By Michael Burns | on September 03, 2009
Price When Reviewed: 155 . 80
Pros: Lots of new content; new morphing tools; new interface/CMS; rendering and texture enhancements; Wardrobe Wizard.
Cons: More expensive than competition; some new features are complex without tutorials; some application crashes.
Poser offers a quick way to create and digitally shape humans, animals and entire scenes in 3D for use in creative applications such as Photoshop, or as the basis for an animatic for films. Lately it’s been playing a game of catch-up with its rival DAZ Studio and with that contender newly available in a professional edition, the challenge has just got hotter.
Poser 8 offers an enhanced interface. The workflow tabs – Pose, Material, Setup, Hair and so on – are still available, but the layout is cleaner and more refined. Dockable and floating palettes can be arrayed down the side, offering an interface that is closer to Photoshop or more traditional 3D packages.
The new interface also encompasses a content management system, offering a restructured library that can be searched by keyword. There are buttons to add figures and poses to the library or add items to your favourites list. As a result, workflow has been improved in this version – although it hasn’t changed so much that long-time Poser users will be mystified by it all.
OpenGL preview has also been enhanced – Poser will create a real-time display of up to eight lights and their accumulated values. Poser will choose the brightest lights, sorted by intensity, or you can select which of eight lights to display. Mip Map support means that performance is much better when previewing large textures.
The application replicates the elasticity of human and animal skin at joints, making the bent parts smooth by blending between two bones or body parts with falloff zones. There are two types of falloff zones, Spherical and Capsule, which indicate the gradual areas of blending around the joint. Both work in a similar fashion – for example, a green capsule defines the area that is 100 per cent affected by the transformation, while the outer the red capsule defines the limit of the transformation’s effect.