MojoWorld Takes Poser Into Hyperverse!

deemarie · October 17, 2005 9:11 am

A not so in-depth look at one of the new features of MojoWorld 3.1.1
One of the many new features in the latest update from Pandromedas MojoWorld 3.1, offers the user the option to import Poser .pz3 files directly. Of course, a requirement for this to work is that a copy of Poser must be installed on your machine. The MojoWorld application will ask you where your Poser application is installed the first time you attempt to import a .pz3 file. I find using the two programs together is more like photography [or as I prefer to call it digitography], than it is like a traditional 3D applications. With nearly unlimited choices of environments to put sets and characters in for shooting its like selecting whatever type of location fits your needs. Then, using the sun for light, it allows you to setup and place your models where you want them; and, perhaps adding another light or two for fill or effect, and render away. Characters and sets can be fun to work with, and the propensity for Poser figures to be of a fantasy or Sci-Fi nature, just seems to make them fit perfectly into the myriad of planets in the Mojo universe.
The worlds available and the feature set inside the program make setting up, and rendering sets and characters, a workflow with endless possibilities! Although it was possible to import Poser figures in previous versions it was not as simple as now, and the ability to edit the materials once imported has been greatly simplified. Experienced MojoWorld users will find this process quite straightforward. It is simply a new option under the import mesh teapot icon. Not as obvious however is an option in the preferences for the program that allow the user to clamp the size of the image maps used on mesh objects.
A 4000 pixel texture file, clamped down to 1000, still gives great results for most shots and makes it possible to use many objects in scenes without running into memory problems. This is a very nice feature because many Poser image maps are quite large and can cause your project to quickly suffer from texture file ram bloat. Once imported the object can be placed, scaled, or manipulated as with any other mesh object using an easy set of on object manipulator tools, which can be cycled through by just clicking again on the object. The size and other information about objects in the scene are also available by viewing the object properties, which can be locked up or down. A handy feature is the ability to preview the object in detail, or in resource saving modes such as Draw as Box.
The stranded hair available in Poser 5 and 6 imports and renders nicely, and the materials are set up in MojoWorld style material trees, making them easy to adjust for fine-tuning. All the individual materials for the object are arranged in a multi-material tree, and can be edited from within the materials editor in the generator. MojoWorld renders these objects with transparency and reflections as well as with shadows and either bumps or full displacements. The material editors give the user complete control over all aspects of the materials for each part of the object. One of the nice elements that a regular Poser user will find when setting up and rendering in MojoWorld, is the amount of space there is to setup characters and sets! With entire planets to use as digital locations, its never the same background twice. Or, save that location, sets and all, and come back to it anytime with different characters. The amount of depth in the scene that is possible, and the distance between figures without having to change any lights, is very nice. Plus, the ability to change the time of day by just spinning a dial is also very handy. Inside MojoWorld there are several things to help a regular Poser user get familiar with the program, set up a scene, and start rendering right away. Even a relative newbie to both programs could easily scan a photo and place the image along with Vicky on a beach, or any alien landscape imaginable! There is even a layout mode that allows users, unfamiliar with working in 3D, to put together scenes in a more familiar 2D fashion. Not everything imports flawlessly every time however, and occasionally the user will need to make a few adjustments to the materials. Primarily this occurs with reflective materials, which might become unrealistically shiny and with material bump maps that have been converted to displacements. Even in those cases, they can be readily adjusted in the MojoWorld material trees.
I suppose by this time you must be wondering about animated Poser characters. Well, dont get to excited yet, because this first implementation will not support it. Although MojoWorld can do some amazing animations of a variety of types, it will not support pre animated meshes or even the rendering of mesh sequences. Only static characters can be used. There are a whole slew of handy features to help you manage your scene building like smart guides and drop, as well as 4 different kinds of clone stamps. Scale, translate, and rotate can all be accessed right on the object by just clicking; and there is even a cool right click and spin the camera around the selected object feature! Multiple cameras also help setting up scenes, and there is a set of object-based cameras that can be accessed to help give you easy access to orthographic views of the selected object. You can zoom in or out from these views, as well as manipulate any object in the view. Rendering is easy with a wide variety of quality settings and a nearly infinite number of resolutions; including super huge ones using the tile rendering feature, which can be stopped and restarted again, creating long super-high quality renders.
Some regular Poser users may things like; different rendering styles with a click, or pre-saved light sets, smart props, or even a guaranteed flat piece of ground to set up on. Getting use to working in a program, that is as open and powerful as MojoWorld, might be more than some casual users will feel comfortable with hence the make it easy tools I mentioned already. However, for the more serious user there are plenty of controls and power under the hood! I find this implementation of the Poser import feature to be very well done and I can honestly say it has made me more interested in using both programs! I have always found Poser to be lacking in depth of field, when setting up scenes; as well as a bit limiting in the number of objects or characters I could easily handle and render. I have wanted to more easily use character models or other mesh objects in MojoWorld since I discovered it, and now that I have the ability to natively import Poser models, I can strongly recommend it to Poser users. I think even diehard Poser fans will fall in love quickly with the rendering quality, and the unbelievable number of possible locations to find or create. Poser characters seem to come alive when placed in these locations! The artists ability to mix and match characters to locations is wonderful. Then, while doing this, they will find locations that make them want to go back into Poser again, to create a whole new set of characters in new poses to put in that location and over and over again. Using these two programs together sets off a firestorm of creativity in my mind, just from imagining characters and stories taking place in these fantastic locations. I think many Poser users will feel the same way once they make the discovery and jump into the hyper-verse of MojoWorld!
October 17, 2005

Article Comments

SndCastie ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 17 October 2005

Thank you a very interesting article SndCastie

majikart ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 17 October 2005

I just about gave up on Mojoworld alltogether because the UI was extremely diffecult to understand and learn to use; I allways ended up poking around aimlessly trying to figure this thing out; Deer-in-the-headlights every step of the way and there were no books,tutorials,Quick-starts or pre-set features to help me get started with it; if the UI was alot more user-friendly like Vue 5 instead of 'space alien' looking then I'd probably get a good grasp on it IMHO.

woz2002 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 19 October 2005

Good write-up Ken:) @ Majikart & anyone else that feels that Mojo is an awkward unmanageable interface to get used to...Its taken me 18 months to become cohersive with all of its facets & theres still lots of learning to be done. As the Mojo community grows the level of assistance has become broader & learning thberfore easier. Weekly sessions were/are hosted on MojoVox where anyone you will fin online can help with any issues or concerns. Anyway, great feedback Ken:) Wz

hillrunner ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 19 October 2005

@ majikart : Yes, Mojoworld has a long learning curve. However, there is a lot of great tutorials which help a lot. Have a look here for links : You have to learn about one year to learn basics, then everything comes easier. Olivier

AnneCHPostma ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 20 October 2005

@ majikart : I totally disagree about the fact there is no documentation or quickstarts or pre-sets .. There are hundres of them, I have two large books (version 2&3) laying besides me on my desk and we have a very helpful community. Great article Ken!

bclaytonphoto ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 20 October 2005

Thanks for doing this Ken !!