Poser - OFFICIAL F.A.Q (Last Updated: 2021 Oct 27 4:03 pm)
Poser FAQ (Under Re-construction - all input welcome)
Q: Introduction to Poser. What's all this stuff and what do I do with it?
A: Most of the free Poser downloads, from the net, are zipped files. Most will have a readme that states where the files go.
Some are zipped in a smart fashion that will automatically unzip to the correct folders if they are unzipped to the Poser directory (which, by default, is at c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoser for Poser 5 or c:Program FilesMetacreationsPoser for the older versions).
To find out where Poser is, right click the Poser icon, in the Start/Programs menu, and look at Properties.
Things get a little trickier when there isn't a readme or the readme doesn't have any information about where files go. That means the files have to be manually moved to the correct locations.
For somebody unfamiliar with Poser, it's a bit intimidating figuring out what files should go where. Poser looks for files in specific locations.
Put them in the wrong place and Poser doesn't know where to find things.
Since the files must be in particular spots, it eventually becomes second nature to figure out where files should go.
Files, with a certain extension, go to a certain spot.
Here's a quick description of where things go, by their file extension:
Every file will have an associated .rsr file (sometimes .png for new stuff), of the same name, (except for some of the .obj geometry files).
The .rsr is usually a thumbnail image for the item in Poser and, without it, Poser will show a shrugging figure instead of the thumbnail.
Move the Poser file and thumbnail, that have the same prefix, to the same spot. If there is a .obj, .cr2, and .rsr with the same prefixes, keep the .rsr with the .cr2.
.pz3 - Poser scene. Double clicking will open a file in Poser. This goes anywhere.
Some .pz3 embed all the files it uses into this one file. This depends on what is in the scene.
That means it doesn't show up in Poser's library thumbnails. If a person wants an object in their library, it has to be manually added (which would be another lesson).
If a prop or figure already contained an embedded OBJ when it was included in the scene, that embedded information will be embedded in the PZ3.
But a prop or figure that was built in the ordinary way, with separate OBJ, will refer to the separate OBJ in the PZ3.
So most of the time, a PZ3 behaves the same way as a prop or figure, requiring OBJ files to be in their correct places.
.obj - goes in the Geometries folder. This one is critical because it's the 3D object Poser uses and a line in the .cr2 will say where it should be found if a readme file doesn't. c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeGeometries
tif, bmp, bum, jpg - These are usually the image files used to texture an object and make it look realistic.
Some Poser files will look in specific places for this information, but a person can show Poser where to find it if the program doesn't know where it is.
In most instances, if Poser is having a hard time finding a file, it's a .bum file.
This is a bump map for older versions of Poser. Poser 4ProPack and Poser 5 do not require the use of .bum files.
A lot of free downloads (and even some commercial programs) will supply a .jpg file instead of the .bum file because a .jpg is about 10% of the size and easier to download.
Unfortunately, Poser doesn't know that this is happened and will say it cannot find the .bum file.
Users of Poser 5 (with the latest updates installed) should tell Poser where to find the .jpg file that is the bumpmap, but sometimes it's easier to hit cancel and tell it to stop looking for files it cannot find and apply the bump map manually.
With older versions, the bumpmap .jpg has to be converted first to a .bum file within the program. c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeTextures
The files listed below are part of Poser's Library.
All the items appear as thumbnails within the library.
The files can be placed anywhere within their Poser library.
A readme file may say that a new cat should place the .cr2 under CharacterMyCat, but you can place the file under CharacterAnimals if that is a more logical place to find it.
Poser opens the file from where it is.
Geometries and textures (and sometimes props embedded in a CR2) get called out when a Poser item is loaded and expects Poser to find files in specific locations, so it's best to place them where the readme says they should go.
Everything else can be moved around without much worry within a specific library.
Keep in mind that specific file extensions go into specific library folders. A ,cr2 must always be placed under Character.
It can be in a folder under Character, such as Animals, but the Animals folder must be under Character.
.cr2 - Character, this is the Poser figure file for loading a person, animal, or bendable prop or hair c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesCharacter
.pz2 - Poses (preset poses, such as running) or MAT (textures) or Morphs (body/face changes) c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesPose
.pp2 - Props (usually objects that don't bend) c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesProps
.hr2 - Hair files that parent to the head automatically (some hairs are .cr2s because they can move) c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesHair
.fc2 - Facial expressions or morphs c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesFace
.cm2 - Cameras with different focal lengths and positions (occasionally, a producer will put a MAT pose into a camera folder and that can be irritating because they don't normally go there) c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesCamera
.hd2 - Hand poses, preset poses with the fingers set up for an action c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesHand
.lt2 - Lighting arrangements with positions, colors, intensities saved c:Program FilesCurious LabsPoserRuntimeLibrariesLight
With Poser 4, folders all have to be directly under the main Poser library directory without any nesting (nesting is having a folder within a folder).
