Poser Pro 2014 in Review
March 18, 2014 2:09 am
“Let everyone who’s creative have an
equal opportunity shot at producing a
[Poser] figure that theoretically is no longer confined by the basic rule that your figure is
only successful if there is a lot of clothing for it.”
-Steve Cooper on the new “Fitting Room” in Poser Pro 2014
For nearly a decade, Smith Micro and the remarkable Steve Cooper, Poser Product Manager, and his team have built Poser to the point that it is one of the most popular and useful 3D applications on the planet. By balancing the needs of the professional and the hobbyist, Poser has grown consistently more powerful and more fun at the same time. And that is no easy feat considering the needs of both user groups can sometimes be in conflict.
With Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014, Smith Micro have created a new version of the application that will please all users in equal measure. By continuing to deepen the Poser feature set with additions like Pixar Subdivision Surfaces and by adding the brilliant new Fitting Room, Smith Micro brings Poser to an entirely new level of power and effectiveness for the casual and professional user alike.
Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014
Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014 were both released in May of 2013. The main difference between the two programs is that Poser Pro 2014 is designed more for professionals and includes Network rendering, a 64bit architecture and advanced morph tools for power users. However, both applications share several new features. They are:
- New Bullet Physics Engine
- Pixar Subdivision Surfaces
- 9 new Human and Cartoon Poser figures
- Interactive Raytrace Preview
- Magnet and Deformer weightmap and painting tools
Poser Pro 2014, which this review will focus on primarily, has been updated with some very exciting features, one of which solves a long-standing problem which I’ll go into more detail later. The new features for Poser Pro 2014 are:
- New Fitting Room
- Copy morphs from figure to figure
- Display and rearrange hidden parameter channels
A complete feature list (and comparison) of both Poser Pro 2014 and Poser 10 is available here.
The new Fitting Room in Poser Pro 2014
Poser Pro 2014 and the new Fitting Room
The new Fitting Room will probably be the most appreciated addition to Poser Pro 2014. The problem Steve Cooper alludes to in the quote that opens this review and one that he speaks at length about in his excellent webinar on “What’s New in Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014,” is that the playing field for Poser figure clothing has been uneven. Fitting clothes to a specific figure is time consuming. Once a Poser figure becomes popular, Content Creators make clothing for just that figure and many other good Poser figures languish.
The Poser Pro 2014 Fitting Room changes all of that.
With the Fitting Room you can add and, most importantly, FIT the clothes to practically any Poser figure available. It’s a much easier process now. Import your new figure and the clothing you want to to fit it to, then fit the clothing approximately to the figure. Now you enter the new Fitting Room with a new session and click “fit” and Poser automatically fits the clothing to the figure for you.
Of course, not every autofit will be perfect, so you have the ability to fit the “soft” parts (fabric) and the “hard” parts (buttons, buckles,etc) of the clothing individually through painting vertex weight maps. You can use several tools like Tighten and Smooth to perfectly fit the clothing to your Poser figure.
Results were consistently good when using the Fitting Room. It takes time to get the process down, but with patience you can fit clothing so much better (and quicker) than any previous version of Poser. Content Creators, in particular, will be thrilled with this new addition to Poser Pro 2014.
Rooster Teeth's new RWBY film was created in Poser Pro 2014
Animation and Rendering in Poser Pro 2014
Something I’ve always been puzzled by with regards to Poser Pro is the fact that too few animators make use of its excellent feature set for animation. Finally, with Rooster Teeth (a very successful machinima production team) and their wonderful series RWBY, created primarily with Poser Pro, we have a real inspiration for Poser Pro users who want to create animated films inside of Poser. Be sure to catch their fantastic trailer here.
Moreover, with the inclusion of Comic Book Preview Mode and almost a dozen Poser cartoon figures, Smith Micro has made it even easier to create films inside of Poser Pro (or graphic novels if you prefer). And I love the look of the new cartoon figures. They are very Pixar-like and each one has a great individual look.
Rendering is also much improved in Poser Pro 2014. Open GL render times are faster and the new Interactive Raytrace Preview is very, very useful in seeing the finer render results after you change lighting or materials. This version of Poser Pro generally renders much more quickly than previous versions in my midsize PC using a Quadro card and 8Gb of Ram. Although, oddly, Poser Pro would occasionally take a very long time with particular scenes.
I love the new Poser Cartoon Figures
Final Thoughts on Poser Pro 2014
"It's our goal to provide illustrators,
graphic designers, animators and 3D artists as well as novice users
and hobbyists with a resource for telling their stories in 3D, via
images and video."
- Steve Cooper, Poser Product Manager
There are just too many great additions to this new version of Poser Pro to go into greater depth. My review would be twice as long. Bullet Physics will certainly wow Poser users with the ability to add flexible soft/hard body dynamics to characters and objects, but it will take a little while for it to be integrated into the Poser Pro workflow as it still needs refinement.
Pixar Subdivision Surfaces are a real boon to the power user and definitely help artists develop and improve their work. I truly love the Comic Book Preview Mode, but it has somewhat limited controls and will take time to be fully implemented. Still, with patience, you can come up with some wonderful looks. It’s a great addition to Poser Pro even if it is not quite fully developed yet.
The real wonder of this release of Poser Pro is the Fitting Room. This feature alone is worth the price of the upgrade for continuing users. I also think it will have a big impact on the Renderosity Poser community. Being able to fit clothing to ANY Poser character is, without question, a huge step forward. Yes, Smith Micro still has some work to do to develop the Fitting Room, but it’s so much easier and much for fun to work with clothing now.
Poser Pro 2014 is a real winner. I haven’t had this much fun with Poser since I first started using the program. I highly recommend this release and urge you to try the demo and check out the new features video from Smith Micro.
Congratulations to Smith Micro and Steve Cooper on an excellent new version of Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014.
Renderosity and Poser
Renderosity started out as a Poser community, so there is no other website on the planet that has better information on Poser. Currently, Poser Pro 2014 is on sale here at Renderosity until March 31st. The community at Renderosity is also a great place to get more information and advice, too. You can visit our Poser forum here. The Renderosity MarketPlace also has tons of Poser-related content and tutorials.
Smith Micro is offering a 45% off sale on Poser 10 (both digital and physical box) until March 28, 2014. You can now purchase Poser 10 and all of the exciting new features for $69.99. Follow this LINK to place your order at the secure Smith Micro shop. There are also sidegrades and upgrades available for Poser versions as far back as Poser 6. Check the prices here.
Poser Pro 2014 is currently available for 64bit Mac or PC systems at $499.99. Upgrades start at $249.99. Complete pricing available here.
March 2014 update 3.1 for Poser Pro 2014 can be downloaded here. Be sure to go over the readme as many facets of the new application have been tinkered with.
System Requirements are available at the Smith Micro website. I used a midrange, selfbuilt PC with a 2.4 Ghz CPU, 8Gb of Ram and a fast Quadro GPU and a traditional SATA harddrive and the application worked just fine.
My thanks to Steve Cooper for his continued enthusiasm and support. Steve has been a real inspiration for me. Also, thanks to Smith Micro for providing a copy of Poser Pro 2014 for review.
Ricky Grove [gToon], Staff Columnist with the Renderosity Front Page News. Ricky Grove is a bookstore clerk at the best bookstore in Los Angeles, the Iliad Bookshop. He's also an actor and machinima filmmaker. He lives with author, Lisa Morton, and three very individual cats. Ricky is into Hong Kong films, FPS shooters, experimental anything and reading, reading, reading. You can catch his blog here.
March 17, 2014
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