Poser 10! If you aren’t familiar with Poser, it’s a 3D modeling and rendering application developed by Smith Micro Software. In the words of Wikipedia: “Poser is a 3D rendering software package for the posing, animating and rendering of 3D polymesh human and animal figures. Akin to a virtual photography studio, Poser allows the user to load figures, props, lighting and cameras…” Exactly.
In other words, instead of starting with a blank 2D canvas, the artist starts with an empty 3D virtual stage. In September 2011, I dove into Poser 9 to compose my own Star Wars artwork before the release of the “Star Wars: The Old Republic” (SWTOR) PC video game. In December 2013, I extended my PC gaming with the “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (AC4) historical video game.
Hi, my name is Jay, and I’m an IBM TRIRIGA information developer at IBM. While SWTOR held my interest for 8 months, and AC4 held my attention for 6 months, my latest PC gaming experience with “Watch Dogs” has already lost momentum after 2 weeks. Luckily, the timing and conditions are right for me to relive my brief 3D history with Poser 9 and return to the brilliant 3D stage with Poser 10.
Why Poser 9?
Actually, a few weeks before I dove into Poser 9 in September 2011, I dove into DAZ Studio 4 by DAZ 3D. Like Poser, it’s a 3D modeling and rendering application. But unlike Poser, it’s entirely free. Sadly, it crashed pretty often on my ancient 2008 Apple iMac 24. Luckily, just a few weeks later, I installed my new copy of Poser 9 on my new 2011 CyberPowerPC Xplorer Windows 7 notebook!
Although I ordered my new 2011 Windows 7 notebook to play SWTOR, its beta release was still a couple of months away. So I decided to try the hopefully more-reliable Poser 9. And I’m glad I did! Here are 4 of my favorite Poser-based SWTOR-themed 3D renders featuring Zhaanin the Sith Assassin and the Jedi sisters, Yukiko and Akiko Silverstream. Not bad for only a month of practice!
As the sunset-tinted steam sifted through the skytower training observatory, the icy-blue eyes of Yukiko Silverstream analyzed the dark-armored defense of her little sister. With a subtle smile, she noticed Akiko’s familiar patterns, disturbances, and weaknesses that come from a lack of focus and flow. Suddenly, Yukiko lunged with a single-saber strike to her sister’s weaker arm, igniting a furious flash of sapphire and violet vapor…
What happened? Why Poser 10?
Naturally, once I received the golden announcement that I was selected to participate in the “Star Wars: The Old Republic” (SWTOR) beta testing program, my interest in Poser 9 dissolved. Over time, my PC gaming attention shifted from SWTOR in 2011-2012 to “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” (AC4) in 2013-2014 and most-recently to “Watch Dogs” in 2014. Until it lost momentum.
But why return with Poser 10, not Poser 9? In a previous post, I explained how my 2011 Windows 7 gaming notebook met its untimely demise in the final days of 2013. So I was forced to order my new 2014 Windows 8.1 gaming desktop much sooner than planned. In the process of installing Poser 9, I noticed an issue and discovered online that it was incompatible with Windows 8.1. Simple as that.
Why Reality 3 for Poser? Why LuxRender?
Five months later, after I installed Poser 10 and its Service Release 3.1, I couldn’t ignore the ads for the Reality 3 plugin any longer. In the words of Prêt-à-3D: “Reality 3 for Poser connects your scenes to the power of LuxRender, the physically-accurate, unbiased, Open Source renderer. Render images of astonishing realism…” Simply put, Reality 3 links Poser 10 to LuxRender 1.3.1.
Meanwhile, in the words of LuxRender: “LuxRender is a physically based and unbiased rendering engine. Based on state of the art algorithms, LuxRender simulates the flow of light according to physical equations, thus producing realistic images of photographic quality.” To compare the Poser 10 Firefly renderer to LuxRender 1.3.1, here are 2 of my first 3D renders in 2014. Worlds apart!
Admittedly, I noticed an odd glitch in Reality 3. Occasionally, in the Reality for Poser window, in the Render tab, after I click the Render Frame button, I see the following mainWacros error message:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “/Applications/Poser Pro 2014/Runtime/Python/addons/Reality/__init__.py”, line 813, in checkTimeEvent
File “/Applications/Poser Pro 2014/Runtime/Python/addons/Reality/__init__.py”, line 849, in renderScene
File “/Applications/Poser Pro 2014/Runtime/Python/addons/Reality/__init__.py”, line 581, in updateLights
poser.error: Named actor could not be found
The error message is rather strange since I never installed Poser Pro 2014 or its previous versions. Luckily, the glitch is avoidable. Basically, I shouldn’t open my Poser Scene (.pz3) file directly from the Windows 8.1 File Explorer. Instead, I should open Poser 10, then select File > Open or File > Recent Files to open my file. The Reality User’s Guide confirms this in Chapter 16: Known Issues.
Loading a Poser scene by double-clicking on it from Windows Explorer or the Macintosh finder will not load the Reality data included. This is a caused by a bug in Poser, which has been reported to Smith Micro. The Poser developers are working on a fix which should be included in a future release of Poser.
Good news! Just minutes after I published this post, Paolo at Prêt-à-3D commented below that you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for the simple one-file fix. I replaced the file and it works!
What are my final thoughts?
Compared to my SWTOR-themed 3D renders from 3 years ago, my Nissan-themed 3D renders might seem a bit simplistic. But sometimes less is more! Actually, to refresh and retrain myself from Poser 9 to 10, I wanted to start with a simple “sketch” render — default ground, single human figure, single hair prop, and single car figure. Namely, the Nissan GT-R R35 modeled by 2nd World!
If you’re interested in even more Nissan trivia, some of you might remember my recent addiction to Japanese touge racing. That addiction included a ton of “Hot Version” videos starring the legendary race car driver and “Drift King”, Keiichi Tsuchiya, and featuring the legendary Nissan GT-R tuner and president of Mine’s motor sports, Michizo Niikura. Naturally, I chose to render Mine’s GT-R!
So what’s my next 3D project? As I become more fluent with Poser, Reality, and LuxRender, I’d like to experiment with different outdoor sets, lighting effects, and of course, sports cars! Stay tuned!
Do I have an update?
Two weeks after posing the 3D possibilities, I realized the 3D realities with Reality 3 for Poser!