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.
You can apply falloff zones to any type of rotation, such as Bend or Side-Side: there’s a section of the Joint Editor dedicated to using falloff zones on a joint. Here, the type of blending can be set as Additive or Multiply, and multiple falloff zones can be combined, regardless of type. You can manipulate falloff zones with the normal Poser editing tools, the Direct Manipulation tool, or the Parameters palette.
Tweaking the appearance of the characters in Poser, for example by adding body fat or changing expressions, is carried out using controls called morphs. In version 8, the Morphing Tool allows you to create a morph that affects multiple body parts, making it simple to create master parameter-controlled full body morphs. Distinct parameters, such as joints and body morphs, can also now be linked and configured as dependent, making it easier to create advanced body controls, such as a muscle-bulge morph that moves when a limb bends.
The new Wardrobe Wizard, previously a $60 (about £37) plug-in, lets you re-use and fit existing clothing content on the new Poser 8 character set. We had to apply the latest Poser 8 hotfix before getting this to work, but after this was done it’s a case of clicking on the corresponding entry in the Scripts menu to get started and selecting Wardrobe Wizard from the Python Scripts palette. As well as converting clothing intended for a lower generation of Poser character to a higher one, Wardrobe Wizard has the ability to add Full Body Morphs to the clothing to match the Convert To figure.
In a general sense, Wardrobe Wizard resembles the new Morph Follower feature in DAZ Studio 3, which adjusts the morphs present in some clothing to a new figure, but the Wardrobe Wizard seems far more refined and offers more options. With those extra options comes extra complexity, however, and we found the Daz system easier to grasp. Poser 8 could really do with an extra tutorial to get new users up to speed with this feature.
Poser has consistently introduced strong rendering facilities over the past few versions and this release is no different. Global Illumination has been improved with support for indirect diffuse illumination combined with improved irradiance caching and path tracing. This allows objects rendered in the scene to display more realistic shadow and highlight areas.