Poser 8 Revealed: Editing and Posing Figures - Part 1
Posing figures is surprisingly easy; you just grab a body part and move it into position. All attached body parts will move along with the selected part in the same way they move in real life, unlike when you’re on the dance floor. In other words, if you raise the upper arm of a model, the lower arm, wrist, and hand will move with it.
Once you have loaded a figure in the Document Window, you can select and move it into position within the scene before starting to pose the figure. Moving a figure moves the entire figure as one unit and lets you separate multiple figures within a single scene.
Several commands are available for working with figures, including changing its height, locking a figure in place, and hiding a figure to speed the update within the Document Window. Most of these commands are located within the Figure menu, but you can also change a figure’s parameters and properties using the Parameter/Properties palette.
The first step in posing a character is being able to select the individual figure elements such as the upper arm or the lower leg. You can select figure elements directly in the Document Window using the mouse or by using the Actor drop-down list at the top of the Document Window.
To help with the task of positioning figure body parts, you can use the Editing tools. Within the Editing tools are tools to translate, rotate, twist, scale, taper, and even color the various elements. Understanding how to effectively use the edit tools will enable you to create good poses. Another way to position elements is to alter their parameter values using the parameter dials that appear in the Parameters/Properties palette.
Poser includes several menu options that you can use to help you pose figures in the scene. The Figure, Symmetry menu includes options for copying the element poses on the left side of the object to the right side and vice versa. You can also copy arm and leg poses between opposite sides, swap poses on either side, and straighten the torso. The Figure, Use Limits option restricts the movement of elements to be within designated values, and the Figure, Auto Balance option automatically moves figure elements to maintain the figure’s center of gravity.
The Figure, Use Inverse Kinematics options enable you to move all the elements in a pre-set chain by positioning the last (or goal) element in the chain. This is particularly convenient for positioning hands and feet and having the arms and legs follow naturally. This chapter concludes by looking at the Hierarchy Editor, which is an interface listing all the elements in the entire scene. It provides an interface for parenting elements.
Position Figures Within The Scene
Loaded figures appear in the center of the Document Window at a point known as the origin. The origin is the point in 3D space where the X, Y, and Z coordinate values are all 0. But you can move the scene figures as needed using the Document Window controls.
If the scene includes multiple figures, you can select an individual figure using the Figure Selection list located in the upper-left corner of the Document Window. Each figure is given a name when first loaded from the Library. The default names are “Figure” and a number such as Figure 1, Figure 2, and so on, but you can change a figure’s name using the Properties palette.
The default mannequin’s name is Andy.
Even though a figure is selected in the Figure list, a separate body part may still be selected. This makes the parameters for the selected body part visible in the Parameters palette. To make the parameters for the entire figure visible in the Parameters palette, select the Body option in the Actor list or you could click on the Figure Circle in the Document Window. The Actor list is located to the right of the Figure Selection list. When the Body option is selected, the Figure’s name is displayed at the top of the Parameters palette.