|Developer(s)||Smith Micro Software|
|Stable release||Pro 2014 / May 2013|
|Operating system||Windows, OS X|
|Type||3D computer graphics software|
Poser is a 3D computer graphics program optimized for 3D modeling of human figures. The program has gained popularity due to allowing beginners to produce basic animations and digital images, and the extensive availability of third-party digital models.
Poser is a 3D rendering software package for the posing, animating and rendering of 3D polymesh human and animal figures. Akin to a virtual photography studio, Poser allows the user to load figures, props, lighting and cameras for still and animated renderings.
Natively using a subset of the Alias object (OBJ) file format and a text-based markup for content files, Poser comes with a large library of pre-rigged human, animal, robotic, and cartoon figures. The package also includes poses, hair pieces, props, textures, hand gestures and facial expressions. As Poser itself does not allow for original modeling of objects, a large community market of artists emerged, creating and selling Poser content, made using third-party software like modo, ZBrush, Blender or Autodesk 3ds Max.
Poser is available in English, Japanese, German and French for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. While Poser's interface has evolved since the product's introduction in 1995, the current Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014 preserve many of the application's interface elements so that legacy users can move into the newest version and navigate the application without relearning the program's controls.
Poser comes with a library of pre-built, ready-to-use content including body and hand poses, materials, props, facial expressions, hair pieces, lights, cameras and scenes. Poser includes a Reyes-based render engine called Firefly which supports nodes for the creation of complex materials. Poser provides import of sound, image, and video files, motion capture data and 3D content for the creation of scenes or the addition of new library items. Poser exports content in a variety of 3D formats, and rendered images and animation. The program has a series of "rooms" for material editing, facial photo matching, dynamic hair, dynamic cloth and new figure rigging. Poser's Content Room links to online content. Python enables third-party developers to create a variety of additional features for Poser users ranging from custom libraries, rendering engine control panels, metadata editors and utility scripts. Poser also supports an ecosystem of third-party content marketplaces including RuntimeDNA, DAZ3D and Renderosity.
Poser is typically used to create original images featuring human figures. Artists use Poser for human renderings of medical and industrial design illustrations, editorial illustrations, information graphics, graphic novel illustrations, comics, and adult oriented "pin-ups".
Poser contains basic animation capability and is regularly employed by broadcast professionals including animation staff at Fox Bones, Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live!!, as well as in industry applications, such as the animated instructions for checkout automated machines in Albertson city`s, Save-On stores and Wal-Mart, and at least one full-length Star Trek fan-film, Star Trek: Aurora. Poser characters and animations were used for early computer games from 'buddies' game creators ("Desert Rifle" games and "Cake shop" from Qi and ELEFUN(TM) game developers).
Standard Poser characters have been extensively used by European and US based documentary production teams to graphically render the human body or virtual actors in digital scenes. Humanoids printed in several science and technology magazines around the US are often Poser rendered and postworked models.
The Poser package includes many ready-to-use 3D contents that permit new users to get started without immediately needing to purchase additional content. These items are stored in Poser's drag-and-drop-enabled Library, organized by type and name, e.g. People/Ryan2. Users can save customized figures or objects into the Library to reuse those items at a later point in time. The Library also supports adding in additional "Runtimes" which are collections of content that legacy users have assembled from third party providers.
The Library includes a configurable, keyword-based Search that locates content in the Library or connected Runtimes. Content can also be added to the Library's Favorites for quick access.
The Library is set-up with categories that each include collections of similar content items:
- Character: pre-rigged figures including anatomically accurate humans, mannikins, animals, insects, dinosaurs, cartoon characters, human anatomy such as skeletons and musculature and mechanical figures such as vehicles
- Pose: animated and static poses for human and animals covering day-to-day activities, dancing, walking, standing and sitting, as well as action and sport poses
- Face: includes full and partial facial expressions
- Hair: includes prop-based transparency-mapped hair pieces, dynamic hair pieces and hair props such as mustaches or sideburns.
- Hand: hand poses of various types such as action poses and gestures, signals, counting
and American Sign Language
- Props: includes primitives such as spheres and cylinders, clothing items grouped by character, scene props, furniture, rooms, vehicles, plants and cartoon elements
- Lights: includes animated or static pre-set lights consisting of spotlights, infinite lights, point lights, diffuse IBL lights.
- Cameras: includes animated or static cameras
- Materials: includes simple and complex node-based materials
- Scenes: full Poser scenes including a Factory, Crime Scene Lab and a modern Apartment.
Poser was created by artist and programmer Larry Weinberg, as a software replacement for artist's mannequins. Versions 1.0 and 2.0 were published by Fractal Design; in 1997, Fractal Design was acquired by MetaCreations, and Poser's interface was redesigned by MetaCreations' Phil Clevenger for release as Poser 3 in 1998. This interface has remained as the basis for all subsequent versions. In 1999, MetaCreations sold Poser to egi.sys AG, which established the subsidiary Curious Labs, with Larry Weinberg as CEO, to handle Poser development and publication. Curious Labs and Poser were sold to e-frontier, in 2003. Finally, on 15 November 2007, Smith Micro Software announced the purchase of Poser, Anime Studio and Manga Studio from e-frontier.
