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Developer(s)Smith Micro Software
Stable releasePro 2014 / May 2013
Operating systemWindows, OS X
Type3D computer graphics software
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Developer(s)Smith Micro Software
Stable releasePro 2014 / May 2013
Operating systemWindows, OS X
Type3D computer graphics software

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.


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 merchants and artists creating, selling and marketing third-party Poser content emerged, but these new models are usually crafted in modo, ZBrush, Blender or Autodesk 3ds Max.

Poser is available in English, Japanese, German and French for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X platforms. Poser's interface has evolved since the product's introduction in 1995. The current Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 versions 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 comes with a library of pre-built, ready to use content including poses, materials, props, facial expressions, hand poses, hair pieces, lights, cameras and scenes. Poser includes a REYES based render engine called Firefly which supports material nodes for the creation of complex materials. Poser provides import of sound files, image files, video files, motion capture data and 3D content for the creation of Poser scenes or the creation of new Poser library items. Poser exports content in a variety of 3D formats, and rendered images and animation. Poser has a series of rooms that support for material editing, facial photo matching, dynamic hair, dynamic cloth and new figure rigging. Poser's content room provides a link to on-line content. Poser Python inside Poser enables third party developers to create a variety of additional features for Poser users ranging from custom libraries, rendering engine control panels, metadata editors and utility scripts. Poser also supports an ecosystem of third party content developers and marketplaces including RuntimeDNA and Renderosity.


Poser is a popular tool for hobbyist artists and illustrators, and 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 but is regularly employed by broadcast professionals including animation staff at Fox Bones, the Colbert Report and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Poser animation can be seen 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).[citation needed]

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.[citation needed] Humanoids printed in several science and technology magazines around the US are often Poser rendered and postworked models.[citation needed]


The Poser package includes many ready to use 3D content items that permit new users to get started working with the application, without immediately needing to purchase additional content. These items are stored in Poser's drag and drop enabled "Library." The Poser content furnished in the Library is organized by type and name, for example 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 user configurable keyword based Search feature to locate content in the user's Library or connected Runtimes. Content can also be added to the Library's Favorites for quick access at any time.

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

Program history[edit]

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 the publisher 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 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. Different skin textures, frequently combined with settings for morph technology, are marketed to allow one base model to be customized into many different 'characters'; similar '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 colour 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]

VersionRelease datePublisherImprovements / Notes
1.01995Fractal Design
  • First release
2.01996Fractal Design
3.01998MetaCreations developer
  • 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)
4.0.3September 1999Curious Labs
  • Markup path names made to use relative paths
  • Currently sold as entry level Poser Artist
Pro PackFebruary 2000Curious Labs
5.02003Curious Labs
6.0March 2005Curious 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
7.0December 2006e-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 ProMay 2008Smith Micro Software
  • Poser Pro was released adding COLLADA support and plug in support for Cinema C4d and Maya.
Poser 8August 4, 2009Smith Micro Software
Poser Pro 2010March 10, 2010Smith 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 DebutFebruary 13, 2011Smith Micro Software
  • 80 fully rigged, fully posable, 3D characters
  • Includes 2GB 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 spot light lights, point lights and infinite lights
Poser 9September 21, 2011Smith 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 2012September 21, 2011Smith 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[5]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 softbody 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 or in Poser Pro 2012
  • Fitting room
  • Copy morphs from figure to figure
  • Display hidden channels
  • Change calculation order of channels

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vining, Tim (2008). "Star Trek Aurora". fan fict. 
  2. ^ "Smith Micro Software press release". Smith Micro Software. 
  3. ^ Broomfield, Mat (16/01/2012). "Software review: Poser 9". 3D World. Future Publishing. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Zahed, Ramin (May 21, 2013). "Smith Micro Introduces Poser 10 & Poser Pro 2014". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  5. ^ http://poser.smithmicro.com/poser10-poserpro2014/
  6. ^ http://poser.smithmicro.com/poser10-poserpro2014/

External links[edit]