3D Made Even Easier: Three new free Poser 101 video tutorials

The first set of Poser 101 training videos we posted in our blog went over so well, we’ve worked out a deal with Charles at Nerd3D to produce more of these. There’s something really comforting in Charles’ voice as he walks you through the buttons and dials and unravels the mystery of Poser features. The next three Poser basics videos cover a few areas that new users (and even a few old-timers) are always getting confused by.

In “Pose and Editing Tools 101”, Charles takes a tour through the various tools you’ll need to move body parts and full characters on the 3D stage. These tools are actually really simple to master, and are hands down (pun intended) one the first steps in getting Poser to open up for you. They’re great to understand so you can create your own 3D character poses and start creating cool 3D scenes.

It’s pretty obvious what “Poser Cameras 101” is about. If you guessed “Cameras” then you’re already well on your way to getting how these videos work. This short video talks about the kinds of cameras you can use in Poser, and how they are moved around in your scene. Ultimately, Poser Cameras are what you’ll use to take pictures or video of your scenes and characters.

Charles sheds a little light on your Poser scenes in “Poser Lighting 101”. He covers how Poser’s lights work, the types of lights you’ll use and how to get great results adding them into scenes. They are easy to control, and this video helps you make sense of which type to use, and when.

Trust me; if you watch these three, two-minute long videos, Poser is going to make a lot more sense to you. The layout can be intimidating at first. Admittedly, there are a lot of buttons in the interface, but by breaking it down into small, easy to digest chunks like Charles does, you’ll be a Poser expert in no time.

Poser 3D Figures in Adobe Photoshop CS6

Today’s Post is by Uli Klumpp – Sr. Director, Engineering

Poser has had solid support for the COLLADA digital asset exchange format for a number of years now (a beta plugin for Poser 7 was revealed at SIGGRAPH 2007), COLLADA support has been steadily improved since. Getting access to the incredibly rich world of Poser content from Photoshop has always been a prime use for this integration path.

Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 are about to take the next step in their soon-to-be-released service release 2 updater. Adobe just announced availability of a Photoshop CS6 public beta version, so we use the opportunity to show how both of these upcoming releases take integration to a new level.

The SR2 updater for Poser will enable export of bump and normal maps in Photoshop compatible fashion. We’ll grab Poser’s Dregon figure from the library (included with Poser 9 and Pro 2012), apply the Hunting Run pose, and export the result to COLLADA:

Then we’ll open the exported file in Photoshop CS6:

The model comes in perfectly, all normal map detail preserved, ready to use in your illustration.

Full flexibility is retained during compositing, no need to re-render an image in Poser for changes to aspect ratio, camera angle or lighting.

There are a lot of reasons besides flexibility why you might want to take Poser 3D content into Photoshop CS – stereoscopic rendering is one of them. Here’s an anaglyph example:

For this image I was trying to mimic Dain Fagerholm’s amazing stereographic trick, but it’s obviously hard to get right:

Poser Pro 2012 with SR2 applied will be your best solution, but if you want to try this now (with no strings attached), grab the Poser 9 Trial version here, and the Photoshop CS6 public beta here. Let us know about your successful projects!

Stay tuned for a follow-up post that shows how to add some bones and motion to get animated 3D characters from Poser into WebGL-enabled browsers like Chrome or Firefox.

UPDATE:  Service Release 2 is Now Shipping.

Advanced Simulation Techniques in 3D

In our ongoing commitment to innovation in the world of 3D, the Poser engineering team has developed an advanced simulation technology that is breathtaking in its simplicity, yet dynamically moving as a potential new feature. We have drafted this as a paper for SIGGRAPH and are sharing it for your review and feedback before submission.

You can read the entire research paper here.

