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 Subject: RFC: OBJ Fidelity Tests

EnglishBob opened this issue on Apr 08, 2008 · 33 posts

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  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:47AM Tue, 08 April 2008 

Attached Link: http://www.morphography.uk.vu/testobj.html

The page linked above documents my investigations into how various 3D utilities treat a mesh in Wavefront OBJ format. I was thinking about the desirable attributes for a modeller which would be friendly towards Poser meshes - although Poser uses geometry defined using the OBJ format, it has its own quirks and interprets the format in its own way. I decided to see what existing applications were doing to a 3D model file that passed through their "hands". There are a lot of rules of thumb, almost superstitions, involved in most people's work flows - but I hadn't seen any objective measurement. Your comments will be welcome - and if anyone wants to try the test mesh on their own favourite modeller or utility, I'll be pleased to hear the results.


  markschum    ( ) ( posted at 3:20PM Tue, 08 April 2008 · edited on 3:23PM Tue, 08 April 2008 · @3210668

I have sent you results for Lightwave 8.5 modeller  :)

The most annoying thing with poser is its mis-interpretation of n-gons , particularly those with holes, or concave edges . 


  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 4:38PM Tue, 08 April 2008  · @3210706

Thanks Mark. The question of polygon tolerance is a whole other matter. I remember Poser 3 used to crash if it saw a facet with more than four sides; thankfully later versions are more forgiving than that.


  markschum    ( ) ( posted at 6:25PM Tue, 08 April 2008  · @3210763

yeah, it dont crash , but it closes over the hole , or the concave part of the poly.


  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:12AM Wed, 09 April 2008  · @3210910

I've updated the page with Mark's results. Sorry I didn't reply to your e-mail last night - my e-mail decided to take a vacation... Anybody else?


  lesbentley    ( ) ( posted at 9:25AM Wed, 09 April 2008  · @3210992

Very interesting and informative. Thanks Bob.


  Cage    ( ) ( posted at 11:44PM Wed, 09 April 2008  · @3211391

I've sent you export results for Modo.

I thought about trying Blender, but... Blender's OBJ I/O can be scary.  LOL

Cage can be an opinionated jerk who posts without thinking.  He apologizes for this.  He's honestly not trying to be a turkeyhead.

Cage has freebies.  He would like to thank EnglishBob for hosting these.

The Cage Page at Morphography: Python, Antonia & More

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 3:39AM Thu, 10 April 2008  · @3211442

Thanks Cage! I've updated the page. For completeness, could you let me know the version number some time? If Blender is as variable as you say, it may be best to omit it, I agree. I'd have to minutely document the version numbers of the scripts and the application...


  Cage    ( ) ( posted at 12:50PM Thu, 10 April 2008 · edited on 12:56PM Thu, 10 April 2008 · @3211657

Oh, the version number.  I tested with Modo 301, which is the latest version.  It does have the OBJ export bug I noted, along with the workaround for the bug.

The trouble with Blender is that OBJ I/O is handled using Python scripts which are written and maintained by the user base, not the development team (although there is some crossover between these groups).  Every time Blender is updated, many of the user scripts are broken, and import-export scripts suffer from this no less frequently than the others.  They do their best to keep them up-to-date, but I've found that the script version which ships with a Blender release is often bugged, so you either have to modify and correct it for your needs or test to dig up the best-working script from an ealier version.  It's really rather a mess.  Blender would benefit immensely if they'd just build format I/O into the program itself.  I have no idea why they haven't....  But Blender is an amazing piece of free software, overall.

Cage can be an opinionated jerk who posts without thinking.  He apologizes for this.  He's honestly not trying to be a turkeyhead.

Cage has freebies.  He would like to thank EnglishBob for hosting these.

The Cage Page at Morphography: Python, Antonia & More

  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 4:48PM Thu, 10 April 2008  · @3211756

I can save the obj out of c6pro, but there's no OS X version of UVMapper Pro.
all I got is UVmapper X by Steve Martin (no relation), using Cox's freebie code.

