My previous experience comes from Poser 5, and more recently DAZ Studio 2 and 3, with some minor understanding of DAZ Carrara 6/7. The computer is a Mac Pro with 4 Xeon cores at 3GHz and 8GB of RAM. This version of Poser Pro 2010 was the boxed pre-release version. I stopped writing this at a certain point because it became clear that there are numerous bugs with the software on this platform. These tend to be minor but point to an unfinished product. I don't believe that there is a better program than this, but wait for the SR1 on the Mac platform before you buy. If you have a Windows PC hurray - you win and the pictures quite different.
Errors and omissions
The 'Quick Start Companion' doesn't work. The result is - "NULL (or empty), script name passed to PEPythonEngine::DoScript()", resulting in an empty project guide. This happens quite a lot, it also happens when applying the Random Face from Ryans, Expressions folder and then the Poser Library crashes.
The Room Help guides don't work either and give a blank result. The information appears in the 'poserHtml' folder in the main application folder.
The legacy content is incomplete with characters and high resolution textures being missing here and there. Don (Poser 5), the naked walk designer version doesn't load correctly and gives a white face texture (lips etc), white nipples and white finger and toe nails. These can be correctly selected in the Material room but don't exist as MAT poses. The nude version of Judy exists as textures but cannot be selected directly as a figure in the library, or as a MAT pose, and again has a low resolution texture. The figures don't seem to have the original morphs. So preserve any legacy content if upgrading. We still have 4.83 GB of runtime here, and the newer is better than the older.
MojoWorld 3 is nolonger directly compatible with Poser Pro 2010 and cannot select it to enable the importing of .pz3 files, but this is not really SmithMicro's fault. MojoWorld will export terrains but the textures for a parameter bomb need to be at least 6000 x 6000 to be useable. MojoWorld 3 is PPC on the Mac and renders at 1/4 speed, thus usually used within Parallels and the Windows OS.
IBL lighting (Image Based Lighting) presets can have their shadows turned on, they seem to be off by default. Poser Pro 2010 (Mac version, untested on Windows) cannot save the setting! So if you turn on, and set up the shadows, the saved file won't record that, so you have to turn them back on when reloading or reverting.
Background images will not be included in the exported or saved picture if the format of the background image is not compatible with the format of the saved image. So a .jpg background picture will vanish if the finally rendered image is saved as a .png file. Result missing sky (typically) and a confused beginner.
Figure Height, as in Figure > Figure Height on the menu? A legacy part of the program that should really be dropped at this point. Indeed, the manual says Poser 4 and earlier versions. It gives a wonderful range of variation to your loaded figure: Baby, Toddler, Child, Juvenile, Adolescent, Ideal Adult, Fashion Model, Heroic Model. However, in general the 'Ideal Adult' could be interpreted here as the 'Non-deformed Adult'. You CANNOT create interesting effects like it says in the manual. Perhaps it will work with (some) props?
Saving scenes and reloading scenes often fail to give what was saved. This appears to be caused by using the Symmetry tool, and this often produces results that cannot be successfully undone. It seems that what you see is often not what you get or what you save. In this case the file was imported into DAZ Studio 3 and shown to have been saved incorrectly (vertex order perhaps). Avoid the use of the Symmetry tool (or at least save a copy of the document prior to use).
The program has a learning curve. It's not steep but time is required for familiarity. It can appear faulty here and there (and in some cases actually is), until greater understanding occurs.
Initially the same old problem exists with the default lights, they are NOT white and thus give incorrect (misleading) colours. Fix the lighting before you begin (please don't colour your textures turquoise)! Thankfully we have the Poser 8 Image Based Lighting (IBL) to choose instead and this works well but two factors need to be considered. Firstly you might like to untick Gamma correction on the render settings, and secondly - turn the shadows on!
