How SM can turn Poser's market share around....



  • @andolaurina To be fair to Charles (Nerd3D), his content went into the Hivewire store significantly BEFORE he became employed by Poser.



  • @andolaurina To figure out if a figure is going to turn things around for Poser, ask yourself: If Poser came out with a figure tomorrow that was equal to or superior to Genesis 8, or whatever the latest one might be, Would all the people who have left Poser come back? And would the newer people who've never used Poser pay up to $400 to abandon the free Studio and Genesis?

    I'm not saying that a decent figure would help Poser regain it's market share... in the long run maybe. But a figure alone, no matter how good won't be turning things around for poser.



  • It doesn't matter if someone is an "I just want to make art" person or a "techie-type fiddle with everything" person. They both have the same goal. Making art and most likely making it good. The better quality tools we have, the better the chance we have of making it. If we had a hair room that worked easily and efficiently, the techies would be able to make hair, and the click and loaders would be able to use it. If the clothroom were simple and efficient and not taking a billion years, then many more people would use it. (I think).

    Yes, most new users don't think about the hair room or clothroom when deciding to purchase. They look at sample art. "Wow, they made that with poser? That's what I want (need)." Once they get Poser, they learn either they need to become a techie and tweak everything until they see double, or they can settle for mediocre art. But with current Poser tools, the samples they have are a few awesome images scattered among either characters that can't move or they end up with poke throughs or ones that have clothes and hair that stick out in odd directions. And then, once they have the software, they learn, all the nice looking figures they see in galleries around the net are made with a woman that doesn't even come with poser and the people that do come with it aren't that special and they don't have many options for diversifying them. That can be a letdown after spending all that money on the program, to have to spend even more to get a good looking figure.

    So we need a good starter pack with a decent looking figure that bends well and had generous morphs and fully working, easy to use, tools to put that figure into our visions.



  • @eclark18941 I agree wholeheartedly Earl. I think it's naive to think that a figure will save Poser, although it could make some great adverts, but i doubt that SM has the market penetration to get enough ads in front of the eyes of potential new users. Let's also be clear about something, NO new user is going to be a pro user; that comes later. Straight out of the box, Poser needs to appeal to new users. That means a reasonable price. In fairness, I really don't think $130 is so high that people won't take a chance if it seems worth it. So it brings us back to marketing. I think DAZ Studio has an abysmal material room, and much of the program is extremely user unfriendly for beginners. I think Poser has the edge there with a cleaner, more logical interface. I don't see the hair or material rooms as being remotely important to new users. Ease of use and ease of creating quality out of the box are important. New users need to look at the program and say "Wow, I could create that."
    Perhaps the addition of a precipitation system (snow, rain, etc) would add that wow factor? Or maybe an easy night/city light system. It would be great if prepackaged terrains were easier to modify - maybe a car tyre system, or a footprints system. Or how about a splashes system - not a full on fluid sim, but 20-50 basic forms. These are perhaps a little random, but if you look at where professional art in Blender et al are going, it's all about these atmospherics, and as I mentioned earlier, a better, easier fog/god ray/mist/haze system. None of these are killer features but they would enable SM to start producing scenes that DAZ cannot, or does not routinely.



  • @andolaurina Respectfully, I think that you are totally misreading the desires of the potential Poser user.

    1. Yes, figures are important, but not as a part of the core program. They do not factor into the buying decision, nor should they be part of SM's development cycle. SM should provide significant incentives to third party creators to develop figures, but should NOT be in that market itself. It's expensive, time consuming and if they haven't managed to do it right by now, they're a lost cause. I would suggest a competition with say a $2000 first prize for the development of a new female Poser-only figure, and a 90% royalty rate on sales of say the top five figures. SM is not a content company and if they don't see the value in developing must have content, then they should pack up and go home now.

    2. I don't agree. SM has always filled Poser with shovelware, and I think I've used two or three items in 20 years. Admittedly, if they commissioned high quality content that might be different (and expensive), but every retailer of content collections has failed, and for the same reasons - it's too hard to guess what users will want, so providing 50 eclectic varied items leaves everyone disappointed. HOWEVER, here's a way it COULD be made to work. How about providing every purchaser with 20 content item credits? These can then be exchanged for content from the store. Thus every single purchaser gets EXACTLY the content they want, rather than loads of junk that they not only do not want, but which does not act as a purchasing incentive. SM could even include another 50 vouchers for half price content.

