Care to share some hints, tips, tricks, etc.?

I'm pretty new at it, but have been having a blast making 3D renders that look startlingly realistic!

(Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this, but other than the lounge, I don't see a more fitting place).

I don't use Poser Duncan, but a number of our artists do. I've dug up a few bits which should help you from various postings they've made:

As for learning Poser, my approach to it was the same as with all other software: jump in and fool around. If I want to do something and can't find out how, then I go surfing for information.

One tip right from the start: don't try to use the tools across the top of the document window to move body parts. You'll quickly get confused and frustrated. Instead, use the parameter dials for each body part to move in X (left-right), Y (up-down), and Z (front-back). It may be a bit more tedious this way at first, but it's the only way to achieve precise posing. Eventually, you'll reach the point where you actually type the numbers in.

DAZ and R'sity are good for products (though I actually buy very little from DAZ; too expensive for the most part). DAZ has a few tutorials in the "Arcana" section, R'sity has a few too, but I don't know how useful they are. Seems to me (and I could be wrong) that most of the real gurus hang out at - but there, you have to have the patience to plow through forums.

PoserPros is also a great place to pick up low cost Poser items. Everything that is listed as "ProClub" sells for $2.50, and some of the items are far superior to similar items which sell for $10-$20 elsewhere.

Another excellent source for 3D stuff is - they have tons of nature items, which I love to scatter about in some of my images. :-)

Once you get the hang of Poser, you'll want to move on the decent 3D (human) figures. The ones that ship with Poser 4 and 5 are pretty pathetic. And that means buying them from DAZ. I strongly suggest that you not buy the latest just because it's the latest. Newer doesn't always mean better. Specifically, Michael 3 is, well, just bad. Waste of money. IMO anyway. I'm not much used to working with the female figures so I can't help much in comparing Victoria 2 to 3.

Oh, before I forget! Please make sure you install the latest service releases for Poser 5 from Curious Labs. Without them, the program is VERY unstable.

[R'sity = -Mike]

One more tip: every time you download something, be it a prop, figure, anything, free or paid, also save a thumbnail or promo image of the product and give it the same name as the file.

Once you have installed the item, move the original download file and the image into an archive area, which should be structured. That is, all figures together, but separate from clothing, props, hair, poses, and so on. Once you have archived enough to fill a CD, move it all to CD and start a fresh archive.

This way, should something evey happen to your PC, you will be able to recover all your items from their original files, and when you go hunting for specific things, if the file name doesn't help identify it, you'll have the promo image to look at.

One person over at R'tica recently suffered a major computer crash, and had to reinstall everything. Sadly, she hadn't archived her purchases. One company is charging her $25 for the "right" to re-download the stuff she already paid for.

Make a habit of prowling the big site that offer freebies, and download stuff, even if you don't see and immediate use for it. Freebies have a tendancy to disappear after a while, and the day may come when you're just desperate for something you saw a few months ago.

what I do is to create folders on my hard drive, and then move them all to CD once I have collected enough files. So I create folder something like this:

- 3D Stuff
- - Figures
- - Clothing
- - - Male
- - - Female
- - Poses
- - - Male
- - - - Michael 2
- - - - Michael 3
- - - Female
- - Props
- - - Household
- - - Nature
- - - Clothing

And so on. You should sort the lowest levels in whatever way makes sense to you, so you can find things quickly.

I usually break down the Figures folder as well, since the new DAZ figures usually come in several files and I like to keep them all together, and not muddled with the others. So under Figures, I have Michael 2, Michael 3, David, Victoria 3, and so on.

Backing up a bit... when you download things, you can save them temporarily to your desktop. Once you have installed the contents of the files, you should move them away from the desktop and put them either directly onto CD or onto your hard drive.

Of course, if you don't want to install them right away, but just downloaded something because you think it might be useful in the future, then you don't have to install right away. That's why i suggested saving a thumbnail image as well, to make things easier to identify when you go hunting 6 months later.

Note: DAZ is not the only source for 3D items. In fact, the only thing I buy from them anymore are human figures. I find DAZ to be pricey, but also, since so many people buy there, whatever they make quickly becomes commonplace.

My favorite site for 3D Poser items is RDNA. They have many things which you simply can't get anywhere else, especially when it comes to nature items (fields of grasses, wildflower, trees, ferns, butterflies, and so on), and unique architecture (Khmer and New World temples, for instance). Plus their prices are amazingly low.

Aside from them, the best place to shop is Renderosity. All of their items are third party, so you'll find huge variation is quality and pricing. But they also have a huge selection.

And the third place I check out regularly is Poser Pros. Their Pro Club items are interesting, at $2.49 each. Some of these are superb value for money.

One final place I should mention is 3D Commune, but I have never bought from there so I can't say much.

As far as merchants go, I've already mentioned RDNA. Another you can't go wrong with is DM Productions. Their sets are generally fantasy, and always highly unique and imaginative. And the quality is superb. Plus you get not only textures, but usually sets of poses, a large variety of light presets, and other goodies thrown in.

You may have just started me on a path that is a LOT cheaper than what I've been doing!

I've spent...way too much money. ^^;

I have: Daz Vicky 2,3, Steph 3 petite, Steph, Millenium Kids (boy and girl), Mike, (waste of my money, the Poser male looks far better), Koshini, a bunch of the Daz animals, and will be getting The Girl soon. I have dozens ouf outfits for all but the Millenium kids, (Finding worthwhile clothes for them has been real rough, and much of what I have bought refuses to fit well, skin shows through clothing when you 'pose' them).

I'll give a look to PoserPro's, as I could use a cheaper resource, (and my wallet has been wallet-LITE for too long now).

Your tips are good, though I have a question on one issue. (btw, good tip on using dials to move limbs/body parts, I figured that out the first night and never looked back!).

My question is: I have all the lastest updates for Poser, it's been pretty stable, except in one issue: Pop up boxes looking for 'textures' if I move things around like you've shown. I had sorted all my props, poses, and characters just like you've shown. What happens is, when I go to load a MAT in Poses, it usually cannot find the textures for them, and pops up a dialog box asking to locate it. What happens is if there is more than one rexture it needs to find, it goes 'out to lunch', and eventually, if you are lucky, another dialog box will pop up asking for the next texture it cannot find. However, sometimes that box never comes up. Darnedest thing is, often, if I tab in and out a bunch of times, I can get the box to pop up, it is actually there! It just doesn't come where I can see it. Sometimes it just doesn't come up.

This is the most annoying thing I've had happen with Poser, and in the end, I had to put all my objects, (I have every free object you can get at Renderosity for example), poses and all back where they were to stop all these dialogs from making it near impossible to do anything.

Of course, this slows Poser down to a crawl anytime you want to move around that huge menu...

Thanks for the advice on storing my stuff, I keep all my zips burnt to CD. I also keep a copy of my full Runtime folder, and am considering weeding out the stuff I have installed into a secondary save folder, where I can move things into poser as needed. (Someone needs to make an organizer program that WORKS well and automatically, the one that I bought sucks, it can 'fix' the can't find texture problem I told you of when I move my stuff by reading the cr2 file, finding the texture's actual location, then putting it into the cr2, BUT, it requires clicking through each fix like 4 times for each texture, and would take me days to do my whole library. *sigh*

Anyway, thanks for all this, I'm gonna reread it all and commit it to memory.

Glad you found it useful Duncan :) I'll post the URL of this thread in our artists' forum and ask one of them to drop by and answer your Qs.