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    POSER 7 - Discover the Art of 3D Figure Design
Poser provides the easiest way to design with the human form in 3D. Using the rich collection of content included and powerful rendering to produce any style art, creative professionals, graphic artists and hobbyists can create stunning art, fine illustration and breathtaking animation for applications that integrate the diversity and spirit of human imagery.

With Poser, you can design using the human form for art, illustration, comics, pre-viz/storyboarding, medical visualization, animation, architecture and education - essentially everywhere your creative mind may take you as you design for print, video, film, or web!

Was $249.99 Now Only $174.99


Complete 3D Figure Design - Create any figure imaginable using Poser’s powerful 3D toolset. Scale and manipulate individual body parts, modify facial expressions, customize ethnicity, add clothing and props, and pose your figures down to the finest detail.

Powerful Rendering Capabilities – Poser’s powerful FireFly render engine delivers high-quality artistic effects for creating extraordinary, professional renders with natural lighting, shadows, reflections and refractions. Customize your final output in many styles, including photorealism, sketch, cartoon, silhouette and more.

Animation Controls – Poser’s animation tools are designed to help you create stunning, realistic animations without much of the repetitive work involved in animating figures. Poser includes automatic keyframe creation, non-linear animation, lip-syncing and a walk simulator to simplify the animation process.

Dynamic Hair and Cloth - Dynamic props move with your figure and add realism to your animations. Clothing drapes and deforms just as it should in real-life over a human figure, while hair can be grown, styled and controlled dynamically as if blown by the wind.

Loaded With 3D Content - Poser includes high resolution male and female figures, children, animals, cartoons, robots, and more – over 80 fully textured figure models in all. Hundreds of poses, facial expressions, full body morphs, hair, clothing, light sets and props are also included so you can get started fast. Plus, sound and motion files included add life to your figures and scenes.
New in Poser 7

New Content – Poser 7 comes with over 1GB of high resolution 3D content. Leading the way are Simon and Sydney, the new male and female figures, plus loads of exclusive third party content, new wildlife, new motion capture data, light sets, poses, materials, and lots more.

Lip Syncing - Using the new Talk Designer in Poser 7, even beginning animators can easily make figures talk with facial movements that match real human behavior! Talk Designer will work with Sydney and Simon, as well as James, Jessi, and the Generation 2 Koji and Kelvin figures.

Multiple Undo and Redo - Return to earlier poses and designs, and step back and forth through up to 100 recent changes within your scene! Poser 7’s Multiple Undo and Redo is an incredible timesaver that can be applied on a wide range of your document changes, including all actions from the Poser library, applying poses, or deleting figures and props from your scenes.

Multi-Threaded Rendering and HDRI Support - Render up to four times faster with Multi-threaded Rendering (up to four threads) on machines with multiple CPUs. Poser 7 creates even more realistic images with High Dynamic Range Image (HDRI) support for Image Based Lighting and textures.

Non-Linear Animation - Use Poser 7’s new Animation Layers to separate the various parts of an animation into independent pieces that can be individually moved, edited, hidden, or even phased gradually in and out.

Brush-like Morphing Tools – Poser 7’s new Create tab on the Morphing Tool palette provides powerful interactive controls for creating your own custom morph targets. Easily create custom morphs on your figures just like you would with any brush tool.

  Read articles on Poser 7:
Review of Poser 7
Poser 7 - Using Digital Photos to Create Characters' Faces
Poser 7 - Finding Your Way Around the "Rooms"

Review of Poser v7

Poser 7 is a 3D figure manipulation and animation program. My first exposure to it was as an artist looking for an alternative to the wooden artist's dummy. It still works great for artists and illustrators who don't want to deal with human models. Poser figures don't need to take breaks, and you can save your poses and spread your work out over time. This review is based on the Mac version. A Windows version is also available.

Poser 7 has since evolved into a robust application that still focuses on the human figure, but may be a little overwhelming for novice users. It is still well worth the effort to learn if you have any interest in 3D and animation.

The Poser Interface
The Poser Interface was very confusing to me at first. It is a combination of menus, tabs or “rooms” and icons. But as I moved around and experimented, I found that nearly every icon included a mouse-over to tell you the purpose of that particular icon. The tabs are not the standard type you might be used to, but they are still functional once you figure out where the commands you are looking for are located. These tabs are the Pose, Material, Face, Hair, Cloth, Setup, and Content controls.

One of the confusing interface operations is the hidden palettes or side window handles found on the right and bottom sides of the interface. These palettes allow you to access a library of content and animation controls. Windows are resizable with the bottom corner control.