Blackhearted’s New Girl Next Door: Anastasia for Poser’s Alyson 2

Today’s Post by Steve Cooper, Sr. Product Manager, Productivity and Graphics

Image by Steve Cooper

After a long absence from the Poser content community, Gabriel “Blackhearted” Creed has been very busy. His most recent creation extends his popular GND (Girl Next Door) franchise into a new character called Anastasia. She is his first weight mapped figure and expands upon our Alyson 2 base figure (included with both Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012) that most up to date Poser users currently have on their hard drives. Of course, if you haven’t yet upgraded your copy of Poser to version 9 or Pro 2012, you may just want to consider that move, for Anastasia’s sake.

Image by Retrodevil

One of the keys to any figure’s success in the Poser realm is supporting content, primarily hair and clothing. Anastasia is off to a great start with many practical and fantasy clothing items, plus reworks of hair to provide a perfect fit. Wardrobe Wizard, included with Poser 9 and Pro 2012, supports clothing rig transfers and refits with an inexpensive support file from PhilC, the creator of Wardrobe Wizard.

Anastasia is currently available at Renderosity; their store also recommends a selection of items that other users have added when picking up Anastasia. There are currently a number of pose sets, facial expressions, alternative variants of characters based on Anastasia, and of course, clothing and hair to fit the character.

Image by Nightsong

Reaction within the Poser community to Anastasia has been infectious, as not only have many users added Anastasia to their runtimes, but the project has proven just how much better bending Poser’s new weight map system can provide. Plus, the character creation tools found in Poser Pro 0212 have been empowering community teams to create weight map rigged characters with an enthusiasm that we haven’t seen in a mighty long time.

Personal creativity has hit an all-time high in the Poser eco-system, and we’re certain that Anastasia is the face that launched these thousand ships.

Blackhearted’s Girl Next Door: Anastasia
Wardrobe Wizard Anastasia Clothing support

3D Made “Easy”

Today’s Post is by Steve Cooper, Sr. Product Manager, Productivity and Graphics

We use “easy” everywhere. It’s in our marketing. It’s in our box copy, and on Poser Debut, it’s even in the tagline. But we realize that no matter how many times we say it, 3D isn’t always easy. In fact, for lots of new users, 3D software can be downright intimidating.

3D software’s a genre of tools full of what can be foreign terms, a whole lexicon of features and phrases like rendering, rigging, morphs, transformations and translations. Poser is right there with all the others, because it’s powerful, it has all those feature names and 3D buzzwords to describe them. We’ve designed the tools to be simple and straightforward, but a lot of common 3D language we use can go right over the head of new users. Because of that language, it can take brand new user time to figure out how to create a Poser scene that’s populated with cool 3D characters, and then turn that scene into a picture or video.

You know who you are. You’re who this blog post is for and who these quick and painless videos were created for. If you can turn your computer on, browse Facebook, or send an email, you’ll be able to follow these three starter videos and “get” what Poser does.

The videos were created by our incredibly patient partner Charles Taylor, whose online name ‘nerd3D” still makes me smile, even after more than a dozen years. Charles puts on his primer teacher’s cap, with a gentle voice, and guides you through the basics of Poser.

Even if you’re one of our Poser power users, seeing Charles explain the basics is fantastic, because some time, somewhere, someone that knows nothing about 3D is going to ask you how Poser works. Charles will show you the way.

Steve Cooper

A Look at “Developer Trade Secrets” Tutorial Video Series for 3D Content Creators

Today’s Post is Guest Written by Content Paradise Seller & Poser Developer DarkEdgeDesign.

The Developer Trade Secrets video tutorial series is about total education, anyone from the general hobbyist to the professional 3d content creator will walk away with quite a few new and essential tools in their utility belt; providing everyone the ability to make superior 3d art and content.

I cover some of the bare bones basics that everyone should know, such as smart-parenting props, inherit bends, editing pose files and creating injection pose’s; but the majority of these videos also cover a multitude of high end use techniques that that are essential to creating and selling 3d art and content. No matter your skill level or your time behind the desk, there is something here that everyone can learn from.

I show you how to use top notch tools and apps that are available to us today. Some of these include ZBrush, Normal and Displacement maps, Morphing Clothes, Dependent Parameters, Super Conforming figures and props, Poser File Editor, Extended Remote Control (ERC), Binary Morph Editor and Pose Morph Loader to name just a few.

