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KeeperS Karu
Posts: 389

Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

[ Edited ]

Heyla and well met!

 

I've been trying to look up as much as possible on the subject of how uploading mesh works in SL. Before mesh went world-wide, I was planning on creating the raw .OBJ file in Anim8or, get it mapped in UVMapper, then import it into Poser, if it needed rigging. Now that mesh is available, I see I need my mesh files to be in .dae format. Poser supports the importation and exportation of .dae files. My question is whether or not Poser has been successfully used to create the .dae files to import into SL? If this is the case, then I'll be glad, as it means I don't need to concern myself with accquiring new software--and learning it--in order to participate in mesh creation on SL.

 

Thanks for your help!

Keeper S. Karu

 

EDIT 1:

The answer to my original question seems to be that there shouldn't be any real issues exporting files from Poser for import into SL. According to SmithMicro Tech Support, Poser Pro 2010 uses the latest version of COLLADA. However, with the upcoming release of Poser 9.Pro 2012, any further support for 8/2010 will no longer be available. My own solution is to simply use what I have, and if, in the future, there any compatibility problems arise due to 2010 no longer being supported, I'll simply use Daz|Studio 4 to export my meshes, after they've been rigged in Poser, as Daz3D will continue to support its software. Another alternative to explore is using Blender for exporting the final product in COLLADA format. But I'm trying to do what I can to avoid using Blender as much as possible, for a variety of reasons.

(See EDIT 3; I got this incorrect, the first time) I've discovered that, in regards to the question of Polygons vs. Triangles, http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Polygons-vs-Triangles/td-p/1089127, I was advised that when one has completed the mesh in one's preferred modelling program, one should convert it to triangular faces before UVMapping and rigging the mesh, as the automatic triangulation done by exporting it in COLLADA format after these steps are completed can cause potential distortions and problems. I've read that Blender is actually very good at such conversions, creating as few triangles as possible, thus keeping the polygon count low. I may have to break and make use of Blender for this feature. (See EDIT 3; I got this incorrect, the first time)

In regards to creating clothing meshes for attachment to the avatar, I've learned that it's very important to not skip the step of properly grouping the mesh to match the groups used in the SL avatar mesh: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Mesh/Maya-Mesh-rigged-but-does-not-attach-in-SL/td-p/1087463 . For those familiar with making conforming clothing for Poser figures, this should be a familiar step.

I've yet to receive any answers regarding the scaling of mesh objects when exported from Poser, yet. I may have to find out about this when I'm finally able to get to the experimentation phase in all this. At this particular moment, I'm still trying to work out what mesh is all about, and how to adapt creating and uploading meshes using my preferred software, so I at least have some idea of what I'm doing. After reading through the wiki, watching the Kettle Quest videos, and asking some questions concerning the use of Poser, specifically, I now seem to have some kind of basic idea of what I need to do when playing around with meshes in SL. I'll probably start trying a few things on the SL Beta Grid, as recommended in the wiki, to get some practice before committing some actual L$ to uploading mesh on the main grid. My hope is that, once I've figured out how to properly bring my models in-world using Poser, I'l be able to go over my steps for others who are just as interested in using Poser for rigging and exporting meshes.

 

EDIT 2: Of course, just as soon as I hit the post button, I discovered that someone was actually able to give me a pretty good answer to the issue of scaling. Apparently, scaling, in theory, at least, shouldn't be a real issue, as the Mesh/Upload Model UI has, on its third tab, the option to adjust the object's scaling. Further, as long as the original object, such as a piece of mesh clothing, was built around a reference object from SL, such as one of the avatar's the mesh clothing was meant for, the mesh should scale properly even when using the in-world building tools. I'll definitely still be experimenting with all of this, though, just to make sure things work as they ought to, and to iron out any problems, if and when they don't!

 

EDIT 3: I've received a bit more advice in the Polygons vs. Triangles thread. The recommendation is to actually go about your regular business, modelling, UVMapping, rigging, etc. Some say that, since COLLADA converts the meshand such to triangles, anyhow, it's easier to simply see how the mesh reacts after it's been converted to this formtat. If any problems occur, go back and edit the mesh BEFORE the conversion, as triangles can actually make editing a bit awkward. Some actually prefer, once everything else is completed, to triangulate the mesh through Blender, to get a truer polygon count and to view if anything is amiss, before exporting the mesh into COLLADA format. Either way, the consensus is the same: I got the workflow incorrect: Triangluation is the LAST thing you do, not something you do early on in the creation process. The information concerning errors to the UVMapping was probably something I read about in another circumstance, and misapplied it, here.

