When Poser 11 was released, Brian Morton (a.k.a., ghosthip2) spent some quality time with tutorials on Blender's Cycles render engine. He's used that knowledge to create better art, along with a set of materials and a set of lights that makes Poser 12 renders even better.
Poser's SuperFly render engine is based on Cycles, Blender's physically-based path-tracing render engine. It is designed to provide physically based results out-of-the-box, with artistic control and flexible shading nodes for realistic results in a shorter render time.
"There was one tutorial in particular from Blender Guru about PBR materials that shows how to make a physically correct cycles material master shader," Morton said.
He used that tutorial to create his own shader for Poser 11 that he offered for free on Renderosity.
"When Poser 12 came out, my shader became obsolete with the inclusion of the Principled BSDF node," Morton said, adding this meant he had to develop a new shader for Poser 12.
Now he's offering "Ghostship2 - Poser 12 Materials" in the Renderosity Marketplace, which is based on that new Poser 12 shader.
Ghostship2 - Poser 12 Materials uses Ghostship2's SuperFly Shaders, which includes 311 procedural materials for Poser 12. These materials are based on the Cycles root node and are intended to be accurate for PBR renders using Poser 12's SuperFly render engine.
"When I was asked to come up with some Poser 12 specific shaders, I decided to make a set of shaders that were easy to use, one-click solutions," Morton said.
Materials featured in the pack are 40 Leather materials, 62 Metal materials, 72 Solid/gloss/satin, finish/matte finish materials, 21 Glass materials, 27 Metallic car pain with clear, glossy top layer and 89 Cloth materials. These materials are easy to use, but can also be expanded with texture maps for those more advanced users.
To make the materials pop, Morton also created a lights set – "Ghostship2 - Lights for Poser" – that comes with Lights presets, Light Materials and Render Preferences.
Morton said he created these to share great lighting with other Poser users.
"My own Poser renders are mostly portraits, so that is what I concentrated on," he said. "Studio portrait lighting, some bounce lighting that is interactive with Poser's Construct/GROUND prop and a mat for the GROUND that recreated a sunny day at the beach."
Along with the interactive lighting and studio portrait lighting, this pack has a back glow, photo flashes, Light Materials and four render preferences to use with the lights.
To learn more about Morton and his art, we asked him a few questions.
Ghostship2 - Poser 12 Materials
Ghostship2 - Poser 12 Lights
How long have you been creating digital art, and why did you start?
Morton: I've been doing digital art since around 1986 when my brother got a job at Apple and brought a Mac Plus home from work. Before that, I was doing more conventional drawing and painting.
What inspires your creations?
Morton: As for Poser stuff, mostly images from fashion magazines.
What is your favorite thing to design?
Morton: I do like the human form; that is why I got into Poser in the first place. Before Poser came along, I was using Bryce and making landscapes and nature images.
Your renders have improved greatly over the past few years. What do you attribute this improvement to?
Morton: Several things.
Firstly, I read and participate in the Renderosity Poser forum. The forum is a great source of information.
Second, I get a lot of good info from Blender tutorials on YouTube. Poser's SuperFly render engine is derived from Blender's Cycles render engine, so there is a lot of stuff that applies to both.
Thirdly, I've asked other artists what they are doing when I see a piece of Poser art I like or feel is on a higher level than my own.
How do you set up your scenes in Poser, specifically the lighting?
Morton: Previous to Poser 12, I was using mostly the "Envirosphere" by Bagginsbill to light my scenes. You load a 360 degree .jpg or HDRI onto the sphere's mat and set the ambient level to 1 or more to light the scene.
This totally immerses your figure into the background and makes them look like they really are there in that image. There are some issues using a “lighting dome” like this, render noise, no bright highlights from the sun in the HDRI.
But now Poser 12 lets you use an HDRI on the background object. You can get to this by going to your material tab, click on the object select drop-down menu and select “background.” It shows up just like your figures and props do in the scene. The setup is a little more complicated than the dome lighting, so I've included a screenshot of the mat setup.
I've also included an example using some different HDRIs to illustrate the range of lighting. Using the background for lighting, the scene gives you real shadows and highlights from the HDRI and renders with less noise than using a dome.
Tell me about the lights and new product you're working on for Renderosity's Marketplace.
Morton: When Poser 11 came out, I spent about six months watching YouTube tutorials on Blender materials because Poser's Superfly render engine is based on Blender's Cycles.
There was one tutorial in particular from Blender Guru about PBR materials that shows how to make a physically correct cycles material master shader. I adapted this to make my own PBR master shader for Poser 11. My shader also includes some things not in the tutorial, like sub-surface scattering and transparency. The shader is free at Renderosity.
When Poser 12 came out, my shader became obsolete with the inclusion of the Principled BSDF node. I immediately started using this node in my shaders instead of my free super-shader.
When I was asked to come up with some Poser 12 specific shaders, I decided to make a set of shaders that were easy to use, one-click solutions. My focus is on mats that can be used on common items that most Poser users will need: several types of cloth, metals, plastic, car paint, and glass.
I was also tasked with creating a light set for Poser 12. My own Poser renders are mostly portraits, so that is what I concentrated on. Studio portrait lighting, some bounce lighting that is interactive with Poser's Construct/GROUND prop and a mat for the GROUND that recreated a sunny day at the beach.
Poser offers users the ability to use interactive 3D figure design to create art, illustration, animation, comics, web, print, education, medical, games, story boarding, and more. Using the program, creators can bring their stories, dreams and fantasies to life. From historic to contemporary, sci-fi to fantasy, Poser is the 3D graphics software tool used by professionals and hobbyists alike.
That's why we want to take a closer look at some of the creators who leverage the power of Poser to create. Email us at email@example.com if you would like to participate in the Creator Series.
What can you create? Let us know on Twitter at @poserpro, using #CreateWithPoser