 



  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 4:58AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212051

I'll take a look at your test when I get a chance, but I thought you might be interested in a similar set of tests I set up a few years ago... http://www.skinprops.com/fr_kamakazi.htm

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:19AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212065

Miss N: If you have time to run the test piece through C6, I'd appreciate it. I have results for C5 Pro that I haven't added to the page yet. Spanki: Thanks for that! I thought that someone, somewhere would have done this already; I'm not at all surprised to see that it was you. :)


  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 5:20AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · edited on 5:22AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · @3212066

Here you go.. Riptide v1.7 (my .obj IO plugin for Cinema 4D)...

# 
==========================================================================<br></br>
# <br></br>
#  Wavefront OBJ format exported by Red-i Productions'
"Riptide"<br></br>
#     (a free plugin for Cinema 4D PC &
Mac, R7.3 or later)<br></br>
# <br></br>
#  Red-i Productions<br></br>
#  <a href="http://skinprops.com">http://skinprops.com</a><br></br>
# <br></br>
# 
==========================================================================<br></br>
mtllib ovrlap.mtl<br></br>
v 0.00000000 0.00000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.03333334 0.00000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.00000000 0.03333334 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.06666667 0.00000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.10000000 0.00000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.03333334 0.03333334 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.03333334 0.06666667 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.06666667 0.03333334 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.10000000 0.03333334 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.00000000 0.06666667 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.00000000 0.10000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.06666667 0.10000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.03333334 0.10000000 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.06666667 0.06666667 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.10000000 0.06666667 0.00000000<br></br>
v 0.10000000 0.10000000 0.00000000<br></br>
# 16 vertices

vt 0.023189545 0.34106445<br></br>
vt 0.34105682 0.34106445<br></br>
vt 0.34105682 0.023193359<br></br>
vt 0.023189545 0.023193359<br></br>
vt 0.65893555 0.34106445<br></br>
vt 0.65893555 0.023193359<br></br>
vt 0.97680664 0.34106445<br></br>
vt 0.97680664 0.023193359<br></br>
vt 0.023189545 0.65894318<br></br>
vt 0.34105682 0.65894318<br></br>
vt 0.65893555 0.65894318<br></br>
vt 0.97680664 0.65894318<br></br>
vt 0.023189545 0.97680998<br></br>
vt 0.34105682 0.97680998<br></br>
vt 0.65893555 0.97680998<br></br>
vt 0.97680664 0.97680998<br></br>
# 16 texture coordinates

g Group1<br></br>
usemtl Material3<br></br>
f 1/4 2/3 6/2 3/1<br></br>
g Group2<br></br>
f 2/3 4/6 8/5 6/2<br></br>
g Group3<br></br>
f 4/6 5/8 9/7 8/5<br></br>
g Group1<br></br>
usemtl Material2<br></br>
f 3/1 6/2 7/10 10/9<br></br>
g Group2<br></br>
f 6/2 8/5 14/11 7/10<br></br>
g Group3<br></br>
f 8/5 9/7 15/12 14/11<br></br>
g Group1<br></br>
usemtl Material1<br></br>
f 10/9 7/10 13/14 11/13<br></br>
g Group2<br></br>
f 7/10 14/11 12/15 13/14<br></br>
g Group3<br></br>
f 14/11 15/12 16/16 12/15<br></br>
# 9 facets<br></br>

...I did notice a slight difference in UV values (not enough to matter)... I recently changed that format string when playing with various decimal-place options, but the vertex values came out identical, so I could always switch back to that format for the UV vertex values.

A separate issue is that my plugin will re-order the UV vertices - this can't really be helped - but that doesn't cause any problems (only vertex index re-ordering causes morph-creation troubles and my plugin would never do that! :).

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:21AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212067

I also have results for Amapi 7 that I haven't published yet. I'm thinking that the results would be easier to compare in the form of a table, with notes where necessary, so I'll be reformatting the page when I get a chance.


  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 5:23AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · edited on 5:26AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · @3212069

Feel free to use any of my sample files or ideas/tests from that page I linked.  You might also want to throw an Ngon in there for good measure - hell, Riptide even preserves (and allows the creation of) UVMapper 'region' records :)

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:33AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212073

Our tests don't really overlap, since we're looking for different things - but I'll probably link to your page since it will be of interest to anyone who's searching for OBJ tests.

