Poser ProI’ve had the privilege of reviewing the past few versions of Poser and been pleased with the content and improvements made from the previous versions. Well, the newest version, Poser Pro, is no exception. The new enhancements left me with a big smile on my face and just so you know, Poser Pro is targeted at users who want to take their creativity and work to another level.

Under new direction from Smith Micro Software, Inc. (which purchased the Poser line as well as some other titles from eFrontier late last year), Poser Pro was developed with a feature set and functionality that’s geared for professional content creators in studio and production environments. This version offers pro-level application integration, as well as a 64-bit render engine, COLLADA support, and advanced network rendering, which allows users to reduce their design and production time while allowing them access to thousands of rigged and textured models.
Let’s take a look at the new features:
• Unrestrictive Network Rendering allows you to use unlimited computers/nodes to render your images. (This is limited to three nodes in the Base version. The Base version is a sidegrade option available to Poser 6 and 7 users only.)
• Queue Manager is a powerful tool that lets you manage your rendering process.
• With Background Rendering, you can work on Poser scenes in the foreground while rendering time-consuming images in the background.
• The 64-bit Firefly Render Engine takes advantage of today’s more powerful 64-bit systems.
• Gamma Control lets you specify gamma and apply the values to textures.
• Create High Dynamic Resolution Images with HDRI Support.
• Normal Mapping support is a resource-efficient technique to add the appearance of complexity and surface detail to 3D objects.
• Distributable Content is available with a set of four redistributable 3D characters to help you save production time.
• PoserFusion Plug-ins include hosting plug-in licenses for Maxon’s CINEMA 4D and Autodesk’s 3ds Max and Maya. The plug-ins let users integrate Poser Pro scene files within these production applications. (These plug-ins are not available in the Base version.)
• Full COLLADA support gives you unrestricted ability for import and export via COLLADA to assist with the integration of 3D character content and scene data into third-party applications. (Limited to export of geometry and textures in the Base version.)

Getting into the product was familiar and as usual, the interface is very intuitive. Even newbies will be up and running once they familiarize themselves with the tools and take a run through the tutorials. I can see where designers, animators, and modelers in professional environments will benefit greatly from the Pro version of Poser, as the new features rocked and integrated nicely into both Maya and Max without a problem.

Current users will find that the new features are well worth the upgrade. The network and background rendering, along with the 64-bit support, make this a must-have for anyone creating complex scenes or projects. Add to that other features, such as HDRI export, COLLADA import/export, normal mapping, and gamma correction, and this is a no-brainer for anyone wanting to create great content quickly and affordably.—Bruce Bicknell

PRICE: $499.99
FROM: Smith Micro Software, Inc.

HOT Integration with professional applications