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.
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Maeve Balfour
Posts: 273

Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

Reply to KeeperS Karu - view message

I haven't tried it myself as yet (although I use Poser-7 for AV animating). In theory, your version of Poser should be capable of rigging meshes to the SL AV, and exporting for use in SL (provided it can export in a compatible Collada format).

Myself, I use Blender 2.49b purely for its Collada exporter (I import my .obj files, use Blender to convert my quad meshes to tris, and export to Collada 1.4 format). Considering Blender is free, it is a perfect alternative if your version of Poser doesn't export to the required Collada format; so no extra software purchase is necessarily required.

A sidenote: I am very intrigued by the upcoming release of PoserPro 2012 (in concurrence with the release of Poser-9). From what I understand, PoserPro 2012 introduces weight-painting to meshes in conjunction with the rigging process. Considering I am a total Blender noob, especially with the interface and the rigging process, but a veteran Poser user, this new version with weight-painting is very tempting - fingers-crossed it is compatible with SL exporting.... if so, it could be a very powerful tool for SL content creators.

:matte-motes-smile:

Exploring my creative side inside of SL
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KeeperS Karu
Posts: 389
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

Reply to Maeve Balfour - view message

Yeah, I've tried Blender, and its interface scared me off. I've been a long-time user of Poser 5, but I just bought an upgrade to Poser Pro 2010 when I went to the San Deigo Comic-Con, a month ago. I had a feeling, though, that they were ready to upgrade their software, as their prices for Poser Pro 2010 made it seem like they were practically giving it away. (They let me buy Poser Pro 2010 for only $99, based soley on the word that I had Poser 5. I had actually meant to bring my disks with me as proof, but I completely forgot, but they never even asked.) Ah, well.

 

I'm hoping that exporting in the COLLADA format works well with Poser, because I really like working with both it and Anim8or, and I really hate having to spend a lot of time learning to use new sofware.

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.
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Maeve Balfour
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

[ Edited ]

Reply to KeeperS Karu - view message

Not wanting to spend your money for you (/me laughs), but since you now own PoserPro 2010, you are actually eligible to upgrade to PoserPro 2012 at a fairly heavily reduced price:

Link: http://poser.smithmicro.com/comingsoon/#order   (pricing is about a third the way down the page).

Note that the pre-order offer closes soon (September 20).

I am very tempted to grab it, regardless of SL compatibility, being a Poser user anyway. (For the record, I'm definitely NOT a salesperson trying to sell it to everyone LOL!)

:smileyvery-happy:

Exploring my creative side inside of SL
Nacy Nightfire
Posts: 1,013
Registered: ‎04-09-2009
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

Reply to Maeve Balfour - view message

I've taken advantage of the discount, but I did call to try to get confirmation which version of Collada they use. Although the customer service person had to check with someone else and she sounded tentitive, she commited saying its version 1.4.1 which is the same version used with Blender 2.59.  Currently (unless there's some recent changes I'm not aware of) that version isn't exporting deformed avatar rigs properly, although at a recent mesh user meeting there seemed to be a commitment to fix this.

I have my fingers crossed.

Meanwhile the promotion is a bit odd.  You pay in advance and get a voucher with the admonishment that you must redeem it between September 20th and 30th.  I have no idea what happens if I forget and miss this deadline.

Also I got my original version of Poser 6 on Ebay for 50 dollars. It was being sold by the actual company that distributes Poser and after version 7 was introduced, so anyone looking for a deal and doesn't mind an earlier version should check it out and see if they are still selling these on Ebay.

 

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KeeperS Karu
Posts: 389
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

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At this point in time, especially after having just bought Poser Pro 2010, I'm not in a position to upgrade, tempting as the discount for pre-orders may be. I'll call SmithMicro technical support, tomorrow, to see if there are any compatiblity issues between it and SL. I hope not. I'll also be running some experimental tests on the beta server, as LL suggests on their wiki page on mesh, to see how things turn out. I was just hoping that others with Poser 8/Pro 2010 might be able to say whether they've had any problems, and whether they've been able to successfully work around those problems.