Like many current applications, you can move and place the control panels wherever you like them. Though, a large monitor makes this easier to do effectively. On a small laptop screen, this feature loses its value.

New Features
While animation is not its strong suit, Poser 7 does have some interesting new animation features, including the ability to do automatic lip-synching with your 3D character. This feature makes it easier for non-animators to get good results and add a little polish to their work without laboring over the details. It will even synchronize eye blinking and other facial movements.

OpenGL is a texture detailer that used to be limited to about 1000x1000 pixels. It now supports 4096x4096 pixels, a dramatic increase. This will of course depend on the capabilities of your graphics card and system processor(s).

For Mac users, one of the most exciting new features is its support for the new dual-core multiprocessors available for OS X. This provides increased speed and complex scenes and rendering. This allows Poser to offer high-end features that were once available only in professional animation and rendering applications and workstations.

Another interesting new feature is its support for high dynamic range imaging (HDRI), which allows image-based lighting (IBL) to use photograph-based images to provide a basis for lighting a scene.

One of my favorite new features is the ability to do character duplication. Previously, if you wanted to add a similar or duplicate character, you had to load it from your library. Now it is just a few mouse clicks away.

Provided Content
Dynamic props such as male and female figures make getting started easy. There are also various animals, cartoons, and robots, as well as hair, clothing, lighting, sound, and motion files. While there is a large amount of content provided, I would have liked to see more variety, especially in the number of starter adult human figures that are presently limited to “Simon” and “Sydney.” Hair and clothing is also somewhat limited.

Additional content is available from Content Paradise, an online marketplace for additional characters, backgrounds, and other items created by other users for sale. Once you have become more experienced, you can sell your content there as well.

Editing and Posing Figures
When you first start Poser, the Pose Room will be the first screen you will see. This is where much of your work will take place. When working with Display Styles, you are given the option of working with Silhouettes, Outlines, Wireframes, Hidden Line, Lit Wireframe, Flat Shaded, Flat Lined, Cartoon, Cartoon with Line, Smooth Shaded, Smooth Lined, and Texture Shaded. Each can be controlled with a control+(number key) combination.

Camera Angles and Scene Lighting
Camera angles are used to zoom in and out, controlling which part of the figure is displayed in the Poser Room. The camera controls include a face camera, right hand camera, and left hand camera. Below this is the animating toggle and fly around views. You can also move the camera in the YZ and XY planes. Finally, there is the scale button, roll button, focal length, and rotate camera.

Scene lighting can be saved as part of the scene, or used temporarily in order to make a scene easier to work with. Surrounding the scene with lights lets you see the details, while shadows give you a sense of depth. The light controls are used to set the lighting effects. These controls include markers to indicate where the lights are, creating a new light, deleting a light, lighting properties, color, and intensity.

Getting Help
Poser includes a PDF document that contains extensive documentation and help files for most questions. It also includes help files for each room and a Quick Start guide.

To access the documentation, select the Help, Poser Reference Manual menu. This will open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat ReaderÆ. From here you can open specific topics or search for keywords.

Tutorials are accessed using the Help, Poser Tutorial menu command. These tutorials include most of the key tasks you may need help with and is also accessed via a PDF file and Adobe Acrobat ReaderÆ.

If you need to access help specific to a room, use the Room Help menu command.

The Good & The Bad

Very powerful 3D and Character Posing
A broad list of new features that make upgrading worthwhile
Multi-processor support
Good end-user support and user base

Steep Learning Curve
Limited number of human models
Some inconsistencies in clothing mode
Animation features could be improved
Additional content must be purchased through Content Paradise.

Even though I started using Poser back in the 90's, Poser 7 is such a leap above and beyond the older versions that I had some difficulties finding my way around. But once you spend some time with the application, things begin to make sense. I still wouldn't recommend this to an absolute beginner, which is too bad because there are many features that would still be great for artists and those new to 3D character rendering. It would be nice if there were a way to hide the more advanced features, activating them when desired, or if the interface could be simplified.

If you already have experience with Poser 6, 3D rendering, or basic animation, then Poser 7 is for you. It offers a wide range of functionality and probably a few features that never occurred to you to use. Overall, I would recommend this application to intermediate to advanced users, with a caveat for serious new users to prepare for the learning curve.


Poser 7 - Using Digital Photos to Create Characters' Faces

In Poser 7, the 3D figure rendering and animation program, you have the ability to import digital images of real people and using their faces in the development of your characters.