    3. Hmmm, not sure about this. XBox doesn't have every feature Playstation does and vice versa. It's about unique selling points, not winning point for point on every item. For instance, if Poser could do running water, that alone would blow DAZ right out of the... water. Poser is not intended as a competitor to Maya. It operates in a totally different creative space, and fulfills completely different needs.

    4. The erotica market is far greater than the educational market. By all means appeal to both, but not education at the expense of education. How much evidence do you have that educators want to use Poser, because I can give you a million samples of its erotica usage.

    5. I've never found Content Paradise worth the effort, and I feel (with no facts to back this up) that DAZ can only afford to run content AND software because it sold superb content first and has a large cash pool to support Studio. If Poser unique content was not so important to the program, I'd advise SM to scrap content altogether and concentrate its resources on its core business, especially with other big players leaving or diminishing in the market. As it is, I feel that its neglect of its own store has left them playing an impossible game of catch up. Perhaps they've be better to support the development of great content for sale at Renderosity, although the sheer volume of new releases there as well as their consistent APPALLING store design and crappy search engine guarantees that your content will be buried within 48 hours. :-(

    It's concerning to see that SM's revenues up to march are at a five quarter low, and given that its other areas of operation are so utterly different to Poser, it always feels as though the program is vulnerable.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @matb All of your arguments mirror what I've heard from SM for years.



  • @matb Most of the responses in this thread have centered around what SM needs to do to improve Poser. And several people have also commented on the fact that new users want to be able to point, click and render. I've already pointed out that ready to render elements, such as props, scenes, Poses, expressions, etc. will have to be provided by Poser vendors. We've already seen people working to that end in this very forum. We seen people working on new figures, shaders, scripts, and props. I think it's time for us to encourage the Poser vendors who are making these things to put them in the stores and sell them. And we should make a concerted effort to support those vendors that do make things for Poser. Because most vendors are following the money.



  • @James_in_3D
    Well, looks like you are looking at a bug in your Poser version then and not to new functionality.



  • @James_in_3D

    I've never used it, but out of curiosity I just gave it a run with Poser Pro 11 and found that I can force figures through the collision object (using the translation dials) but there is a small hesitation from Poser and I got 'stress lines' in the geometry (mesh compression in the legs of the figure). I work in hidden line mode, so the geometry is always visible for me. If you work in texture shade mode those compressions may not be visible.
    Maybe try collision detection with a figure, apply to ground and figure's feet, use hidden line mode and just slowly lower the figure to the floor using the Y trans and watch the legs and thighs. If you get the lines, then Poser is at least trying, and something is happening for you like it does for me.
    I'm not saying that's the result you want, I'm only suggesting this to help you do a more complete bug report.



  • I've been following this thread and thinking about what people have posted and how (or if) to reply without submitting a thesis.

    Firstly, the question of Poser's market share is entire up to SM. We can make suggestions regarding Poser, but we have zero influence over the market beyond support for a favourite product.

    Secondly, what do you mean by 'market share'? Poser and Studio specialise and originated in posing dollies and have expanded the sandpit we put our dollies in, but they are not full 3D programs. Carrara is FAR more capable than either Studio or Poser, but has had zero support from the software owners for over 4 years. It has been deliberately left to die. On a broad scale, Blender had 6 million discrete downloads of the program in the 12 months from September to September 2015/16. I doubt Studio or Poser came close to those numbers, and before anyone says 'download doesn't mean use, and it's free', well that applies to Studio as well. I've had every version of Studio since 3.0 and have NEVER used it. It's a management tool for DAZ content to me, and nothing more.

    Third: the 6 million downloads of Blender came with a caveat; they had three stable releases in that timeframe, so the total user base is probably closer to 2 million. 3 releases in 12 months. DAZ and SM release schedules?

    Of course Poser needs to stay relevant, but I think Poser is in a better place than Studio. I think they are on a good path (as long as they are aware they are on the path, not just blundering across a highway blindfolded). I suspect (have very little proof, just innuendo) that DAZ is still trying to 'win' over Poser, and isn't looking over their shoulder at the monster behind them. Poser is working with the monster.

