World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Developer(s) Smith Micro Software
Initial release 1995 (1995)
Stable release Pro 2014 / May 2013
Operating system Windows, OS X
Type 3D computer graphics software
License Trialware
Website .html/

Poser is a 3D computer graphics program optimized for 3D modeling of human figures. The program has gained popularity due to allowing beginners to produce basic animations and digital images, and the extensive availability of third-party digital models.


  • Overview 1
  • Features 2
  • Usage 3
  • Library 4
  • Program history 5
  • Poser figures 6
    • Development of figures 6.1
    • Content market 6.2
    • Figure families 6.3
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Poser is a 3D rendering software package for the posing, animating and rendering of 3D polymesh human and animal figures. Akin to a virtual photography studio, Poser allows the user to load figures, props, lighting and cameras for still and animated renderings.

Natively using a subset of the Alias object (OBJ) file format and a text-based markup for content files, Poser comes with a large library of pre-rigged human, animal, robotic, and cartoon figures. The package also includes poses, hair pieces, props, textures, hand gestures and facial expressions. As Poser itself does not allow for original modeling of objects, a large community market of artists emerged, creating and selling Poser content, made using third-party software like modo, ZBrush, Blender or Autodesk 3ds Max.

Poser is available in English, Japanese, German and French for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. While Poser's interface has evolved since the product's introduction in 1995, the current Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014 preserve many of the application's interface elements so that legacy users can move into the newest version and navigate the application without relearning the program's controls.


Poser includes a library of pre-built, ready-to-use content including body and hand poses, materials, props, facial expressions, hair pieces, lights, cameras and scenes, and a Reyes-based render engine called Firefly which supports nodes for the creation of complex materials. Furthermore, it provides import of sound, image, and video files, motion capture data and 3D content for the creation of scenes or the addition of new library items. Poser exports content in many 3D formats, and rendered images and animation. The program is capable of material editing, facial photo matching, dynamic hair, dynamic cloth and new figure rigging. Online content is available. Python enables third-party developers to create additional features ranging from custom libraries, rendering engine control panels, metadata editors and utility scripts. An ecosystem of third-party content marketplaces including RuntimeDNA, DAZ3D and Renderosity also exists.


Poser is typically used to create original images featuring human figures. Artists use Poser for human renderings of medical and industrial design illustrations, editorial illustrations, information graphics, graphic novel illustrations, comics, and adult oriented pin-ups.

Poser contains basic animation capability and is regularly employed by broadcast professionals including animation staff at Fox Bones, Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, as well as in industry applications, such as the animated instructions for checkout automated machines in Albertson city`s, Save-On stores and Wal-Mart, and at least one full-length Star Trek fan-film, Star Trek: Aurora.[1] Poser characters and animations were used for early computer games from 'buddies' game creators ("Desert Rifle" games and "Cake shop" from Qi and ELEFUN(TM) game developers).

Standard Poser characters have been extensively used by European and US based documentary production teams to graphically render the human body or virtual actors in digital scenes. Humanoids printed in several science and technology magazines around the US are often Poser rendered and postworked models.


The Poser package includes many ready-to-use 3D contents that permit new users to get started without immediately needing to purchase additional content. These items are stored in Poser's drag-and-drop-enabled Library, organized by type and name, e.g. People/Ryan2. Users can save customized figures or objects into the Library to reuse those items at a later point in time. The Library also supports adding in additional "Runtimes" which are collections of content that legacy users have assembled from third party providers.

The Library includes a configurable, keyword-based Search that locates content in the Library or connected Runtimes. Content can also be added to the Library's Favorites for quick access.

The Library is set-up with categories that each include collections of similar content items:

  • Character: pre-rigged figures including anatomically accurate humans, mannikins, animals, insects, dinosaurs, cartoon characters, human anatomy such as skeletons and musculature and mechanical figures such as vehicles
  • Pose: animated and static poses for human and animals covering day-to-day activities, dancing, walking, standing and sitting, as well as action and sport poses
  • Face: includes full and partial facial expressions
  • Hair: includes prop-based transparency-mapped hair pieces, dynamic hair pieces and hair props such as mustaches or sideburns.
  • Hand: hand poses of various types such as action poses and gestures, signals, counting and American Sign Language
  • Props: includes primitives such as spheres and cylinders, clothing items grouped by character, scene props, furniture, rooms, vehicles, plants and cartoon elements
  • Lights: includes animated or static pre-set lights consisting of spotlights, infinite lights, point lights, diffuse IBL lights.
  • Cameras: includes animated or static cameras
  • Materials: includes simple and complex node-based materials
  • Scenes: full Poser scenes including a Factory, Crime Scene Lab and a modern Apartment.

