Poser & Cheetah (Renderosity just acquired Poser from Smith Micro)

#1
I tried Poser a few times and never really got the hang of it. Bought Poser 10 some years ago and used it for only one small project – to modify a figure that I brought into Cheetah – then haven’t touched it since.

Just wondering if others here use it. Do the morphs and other animations translate over easily? I think one needs the pro version for FBX export.

Renderosity just bought Poser from Smith Micro and looks like I can update to Poser Pro 11 for just $99 during a current sale.

Trying to decide if Renderosity buying it means new life for Poser or just a continued dead end. Also trying to decide if it is worth a renewed effort to become more proficient with it. Octane Render makes a plugin for it which I have access to through my current subscription but haven’t tried it yet. Mostly I just need to bring in small sections of body parts into Cheetah or Blender (hands and faces) to illustrate how beauty products work on skin.

Would be interested in hearing what others think - either about Poser's "new" future, or how well it works with Cheetah.
 
#2
Hi Pegot

I read the same news, and at least on first sight, $ 99 is quite tempting. My last Poser version I had was 6 (so I'd be eligible). But there are a few things against it (in my opinion). And one pro:

1. I plain don't know how well the Renderosity team is suited to keep Poser alive and create new versions of it or even updates. Which wouldn't be that bad, but I believe (don't know for sure but it seems very, very probable) that the next MacOS will be the last one with OpenGL. The deprecation of OpenGL is still widely not addressed from developers, and sometimes I'm not so sure how many of them just wait for somebody else to invest in and deliver a solution that others can use. People who try to create such 'middleman'-apps complain about the missing financial support they get from others... so ... Anyway, the question is, will Poser 11 Pro run on the MacOS coming fall 2020? Will there be a new version that works on it?

2. Do you know (without looking up) one software they maintain? They do .. but it's not very widespread. Poser's concurrence is big and it's free: Daz Studio (which is horrible in many ways). So I really don't know if they are able to get a user base big enough to sustain the software. And will the mac-user base be big enough to invest in the necessary work for metal or vulkan?

By the way, one 1 + 2 aren't the same. I'm really not sure if they CAN do it. And I have my doubts if it would be worthwhile for them if they can.

3. With the free DAZ Studio I had some problems with fbx import (and .dae) in other software, Cheetah and other apps alike. So it's certainly not Cheetah's fault. Geometry was sometimes strange ... I really don't know if actual Poser is any better (but I'd hope so). Uncle808us should be able to tell you more as I believe he has the software (maybe he will run a test for you). Or you try out your version 10 (if that still runs on your Mac).

4. Lacking SSS Cheetah is simple not able to render photorealistic human beings as good as other software. We don't know when that comes into Cheetah, nor the quality (but as we know Martin, I'm sure it will be something good). Other 3d apps meanwhile have even dedicated skin shaders, and with that (and a lot of work) some people can create images that are as good as photographies.

So I would recommend that you take a look at the images people create with Poser Pro 11's 'new' superfly-renderer. Importing stuff you created in Cheetah shouldn't be a problem. If you like superfly, that could be a reason to buy.

But it never convinced me. DAZ Studio's IRAY renderer seems far better (to me), only it takes forever and a day on a Mac (for me just plain not usable. And there's no danger to mistake such a render for a photo).

5. Poser (Pro) 11 is from 2016

6. (Near) Photorealistic results are possible when you do use Poser / Daz / Make human figures as simple bases to model and / sculpt further on in other apps and render there (or do use them simple as reference). Not in Poser, not in Studio (though almost), not in Cheetah. But the base you can take as easily from DAZ.

As I don't do animation, there isn't a reason for me to buy Poser Pro at the moment (and I don't like what I have seen from their renderer). Objs from DAZ import well into Cheetah (and other software).


