3Dream and Mairy have stores here at Rendorosity and at DAZ. These products offer a lot of variety for the money because of the variety of styling morphs and styling presets. Also they have fitting morphs for a wide variety of characters.
My favorite is Hermes hair from the DAZ store. This 'messy' informal hair set comes with 85 styling presets with individual thumbnails. It is like getting a dozen or more hair sets for the price of one. Most of the hair sets from these artists offer styling presets but Hermes hair seems to offer the best variety of 'looks' for a single hair product.
If you are just starting a hair collection don't limit yourself to just recent products. Designers don't like to repeat what has already been done. So many of the most basic and useful hair styles are only to be found by looking at older hair products.
The top of any list would be Brooke hair by goldtassel and littlefox. From bice and outoftouch I would recommend Super Bob, Tyra, Olessa and Fresh n Spring Aya and Nya. Aya is ideal for the 'Alice in Wonderland' look and there is nothing else better in the marketplace for that effect.
Go to SWAM's store in the marketplace and go back to the early pages and you will find Vania hair, Delicia Fantasy hair, Prilla and Paris Fashion hair, all basic hair styles that I use over and over.
Posing hints - head and neck
The posing of the head often makes the difference between an ordinary pose and one that really catches the eye, and you can learn a lot from looking at photographs of talented models whether in fashion or pin up photography.
Something I have noticed just recently is how to use rotation and bending to V4 to look like real human models. The formula is simple, rotate the head and bend the neck. This is not how most V4 poses are made which rotate and bend both the head and the neck. I have found that the poses look more natural if you start by rotating the head (using the rotate tool, for example.) The head will be tilted to one side. Then use the bending tool on the neck to finish the pose. The result should be very natural looking and you can get very expresive results this way very quckly with the bending tool. If the head rotation is more than about 30 degrees either way, then you add some neck rotation to avoid distorting the mesh.
If you spend too much time looking at computer models and don't look at real people it is easy to forget how joints actually work in humans. If you see a picture of a fashion model with her head tilted to one side you will see that it is her neck that is tilted, not her head. Try it and see for yourself.
You should also keep limits turned on when making poses, but that will be the subject of another post.
Essential products: D3D Material Collection
If you do your work in Poser, the D3D Material Collection is one of the most useful products you can add to your runtime collection. It has a highly diverse set of materials for cloth, glass, metals, etc.
But for me, the product is worth the price for its environment materials. Have you ever wanted to have a night sky visible in the background? The collection includes a set of untextured props including an environment dome and a set of procedural sky materials for day and night skies. They render fast and look good and require no texture files to load and take up memory. For the more adventurous, you can go into the material room and tweak the appearance of your sky, alter the color, change cloud patterns and so on.
A companion product by Dimension3D Designing Materials - The Poser Compendium Part 4 explains how the materials work, quite valuable if you would like to customize the materials.
I plan to post more hints and tips in days to come - just to see if anybody is looking.
Starting a blog
My idea of a blog is a narrative or discussion of some length, and I have been thinking about having a blog that describes how I go about producing and image for posting in the gallery. I have never seen anything like this and wonder if anyone would see it or read it.
I have written the text of a blog entry on the image I will be posting today. It is about 30 times longer than most of the blog entries I have browsed, so after I see how this one looks, I will decide whether I want to post it.