[Q] Beginner seeking advice on Software & Hardware !

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
[Q] Beginner seeking advice on Software & Hardware !

Hi guys, I'm a beginner to 3d, animation, as well as Poser. However, i'm planning on really immersing myself in this field as a hobby and was wondering if anyone could answer a few questions of mine?

Question 1:
Here is the computer i built 3 years ago along with its specs, is this good enough for doing poser level graphics/animations/rendering? does it barely fit the requirement? or is it fine for a beginner right now, but would probably need to upgrade once i am more serious about my craft? If there's a need for upgrade... do i need to upgrade the graphic card, get more ram? or maybe a solid-state-drive hard drive? which part of 3d graphic/animation require a more high end graphic card? and what will actually lessen the time required for rendering? will a solid state help speed things up at all?

My Hardware:

Intel i7 930 @2.8 GHz 2.79 GHz

Installed Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB

64 Bit Win 7

GA-X58A-UD3R Gigabyte Motherboard with six DDR3 Memory slots (max of 24 GIG i believe)

Western Digital Caivar Black Hard Drive

MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Question 2: Poser Pro 2012 will be the software i will be learning, but i've often heard poser people talking about utilizing other high end software for rendering, postwork, etc. What are some good high end software/applications that are good for enhancing your 3d design/image/animation from poser?

I know some people use 3dstuidomax, Cinema4d, Vue for rendering, but what's the difference between the rendering from these high end software? and how does one differ from the other? Do people mainly use them just for the rendering? or do they work on the skin/texture of the character design from these software for the more realistic look?

If anyone has the time to shed some light on this subject, i would greatly appreciate it. Which application/software is best for what job? Because i've heard of so many big names being tossed around.... software such as 3dstudiomax, cinema4d, vue, zbrush, blender, bryce. I know this is probably not something i need to know right now since i'm just starting, but i've always been curious about this and would love to understand the difference uses and why some people prefer to utilize some of these appications for certain job in their Poser creations.

Question 3:

Was wondering if anyone care to share some of their favorite web links regarding Poser


1. Poser community forums (other than this one of course)

2. A list of reputable vendors' web links (other than this one)


3. Good sites containing Poser tutorials (could be anything from the most basic aspect of poser such as the user interface... to the more advance category of animation)


Question 4:

What would be the most progressive way to learn Poser? obviously learn about the interface and undertand what each of the function does... but from your personal experience, how would you advice a beginner and the steps he/she should take in learning? learn the user interface, play around with character models, lighting? I guess what i'm asking is what would be the most efficient top down approach in learning mastering Poser?


thanks in advance!

Last edited by chiefraven : 03 March 2013 at 01:24 PM.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #2
You're going to get a bad opinion of Poser here, generally people don't like it because it's not terribly useful and there's a lot of inexperienced people that use it. People associate it with poor quality. Poser is just for characters, it's not really a creation program. Other 3D programs like Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage are programs that allow you to model and animate anything from scratch and has much better tools for doing so. Poser is for people who don't know how to create character stuff themselves while the other programs can do everything and end up producing much higher quality content.
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Old 03 March 2013   #3
If you are using Poser Pro 2012 you should probably just render from that, as the renderer is very good. But if as you say you want to really immerse yourself in 3D, you might want to learn some traditional program's and not be limited by Poser.
As an example from my experience, I used DAZ for about 4 months when I first dabbled in 3D. While I had fun with it, none of what I learned was of any use when I discovered 3Ds Max, ZBrush etc. I do mean no use whatsoever, I had to start learning right from the start.

Anyway, back to Poser. renderosity.com has a very good Poser forum, also it has forums for all the other 3D program's and is a great one stop resource.

Your computer specs seem fine to me.
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Old 03 March 2013   #4
modo is all you need

(I'm putting my bets all on modo as the future of CG)
 
Old 03 March 2013   #5
Try blender it is free,then you can go from there.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #6
Hardware

Your hardware should be good for a while, you may want to add some ram later but until you come up against it you could probably keep going. Other than that I don't see any real issue...
 
Old 03 March 2013   #7
basically with Poser, I will be using pre-made models and be able to play around with the composition and only be able to make changes to these models in terms of their proportions and sizes but not the form of the body. In addition, I could purchase poser content such as hair, skin maps, body morphs, body parts, and other background content to APPLY them to my character model/scene and customize my character with these pre-made packages (and these packages are often made with outside software whether it's high end applications character models or photoshop for the skin maps)

So, basically, with Poser, I will be utilizing tools (poser contents) at my disposal and my role is that of a director/producer which will allow me to create a scene by creating the composition of the model and the atmosphere around it such as camera/lighting. And that's why, most of the Poser character online mostly look the same, because everyone's using the limited choices of character models... just with different mix/matches of hair, skin maps, outfits, body morphs.

However, if i want create a character model that's more unique and something that i thought up through my imagination, then I would either have to take a base Poser character and export that to a software such as zbrush/mudbox and make the model changes or details through those software by making model changes/detailed enhancements to them (is this possible?)...... or by using some of the pure high end software such as 3dstudiomax and create a model from scratch (but to do this, it requires the talent of a traditional artist as well as an understanding of the human anatomy and perhaps experience with sculting.)

My goal is to basically get good at creating good 3d character images and animation (as a hobbyist) however, without being an outstanding traditional artists with a lot of experience, creating a model from scratch is probably out of the question.... but what i could do is use Poser as my primary tool, and when I want to get more advanced with the character's model instead of just using Poser's character packages and simply putting more premade content on top of my character, i will be able to export a base model from poser into zbrush/mudbox for some more advanced customization (whether it's the character's form or surface details) or create a bodypart or model by practicing sculpting with zbrush/mudbox? (by the way, what's the difference between modeling with zbrush/mudbox as opposed to 3dstudiomax and others? with zbrush/mudbox it seems a bit more natural since you're utilizing a clay and molding a character model, whereas 3dstudiomax and others, you have to create the models by playing around with polygons?

