Open source programs are beginning to dominate almost every kind of software types available for creatives. OpenOffice is surpassing Word, Blender has surpassed almost all of the commercial 3D animation apps, Audacity is becoming a standard tool for musicians, and Fusion compositing software has just added itself to the open source business model.
The stigma of open source programming has almost reversed itself and the “democratized” development of such programs is proving to be way more valuable than closed systems. The debate between which is more productive, many people making incremental contributions to a project versus a small team of developers having to do all of the work and generate all of the ideas, is no longer an abstract, theoretical debate. The last three years has proven the open source model creates higher quality programs, and this will no doubt continue to compound and become more obvious in the future.
Two human 3D model template apps have become available relatively recently. They are MakeHuman and Daz 3D. Both are free to download and use. So one need not make a decision between one or the other. They are both excellent and save a lot of time.
Daz 3D offers three free templates with the package. Genesis, Genesis 2 Female, and Genesis 2 Male. Between these three templates a modeler and animator can create a broad range of looks and body styles to quickly contribute to a number of projects: pre-viz, architectural final comps, animations, print. Daz also offers a ton of quality assets from its online store which can be easily modified and customized to save cost on productions. The Genesis 2 template models have many morphs (including Visemes) that can be exported with the model into all major animation apps.
MakeHuman is also excellent and as its name suggests is all about making human models. It does not offer assets for sale like Daz does but offers more options for making customized human models. It also allows a broader range of poly count with its exports. So if you a make model in MakeHuman you can export a low poly quad model which is crucial for smooth some animations. Many animators and game makers can not use Daz template models as they are just too resource intensive.
Both are excellent programs and can add a lot of value to productions. I recommend them both.