Early versions of Poser were bundled with fully clothed humanoid figures specifically designed for Poser. Next, add-on packages of human figures were sold by the manufacturer of Poser. Soon, third-party companies began creating figures which work with Poser. As clothing became separate from the humanoid figure, collections of 3D garments were created for specific models which conform to the shape and pose of the Poser figure. 'Poses' for figures were packaged and sold by the software vendor and by third parties. 'Morphs', allowing customization of body or face shape or other features, are also sold. Different skin textures, frequently combined with settings for morph technology, are marketed to allow one base model to be customized into many different 'characters'; similar 'texture' packages allow one garment to take on many different appearances, an animal to represent different breeds of the same species, or a vehicle to show many different colour schemes.
In September 2011, Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 were simultaneously released. 2011 marked the 16th year of Poser as a published software product.
On January 24, 2012, Poser Debut was released for the Mac App Store.
||This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (February 2011)|
|Version||Release date||Publisher||Improvements / Notes|
|4.0.3||September 1999||Curious Labs||
|Pro Pack||February 2000||Curious Labs|
|6.0||March 2005||Curious Labs ; e-frontier||
|Poser Pro||May 2008||Smith Micro Software||
|Poser 8||August 4, 2009||Smith Micro Software|
|Poser Pro 2010||March 10, 2010||Smith Micro Software||
Enhanced User Interface
Professional Art and Animation Tools
Refined Lighting and Rendering Tools
|Poser Debut||February 13, 2011||Smith Micro Software||
|Poser 9||September 21, 2011||Smith Micro Software||
|Poser Pro 2012||September 21, 2011||Smith Micro Software||
|Poser 10||Smith Micro Software|
|Poser Pro 2014||Smith Micro Software||
|Poser Pro Game Dev||Smith Micro Software||
Poser's specially designed figures are commonly known as Poser Figures, Poser Models, Poser Content, Digital Actors, or Digital Puppets. Early versions of Poser were bundled with fully clothed humanoid figures specifically designed for the then-current version of Poser. Next, add-on packages of human figures were sold by the manufacturer of Poser. Soon, third party companies began creating figures which work with Poser. As clothing became separate from the humanoid figure, collections of 3D garments were created for specific models which conform to the shape and pose of the Poser figure. 'Poses' for figures were packaged and sold by the software vendor and by third parties. 'Morphs' allowing customization of body or face shape or other features are also for sale. Skin textures, frequently combined with settings for morph technology, are marketed to allow one base model to be customized into many 'characters'; similar 'texture' packages allow one garment to take on many appearances, an animal to represent different breeds of the same species, or a vehicle to show many colour schemes.
Development of figures
Each major release of Poser has come with a new generation of figures for use with the tool, however separate figures rapidly became available as the content market developed. Notably Zygote (later DAZ 3D) made a Poser model of a young woman, higher-resolution than Posette, and called her "the Millennium Girl". Poser users often colloquially shortened this name to "Millie". Zygote, disliking this name, officially named her Victoria, which is often colloquially shortened to Vicky. Victoria then became the initial member of a large family of figures which has developed across four generations of technology. After they merged with Gizmoz in late 2009, DAZ 3D released all their Poser figures as free downloads.
Because Poser figures are very inexpensive and useful for commercial illustrators, an entire cottage industry has developed to create and market Poser figures and other content. The market is a combination of several large distributors, who often also develop products, and of individual artists who often use one or more of the larger distributors to handle the sale of their products. Both the distributors and individual artists are involved in the creation of Poser figures, clothing, poses, morphs, textures and characters.
