Get your Poser Content into the Game!

Poser Pro Game Dev includes an interactive Polygon Reduction tool to tailor high-poly Poser figures for game and interactive content in Game engines like Unity.

Poser Pro Game Dev includes an interactive Polygon Reduction tool to tailor high-poly Poser figures for game and interactive content in Game engines like Unity.

With our new Poser Pro Game Dev release, we’ve taken important steps to help produce character content that’s suitable for gaming. For third party content developers in the Poser eco-system, our new Game Dev version presents a great opportunity, but to succeed, adaptation will be advised.

From the Poser perspective, the most basic change was in our End User License Agreement (EULA) which includes language that explicitly permits our included Game Dev content to be used in Games. This change in language opens the door to game developers.

Other updates to Game Dev are on the feature side. Let’s do a quick run-down on the “why” behind these new features and then dig in a little deeper.

Out of the box, Poser’s 3D character content is great, but wasn’t optimized for interactive use. It’s high in polygon count to produce rendered images and animation, with weight mapped rigging and driven morphs to support realistic bending and swappable clothing. Game and interactive developers need content with a low-poly count and game engines generally perform better with a single figure with more basic rigging rather than Poser’s compound characters with clothes.

Game Dev’s features were designed to edit and deliver character content for game developers’ needs. These new features transform any Poser content, not just the included content, into game-ready assets. Here is the quick elevator-pitch on those features.

- Polygon Reduction to reduce overall polygon counts to handle interactivity better.
- Figure Combining to merge a base figure with several clothing items into a new single figure with a single rig.
- Unseen Polygon Removal to delete polygons on body parts which are under clothing and would never be seen or needed in a game
- FBX Support to get converted Poser content into game engines including Unity, Unreal, Crytek and basically any other platform that has FBX support
- KINECT for Windows because gamers tend to have hardware hanging out, and capturing motion data with Kinect is really fun.

Use your Kinect hardware to capture motion data.

Use your Kinect hardware to capture motion data.

All these game content prep features were designed to help game developers take stock Poser characters, props and scenery and tailor it for games or interactive content they’re developing.

For third party Poser content developers, the primary challenge is straight forward. To sell content to game developers, they will need to give permission to their buyers to use that content in a game. To hold hands on this concept a little – without that fundamental change, the opportunity to sell content to those new users won’t happen. They will need your permission to include that content in their game or interactive project.

As long as those game developers aren’t competitively reselling your proprietary content as content, then their game isn’t very different than if your content is being used in an animated film or in an illustration. If the talented third party content developers in the Poser eco-system can get past that hurdle, then Poser Pro Game Dev will be the portal to a new base of enthusiastic 3D content buyers.

As for exposure to game developers in this new vertical, we’re always looking for games, interactive projects and compelling 3D content that can inspire new game developers. If you’re tailoring a set of outfits for game deliverable figures or new structures that can be used in a gaming environment or have a cool props like armor, swords, trees or furniture we want to hear what you’re doing. Perhaps we can help open the door for your content.

The new Figure Combining and Unseen Polygon feature will merge compound clothed figures into a new single figure and remove hidden polygons that are invisible under clothing.

The new Figure Combining and Unseen Polygon feature will merge compound clothed figures into a new single figure and remove hidden polygons that are invisible under clothing.

The last challenge comes in providing content designed to fit a figure that can get into a game. Be sure the accessory content you’re creating will work on a figure that can be deployed in a game, not all can – check those restrictions carefully. As a reminder, any figure included with Poser or created by us is fair game. Pun intended.

Bottomline, we’re heading into the game developer space with great new tools, and clearer licensing and some solid partners. We encourage everyone who has been creating Poser-ready 3D content to jump into this new market with us. Game On!

Be part of the growing 3D industry – $40 billion in five years.

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When we first launched Poser in the mid-90′s, the opportunities for 3D were in their infancy. 3D gaming was yet to gain much ground, 3D in films was rudimentary at best, futurists were heralding virtual reality, and multi-media was all about the CD. Fast forward to today and 3D is fully entrenched in verticals as diverse as entertainment, gaming, industrial design, engineering, hardware, and software tools. Once again, virtual reality has been lauded as a future vector.

According to this report from MarketsandMarkets, the 3D industry in total is projected to double from it’s current size today of $20+ billion to $40 billion in 2019. We’re admittedly a small slice of pie with Poser’s artist/users and with Poser’s surrounding ecosystem of content and add-ons. Regardless of the size of Poser’s footprint on the overall landscape of 3D, it’s a very good place to have staked a claim, and it’s still a very good time to be learning 3D through Poser.
 
Poser not only teaches 3D fundamentals and more advanced skills such as 3D animation, but it’s fun, provides abundant personal entertainment and opens up professional growth and opportunity. There’s a surprising number of 3D professionals in verticals across the board who got their start with Poser. There’s a rosey future ahead for 3D, and it’s some bright things ahead for Poser too.

