Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?



  • The gentleman that asked in another thread what he should buy got me to to think what we, as experienced users acting as guides and mentors, should advise people about Poser.

    That thought was mixed with this one: I always loved hand drawing, even as a small kid. My happiest memories were from making good drawings. But, growing in a poor country with not much support for arts, I knew I couldn't make a living out of it. So when I was some 12-13 years old, I managed to get some $20 after several months of saving. I didn't even think of buying a better colored pencil set with it. Instead I bought an old Granville book on calculus and taught myself, which got me less happiness than arts but gave me a good career in software engineering.

    So the Granville book was my professional tool and I used it to shreds; meanwhile I kept my 24-color crayola pencils that cost me $5, and I also used to shreds. But it was always clear to me which one was the toy, and which one I should spend money on. I bought the Granville because it was the most advanced book on math available at my city's largest bookstore, so it didn't matter it was expensive and I had to save for months. If you're serious about something, you go for the best, however costly that is.

    So if a young person asks about Poser, we should advise "Yes, you should buy Poser because it's a good... "... what? If that's a toy, then we advise in good conscience someone to spend $150 in a toy? On the other end, if it's a professional thing, then is it good enough as a professional tool that we can recommend one to spend $500 on it?

    Of course some people avoid these complications by not giving value to money and just thinking $500 is no big deal, so what the heck, let's try it. And of course different people will have different valuations, utilities and views of the same thing. But, if your son took months to save the money and intends to spend it purchasing Poser, would you advise him to do it because it's a good toy, good hobby or a good professional tool?


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Personally I would say that it depends on what the buyer intends to use it for ...



  • A tool is what you make of it. Nuff said.
    But if that is not enough, consider South Park, or Archer... or RWBY. And money has nothing to do with it, when Blender is free, and they are making a movie with it: https://agent327.com

    It's not Poser, but the lack of rigs that holds it back! 3D animation is the same for all programs: pose, set key and repeat.



  • @caisson said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    Personally I would say that it depends on what the buyer intends to use it for ...

    Correct, so if the buyer intends to use as a toy, would you tell the buyer he should buy as that's a good toy? Or is $150 too expensive for a toy?

    Or, if the buyer intends to use as a professional tool, would you tell the buyer he should buy as that's a good professional tool? Or should he look for something else that is more complete, even if that's more expensive?



  • @fbs7 All of the above.



  • @fbs7 said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    Or should he look for something else that is more complete, even if that's more expensive?

    ...or free ;]



  • @krios said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    A tool is what you make of it. Nuff said.
    But if that is not enough, consider South Park, or Archer... or RWBY. And money has nothing to do with it, when Blender is free, and they are making a movie with it: https://agent327.com

    It's not Poser, but the lack of rigs that holds it back! 3D animation is the same for all programs: pose, set key and repeat.

    So you see Poser as a professional tool, correct?

    Now, I used to watch a program in G4TV called Portal. They used a MMORPG called Everquest to create animations and tell stories. Everquest was (and still is) a toy, but when it was launched it had good graphics for the time, so for some reason G4TV used it not only as a professional application, but also as commercial product. They just moved the toons around and told a story on top, so it was very basic, but they had funny voice-overs and it was entertaining.

    So people can use anything professionally and commercially, but that will be sporadic. Some programs are designed from start with intention of professional use, and these have wider utilization. Like Maya. In my opinion, Maya is clearly a professional tool, and its widespread use for such confirms their focus. For Poser, that I'm not so sure... what's the intended target of the product?



  • @eclark1849 said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    @fbs7 All of the above.

    Isn't it a paradox that a program is both a toy and a professional tool, and everything in between? I'd imagine the features in a good toy and the features in a good professional tool would be quite different...



  • @fbs7 photo camera in the same price range, 150 or 500 USD. What is it? Toy, hobby or professional tool?



  • It's all 3. Is it expensive? That depends on your disposable income. For some people, $150 is astronomically high. For others, it's a drop in the bucket. Is it worth the price? that depends on you how you value it. For me, Poser is a hobby and I have the pro version. I have borderline personality disorder and can be prone to depression and anxiety. Poser helps me avoid these. So, $500 every few years (and it's really less because I wait for sales) is a lot more reasonable than what I was spending on therapy and meds.

    Is it good enough for professional work? That would depend on your skill. I've seen amazing images. And what quality you need. Some use it for instructional videos. You usually don't need photo quality for that.

    Before telling someone if it's worth it, we need to ask some questions first.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Long time ago, Poser was a tool to help drawing / painting artist in "posing figures" to help them draw / paint their figures without hiring a professional model to pose for them. That was 20 plus years ago.

    From a "posing" help, Poser grew to being a "full blown artist platform".

    This whole "3D" adventure became "mature" and attracted other companies to compete, complete, that initial idea.

    We have so many tools at hand that we are sometimes blindfolded by all the opportunities we have.

    It's like : "I want to write something down". Do I take a bic? Or hammer it in stone? Or my typewriter? Tablet? Smartphone? Crayon?
    All are tools to write something down.

    Some are making a living by creating Poser/DS content.
    Some are "pure" artists and enjoy the beauty of a render.
    Some are hobby guys spending free hobby time.
    Some are more interested in the technology.
    Some like to write add-ons, just because they can.

    All of the above are valid.

    Poser can be as much "passion" as it can be a "profession".