In the past, many years ago, I did use Poser for professional projects. For once, I don't know enough about anatomy to create a convincingly realistic human being from scratch, at least not fast enough. Second, my customers mostly were (and are) smaller or 'middle' businesses, so they didn't have big budgets to spend. Some seemingly complex illustrations I created in a few minutes, some semi-realistic things didn't take much longer (except the rendering which I did in lightwave and vue (since version 6 (sometimes) even with sss)). But the figures themselves never were realistic enough for photorealistic close-ups (better, it looks like well drawn than bad cgi). Sometimes they didn't even work that well in the background. Today's figures are much better, though, but imho unadultered still not convincingly enough.
 
#3
P.S.: I almost forgot. When SmithMicro launched Poser Pro the first time, they commissioned the work for the promo-pic to Steve Barrett who rendered it (with their knowledge of course) in Modo. Which just doesn't seem right to me, selling a software with a renderer and using other apps for the picture ...
 

uncle808us

Active member
#4
Pertaining to #3 I use Poser Pro Game Dev 10.0.5.30556 it exports fbx that is why I got it imports fine to cheetah but not all morphs work or are even there. as for the Cheetah3D export via FBX you have to use the oldest fbx setting in >prefs>files>fbx.export. Poser can't use the newer one. That is all I can tell you. I am not updating. Waiting for MOHO to be taken over so I can afford it. :rolleyes:
 

Swizl

Active member
#5
I've been using Daz occasionally over the years. Getting the Face and Body Morphs (two separate items) can give a lot of control over the body and face shapes. There's also a skin maker plug in that can give a lot of variety for skin textures. And other high resolution skin packs that can be bought. This may be all overkill for what you need, but I've never had much problem with exporting from DAZ with morphs and bones into other 3d apps. It has a lot to do with the export settings. They can be finicky to get correct though depending on what you need. But once you get a workflow in place, it's not too bad to do.

Most of the time I have to fix some of the materials after import coming from Daz, no matter which app I'm importing it to. I've never gotten any poses to come over correctly though. So would be best to do it after, unless you can figure out some way to do it. Honestly I never spent much time on posing though. Static poses work pretty well for what I need usually.

I had a version of Poser called Debut a long time ago that came bundled with a bunch of other software. So I never used it much past just opening it a few times. I'm sure the Pro version of Poser has a lot more features. Uncle would be the best person to give answers here I think about Poser. Since he has a lot of experience with it.

The new version of Daz (4.11) that just came out, also has particle based hair added. Which is pretty nifty, but takes more work than preset polygon based hair. They made the new hair feature pretty easy to use IMO. I was able to get decent results just from watching a quick tutorial video. If you don't need to modify much though, .obj export could be enough for you to get what you need to render. Especially if you already have Octane. I have a subscription for Octane that I got to do a freelance job where I need to render about 7 movies. So I don't plan on using it long term. Will eventually get into Redshift though. Right now I've been using Cycles4d in Cinema and then just occasionally using Octane since I can sub it out monthly at $20. I saw where Octane can be used in Daz, but didn't put any effort into trying to install it. As Hasdrubal mentioned, the built in iray interactive viewport works pretty well, if you have the hardware for it. I've got a GTX 1080 FE (8gb) and 12-core 3.4Ghz Xeons in my MacPro5,1. So the IPR viewport in Daz is really responsive once it loads the geometry. Which typically takes about 20 seconds. Any GPU renderer has to do this anyway, so I suspect Octane would take about the same amount of time for the IPR to load.

Do they have a demo of Poser so you can try it out first? I'm not advocating one over the other. Just giving my experience with DAZ.

There are also other places that sell scanned people that have rigs set up for posing. Not sure if you've ever looked into those? They would have less flexibility on shapes though. https://renderpeople.com/3d-people/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMItITnqY2A4wIVReDICh2AGQtYEAAYASAAEgKCifD_BwE

Edit: These renders and screenshot were done with no mods and tweaks to them. I also had to reduce the image sizes so they would upload here.
 