Program history

Poser was created by artist and programmer Larry Weinberg, as a software replacement for artist's mannequins. Versions 1.0 and 2.0 were published by Fractal Design. In 1997, Fractal Design was acquired by MetaCreations, and Poser's interface was redesigned by MetaCreations' Phil Clevenger for release as Poser 3 in 1998. This interface has remained as the basis for all subsequent versions. In 1999, MetaCreations sold Poser to egi.sys AG, which established the subsidiary Curious Labs, with Larry Weinberg as CEO to handle Poser development and publication. Curious Labs and Poser were sold to e-frontier, in 2003. On 15 November 2007, Smith Micro Software announced the purchase of Poser, Anime Studio and Manga Studio from e-frontier.[2]

Early versions of Poser were bundled with fully clothed humanoid figures specifically designed for Poser. Next, add-on packages of human figures were sold by the manufacturer of Poser. Soon, third-party companies began creating figures which work with Poser. As clothing became separate from the humanoid figure, collections of 3D garments were created for specific models which conform to the shape and pose of the Poser figure. 'Poses' for figures were packaged and sold by the software vendor and by third parties. 'Morphs', allowing customization of body or face shape or other features, are also sold. Different skin textures, frequently combined with settings for morph technology, are marketed to allow one base model to be customized into many different 'characters'. Similarly 'texture' packages allow one garment to take on many different appearances, an animal to represent different breeds of the same species, or a vehicle to show many different color schemes.

In September 2011, Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 were simultaneously released.[3] 2011 marked the 16th year of Poser as a published software product.

On January 24, 2012, Poser Debut was released for the Mac App Store.

In May 2013 Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2014 were released, introducing Bullet Physics and subdivision surfaces.[4]

Version Release date Publisher Improvements / Notes
1.0 1995 Fractal Design
  • First release
2.0 1996 Fractal Design
  • Ability to add props
  • Animation
  • High resolution models
3.0 1998 MetaCreations
  • New user interface
  • Facial posing and animation
  • Human figures with jointed fingers.
4.0 1999 MetaCreations
  • Natural-media sketch renderer
  • Figure sculpting via deformers
  • Transparent mode for materials
  • Conforming Clothes
  • Transparency (which lead up to TransHair that increased the quality of hair sold today)
4.0.3 September 1999 Curious Labs
  • Markup path names made to use relative paths
  • Currently sold as entry level Poser Artist
Pro Pack February 2000 Curious Labs
  • Add on pack for Poser 4
  • Implementation of Python scripting,
  • Custom figure rigging
  • Ability to host Poser scenes in 3ds max, Lightwave 3d, and Cinema 4D.
  • No longer available
5.0 2003 Curious Labs
  • FireFly Reyes/ray tracing renderer
  • Dynamic hair and cloth
  • Collision detection
  • Morph Putty Tool (Interactively work with morphs)[5]
6.0 March 2005 Curious Labs ; e-frontier
  • OpenGL Hardware acceleration
  • Image-based lighting, Ambient Occlusion
  • Cartoon outline rendering effects
  • Inclusion of "Primitives" Zygote Props
  • Binary Morphs (allows you to load the morphs for a characters in a separate file linked to Cr2 resulting in faster load time in Poser)
  • Inclusion of male and female genitalia
7.0 December 2006 e-frontier
  • Simon and Sydney (new AdultG2 male and female figures)
  • Wildlife including eagle and wolf
  • Updates to Ben and Kate the Poser Child figures with new morphs, textures and rigging
  • New motion capture data, light sets, poses, and materials
  • Talk Designer for lip-sync animation
  • Multiple Undo/Redo
  • Multithreaded rendering
  • High dynamic range imaging
  • Brush morphing
  • Animation Layers
  • Universal Poses for bipedal figures, with automatic conversion of Poser 1-6 poses
  • Streamlined access to Runtime libraries
  • Universal Binary
Poser Pro May 2008 Smith Micro Software
  • Poser Pro was released adding COLLADA support and plug in support for Cinema C4d and Maya.
Poser 8 August 4, 2009 Smith Micro Software
  • 8 new characters
  • New User Interface
  • New Content Management System
  • Cross body morph tool
  • Global illumination
  • Improved OpenGL performance
  • Tone Mapping and exposure control
  • Normal Mapping
  • Wardrobe Wizard
  • Performance optimizations
  • wxPython support
Poser Pro 2010 March 10, 2010 Smith Micro Software

Enhanced User Interface

  • 8 new human figures with advanced rigging
  • Full set of legacy figures
  • Over 2.5 GB included content
  • Keyword and online content search
  • Parameter change indicator
  • Joint strength indicator
  • Recent render palette
  • StuffIt Connect image export
  • Facebook image export

Professional Art and Animation Tools

  • Full body part morph import
  • Auto-conform drag and drop
  • Conform with scaling
  • Updated PoserFusion Hosting plug-ins
  • Dynamic cloth and strand based hair
  • Improved OpenGL real-time scene preview
  • Face Room
  • WalkDesigner and TalkDesigner
  • Dependent Parameters Tool
  • Improved joint rigging system
  • Cross Body Part Morph Tool
  • Wardrobe Wizard Tool
  • wxPython support

