Making Sense of the Monster that is Your External Runtime
Staff Writer By: Guest Blogger Christopher di Armani
The beauty of the Poser is you can add external Runtime folders to organize your content. That's also its curse. Poser is, when it comes to The Runtime, a paradox.
Like most Poser users I've tried numerous methods to solve this unsolvable dilemma and in this article I will explain my latest and greatest Runtime organizational structure along with my reasons for it.
This rationale is best be described as "Order of Importance and Use". In general, I store by characters first, followed by hair, locations, clothing, vehicles, poses and lights. Then I break it down into specifics and number each folder as you can see by the screenshot on the right.
At the very top of my external runtimes list is my Evaluation Runtime. I don't want new untested models moved into their proper runtime until I've evaluated them. For example, I recently purchased Monster Rat for a series of images I'm working on loosely titled "Man vs The Rat". This series comes out of my experience of discovering rats had invaded my home earlier this year. These disgusting little rodents wrecked EVERYTHING. Horrible experience. Anyway, with the cleanup finally complete and I can now joke about it in a series of images depicting my fictional war with rats using Poser.
Next is my project-specific Runtime folder. I store all content used in a specific image or animation in my project Runtime. Keeping all character morphs, clothing, hair and props in a single folder also allows me to create a zip file containing all content used in that specific project. Should I ever want to revisit that project I don't have to figure out what content was used. It's all there.
I'm a project-oriented person so this approach makes sense for me. Your mileage may vary.
Let me give you an example. Right now I'm creating a series of images for each characters in my latest book. Once a character's image is completed I will add my subtext logline to the image, print it and post it on my bulletin board. This character reference is an excellent tool for maintaining focus should I get stuck for any reason.
Next comes my Base Characters runtime. I classify Victoria, Aiko, The Girl and Michael as "base characters". They are loaded before I add a character morph to modify their appearance.
I primarily use characters based on Victoria and Michael so I place all character morphs for Victoria into Characters - Female and all character morphs for Michael into Characters - Male. That way they don't get mixed up with my base characters, making their removal very easy.
The stand-alone characters I use relatively regularly all get their own runtime. For me this is HiveWire3d's Dawn, Miki 4, Frankie the Pig and Hein. All other stand-alone characters are filed away into a generic Characters - Other Standalone runtime solely because they are not used as much.
One of the things I love about Renderosity.com is the free section. It contains a treasure trove of useful content such as eye, teeth and ear morphs. These items may not be used regularly but I like to keep them available so I place them, along with similar content I've purchased, in my Body Parts & Morphs Runtime folder.
Next is Hair. I have a lot of different hair for my characters and while I have not yet made separate runtime folders for long hair, short hair, etc. I will probably do so in the future.
Locations, for me, includes pretty much any setting used in Poser. This could be a jail cell set, a desert landscape or a haunted house. They all go into the Locations runtime.
Michael and Victoria both get clothing Runtimes of their own but I don't break it down any more specifically than that.
Props, however, do get broken down into major categories. Firearms of all kinds, including holsters go into my Props - Firearms Runtime. Bladed weapons, be they axes, knives or swords, all go into the Props - Bladed Weapons Runtime. Jewelry gets its own Runtime because it's such a specific item, as does furniture. Pretty much everything else goes into my catchall Props Runtime.
I separate poses by male, female and couples and additionally I break out firearm poses to their own Runtime folder.
As you can see from the image above I break things down into major headings in a way that makes sense to me. If you are a project-oriented person like me then this system might help you. Either way I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions for dealing with this blessing and curse we call The Poser Runtime!