Poser - OFFICIAL F.A.Q (Last Updated: 2021 Oct 16 5:06 pm)
Basically, I use Firefly only. I've experimented with Superfly, and bought a few Superfly-only products, but I don't like the look of Superfly, TBH, and it takes so much longer. If forced to use Superfly, I will, but I plan to use Firefly for the foreseeable future.
One reason I'm cautious is that Superfly seems to still be a work in progress. I'm hesitant to buy, say, shader packs, for fear that they won't work after an update.
For things other than shaders, I might buy it if I really like it, but I will probably be using it in Firefly, with materials changed if necessary. I bought Anime Girl, even though she's labeled for Poser 12, but use her in Poser 11.
It depends on how much work it takes them. Can you estimate how much work it takes to also provide Firefly, once the vendor has the SuperFly done? Are there automated helper converters? If it's taking them an extra three days a month to do Firefly then I can understand why they might be weary of it. But if it's only an extra three hours a month, then they should keep on doing it so as to get the widest audience possible. The other question is: would Renderosity even permit such a move? Because once they let one vendor do it, the risk is that the other vendors will all follow.
You have a two-fold problem as a vendor in what to offer; on one hand, you want to create a high-quality product to entice your buyers on both ends of the spectrum, but, on the other hand, how much do you want to invest in delivering that product without making it too labor-intensive. Realistically, you need to put in a considerable amount of time constructing your shader materials for both Firefly and Superfly, and, although they can share a common root, there are node arrangements that need to be addressed to accommodate both render engines. This will require separate material setups to achieve the same outcome, especially if you want to attain physically correct renders. For example, a Firefly metal shader may not look correct in a Superfly render or the inclusion of Fresnel effects that are entirely different under both render engines. If you need to cater to both, you may be diluting the full potential of one system or the other because of time and full investment to get both absolutely right. I agree with ghostship2 about standardizing material with the PoserSurface as the root but at some point that won't be enough.
As a user, I use superfly only. As a vendor, I make both superfly and firefly shaders. It would be nice if it was superfly only because the shaders are easier to set up, IMHO. With Poser 12 it's a toss-up as to which runs faster. I recently had firefly renders take longer than their superfly equivalent. And yes, it does take a while to make both, because you need to have the thumbnails and promo pictures for both.
I use mostly Firefly. I do a lot of toon renders and I just like Firefly better. I am not skilled enough to know how to set up my render settings to produce a good looking image using Superfly. I have used Superfly on occasion tho, never really liked the outcome so...I stay away from Superfly on the most part.
Anime Girl comes with Superfly materials. There are Superfly renders in the promo pics.
Just judging from the galleries, a lot of Poser users do toon or comic type renders, or do a lot of postwork. Some actually composite SF and FF renders, because they like elements of both.
Personally, I prefer the look of Firefly. It looks sharper to me (and if I want it less sharp, there's Photoshop). I'm not aiming for photorealism; I think even Firefly is well into the uncanny valley, or can be. I don't care for the "gaming" look that a lot of 3D art has, either, with super shiny metals and such. And I can never get hair to look decent in SF. It either ends up with a really painted look, which doesn't match the realism of eyes, skin, etc. or it looks really plasticky. Maybe I just haven't found the right shaders yet.
Anime Girl is designed to be used Preview Mode, as well as rendered. At least, that's what I assume, from the promos. The documentation isn't that great. The readme doesn't even have the usual list of files. Just instructions on how to use the developer rig to add her morphs to clothing.
I've played a little with Anime Girl, and it seems Superfly is a lot more finicky when it comes to lighting. And you can't really predict what it will look like when rendered, while Preview and Firefly are a lot more forgiving.
Superfly just seems to require a lot more fiddling to get right. I mean, even some of the promo renders in the RMP...look awful. It can look great, no doubt, but if even the "experts" can't do better for promo renders, well, it's kind of discouraging for those of us who are not so expert. I mean, there's a reason we buy stuff rather than make our own. We want it to be easy, and Superfly isn't.
I agree that Firefly produces crisper images; denoising just makes SF look blurry to me.
I've found lighting really difficult with Superfly. Even with light sets sold in the RMP...they're mostly tweaked for skin, and hair often looks blown out and plasticky.
Dont get me started on marketplace promos for Poser lately. I work in superfly now almost 100 percent (as my gallery attests). Poser 12, as Boni says, has improved the render times and if I get graininess or 'fireflies', I always know the lighting is too much and need to be adjusted. Materials require fiddling, not going to lie, but with the EZskin and EZdome out for P12, it is a lot easier. And no, I don't have a brand spanking new computer, it's over 5 years old. I think with Superfly in P12 there is still a lot of old habits and hearsay to combat. I learned a lot from reading threads on this forum regarding Superfly. So I encourage everyone to browse those threads and experiment.