    Studio is free, but you pay through the nose for content. Content is heavily controlled and getting more so. By controlled, I mean .duf format. Nothing else uses it, but it still conceals the .obj and accesses the materials in a texture folder in runtime. It's a kind of encrypted .cr2 which, in part, makes using Studio products clunky in Poser. Poser users get frustrated, want it easier and faster, move to Studio. DAZ use Iray, a proprietary render engine. Presumably DAZ pay a licence fee for every free download of Studio, which would mean it is subsidised by content sales. No question, DAZ figures are better than Poser figures, but...

    Poser has the fitting room and the set up room. Poser can already transfer rigs. I think (hope) Poser continues developing this. To be able to transfer a set of default rigs and 'fit' them in the fitting room would be awesome. Imagine all the old Poser users (like me) being able to EASILY swap V4's rig for one with actual carpal bones in the hands? Real thumbs! JCM's use a math model to control deformation; why not make that transferable to weight maps? 1 click changeover for a whole figure (the EZskin for rigging).

    BTW, as to figures, the Manuel Bastioni figures are pretty good (and free) in Blender. Not quite up to our expectations, but getting there. Blender is also developing the sewing function, and can turn (some) conforming clothes to cloth and animate them (like VWD's awesome effort).

    Cycles will shortly be far more capable a renderer, so a way to bundle Superfly node textures in a way that Blender can understand would give immediate access to a working particle system, fluid simulator, a pbr with a sun figure, lens flare, shadow catcher... and no, I'm not saying SM should tie Poser to Blender, but they already export to allembic and collada, just suggesting another pathway to a free system that has plenty of support.

    I could add a lot more, but like I said, I'm not writing a thesis here. I just think Poser is potentially in a better place than Studio at present.



  • @eclark18941

    Hya I am a Carrara user. I've bought the last few versions of Poser, mainly for the cloth room, but also for the cartoon render engine.
    I must admit to having never used Poser much - apart from the fitting room for a while - which wasn't terribly effective for a casual user.
    I use it for transferring morphs sometimes. I didn't use the cartoon render engine because of work commitments meaning I had to make quick renders in Carrara.

    Now VWD cloth sim is out and about I really can't see any reason that would make me want to buy the next Poser---- except for NPR.

    I started an NPR thread in the Carrara forums which has had a large amount of views (relatively) in a (relatively) small amount of time.
    8.6 k views since March 3oth.

    https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/158646/carrara-non-photo-realistic-works/p1

    There is also an active thread in Daz's Artstudio forum on NPR.

    As a casual observer watching Poser being steam rolled by Daz, I think that at this moment Poser's strength lies in NPR.

    There seems to be a great need for people to make art with a push one button mentality - hence the popularity of Studio and Iray.
    But gradually the more intelligent users are realising that all their renders are starting to look the same as other people's.

    If Poser gave users a way to render out renders that looked hand drawn and individual I think you would be gaining and reclaiming a fair number of users.

    Intelligent Users too :)



  • @headwax.
    That's a cool thread you posted! Some really nice images there.
    For mine, (and it is just my opinion), I think SM has the potential to sidestep DAZ and let Studio get steamrolled into irrelevance itself, or have to do a scramble and re-invent.
    I hate Studio with a passion. I love(d) Carrara until it fell behind in the render stakes. If Poser focusses on effective and easy figure manipulation (its core function from the beginning) WITHOUT limiting itself to a single figure source (how easy is it rig an imported base mesh in Studio? I've never looked), Poser will become a dominant gateway again. Maybe. Unless something else comes along...



  • @piersyf thanks for looking at that thread,
    sorry I had not seen your post ! Out of interest, I see if you search (google) Carrara Daz - you get a search thing that says "Over 2 Million Downloads". I assume they are talking about
    Studio - and I assume that is 'all time'?

    Yes if Poser had the ability to easily smart rig content and add the morphing abilities of Genesis to figures then life would get more interesting.

    I think Carrara has been collateral damage related to Daz squeezing out Poser - as you know, Daz could always use poser products in the past.



  • @piersyf said in How SM can turn Poser's market share around....:

    I've been following this thread and thinking about what people have posted and how (or if) to reply without submitting a thesis.

