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Software Review: Poser Pro 2010 From Smith Micro

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When I first covered Poser 7 I found it to be a really high quality program that could create fairly realistic human representations and produce high quality animation. That version was released in 2007. Fast forward to the Poser Pro 2010 version, and the quality of rendering has really improved dramatically as has the depth of features and this keeps Poser one of the best programs that are able to generate the human figure in a realistic form.

Poser Pro 2010 is the latest version of Smith Micro's 3D figure design and animation solution for creating, and animating human, and animal figures. It is also 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 even export your renderings for use in other applications such as Adobe Photoshop for artistic expression.

 Poser Pro 2010

What is required to Run Poser Pro 2010?
On Windows:
• XP or Vista
• 1.3 GHz Pentium class processor (1.65 GHz or faster recommended)
• 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)

On Macintosh:
• OS X 10.4 (Spotlight not fully supported) ,10.5 or 10.6 (10.5 or 10.6 required for 64-bit)
• 1.25 GHz G4 processor (Intel Core Duo recommended)

On Both:
• OpenGL enabled graphics card
• 24-bit color display 1024×768 resolution
• 2 GB Free hard disk space (4 GB recommended)
• DVD-ROM for physical product
• Adobe Flash Player 9 or later
• Internet connection for Content Paradise

What is new to Poser Pro 2010?
 Poser Pro 2010

• 64-bit native Windows application – gives you the ability to break the 4GB memory barrier and see increased speed and performance not only while you are developing your creations, but more importantly, when you are rendering them.

• A redesigned user interface – has been improved to provide a better workflow. It features new palettes that you can dock and float in any way you choose to maximize your workspace for better efficiency. By having a cleaner layout, you can focus on your workspace, not the interface, while still preserving the fundamental elements that Poser users are accustomed to.

• Parameter change indicator – is a visual indicator that displays which parameters have changed from their initial default setting. This appears as a dot on the left of a parameter dial name that shows that it is something other than its default value.

• New uploading options – give you the ability to upload your final image to Stuffit Connect, a Smith Micro online file transfer service, or to Facebook. This means that if you have one of these accounts, you can use your Recent Renders palette to upload renders directly to your account.

• Load full body morphs – means that OBJ (Poser figure geometry) files can now be loaded as full body morphs without the need to break the OBJ into individual body parts before loading. This allows you to create a full body morph for a Poser figure in a third-party application and then use the command to apply the complete morph to your figure.

• Morphing tool enhancements – now allow you to morph across multiple body parts making it easier than ever to create master parameter-controlled full body morphs. Dial in a morph brush and just paint morphs across body parts. You can then save the complete set of individual body part morphs as a single Full Body Morph channel in the figure’s “Body” parameter. This will let you create effects such as muscle bulges, scales, bumps, horns, veins or wounds.

• Dependent Parameters Editor – gives you the ability to create more complex interactions between objects and joints. It is now easier to create advanced body controls such as a muscle bulge morph that moves when a limb bends. You can use this new feature for full body morphs, partial body morphs, advanced body controls, joint controlled morph targets, joint controlled deformers, and parameter-controlled scene assets.

• Improved rigging system – allows for better bending of characters, and features a new capsule-shaped falloff zone that allows finer control in specifying how joints respond to rotation.

 Poser Pro 2010

• Multiple falloff zones – can be used in joints for even finer control of joint rotations. These falloff zones can be blended by multiplying or adding the values. This gives you the ability to permit figure creators to rig problem areas such as hips and shoulders giving better results and better bending figures.

• Indirect lighting – effects provide lighting that bounces light from other objects in your scene on to your character. By using reflected light and color from nearby surfaces you can produce much more vivid and more photorealistic lighting in your rendered images.

• Light Falloff and attenuation – will project a better, more physically correct light attenuation giving more realistic point and spot lights. You can create scenes with point and spot light brightness that diminish over distance just like it would with lights in the real-world.

• Tone mapping and exposure – control gives you more control for brightness, saturation, and post-render processing enhancing your rendered images much more accurately.

• PSD Rendering – gives you the ability to specify that additional information is to be output to a layered PSD file for further compositing in Adobe Photoshop. Then, after you render your image, you will see the full render as a background image in Photoshop. Each additional data option that you check will appear on its own individual Photoshop layer.

• Normal maps – are now supported at render time. This gives you the ability to add more surface detail without requiring extra geometry or modeling.

• Performance optimizations – include improved multi-processor support for faster rendering, increased performance for opening and handling complex scenes, bending on multi-code/multi-processor hardware, and better scalability when rendering multiple buckets.

• Document Preview – gives you the ability for real-time scene preview displaying up to 8 user-selectable lights and their accumulated values, sorted by intensity. Additionally, Mip Map support has been added giving enhanced performance when you are previewing large textures. Between these two, these enhancements let you view larger textures and offer more complete scene previewing when setting up lights.

 Poser Pro 2010: Image by PetraR123

• Library Content – now has a new searchable library system that makes it easier to find what you are looking for even if it is a large collection of content. There are eight new fully rigged, fully poseable photo real human characters. There is 2.5 GB Poser content that will get up going right away. And finally, there is a new wardrobe wizard that allows you to fit existing clothing items onto new figures.

• wxPython support – provides more robust Python feature development, allowing for development of scripts that can run continuously allowing for more robust third-party support and add-on feature development

If you are looking for professional 3D figure design and animation, Poser Pro 2010 is truly a bargain at $499.99 (Upgrades from Poser 4 and up: $199.99), considering what it is capable of doing. It does an amazing job of creating figures that look real, and animations that have realistic moves.

Like Poser 8, Poser Pro 2010 adds a lot of new features like the new interface which really maximizes the screen for your and the improved functionality, new tools, and the streamlining of the workflow makes for a tighter program. The library is much more condensed and smaller than in previous versions which took a bit to get use to in its new more list style effect, but after a while it becomes more efficient to work with.

But there are a lot of things that you don't get in lighter weight Poser 8. With 2010 you get the more professional aspects like 64-bit rendering in both Windows and Mac for much more power during your renders, the content management system, the Recent Render palette, the multiple views in the library, the auto confirm on drag and drop, the PSD layering, image export, and more.

Needless to say, Poser Pro 2010 is a professional level application. It does have a learning curve, and as such, to get proficient at work with it, it will take time. That said, through each of the last couple versions Smith Micro has made the effort to make Poser easier to use and more user friendly and this has reduced the time it takes to learn.

Poser Pro 2010: Image by Alexandr Wert

Poser Pro 2010 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.

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 Smith Micro website. It is clear that Poser Pro 2010 in it for the long haul. They continue to add new enhancements that make it not only easier to use, but more powerful and more realistic. If you want to create and animate the human form, then I highly recommend Poser Pro 2010.

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About T. Michael Testi

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

    Once again, I have to wonder how much Smith Micro pays writers for these glowing reviews, or perhaps whether we’re using the same product. Yes, this is a slick, feature-rich product, but why can’t just ONE reviewer be honest enough to mention the persistent lack of stability? As a veteran software developer, I KNOW how the system works – Engineers WANT to create a quality product, but the marketeers demand more and more features, and never allow the developers enough time to go back and fix bugs. I won’t go into the myriad of issues in this release – they’re largely identical to those that have plagued this product for the past several versions. Suffice it to say: Save often!