Initially the default setting for the content library is 'Embedded' this can be changed in the General Preferences on the Library tab. Set this to 'External' as the external library application actually make sense. The library icon in the Dock on the Apple doesn't have a Poser Icon by default, so if the library is underneath it might not be obvious to click on the default 'A' application icon to bring it to the front. What is less obvious is the icon top right on the interface (five interlaced circles) that does the same thing (as stated in the manual). Probably easy to fix the icon as this is located at: MacintoshHD > Applications > Poser Pro 2010 > Runtime > ui > AIR > LSMGUI > Poser Library.app, so do the copy the icon thing with 'Get Info' and the main program to give it the correct icon (or suitable alternative as the correct one seems hard to find). There are various view settings here that produce good results. Keep the library window as small as you can because the approach here is really 'Drag and Drop' as this auto conforms the clothing.
The comparison to DAZ Studio here is stark, this is light years ahead but is sadly marred by inconsistent file structures that produce embarrassing errors in functionality. The colours of the interface work extremely well, making even very small text easy to read. In comparision take a look at DAZ Carrara for a frustrating example of how not to do it. Part of the Professional tag is getting this bit right, yet they have still retained the original design. Unfortunately the dials are still slow in some cases, and changing from the Render tab to Preview tab is also slow.
Where Poser 5 concentrated on being anatomically and clinically correct, this approach has been diluted probably for a younger audience. What might be considered as pornographic is arranged to be less immediately accessible within the library structure, and is not loaded by default with the figures, and perhaps this is a good thing.
The program can get a little confused over a period of time. Moving back and forth on render settings can lead to missing blocks or silhouettes on renders. If in doubt save the file and reload, or save, relaunch and reload. Adjusting the shadow parameter dial to less than one was causing such confusion. Setting some values to zero can hang the program on infinite render settings.
In a simple head to head with DAZ Studio 3, the Andy mannequin had a G2 animated jump pose applied to it of 120 frames. DAZ Studio 3 was able to import the Poser file if given the location of the .pmd file in Posers runtime. DAZ Studio's final render appeared to be without individual lights, Poser defaulted to the Preview render engine. The Poser result was superior but it's not a direct comparison. Both took 5 minutes to render, with DAZ Studio on 4 cores, Poser on 1 core. Changing Poser to the Firefly render engine saw the same animation taking 19 minutes as it had three lights and shadows. This is nearly four times longer but again not a direct like for like comparison.
The Poser preview render which was initially compared to a DAZ Studio final render, looked superior as Poser had gone through the Quicktime dialogue which asked for keyframes, and 1 per frame was specified, the result was a very smooth animation. Daz Studio didn't go through this dialogue and therefore there were less keyframes and the result was jerky. The colours were better in Poser, as was the shape of the figure.
Sorting out the lights in DAZ Studio seems very hard to me, but in Poser there are three lights by default and this is an easier method to understand.
Comparing the final Firefly render of Poser to that of DAZ Studio, it's no surprise that Poser's was superior given that it took 4 times longer. The colours were once again better as I had turned off Gamma correction. However comparing that to the Poser Preview rendered result (given that this figure was very simple), the Preview render looked better than the Firefly render in this case. Doing the same with DAZ Studio both the final and preview renders looked worse than Poser. Perhaps it's an unfair test (Poser is better than DAZ Studio).
I was also able to import this (at least the object) into DAZ Carrara Pro 6. It also rendered in about five minutes and this fell within it's 'Memory allocation error' window of opportunity (bug corrected in Carrara 7), thus ran multithreaded. The result was quite good but more complex to set up (no colours here). As this was on the default photorealistic settings it's not clear how those settings compare.
In practice these different programs are probably going to render like for like with similar times. It's the quality of the end result that will cause choices to be made. Different programs offer different features, but at least Poser is on par if not better than most of these. As DAZ Carrara Pro 6 was free on a magazine, and more recently DAZ Carrara 7 Standard (DigitalArts July) stick with that if the complexity is not a problem and you can get the content from DAZ freebees. Read more ›