Rather than unconnected single figures, Poser figures are now generally produced as families of models linked by technology generation and creator. Certain add-on products, most often poses and skin textures, but including some clothing models, may be usable across more than one model within a family, but in general are not usable across different generations of the same model. Examples of notable families of models are:
|This collapsible table contains a long list of Poser characters. Click on "show" to show it.|
|G2||Realistic human||eFrontier||James, Jessi, Koji, Kelvin, Simon, Sydney, Olivia||Content Paradise|
|adanimals||Realistic animals||adh3d||adHorse||A new horse bundle for poser||adh3d poser models |
|adHuman||Realistic human||adh3d||adMAn||A free realistic male figure||adh3d poser models |
|Miki 2.0||Realistic human||eFrontier||Miki 2.0||Often mistakenly included within the G2 family. She was created by eFrontier and represents a similar (but earlier) generation of technology, but is an upgraded version of Miki 1.0||Content Paradise|
|Miki 1.0||Realistic human||eFrontier||Miki 1.0||Content Paradise|
|Poser 8||Realistic human||eFrontier||Ryan (man), Alyson (woman)||Content Paradise|
|Poser 7||Realistic human||eFrontier||Simon G2 (man), Sydney G2 (woman), Ben 2 (child), Kate 2 (child)||Included in Poser 7. The adult figures are the G2 figures listed above.||Content Paradise|
|Poser 6||Realistic human||eFrontier||James (man), Jessi (woman), Ben (child), Kate (child)||Included in Poser 6. The Poser 6 James and Jessi are distinct figures from the G2 James and Jessi; the G2 figures are a later generation of technology.||Content Paradise|
|Poser 5||Realistic human||eFrontier||Don (man), Judy (woman), Will (child), Penny (child).||included in Poser 5||Content Paradise|
|Poser 4||Realistic human||eFrontier||High-Resolution Man, High Resolution Woman.||Included in Poser 4. The names Dork and Posette remained in unofficial use.||Content Paradise|
|Poser 3||Realistic human||eFrontier||High-Resolution Man, High Resolution Woman.||Included in Poser 3. Over time the unofficial names 'Dork' and 'Posette' were adopted by the user community.||Content Paradise|
|Poser 2||Realistic human||eFrontier||Names not yet given to figures||Included in Poser 2||Content Paradise|
|Poser 1||Realistic human||eFrontier||Names not yet given to figures||Included in Poser 1||Content Paradise|
|Millennium Figures (Generation 4)||Primarily realistic human||DAZ originals||Core Figures: Victoria 4, Michael 4, Kids 4; Morphs of Victoria 4: Aiko 4, Girl 4, She Freak 4; Morphs of Michael 4: Hiro 4, Freak 4||These morphs are injectable. This makes it easier to make clothing usable across multiple figures. Reported as 'Under Development' are David 4, Stephanie 4. The Kids 4 figure represents a pre-teen child and it has been stated that no specific teenage figure is under development, with the adult figures meant to be morphable into teens.||DAZ store|
|Millennium Figures (Generation 3)||Primarily realistic human||DAZ originals||Victoria 3, Michael 3, Aiko 3, Hiro 3, Stephanie Petite 3, David 3, the Girl, She Freak 2, Millennium Kids - Young Teens (aka Luke & Laura), Millennium Kids- Preschoolers (aka Matt & Maddie), Millenium Baby 3.0, Troll.||'The Girl', a stylized female figure, was developed by Kim Goossens in conjunction with Daz, but is marketed as and technologically indistinguishable from the other third generation Millennium figures.||DAZ store|
|Millennium Figures (Generation 2)||Primarily realistic human||DAZ originals||Victoria 2, Michael 2, Aiko 1, Stephanie 1, Millennium Girls, Millennium Boys, Millennium Baby.||These Victoria and Michael figures keep the mesh shapes of Generation 1, but add morphs and are an unusual case of some add-on compatibility being maintained across generations.||DAZ store|
|Millennium Figures (Generation 1)||Realistic human||DAZ originals||Victoria 1, Michael 1.||Victoria 1 was originally released as 'The Millennium Woman', but common colloquial shortening to "Millie" led to DAZ 3D renaming her as Victoria.||DAZ store|
|Aeon figures||Stylized human||Dodger (Sean Cannon)||Anna, Seth, Mickey, Ghul, Raphael, Mary, Robin||child and fantasy figures derived from Millennium figures||PoserPros store|
|LaRoo||cartoon humanoid||RuntimeDNA||Laroo 1 and 2 also included as lite version in Poser since V6||RuntimeDNA|
|Plushies, Koshini and friends||Cartoon humanoid, cartoon animals||Lady Littlefox||Koshini, Ichiro, Krystal, Kiki, Kit, Rufus||RuntimeDNA|
|Wacky World||Cartoon animals||3D Universe||Sal A. Manda, The Heavies Rhino, 3D Universe Toon Baby, Toon Croc, Toon Squirrel, Toon Dragon, Toon Penguin, Eggbert the toon Duckling, Jacko Lantern||DAZ store|
|Staci||Cartoon human||3D Universe||DAZ Store|
|Gumdrops||Stylized human children||Littlefox||RuntimeDNA|
|Project Human||Open-source realistic human||Sixus1||Project Human Male (PHM)/Project Human Female (PHF), HIM||Sixus1, Content Paradise|
|HER||Stylized human||Pascal Blanche||Though often mistakenly included in the Open Source Project Human family, HER is the poserized (by Sixus1) version of a figure by Pascal Blanche, who has given permission to distribute this version of the figure free of charge.||Sixus1, Content Paradise|
|Apollo Maximus||Realistic human||Anton Kisiel||Anton Kisiel Designs|
|Polymage||realistic human, cartoon humanoid||Mychelle-Anne Daigle (Neftis)||Elle, Esmeralda, Unity, NeftOoN Gal, NeftOoN Pal||Neftis3D |
|Cartoon humanoid||various||Meshbox Design ||Toon Santa, Mrs Toon Santa, Taika the Elf Girl, Teppo the Elf Boy, Toon Bunny||Mirye Software|
- Vining, Tim (2008). "Star Trek Aurora". fan fict.
- "Smith Micro Software press release". Smith Micro Software.
- Broomfield, Mat (2012-01-16). "Software review: Poser 9". 3D World. Future Publishing. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Zahed, Ramin (May 21, 2013). "Smith Micro Introduces Poser 10 & Poser Pro 2014". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- Poser 5 Reference Manual. eFrontier. p. 4.
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