I really think the learning curve is steeper with SF than it was with FF. With FF, there were a few tricks to learn, but then it worked with just about every render. Once in awhile, you might have to tweak something, but mostly, once you had settings you liked, you could use them for just about anything.
With SF, I feel like each render has to have its own setup. And with preview not working very well, it's a pain to test. For example, the default lighting with Anime Girl looks great in preview mode and in FF, but awful in SF...but you can't see that until after you render. Which takes forever. (Yes, SF is faster in Poser 12, but it's still slow as heck compared to FF.)
I also don't have a lot of incentive to learn. When FF came out, it looked so much better than the P4 renderer. I was all "OMG, I want to do that." I haven't seen anything that gives me that feeling in SF. Like Digitell, I actually prefer the look of Firefly.
Better NPR would do it, though.
SF renders are superior to FF but you might include a Poser root with a map on it and have it checked for FF along with the SF setup.
Personally I think that FF is looking way better then SF even in your Renders ! The lips , the skin look more realistic, I guess for cars SF might be a good option but not for Skin. Your render comparison is having an error that you probably used an increased environment light when rendering FF but you can see the difference after fixing the light in your FF render and you will see a big progress, Fixing the SF version was not possible it just caused to get even worse then it already is ! Using the right light on your FF render you would of gotten in very short time an outstanding result . I would say that a good option would of been Reality but not Super Fly
I'll agree that there is absolutely no reason why Ghostship's Firefly render should be so washed out other than user error or inferior settings. It's very easy to create very sharp vibrant detailed skin in Firefly. I've been test rendering some textures and morphs I made for La Femme using Firefly and Firefly shaders and while the results probably wouldn't impress strict realism/Superfly enthusiasts the results certainly are vibrant and detailed if not "photorealistic"...
It sure depends on your taste on how you wish to present your dolls, but over the decades there were releases with really realistic skin, and now you make out of a good skin in Superfly rather then a realistic looking woman a type of Real Doll reproduction ...
Here a sample of a real doll Mandy made of latex ( Guess men love these toys so the renders have to look like them ) So renders might achieve these results by using the superfly engine , honestly not what I would like to have ....
By posting the above I'd prefer if there isn't an avalanche of comparison Supefly renders or nasty critiques. It's just to illustrate a point about contrast and clarity in Firefly. If you don't like the character just keep it to yourself thanks lol.
Characters are ok it is what you make out of it, an artist can make a outstanding package, often it is questionable what the end user is making out of it LOL. Can just imagine one buying a V4 package and running the superfly engine guess they would get a neat surprise. I think that for majority users FF is allot easier to use and getting a good result with just basic experience :)
Yea LOL might be very true also got some good morphs for the breasts that you have to search for the head after a render :) well right now no matter what Poser is not really a good marketability choice, would be better off with Real Dolls 7'000 $ up for each model ok not calculating the crane that goes with it to move it around .
Just had to imagine if the postman delivers this package and you need 4 friends to get it up in your Appartement not telling them what's in the box :)
Anyway one day SF might get attractive who knows :) not that heavy like the RD parcel that the postman would bring and you do not have to explain your friends what's in the box
I think most people who are really good with Superfly come to it with a solid understanding of Firefly and all those techniques that Bagginsbill innovated over the years, which very much became standard operating procedure.
I've seen newer Poser users who were strictly Superfly users, because of this notion that its superior (which it is in many ways, just not as flexible), floundering horribly because they don't have a foundation in the material room or with lighting which more experienced Firefly users take for second nature. Mistakes with things that are rendering 101.
Le sigh. Look, I know a lot of people are in this for unrealistically-chested females, but can we please move on from that?
I suppise it will always be down to individual tastes as to which renderer one prefers. I enjoy both but lately Superfly was noticeably faster for me that Firefly ( am assuming people use SS if Firefly).
For me, it's not SS that slows things down. It's hair. Transmapped hair takes forever in SF, at least if you want it to look decent. Bald La Femme renders pretty fast. Put hair on her, and you could grow old and die waiting.
And no shader I've tried has made dynamic hair look as good in SF as it does in FF.
I dread the bucket hitting the hair in either renderer, at least at quality settings. I have some newer hairs that were basically a waste of money because I'll never use them. They look beautiful in the promos though. Ali's hairs are less rendertime costly, least the ones I use, but they're not as elaborate(?) as some of Prae's or OOT's hairs, which give me the most problems.
