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Saving Time and Space

Author: 3Don

Tools Needed

  • Poser 4


Poser is a demanding program. It can take up a lot of HD space and the bigger the file gets; the longer things take to do. Allotting more RAM to Poser and closing other open programs are two obvious ways to save resources. Here are several other ways to save both time and space while working with Poser.

Step 1 - Workking with Textures

When working on a scene one often tries different textures for characters and props to see how they look. These textures, once loaded accumulate and remain active in that file until it is saved and closed. This does not make a bigger file size, but it can slow you down. Also when you go to apply a loaded texture, there is a long list to scroll through to find it. It's a faster process if you have fewer items to scroll through.

I have experienced a prop not rendering in a scene. Even though the shadow often appears, the prop will be gone, or like it is invisible. Dumping out the extra textures often remedies this. If not, reapply the same prop after restarting Poser and the prop should render properly (no pun intended).

So, when you have decided on the textures you want, save your document, quit, and restart. All of the unused textures will be gone.

Step 2 - Milenium Figures and Low Res Characters

If you use the DAZ Millennium figures, you know they are memory hogs! Their beauty and functionality come at a price. With those figures, or others, and clothes and props and whatever else, file sizes can grow quickly. When you use several figures, try the reduced size Millennium characters for general posing and placement, etc. Switch those figures for the higher resolution ones later for renders. Put lower res figures, such as the P4 standard ones in the background. Being smaller and not in center stage, where detail is less critical, these figures work well as fillers.

Most often, I add all of the characters I will use in a scene pose and place them before I start adding textures and props. The process of building a scene goes faster that way.

Step 3 - Use the Dots

Use the Dots! I frequently use the camera and pose dots (9 each). It is faster to use them than to go to pose and camera sets in the Library. When posing or composing, I often need to switch views to check progress. So, I have several favorite camera settings, which I can quickly access.

The pose dots are great for posing processes. When configuring a certain pose, I often save the pose to a dot so that if I am unsatisfied with the next step of progress, I can go back easily. This is faster than reverting to last saved. I keep one dot as a standard default to clear poses. The rest are changed frequently as I work. The dots are easy to set and reset. You just have to have a mental system to remember which is which, as there are no previews for dots.

Step 4 - Reset the Render Style

When selecting a Sketch Render style, you do not have to wait for the preview to render to have a particular preset ready to use. Just select the style, let it start to do the preview render for a few seconds, then click your mouse in the Sketch Design window to stop the preview render. Close the SD window and go back to the studio. The preset style has been set and will now render when you choose sketch design render under render options.

Step 5 - Low Resolution Characters and Reduce Polys in Millennium Characters

Besides using lower resolution characters there is another way to reduce file size. When I want to use the high polygon figures only, I have modified Millennium figures to use.

Under Windows, open the Hierarchy Editor and check the “show all parameters” box. You get a list of all body parts. What I do is delete the morphs I do not want or will use. For instance, I have one Millennium figure for which I have removed all alien, animal, fairy, and anime morphs. I have a figure which is now several MB smaller than standard. From that figure I have edited a few others for smaller sizes, taking out other morphs, such as vampire teeth, some stylized morphs for lips, etc.

In some I remove the spandex, emaciated, thin, etc. morphs. I save and name each specially modified model such that I will recall what it is.

You can do this even with the low-res Millennium and P4 standard figures for even smaller file sizes. I have Millennium figures that are half the original size. They sure process a lot faster as I work.

Step 6 - Strategic "Saving"

Once it's all done there are two ways to save your work. Say I name my Millennium Man file as “M2_Lifeguard.” Poser saves it as M2_Lifeguard.pz3 (Pro-Pack and Poser 5 might be different). You are saving all elements in your file as they are in this way. Besides saving the figure, you save the lights, cameras, and any other models within your scene. As such you might have a file size of 24 MB, for example.

But, if you just save the figure and its attached clothes, textures, and props to the Character Library it is saved as M2_lifeguard.CR2, a character file. This file does not record or retain the lights, cameras, or other elements from which the CR2 file was derived. It is thus, a smaller file size; say 22 or 18 MB, etc.

So, saving as a CR2, the file is generally smaller than a pz3. The advantage of a pz3 file is that you can save it to anywhere on your main or external HD and control your total space that way. The downside of a CR2 file in a way is that it is always saved to your Poser Runtime directory, increasing the density. How you save your file is a matter of choice and available resources. Being aware of this choice will enable you to save some time and space somehow.

Step 7 - Offloading Your Harddrive

Periodically, compress or burn to CDs your props, poses, textures, etc. in your Runtime Library and those in external libraries that you have not used in a while or don't use very often. Be sure to gather all associated files to archive, as well as to delete the associated ones in the complex Poser file structure. In other words, if you archive a character, you need to gather its textures, props, poses, etc. to save together. And you need to remove all of those files from not only your Library, but from Geometries also. This is especially necessary for characters and scenes you have set up from several sources.

If you archive to CD a pz3 file, you are not saving all of the associated files that go with it. To do that, open the file, review contents, and then gather and save all that you listed. I sure learned this one the hard way after saving some stuff and not thinking to save a couple of geometry and prop files after dumping the originals.

There you have it. Try these things and save yourself some time and space, as well as a lot of aggravation. You'll have more time to play!