Extracting and Organizing Poser Zip Files
If you're a typical Poser user, you probably download tons of stuff. And as you install your files, you probably have tons of folders. Why are there so many folders? Wouldn't it be easier to extract files where you want? At first, this process may seem a little complicated, but if you spend a little time in the beginning, you won't wind up with hundreds of folders... each of which only has one or two items.
This tutorial is about how to get a handle on the mess before it starts- at the point where you install the files from a zip file into your Poser\Runtime folders. I'll walk you through changing the references within a cr2 file so you can put the "dependant files" (obj and texture files) wherever you want.
Please note that some files (such as the V3 and M3 INJ/ REM folders) can not be moved. The folders are required to have the "!" in front of them and the poses in the folders are required to be there. If you move the poses or rename the folders, the INJ and REM poses will no longer work.
Let's say we've downloaded a new dress for Vicky and the zip file contains the following files:
blDress1.obj <-- base geometry file
blDress1.rsr <-- Poser geometry resource file
VickyDress.cr2 <-- Poser figure file
VickyDress.rsr <-- Poser 4 library thumbnail file
VickyDress.png <-- Poser Pro Pack (and above) library thumbnail file
PlaidTexture.jpg <-- texture map
OffShouldersTrans.jpg <-- transparency map
Thumbs.db <-- Windows system file; not needed
Before we start, we need to open Windows Explorer (and of, course, the zip file). Then again, if you can see the above list of files, then you probably already have the zip file open.
Let's do one more thing before we start organizing- we can make life a little easier by removing files we don't need from the original zip file. Note: This is an *optional* step and will permanently change the zip file, however, it won't "damage" anything. If you don't feel comfortable changing the original zip file, you can either work with a copy of the zip file or skip this step.
Everyone can delete the "blDress1.rsr" (also known as the geometry resource file)- this is re-created by Poser when you load the figure anyway. Be very careful to *only* delete the rsr that would be extracted to the Geometries folder (scroll to the right and double-check the "Path" column).
Note: Poser 6 does not use geometry rsr files at all.
Everyone can delete the "Thumbs.db" file- this is a Windows system file and is not used by Poser (and really shouldn't be in the zip file in the first place).
Poser 4 users can delete the png files.
Poser Pro Pack, Poser 5, and Poser 6 users can delete the rsr files.
Okay, now we're ready to get started.
What we will need to do is extract the files manually from the zip file. The "old" (and easy) method would be to hit the "Extract" button and let the files go into the recommended folders. But, as we've seen, this is what causes the "tons-o-folders" mess in the first place. So, we'll extract the geometry obj file, then the figure (cr2/ rsr/ png) file, then the texture (jpg) files.
First, the geometry obj file:
Switch to Windows Explorer and go to your Poser\Runtime\Geometries folder. Choose a folder to extract the files into- you can use either an existing folder or create a new one. If you create a new folder, I recommend using a name that's easy to remember and that you can re-use, for example, "VickyClothing" (or whatever you want).
That's right- you are not required to use the folder name listed in the zip file!
Switch over to the zip file. Click and drag the obj file from the zip file to the folder in Windows Explorer. WinZip will then extract the file to the folder.
Make note of the folder name... or, better yet, highlight Explorer's Address Bar and hit "Copy" (right-click > Copy or hit Ctrl+C).
Next, we'll extract the figure file:
Go to your Runtime\Libraries\Character folder and choose a folder. Like before, you can use either an existing folder or create a new one. Again, for example, let's create a new folder called "VickyClothing". Extract the cr2 file and the appropriate "thumbnail file" (by dragging from WinZip to Windows Explorer's folder). Remember, Poser 4 users should extract the rsr file, Pro Pack and Poser 5 users, extract the png file.
Now comes the tricky part: since we're putting the files in our own location, we'll need to edit the cr2 file to "point" to these files. Not to worry, though, it's not as scary as it sounds.
Open the cr2 file in a text editor, but NOT a word processor (such as Microsoft Word)- word processors may add additional formatting characters, which we don't want.
Once the cr2 file is open, we need to check the version number of the file. This number needs to match your version of Poser or you'll get "A newer version number was found. Poser will attempt to read the file anyway." error message.
Look at the fourth line for the version number:
Change the number to match your version of Poser
set it to 4.0 if you are using Poser 4 or Pro Pack
set it to 5.0 if you are using Poser 5.
Just below the "version" information, you'll see a line similar to this:
This is the "reference pointer" to the geometry obj file.
