This is the fourth 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 interests as I become more familiar with the program.
In this fourth week, I'll finish up some basic tutorials from Smith-Micro, share some great Poser art from the Renderosity Poser gallery, and start learning the Poser workflow. 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. Upgrade from Poser 11 is $110. Full details at this link.
Finishing up Basic Poser Tutorials
Now that I have a decent grasp of how the Poser library works, I'll finish the short intro tutorials I found within the application itself. Despite being somewhat old (4 years) they are still very useful. I learned about how to change the default display in the Poser library so that you can easily see what you want to work with. There is a small three dot pattern at the bottom of the library. When you click it opens up to show you a variety of display options for the library. See the image below:
I also followed a brief tutorial on posing a figure, adjusting the lights, setting a camera and setting up a specific project. All of the information was pretty straightforward. I was very impressed with the variety of posing tools inside of Poser. Inverse Kinematics is where the whole body responds naturally to a change in the position of a particular body part. This makes natural posing so much easier if you are doing it manually. Of course, there are a ton of poses included in the Poser library so you could start with one of the default poses and adjust from there.
I've never liked the dial method of adjusting things like scale, rotation, etc., It seems clunky to me. Also, the camera movements on the left side are good because you can change the camera angle in a variety of ways easily, but it seems awkward to me. I'm used to adjusting either by a specific tool or within the viewport itself. Still, it is effective and once you get used to it it's not so bad.
Lighting and camera set up are also easy to adjust and refine. I'll go into more detail once I get to working with these two features directly.
I have a feeling it's just a matter of familiarity with the peculiarities of Poser. Once I get them down, I should find the awkwardness fading away.
What Can You Do with Poser?
Before setting up my first scene and render, I went exploring to see what kind of scenes you can create with Poser. The Renderosity Poser gallery is one of the largest at the site, so I looked and found some wonderful work. I also checked a few other places online for unique imagery created in Poser. Here is a short video of some of the work I found
No wonder Poser is such a popular program. You can create practically any scene you like. Although many artists focus on portraits, there is so much more creative potential. 2D rendering, mixed medium, animation and collage are just some of the amazing things you can do. Seeing all of this great work really gets me excited about creating my own scenes. Which is just what I'm going to do.
Poser Workflow and Setting up a Scene
Now that I'm familiar with the Poser user interface, I've decided to grab a figure, apply a pose, costume the figure with clothing/hair, and do a fast render. It's my understanding that clothing for a specific Poser character autofits to the body. This should be easy! I chose Pauline (Asian version), drop and dragged a simple pose, threw on some hair, grabbed a top and bikini bottom, set a backdrop, arranged the camera angle to a wide shot and rendered using Superfly (more on rendering later).
As you can see I've got problems with the clothing not fitting. I tried adjusting the size of the model and/or the size of the clothing but that just creates more problems. I'm not sure what I did wrong. At any rate, I was able to get the clothing to look decent, I changed the camera angle to more of a hip shot and rendered simply by clicking the render tab. This is what I came up with.
Still not very good. Looks like I'm going to have to do some research on fitting clothing and adjusting render settings. I've got a very good GPU, so the scene should look much better. That's my goal for next week.