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Software Review – Poser 7 From e frontier

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Creating 3D images has become easier throughout the years because of the increase in the number of products out there made specifically for creating 3D scenes. There are  difficulties and challenges. To really bring these scenes to life, you need people to populate the image and that is where the real problem is. Not only to populate, but to animate the human figure, and make it look real is the toughest challenge of all.

That is where Poser comes in. Poser is a tool for creating, and animating human, and animal figures. Poser 7 is the latest version of e frontier's 3D figure design and animation solution. It is capable of customizing figures and scenes by mapping facial photos to create realistic 3D portraits. It can create both stills, and animations, create output movies, and images for use in web, print, and video projects. You can also export your creations for use in other applications.

Poser runs on Windows (2000 or greater), or Mac (OS X 10.3.9 or 10.4) with 700 MHz (1 GHz or faster recommended), 512 MB RAM (768 or more recommended), OpenGL enabled graphics card (Recent NVIDIA GeForce and ATI Radeon preferred), and 1 GB free hard-disk space (4 GB recommended). Version 7 now offers native Intel Macintosh Support as well.

So, what's new with Poser 7? A lot! Along with an extensive array of figures that were included with previous versions of Poser, you now get high-resolution figures that can be used in scenes, and animations. Some of these are so realistic that you won't be able to tell if they are designed, or real.

• 3D Figures Ready for Posing – First there are high-resolution, fully rigged male, female, boy, and girl figures. There are still, and animated poses for these figures, which gives you a much broader range of options.
• Universal Poses – You can now apply any pose to any biped figure within Poser regardless of the figures joints. This means that you can take a dog pose; say sitting, and apply it to a human figure. You can take poses from earlier versions and re-save them which will convert them to Universal poses.
• Rich Libraries of Included Content – This allows you to organize content from any runtime library, or category in to a single collection. This means that you can create collections without having to change your content structure. You can also save body transformation information which makes it easy to reuse body transformations without having to recreate them. There is also new dynamic and conforming clothing, as well as new strand based, and prop based hair design.
• Content Paradise – Is a gateway to the leading Poser market place that provides both free, and for sale Poser content.
• Create Personalized Heads and Textures- Poser 7 now allows you to create personalized heads, and textures in the Face room by using just two photographs. This will allow you to emulate actual individuals. You can then apply texture maps to add age, ethnicity, or even create alien beings.

• Realistic Lighting – Poser 7 now supports High Dynamic Range Images which will allow you to render lighting similar to analog photo film. You can also add, or replace lights in your scene, as well as using unlimited light sources.
• 3D Character Animation – will allow you to bring your scenes to life by animating figures, props, cameras, lights, and materials. By using the Animation palette, and Keyframe controls, it makes it easy to animate your scenes. With the new Visibility Animation, you can animate the visibility of individual objects making them appear, and disappear at will.
• Real-Time Preview – allows you to make realistic pre-render previews of materials allowing you to make your working preview closer to your final output. It even supports texture resolutions up to 4096 x 4096.
• Create Images and Animations with FireFly – With the FireFly rendering engine, you can create both photorealistic, non-photorealistic, and animations. FireFly now offers Multi- Threaded Rendering which takes advantage of multi-core, and multi-processor systems

Considering what it is capable of doing Poser 7 is truly a bargain at $249.99 USD (Upgrades from Poser 4 and up; 129.99). It does a remarkably good job of creating figures that look almost real, and animations that have realistic moves. The morphing tool that is new to Poser 7, may be one of the best features since it makes some of the bending issues in past versions, no longer a problem.

For those who know some programming, there is a Python programming interface that allows you to execute Python scripts from two locations; the scripts palette, or directly. Poser 7 comes with a 135 page PoserPython Methods Manual that gives you direction on how to use the scripting language.

Poser 7 is great for graphic and web design, to create faces and figures for your illustrations, and web designs. It would work well for fine art and illustration, as you could eliminate the need for mannequins, or even live models. It would be a breeze for creating story boards, and pre-visualizations. It could be used for medical illustrations, as well as for Architecture and Design. It could even be used for Anime, Comics, and Photorealism.

If you want to see what some have done in the past with Poser, you can check out the gallery that is located on the e frontier website. There is also a pretty active community forum available as well.

The first reported sighting of a Poser Drummer is a scene that mixes Poser animation with live video and it's an alien at that! Watch the video at the bottom of the page.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • erica

    great info..but does it run well with Vista

  • T. Michael Testi

    Hi Erica,
    Thanks for the comment, but to be honest with you I do not run Vista at this time and have never tried it with it.

    What I would suggest is to down load the 30 day demo and see how well it works. While there are some limitations on the demo, you should be able to test the compatibility with Vista.

    You can get the demo at the following link.

    Thanks again


  • Alex

    Thanks to poser, it has realy made character animation easy. but they should walk more sceen modeling and visual effect tools like those in 3d Max

  • Nicole

    Any suggestions on how to get the demo to run with Vista? :( I really want to try this product out before shelling out the cash for it.. but it doesn’t want to load.