|I wrote this review before the Service Release 1 was
available, but I decided to wait to publish it until SR1 was
released. I will discuss how this relates to Poser 6 toward the end
of the review.
Poser 5 revolutionized Poser, and Poser 6 follows with some new features. But first, what is Poser? Poser is a 3D figure designing program. While the majority of people use the models in Poser, or use those from 3rd party sources, in the Setup Room one can construct new or structurally remodel figures or other props. Poser 6 has six other rooms. When the program opens, it defaults to the main interface which is the Pose Room. This room is self explanatory. Here one changes the poses of the figures, creates the scenes, adds backdrops, other props and other figures, and constructs the lighting, and arranges the camera settings. It is also where one can change the face of a model. This differs from what can be done in the Face Room. The Pose Room could be called the heart of Poser because everything winds up in that room. The Face Room is where one can construct a photo-realistic face from photographs as well as shape faces from random faces and change them with the Face Shaping tool. In the Hair Room, one can create dynamic hair from a skullcap or a follicle surface also called follicle set. This hair can be animated and is able to "blow" in the wind. All of the textures, including the lights, end up in the Material Room where their properties are changed by the use of nodes. This area is more technical than wysiwyg [what you see is what you get] and also is very very powerful. The Cloth Room is used to create dynamic cloth which reacts in a similar manner to dynamic hair. It is sensitive to physical moving forces including collisions, gravity, etc. The Content Room brings you to Content Paradise where you can setup an account and purchase 3rd party products from various vendors. What is new or improved in Poser 6? There are new lights. The Image Based Lights (IBL), especially, can add realism to a scene. Depending on the type of light source image (light probe) you use, even the same arrangement of lights will cause the object to light differently. In conjunction with IBL, one can set up a scene making use of Ambient Occlusion. The term describes to what degree the target object is blocked from the light source by intermediary objects. For this to work, rendering needs to be done using Raytracing.
Interesting Thanks for the review. I've only just started learning Poser so I started with version 6. I'd have to agree with the comment regarding the uneveness of the writing behind the tutorial manual. I've been following it through in an effort to get started and some of it is extremely helpful while other parts often leave you floundering. Apart from that though I think the OpenGL preview mode is excellent and it really gives you a good feel of what you are going to be rendering and the way it will appear.
Thank you very much, I've been curious about the upgrade. Now I see that, like Bryce5.5, I'm going to have to wait for the next version. Looks like the only thing really worth the money is the new figures, and DAZ's Michael and Victoria are (or were) free for a while. There are plenty of great textures for them. No reason to upgrade that I can see. Thank you for saving me my money! =)
Not to be picky, but there are some things that leave me with questions. If I may, I'd like to ask them:... The only 'problems' I see listed involve the user's manual... what were the technical problems you found, specifically? What makes the Cloth, Face and Hair Rooms better/worse in Poser 6, since they're also part and parcel of Poser 5's features (they're mentioned in the article for some reason... why?) May want to link to the list of changes made in SR-1... otherwise it leaves readers wondering what got fixed. Like I said - I'm not trying to be picky here, but I did want to know what and why on quite a bit of the article. Regd's, /P
Hi Penguinisto - I would be more than happy to answer your post. Firstly, any review anywhere can only be a certain length and so I have to make a choice on what I will discuss. That is what I did in the review. Otherwise it could have gone on for pages. As I stated in my opening, this is a review acquainting newbies to Poser and discussing the new points in Poser 6 as well as some of the problems. This is not a comparison of Poser 5 and Poser 6. I discuss all the rooms in Poser to different degrees starting with the Pose room in the beginning of the review. Some rooms I dwell on more than others since some I believe more people use and are not as specialized such as the setup room. You mentioned I only discussed the manual negatively. If you look closely, I have also discussed problems with the hair room, shown pictures of renders that did not come out properly, and described my problems with animation. I, also, mentioned a lot of what I really like such as the new lights. I hope this answers your questions about the contents of this review. Paula
I really enjoy P6 with the only gripe being how long it takes to render. With a P4P800 3 gig CPU, 2 gigs of RAM on a 7200 RPM 16 meg buffer HDD I wait around 5 minutes. This may not seem long but when watching P6 actually render it is done in sections or "blocks" P5 is smoother in this area. I am sending an email to e-frontier formerly "Curious Labs" to ask how to speed things up after reading tutorials here at Renderosity.
I think the review is pretty good. If some of the features mentioned were already in P5 or are new in P6 is not relevant, since its a review on P6 and not only on the new features (I think :O). I do have bought myself P6 (now with the SR1 installed) and its running pretty stable. There are still some bugs in it, but only, as I have stated this one to e-frontier before, the one I have noticed with the sketch animation render (only 40 frames ... sigh). What I dont like is - from P4/PP to P5 some major features were released with it - like the face, cloth, hair room. With those features "we" were able to do random faces and other cool things. When Ive read about the release of P6, I thought "Yeah, I hope we can do bodies by random now!" ... :) Well, I was wrong and my opinion is, that the new features embedded in P6 are not "really" worth a full version jump. But thats only me ... ;O) Despite of that - I still like P6 and its more stable than P5 that crashed with a blue screen sometimes ... now, P6 doesnt do that anymore ;)