The knowledge you will gain radically increases your quality immediately, providing you not only the tools for specific problem solving techniques; but the insight and knowledge to apply these ideas to anything you wish to create.

The knowledge shared here is the accumulation of 5 years of being a content creator for Poser. I have successfully been selling content through Content Paradise, Runtime DNA and have entered into contractual agreements with Smith Micro for creating specialized content.

So come take a wonderful ride with me through the knowledge machine and start making awesome 3d art and content right now!

“A Developer’s Trade Secrets” Featured Tutorial

Retail: $40, sale price is $28 (30% off)
Sale 3/5/2012-4/1/2012.

Our Silly Little Blog Art Contest Thing Rolls Into March Like a Lion

We want this blog to be about the fun of creating your own characters with cartoon software, or using 3D models to tell your digital story. Last month, the graphics web team decided we wanted to host a regular, but not very serious art contest in the blog to help liven things up around here. We just want to have fun creating art together, with a bunch of silly prizes and a silly theme where everyone who works with Poser, Manga Studio and Poser can join in together and make silly things.

We put out a call for you to create your own superheroes and a variety of entries flooded in with top candidates to save the world. We had an Anthro-Hedgehog with a light saber and one artist made their first attempt at drawing shoujo manga rather than their usual shounen style manga. We couldn’t believe how CREATIVE you all were.

It was really hard to pick a winner, but UK Manga Studio Artist 888toto (AKA Tony Allcock) stood out with the most votes from our staff! His hero Dart (below) comes with high jumping, gun toting, super-athletic skills and she can even read what you are thinking!  Congratulations Tony!  We’ll ship you out a package next week!

We picked two runners up, who will also be getting silly little packages of silly things to celebrate their super superhero status.  Congratulations to artdude41 (Ashley Martin) and Neil King for your winning entries!

Synestra by ArtDude41, Created in Poser - She’s a member of the Black Avalon, and her powers include unlimited stamina, flight, magic, super strength and speed, as well as telepathy.

Technibod by Neil King, Created in Anime Studio – A new breed of super hero with the awesome power to fix computing problems.

There were actually TWO parts to the art challenge last month! We wanted to create here in the office too! The Smith Micro graphics staff in Watsonville tried to create a few bad guys for the superheroes to battle. (We learned this month that using food for a month long art project is possibly not a great idea…but we know for next time!)  Will the world ever be safe when cork dinosaurs roam the earth?

Now that the world is safe with all these superheroes – What’s the March contest theme already?! 

Content Paradise turns 7 on March 21st, and we’re going to celebrate! We want to see your birthday party inspired images and videos this month.  Make us a card or make us a clown – but get your images in before the contest closes.  We’ll send the winner(s) a box of fun party favors and maybe we’ll even save you a piece of cake!

Deadline: March 31, 2012 at Midnight, US Pacific Coast Time
Contest is open for the entire month of March.


Submit your entry at the below link and make sure you tell us in the extra comments field that you are entering the MARCH CONTEST.  Entries without this information will be excluded!  Be Creative!  http://my.smithmicro.com/gallery/

Artwork Submission Specification(s):
Artwork can be created in any version of Poser, Manga Studio or Anime Studio.
Images must be JPEG/JPG format (or compressed into a .zip archive), 800 pixels on the shortest side, maximum 80MB file size.
Animation formats accepted are SWF MOV MP3 MP4 WMV, minimum 320 pixels on shortest side, maximum 80MB file size and should be between 30-60 seconds.
All entries are subject to the Artwork Submission Terms & Conditions.

Why do we create Poser? Oh yeah – it’s about personal storytellers like this.

