This is the eighth of a series of weekly posts that covers my efforts to learn and create with Smith-Micro’s Poser application. I’ll share the information I learn, any tricks or tips I come across, and my thoughts on Poser as a creative tool. My goal will be to follow my interests as I become more familiar with the program.
This weeks entry is a week late because I attended the NVIDIA Graphics Technology Conference last week and got involved in research and writing on the conference. I’ll be sure to stay with the weekly updates from now on. I’ll be going over my attempts at a Surreal scene using the Poser materials library and various sketch render settings. Before we begin I want to clarify that I am using Poser Pro 11.1. Smith-Micro created two versions of Poser: Poser 11 and Poser Pro 11. The difference is that Poser Pro provides advanced rendering, a fitting room for clothes and more. The price for Poser Pro 11.1 is $349. Upgrade from Poser 11 is $110. Full details at this link.
In trying to set up my scene I had to choose between either making the large businessman figure truly large or going with normal size. I chose the normal size and made the other businessman figure very small. This should cut down on the amount of geometry Poser has to render. I also placed the large businessman halfway in the ground and made all geometry below the waist invisible.
I posed the large figure in a neutral pose with arms down looking out like a statue or monolith. Then I placed the smaller figure in front and choose an easy standing pose from the Poser businessman character. I wanted to add a briefcase, but there were none that would work with my figure and I couldn’t find any free ones on the internet (which was odd).
Next, I used glasses from the Poser library and added them to both figures. I also chose a simple sand ground with a cloudy skydome to the scene. Again, easy to find in the Poser library
Materials and Colors
At this point, I moved over to the Materials room in Poser and started working on the large businessman figure. I wanted the character to look like it was part of the ground so I went to each prop part (jacket, tie, glasses) and changed the diffuse color by using the eyedropper and picking the sandy ground. It didn’t work, so I did some digging and discovered that the materials for everything on the businessman character already had a UV map where the colors were prechosen and then added as a node. So I disconnected the node and when I changed the diffuse color it worked. Eventually, I had the entire character the same color as the ground.
The Poser Materials Room is really powerful and once you get the hang of it you can spend hours experimenting with various looks. One thing I wanted to do was to add a bumpmap to the businessman character to make him look more aged and ragged. But I couldn’t figure out how to do it without actually changing the geometry. Sigh…next time.
Camera and Rendering
Setting up the camera was super easy. I just created a new camera and placed it where I wanted it to be. I tried a few different angles but ended up with one that was similar to one in the Moebius cartoon image (back and up about 45 degrees). I didn’t add anything fancy to the camera just default settings.
I removed all of the lights but two and positioned them to provide strong lighting from the side and then a bit of wider cover to illuminate the scene. Kept the color at white.
Rendering was a lot of fun. This was the first time I felt free from the Poser program meaning that it stayed out of my way as I played with a variety of sketch settings. There are a lot of presets for Sketch render plus you have the Sketch Designer which allows you to create custom styles and save them as presets.
I came up with a reasonable start sketch render scene, but I discovered late that there is a lot more to cartoon rendering than I know about at this point. We’ll leave that for next week. At least I'm finally having fun with Poser!