Smith Micro Software has released Poser Pro 2010,an upgrade to its 3D software package that lets professional artists and production teams add 3D characters to their projects. The package is targeted to artists who create photorealistic images for industries such as architecture, advertising, film, television, and social networks.

Poser Pro 2010 is designed to simplify character design with features such as a Talk Designer, Walk Designer, Morph Brush, Face Room, Dynamic Hair and Cloth Tools, and more. It ships with more than 2.5GB of ready-to-use content such as pre-rigged and fully textured 3D characters.

"Used as a standalone character animation system or as a key component in a larger production pipeline, Poser Pro 2010 makes it easy for content creation professionals to add 3D characters to their projects," said Steve Cooper, senior product manager of graphics solutions for Smith Micro Software. "Fundamental to Poser Pro 2010 is the ability to integrate characters within other popular applications such as 3DS Max, Maya, and Cinema 4D, using the industry-standard Collada. Artists can create 3D humans, monsters, robots, or animals using Poser's custom character tools and then seamlessly populate scenes and landscapes. The ability to easily create characters for use in multiple applications offers greater flexibility and enables Poser Pro users to reduce time and resources in the development cycle."

Poser 2010's new features include the following:

  • Enhanced user interface, featuring a more efficient tool layout and configurable work environment.
  • Content management system, which allows easier access to content collections with the ability to search both a library's content and Smith Micro's online market Content Paradise by category and keyword. There's a hierarchy list view and more detailed pop-up expanding previews.
  • Indirect lighting, which includes the ability to combine indirect diffuse illumination with improved irradiance caching and path tracing. Poser Pro 2010 renders images with realistic global illumination, the company states.
  • Improved rigging system, which includes multiple Falloff Zones and Joint Strength preview so users can rig problem areas, such as hips and shoulders, with more precision, for more realistic bending figures.
  • Figures, which ncludes eight new, ready-to-pose 3D human characters. These are offered in different ethnicities and body types to provide artists with multiple starting points for their creations.
  • More than 1GB of new content and 1.5GB of previously released, ready-to-use 3D scene assets.
  • Render of PSD layers, wherein Poser Pro 2010 renders Photoshop layers for a scene's Normal, Position, Z-Depth, UV, and ToonID, a great asset for users compositing Poser content using Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.
  • Dependent Parameter Tool, a new tool that allows artists to create, modify, and edit master parameters within a scene. Complex interactions can be created, such as full- and partial-body morphs, advanced body controls, and parameter-controlled scene assets.
  • Cross-Body Part Morph Tool, which enables artists to create effects such as muscle bulges, scales, bumps, horns, veins, wounds, and surface details across multiple body parts.
  • StuffIt Connect and Facebook image uploading feature direct from Poser Pro lets users distribute renderings and collaborate with clients as well as share images with their contacts.
  • Physically correct light falloff, which features control spot and point lights to more closely reproduce realistic light falloff from full bright to dark.
  • Tone mapping and exposure to help artists control bright or dark areas within an image to produce higher-quality, final renderings with better contrast.
  • Normal mapping, which allows users to add fine detail to object surfaces, making them appear more intricate without additional polygons.
  • Wardrobe Wizard, which allows artists to re-use existing clothing assets by fitting them to the new Poser 8 character set.
  • wxPython support, which enables third-party developers to create more advanced plug-ins that can be fully integrated into Poser's user interface.

The program runs on Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5, or 10.6, with the latter two required for 64-bit rendering. It works with a G4 processor, but the company recommends an Intel Core Duo.

Poser Pro 2010 is available from the Smith Micro online store as well as from resellers, catalogs, and distribution partners. Existing customers can use the company's Website to upgrade their software. Poser Pro 2010 costs $500 (£330), with upgrades from the previous version at $200 (£133). Users who purchased licenses for both Poser 8 and Poser Pro can upgrade to Poser Pro 2010 for $50 (£33) until March 31, 2010. On April 1, this upgrade price will jump to $70 (£46). Existing Poser 8, 7, and 6 users can purchase Poser Pro 2010 for $250 (£165).