Refined Lighting and Rendering Tools

  • HDRI Export
  • Gamma correction for linear rendering
  • Normal mapping
  • PSD layer rendering
  • Network rendering
  • 64 bit render engine
  • Indirect Lighting for Global Illumination
  • Physically correct light falloff
  • Tone mapping and exposure
Poser Debut February 13, 2011 Smith Micro Software
  • 80 fully rigged, fully posable, 3D characters
  • Includes 2 GB of content
  • In-app Project Guide teaches how to use Poser with video
  • Drag and drop content from Library
  • Poser FireFly rendering engine.
  • Poser 8 rigging system
  • OpenGL real-time scene preview
  • Supports spotlight lights, point lights and infinite lights
Poser 9 September 21, 2011 Smith Micro Software
  • Subsurface Scattering
  • Vertex Weight Map Rigging
  • In-app Project Guide
  • Expanded Context Menus
  • Multi-select Drag and Drop from Library
  • Grouping Objects
  • IDL and AO Rendering Support
  • OpenGL Scene Preview with Real-time Normal maps and Soft Shadows
  • Constraint Channels and Constraint Objects
  • Light Casting Objects
  • Tablet Support for Morph Tool
  • Rotate Object/Frame Object Camera Controls
  • Pre-render Texture Caching
  • Python 2.7 Support
  • Mac OS 10.7 Lion Support
Poser Pro 2012 September 21, 2011 Smith Micro Software
  • Includes all new features in Poser 9
  • Vertex Weight Map Creation Tools
    • Weight Map Auto-Transfer
    • Weight Map Creation
    • Weight Map Painting with Tablet Support
  • Poser Fusion Plug-ins
    • Lightwave
    • CINEMA 4D
    • Autodesk Maya
    • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • COLLADA import/export
  • Import Full Body Morph
Poser 10[6] Smith Micro Software
  • Includes all new features in Poser 9
  • Magnet and deformer weight map painting tools
  • Pixar subdivision surfaces
  • Bullet physics for rigid and soft body and hair dynamics
  • Cartoon preview
  • Magnet and deformer weight maps
  • Material compound nodes
  • Ray tracing preview pane
  • New human figures
Poser Pro 2014[6] Smith Micro Software
  • Includes all new features in Poser 10 and Poser Pro 2012
  • Fitting room
  • Copy morphs from figure to figure
  • Display hidden channels
  • Change calculation order of channels
Poser Pro Game Dev[7] Smith Micro Software
  • Includes all features of Poser Pro 2014
  • Polygon Reduction tools
  • FBX Import/Export
  • Unseen Polygon Removal
  • Kinect for Windows® Support
  • Updated content distribution licensing to allow for use in and distribution via games.

Poser figures

Poser's specially designed figures are commonly known as Poser Figures, Poser Models, Poser Content, Digital Actors, or Digital Puppets. Early versions of Poser were bundled with fully clothed humanoid figures specifically designed for the then-current version of Poser. Next, add-on packages of human figures were sold by the manufacturer of Poser. Soon, third party companies began creating figures which work with Poser. As clothing became separate from the humanoid figure, collections of 3D garments were created for specific models which conform to the shape and pose of the Poser figure. 'Poses' for figures were packaged and sold by the software vendor and by third parties. 'Morphs' allowing customization of body or face shape or other features are also for sale. Skin textures, frequently combined with settings for morph technology, are marketed to allow one base model to be customized into many 'characters'; similar 'texture' packages allow one garment to take on many appearances, an animal to represent different breeds of the same species, or a vehicle to show many colour schemes.

Development of figures

Each major release of Poser has come with a new generation of figures for use with the tool, however separate figures rapidly became available as the content market developed. Notably Zygote (later DAZ 3D) made a Poser model of a young woman, higher-resolution than Posette, and called her "the Millennium Girl". Poser users often colloquially shortened this name to "Millie". Zygote, disliking this name, officially named her Victoria, which is often colloquially shortened to Vicky. Victoria then became the initial member of a large family of figures which has developed across four generations of technology. After they merged with Gizmoz in late 2009, DAZ 3D released all their Poser figures as free downloads, but withdrew the free versions of their pre-Genesis figures when genesis was released.

Content market

Because Poser figures are very inexpensive and useful for commercial illustrators, an entire cottage industry has developed to create and market Poser figures and other content. The market is a combination of several large distributors, who often also develop products, and of individual artists who often use one or more of the larger distributors to handle the sale of their products. Both the distributors and individual artists are involved in the creation of Poser figures, clothing, poses, morphs, textures and characters.

Figure families

Rather than unconnected single figures, Poser figures are now generally produced as families of models linked by technology generation and creator. Certain add-on products, most often poses and skin textures, but including some clothing models, may be usable across more than one model within a family, but in general are not usable across different generations of the same model. Examples of notable families of models are:

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • History of Poser
  • Poser at DMOZ
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.