up for DSON format content icons, but not for older content or Poser format content. These color bands across the top of the icon help users identify the purpose of the icon. If you do not see one of these color bands on the top of an icon, it probably means that the icon is in an older file format for which this feature is not supported.
These color bands help the user identify the general function of the preset and can keep you from trying to use a material preset, for example, to load a model, a common error among new users.
Green: This icon loads a model into the scene. Anything with geometry is a model as explained above.
Yellow: This icon is a modifier icon. It will not load geometry. In order to use this properly, you must already have loaded the pertinent model and have it selected.
Blue: This icon can function either as a 'green' icon that loads a model into the scene or as a 'yellow' icon that modifies an existing model in the scene. If you simply double-click the icon with the relevant model already loaded and selected, DAZ Studio will ask you which one you want to do.
Red: This means that the content will load into Studio and remove the existing format of content by default. In other words, if the red is a camera preset, when you load it, all existing cameras in the scene will be removed and replaced with the camera or cameras specified in the preset you loaded. This is also true for light presets. In the case of a 'red' labeled icon that loads a scene, by default it will remove the existing scene and replace it with the scene specified in the preset you loaded. It is also possible to 'merge' a red-labeled icon into the scene by right-clicking on the icon and left-clicking on 'merge.'
Magenta: This color indicates that the icon does not have sufficient information for DAZ Studio properly to identify it. The garish color is designed to flag a problem.