JCH Digital Designs:
The JCH Poser Page


 

Your Online Source for Poser Tutorials

Since April 2000, I have been helping people with Poser 4, first with tutorials, then with downloads, and now, with editorial articles. When I recoded the site in November, 2002, I considered writing a new, long-winded introduction welcoming people to the site, then I decided to just move the links closer to the top of the page.

As you go through these tutorial pages, keep in mind that they are meant to be used as you are working with Poser (or Photoshop or Lightwave). Unlike some other tutorial sites (where you have to keep clicking a "Next" button to see the next step or a "Previous" button to go back), each one of my tutorials is on its own page. The pages may seem "text-heavy" at first, but I have designed the pages to be a step-by-step "how-to" instead of a "follow these steps and look what you can get." In fact, I recommend printing the page and then using it as you would use a reference book- having it beside you while working in the programs.

All the information on this website is completely free to use as you wish, but please give me credit whenever possible. Also, if you start to create your own textures, objects, or projects, please share your ideas with everyone else- after all, that's what the Internet is all about! Feel free to improvise your own changes. And, if you can make it better, please let me know!

All of the tutorials will work in Poser 5 and above, unless noted otherwise. Some tutorials may not work in Poser 4 (such as the tutorial on Motion Blur or ray-traced reflections)... but let's face it, with the release of Poser Pro 2010, Poser 4 is now seven versions old! At the very least, everyone should upgrade to Poser 5.

All of the pages are now organized into categories:
 "General": general information.
 "Beginner": tutorials for beginners or anyone looking to brush up on their skills.
 "Intermediate": these tutorials require a basic knowledge and understanding of Poser.
 "Advanced": these tutorials require a more advanced understanding of Poser, and in some cases, additional software programs.

Throughout this website, I will be using characters (of my own creation) to help illustrate the tutorials:

Sheri's face Tabby's face
Sheri
Tabby
GeneralBeginner
 General Tips & Information
Here are a number of tips, tricks, and other things I've found while using Poser. Some of the tips may seem basic, but hopefully, everyone will learn a little something.
 Terms & Definitions
A list of commonly-used terms and definitions, now on their own page!
 My Review of Vicky
From an early use (with Poser 4 and Windows 98) to later (using Poser 4 and Windows XP Pro).
 Compositing Images
Put your Poser characters into new settings- your own photographs!
 Creating the Best-Looking Renders
Some tips on how to make the best-looking renders, using only Poser and no post-work.
 Give Your Characters Life (Creating the Best-Looking Renders, part 2)
Part 2 on how to make the best-looking renders- tips on how to give your characters a little more life.
 Making Realistic Poser Images Using Reflection Maps
How to use Poser's reflect node and an environment map to create realistic metallic surfaces.
 Links and Recommended Sites
 Tips, Tricks, and Hints for the MAT Pose Creator
The reference page for the MAT Pose Creator program.
 Extracting and Organizing Poser Zip Files
A tutorial on how to better organize files from the beginning: when you first extract them from the zip file.
 Editorial Article 1: Using Poser for Artwork
Starting a series of editorial articles, here are my thoughts on using Poser for creating artwork.
 Editorial Article 2: The Poser 5 Mess (October 2002)
What went wrong with the deployment of Poser 5? My thoughts and experiences and additional information.
 Editorial Article 3: My Review of Poser 6 (April 4, 2005)
Conclusions: still a few minor glitches, but otherwise, an excellent program right out of the box... no service packs needed!
 Editorial Article 4: Poser and Photography
A comparison of Poser to photography and why 3D 'purists' shouldn't look down on artists who use Poser.
 Editorial Article 5: My Review of Poser 7 (December 13, 2006)
Conclusions: some excellent new features (including multiple undo), but not a significant improvement over Poser 6.
 Upcoming and Current Projects
Projects I am working on and works-in-progress.
 A History of Computer Animation in the Movies
A brief history of landmark movies which used computer images or animation.
 Where to Find Stuff
A overview of where to find both Poser-related things and related software.
 Goodies Page
The page for recent and cool free items to download.
 Goodies Archive Page
The page for older free items to download, including poses for older figures and free add-ons for inactive and older products.
 Marketplace Page
The page for products that are available for purchase.
 Marketplace Archive Page
The page for older products which were sold to Renderosity in November 2009.
 Accomplishments and Gallery Appearances
A listing some of my accomplishments and gallery appearances.
This list can also be found at Vanishing Point (opens in new window).
 Image Gallery
My image gallery, containing images of Tabby, humorous images, and more.
 Ideas and Inspirations
Where do I get my ideas for models, images, artwork, and products? Check out this page of DVD's, books, toys, and other fun stuff.
 What's New
A list of what's been updated and when.
 
