REVIEW MAY 15 , 2001
Labs Poser Pro Pack
One of the other major selling points of Poser is its ability to create animations very easily. And in this area the program excels. To create an animation, you can simply move parts of an object around and add a keyframe. Move forward in the timeline, change a position or camera angle, and Poser handles everything in between for you. You can also select animations from a modest library of moves, as well as a couple of libraries for designing walks for your characters.
In terms of output, you couldn't really consider Poser to have a terribly sophisticated render engine. But it compensates for this with a few pretty useful output options. For example, it does a really nice job with cartoon shading, allowing to to select the number of colors for larger or smaller files and even for creating duotone, tritone and quadtone effects. It also has a "Sketch Designer," which allows you to render in one of several preset sketch styles or styles that you've created yourself. The presets include things like soft charcoal, pastel, pencil and even pencil and ink. Unfortunately, you can't render sketches as Flash animations, but you can output them as QuickTime files. The reason for this is that each stroke is drawn individually and differently on every frame, creating a look that suggests hand drawing.
The Poser Pro Pack is available for Macintosh and Windows for $149. It requires Poser 4, which is available for $219. (Upgrades from Poser 1, 2 or 3 cost $99.) For more information, visit http://www.curiouslabs.com.
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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, ProAudio.net and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.