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Finishing Touches in Poser by Matt Warr

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  • Finishing Touches in Poser by Matt Warr

    So you’ve made your character. Morphed him to perfection. The skin texture is great and the clothing texture is great. However, when you render it, it lacks bite. Something is missing or wrong.

    There are a few things you need to do before you “Finalise” a poser and do the final render.

    Focal Length
    The default camera, which Poser loads, gives a horrible fish-eye effect. One of the best things to do is set its focal length. Click your camera so you can see its properties (So your dials are showing the camera info). On the top dial will be “Focal length”. Pull it so the dial reads between 85 and 90. The figure should look a lot better proportioned.

    One set of lighting will never look good for every character you do. It may be a good base set, but it will always need some tweaking for each character. And for the love of god… NEVER use the Poser default!

    Firstly, ensure that “Cast Shadows” is turned on. This does exactly what it says on the tin, and makes the image a LOT more realistic. From there, you really need to fiddle with the lights and render each image until you get a good rig, which works. There is no “correct” way of lighting, but you will know when you see it. Look at the shadows, look at the body definition. Can you see any definition? If not, they are too bright. But always light your posers correctly. They make or break an image.

    If you find a Stock Pose that works for your character, you will be a very, very lucky. However, you will be able to use it as a base to work from.

    Before making your final render, you should look at the pose and analyse it. Does it look comfortable? The best way you can check that is by getting in the pose yourself. How do you feel? Does it hurt? Adjust the pose until it feels comfortable and translate the changes to the poser. Be sure to look at the pose from all angles, not just the angle you’ll be rendering from. Keep fiddling until your happy.

    Another thing to watch for when posing is MUSCLE BLEED. This is when it looks like parts of the body are merging with another. A common case of this is when the arms bleed in with the “Lats” (Muscles on the side of your back). Make any necessary adjustments in order to prevent this occurring. If you can’t prevent it occurring, you can always adjust the pose/camera angle so you can’t see where it bleeds .

    Camera Angle
    Sure, you could use the bog standard “Looking straight at the character”, but it just isn’t dynamic. You’ve spent all this time morphing, texturing, posing and lighting… It is a complete waste of time if you render from head on. The render will look flat and lifeless.

    Always apply some kind of angle. Whatever it is. Even if it’s only a couple of degree’s either way… It will show off your morphing and lighting by creating some fantastic areas of light and shade (If lit correctly!).

    Just because you shouldn’t have the camera look straight at the character, doesn’t mean the character can’t look back at the camera. Feel free to twist the head, neck and/or eyes to look at it if you want him to.

    This is really simple, but really underused. Make sure that the hands fit the pose. For example, if the arms are crossed, make sure the fingers are flush with the arm on which it rests. Make any amendments to the hands to get them as close to actually touching (Without it bleeding) as possible.

    If it’s an angry pose, why not use fists? Things like that are subtle, but they work.

    When you have some hand poses, add them to your library. Go to your hands and add a new category for your stuff. Click the little + symbol and name it. Then choose which hand you are adding. Then you can reuse this as often as you want.

    My final tip is to never rush a poser. You can ALWAYS tell when something has been just thrown together as opposed to somebody actually working hard to create a great image.

    Don’t be afraid to try things out. Render it as many times as you need to until your happy. Try different poses, lighting, camera angles, and see what works. You’ll soon be remembering these things, and it will get easier.

    Hope this tutorial helps.