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Poser 11 & Poser Pro 11

Creative and workflow features make a strong update By Ko Maruyama
Smith Micro's Poser Pro has been a powerful character 3D animation tool for both professionals and hobbyists.  Its toolset is easy enough to get started with, yet deep enough to allow professionals to get the nuanced performances that they want for animation and illustration work.  The creative enhancements and workflow tools make both Poser 11 and Poser Pro 11 a fantastic update to Smith Micro's accessible character animation software.

In the past, Poser Pro has been fairly straightforward, and the content that Smith Micro and the community of users offered was very good.  In the new version of Poser Pro (now version 11), a library of characters and elements makes the process of character creation even easier. Poser Pro has always been easy to animate with, and the new library will make character variety easier to achieve.  Iterations of styles are also easier to investigate with a new library and history.

Although the new library is key for new users, Poser Pro's new render engine and lighting controls will make the results that Poser Pro 11 delivers even more stunning.  Render engine performance is extremely important when considering any type of 3D software that delivers still images or videos.  Lighting models and render settings that perform well and deliver good looking results will save time when the render moves into the post production process. Included in Poser is 144 facial poses and expressions (I'm not sure if that's an intentional 'gross' of faces - but not gross faces)





There is a big difference between the two versions of Poser.  Poser 11 vs. Poser 11 Pro.



There are many uses for Poser software, and as diverse as the images that it creates, there are many different artists who look to Poser for their character creation.

If you're not feeling like you're ready for the 'Pro' version, there is a lighter version for both hobbyists and professionals alike who may only need some of the elements from the new Poser 11 updates.  While Poser 11 (not Pro) doesn't have some of the tools that a professional may seek (Max, Maya, C4D, Lightwave, GoZ Integration to name one feature), the physically based rendering system and bullet physics for animation also exist in the standard version.

Lighting and rendering in both versions has been changed not only by the render engine itself, but by the types of elements and simulations you can achieve in the new version.



Caustic light behaviors is a subtle feature that can deliver big changes in your animation.  Glass, water, and other transparent and translucent objects will really benefit from the composited render that this material option offers.  But more than simple refraction variations that caustic light values may have, the improved selection of material options make the upgrade an obvious decision for any current owner.  

Volumetric material that can react with certain types of lighting is a feature that offers much more than it appears to.  While so many artists consider Poser Pro to be a character tool only, Poser comes with 100s of props.  Other geometry from applications outside of Poser can be imported and used with characters as well.  Any of these objects could be textured directly within Poser.



Another material upgrade in 11 which may seem small, but will expand Poser's creative potential is the ability to layer materials directly within the surface attributes.  Poser 11 has several of these small upgrades which will allow you more time to iterate and finesse your animation.

Poser Pro has features that are specifically designed for artists who are using Poser in their professional pipeline, alongside other software like Maya, CINEMA4D, or ZBrush.

Many documentary and forensic animators rely on measurement tools to accurately (or as much as possible) describe the actions and space of an incident that could not be video taped.  The new measurement tools help artists more accurately set the stage for their animations.  Measurements allow Poser Pro artist to create spaces and characters based on measured areas, and quickly get accurate relationships between elements in their scene.



There are so many different features in Poser Pro that add creative opportunities to the user over the base model, going through each of them wouldn't do them justice.  Each new feature in Poser Pro 11 is worthy of its own review.  Unfortunately, Poser Pro 11 as a whole is elevated by the sum of its new features so much more than each little feature.

Key features like Control Handles, Adaptive Rigging, Selection Histories, Alembic Support, Poly Reduction workflows for Unity, make upgrade to Poser Pro 11 an obvious choice.  For artists who are only using some of Poser 11's properties to create their character animation will find that the software (affordably priced for what some plugins for other 3D software run) will find that the new version offers many new tools that allow artists to produce stunning results.

Find out more about the updates and upgrading for yourself at http://my.smithmicro.com/poser-pro-11.html

For twenty years, digital artists around the world have used Poser® design and animation software to create 3D illustrations, animations, and content of every imaginable type.   Smith Micro raised the bar once again with the release of new Poser Pro 11, making it faster and easier to create hyper-realistic 3D characters and scenes. Designed to simplify usage, streamline workflow, and put more power at the artists' fingertips, Poser Pro 11 turns a sophisticated, fully featured character animation system into a must-have productivity tool for illustrators, design houses, game developers, and more. 

In addition to dozens of new features and usability improvements designed to meet the rigorous needs of professional animators, Poser Pro 11 comes with an extensive library of pre-loaded characters and content, including human figures, animals and props. This gives users the opportunity to start creating riveting 3D animations immediately. See highlights of the new features and content in this YouTube video. 
"With more than 40 new features and improvements, Poser Pro 11 allows professional artists to cut down on production time and costs, while still delivering state of the art 3D effects," said Fahim Niaz, Director of Product Management.


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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:animation, 3D, creativemac, software, apple, Mac, design, character animation, zbrush, cinema4d, maya, MAX

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