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'Poser 7 Revealed': Configure the Interface and Set Preferences

Learn how to configure the interface and change preference settings in this first excerpt from Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide by Kelly L. Murdock.

All images from Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide by Kelly L. Murdock.

This is the first of a new series of excerpts from the Thomson Course Technology book Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide. In the next few months VFXWorld readers will develop the skills needed to create, render and animate scenes and projects using the amazing tools offered by Poser 7. We will offer step-by-step tutorials for each task, followed by projects that allow readers to apply each new skill.

What You'll Do

In this lesson, you learn how to configure the interface and change preference settings.

Once you are happy with the layout of the interface controls, you can use the UI Dots, shown in Figure 1 to save the configuration. For the Document Window, you can use the General Preference dialog box to set its preferred state. There are several other preferences that impact the interface you can set as well.

[Figure 1] The UI Dots.

Note: The preference settings are stored separately from where Poser is installed. On Windows computers, the preferences are saved in the Documents and SettingsUsernameApplication DataPoser 7 directory, and on Macintosh systems, they are saved in theUsers usernameLibraryPreferencesPoser 7 folder. If you reinstall Poser, it's likely the preferences will remain.

Using the UI Dots

If you like to use several different interface configurations, you can save each interface configuration using the UI Dots options in the Memory Dots control. To use a Memory Dot, simply click a dot to save the current UI layout. Clicking again on the dot recalls the saved layout. Holding down the Alt key while clicking a dot clears it.

QUICKTIP You can use Memory Dots also to save poses and camera settings.

Using Preferences

Poser lets you access the General Preferences dialog box with the Edit, General Preferences (Ctrl+K) command. This General Preferences dialog box includes five separate panels -- Document, Interface, Library, Render and Misc. The Library panel options are covered in Chapter 2, "Using the Poser Library," and the Render panel options are covered in Chapter 16, "Rendering Scenes."

[Figure 2] Document panel of the General Preferences dialog box.

The Document panel of the General Preferences dialog box, shown in Figure 2, includes a button to Set Preferred State. You can use this button to have Poser remember the current Document Window's state and figure. So, if you load a custom dragon model and you want this figure to appear as the default figure from then on, you can click the Set Preferred State button, and the dragon will become the default figure as long as the Launch to Preferred State option is selected. If you grow tired of the default dragon, enable the Launch to Factory State option to return to the original default figure.

New Poser 7 Feature: The Render panel in the General Preferences dialog box is new to Poser 7.

Using Undo/Redo

The Document panel also includes an option to set the maximum number of undo levels that Poser remembers. Poser will remember and let you undo all the previous commands up to this value. To move back and forward through the stored commands, use the Edit, Undo (Ctrl+Z) and Edit, Redo (Shift+Ctrl+Z) commands. There is also a button to Clear Cache Now, which eliminates any stored commands and frees up memory.

New Poser 7 Feature: The ability to undo multiple commands is new to Poser 7.

Setting the Global Smoothing Angle

The default crease angle sets the angle for all adjacent polygon faces required to smooth between them. If the angle between two adjacent polygon faces exceeds this value, the shared edges are not smoothed, but remain a hard edge. You can learn more about smoothing options in Chapter 8, "Creating and Applying Materials."

[Figure 3] Interface panel of the General Preferences dialog box

Restoring the Interface's Factory State

If you make changes to the interface, including the position and size of the Document Window and the location of the various controls, you can set these changes to be remembered next time you restart Poser using the Launch to Previous State option in the Interface panel, shown in Figure 3. If you enable Launch to Factory State, the default factory settings are used for the size and position of the Document Window and the interface window.

Enabling Tablet Mode

In the Interface panel of the General Preferences dialog box, you can enable the Tablet Mode option, which gives you support for a graphics tablet.

Changing Display Units

This Interface panel also includes a setting for the Display Units. The available options include Poser native units, Inches, Feet, Millimeters, Centimeters and Meters. One native Poser unit is equal to roughly 8.6 feet or 2.6 meters.

Checking for Updates

The Misc panel of the General Preferences dialog box, shown in Figure 4, includes an option to Check for Updates on Launch. If this option is enabled, Poser will automatically check for updates every third time Poser launches using the Internet. You can also manually check for updates at any time via the Poser website using the Check Now button. If an update is found, a dialog box presents a link where you can download the update.

[Figure 4] Misc panel of the General Preferences dialog box.

Configure and Save the Interface

  • 1. Drag the titles of the various interface elements, including the Document Window, to your liking.

2. Click on one of the empty dots in the UI Dots control to store the interface configuration.

3. Select and move each of the interface controls to a new location. Then click on the stored UI Dot selected earlier.

The interface reverts to the saved configuration, as shown in Figure 5.

  • 4. Choose File, Save As and save the file as

Custom configuration.pz3.

Save Interface Layouts

  • 1. Pose the default figure and add some clothes to the scene.

2. Choose Edit, General Preferences (or press Ctrl+K). The General Preferences dialog box opens with the Document panel selected.

[Figure 5] You can recall saved interface configurations.

  • 3. In the Document panel, enable the Launch to Preferred State option and click the Set Preferred State button.

4. Select the Interface panel, enable the Launch to Previous State option, and click OK.

5. Close and relaunch Poser.

The layout configuration is retained from the previous session.

Change Display Units

  • 1. Choose Edit, General Preferences (Ctrl+K) and click the Interface panel tab.

The Interface panel of the General Preferences dialog box opens.

[Figure 6] Meters display units.

  • 2. Select Meters as the Display Units option and click OK.

3. Select the hip object and open the Parameters/Properties panel.

The translation values are listed in meter values, as shown in Figure 6.

  • 4. Choose File, Save As and save the file as

Meters.pz3.

Find out more about how to put the power of Poser 7 to work as you learn how to use the new Talk Designer to automatically sync facial animations to an audio track, combine the power of Poser 7 with other software packages, create new motions using the new animation layers feature and much more. Check back to VFXWorld frequently to read new excerpts.

Poser 7 Revealed: The e frontier Official Guide by Kelly L. Murdock. Boston, MA: Thomson Course Technology, 2007. 592 pages with illustrations. ISBN 13: 978-1-59863-296-5; ISBN 10: 1-59863-296-5 ($29.99).

Kelly L. Murdock has a background in engineering, specializing in computer graphics. He has worked on several large-scale visualization projects, created 3D models for several blockbuster movies and has worked as a freelance 3D artist and designer. Murdock is the author or co-author of several books, including seven editions of the 3ds Max Bible, two editions of the Illustrator Bible, Adobe, Creative Suite Bible, Maya 7 Revealed, LightWave 3D 8 Revealed and Poser 6 Revealed. He works with his brother at his co-founded design company, Logical Paradox Design.

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