May 23, 2005

Poser 6 brings images to life

Written By Dan Lee, Mercury News

Meet James and Jessi.

These two human figures, male and female, are athletic, attractive and ready to be digitally manipulated in just about any way you could think of.

You could add form-fitting pants, a shirt and a hip haircut and make James dance through do-it-yourself animation. Or you could exaggerate Jessi’s facial features, change skin texture and add exotic tattoos.

It’s all part of the new release of the Poser 6, a software tool for 3-D human figures and other images used by designers, illustrators, animators and graphic artists.

The new version of the Poser software from Scotts Valley-based e frontier America, formerly known as Curious Labs, was released in March. More than a year in the making, Poser 6 has “photo-realistic” upgrades including new poses, clothing, hairstyles and improvements in lighting and shadows, according to the company.

The Poser software also offers images of children, named Ben and Kate, along with a library of robots, cartoons and animals.

Realistic human figures are the most popular because they are the most difficult for artists to create themselves, said Ulrich Klumpp, product manager for e frontier America.

“The whole thing is geared toward being easily accessible,” he said of the Poser tools. “The whole idea is you just drop something in a scene and get started right away. It’s instant gratification.”

The software costs about $250, with versions for Windows and Macintosh.

Poser is used in art, comics and animation and for illustrations in magazines and other publications. Animated figures also can help teach such things as martial-arts moves.

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