With its easy workflow, excellent support and fine content library, Poser has benefited from a growing army of followers, throwing up a genuine alternative to the mid-market appeal of DAZ Studio.
However, Version 7 was something of a let down, bearing few new features and only a minor performance bump. So there’s a lot resting on Version 8.
Poser 8 is a 3D modelling and painting application designed for quick, hassle-free character creation, and thankfully Smith Micro has addressed the program's biggest issues head on. It executes this mainly with a new CMS – which makes it far easier to search the excellent model library – and the new Cross-Body Part Morph tool.
The latter of these in particular sees a significant workflow improvement. In Version 7, artists were forced to manipulate and sculpt individual limbs and elements, locking them unless morphing the entire character. The Cross-Body Part Morph tool breaks this hold. Now, should a limb need some extra muscle definition midway through, it’s simply a case of selecting it, or any other elements, and editing their parameters independently.
The interface has undergone an overhaul too, keeping Poser’s excellent tab-based workspace system, and incorporating a CMS for the bundled library assets. This is a great addition, and makes searching, finding and choosing models and elements easy. You can search via keywords, or similarities, while an editable favourites list keeps regularly used items close.
Productivity-wise, rendering times and the OpenGL Preview have been significantly enhanced. Working on a 4GB equipped machine, Poser eased through a real-time preview of a heavily lit and textured model, giving precise feedback. This is a huge benefit and a welcome addition to Poser.
Elsewhere two new fall-off zones – Spherical and Capsule – raise Poser’s pro stakes, while a new Wardrobe Wizard mimics DAZ Studio’s Morph Follower in quickly adjusting morphs of clothing and textures to fit models.
Overall, version 8 of Poser had a lot to catch up on, and with this release it’s almost up to the level of DAZ Pro Studio and other 3D modelling options.