…Or 10 Things I wish I knew before wasting many hours doing the wrong things modeling Poser Clothes!
- Back-up Everything you create.
- There is an easy way to make MAT Poses.
- Remove IK (Inverse Kinematics) Chains from your clothes.
- Use Morph Manager.
- The Hierarchy Editor is your friend.
- Don’t fear the Set-Up Room.
- Joint Parameters are important.
- Make your model at actual size.
- UV maps will save you time.
- Learn to use Python.
Follow these tips and you will save yourself a great deal of time. Below is a more detailed breakdown of what each of these things mean.
1. Backup Everything you create
Many-a-time I have been saved from destroying weeks-worth of work by retrieving a backup I made earlier. As a Unix Geek using a MAC, I have set up rsync and crontab for this purpose. The new Mac OS v10.5 eliminates the need for this hack. At any rate whatever your operating system, ALWAYS BACKUP!
2.There is an Easy Way to make MAT poses
Material or MAT Poses are convenient method for adding different color materials to clothes. The easiest way to make these files is by creating a material collection (in Poser 6 or 7 extension mc6) or a single material file (in Poser 5, 6 or 7 extension mt5) in Poser’s Material Room. Change one line in these files using a text editor (on my Mac I use XCode). For mt5 “actor $CURRENT” should be changed to “figure”. For mc6 “mtlCollection” should also be “figure”. Close the file and save it with the extension pz2. You’re done.
3. Remove IK (Inverse Kinematics) Chains from your clothes.
This tip will save you hassles when you apply MAT poses. I ran into a situation where every time I applied a MAT pose it moved the clothing that I had applied it to. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I now know that IK Chains were to blame. IK is only really needed for giving realistic bends to figures. For conforming Clothes this isn’t necessary; the clothes bend with the figure. Read tip #5 to find out how to remove IK Chains.
4. Use Morph Manager.
Try as I might, there is no better tool for adding and removing morphs from poser figures than Morph Manager. On a Mac you can run Morph Manager using VMWare Fusion and a LEGAL copy of Windows.
5. The Hierarchy Editor is your friend.
I found the Hierarchy editor very useful for removing Full Body Morphs (this isn’t done so well by Morph Manager) and renaming parts of figures. At present you are stuck working one part at a time, which makes it less useful if you have to change say 50 morphs but it does work. To use the Hierarchy Editor, first switch to the Set-Up room. Then select Window -> Hierarchy Editor. Here you can delete IK Chains (Tip #3) or bones.
6. Don’t Fear the Set-Up Room.
The Set-Up Room allows you to adjust Joint parameters and re-assign parts of figures to new groups. You can even turn imported wavefront objects (*.OBJ) into figures using the Set-Up room. For anyone making Poser Clothes, this is the MOST useful feature of Poser. Learn to use it well.
7. Joint Parameters are important.
With some 3-D models, the joints are such that modelling clothes for them can be quite tricky. Victoria 4 has an issue regarding bending her legs near the hip (the unfortunately named “crotch issue”). Mastering Joint Parameters will prevent some of these issues.
8. Make your model at actual size.
You will thank yourself when it comes time to import your clothing into Poser. I use Shade 8 Which has a PoserFusion feature for Importing Poser Figures. I model my clothes around a figure in the correct size and location it should appear when it becomes finished Poser Clothing. I can then import it into Poser with all import options turned OFF.
9. UV maps will save you time.
Modeling clothes can be time consuming. Transparency Maps, Bump Maps and Displacement Maps can save time. For example, instead of creating the ribs in an a sweater, a bump map painted in Photoshop can give the impression of ribs in a sweater. UV Maps are basically flattened out versions of a model; like a map of the Globe flattened onto a sheet. UV Mapper is one inexpensive program that can be used to create UV Maps but there are many others (BodyPaint, Blender, ZBrush., etc.).
10. Learn to Use Python.
Without Python, I literally would not have time to sleep when creating 3-D Models. Python allows me to automate the creation of Full Body Morphs and Renders. I can sleep while the computer works. It’s a nice arrangement. Poser comes with a manual on Poser specific Python commands. You can also look at the following sites for ideas on how to use Python with Poser: