Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

Poser: An artist tells it like it is

Posted by Smith Micro Blogger on Nov 5, 2010 3:33:22 AM

Recently I’ve been chatting with some artists who also like to write. The result? Guest blogs! This is the third in a series, written by Luke Ahearn.

Poser is Awesome, nuff' said.

That's right; you can argue with me all you want and all I can say is Poser is awesome. You may want to try and argue with me about what a professional tool is or what art is but all I will say is "huh?" because I am too busy using Poser to have heard your rambling nonsense.

Welcome to my blog. For my very first entry I would like to address the so-called Poser stigma. It is fading but there is still a strong belief that Poser is unprofessional. I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. As far as those arguments about what art is and what constitutes a professional tool, frankly I don't have time for those conversations. I am not here to sell you Poser either, but you should go look at the Smith Micro website and read up on what Poser can do. You will be impressed.

I am here to discuss Poser for what it is - a tool. And it is an excellent tool all things considered.

The Poser stigma comes from a few sources. When Poser was first created it was created to replace the artist dummy, or mannequin, simply as a reference to the human form. It wasn't at first intended to be a high end modeling/rendering/animation tool - in fact it was cryptically named Poser to conceal the fact that it was only intended for the posing of the human figure for the artist reference (I am being sarcastic).

Poser was, and is, very cheap compared to the other 3D software out there so naturally hobbyists could get their hands on it. Having a large user base of hobbyists generated a large amount of hobby level work. The cost of Poser is still small compared to the other high end packages and 15 years or so ago when Poser first hit the market the price difference was even bigger.

Some say Poser isn't a professional tool. I don't even like to address such statements because they really are a waste of time, but if you find yourself toe-to-toe with someone claiming Poser isn't professional just ask them what a professional tool is. Point out that there are only professional results and even that is a very subjective judgment.

I tend to look at things as tools and only tools. Do they get the job done? That is the only question I ask myself. My internal check list doesn't include items like:

- Will my fragile ego still be intact after I render this image?
- Did I pay enough money for the software I am using?
- Did I do enough unnecessary work to get the results I want?

If I need an image of a man standing in a specific pose for a job I can do one of the following:

- Take a picture
- Search the internet for hours
- Model, rig and texture a model
- Or use Poser.

If changes need to be made Poser is still the best option. And Poser now features such a rich set of options, presets, and flexibility it is easy to put a little more effort in and get a very high quality render that would be virtually impossible for even a professional to
tell you what program it was created in. So Poser is a tool. Do you need to justify or explain why you use it?

Huh? Sorry working...

Luke Ahearn has over 17 years professional game development experience
in lead positions; designer, producer, and art director and has written
9 books on game development. Currently he is developing cutting edge
games for the iPad and iPhone.

If you’re interested in writing a guest blog about art with Smith Micro software, you can contact me with your idea and art at

Topics: Poser

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