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5.0 out of 5 stars Poser 8: A Critical Review From a Newbie.,
This review is from: Poser 8 (DVD-ROM)*Criteria for reviewing
*** Practice! Practice! Practice!
*I am absolutely brand new to 3D animation. Not a clue! And, with the exception of
watching the behind-the-scenes on my special-edition d.v.d's, I wouldn't have the foggiest
idea of what was involved in creating 3D animation. With that said, I am also unable to
provide any objective information as it pertains to updates for this fine product. What I
can offer is a critique from the standpoint of a fine artist/ illustrationist for 30+ years and a
graphic artist for the past 7. I'm currently working with Adobe CS3 on the OSX platform.
**Some things to be aware of before you go any further.
1. You'll need 4.5 GB of free space just for installation and you'll need at least 1
GB of memory.
2. There is a high learning curve required here. The printed material only shows
pictures of what can be done. You may want to familiarize yourself with some
of the tutorials that are available on line from Youtube and Google's general
video search engine before buying any 3rd party material to come up to speed.
3. I downloaded several excellent and free tutorials from eHow. The only problem is that most are only 2 minutes long and that's with the 3-second header.
So, I gathered all of the related videos, shaved off the 3-second headers put them
into iMovie, compressed and exported them as a .mov file. This restored the
original tutorial sessions.
***The Poser Interface. For a program that has more controls and tabs than Photoshop,
the interface is remarkably uncluttered. But, as I mentioned before there is a steep learning
curve. On top, you have the header which consists of the different parts of the body that
can be manipulated from a full body, "Pose," to Materials, to Face, to Hair, to Cloth and a
Setup bar. Going counter clockwise, there a 12-button Editing Tool section. Camera
Controls (which I loved, as much as the Lighting Control below it.) Light Controls,
Document display, Play and Frame Count section. Chest and the Library-Search-Favorites
bar. In the center is the Camera Angle (or the viewing screen.)
The default setting is a skeletal figure and each part can be adjusted to move in the exact
way a normal body part moves by its joint. When one engages for example, the upper
arm, a fine red line appears just over the bone segment and joint. Keeping the cursor on
the highlighted area allows you to move the arm from left to right or up and down. If you
wanted to move the arm either to the back of the torso, you have to engage the torso tilt it
in that direction then re-engage the upper arm to the desired position. What I noticed is
that the body cannot move in a "typically" unnatural position (no offense to
Another project I found interesting was the Face department. Poser comes with a set of
stock characters and clothing (and from on-line sites, there seems to be a plethora of fans
who create clothes and whatnot for them.) But you may also create your own person. A
process called "mapping" accomplishes this. Mapping is essentially a dual screen where
one uploads a high resolution, front profile and through a process of aligning "points" to a
parallel sketch the photograph is made to wrap around a modeled head giving it a animated
look. The entire body can be made to be adjusted the same way.
I spent the better part of two (2) hours going back and forth on the face. It is a fun and funny
process, but it will take awhile until you can get the hang of it.
****I can see many uses for this program. As the company suggests, graphic and web
design, fine art and illustration, storyboarding, and creative business presentations. I can
also add, YouTube skits, birthday or celebratory greetings, or an educational
Once you get the hang of it, it seems that you're only limited by your creative imagination.
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Poser 8 by Smith Micro Software Inc. (Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard / Intel, Windows Vista / XP)