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A Poser User's Terminology/Concept Guide to DAZ Studio

Author: rbtwhiz, © 2008

It is by no mistake that DAZ Studio and Poser make use of some very similar concepts, but often use different terms to describe them. Despite what some would like to believe, this isn't in spite of Poser, nor does it derive from an insatiable need to be unique. The real motive behind this stems from the desire to abstract terms to have a broader meaning in some cases, while having a more concrete meaning in others, both inside and outside the existing market; otherwise known as 'the Poserverse' to some. In some cases, such as 'DForm', the term used is a play on words with it's technical term (deformer) and there is a marketing purpose behind it; catchy names stick. But in most cases the idea is to put biases aside and use a term that accurately describes a concept.

This, of course, is beside the fact that DAZ Studio is not Poser; nor is it intended to be. The primary purpose of DAZ Studio is to provide an application that uses the content sold in the DAZ Store. DAZ Studio is a means to that end; it is an application that DAZ controls the development of so that it isn't reliant on the business decisions of a third party.

To help those who are familiar with Poser find their way around DAZ Studio, I've decided to provide a guide that maps similar concepts to their corresponding terms. This page will continue to change as I feel the need to update it.

Poser DAZ Studio Description
Actor Bone Poser doesn't seem to make an explicit distinction between the type of an 'actor' in a figure, except by name; i.e. actor BODY vs actor head. DAZ Studio makes the distinction because different types of 'actors' provide different functionality, though they can/do share many common functionalities. A Bone is a type of Node, it can do everything a Node can, but it also expects to be within the hierarchy of a Skeleton; standard Nodes do not. Bones can also be made to follow the Bones of another figure.
Actor Skeleton Typically referred to as 'BODY' in the Poser lexicon, a Skeleton is the root 'actor' for a given figure. This Node is unique in that it typically doesn't have any geometry of its own; at least not in the rigging system Poser provides. This Node is also unique in that it knows about all of its children (its Bones), and holds information pertaining to the weld relationships between its children. This type of Node can also be instructed to follow or 'fit to' another Skeleton; in which case it relays the instuction to its children.
Actor Node This is the most basic form of an 'actor.' It can be rotated, translated, scaled. It can have geometry, or not. It can have a parent, or not. It can have children, or not.
Channel Parameter
Channel Property
Figure Skeleton Typically referred to as 'BODY' in the Poser lexicon, a Skeleton is the root 'actor' for a given 'figure.' Since not all Skeletons are 'figures,' DAZ Studio uses a slightly more abstract name to suggest a skeletal hierarchical structure.
Magnet DForm
Prop Node *