Attachments

#6
I've never gotten any poses to come over correctly though.
Obj works perfect (which doesn't help Pegot, I know)

The materials are mostly a problem of older figures in my experience (which have the advantage of consisting of fewer polys and therefore are more easily usable as a base for modeling further on). The transparencies don't come over right (and there is a ton of materials to change). This isn't a problem with newer figures, at least not a big one. And even those are free from time to time.

One should mention, the high resolution textures, morphs and so on come with a hefty pricetag (for what it is). And they most always scream: DAZ! So if you use DAZ Figures (instead of those from the poser library), I would recommend at least creating your own morphs and clothing, if possible the textures, too. The biggest advantage is not even the money, but the result doesn't look so much "DAZ" anymore.
 

Swizl

Active member
#7
Obj works perfect (which doesn't help Pegot, I know)

The materials are mostly a problem of older figures in my experience (which have the advantage of consisting of fewer polys and therefore are more easily usable as a base for modeling further on). The transparencies don't come over right (and there is a ton of materials to change). This isn't a problem with newer figures, at least not a big one. And even those are free from time to time.

One should mention, the high resolution textures, morphs and so on come with a hefty pricetag (for what it is). And they most always scream: DAZ! So if you use DAZ Figures (instead of those from the poser library), I would recommend at least creating your own morphs and clothing, if possible the textures, too. The biggest advantage is not even the money, but the result doesn't look so much "DAZ" anymore.
Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree. Those shots I posted earlier are Genesis 8. Obj works with poses if you don't mind the pose being frozen once it's imported. If you want to repose in any way, that isn't possible. You'd have to use FBX or similar with bones in a t-pose. When exported with a pose and bones in place, the mesh is out of sync with the points. I don't think there is a huge poly difference between Genesis, 2, 3 & 8. I never tested it, but I can't imagine there being thousands of polys difference that would bog a relatively modern computer down. I have a 2740p HP laptop (9 years old now?), and even it can do most anything in Daz with all the figures inside the app. The biggest slowdown with it are displaying any textures correctly because of the deprecated OpenGL version. The app is free and then all a lot of the extra items can either be bought when they go on sale, or some of them they occasionally offer for free. A majority of them I've bought for $10 or $15. That still equals 8 – 10 items vs paying $99 outright. Do the math. Daz looks no more like Daz, than Poser looks like Poser and MakeHuman looks like MakeHuman. In all honestly, a lot of how these models look comes down to lighting and rendering engine anyway.

I've probably been using Daz for about 10 years and transparencies/Alphas have never imported correctly. Ever. I might add that the same thing happens with MakeHuman figures no matter which app I've brought them into. Blender, Modo, Cinema 4d, Cheetah 3d. Modo being one of the worst ones when it comes to importing and having the materials not show correctly, and this doesn't even depend on the source of the file. This is pretty typical of most apps that I've seen. If there isn't a built in bridge between the apps, there is probably going to be some adjusting.
 
#8
@Swizl
Sorry, I managed to test a Victoria 8 without eyelashes (I don't know if the Victorias are still free). Just redid the test (now with them), and of course they are still a problem via obj, but not a biggie. The eyes are off because of a 100 % specularity in several materials. Everything else seems peachy to me (but to get something good, you have to work on all the materials anyways, especially on the reflections).

Of course, I didn't import any hair which would be necessary in Cheetah.

Modeling as base: The difference may be only a few thousands, but for doing further work on it, I prefer less polys. Because of your remark I had a closer look at the Genesis 8 (never did anything with it then load it once). It has fewer polys than some of the older ones and cleaner geometry. Next time I will probably use this (I have even really old figures around, many years before 'Genesis', because they have relatively few polys. But the edgeflow is plain horrible as much as I remember). Genesis 8 is far better.

For todays computers even more polys would still be ok, yes. But as soon as you have a bunch of those figures around with textures and clothing – at the latest – you start do delete everything that's not seen and count polys.