Today’s Post by Steve Cooper, Sr. Product Manager, Productivity and Graphics

When I find a Youtube channel like Auroratrek’s,  I get a little giddy inside. It’s a scifi fan driven series of 3D animations, completely rendered in Poser.  I don’t know Auroratrek personally, but if you do, please share how happy it makes me to see this compilation of personal story-telling. It’s what Poser is about. It’s why we create Poser. It’s what you should use if you want to let your inner creative passion run free. And you do find Poser unlocking something inside, let me know.

Just don’t tell me how Part 5c ends…

Kindle Book Author and Illustrator Uses Poser 3D Software

Ray W. R. A. Lewis is one of those wonderful Poser users that just simply make us feel like we’re in this business for all the right reasons. We love making Poser, we love delivering tools that make it easy to use 3D characters for a variety of projects, and we absolutely love when we hear about successes like “Kelm’s Revenge”.

This Kindle book (free to Amazon Prime members) contains 16 lush illustrations and concise words that deliver a glimpse into a larger body of work called “Katie’s Dreams of Nursoda”. Ray got his start using Poser from a desire to be creative and transform his previous technical writings into something much more fantastic.We highly encourage you to download his Kindle book, and draw your inspiration. To us, Poser has always been about telling your own personal story. Thank you Ray; for following our vision, to reveal your own.

Read the entire interview with W.R.A. Lewis and learn how he creates illustrations for Kindle books using Poser 3D Software.

Follow W. R. A. Lewis on his blog makeartwordsmusic.com or on Twitter: @wraylewis.

2011 Wrap – Another Great Year of Products and People

Wait…It’s Already February?

Okay, we know we’re a little late with the year end review, but wanted to squeeze it in anyway.  With 2012 officially underway, the team here at Smith Micro wanted to still take a moment to highlight our favorite moments and accomplishments from 2011.

On the product front, new versions of both the Anime Studio and the Poser product lines were developed and launched with great success. Both products included ground breaking new features, causing excitement from both established and new users.

Anime Studio included a new character wizard, as well as helpful new features like automatic image tracing, Photoshop import and global rendering. Anime Studio has quickly become a hit with everyone from industry pros and hobbyists to kids and families.

For the first time ever Smith Micro released a Debut version of the Poser program (later to be released at the Mac App Store), introducing first-time users to the intriguing world of 3D creation. We did not stop there. Later in 2011 Smith Micro released both Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 to eager 3D enthusiasts. The new Poser line included Realtime OpenGL previews, vertex weight mapping, weight map creation tools, subsurface scattering and according to Poser’s long-time product manager Steve Cooper, “a boatload of UI improvements.”

This was a big launch for community involvement!  In additional some masterful forum assistance in the presales campaign from our Poser Ambassadors, we hosted the first “Iron Render Championship” for the Poser Pro 2012 hero image and were honored to have Syyd Raven and Traveler selected as our winners.  We were very thankful for everyone’s help!

Along with the new and updated products the team here at Smith Micro had a very eventful year at tradeshows. Here are some of our favorites from 2011:

  • We attended Anime Expo for the first time ever over July 4th weekend. Our team got to participate in a panel speaking on the “2D Animation Revolution” that packed in fans, artists and convention-goers.
  • One of our favorite conventions that we attend every year is Comic-Con in beautiful San Diego.  For the second year in a row we had a great booth in the corner of the convention center. This year we had signings at our booth with some of our favorite artists that use Manga Studio, including Dave Gibbons, Doug Tenapel, Ethan Nicolle and Skottie Young.

    We also had another very special visitor appear at the Smith Micro SDCC booth – Sponge Bob SquarePants came and hung out with our team to celebrate the release of the SpongeBob SquarePants Tooncast Studio.

  • To kick off the Poser launch we headed up north to beautiful Vancouver, Canada to attend SIGGRAPH 2011.
  • We also attended New York Comic-Con. Nothing like Comic-Con craziness in the Big Apple!

To close out the year, Anime Studio animator Andy Eaton won the Smith Micro holiday card contest. He took home $500 and was able to giveaway $500 to his charity of choice.

Thank you 2011 for being such a great year for Smith Micro and our software – looking forward to another fast paced, crazy year of new products, great artists and fun times.

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