Character Creation Tips for Poser Users

Someone I had not previously met asked me in a Renderosity site mail:

Hi there – i was browsing your gallery and am totally amazed by your fellas. How did you get the latest one to look so damn good?

I’m rather new to using M4, so I am still stumbling around with him looking drab and generic.

Are there any tips you can offer?

(My gallery on Rendo is here, if you want to know what s/he was talking about…)

Here’s what I said:

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I kind of Frankenstein my characters together from a lot of different parts! Here’s a short tut on the subject:

First off, I don’t think I ever use the M4 hi-res skin, though it’s useful in setting up Poser shaders as an example.  :)  Short answer–try different skin textures. The two kitsune pictures use the Prince Albane skin from RawArt at DAZ3d–it’s really excellent, albeit albino–and *that* sure is different! I also use the Jepe’s 6 Pack skins (from PoserAddicts) which I run through Texture Converter 2 and then set up the shaders for them in Poser 7 Pro. I use others, too.

Also: I use the M4 Displacement Maps (DAZ3d) to get the lovely vascularity. If you use Poser, Cliff Bowman created some great script to let you use them in Poser 6 or 7. You get some great musculature with these maps.

First, you need at least the Morphs++ package, and I would advise getting M4 Enhanced/Mina for M4 as well. This morph package smoothed out a lot of the issues with M4–like his big balloony thighs! Once you have these, you should set up a base character with all the morph injections already done–big time saver.

Then use this basic figure to start your own characters, and as you develop them, save them as their own figures (CR2 files)

I have a really visual imagination, so I have a pretty good idea of what these people look like. But if you don’t, try collecting photos of a particular actor you really like–don’t worry about making a celeb clone, that’s insanely hard–but you will end up with an interesting finished product that you’re happy with.

You NEED Morphs++ installed to do decent characters, as well as to use M4 Ehanced. No way around that.

Given that, start at the top of the morph lists on the head and work your way south. Dial up a full face, at about 0.3 or 0.4 strength, and then use the other dials to back it off and change it. If you want a more mature character, start with the “Old” morph at about 0.32 and then add in Young 0.1 or one of the named morphs. I did that with Kaminski, and he came out really well! Also be sure to use the face shape morphs! Heart, square, round–and try them at negative values. In fact, negative values are your friend in this task! Always check the negative value of a trate you don’t want to see if it gets you one you do. Such as: Need a thinner face? Try negative values for Round or Square.

Next, you may use the dials that adjust both sides at once, but be sure to use the right or left versions as well, to keep the face from being too symmetrical. People are just NOT symmetrical! So, for example, maybe have eye height at 0.02 on left eye and 0.1 on the right.

Be subtle in your use of dials! You won’t need 1.0 on most of them, except for some stuff with the philitrum or nose.

Same thing for expressions as character faces, with one caveat: Don’t even bother with the Happy, Sad, Angry expressions. They look like clown-faces. You’re better off making faces in a mirror you keep on your desktop and copying what you see! That’s what I do, anyhow. Of course, I have a fairly expressive face. :^p

I hope that gets you started. Please feel free to ask specific questions if you want, too. :^D

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And that goes for any of you blog readers, too. :)

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