 

yoga_on_screen

Poser figure Roxie perfects her yoga poses.

World Cup Fever – Poser scores!

A few days ago, one of our favorite Poser artists, Isikol, https://www.facebook.com/isidorekol from Athens, Greece, posted a very cool image on his Facebook page  to celebrate the kick-off of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A quick refresher on Isikol – he’s the guy who just wrapped up an original Poser image for the cover of Heavy Metal Magazine.

Isikol gets the cover shot of Heavy Metal #268

Isikol gets the cover shot of Heavy Metal #268

And here’s the image that started this whole World Cup 2014 challenge…

Isikol's Viva World Cup 2014 Poser rendering that inspired us

Isikol’s Viva World Cup 2014 Poser rendering that inspired us

Shortly after we saw this provocative World Cup image, and noted the comments about how photo-real his rendering was, Isikol posted the original photo which inspired him to create his very convincing Poser image.

Original photo that Isikol used as his rendering reference.

Original photo that Isikol used as his rendering reference. Image: http//hotter-girls.blogsport.gr

This photo, in turn, inspired us to see how close we could come to replicating that same pose and details from the shoot; but we wanted to step up to the challenge by using an included figure from Poser, Roxie.

We found a freebie World Cup soccer ball for Poser here on inlitestudio, loaded the original photo that inspired Isikol from an NSFW website, and then started to precisely replicate the photo-shoot using none other than Roxie, who is both an amazing figure and indeed included with Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014.

A few Poser scene set-up and rendering details: At rendertime, we enabled Subsurface Scattering, turned on IDL to a medium setting. For the scene, I threw in the stock photo studio backdrop prop from Poser’s primitives (find it in the library props by searching for “StudioBackdrop”) with a tweak to the material to turn it all white with a slight ambient glow to illuminate her from below. We used three spots, all set to raytrace shadows with Inverse Falloff, all pointed directly at Roxie. The hair is from Poser’s Alyson Legacy>Koz hair props, scaled and positioned to fit Roxie. I applied one of the stock Roxie makeup materials included with the app, and then dialed in the facial expression. The bikini is the stock Roxie top and bottom, with a slight tweak to the diffuse color to turn it blue for more punch on the white background.To match the pose and camera angle, the original photo from Isikol was imported as a background image. It’s a great technique to match a pose to a photo.

BTW, I did a full webinar on that process here.

Roxie in the Viva World Cup 2014 pose, based on the reference photo

Roxie in the Viva World Cup 2014 pose, based on the reference photo

And here’s how Roxie held up to the challenge!

Poser's Roxie, kicking it for World Cup 2014

Poser’s Roxie, kicking it for World Cup 2014

Our results came out great. It kicks up the challenge – what World Cup image can you create with Poser? Don’t be hemmed in to using the same old figures you always do, try someone new. May we suggest Roxie? If you have Poser 10 or Poser Pro 2014, she’s already in your content library!

Anyway – cheers to the kick-off of the World Cup on June 13th, 2014, get inspired and start posing; and may the best Poser win!

Artist Q&A Feature: Mike Norton

We recently got the chance to chat with amazing comic book author, Four Star Studios co-founder and award-winning Battlepug webcomic creator Mike Norton. Check out the Q&A below and enjoy!

Q: How did you get into illustration / animation / graphic arts?

A: Drawing is all I’ve really done with any consistency from a very early age. I’m a very lucky person in that I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do for a living and I just pursued it relentlessly since childhood.

Q: What industry trends are you a fan of and why?

A: I’m a big fan of webcomics. They’ve come so far in the past 10 years. It’s amazing. Like so many things online, I think they were hard to categorize at first because no one knew how define them. Now, they’re a viable way of creative expression and even income for some.

Q: Who are some of your biggest art / illustration influences and / or mentors?

A: There are many childhood art heroes to me from the world of comics. John Bryne, John Romita Sr. and Mike Wieringo are a few.

Q: In your eyes, who is the most underrated artist / animator of all time?

A: Mike Wieringo would be on that list. I think he was a giant. He had a relatively short career, but I think he was a huge influence on many others in that period.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge as an artist / animator?

A: Making a living! Becoming a freelance illustrator in comics is challenging. Staying one is even tougher!

Q: What has been your biggest success?

A: I’ve been very lucky with the projects I’ve worked on, but I think recently the creator-owned books (Battlepug and Revival) have been the biggest hits both personally and career-wise for me.

Q: Where do you see the comic / animation industry in 10 years?

A: I see a lot of the younger comic artists learning how to do EVERYTHING now. There are 14 year olds that can draw, color and letter a comic now on the computer better than I could just five years ago. I imagine it will only be more so in the future.

