Tell me your desires: Blobs, particles, fluids, flames (but not flame wars:)

  • So, I'm new to this whole thing still, I admit. New to the Poser Team, to Smith Micro, and to the forum. I don't use Poser all that often. I have, in the past, I got it through DAZ and I knew about it in the 1990s, but I do a lot of 2D gaming and when it comes to 3D I bake my own models using parametric equations. The commercial 3D tool I've used most in my career was (pre-Autodesk) Maya back in 2000. I've managed designers who used Solidworks, Rhino and Autodesk Inventor. I've used POV-ray on the back-end of a Linux server most recently -- I code 3D I just don't model or make art with it in that commercial art sense all that much anymore.

    So, I have got to ask you, the Poser users:

    In all seriousness, folks, why meta-blobs? Why are meta-blobs important? What are they to be used for? If the team were to spend time implementing this specific thing, would it be worth it as a trade off for another needed feature or Wishlist item?

    In the Mantis database, a user submitted the following example (attached) 0_1504875051031_Vue metablob horse.png

    This is pretty and all but previously the old Poser Team argued against it because it was a "modeling feature" and Poser is not a "modeling tool" (though I beg to differ, but that's another discussion...)

    So firstly, why is everyone "scrambling" for this one modeling gimmick?

    Secondly, how much utility do you think you will get out of it? Is there an ulterior motive for requesting it?

    Is it just a cruel joke? Or is this a serious request?

    Fourth-ly, is this not possible with any existing methods in Poser i.e. WeightMaps or Deformers or Shaders?

    I like to point out that down the line there is a good possibility (though of course not guaranteed, so don't read this as any announcement...) we will be revamping the way the shading system works to include more modern methods like vertex displacement. Couldn't this be handled then?

    So, Metaballs, or something else (maybe several something elses) for the next Poser release. Help me decide. Tell me why we should sacrifice development time for this one thing.

  • Uses could be with a volume shader you have animated clouds, smoke and fire, a liquid shader and you have physical running liquids. You could even have metablob creatures.
    We used to have (a few Python versions ago!) a Python script called Metaform, which allowed the creation of metaballs. It was good for a few things especially in animation. I enjoyed using it.
    You can see the old site for it here,

  • Here's an example I did in Metaform years ago. Could be done so much better now.


  • Ok. Now I understand more. Essentially what you want is Particles and Liquids, not necessarily to transform a horse into a glass sculpture. Particles has been discussed and continues to be explored. Cycles may offer a solution, or perhaps there are others. Thanks for feedback. I can see this is a controversial feature and will decide accordingly. Any additional detail on Particles, Blobs or Liquids and simulations is welcomed in this thread. Tell me your troubles, share with me your desires, etc. :D

  • @h.elwood.gilliland Personally, I've never understood the need for meta balls. I don't want to start a fight with him over it, but to me it's always been one or two people that have been asking for i. I I do agree that I've always seen it as a modeling feature,and probably something that you could do with Poser primitives and the grouping tool. But hey, what do I know? I do my modeling in Blender, so have Poser read Blend files. Fix the Hair and Cloth Rooms, Add particles, liquids, and instancing, then take my money cause I'm ready to upgrade. :D Oh, and add portals (

    ) to Cycles.

  • No arguing or fighting at all @eclark1849 :)
    I understand it's a feature not everyone wants, to be honest the same could be said at one time or another about the race room, the hair room, cloth room, even Superfly! Make it a Pro feature if needs be.
    Having a particle/liquid option inside Poser is very appealing, and not just for animation. Even if it just meant somehow aquiring Metaform and updating it for the current Python, that would be a start.
    (and yes, Portals and instancing would be nice!)

  • @raven Again, not trying to argue, BUT couldn't you have modeled the horse using Primitives and the grouping tool?

  • I would much rather see a particle system (which could handle flames, fluids, ect) and a much more robust cloth simulation that would work for legacy content as well as new. If you could somehow combine that with a in-program compositor it would make Poser even more valuable.

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    If we was to get metaballs I would primarly use it for rock terrains and nature stuff. Vue has some really nice things going in that area. With the right shaders one can get some nice realistic rock formations out of it.

  • @Ghostman And again, I would argue that it is something you could currently do using primitives and the Morph Brush.

