Poser 8 Revealed: Dealing with Props - Part 1
Although posing figures is the main purpose behind Poser, you aren’t limited only to populating scenes with figures. Poser also supports objects known as props that can be placed anywhere within the scene. Props can be used to enhance the scene such as the ground plane, a tree, or a light post; interact with a figure, such as a chair, a weapon, or a basketball; or enhance the figure directly, such as a hairdo, clothing, or jewelry.
Props can be loaded into a scene from the Library palette or created in another 3D package and imported into Poser. Once in Poser, props can be selected and edited using the same Editing Tools that are used to edit figures. You also can alter props by changing their parameters and properties. Props can also be grouped and given materials.
By parenting props to figure elements, you can make the prop move along with a figure element, such as a briefcase or a weapon. You can also replace figure body parts with props to create some interesting characters, such as a pirate by replacing a hand with a hook and the lower leg with a wood leg.
New props can be created using the Group Editor dialog box. Any selection of polygons can be converted into a prop using the Create Prop button. This lets you quickly create props, such as breastplate armor or a facemask, based on the existing figure.
Of all the available types of props, two specific types are unique[md]prop hair and prop clothes. These two categories are identified as prop objects to distinguish them from their dynamic versions. Dynamic hair and cloth can realistically react to forces in the scene, but there are times when the older prop-based versions of hair and cloth are sufficient.
IMPORT EXTERNAL PROPS
Although the Library palette contains some great props, it doesn’t include all the props you may want to use. Any 3D object can be used as a prop, including objects created in external 3D packages. You simply import the object into Poser.
The imported objects must be in one of the 3D formats that Poser supports in order to be imported. Also, Poser can only import polygon models.
Preparing Prop Models for Importing into Poser
When building external models to be imported into Poser, keep the following in mind:
• The coordinate origin for the external 3D package corresponds the center of the floor in Poser. To have your props correctly positioned above the floor when imported, move them so they are above the origin along the Y-axis.
• Eliminate any duplicate polygons from the 3D model. Most external 3D packages include tools for automatically identifying and eliminating duplicate polygons.
• Avoid any internal polygons within the model. For example, creating a cylinder object that intersects with a sphere object leaves several polygons embedded within the sphere object. Using Boolean commands can eliminate these internal polygons. If left, the polygons will appear in their original place when bones are applied and the object is posed.
• Convert the model to polygons before saving. Poser’s import features cannot handle NURBS, patches, or splines.
• Include enough resolution for the object if it needs to be posed. If an imported figure has an arm made from an extended cube, the object will not have enough polygons to bend.
• If you import a prop with groups, make sure each polygons is only included in a single group. If you’re unsure whether polygons are in isolated groups, eliminate the groups and use Poser’s grouping functions.
• Material definitions aren’t imported along with the model, but material groups are recognized and imported.