 Using Transparency Maps
How to "cut" objects: turn the default leotard into a higher-cut "workout" outfit.
 Adjusting Texture Maps
Create make-up and highlights on the P4 Female and "scars" on the P4 Male.
 How to Make Reflections (in Poser 4 and Poser Pro Pack)
Create a "mirrored" surface. (Note: Poser 4 can't actually perform "ray-traced reflections", so here's one method.)
 How to Make Reflections in Poser 5 (and above)
Create a "mirrored" surface. Note: Yes, Poser 5 (and above) *can* perform "ray-traced reflections".
 Using Morph Targets
Create your own distinct characters using the built-in "parameter dials".
 Adding Outfits to the Library
Sure you can add individual pieces of clothing to the Library, but what about a complete outfit of many pieces of clothing?
 P4 Style Render with the FireFly Renderer
How to get the same brightness as the Poser 4 Renderer using the FireFly Renderer.
IntermediateAdvanced
 Using Mutiple Transparency Maps to Create an Outfit
Sheri tries to get a job as a Hooters waitress. (Note: Hooters™ is a trademark of Hooters of America Restaurants.)
 Animation
Make the floating kick scene from  The Matrix.
 Creating Images with Motion-Blur in Poser 5 (and above)
Create images with a sense of motion, using motion blur and Poser 5 (and above).
 Making MAT Poses (Quick Method)
Create MAT poses quickly and easily, using only Poser and a text editor.
 Render an HDRI Scene in Vue d'Esprit with Poser Models
Shows how to export a model from Poser and render it in Vue d'Esprit using Vue's HDRI lighting setup.
 From Poser Pro to Sketchfab: Interactive Models on Your Website.
Shows how to export a model from PoserPro (in Collada format), convert it to Sketchfab, and get a link to add it to your website.
 Make a Basic Refrigerator Prop, Page 1: Building the Object
Make a basic refrigerator prop (with opening and closing doors!). Page 1: How to build the object.
 Make a Basic Refrigerator Prop, Page 2: Exporting and Importing
Page 2: How to export the object from Lightwave, UV map it, and import it into Poser.
 Make a Basic Refrigerator Prop, Page 3: Texturing and Combining the Objects
Page 3: Apply textures and combine the three parts into one Poser prop.
 Make a Refrigerator Figure, Page 1: Building the Object
Make a basic refrigerator prop (with opening and closing doors!). Page 1: How to build the object.
 Make a Refrigerator Figure, Page 2: Exporting and Importing
Page 2: How to export the object from Lightwave, UV map it, import it into Poser, and convert it to a figure file.
 Make a Refrigerator Figure, Page 3: ERC Dials
Page 3: Create body dials to control the opening and closing of the doors (also known as ERC).
 Make an Aircraft Flap Rotate Properly
A tutorial on how to adjust the joint parameters to get an angled part (such as an aircraft flap) to rotate properly.

To follow the above tutorials, you should have the following:

 Any version of Poser above version 4. All of the information found on this site should apply to both the PC and Macintosh versions of Poser. Some of the effects may or may not be compatible with Poser 3 and some features (such as Poser's Materials Editor) have been changed in Poser 5.
 For the creation of texture and transparency maps, you will need a layers-capable image-editing program such as Adobe Photoshop or Jasc Paint Shop Pro.
(The tutorials use Photoshop because that's the program I am more familiar with- feel free to e-mail me the Paint Shop Pro "translation".)
 To create texture maps, you'll need UV Mapper (by Steven L. Cox), which can be downloaded (for free) directly from his site: UV Mapper.com (opens in new window).
 To create "phi files" (for Poser figure files), you'll need PHI Builder (by Roy Riggs), which can be downloaded (for free) directly from his site: Roy's Max-Poser Tutorials (opens in new window; then scroll down the page).
 To download any "finished products" and items on the Goodies Page, you will need an "unzip" application: WinZip for Windows and Stuffit Expander for the Macintosh.
 To view any of the finished movies, you will need a movie player capable of handling ".avi" files. Media Player for Windows and the QuickTime Movie Player for Macintosh should do the job. (Both of these programs are included with the operating system, so you should not need to download them again.)
 To follow the tutorial on creating your own 3-D objects, you will need a 3-D application capable of exporting files in the ".obj" format. I suggest using MetaCreations' Ray Dream Studio (which is what I will be using for the "Star Trek Communicator" tutorial) and Lightwave (which is what I will be using for the "Refrigerator" tutorial).

And a special thanks should go to: Ghost Effects, Fractal Design, MetaCreations, Curious Labs, and e-frontier (for their development of the earlier versions of Poser), Zygote Inc. and DAZ Studios (for their work on the advanced Poser models), and, of course, Smith Micro (the current owners and developers of Poser). You can purchase Poser in the graphics software section at the Smith Micro website (link opens in new window).

For more free items, models, tutorials, and discussion forums, check out Vanishing Point:

Vanishing Point

Comments, questions, concerns?
Feel free to send an e-mail: John Hoagland

Legal-type notes: The images found on the website are NOT real people, nor are they even based on photographs of real people- they are completely computer-generated. All characters, textures, etc. are based on my own imagination and any resemblance to living or dead persons is strictly coincidental (unless otherwise noted). All information found on this site is copyrighted by me (unless noted by their respective copyrights/ trademarks). You are free to print the information or save it to your hard drive for your own use, but reproduction is strictly forbidden without express permission. Any designs or information contributed to this website will be credited to the original author whenever possible.