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Create a Waterfall in Poser 5

Author: Kendra

Tools Needed

  • Poser 5


If you have P5, you don\'t necessarily need to use Bryce to get a good landscape. Using the Hair feature you can create your own waterfalls in Poser and the potential looks are endless.


Step 1 - Set up your scene


Set up your scene first. I always add the waterfall last. Until you decide to go more advanced, make sure your waterfall starts out of the scene and you have a straight surface for it to fall down. It's also a good idea to test render your water material on your lake first.

I used a terrain I exported from Bryce but you can create one using poser primatives or search freestuff for something that will work. I also use Transponds Rocks, from RuntimeDNA's free section, often with my waterfalls. The rest of the landscape is 3DModelz WorldZ and the water is the cloth primitive with a water material applied. Water can be difficult to achieve but I find positioning a light under, facing up to the surface, helps to get that translucent water effect.

Step 2 - Add a surface for your waterfall "Hair" to fall from


To begin with, and for simple waterfalls, you'll want to grow your hair from a simple, flat surface. Import a box primitive.

Be sure to save your camera when you get the angle and view you want. You'll be moving around after this.

Step 3 - Position your surface


You'll probably need to move your camera view so be sure you've saved the camera view you intend to render at.

Position your surface at the top of your waterfall. You may need to re-size it. Make sure it will be out of site of your main view and depending on how large you want your waterfall to be, only allow a lip to protrude from your terrain.

Step 4 - New growth group


In the hair room, have your box selected and click “New Growth Group”.

Next click “Edit Growth Group”. With the “+” tool, drag a box over the top of the box. This will highlight in red, the area where the hair will grow.

Be careful not to include the sides and front of the box. You may need to select a small section at a time.

Step 5 - Grow your guide hairs


Next click “Grow Guide Hairs” and extend the length to where you want it.

Step 6 - "Style" your waterfall


Adjust the “Pull Back” and “Pull Down” dials (far left in the Hair room) till the hair bends over and down the surface of your landscape.

At this point, depending on your landscape, you can also style the hair to twist and turn through rocks. For simplicity, this waterfall will come straight down into the lake.

Step 7 - Apply your water material


In the material room, select the hair and apply your water material.

Step 8 - Render


Render using Firefly and make sure Raytracing is on. You may need to position additional lights around, at or behind your waterfall to get a translucent look.

Keep in mind, the more “hair” you have the longer the render time. Most likely you'll be post-working anyway to achieve mist and such so it's possible to work with a low hair count. I believe my hair count in this is around 1000 to 1200.

Step 9 - Postwork tips


The end result.

For postwork, I use Photoshop but any graphics program will work to achieve the same effects. I use the smudge tool and a speckled brush to “brush” down the surface of the waterfall and blend the water. Mist is created on a separate layer using a speckled brush and with the opacity set to low, dot a few white dots at the base of the water. Use the blur tool to blur and blend them together.

Using the burn tool on your rocks and terrains at the water level will create a “wet look”.

Step 10 - Other waterfall effects


Here's another waterfall I did where the hair is grown directly on the rocks and the “hair” is styled to wind down the surface. More difficult but you can achieve anything from a trickle to a cascade. Requires a bit more styling experience and you can still use the box surface to start from. Same postworking applied.

Using hair as water in P5 can really push the limits of Poser. You can style the “hair” to cascade over your character, terrains and rocks since the “hair” can be styled in almost any way. And with all the landscape props available now, your poser characters don't need to rely on Bryce or Vue. :) ~Enjoy!