DAZ look: It's an opinion. For me they have most of the time a quite distinctive look. That may be prejudice, but it's not the lighting, it's the form (and the eyes). They are probably the most used figures around, quite often seen in rather bad 3d where the artist didn't create anything of his or her own except arranging the bought stuff and hit render (you can even buy poses and so on). With an own morph (the face alone is enough), you can create something not used everywhere without much fuss. It's not difficult and it doesn't mean a thing if you don't hit the mark. It can be exaggereted for example, but you don't have to use it at 100 %.

Maybe it's just me. I don't really like to use prefabricated content. I do it sometimes (usually not for the 'main'-object), but I feel uncomfortable with it. Strange as it seems, I don't have the same problem with textures (which I change anyways) and with trees.

And I have to admit, I don't like that DAZ biotope.

Obj: Of course you are right, but with obj I had less problems than with the other formats and the only way I managed to load poses from daz. Didn't do anything else with those figures than testing in the last years, but that for me seems still true. For a still they are perfect (and you still can work on the face without a problem. Just hide the rest). And yes, if you want to change that later on then you have a problem.

Like I said, many years ago (more than 10 actually) I did use such figures in some projects (via poser). It was even worse with transparencies and specs (they had brows which were not that easy to get rid of). It probably wouldn't be that much work to create better export routines, but they want to keep the customers inside their ecosphere.

But thanks. It's because of you that I had a closer look at Genesis 8 and the edgeflow really is much, much better. So if a project comes along where I have to use a human figure, I'll probably take that as a starting point (still for background only).
 
#10
Hey thanks for all the feedback. I actually did take the plung and updated to Poser Pro 11. Only fiddled with it briefly but first impressions are somewhat disappointing – I thought the quality of the figures would have been better, but I haven’t explored all items or settings yet.

However, the Octane plugin works beautifully with Poser and the developer built in some nifty features, including ability to generate a CSV scattering file which can be used in other programs that generate instances that way. Another useful feature is that Super Fly materials are automatically converted to Octane Render materials making rendering really easy and fast (and looks great).

I don’t intend to set up complex scenes in Poser but really prefer using Cheetah for most set up and modifications to geometry where possible. Materials are not too much a concern since I will set those up for Octane. And I do want somewhat lower polycount meshes – that is one thing I am using Cheetah for – to isolate certain body parts and maybe optimize them a bit.

Another thing I have been using rigged figures for is to generate a Motion Vector pass (via Octane) and using that to drive particle animations in After Effects via Trapcode Form (so lower poly figures are better here too). Some nice abstract effects are possible. Hoping to gain more control by being able to pose and animate pre-rigged figures in Poser. Suppose I could do that in Cheetah but might be harder – would rather just bring in pre-rigged, animated objects and set them up in the most expedient manner.

So all in all, just another tool to use when needed. I wouldn’t have bought it at full price that is for sure. And I’m just a little more comfortable in Poser than DAZ, which I also tried a few times over the years but never quite felt comfortable in.
 
#11
So far importing Poser figures from v11 with animated walk cycles into Cheetah as FBX files gives me perfect results! Even better than importing into Blender where there are some minor issues with slightly twisted geo.
 

Swizl

Active member
#12
Not really I only use it now and then like I said for export via FBX, but that's about it. Best to go to the Poser forums on Renderosity.
Thanks but I'm not the one to ask.
Ah ok sorry. You're the only one on here that I know that uses Poser. Probably some others too, but haven't heard anyone mention it.

@pegot, glad you got it sorted out.
 

Swizl

Active member
#13
@Swizl
Sorry, I managed to test a Victoria 8 without eyelashes (I don't know if the Victorias are still free). Just redid the test (now with them), and of course they are still a problem via obj, but not a biggie. The eyes are off because of a 100 % specularity in several materials. Everything else seems peachy to me (but to get something good, you have to work on all the materials anyways, especially on the reflections).

Of course, I didn't import any hair which would be necessary in Cheetah.