    Firstly, the question of Poser's market share is entire up to SM. We can make suggestions regarding Poser, but we have zero influence over the market beyond support for a favourite product.

    Secondly, what do you mean by 'market share'? Poser and Studio specialise and originated in posing dollies and have expanded the sandpit we put our dollies in, but they are not full 3D programs. Carrara is FAR more capable than either Studio or Poser, but has had zero support from the software owners for over 4 years. It has been deliberately left to die. On a broad scale, Blender had 6 million discrete downloads of the program in the 12 months from September to September 2015/16. I doubt Studio or Poser came close to those numbers, and before anyone says 'download doesn't mean use, and it's free', well that applies to Studio as well. I've had every version of Studio since 3.0 and have NEVER used it. It's a management tool for DAZ content to me, and nothing more.

    Third: the 6 million downloads of Blender came with a caveat; they had three stable releases in that timeframe, so the total user base is probably closer to 2 million. 3 releases in 12 months. DAZ and SM release schedules?

    Of course Poser needs to stay relevant, but I think Poser is in a better place than Studio. I think they are on a good path (as long as they are aware they are on the path, not just blundering across a highway blindfolded). I suspect (have very little proof, just innuendo) that DAZ is still trying to 'win' over Poser, and isn't looking over their shoulder at the monster behind them. Poser is working with the monster.

    Studio is free, but you pay through the nose for content. Content is heavily controlled and getting more so. By controlled, I mean .duf format. Nothing else uses it, but it still conceals the .obj and accesses the materials in a texture folder in runtime. It's a kind of encrypted .cr2 which, in part, makes using Studio products clunky in Poser. Poser users get frustrated, want it easier and faster, move to Studio. DAZ use Iray, a proprietary render engine. Presumably DAZ pay a licence fee for every free download of Studio, which would mean it is subsidised by content sales. No question, DAZ figures are better than Poser figures, but...

    Poser has the fitting room and the set up room. Poser can already transfer rigs. I think (hope) Poser continues developing this. To be able to transfer a set of default rigs and 'fit' them in the fitting room would be awesome. Imagine all the old Poser users (like me) being able to EASILY swap V4's rig for one with actual carpal bones in the hands? Real thumbs! JCM's use a math model to control deformation; why not make that transferable to weight maps? 1 click changeover for a whole figure (the EZskin for rigging).

    BTW, as to figures, the Manuel Bastioni figures are pretty good (and free) in Blender. Not quite up to our expectations, but getting there. Blender is also developing the sewing function, and can turn (some) conforming clothes to cloth and animate them (like VWD's awesome effort).

    Cycles will shortly be far more capable a renderer, so a way to bundle Superfly node textures in a way that Blender can understand would give immediate access to a working particle system, fluid simulator, a pbr with a sun figure, lens flare, shadow catcher... and no, I'm not saying SM should tie Poser to Blender, but they already export to allembic and collada, just suggesting another pathway to a free system that has plenty of support.

    I could add a lot more, but like I said, I'm not writing a thesis here. I just think Poser is potentially in a better place than Studio at present.

    I think you're exactly right here. 3D, as a whole, is in flux at this point in time. If Poser/SM had developed tunnel vision of competing with DAZ, they would have done what DAZ has - doing an imaginary battle for a tiny, hobbyist market rather than preparing itself to play in the larger sandbox.



  • I've been pondering the irony of Headwax's comments on NPR. I used to work as an illustrator. I first started using Poser for it's original purpose, posing figures as a reference for drawn or painted work. I got frustrated with the figure manipulation (I didn't understand IK) and stopped using it. Over time and occasional forays into the program I got better, but also realised Poser could produce images faster than I could draw and colour them. That got me hooked on realism and that has never ended. The irony is that I got into Poser to do real world NPR illustrations.
    Seeing as SM's other graphics platform they are keen to keep is Moho, I think there is definite potential for overlap. Moho for manga comics and integrated with Poser for anime. I think I'd enjoy Poser in a whole new way if images like the painted backgrounds from Porco Rosso were natively capable.

