Remember the movie Weird Science, where the teenage boys created a red hot girl named Lisa (Kelly LeBrock) on their computer? We have come a long way since 1985. And while we can’t magically summon a hot girl or guy to make us cool and turn our evil brother into a toad, we can render a very life like 3D figure and animate it. Poser is the ultimate tool for animating 3D figures.
I have been interested in 3D modelling and ray tracing since the early days of Pov-Ray. Modelling objects and natural landscapes was entertaining. But when Poser showed up in 1997, and allowed users to model and animate people, it was love at first sight.
I use Poser for photo mockups frequently. It also great for creating characters for computer games, which I dabble in from time to time.
The Poser franchise has been bought and sold several times over the years. It was first created by Fractal Designs, who were acquired by MetaCreations in 1999. Curious Labs took over the franchise next, but was then sold to e-Frontier in 2003. In 2007 Smith Micro purchased Poser from e-Frontier. During this time, the loyal user base of Poser fans has continued to grow.
The Poser software comes bundled with male and female models, some nude and others casually dressed. The nude models can be custom dressed in a variety of clothing items and props included with the software. Far more items can be downloaded for free, or for a small fee, from sites such as Renderosity where third party content is constantly being created and uploaded.
Clothing models conform to your figures. Poser also allows for the creation of hyper realistic clothing, which can be taken into the cloth room and animated. As figures are animated, the cloth will drape and stretch across the character very naturally. Capes blow in the wind. Silk slides, while cotton tends to cling.
Advanced animations of dynamic clothing take longer to render, but the results are amazing. You could recreate the famous Marylin Monroe scene with her skirt blowing up from the wind, if you were so inclined.
Hair can be “grown” on the figure and animated too. Want to create a head banging rocker? You can do it in Poser. Full hair models are also available at various sites for download.
Smith Micro’s release of Poser 9 represents one of the most significant advances in the Poser franchise. Poser 9 doesn’t simply add new models and textures. It takes modelling to a whole new level of realism and beauty, while speeding up the rendering process too.
Here are five reasons why you must upgrade to Poser 9:
- Subsurface Scattering of Light – Many materials in real life are
translucent to varying degrees. For instance, skin has translucent qualities. But the translucency of skin is vastly different than that of marble. Poser 9 includes several new subsurface scattering nodes, making renders more realistic than they have ever been.
- Scene Room Libraries – The ability to save an entire room of scenery to your library is a massive time saver. Let’s say you are building a living room set for a scene. You can now save that entire set as a piece of scenery to be reused in future projects!
- Objects Emit Light – This is my favorite upgrade in Poser 9. You can create an object of any size or shape which emits indirect light. And best of all, you can make that object invisible. So if you need an entire lit dome of soft light over your characters, or a glowing rock, you have the tools to create it and make it an integral part of your scene.
- Drape and Render Hair Faster – Making hair dynamically drape, and collide with objects (such as the model’s shoulders or shirt) has always taken a long time to process. Poser 9 speeds up the draping process by a lot, and renders of realistic hair are faster too. This saves a lot of time when doing a full animation.
- Cached Textures for more Speed – Thanks to multicore processors, textures can be cached ahead of time. This makes render time even faster, without sacrificing any quality.
I get a lot of use out of Poser. Not only for recreational and artistic rendering, but also for mocking up photography scenes with real models. It is one of the most flexible pieces of rendering software I own. And it is just darn fun to play with!
If you haven’t checked out Poser, now is the time!