This is the third of a series of weekly posts that covers my efforts to learn and create with Smith-Micro's Poser application. I'll share the information I learn, any tricks or tips I come across, and my thoughts on Poser as a creative tool. My goal will be to follow my intersests as I become more familiar with the program.
In this third week, I'll finish my comments on the Poser runtime/library, talk about what I want to accomplish with this series, and begin simple tutorials I found inside of Poser. Before we begin I want to clarify that I am using Poser Pro 11.1. Smith-Micro created two versions of Poser: Poser 11 and Poser Pro 11. The difference is that Poser Pro provides advanced rendering, a fitting room for clothes and more. The price for Poser Pro 11.1 is $349. Updgrade from Poser 11 is $110. Full details at this link.
Finishing up the Poser runtime
I'm beginning to understand how the Poser runtime folder and the library works. Internally, Poser has a library of content. Icons at the top of the library panel on the right indicate what types of content are available. You can also search for anything by keyword. This part of the library is simple and easy to use. What I was having trouble with was getting 3rd party content into Poser. Note that I'm focusing primarily on using Poser in a Windows operating system. Poser is available as a Mac application, but everything is easier working on a PC with Poser. Trust me.
There are essentially four ways to do this; one, use the “install from zip folder” within Poser (it's a drop down selection under the “File” category), two, unzip the folder into the Poser folder on your hard-drive, three, manually move the 3rd party content folder and, four, within the library use the “add folder” icon to locate your unzipped content and add the content folder directly to your library. Most 3rd party content providers will include instructions on how to install their content. Renderosity vendors usually instruct users to unzip the file into the Poser folder (not directly into the runtime).
What I didn't understand was that content will show up when you select the appropriate library icon. Plus, after installation you must refresh the content folder so that it will update with your new content. While I'm still frustrated with 3rd party content installation (this is much easier in Daz Studio), I'm beginning to get the hang of it. Time to move on
In my previous series with Daz Studio, I jumped right in and started creating scenes and renders. That isn't going to be the case with Poser. The Poser interface hasn't been updated or changed for a long time and I'm having a hard time figuring it out. So, I need to go back to the basics with the Poser workflow and interface. Fortunately, I discovered a nice feature in Poser Pro 11: a series of short illustrative tutorials that take you through the basics of how Poser works.
The first lesson was creating geometic shapes, moving them around and adding color to them. Although this is a beginners tutorial, I feel I need to go through it to get more comfortable with working in Poser. I'll continue on with this series of beginner tutorials and get better acquainted with the Poser workflow before I start adding a figure and working with it.
What do I want to create with Poser?
While working and researching 3rd party content for Poser, I read a lot of forum posts at Renderosity and at Smith-Micro. It occured to me that I needed to figure out what I wanted to create with Poser. Poser is such a complex program, I could spend the entire 12 weeks just learning how it works. Obviously, I don't want to do that. I would be uninteresting to you the reader and boring to me as well. By choosing something specific to create (or a few somethings) it will help streamline my learning process as I'll be focsing on what I have to know in order to create my project.
After reflection, I realized I want to make a close-up portrait that is very realistic and in black & white. I came up with a favorite self portrait by the modernist Russian photographer Rodochenko as my inspiration. Here is the photo (courtesy of http://alansaccodecelis.blogspot.com)
If I have the time, I'd also like to create a surrealistic scene in the style of Dali or Magritte. But that's only if I am able to achieve my first goal. Time will tell.