Poser is a 3D modeling, art and animation application distributed by SmithMicro. It is used to render photo-realistic artwork, create animated movies, and create figures that can be used within Poser or exported to other 3D programs. You can import models made with 3D modeling applications into Poser, give them a bone structure and save them as Poser figures. You can further customize the figures by making modifications to the faces and costuming.
1. Acquire a 3D figure model. 3D character models can be found at no cost on the Internet or purchased. You can also model your own 3D character in a modeling application such as 3dsMax, Maya, LightWave or Blender.
2. Import the 3D figure into Poser. Poser will accept 3dsMax, DXF, LightWave, Collada and Wavefront OBJ files. Click the “Setup” tab and delete the default character. Click “File,” highlight “Import” and choose the file format of your model. Navigate to the directory where the model is stored. Double-click the file and it will load into the “Setup Room.”
3. Add a bone structure to the 3D figure. Select the “Bone Creation Tool” icon from the “Editing Tools.” Bones are hierarchical and the first bone you create will be the parent bone for the model. Draw the bone in the torso of the figure if it is a biped. Attach additional bones to the central bone for the arms, legs and neck. Your bones should connect at places where the model would bend, such as the shoulders, elbows, knees, neck or waist.
4. Name the bones in the Hierarchy Window on the right. Use names like hip, neck, right shoulder and left thigh to easily work with and adjust the bones. In the Hierarchy Window, you will see the relationship of the bones to each other. For example, the right shoulder should be attached to the right collar above it and the right forearm below it.
5. Rotate the model and adjust the location of the bones. In 3D space, objects such as bones are located on the x (left/right), y (up/down) and z (forward/backward) axes. If you view the model from different angles, you will see the exact placement of the bones within the model and can adjust them with the “Translate/Pull Tool.”
6. Group the bones to the polygons of the 3D model with the “Grouping Tool.” Click the “Grouping Tool” and the “Group Editor” window will pop up. Use the left and right arrows to scroll through the bones. The polygons that Poser has attached to the various bones will be highlighted on your model. Use the “Grouping Tool” to highlight and add or remove polygons from the bones.
7. Click the “Window” drop-down menu and select “Joint Editor.” Click on the bones in the 3D model and use the dials in the Joint Editor in the lower left of the screen to adjust the direction of movement of each joint when it bends and twists.
8. Save the model as a Poser figure, then reload it. It will load into the “Pose” window. From this window, you can adjust the figure into a pose or apply an animation. If the bones or joints are not functioning as you thought they would, return to the Setup Room and make adjustments to the figure.