So my area of focus should be:
1. Poser
2. zbrush or mudbox (for model modification and customization)
3. Photoshop (for skin maps, postwork)

and if for animation:
1. start with Poser
2. then if possible, start playing with more high end software for animation for more possibilities and fluidity

is this a fair assessment?
 
Old 03 March 2013   #8
I would drop Poser altogether, there's no point to it unless you're just messing around. I doubt Poser models would be a good basis for sculpting.

3ds Max and Maya are fully featured 3D packages, for modeling, animation, FX, and rendering. Zbrush/Mudbox are only for sculpting/modeling, with some limited rendering. Typically, people use a sculpting program in conjunction with another 3D package like 3ds Max/Maya
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Old 03 March 2013   #9
I'm going to +1 people who mentioned Blender and Modo. Anyway, I want to chime in, Lightwave too.

Poser 2012 have plug-ins that have support for Lightwave. And Lightwave is not that expensive compared to Autodesk software, and mature. And I think you can skip an upgrade, and there is no yearly fee. So if you like Poser 2012 to generate your human, you can improve on that with Lightwave.

However, to get your feet wet, I think Blender is a good starting point.

If you are willing to invest in easy to use software, MODO is your thing. But its not fully mature yet. In their own words, they prefer to improve on the process than to throw in new tools just to get sales. However, if it already cover your base, then its a good software.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #10
the reason i'm not going directly into those high end software is because though i'm above average at drawing than your average people, i'm not really an ARTIST... sure, back in high school i'm better at drawing than 90% of the people at school... but i never really practiced it or have done extensive studies in areas such as human anatomy and such... so, creating a character model from out of nowhere will most likely be a daunting task for me.

i can draw a lot of things well, but i need a reference to look at... i'm not very good at drawing things out of my imagination.

so instead of creating a model from nothing, i figured i would play around with Poser first... and when i get more experienced and have a better understanding of 3d graphics/animation, then i will start using a base models from Poser and porting them into the high end software and model from there - using a base model, so i will just have to modify it to my liking.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #11
Did You mean 16 gigs of ram? I would say get at least 16 GB of Ram. Something that will be true for a long time is You can NEVER have enough ram. HD, video cards, and processor will give you advantages in speed, but ram makes the difference of at what point Your computer will overload and freeze. Other than that I think Your system should be OK.
As for the Poser, Yeah if it get's You into it see what You can do. The sooner You get into more creative 3d programs, the gladder You will be down the road though. I'm not going to endorse any specific ones.
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Old 03 March 2013   #12
Originally Posted by chiefraven: and when i get more experienced and have a better understanding of 3d graphics/animation, then i will start using a base models from Poser and porting them into the high end software and model from there - using a base model, so i will just have to modify it to my liking.


But that's the thing, poser won't teach you these things at all. It's like people starting to draw mangas to learn how to draw. Yeah sure it's easier and maybe you'll get something decent looking, but once you try to transition to "real" drawing you will notice how the manga style has crippled your skill (pointy chins, no 3D volumes, son goku-hair, etc.) and you have to start all over and in the worst case try to "unlearn" bad habbits you picked up with the easy start.

Btw, dont get me wrong, good mangas are no easy task, but that's because those artists learned the basics FIRST and THEN applied them to a manga-style, not the other way around.

So if you just try this out as a hobby it's okay, but if you really think about evolving your skills and one day using a "full" package you should never start with Poser. Ever.
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Old 03 March 2013   #13
Originally Posted by Zykras: But that's the thing, poser won't teach you these things at all. It's like people starting to draw mangas to learn how to draw. Yeah sure it's easier and maybe you'll get something decent looking, but once you try to transition to "real" drawing you will notice how the manga style has crippled your skill (pointy chins, no 3D volumes, son goku-hair, etc.) and you have to start all over and in the worst case try to "unlearn" bad habbits you picked up with the easy start.

Btw, dont get me wrong, good mangas are no easy task, but that's because those artists learned the basics FIRST and THEN applied them to a manga-style, not the other way around.

So if you just try this out as a hobby it's okay, but if you really think about evolving your skills and one day using a "full" package you should never start with Poser. Ever.


Truth.

And to your other point, about how creating a character model out of nothing will be a daunting task, you're absolutely right. If you model a person it will most likely be awful because no one starts off modeling people well, but just dropping in a default person doesn't help you model anything either.

Start with a book, a soda can, a chair, etc., and move up from there.
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Old 03 March 2013   #14
/agree about Poser. Yes, there's a little more depth to the program than most people use, but unless you're going for that 'poser' look, start learning a different software package... a more complete one. I don't know how much time you have to devote to 'learning', but I suspect you'll hit a glass ceiling in Poser long before you would in any other 'complete' package. Take a look through the Gallery here, and you'll see some great art with a listing of the packages used. I don't think there's a ton of Poser on there at all.

- Blender's nice, and great price
- LightWave is decently beefy, easy to learn, tough to master, imo. They are offering a 30-day free trial right now. It's the package I learned on, and I've got great respect for it. I still use it today.
- Maya/3DStudio/Softimage are powerful too.

In this day and age, the different packages can all either talk to one another, or export/import certain formats that the others can use. I think you'll find educational materials for almost any of them too, from YouTube vids to paid lessons.

Just my 2 cents, so take with as much salt as you like.

Good luck!
 
Old 03 March 2013   #15
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