The process of importing Blender-made clothing figures into Poser 6 / 7 is really quite simple if you have the right tools. In the past, I would export my clothing mesh from Blender as an .obj file, then import the obj file into Poser, bring it into the Setup Room, and deal with bones, groups and all that. I can't say that the experience was 100% successful or satisfying.
PhilC's Obj2Cr2 Python utility changed that.
It's a major player in the tools I use. This tutorial involves the use of this tool -- without it the process is unnecessarily laborious -- so for a really small investment in preserving your sanity, GET IT.
For this tutorial you will need:
Poser 6 or 7
Blender3D - FREE ... you probably already have this. For this I'm still using 2.45
Object to Cr2 Converter (Obj2Cr2) Python script - by PhilC - available here:
If you've ever been in the Setup Room and spend ages assigning polygons to groups, only to have the whole thing cave in when the curtain is meant to rise, you'll agree that your sanity is well worth at least the price of this utility!
Here's the steps to take to make a piece of conforming clothing out of mesh you created in Blender using PhilC's Obj2Cr2 utility. I will focus on the prep work in Blender here. The above link was written by PhilC himself, who can show you far more eloquently how to use this brilliant tool.
[A] In Poser, load, zero and export the model you are going to base your clothing item on as a Wavefront OBJ file. In this case, I used Victoria 4 Base. Export only the parts of your humanoid model that your clothing will actually touch. Save your exported obj somewhere you'll find it easily in Blender.
[B] In Blender, import the model obj file. I tend to put Vicky in layer two, and my clothing mesh in layer one, so if I need to scrutinize my mesh and don't want to see polygonal flesh-tones, I just select the first layer.
>>> Key point - once you've got your model in Blender, *DON'T* move her in Object Mode. Doing so will give you heaps of grief when trying to import your clothing mesh into Poser.
[C] Create your clothing model/mesh. I'll leave fleshing out this to a future discussion, as everyone has their unique style, tricks and tips on how to get the best mesh. It's an area I still have heaps to learn, myself!
[D] Create material areas for your mesh. In the Links and Materials Panel of [F9], create the vertex groups - makes it easier to work with your mesh parts. Under "Vertex Groups", click "New", then highlight the name "Group" and replace it with something more meaningful. Highlight the vertices that will be associated with this vertex group - this is the tedious bit - and when you are certain every vertex is highlighted that you want part of this group, click "Assign". If you find you've missed a vertex or two, you can always highlight it and click the "Assign" at that point. I've found that if you do this process in Face Mode:
...you're less likely to miss a vertex. Once you've got all your vertices assigned, you can [A] and click the "Select" button to check that your vertex group includes all vertices that are meant to be part of that group.
[E] Next to the "Vertex Group" stuff is the Material stuff. Here's where you assign the material to the vertex group. What you are actually creating when you write the name of the material is the name of the part of your garment, so make the name pertain to the part of the garment rather than what it is made of, as you will see it again in the Material Room in Poser. Poser will identify those areas with the name you've given them and you can base your UV map on them as well. For instance, for the item I was creating, I wanted to be able to have the ability to assign a different colour to the bodice vs the skirt, so I named the *material* "Bodice". Click "New" in the material group:
Go to the Material section [F5] and under the Links and Pipeline panel, in the Link to Object dialog, replace the name - usually "Material.001" or "WhatEverMaterialYouHadBefore.001" - with the name of the region of your mesh. In this case, I named it Bodice:
Do this for your entire mesh until all vertices are assigned to a vertex group and, more importantly, a material.
[F] For the seams, think about how you want to slice up your garment so that texture is easily applied. Before you UV map, seams need to exist on the garment.
[G] Create the UV map - Obj2Cr2 requires a UV map of some description, and Blender does an okay job at making them, particularly if you follow this tutorial: blenderartists.org/forum/showthread
You could also make your UV map a bit more spiffy using UVMapper by Steven Cox, available here: www.uvmapper.com/
[H] Now that you've got all vertices assigned to materials (named after the regions they cover) and a UV map created, you leave your model in "Set Solid" mode -- as opposed to "Set Smooth" -- and making sure the item you've just modeled is selected do:
File -> Export -> Wavefront (.obj)...
The name of the obj file will default to the name of your .blend file - usually works for me. Click [Export Wavefront OBJ] in the upper right-hand corner, which will give you a dialog with these options:
These are the default settings, and I have yet to find a reason to change any of them.
Your Blender model is now ready to import into Poser.
[I] On a blank Poser page, load the same model you used as a basis for your mesh - in my case, V4 Base. Zero and turn IK off - probably not entirely necessary, but that's what I do, just to be on the safe side.
[J] Then: File -> Import -> Wavefront OBJ...
In the ensuing Import Options dialog box, untick *everything* and click OK. Locate your mesh OBJ file, highlight it and select "Open".
[K] Take a few minutes to ensure that your mesh has nil breakthrough points you might have missed prior to export. It should fit your model exactly - if it doesn't go back to Blender and fix it.
Now, at this point you can try to tackle the Setup Room... or you can use Obj2Cr2. I'm not even going down the frustrating, fraught-with-disappointment path of the Setup Room.