Modeling as base: The difference may be only a few thousands, but for doing further work on it, I prefer less polys. Because of your remark I had a closer look at the Genesis 8 (never did anything with it then load it once). It has fewer polys than some of the older ones and cleaner geometry. Next time I will probably use this (I have even really old figures around, many years before 'Genesis', because they have relatively few polys. But the edgeflow is plain horrible as much as I remember). Genesis 8 is far better.

For todays computers even more polys would still be ok, yes. But as soon as you have a bunch of those figures around with textures and clothing – at the latest – you start do delete everything that's not seen and count polys.

DAZ look: It's an opinion. For me they have most of the time a quite distinctive look. That may be prejudice, but it's not the lighting, it's the form (and the eyes). They are probably the most used figures around, quite often seen in rather bad 3d where the artist didn't create anything of his or her own except arranging the bought stuff and hit render (you can even buy poses and so on). With an own morph (the face alone is enough), you can create something not used everywhere without much fuss. It's not difficult and it doesn't mean a thing if you don't hit the mark. It can be exaggereted for example, but you don't have to use it at 100 %.

Maybe it's just me. I don't really like to use prefabricated content. I do it sometimes (usually not for the 'main'-object), but I feel uncomfortable with it. Strange as it seems, I don't have the same problem with textures (which I change anyways) and with trees.

And I have to admit, I don't like that DAZ biotope.

Obj: Of course you are right, but with obj I had less problems than with the other formats and the only way I managed to load poses from daz. Didn't do anything else with those figures than testing in the last years, but that for me seems still true. For a still they are perfect (and you still can work on the face without a problem. Just hide the rest). And yes, if you want to change that later on then you have a problem.

Like I said, many years ago (more than 10 actually) I did use such figures in some projects (via poser). It was even worse with transparencies and specs (they had brows which were not that easy to get rid of). It probably wouldn't be that much work to create better export routines, but they want to keep the customers inside their ecosphere.

But thanks. It's because of you that I had a closer look at Genesis 8 and the edgeflow really is much, much better. So if a project comes along where I have to use a human figure, I'll probably take that as a starting point (still for background only).
Some of the Victorias are free. Usually it's the HD packs that cost money, but they also sometimes put them up for limited time as free. Also some of the other models are free at different points or at an extreme discount. I pretty much always wait for something to be on sale or free when I get it. I agree too that the figures can be very generic and "too perfect". But that's why I like the different morph packs. They can help make the characters look more realistic. The models have definitely improved in quality over what they used to be. Most of my focus isn't on the characters, as I mainly use them in Architectural type settings, where they are used to show scale and so the scenes don't look as sterile. Usually there's just not a lot of time to customize everything in a scene.

I've been using some free scanned ones that are in a static pose lately. Although if I needed more people / variety, I would probably create them in Daz. This scene I modeled in C3d and then imported into to Modo, where I added the furniture and rendered. The quality isn't great, but this was just a render for internal company use on a planned building section remodel.

And sorry pegot, didn't mean to hijack the thread. Just thought it was slightly relevant. I'd love to see some of the renders you get whenever you have the poser ones finally done.
 

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#15
@Swizl
Thanks again.

By the way, I like the picture. It's clearly informal meant, so the 3d look is ok. Things like that work very well as illustrations.

What I really don't like in any kind of arch renderings are the cut out people. One reason is, they stand out somehow, diverting the focus from what's important. Another is the scale. I like your way with those scans or DAZ people way better. And I agree, if at a small scale, it's not worth it to invest more then a few minutes in changing and optimizing them.

But if you see them a bit better, please try it out, just once, to create a few morphs of your own (in Modo you can use the 'move'-sculpting-tool to push the polys around, easily changing the radius of the tool whenever needed. With some of your own morphs in the mix, you can create very easily something unique.

And yes, all to often time is of essence. But you can always reuse what you model.

@pegot
Nice to read that you're happy with your buy. Good to know that fbx works without hussle. Had I Octane, I'd probably get it, too :).
 
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