Smith Micro Software Graphics Blog

Using Poser to Create Winning Photoreal Artwork

Written by Smith Micro Blogger | Aug 17, 2017 6:00:00 PM

By Erogenesis

The man in the picture is Wawa, an elderly Wise Man from the troubled planet Triplon. He is a cheeky bugger, but also has a long and sad history, almost etched into his face. Over the years he has grown to care less about the world around him, nothing else matters to him... That is until he meets Sen, the mute girl from a neighboring village that will turn his life upside down.

Wawa is based on Michael 4. His face is a combination of morphs I made using zBrush through Poser's GoZ feature. Note that his morphs are asymmetrical, which is very important to create realistic characters. His eyes are at different heights, and one of his eyes is at an angle. His nose is crooked and he has a slight but perpetual smirk.

When Poser Pro 11 came out, the first thing I tried out was the subdivision morphs, and I added even more detail to Wawa's face. The beard was made in 3DSmax by extracting polygons from M4's face and drawing them out to form layers on which I could project transmapped hair. Poser makes short work of transferring the morphs from the face to the beard using the "Copy Morphs From..." feature.

Wawa's skin is actually quite basic using just a scatter node to the Alt Diffuse channel with some extra specularity nodes added. The trick is in desaturated and pale skin color. I used a texture from another package but I added blemishes and adjusted the color to get him to look old and worn out.

This picture was then rendered using Poser's long-standing renderer, Firefly. My settings are not very remarkable, which is a testament of Firefly's power. It will deliver satisfactory results at relatively low settings, allowing you to crank out lots of decent renders in a short space of time for comic-production. This is ideal for small-time comic artists like me that cannot afford high-end render machines or have access to huge render farms. Poser is essentially a great display platform if you want to do quick, efficient but effective work. In the right hands, Poser can be an incredibly powerful tool.

 About the Author

Erogenesis was born and raised in Malawi. He survived cancer as a baby and he grew up reading lots of Dutch comics that his parents bought for him. He studied Geology in the Netherlands and South Africa, worked for the Dutch Geological Survey, volunteered for a Black Rhino protection program in 2011, and since 2012 works as a CG Comic artist. He has released several comics about Lali since then and is currently busy making a very detailed Poser figure. Erogenesis is also busy writing several books and makes music.

Erogenesis was named the winner of the Smith Micro Software Poser SIGGRAPH 2017 Contest. His winning piece was Wawa.