Quote - Riptide even preserves (and allows the creation of) UVMapper 'region' records :)

Wow. It's the only thing (apart from UVMapper, of course) which does, as far as I know... I didn't bother testing for it since everything I've looked at puts its own comments in the file, and loses the existing ones in the process.


  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 5:34AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212075

Also, to your general question, [ I'm biased as hell but ] IMNSHO, Cinema 4D (along with my Riptide plugin) is by far the best modeller to use for Poser content creation :).

I can model, group, set up material zones, set up UV Mapper regions, and UV-map the mesh all in Cinema 4D, ready for direct import to Poser for rigging - no other hoop-jumping required. 

It also doesn't 'split' the mesh up into multiple meshes at group or material zone boundries (though there are options to do so) or re-order vertices like many other apps do.

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 5:39AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · edited on 5:41AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · @3212077

Yeah, I had already been using UVMapper Regions to section off things like Poser figure 'head template' from 'body template' UVs, so when I wrote Riptide, I figured they would be a handy thing to preserve.  I also hadn't heard of any other app supporting them (yet).

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 11:08AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212259

Actually, I was trying to avoid asking the "which is the best modeller..?" question, because it can never be answered to everybody's satisfaction. Nevertheless your point is well made. :) I've updated the page with a table of results which should give a clearer overview and make comparisons easier. For speed I used Excel's "save as web page" option to generate the table, which I swore I'd never do; so if Microsoft's CSS chokes your browser, let me know and I'll think about replacing it with something that I can understand. It seems vaguely legible in Opera and Firefox, anyway.


  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 11:29AM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212271

Nice - the table makes it much easier to compare.  And.... wft's up wit Carrara? Sheesh.  I assume/hope they fixed some of that in later versions.

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  Spanki    ( ) ( posted at 11:34AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · edited on 11:35AM Fri, 11 April 2008 · @3212274

Oh, I left out "...and texture" with Cinema4D :) (BodyPaint 3D is now included as part of the main program and can be used to uv-map and texture the mesh).  And while not particularly useful for content 'creation', Robert's interPoser Pro is an excellent plugin for using Poser content (including scenes, lights, animations, the ability to (re)pose, morph, etc) inside Cinema4D.

Cinema4D Plugins (Home of Riptide, Riptide Pro, Undertow, Morph Mill, KyamaSlide and I/Ogre plugins) Poser products Freelance Modelling, Poser Rigging, UV-mapping work for hire.

  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 5:28PM Fri, 11 April 2008 · edited on 5:31PM Fri, 11 April 2008 · @3212499


this is what I get in c6pro using poser/wavefront import/export options for 1 group.obj.
it will triangulate 'em when not using poser import options.  this one works as morph
target in poser 7 after exporting from c6pro (poser options) and importing original obj
into poser 7 (all unchecked).



  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 5:30PM Fri, 11 April 2008  · @3212502


this is what I get in c6pro using poser/wavefront import/export options for Overlapping.obj.



  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 6:18PM Sat, 12 April 2008  · @3213060

Attached Link: http://www.morphography.uk.vu/contact.html

Thanks Miss N. Any chance you could send those files?


  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 1:56PM Sun, 13 April 2008  · @3213465


bob, see att. file.



  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 3:19PM Sun, 13 April 2008  · @3213499

Thanks again. Were they intentionally scaled up by 100x, or is that something that C6 does all by itself?


  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 3:50PM Sun, 13 April 2008  · @3213519

yeah, they are scaled up due to the default scene size in carrara.  the same thing
can sometimes happen when opening a cr2 file - one gets a gigantic figure,
dwarfing everything else in the scene.



  dennisharoldsen    ( ) ( posted at 4:56AM Fri, 18 April 2008  · @3216593

EnglishBob: seems like an interesting and useful project.

i have only recently started working with .obj's but i did have an experience with faceshop pro 3.5. it said it needed to import the .obj of the target figure to modify. when it finished, i tried to load the result back into poser and poser said it had the wrong number of vertices.

i let daz know and they gave me a refund. i might still have the program and if so, i could make a sample in case that would be something useful for your research.

i have heard of vertices and polygons and even nurbs, but i hadn't heard of Ngons before. i did a search and all i found was 'next generation optical network' and a reference to ngon in vietnamese, which means delicious; tasty; succulent. was that just an inside joke or is it for real?

maybe they use Ngons to make all those sexy morphs i see, to make them more delicious. it could be a name for a new monster and it would be a good avatar name at rendo in case it isn't already taken. you said that EnglishBob isn't your real name. is it Ngon ?
 


