Poser 8 is a Mac 3D animation software product of Smith Micro Inc. that is specifically designed for creating 3D characters. It comes in a Mac physical, Windows physical, or hybrid physical compatible version. It also comes in a Pro 2010 edition as well. There are also add-ons available to boost the program’s power, including Physics and Puppet Master at a cost, of course.
This TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winning software is a more advanced 3D animation software program than Cheetah3D 5 or Kinemac with an emphasis on creating realistic scenes for web, print and film projects. The interface is detailed and offers some great features for building characters from the skeleton up or using an existing library of ready-to-pose characters; however, the interface can be confusing for beginners and requires somewhat of a learning curve. Along with its cool features and mid-range price, the system requirements are a little more stringent than Cheetah or Kinemac, requiring twice the RAM of Kinemac plus 2 GB free hard disk space minimum. This program is not for weak computers, so make sure that your machine is up to the task. The program is well-suited for artists, hobbyists, illustrators and animators who want the added tools of 3D animation software.
Some of the key features of this program include Quick Start, Custom Characters, Lip Syncing, Simple Animation, Rendering Styles and 3D for any applications. There is also an organized content library that allows you to keyword search through items and then drag and drop them into your scenes.
You can use Mac 3D animation software to create art for any application, such as graphic and web design, fine art and illustration, storyboarding, medical illustrations, architectural design, and comic books just to name a few. The newest version comes with a new and improved interface, 8 brand new ready-to-pose human figures, Cross Body Part Morph Tool, an improved rigging system for better bending of new figures and indirect lighting for global illumination effects.
Talk Designer is a tool that allows you the ability to make your figures speak by creating lip, head and eye movements to match imported sound files just like lip syncing to your favorite musical artist. Walk Designer is an automatic tool that uses click-and-drag keyframing to animate everything in the scene at one time.
You can build scenes with ready-to-go content, choosing from male, female, child or animal figures as well as props, hair, clothing and more. Poser also allows creating unique characters by photo mapping or changing the features, age, and ethnicity of existing characters.
The program’s Firefly render engine is capable of creating photorealistic, sketch, cartoon, silhouette, and Flash styles. You can also add surface detail at this level without requiring extra geometry or modeling with normal mapping. The global illumination effects allow you to render images with inter-object ambience and luminance using reflected light and color with Indirect Lighting and Irradiance Caching.
This program is for an intermediate or advanced user. It offers some great features to create extraordinarily detailed animated characters, but with that detail comes a complexity that is a little overwhelming for a beginner.
This program allows you to create 3D figures to use in other applications. Create scripts for more robust third party and add-on features that can run continuously and be integrated within the software using wXPython support.
Of all the software programs reviewed on this site, Poser 8 probably has the most options with regard to help and support even though they aren’t the most user friendly for beginners. The website offers a blog and user forum for sharing information and getting the latest tips and news. It also lists the most complete contact information of any software, including e-mail addresses, fax number, and mailing address. There is a newsletter and download updates available as well. You can purchase the software through the retail store online as well as access online help forms or use telephone support. Add to that a user manual and tutorials and you have a pretty comprehensive support system.
Overall, Poser 8 is well-suited for intermediate to advanced users with the right equipment for running the program. If your interests run to the artistic and/or more realistic animated character and scene development, then this might be the program for you. The features are well worth the price of admission but only if you can actually use the program when you get it downloaded.
This program offers a lot of customer support although its tutorials are for people already familiar with the terminology. It is also compatible with many file types, allowing you to download your animated characters and scenes into other programs. It has the versatility and features if you already have some skill with animation software. It also has some cool add-ons, but they come at a price. If you are still not sure, download the demo version. It is free, but you have to go through the checkout as if you were purchasing the product.
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Poser has great ready-to-use animated character forms and great detailing options.
Poser's software is for intermediate to advanced users as the options can be a little overwhelming for beginners.
Poser is a great program for users interested in creating detailed gaming 3D characters.