You will need digital images of both the front and sides of the head of your subject. Because the hair can be added in the Hair Room, you should minimize the amount of hair in the photo. When possible, use bald subjects, or have them pull their hair back, making sure their foreheads and ears are clearly visible.

This is one of those rare circumstances where you want your models to not smile. You want your models to have as relaxed and simple of an expression as possible.

You want to use photos with very simple backgrounds without clutter. If possible, use a plain white background such as a white wall or curtain. This will allow the facial structures to stand out and make them easier to line up. Be careful not to cause any harsh shadows on the background.

Because you will need to crop your photos to the same size, you should use a tripod with the camera and have the subject turn from front to side as directed. The more precise you can get the facial characteristics to line up, the better. It also makes sense to take several photos, including both sides of the head, to ensure that you have plenty of samples to work from. The compatible image file formats that you can use include .JPG, .PNG, .BMP, .TIF, .GIF, and .PCX.

Front Image Placement
To work with a frontal face image, click the Load Image button. This opens the Load Front Face image dialog box to help in the alignment of the photo. From here you position the front image by clicking once to locate the corner of the right eye and again to locate the corner of the left lip. You can also use the Flip button to flip the image about on its vertical axis. After you click to locate the left corner of the lip the image is placed in the front pane of the Photo Lineup panel.

Side Image Placement
Similar to the Front Image Placement, to load the Side Image, click the Load Image button to open the Load Side Face image dialog box to help in the alignment of the side photo by clicking once to locate the top of the right ear and again to locate the front of the chin. This dialog box also includes a flip button that you can use to flip the image about its vertical axis.

Aligning the Images
After the face images are loaded into the Photo Lineup panel, a red outline of the 3D head is overlaid on top of the images using green dots to mark the key features, such as the corners of the eyes, mouth, and nose. Using the Zoom and Pan image tools, you can resize and move the images around using the Rotate, Scale, and Pan Geometry tools. Then you can change the outlines to match the images. You can also move the green dots to alter their features.

Exporting the Face Image
After you align the face map to the face model, you can export the map using the button to the right of Texture Preview. This exported map can then be edited further and then be imported back into the Face Room. Then continue as usual, giving your subject hair, clothing and a background.

Using digital photos to import a real face into your image can be a lot of fun, especially when experimenting with different body styles and clothing while using the photo of a friend or family member. Once you have gained enough experience, you can use several friends and family members to illustrate your very own creative endeavor.

Poser 7 - Finding Your Way Around the “Rooms”

In Poser 7, the 3D figure rendering and animation program, there are 7 rooms along the top of the main interface. The Pose Room is the default, but there are also the Material Room, Face Room, Hair Room, Cloth Room, Setup Room, and the Content Room.

The Pose Room
When you first start Poser, the Pose Room is the default room that opens. It is the primary interface for posing your figures and will be the room where you'll spend most of your time. Some of the things you can do here are controlling how the figure is displayed based on camera, light, and display style controls.

The Material Room
The Material Room is used to apply materials to the various body parts of your character. You apply these materials using an interface dialog box for diffusing color, highlighting, controlling ambience, reflection, bump, and transparency. The results are shown in the Material Preview panel. The Material Room also includes all the interface controls found in the Pose Room including the Document Window.

The Face Room
The Face Room is where you specify the details included in the figure's face. It has support for loading front and side view photos, including photos of real faces you want to use along with tools to map the images onto the figure's face. The Face Room interface also includes the Face Shaping tool dialog box, which lets you change the various attributes of the current face including the position of the various facial features, its gender, age, and ethnicity. The Face Sculpting panel allows you to see a preview of the current facial settings.

The Hair Room
The Hair Room includes all the controls needed to provide and style hair for the figure. You can grow hair wherever you like and view the hair using the Texture Shaded style in the Document Window. The Hair Room also includes the standard Pose Room interface controls.

The Cloth Room
You use the Cloth Room to clothe your figure and to define the way the clothing fits and moves. These controls can make clothes that are smooth and flowing or clothes that fit tightly. You can use kinetic objects to add forces such as wind and gravity for animation sequences. The results are viewed in the Document Window.

The Setup Room
The Setup Room uses the Document Window with a set of overlaid bones that are positioned about the figure's joints. Using this room, you can add new custom bones to the figure as needed. These new bones are used to animate custom imported objects.

The Content Room
The Content Room provides a convenient way to add new figures, materials, and props to the Library. It also provides access to Content Paradise, an online repository of available content often created and sold by other developers.

Once you understand the concept of “Rooms,” you will gain a better understanding of how the modeling process works. Spending time experimenting in these rooms is time well spent.

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