  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 5:22AM Fri, 18 April 2008  · @3216597

Thanks Dennis. I have Faceshop too, but haven't got around to trying it out yet. Whether it would do anything useful with my simplistic test mesh remains to be seen. It might be amusing to watch it trying to morph a 9 polygon square into an accurate likeness of Queen Victoria. Or not... Since DAZ have refunded your money, I certainly wouldn't encourage you to continue using the program. Poser goes all funny when it sees an ngon, which is a pity because it IS my real name; as well as meaning "a polygon with N sides" of course, the secret being that N > 4. The Vietnamese plainly know more about CG than they're letting on.


  dennisharoldsen    ( ) ( posted at 6:49AM Fri, 18 April 2008  · @3216616

Ngon: thanks for the clarification. now i can stop pondering the meaning of Ngon; you are Ngon.

just to be clear, i couldn't get faceshop to work, so i am not using it. i have talked with tech support at daz and they seem very open. for example: i called them to ask the policy on using carrara on more than one machine since i have several i use. the person i talked to seemed puzzled at first and then said that it was fine as long as i didn't put it on anyone elses machines. daz has been really great to me in the way they have handled things on several occasions.

if i still have a copy of faceshop and did a test, it would be ok, i am sure. if i found it working, i would re-purchase it because i wanted the functionality it proposed. if you can make it work, please let me know. i don't use software i have not purchased unless it's freeware and then i make a donation if i use it. i am a professional programmer and i don't want anyone stealing from me. i have been surprised to meet people who think it's ok to copy.
 


  AbaloneLLC    ( ) ( posted at 8:31PM Fri, 18 April 2008 · edited on 8:32PM Fri, 18 April 2008 · @3217049

Attached Link: http://www.abalonellc.com/watchdemovideo.html

Quote - Ngon: thanks for the clarification. now i can stop pondering the meaning of Ngon; you are Ngon.

just to be clear, i couldn't get faceshop to work, so i am not using it. i have talked with tech support at daz and they seem very open. for example: i called them to ask the policy on using carrara on more than one machine since i have several i use. the person i talked to seemed puzzled at first and then said that it was fine as long as i didn't put it on anyone elses machines. daz has been really great to me in the way they have handled things on several occasions.

if i still have a copy of faceshop and did a test, it would be ok, i am sure. if i found it working, i would re-purchase it because i wanted the functionality it proposed. if you can make it work, please let me know. i don't use software i have not purchased unless it's freeware and then i make a donation if i use it. i am a professional programmer and i don't want anyone stealing from me. i have been surprised to meet people who think it's ok to copy.
 

Hi,

Pls. write me at info@abalonellc.com. I'd like to offer you tech support.
Be specific with your issue and I am sure I can help (your OS, Poser or DAZ, etc.)
Also, if you haven't watch the "how-to" videos yet at http://www.abalonellc.com/watchdemovideo.html, pls. do.
Laslo


  pauljs75    ( ) ( posted at 10:51AM Mon, 28 April 2008  · @3222795

For Wings3D, there's a square to the right of .obj export function. This brings up options other than the default or last user setting. By changing those options, it may change the results of your test. I'd suspect it's tesselating or doing something else by default. But you can disable that in the export options. Thought I'd just pass that along. You might also want to try a newer version in your testing.


Barbequed Pixels?

Your friendly neighborhood Wings3D nut.
Also feel free to browse my freebies at ShareCG.
There might be something worth downloading.


  EnglishBob    ( ) ( posted at 2:45PM Tue, 29 April 2008  · @3223566

Thanks Paul, I'm by no means a Wings expert, in fact I'm by no means a Wings user. :) I probably should have left that up to someone who was familiar with the program. I use a portable version that I got from thindownload.com, which explains why it was out of date. If you have the time, I'd appreciate it if you could run the test meshes through a later version, and use what you think are the optimum import/export settings.


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