Secrets of Figure Creation with Poser 5
||Author: B. L. Render|
List Price: $44.99
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: Focal Press (August, 2003)
Sales Rank: 20,782
Average Customer Rating: 3 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 3 out of 5
From the Author:
(I won't bias the rating; I'll give it an average score.)
=====Figure Theory and Practice:
The layout of the book covers a lot of abstract theory. The "practice" sections of the book had to be cut from print and placed as tutorial files on the CD, due to space limitations. I decided to put the step-by-step instructions on the CD, because they should only be needed once or twice. After you follow the steps on the demonstration models, you can apply the techniques to any model. The theory is in the book, because whatever you are working on, you may need to look something up on how to design joints or how to handle potential pitfalls in the mesh or figure construction.
The tons of theory may be helpful if you've ever tried working on customizing figures, but if you have never attempted it before, it can become confusing.
If you need to go through the whole process of figure creation, from beginning to end, use the base Norn sample figure. There are instructions in the Introduction chapter on how to follow through the process, in order, with the Norn.
Once you are more familiar with the whole process, you can read through the deep theory sections to find out why things work they way they do, and apply the theories to your own work.
The central chapter, on the CR2 and other library files, is meant to be a reference for advanced figure designers. Don't try to read through it, or you'll fall asleep! (Or get a headache!) If you end up editing Poser library files, you may wonder what a control is, what it does, and what you can do with it. When this happens, you can consult the CR2 reference chapter.
The "practice" portion of this chapter is included in the text, not the CD, because again, it is something you will want to refer to time and time again. Whenever you need to slave dials to one another or swap geometry, etc., you can flip to that section in the book for the proper code sequence to use.
=====What This Book Covers:
This book covers Poser 3 through 5, including the Pro Pack. While newer versions add tools and methods to the figure creation process (the hierarchy editor and the Setup Room), the basic methods are still valid (and, in my personal opinion, still the best).
Topics include designing the figure mesh object. This topic is very generalized, as you could be building anything from a door to a nine-headed hydra.
There are the methods for "slicing" and "Poserizing" the mesh, creating the hierarchy, and adjusting the joint parameters.
There are some basic tips and methods of UV Mapping, although nothing really on texturing, except a foray into the Poser 5 Material Room.
Morphing with Magnets is covered in detail, and there is a general overview of morphs in general: how they work and when and why they fail to work.
Finally, there is the CR2 dissection, as discussed above.
Keep in mind that the chapters of the book flow in reverse order: morphing is covered first and mesh design last. This is to give you a feel for how latter stages of development must be planned for at the outset.
My favorite part of the book is the Trouble-Shooting section. This is a collection of the most common problems and questions I've answered dozens of times on the Poser forums. If something goes wrong, the reason and the solution are most likely in this section.
=====What This Book Does NOT Cover:
Modeling. This book will not teach you how to build 3D models. Poser is not a modeling application; you'll need another program. You need to have a separate application for that -- your Maya or your 3D Studio Max, or Lightwave, Rhino, Carrera, Amapi, Animation Master, Wings 3D, Nendo, Amorphium, XFrog, sPatch, Organica, Softy 3D, Blender, Nurbana, GMax, Milkshape, ZBrush, or whatever else more expensive or more obscure you may have. And to learn how to use those to make models, you need books or tutorials specifically for your particular program(s).
The other thing this book will not teach you is how to use Poser. If you do not know how to load a figure and put clothing on it; if you don't know how to pose your figure, add props and parent them; if you don't know how to adjust and edit lights, etc., this book is NOT for you.
This is my web site. Click on "The Book" in the table of contents for more information on the book, and important "addendum:" new developments that did not make it into the book.
This is a community of 2D and 3D graphic artists, photographers and writers. Visit the Character Creators forum if you have any questions on figure creation, any trouble with your figure, or any problems or questions with the book.
I am the moderator of this forum, and I will be at your beck and call for all your personal problems. (Well, those dealing with Poser, anyway!) In addition, other figure creation pros are there as well. If you have a specific problem, you can get personalized help.
Rating: 5 out of 5
GET THIS BOOK! NOW!
I've been messing with Poser for a few years. I've made my own characters with more or less success (mostly less) but with this book I finally got an idea of what all those cryptic lines in a cr2 is for.
Also the book is very well written, easy to understand, even for foreign readers as myself. If you have EVER wanted to create anything by your self for Poser, this is the book!
Rating: 5 out of 5
I have been a member of the various online Poser communities for years and I have seen B. L. Render spend hours of her time helping others successfully create content for Poser.
Creating figures for Poser is not for the faint-hearted since I've seen grown men and women cry over setting joint parameters. I have heard that it is more or an arcane art then a science. However, B. L. Render tells you all you need to know to avoid many hours of hair-pulling and banging your head against your monitor. You already need to know how to model and map a figure. If you read this book, AND follow through on the practice exercises included on the CD, you too will be able to create a poseable figure for Poser. The only way to learn is by actually trying. Reading the book alone is not going to do it for you. There is no 'one way' of 'cutting' up a figure, or setting joint parameters, etc. These are all trial-and-error processes. What works for one figure may not work for another. If the process was easy, everybody would already be doing it and there would be no need for this book.
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