    Some buy a spade because they want to do some gardening on Saturdays.
    Others buy the same spade because it is a tool required for their profession.

    Me?
    I am a retired Air Force Captain-Commander.
    Poser is my hobby / passion.
    Solving a "how to" or a "what if" question brings more satisfaction then a nice render.
    Poser being the main app, and Blender, Krita and cr2editor being the support apps.

    What i do most? Testing.
    Testing for myself and others.

    Best regards, and most of all? Have fun using the Poser tools.
    tony



  • @fbs7 said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    So you see Poser as a professional tool, correct?

    Only as much as a hammer in the hands of a professional carpenter.

    Check out this article from the creator of RWBY (may God rest his sole), might help shed some light on tools in the right hands.



  • @phdubrov said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    @fbs7 photo camera in the same price range, 150 or 500 USD. What is it? Toy, hobby or professional tool?

    That's a good point, but then you do have cameras tailored for each purpose.

    You have simple cameras for kids, with hardly any complication to use. I bet you can find one like that for $20. These are clearly toys.

    And then you have very complicated cameras with all kinds of attachments for the professional photographers, that can easily cost $1,000 or more. And the cameras for commercial productions, which can cost much more. These are clearly professional tools.

    There are of course all gradations in between, and someone that is rich may risk giving a $300 camera as a plaything for his 12-years old. But that's a disservice... the kid will take forever to learn how to use the thing. But in general I suspect that there is some clarity of the intended audience a camera is tailored for.



  • @vilters said in Is Poser a toy, a hobby, or a professional tool?:

    Poser can be as much "passion" as it can be a "profession".

    Precisely. Same thing can be said of paper folding - may be a kid's toy or one may make an art and a living of that. In the end that depends on who's using it and it is their call and judgement.

    But if someone seeking guidance asked your opinion, what would you say?

    You see, in my mind I'd answer "it's an adult's toy, that is, a hobby". If someone asked if Poser's a professional thing, I'd say... "Might be, but you will be better positioned if you downloaded Maya Learning Edition or Houdini FX Free, and spent the money buying assets to use in them".

    But then I'm quite interested in how other people see it. And I'm quite curious on how SM sees it, because the way that SM sees it dictates the evolution of the product, I think.



  • Poser is a professional tool in the illustration (comics, posters, training material) space, but is not well regarded in professional animation circles, although it is occasionally used in the area of architectural visualisation. You won't go to any studio or training college and find Poser in use or taught. That should tell you how its viewed by the industry, regardless of any utility you can get from it. By FAR the majority of users are hobbyists not professionals.



  • @matb That depends on both the hobby and profession. For some industries. Poser is a cheap alternative to higher end packages. And every software has it's advocates and detractors. Poser, for example gets a lot of use in industries that need figures that can be animated, like courtrooms, Medical suppliers. Companies that make super market machines, baggage machines where they have little animations that show how something is used., and even in tv and commercials. I swear I saw V4 in a commercial this weekend. I also have heard that Dick Van Dyke, the actor, used to use Poser on his tv show, Diagnosis Murder. And the software was also used a lot in the TV show Bones.



  • @eclark1849 Yes, good points all Earl. I guess when I hear the word "Professional" in the context of 3D, I hear, "Is used in movie or advert grade animation" or "produces output that rivals the output of those industries". Poser is certainly used in a wide variety of arenas such as the ones that you highlighted, but in fairness, the reason for that is that those uses are tolerant of inferior quality. The fact that some industries are willing to accept the inferior standard that Poser (or DS) produces is probably not anything either company will want to celebrate in their mainstream marketing! :-)



  • @matb Really?? When's the last time you visited DAZ? They have this little Blurb right there on their home page. "“...accurate character tolerances made Daz a go-to solution on CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, and IRON MAN.- Ron Mendell



  • I don't think that "not for professional work" means anything bad. I love many videogames which are beautiful works of art, yet they are clearly toys. I cite Black Desert Online... what a beautiful game! And Diablo series. Or Silent Hill series. The list goes on and on.

    These are incredibly complicated pieces of software, with hundreds of thousands of lines of code, and are equal in complexity to many "professional tools", and they make a lot of money to their creators. Yet they all do a fantastic job of hiding all that complexity in a very user-friendly, minimalist interface.

    Imho what identifies a software as being a tool for a profession is if that software focus in allowing the professional to make more $$$ in less time. More $$$ may mean more volume or better intrinsic quality, so the way to do that varies.

    Poser doesn't seem particularly focused about production volume; for example, it doesn't seem easy to have a shared library of assets that multiple team members can use at the same time. Or in automating manual repetitive tasks, which in a team environment means loss of productivity.

    Now, Poser may produce excellent intrinsic quality, like in renders. But the cost of doing that seems to be high, specially in animation. For example, the incredibly fast way that iClone animates facial expressions probably means 100x greater productivity for that task compared to Poser.

    So while it's true that Poser can produce high quality results, I fear that when compared to other tools the productivity may be a tad lower in several tasks.



  • @eclark1849 Yes, I've seen that but that's deliberately disingenuous. Mendell never MADE a movie with DAZ Studio figures, they simply used it for storyboarding, and that quote is some grade a misleading BS. It would be like me claiming that I drove in the finals of formula 1, only to reveal that I drove the track cleaning wagon!