Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Noir Style Tutorial, Pt. 3 - Figure Limitations

Before going any further, I need to mention a few important things about this workflow and how it will be addressed in this tutorial.
  • This is an intermediate tutorial. You already need to have a basic understanding of Poser before you will benefit from the material we're about to cover. Specifically, you need to know:
    • How to load a figure
    • How to find clothing/items in the Library
    • How to open the Materials Room and select/edit a texture
    • How to adjust render dimensions
    • How to adjust render settings
    • How to move lights and modify their properties
    • How to render an image and export it as a PNG
  • You also need to understand the basic limitations of selection a figure for use in Poser. Simply put, you cannot use any of the Genesis figures and their derivatives. Although there are scripts and workarounds, I'm not going to address them. For my work, I am limited to using the following figures:
    • P4 Male ("Dork") and P4 Femal ("Posette")
    • Michael 1 - 4 (and all derivative characters, including Elite)
    • David 1 - 4 (and all his spawn)
    • Hiro (thru version 4)
    • The Kids 1-4
    • Victoria 1 - 4 (and all her related figures, including Stephanie, Aiko and The Girl)
    • Poser Native Figures like: Paul, Pauline, Rex, James, Ben, Jesse, Katie, various toon figures like Rex, Alpha Man, Beta Boy, Gamma Girl, etc. 
    • Hivewire Figures like Dawn and Dusk, Baby Luna, etc.
    • LoRez figures by Predatron
    • Apollo Maxiumus
    • A wide variety of animals, toons, robots, and assorted figures
    • In other words, I'm "limited" to using a huge assortment of figures that are POSER NATIVE. Genesis figures are by Daz3D, and they require a lot of work and tweaking to use properly in Poser.
  • The same thing applies to props, although the Daz Studio DSON importer plug-in usually does a pretty good job of converting Daz clothes and scenery for use in Poser.
  • You can also use FBX (that is to say, game props that were designed for use in Unity and other game engines)
  • Likewise, you can import a lot of OBJ, 3D Max and Lightwave props.
Poser Males - Image created for me by Seliah (Childe of Fyre)
in 2014 as a favor and used by permission.
As you can see from the picture above, I'm hardly "limited" by my options. I have dozens of figures to choose from and thousands of clothing and prop options available.

Now, those of you who have been using Poser and Daz Studio for a long time might be tempted to immediately stop right here. After all, even though Michael 4 and Victoria 4 were immensely popular figures and people are still creating new content for them, they are more than 10 years old and lack modern features like weight mapping and other fancy stuff. Truthfully, if I were creating photo-realistic renders, I would move on to Daz Studio and focus on the latest Genesis figures. But we're not working with photorealism. We're working with the more abstract, and far more forgiving, realm of geometric shapes. 
Michael 3 is an old figure, but with a few morphs and some
texture work, he still creates a stunning noir comic figure.
As you will see, geometry is king and the output format of comics/line art is very forgiving. So, as you experienced Poser / Daz Studio users move on, you're actually going to have to unlearn a few things about textures and bump maps and dare to follow me into the shadows of the noir comics world.

UPDATE [08-16-2017]: I started researching the age of some of these old figures, and got a lot of help from people over at the Daz 3D forums. If you're interested in following our discussion (and hopefully, future updates, you can do so here:

NEXT TIME: Inspiration

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