You just made me think if I could get a fleshy skin looking good in Super Fly with some presets I have, never really use Superfly so my test came up with this in 20 seconds, rather simple setup. but sure not what I would be using on a Doll :)
Save it out as a png. You'll minimize those compression artifacts.
For human Poser figures try EZSkin3...
For creatures, depending if it's a static object or figure, you could use it also if you set up the definitions for it, probably best to use PBR maps painted in substance or the like for creatures. Physical Surface Root. Which it appears you might be using above maybe.
Let's say you decide to give up Firefly support... what are you going to do when u see that u start losing sales and realize that you've made a bad decision?
I think that's the point of the question, to see if there are enough people still using firefly to warrant support. If on;y 1% of the users still used firefly, it wouldn't pay to make shaders for it anymore. But based on this, it looks like it might. Granted, this is only a small portion of the user base and may not reflect the needs of those who don't frequent forums.
Let's say you decide to give up Firefly support... what are you going to do when u see that u start losing sales and realize that you've made a bad decision?
Giving up Firefly would for sure be a big error for a creator. I believe that most are comfortable using firefly especially the ones with a large collection and big investments over decades. There are allot of Fan fiction writers that make there covers using Poser they prefer a comic style, not to realistic, if you want it realistic then you can go out there and take a pic with your cam saves time and does not need hour's for a render :) The best Product Promos that have been made until now for Poser were made with firefly and I guess it will stay this way for quiet a while. Also assuming that most poser users are still using Poser 7 - 11 after 10 most jumped to DS using once in a while older poser versions with no real plan upgrading to Poser 12 and higher. So with Firefly you still have majority of costumers on your side.
Comes to it that a mix match of products might be very difficult , not many great releases the past 2 years ! So depending on older great products mixing with Superfly especially complex Environments would cause a conflict, if your doll skin is Superfly and you do not have the correct Interiors you are busted what remains is a simple Pinup with your superfly buy, another argument that makes Firefly essential.
I think it might be the opposite, TBH. I would guess it's probably closer to 1% using Superfly than only 1% using Firefly. If only because a lot of people are still using older versions of Poser.
This is a very small sample size, though. They might get better results if they put up a survey, maybe offering a coupon for completing it. That would encourage the "right" people to respond: people who actually buy stuff from the RMP.
I do feel sorry for vendors. This must be a pain, having to support Poser 11, Poser 12, and Firefly.
And some of the vendors decided, as Superfly arrived with P11, that they just stop supporting Poser altogether. Happened to two of my favorite vendors, actually. Two (now three) types of Poser shaders (Firefly, Poser 11 Superfly, Poser 12 Superfly) and DS...they understandably said 'nope'.
It still sucks, tho.
So yeah, I think a survey with a coupon may be a good idea with of course the caveat to calm down panicky types that this does NOT mean Firefly support is abandoned, because we see here daily how fast rumors fly.
There are allot of Fan fiction writers that make there covers using Poser they prefer a comic style, not to realistic, if you want it realistic then you can go out there and take a pic with your cam saves time and does not need hour's for a render :)
I've noticed this is true of social media in general, not just the fan fiction crowd. Art that looks hand drawn gets a lot more love than art that has that 3D or gaming look. Even if it's not really hand drawn. Also, viewers often assume that something that looks too realistic is a photograph that's been Photoshopped, and don't value it as much as "real" art.
I think people are jaded on 3D now. They assume it's easy and doesn't take any talent, unlike drawing. (We know that's not true, of course.)
Like I said, if Superfly offered NPR better than Firefly, I'd use it.
Since Poser 12 is still after one year on prerelease and no creator is having any Idea in what direction it might lead, for most creators a very unstable situation releasing Superfly that might not work after the next update until poser is Final causing them allot of work for little money. So it rather would be the better choice to wait until Poser is Final and then use the Superfly options in products as additional offer for the beginning.
Due that it all takes over years it is not very attractive for creators not seeing any end. Same happen with the Poser 11 Bondware version it never got finished ending up with a large corruption of options and the Python Kill due the version number change witch only works with a Fix provided , that one has to be searched in the forums to make older Products working with integrated Python scripts.
So even a survey with a coupon would lead to nowhere as no one can tell until Poser will be final. They update one Node and puff you start from scratch! And for sure you can't tell afterwards to the customers, go and look in the forums there might be a fix for your issue of a freshly purchased product.
It does seem like it may not have been the best idea to release Poser 12 with a half-baked version of Superfly. Especially for Renderosity, which presumably is planning on content sales more than Smith Micro did. In hindsight, they probably should have stuck with the Poser 11 version of Superfly until the new version was settled.
I imagine the endgame is Cycles, but if it's constantly being updated, Poser might have a hard time keeping up.