As a user's Poser collection grows, this eventually becomes very unwieldy.
Somebody with 1000 props (don't laugh--it doesn't take that long to find that many Poser items even as freebies) cannot easily organize those props.
New folders can be created in the Props library folder, but it's hard to organize. Poser 5 allows nesting folders.
There can be a folder for Household Items and that folder can have folders for Bedroom, Kitchen, and so on. It's much easier to organize Poser 5 content because things can be logically grouped.
Every so often, library content needs to be reorganized because a lot of Poser items get installed in folders that the producer used.
DAZ will install their animals in a folder called DAZ Animals; another producer might install it under their name, such as Dave; while another company might install their figure under New Animals.
After a few years, it's hard to remember if a particular animal is installed under any one of dozens of different folders. It's best to get into the practice of moving items into similar photos, such as putting all animals under one Animals folder and all Victoria clothing under a Victoria Clothing folder.
Poser dynamically looks for material whenever a new library folder is clicked so changes can be made while Poser is running.
Changes made to a library folder, that is already open in Poser, won't be seen until Poser is forced to look again in that folder.
Moving to a different folder or library will reset the content that Poser reads.
For example, if the Animals library folder is open in Poser and new animal figures are added to that folder, those new figures won't be seen until the user goes to another library, say Cameras, and then back.
(Thanks to rreynolds for this answer & ockham for some additions )
Here is an overview of the files associated with Poser: Poser files
Q: Zip files, exe/SIT files and rar files. What are they?
A:These are all files which you may come across when you download things for Poser. SIT files are for macs, so if you don't have a mac, you don't need to download them. exe files (commonly used at DAZ) are self installing applications. Just click on the exe and it will begin the installation process. rar files are similar to zip files, but require a program called Winrar to unzip them. Once you have unzipped them, you usually find a runtime folder containing all the Poser files which you need nested in the correct folders.
Q: What is the difference between Poser Artist and the other Posers?
A:Poser Artist is exactly the same as Poser 4, it just has a different name. You will generally see 3 versions of Poser referred to. P4 (Poser 4 or Poser Artist) PP (Poser 4 with Pro Pack which offers more options than Poser 4) P5 (Poser 5 the most current version). You cannot use dynamic clothing in Poser 4.
Q: How do I load more than one figure into my scene?
A:Open the library pallet and click once on the figure you want to add to the scene. Then click on the double checkmark icon at the bottom of the library pallet.
Q: Who is "Posette"? Or VIckie? Or Mike?
A:Posette is the nickname given to the P4woman figure found in Poser Vickie is Victoria (versions 1, 2 & 3) Mike is Micheal (versions 1, 2 & 3) Victoria and Micheal (also known as the Millenium figures) are models available from http:www.daz3d.com There are quite a few models, each with several nicknames. Please note, a who's who of Poser people will be added to this faq next month to include as many as I can gather. (ie end of July)
Q: How do I apply a new texture to my prop or figure?
A:Go to the Render->Materials menu. After the new window pops up, select the material you want to change from the dropdown menu at the top right. Then load your texture into the "texture map" field below.
Do the same thing for any transmaps or bumpmaps you want to add.
Q: Why won't my texture apply to my prop or figure?
A:You can't apply a texture until the prop or figure has UVmapping applied to it. UVmapping is basically the process of wrapping geometry in a type of covering that can be painted on.
Think of your prop or figure as a gift. And the UVmapping as the colorful gift-wrapping that covers it.
Q: How do I create UVmapping for my prop or figure?
A: Steve Cox has made a great free utility for doing that. Go to http://www.uvmapper.comto download it.
Q: Why is it so hard to pose the figures?
A:If you use your mouse to make precise poses. You'll quickly end up getting frustraed . Try using the dials to do your posing. It will be more accurate and easier to control. Check out Schlabbers excellent guide to posing, available in pdf format from the Curious Labs website.
Q: Why do I get an "Out of memory" error when opening something from the library pallet?
A:This has nothing to do with your computer memory. It means that Poser cannot find the item on your computer.
In most cases this is caused by downloading a new item from the internet. Then installing the .obj file in the wrong folder.