  • @eclark1849 not trying to argue at all, but nowhere did I say I wanted metaballs to build a horse :)

  • @raven Just using the image pictured above. Look all I'm saying is that to me, at least, it seems you can currently do most if not all of what you want metaballs for with primitives and the grouping tool and or the morph brush. Am I wrong? What am I missing?

  • I don't know a thing about metaballs but I've always wanted fluid and particle simulations in Poser. :(

  • @eclark1849 Ok, for an example. Imagine a figure in a bath, using metaballs natively in Poser you could animate the bath filling with water (like in my .gif above). How time consuming would that be with primitives and morph brushing.
    Check out the anim gallery at Weirdjuice to see how tricky some of them (especially the 'Gush' one) would be using just primitives and the morph brush. I grant you, Seach has done great animated water which which rivals the 'Crater Pool2' anim but that's the sort of things I mean.

  • Particles would be great and with all the bells and whistles that comes with that: fountains, fireworks, clouds of butterflies and so on. Fluids sounds also great.

    best regards,


  • The thing with metaballs is animation.

    You can model metaballs in something else that's a modelling tool, and then have a static object imported into Poser. That's fantastic.

    But you can't animate that. The only way to animate an object modelled with metaballs is to have the metaballs in Poser.

    So say that I want to animate a snow landscape where steps are appearing in the snow; easily done with metaballs; but then I can't have these metaballs in Blender and then export the different meshes as morph.

    Say that I want to animate an avalanche in 500 frames using Metaballs. I'm not going to build 500 obj in Blender and then import 500 objects in my animation.

    Say that I want to animate a cloud using metaballs; same thing.

    I think that even a simple implementation of metaballs, without textures, with only positive and negative spheres (and maybe a metacube) enables an animator to do very interesting things in an animation. I understand limited bandwidth for deveopment (I'm a lead programmer at IBM), but I think a simple implementation can be accomplished without excessive spending, for the reason that the algorithms are well known.

    So I argue to not have anything fancy and expensive, but direct and straightforward.

    Now, while I appreciate people having their own opinion of why they don't use some feature, I also have my opinions of why I don't find ray tracing or Cycles of any utility to me. Yet I don't go around arguing with everybody that poser should not develop ray tracing or Cycles any more.

    So anyone that thinks that metaballs are useless, please tell me how I make a 500 frames avalanche in Poser without Metaballs, or else please respect my opinion that metaballs are an indispensable animation tool.

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    Particles please. Since forever I wish this for Poser :)

  • Agree with @eclark1849 regarding the instancing and light portals and I would add Cycles Tone mapping and physical camera with ISO settings etc this would be very helpful as well

    Regarding the particles and metablobs etc if its possible then add it as well

    Hope this helps

    Thanks, Jura

  • About particles, flames and fluids, these would be nice to me if easy to use. I find controlling any of these effects quite bewildering, as I never manage them to do what I want in Blender.

    So I guess that a more experienced person will find them more interesting.

    Now, an existing effect that is very much in my desires is Soft Body. Current soft body implementation in Poser is rather pitiful; I can't use it for the reason it's too sensitive and it deforms the object even without any movement.

    Let me give an example: blank document, add a ball, open Bullet window, New Simulation, Objects / add cylinder under Soft Dynamics, click in "Live simulation"; the ball immediately collapses into the ground. Then you want to stop it from collapsing - add some internal pressure, say 1; now you have half a ball squashed into the ground - that's not what I wanted.. I wanted a ball that would squish around as it's moves, but that still has the shape of a ball after it stops moving; and if that was a mesh with any detail, adding 1 of internal pressure will completely erase all details.

    Also, even if I set gravity = 0, the ball will still fall to the ground, and keep moving around on its own.

    So, what I desire for soft body is something akin to cartoon effects, where the object deforms during movement but gets back to its original shape after it stops. I don't need a tomato being scientifically squashed into the ground, I'm not in tomato squashing business... I want a tomato that says "ya-ba-la-ba-dooooooo!"... runs left.. and then the top deforms right to give an exaggerated sense of movement, and when it stops the top deforms left to exaggerate the sense of sudden stopping, and then the top gts back to where it was.


  • @raven Okay, but I have to agree with Bopper. particles and Fluid sims would do that as well and better.