Let's change it to point to the new folder that contains the obj file. Highlight this line from "Runtime" to just before the name of the file. Then, paste in the folder name (that you copied from Window Explorer's Address bar, earlier). Then, replace the slash "\" with a color ":" The process looks like this:
Step 1: (original line)
Step 2: (after pasting in the folder name)
figureResFile C:\Program Files\Poser4\Runtime\Geometries\VickyClothing\blDress1.obj
Step 3: (editing out everything before the word "Runtime")
Step 4: (replace the slash "\" with the colon ":")
Note: unlike the "pointer" lines in the material section of the cr2, this line does not require quotes around the file name.
Next, highlight the entire "figureResFile" line and Copy it- we'll use it again in a minute.
Scroll down a few lines and you'll find a second "figureResFile" line (or search for the next occurrence of the word, "obj"). Highlight this entire line and Paste the line we just copied.
Save the cr2 file, but do not close it- we'll work on the materials' texture section in a minute.
Now, let's extract the texture files:
Go to your Runtime\Textures folder and choose a folder. Like the previous steps, you can use either an existing folder or create a new one. Again, for example, let's create a new folder called "VickyClothing". Extract the jpg files by dragging from WinZip to the Windows Explorer folder.
Like the geometry file, we'll need the folder name of the texture files. So, make note of the folder name or highlight Explorer's Address Bar and hit "Copy" (right-click > Copy or hit Ctrl+C).
Next, we'll need to edit the cr2 file's references to these texture files.
So, switch back to the cr2 file and go all the way to the end of the file (hit Ctrl+End). You'll see the materials section.
Replace the map information as you did with the geometry lines:
textureMap "C:\Program Files\Metacreations\Poser4\Runtime\Libraries\Textures\PlaidTexture.jpg
Remember to make sure that the path name starts from "Runtime" and that there are colons ":" and not slashes "\". Also keep in mind that there may be map information for the texture map, the transparency map, the reflection map, or even the bump map.
Also, be sure to include quotes " before and after the name of the file (before the colon before the word "Runtime" and after the file extension, in this case, "jpg").
And, while you're editing the materials section of the cr2 file, you can remove any references to maps that are not included in the zip file. Yes, this actually happens: people give away the figure, but forget to include texture maps. This is what causes Poser to give the infamous "Texture not found. Do you want to continue looking?" error message.
Poser 4 users may also want to check for bump maps (the BUM files). Sometimes these files are included in jpg format and need to be converted before loading the figure. If you load the figure before the BUM files exist, you'll get an error that the file was not found... or Poser could seem like it's locked up while trying to find the missing file.
You may want to get into the habit of ALWAYS checking cr2 files for correct references before you add them to your Poser scene. Some files may contain "bad" referencing information like:
I don't even have an "E" drive on my computer! If I tried to load this figure, Poser would either look for an "E" drive or use the first "dress.jpg" file that it found... or even give the "Texture not found" error.
Anyway, let's get back to the cr2 file. While we're editing, let's have a little fun. Too many figures still have "generic" names, such as "Figure 1", "Figure 2", etc. (yes, even the new Poser 5 figures have these kinds of names!).
Scroll up a few lines (above the materials section) until you see a section starts with the word, "figure", like this:
name Figure 5
(Note: your file may look slightly different, but the important part is the line with the word, "name", on it.)
If your cr2 file has a name like "Figure 5", change it to something with more meaning. We could call this figure "OpenCollarDress" or "StylizedDress" or whatever, but for this example, we'll call it "VickyDress":
Step 1: (before)
name Figure 5
Step 2 (after)
Okay, then, that's the end of editing the cr2 file. You can now save and close the cr2 file.
If your zip file includes MAT poses, repeat the same process as editting the cr2: extract the files into a folder of your choice, open the MAT poses in a text editor, replace the version number, and change the references to the texture maps.
Since we are all done editing and extracting files, you can close all of the open programs: the text editor, WinZip, and Windows Explorer. This is optional, though- you can leave these open if you want.
Now, for the test: go ahead and open Poser and add the new figure to your scene.
This process also works well if Poser is open, but you have close the Library that you are installing the new figure into. In other words, if you are installing this figure to the VickyClothing folder, be sure to switch to either another Figure Library or the Poses Library. This is because Poser doesn't "see" the new object until the Library folder is re-opened. If you add a figure to a Library that is open, it won't cause any problems with Poser, but you may panic if you don't see the thumbnail.
So, there you go! All of your files are in the folders where YOU want them... and Poser should run faster since you told the cr2 files exactly where to find the files it needs.