A Conversation for On Being an Artist's Model

"Poser" - Computer Characters

Post 1

Steve K.

I realize many artists will not be impressed, but the computer program "Poser" from Curious Labs is popular with some artists and animators. Starting out as a digital replacement for the artist's mannequin, it is now in version 4 and allows sophisticated "character animation" similar to the movie "Toy Story". Examples can be found at the website for Renderosity (I can't type it, but its what you would expect), especially in the link to Catharina Przezak's work for portrait type art. This artist does very impressive embellishment of "Poser" renderings in a paint program. The third party vendor Daz3D (standard website name) provides very realistic characters, e.g. with dozens of "morphs" (geometry adjustments) for the head alone (age, shape, mouth position, etc., etc.) and realistic "skin textures".

A few hundred dollars for the basic program, its a pretty good value. And there are plugins available that allow character animation in the high end packages Lightwave and 3D Max.


"Poser" - Computer Characters

Post 2


I have looked in to this and though it has its merits nothing can beat having a live model in front of your easel. The interaction with her/him is a large part of the process. I am still considering purchasing poser but....well I prefer a life-sized figure myself.

I am impressed but not convinced that it's the thing for me.

"Poser" - Computer Characters

Post 3

Steve K.

Understood. I've taken some drawing courses from good instructors, I think they would agree. The emphasis was always on how to "see" your subject.

I've never used Poser for drawing or painting. For me, it's become an animation tool, where the props, lighting, camera motion, story, etc., are at least as big a part of the project as the characters. The program seems to appeal especially to fantasy fans, since its fairly simple to create "other-world" figures. A visit to the Daz3D website (Poser characters, props, etc.) gives a pretty good sampling.

"Poser" - Computer Characters

Post 4


I've always considered that a big part of drawing is converting something 3-d into 2d. The experience of drawing is a little like translating the movement of your eyes over a model into the sensation of running your hands over them, or the movement of your drawing impliment on your surface - it's known as Kinaetsthesia - touch sense.

Whilst poser is fantastic, I don't think it can replace a real life model. There's no parralax on a computer screen for a start - you aren't seeing stereoscopically - at best you could consider it 2.5 d, or an inredibly good trompe l'oeil. It's a very good 2d representation of a 3-d object!

You're also only seeing a 'skin' over a wireframe. I was lucky enough to study anatomical drawing too - you would not beleive the complexity of planes and surfaces that are created by the movement of muscle blocks beneath the skin. A computer model can be a 'best guess' at this internal complexity, at most - unless you're lucky enough to have some kind of Cray supercomputer in your basement... smiley - smiley

Also, texture has always been important to me in drawing - translating that into the way you make marks. Computer generated stuff still hasn't quite got texture mapping right. There's something fascinating about the sheer variety of real life models, too...

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"Poser" - Computer Characters

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