Another cause for this occurs when the large .rsr file, located in the same Geometries folder as the .obj file, gets corrupted. The fix is to simply delete that .rsr file. Which will result in Poser making a new one when you open the figure again.
Q: What is a Morph Target?
A:Morphs are the result of pushing and pulling the vertices of a 3Dmodel around to alter it's shape. Then assigning it to a control device (Poser uses dials to control morph targets).
Q: How do I make Morph Targets?
A:Poser uses "Magnets" to do this. A magnet has an adjustable area called the "Magnet Zone"that can encompass whatever part of the 3Dmodel you want. Then pushing or pulling on it to alter the shape of the 3Dmodel.
To save a morph Target with Poser:
1.) Use magnets to alter the 3Dmodel to the way you want it to look
2.) Goto Object->Spawn Morph Target in the menu. Enter a name for it and a new dial will be created for you.
3.) Save the figure or prop back to the Poser library pallet.
* Note: doing this saves the Morph information in the 3Dobjects .cr2 or .pp2 file. If you want to give away morphs you make to other people. Read the next FAQ.
Q: How do I share my Morph Targets with other people?
A:You need to isolate them so people can apply them without needing you to give them the entire character files associated with the morph. This means that the person who downloads a morph from someone else, must also own the figure the morph is for. Because Morphs only work on the 3Dmodel you altered. To do this:
1.) Create your morph with magnets. OR. If it's already made. Set the morph's dial to a value of 1.0
2.) Goto File->Export->Wavefront.obj to export the 3Dmodel
3.) When the first window pops up choose single frame. When the second window pops up. Make sure only the item you morphed has an X in the box next to it. Everything else should not have an X in front of them.
4.) The last window that pops up has options to check. Make sure only the "As Morph Target" option is checked.
This file can be given away to anyone you want. And can be applied by going to Object->Properties and clicking the "Add Moph Target" button.
Q: How can I delete morphs?
A:Goto Window->Heirarchy Editor and select the "show all parameters" box. Then select the morphs from the list and delete them with your delete key on your keyboard.
Q: Why do my imported models have rounded edges?
A:Poser is primarily used for organic type models. It uses information located in the .obj file to round the edges so the model looks more organic and less boxy. You can do a few things to get around this:
1.) Using UVmapper . Select the "split vertices" option.
2.) Import your model as a .DXF file. These files don't contain any smoothing information.
3.) Bevel your edges when creating the models in your 3Dmodeling program.
Q: How do I create my own figure's?
A:This is time consuming and involves many steps. However it's not overly technical. And anyone can do it with a bit of patience. The steps involved are as follows:
1.) Create a 3Dmodel in your favorite modeling software
2.) Name it's body parts where they will eventually bend. Then save it in the .obj file format.
3.) Use either the Poser4 heirarchy window. Or use Phi Builderby Roy Riggs to translate your .obj file into a .cr2 file.
4.) Adjust all of the joints where the parts bend so they bend more realistically.
* Look in our tutorial section for more detailed explanations of each of these steps.
Q: Why are some of my things covered with strange dots?
A:This is because they have transparency applied to them. Poser can't display it properly until the item is rendered.
Q: I'm trying to create an animation but the body part keeps moving when I don't want it to. What's going on and how do I get the results I'm looking for?
A:Poser uses LINEAR animation by default. This produces an automatic movement from one frame to the other. Unfortunately, this also produces an effect very few people want. So to remedy this you can :
1.) Open the animation pallet, click on the bodypart and then click the ~ icon to open the graph. Adjust the line so the body part moves across the timeline according to how you like it.
2.) In the animation pallet. Drag your mouse around all of the key frames then click the + symbol. This will create keys for each frame of the animation . Which you can then edit one by one by posing your body part at each frame to get precise control over your body part animation.
Q: Why do the knees sometimes lock when I use the Walk Designer with my figure?
A:This is known as "Gimbal Lock". It occurs when Poser has to bend two body parts (thigh&shin) that are aligned in a straight line. If two body parts are relatively straight. Poser doesn't know which direction to bend them and it takes a few milliseconds for it to figure it out. Producing a weird little glitch every time it tries to bend them. You can get rid of this by helping Poser decide how to bend the legs by selecting the HIP of the figure in the first frame of your animation. Then translate it down a little so the knees bend slightly.
Q: I've created my own figure. How do I make it Walk Designer compatible?
A:Simple.... The walk designer needs to see a few key body part names in order to work with your new figure. The necessary body parts are: head, rshldr, lshldr, hip, rthigh, lthigh, rshin, lshin, rfoot, lfoot...Spelling&CAPS are sensitive
* Make sure the figure touches the floor in default position.
* Don't make the toes the goal or it won't work properly
* Your figure must have IK chains applied in order for it to use the "Walk Path" option.
Q: What are the Millenium Poser figure's and where can I get them?
A:These characters (Vicki & Michael) are special and don't come shipped with Poser. They are better quality models created due to requests from the community for more realistic looking figures. They have more control points so it is possible to give them realistic looking wrinkles by morphing the skin area.
Millenium figures can be purchased here: www.DAZ3d.com
Q: Why do the morphs on one figure alter all of the figures in the scene?
A:This is known as "Cross-Talk". The Millenium figures use a special feature known as "ERC". This is a new concept for for controlling morphs, and joints within a figure to make them look more natural.
An example: When a figure bend his arm. His bicept muscle buldges just like in the real world. The Bicept morph is automatically controlled through ERC by the forearm when it bends.
Unfortunately. This addition to the code of the .CR2 file has a negative side-effect. If you load two instances of the same Millenium figure in a scene. The first figure loaded will affect the other one.
DAZ3dhas something called a "Null Loader" on their site that will allow you to get around this problem.
Q: What else can ERC do? Where can I learn more about it?
Q: Why won't my clothes conform to the Millenium figures?
A:The millenium figures have body parts divided up differently than the clothes that come with Poser. Since clothes have to be divided into the same group of body parts as the base figure to conform. They won't work on them.
Q: What's up with the eyebrows on the Millenium figures. How do they work?
A:The eyebrow area for these figures uses the layering technique. And is made up of two separate items:
1.) The head has a material applied to it in the eyebrow area called "Eyebrows".
2.) There is a separate piece of geometry positioned on the head, covering that material, and has it's own material called "Upper Eyebrows"
The reason they did this was that the Upper Eyebrows could be used to add a second layer of texturing to this area. Resulting in a more realistic looking eyebrow when rendered. If you've worked in paint programs. You know that layering is how people achieve best results. This is the same thing.
If you want to just use the normal eyebrows like the standard Poser figures use. Just hide the Upper Eyebrows by setting the material for it to:
Upper Eyebrows: 100% transparency Max and Min
* Note: It might be easier to think of the "Upper Eyebrows" as Outer Eyebrows. DAZ made a poor choice in naming them. Causing much confusion about how they work.
Q: How do I edit the eyes?
A:As with the eyebrows. The millenium figures also use a separate piece of geometry to cover the eyes for an extra layer to apply textures to them. The material applied to it called "Eyeballs".
The default is set to 100% transparency to hide them. Be sure to lower that setting first before adding any coloring or texturing to them. Or else you won't see any changes.
Q: How is the ProPack different from the standard Poser program?
A:The ProPack is an upgrade to the Poser4 program. Not a stand alone replacement program.
Here are a few of the major changes:
1.) Setup room-- Allows you to add bones to a 3Dmodel which spawns groups, so it can be poseable.
2.) Changeable rotation orders--Allows user to alter the rotation orders on the fly.
3.) No more need for .rsr files-- ProPack will read the .obj files directly. And will save library pictures as .png files.
4.) No more .bum files-- ProPack will read standard picture files directly, instead of converting them into .Bum files
5.) Plug-ins to allow scenes, including animation , to be rendered in other 3Dprograms (Ligtwave, MAX,Cinema4D)
Q: Why do some of my figures have holes in them when using the ProPack?
A: This is due to the fact that some .cr2 files contain geometry information in them. And the ProPack wasn't able to handle them. CuriousLabs quickly created a fix for this. Go to: www.CuriousLabs.comto download the update to fix this.
Q: Why do some of my body parts come apart after I make it poseable using the Setup room?
A:There seems to be a bug with the weld function for the ProPack. Occasionally, you might have a body part that comes apart when posed. To fix this, you'll need to add a weld statement to the .cr2 file so the parts don't come apart.
Q: How do I share my items with people who don't have the ProPack?
A:Since the ProPack did away with some of the proprietary files normally associated with Poser items. You'll need to include a couple of things with your files for non ProPack users:
1.) If you use a bump channel in your Item. Be sure to include the texture you used in your files.
2.) You'll need to include and create a small thumbnail .rsr file by hand so users won't see that shrugging guy in their library when they try to open your item. You can download a free utility called RSRConverterfrom the freestuff section on Renderosity.
For other FAQ's