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.
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KeeperS Karu
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

[ Edited ]

Reply to KeeperS Karu - view message

I just got off the phone with SmithMicro tech support. While she was unable to actually get a specific version number for COLLADA used in Poser's export/import feature, she did confirm that Poser Pro 2010 does have the latest version. I'm hoping this means that there won't be any compatibility issues between Poser and SL when exporting my scenes in COLLADA format.

 

A bit of caution, though, for those thinking of picking up Poser Pro 2010: Technical support confirmed that, once Poser Pro 2012 hits the market, there will be no further patches and upgrades to Poser Pro 2010. So, as was suggested in a previous post, if you want a copy of Poser, you may want to consider reserving yourself a copy of Poser 9/Pro at the discount they're offering, now.

 

As for myself, I plan to make the most of what I have. If compatibility becomes an issue, later, I'll likely switch to using Daz|Studio to export  my meshes in COLLADA format, as Daz3D seems to be actively supporting issues regarding it.

 

EDIT: For those thinking of skipping Poser, altogether, in favor of using Daz|Studio, the free version of Daz|Studio does not seem to offer the ability to rig your meshes. For that, you'll need to upgrade to the full Pro version, which costs about as much as Poser Pro, and if you just want Poser 9, as opposed to Pro 2012, it's actually more cost effective, as the regular version of Poser possesses the Setup Room, which is where you do your rigging of the mesh.

EDIT 2: A little tired and realized how strange the first edit may sound. The first edit was only taking into account a choice between using Poser and Daz|Studio. As others have mentioned, though, there are actually some other free programs available, though, that offer the ability to rig your meshes, the most notable of them being Blender. Personally, though, I really hated Blender's interface, and I'm more comfortable and familiar with Poser and Anim8or, so I choose to use those programs. Which reminds me: Anim8or actually has the means to rig meshes. I just don't use that part of Anim9or because I learned to use the system in Poser, first, and as I mentioned, I tend to stick with what I'm familiar with. I find Anim8or much easier and more intuitive to deal with than Blender, so if there are people who still feel intimidated by Blender's UI, you may want to try Anim8or.

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.
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KeeperS Karu
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

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I just realized I had another question related to rigging and uploading meshes using Poser: I already know that I have to use Objaction Scaler in order for models to scale properly between Poser and 3D modelling programs, as figures in Poser tend to be quite tiny in regular 3D modelling programs. Will I need to use something to scale my meshes when I export them from Poser?

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.
Member
Maeve Balfour
Posts: 273

Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

Reply to KeeperS Karu - view message

Hmm... good question.... Though, in theory, I don't think you will necessarily need to. In the SL mesh upload window, there is an option in the third tab (if I remember correctly - I am typing this on a break at work) which lets you define your scaling.

Also, keep in mind that you can easily rescale things inworld in SL - often my meshes import into SL at a miniscule scale (due to me forgetting to change my export settings from my modeler LOL) - to fix, i just use the standard SL build tools to upsize my meshes. For rigged clothing... I assume this would be the same; if your meshes are proportionally correct, you just resize them to fit your AV in a T-pose, then wear/attach it.

A good exercise would be to try uploading a basic mesh - even a mesh cube, for example - just to get a feel for things (and to see if your poser .dae files actually work with SL).

:matte-motes-smile:

Exploring my creative side inside of SL
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KeeperS Karu
Posts: 389
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Re: Using Poser To Rig and Export Mesh For SL

Reply to Maeve Balfour - view message

Oh, thanks! I saw that feature when reading about the Mesh/Upload Model UI, but until you mentioned it, it actually hadn't fully sunk in! Silly me. And, yes, I plan on uploading experimental meshes, from basic cubes to kettles (just to see how my own experiments with optimizing my mesh for the various levels of LOD compares to what I saw in the videos) to some kind of very simple conforming mesh clothing, like arm bracers, just to see how they all work.

Thanks for the reminder about the scaling feature in the uploader UI, as well as the in-world scaling of objects, though! That actually does ease my mind a lot, as this will mean a lot less headaches!

Power corrupts, and absolute power is really kinda neat.