    I'm also going to invite blistering attack here, and say one thing I think Poser has in spades over both Blender and Studio is the library. Sure, it has problems, and the jumping around annoys me too, but I can store so much stuff, they way I want it arranged, and can find it again. Studio tell you not to have more than 2 runtimes, and not to mess with the structure, or they can't guarantee it won't corrupt your whole operating system! That's one heck of a disclaimer. Not to mention I have searched for an item in Studio, been told there were no matches, while I was looking at the product in the menu. Couldn't find it's backside with both hands... asset management is crucial (and a primary reason I hate Studio). Poser could improve where the item loads, though.



  • @piersyf I agree with your statement about Blender and libraries. I find myself wishing Blender had Poser's library capabilities all the time.



  • @eclark18941
    I ended up buying an add-on called Asset Management. It's very much like Poser's library structure and I don't regret getting it. It's funny though, how reluctant I was to spend money on an item for Blender because Blender's free... seriously, how stupid can people be?



  • @piersyf So if I rig a figure in Blender and save it to Asset manager, then I can import that rigged figure anytime I want?



  • @eclark18941 said in How SM can turn Poser's market share around....:

    @piersyf So if I rig a figure in Blender and save it to Asset manager, then I can import that rigged figure anytime I want?

    You can do that with Blender by default. Blender has a neat feature that many people do not even know is there.
    If you have a scene file with a figure that is already rigged, you already have a library.
    Blender uses scene files as asset files, and you can build your own library from scene saves.

    Obviously the addon in question goes far beyond this but if all you want is an basic library you already have one in your scene saves.

    You could load every figure you have rigged in Blender into one file save, and poof, you have a figure library.



    1. Make it easier to manage and find content. I don't care how easy you think it is, it needs improvement. This applies to DAZ as well as Poser, but it has always been a headache. Multiple runtimes, runtime managers, and so on. Find me ANYONE who can explain content management in this application without sounding lawyer trying not to say anything definitive. How often do they use "except," "but," "only if," and "sometimes?" You could make a drinking game out of it and kill your entire user base with alcohol poisoning.

    Set up some rigid organization.
    Vehicles
    Cars
    Unicycles
    People
    Newguy
    NewGal
    Oldguy
    OldGal
    Clothes
    Hair
    No more shirts with the people, hair with the props, and so on. No more !MAT files in the Poses directory. Suddenly, it is easy to find things. That would help a lot.

    Next keyword and link.
    People have some base figure (Superguy is based on NewGuy). Clothes/Hair are built to fit figures based off NewGuy and SHOULD work (except in extreme morphs - maybe clear the keyword for base figure in that instance). Maybe have a "Compatible with" listing based on product ID so I can easily find that "Football Jersey" works with any of the 3 figures in my scene while only storing the one copy.

    Then, start with the included content and organize it to this specification. That way new users can find their way through 7GB of data and do something cool on day one.

    1. Make better renders easy. Include a few basic scenes like "sunny outdoors" and "building interior" and a few others. Make it easy to change them up (living room, office, bedroom, mall), while retaining the basic lighting. You just put your figure in, move the camera, and Ctrl-R. Right now, it is a lot easier for me to get a better render in competing packages.

    2.5 Blender is adding a realtime engine that looks really good in 2.8. Any chance of using something like Unreal to create a realtime Poser Render?

    1. Poses and animations. Can animation be easier? Can walk designer be expanded to NewGal can walk across LivingRoom and sit on the Sofa? Animblocks from DAZ look like a good idea, though I truly do like walk designer a lot. Importing a zillion BVH files is also kinda nice as long as they work.

    4, Better content (but still organized). Every time a new Genesis or Victoria is released, I come back to SM and check on the new figures (I used Poser 1-6). I REALLY wanted to come back this time as poser fusion would help me out, but it just didn't compete.
    You could also apply some kind of rating system to content:
    works with NewGuy (and derivatives), animates with NewGuy (and derivatives). Maybe gold star content that is tested by artists and costs some fee to post to CP, but people could know it was higher quality.

    1. Improved dynamics. Make people wonder why any skirt or cape isn't dynamic to begin with.

    2. Something like Poserfusion for Photoshop (and Affinity since I do not use Adobe :) ), After Effects, and Premier (and FCP X and Hitfilm (which already loads 3D objects) since I still do not use Adobe).

    Just a few ideas that would've have got me buying Poser 11 instead of spending the same money at a competitor.