Q: How would you describe your job as an artist / illustrator?

A: My job as an illustrator is to do the best I can to tell a moving and entertaining story while making my client and myself happy in the process. I have no higher aim than that. I just want to be happy and draw things that I like.

Q: What advice would you give to young / up-and-coming graphic artists?

A: Strive to be self-aware. Know what you can and can’t do. Be observant. Listen to, don’t argue with criticism. Know what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to reach your goals. Then never give up.

Q: What Smith Micro tools do you use, how do you use them and how have they affected your workflow?

A: I use Manga Studio 4 EX almost exclusively for all my line work. It allows me to be faster and has made drawing more fun for me by eliminating any fear or trepidation I used to have about making mistakes on paper. Also the ability for using reference in my actual file makes light boxing a thing of the past. I’m slowly getting used to Manga Studio 5 now, but there are some things I still prefer to do in 4.

Thank you to Mike Norton for taking part in our Q&A series! You can check out Mike’s work at www.ihatemike.com and www.battlepug.com or follow him on Twitter @themikenorton.

{Mike Norton is the creator of the weekly webcomic, Battlepug, which won the Eisner Award in 2012 for Best Digital Comic. He is also the artist of Revival, the critically acclaimed Image Comics series with Tim Seeley and the Dark Horse series, The Answer! with Dennis Hopeless. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two pugs. He is also very, very tall.}

BOB_BPpinupink-cmyk

 

Deal Alert!: Artist Software Bundle Sale

Have you ever dreamed of creating interactive comics, animating your own cartoon characters or rendering three-dimensional figures? Today is the perfect day to get a jump start on your artistic ambitions!

Now until May 31, 2014, we are offering a creative software bundle sale that includes Poser Debut, Anime Studio Debut 10, Clip Studio Paint Pro (digital version of Manga Studio 5) and MotionArtist. The package provides a complete beginner’s software toolset for comic illustration and 2D / 3D animation for only $69.99.

The artistic possibilities are endless with these programs, so take advantage of this bundle sale and get your creative juices flowing!

Smith Micro Bundle Sale

>>> Smith Micro Artist Bundle Sale <<<

RWBY Season 2 Production Diary features Poser Pro 2014

Our friends at Rooster Teeth are doing a great behind-the-scenes video diary series featuring the production process and showcasing some of their favorite tools used in the creation of their hugely popular RWBY animated series.

From 5:00 of the video they talk about their process for animation and 3D. In this video you can see Poser in play.

They have been using the new Bullet Physics feature, along with importing their own custom BVH motion capture data. Adding in some hand animation, they tailor each character’s animation style to the character’s persona.

It’s great to get a glimpse behind the curtain. And of course, we’re very proud of the ways that Poser Pro 2014 helps them deliver this epic animated series.

A Special Mother’s Day Animation From Smith Micro

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and if you’re still scrambling for gift ideas look no further! All moms love homemade art, so utilize your illustration / animation skills to create truly one-of-a-kind gifts.

• Use Manga Studio to make Mom the hero of her own Super Mom comic book or graphic novel.

• Organize your family pictures into a beautiful and unique photo slideshow with ScatterShow.

• And for the animation pros: use Anime Studio to create a short video in lieu of a boring Hallmark card.

Got any other ideas or want to share your creations for Mother’s Day? Post in the comments below or send them to @SMSIGraphics on Twitter.

Finally, check out and share this Mother’s Day Animation from Smith Micro!

Created with Anime Studio, for more information go to:

http://anime.smithmicro.com/

Direction, Animation and Composition
Víctor Paredes

Script
Pablo Paredes – Víctor Paredes

Art Direction & Design
Mario Quiñones

Music & Sound Design
Pedro Santa Cruz

Violin Player
Maria Grigoryeva

Meet the Anime Studio 10 Cast of Characters

With our recent launch of Anime Studio 10 we included several new, fully rigged characters free with the program. They needed names so we thought it would be fun to involve the Anime Studio community. We asked for suggestions in social media, gathered the results, and the Anime Studio Team voted. Here they are, meet the new Anime Studio 10 cast of characters:

2-as10-girl

Scarlett Rigs
Suggested by @slideware on Twitter

2-as10-robot

Render
Suggested by Mark Mullery on Facebook

2-as10-monster

Grullie
Suggested by Lester Dodds on Facebook

2-as10-plant

Trapper
Suggested by Beavis-Sanderson Kim on Facebook

2-as10-rabbit

Bigsby
Suggested by Alejandro Ramirez on Facebook

We love these new characters. Not only are they fun and have lots of personality, but they were created and rigged by a team of professional animators at Fluor Films. If you want to get an insight on how to best rig your own characters, take a look at these and learn from the masters.

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