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'Poser 7 Revealed': Discover the Library Categories

Learn all about navigating through the other Library categories besides figures in the latest excerpt of 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 next in 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 about the other categories in the Library.

The Library palette includes much more content than just figures. It has a repository of content organized by category, including figures, poses, expressions, hair, hands, props, lights and cameras.

Accessing Other Library Categories

From the figure thumbnails, you can access the Library categories again by clicking the Category button located at the top of the Library palette, as shown in Figure 1. You can also access the various categories directly using the small circle category buttons to the left of the current category title or from a list using the pop-up menu.

[Figure 1] Library palette navigation controls.

NOTE: There is actually another Library category. The Materials category is only accessible from the Material Room.

Loading Library Poses and Motions

The second category in the Library holds figure poses. To access the available poses from the Library, click the Poses category and navigate to the folder containing the types of poses you want to apply to the current figure. Within each folder are thumbnails of the various poses. With a pose thumbnail selected, click the Change Pose button at the bottom of the Library palette. The selected pose is then applied to the current figure. Figure 2 shows several pose thumbnails contained in the Action folder with one applied to the default figure.

In addition to poses, the Poses category also holds some animated motions. Motion thumbnails are identified by the number of frames listed in the upper-right corner of the thumbnail, as shown in Figure 3a (left).

[Figure 2] Library palette navigation controls.

Loading Facial Expressions

The Expressions category in the Library holds various expressions to show emotion, as shown in Figure 3b. These expressions can be edited using the settings found in the Face Room. The Face Room is covered in more detail in Chapter 9, "Creating a Face and Facial Expressions." To load an expression from the Library, simply select it and click the Apply Library Preset button. The selected expression will replace the current face setting on the current figure.

Strand-based hair can be edited using the controls in the Hair Room. You can learn more about using prop-based hair in Chapter 5, "Dealing with Props," and more about using strand-based hair in Chapter 10, "Adding Hair."

Loading Hair

The next three categories let you load hair, hands and props. The Hair category includes both the older prop-based hair and the newer dynamic strand-based hair. Strand-based hair is identified by a label to the right of the thumbnail that says, "Strand," as shown in Figure 4.

[Figure 3] Motion files in the Library

NOTE: The Hair category in the Library also includes some thumbnails that are denoted as "Trans Map." This label indicates that the hair includes a transparent texture map for greater realism.

Loading Hand Poses

Posing hands can be time-consuming, so you might want to load a default hand pose from the Library to save you the work. When applying a hand pose, a simple dialog box, shown in Figure 5, appears asking if you want to apply the pose to the Left Hand or the Right Hand. To apply the pose to both hands, you'll need to apply it twice.

[Figure 4] Strand-based hair thumbnail.

Loading Props

The Props category can include a variety of objects from scene objects such as furniture, as shown in Figure 6, to figure-specific objects like clothing. Some clothing thumbnails within the Props category are identified with a "Conforming" label. These items can be made to conform to a figure for proper fit using the Figure, Conform To menu command. You can learn more about using conforming clothes in Chapter 5, "Dealing with Props."

Loading Library Light and Camera Settings

To access the available lights and cameras from the Library, click either category and navigate the folders until you find just the light or camera you want to apply to the current scene. Each light and camera thumbnail shows the default figure using the lighting or camera setup.

[Figure 5] Hand poses can be applied to either hand.

For the Lights category, both the Apply Library Preset and the Create New Light buttons are enabled, thus allowing you to replace the existing set of lights or add to the existing set.

NEW POSER 7 FEATURE The ability to add a new light set to the current light set is new to Poser 7.

[Figure 6] Prop Library folder.

With the desired thumbnail selected, click the Change Item button at the bottom of the Library palette, and the selected light or camera set is loaded into the Document Window. Figure 7 shows several light and camera thumbnails found in the Library.

Loading Materials from the Library

To access the available materials from the Library, you need to have the Material Room open, and then click the Materials category and navigate to the folder containing the types of materials you want to apply. Several unique sets of material folders are available in the default installation. Within each folder are thumbnails of the various materials. With a material thumbnail selected, click the Apply Library Preset button at the bottom of the Library palette, and the selected material is loaded into the Shader Window and applied to the selected material group. Figure 8 shows several material thumbnails contained in the Basic Materials folder with the Fireball material loaded.

[Figure 8] Some available Library lights and cameras.

NOTE: For some loaded materials viewed in the Simple panel, a small exclamation point icon is visible in the upper-right corner of the various properties, as shown in Figure 8. This icon indicates that some additional parameter values are available for this property that can only be accessed from within the Advanced panel.

Load Content from the Library

  • 1. Open Poser with the default man visible.

2. Click the side control to the right of the interface to open the Library palette or select Window, Libraries.

3. Click the Poses category at the top of the Library palette and locate and open the G2/G2 Male/Action/Fighting folder. Then select the Fist Fight 05 thumbnail. Click the Change Item button at the bottom of the Library palette.

[Figure 8] Loaded Library material.

The figure assumes the selected pose.

4. Select the Expression category and open the Poser 7/SimonG2 folder. Then select the Simon Disgust thumbnail and click the Apply Library Preset button.

The figure assumes an angry expression to accompany his fighting stance.

5. Select the Props category and open the Poser 6/James Clothing folder. Select the SunGlasses Black thumbnail and click the Apply Library Preset button.

The figure now is wearing glasses, as shown in Figure 9.

[Figure 9] The default figure with a pose, expression and prop added from the Library.

  • 6. Select File, Save As and save the file as

Fighting figure.pz3.

NOTE: You didn't add clothes to this figure yet because they require an additional step to conform the clothes to the body, which is covered in Chapter 5, "Dealing with Props."

Load Light and Camera Settings from the Library

  • 1. Open Poser with the default man visible.

2. Click the side control to the right of the interface to open the Library palette or select Window, Libraries.

3. Click the Lights category at the top of the Library palette and open the Light Sets folder. Locate the Lit from Below light setting. Then click the Change Item button at the bottom of the Library palette.

The scene is updated with the new light settings.

4. Click the Cameras category at the top of the Library palette and open the Camera Sets folder. Locate the 3 Quarter Left Top camera setting. Then click the Change Item button at the bottom of the Library palette.

[Figure 10] Scene with preset lights and camera.

The scene is updated with the new camera settings, as shown in Figure 10.

5. Select File, Save As and save the file as Loaded lights and camera.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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