MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2008 (#38)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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112 MacDirectory REVIEW | CREATIVITY POSER PRO > EVEN MORE FOR THE GRAPHICS PROFESSIONAL The latest iteration of the beloved Poser series of figure rendering and animation programs features monumentally useful and requested feature. It ought to be said that Poser Pro was developed for professional artists working in a studio environment, and as such, users who are new to the program may face considerable difficulty in navigating the interface; this is definitely an app that rewards previous experience with Poser 6 or 7. Fortunately for those users, there is a price break that acknowledges this user base. The new features make it easier for artists to create and manage content. First among these is the new network render queue, which allows the user to designate networked computers to act as dedicated rendering machines for a particular pro- ject. Thus, it's possible to finish a project many times faster than a single machine would be able to do, with multiple stations working on a single project. It's even pos- sible to set one machine to render parti- cular pieces of a project while continuing to work on a separate component with the initial machine. Making this prospect even easier is the background rendering function, which lets Poser Pro render still frames while you work on the rest of the project; no more interrupting your workflow just to check the particulars of an image. Poser Pro is the first version of Poser to utilize the power of the newer 64-bit operating systems, such as Leopard and Vista. The updated Firefly rendering engine is able to take advantage of as much system memory as possible to render projects more quickly and more efficiently. Poser Pro will automatically select either the 32- or 64-bit versions of Firefly, depending upon the hardware being used at render time. Also new to the Poser series is the ability to output scenes as HDRI images. HDRI, or High Dynamic Range Image, is a format that enables the accurate representation of the full range of light levels in a particular scene, which means brighter lights and deeper shadows, thus resulting in more lifelike pictures. Poser Pro also features powerful new texture editing tools, helping you manage your detailed project even easier than ever. With its new gamma correction tool, you'll be able to define the gamma per each texture in an image, meaning that you can ensure proper color and luminance values for any given display. Normal mapping, also new to the Poser series, is a way to add to the details of a 3D object without adding render- intensive geometry. With the new PoserFusion plug-ins, it's now possible to add Poser content to outside 3D applications such as Maya, 3ds Max, CINEMA 4D, and soon, Lightwave. This is a huge boon for artists who prefer Poser's animation tools to those of the aforementioned programs. All pose, texture, animation, camera, lights and other information is retained in the imported file, and it's just as easy to return to the original file to make changes and re-import the update. Finally, the COLLADA import/export standard has been integrated with Poser Pro. This is a standard that allows the user to export Poser data into another 3D application, including geometry, textures, cameras, and lights. If you use a 3D program that doesn't support PoserFusion, yet does recognize the COLLADA standard, then you're in for a wonderful surprise. Poser Pro is absolutely the culmination of the desires of every graphics professional working in a networked studio environ- ment. The entire production pipeline has been given a host of tools to make work easier and more efficient than ever. WORDS BY KEONI CHAVEZ Product Poser Pro Made by Smith Micro Price $499.99; $199.99 for Poser 6/7 users Pros Fantastic new features that will speed up and amplify professional use Cons Poser 7 still recommended for the novice or casual user Rating HHHHH

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