Smith Micro Software’s Poser series is one of the oldest and most famous 3D rendering and animation packages in the 3D art industry. In the past it’s been known for letting users quickly create characters but making it difficult for them to refine their models and lighting scenes as much as competitor software offers. A lot has changed since the software’s launch in 1995 though, so let’s take a look at Poser Pro 2010.
Poser Pro 2010 Features
If you’re a 3D animator then you might not necessarily need to worry about 3D modeling, and that’s where Poser can become extraordinarily helpful. With an extensive resources library that comes with the program for free, Poser Pro 2010 saves professional artists and production teams large amounts of time on each project. Users who haven’t touched the software in years will also enjoy its improved lighting and rendering powers. Here are the main features that make Poser Pro 2010 worth considering:
Enhanced user interface: 8 new human figures with advanced rigging, full set of legacy figures, over 2.5 GB of included content, keyword and online content search, parameter change indicator, joint strength indicator, recent render palette, StuffIt Connect image export, and Facebook image export.
Professional art and animation tools: Full body part morph import, auto-conform drag and drop, conform with scaling, updated PoserFusion, hosting plug-ins, dynamic cloth and strand based hair, improved OpenGL real time scene preview, Face Room, WalkDesigner and TalkDesigner, dependent parameters tool, improved joint rigging system, Cross Body Part Morph Tool, Wardrobe Wizard Tool, and wxPython support.
Refined lighting and rendering tools: HDRI Export, gamma correction for linear rendering, normal mapping, PSD layer rendering, network rendering, 64 bit render engine, indirect Lighting for global illumination, physically correct light falloff, and tone mapping and exposure.
Poser Community and Tutorials
Sadly, the Poser community continues to be a bit of a blemish on the product. While its gallery page of professional art made with Poser is a great example of how powerful the software can be, that’s unfortunately almost the entire extent of the community. The rest of the sections are testimonials, history descriptions of the software, or Smith Micro Software blog updates. Also, while I think Poser gets an unfair amount of criticism in the animation industry, I have to admit that its industry testimonials is pretty low on quantity and quality, with each industry having only one or two testimonials, and none of which are from household company names that will have most potential buyers drooling and excited.
However, the Poser online tutorial section is actually quite thorough. It’s broken down into topics such as character creation, Poser Fusion, COLLADA, rendering and HDRI, posing, animation, lighting, hair and cloth, working with content, 3rd party integration, and utilities. Pretty much every single tutorial has more than a page of text combined with image examples and screenshots that have circles around key interface areas. It’s disappointing there’s not a section – or even a basic forums – where users can create and share their own tutorials or Poser files, but the tutorials that do exist are all phenomenal.
Poser 8, Poser Debut, and Poser Pro 2010 Pricing Plans
Before jumping at the newest software first, I always urge readers to consider a slightly older version of the program that might have every feature they need for a much cheaper price. For example, when you look at the official Poser features comparison list, here are the only features that are unique to Poser Pro 2010 ($500) and are absent in Poser 8 ($250) and Poser Debut ($50).
- Full Body Part Morph Import
- Joint Strength Indicator
- Send StuffNow image export
- PoserFusion plugins
- Full COLLADA export and import
- 64-bit fully native application Windows
- 64-bit rendering on Macintosh
- Multithread bending
- Recent bender palette
- Gamma correction
- Background rendering
- Network Render queue and Queue Manager
- HDRI export and import
- PSD layer rendering
If those are features you can’t work without, then you have several pricing and upgrade options here. For those who need fewer tools and features, then you can also find the pricing plans at the previous link. Before making a final decision, make sure you check here to see if you’re eligible for student discounts!
Animation Schools to Consider:
- Atlanta, Georgia; Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and SCAD eLearning