Setting up the Figure in the Poser Setup Room.

The export from Wings has produced as *.obj and a *.mlt file.

Before I import the object into Poser, I need to do some cleanup. On export, Wings3d concatenates the group names from the object name and the material name. For Poser, I need to remove the object name from that.

I open the *.obj in a text editor and search for lines with the material name. They look like: "g bodyname_materialname", e.g. "g dwarf_hip", if the object in Wings was named Dwarf.

I search and replace "g bodyname" with "g ". With the previous example, that would change "g dwarf_hip" to "g hip". I save the modified file into a subfolder of the geometry folder of my runtime. I find it useful to have a separate runtime folder just for development projects. Refer to the Poser manual on how to set up additional runtime folders.

Before I import the file into Poser, I delete, move or rename the *.mlt file. If we keep that file, Poser will import the material settings from wings and we will get a very colourful figure. Without it, Poser sets a default material that is much easier on the eyes.

In the preferences, Poser should be configures to use uncompressed library files.

In Poser, I import the *.obj file. It is important to deselect all options in the import dialog, I have no idea why they are selected by default, they are usually not useful.

After the import, I switch to the setup room. If you do this the first time, I recommend rereading the Poser manual chapters on the setup room and the joint editor. They cover the basics in an adequate way.

In the setup room, one can import the skeleton from another figure; the manual describes how to do that. If you have saved a figure without morphs, special channels etc. from a previous project you can use that, which will save you some time. I don't recommend using the skeleton form a figure that comes with poser or you have purchased. I am not sure that would be ok from a copyright point of view and Poser will introduce all kinds of additional stuff from these files that will not make sense for the new figure.

This time, I will do the skeleton from scratch. It is easier to wok with the display options set to "line". I usually switch to the front camera for this task.

With the bone tool, I add a bone for each body part, beginning with the hip. From the hip, I work up to the head and the eyes. Don't worry much about the position of the bones now, for the moment an approximate position will be ok.

For each bone, I set the internal name exactly as the name I used in Wings for that body part, capitalization matters. The internal name can be edited in the properties window.

The same window we can set the name of the body part. This is the name Poser will display to the user, it is not important for the internal workings. I can theoretical use any name I like, but it is probably a good idea to follow the standards set by the existing figures. Because of an odd quirk of the setup room, the name will not stick if I set it the same time as the internal name. I need to set the internal name, then switch to another bone, reselect the bone and then set the name.

A new bone part will be parented to the last selected one. After adding the first eye, I select the head bone again and add the second eye. Then I add the hierarchy for the right and left arm from the chest and the one for right and left leg from the hip.

The bones for the hands are easier added from the top camera view. You can also use this view to check the z position of all other bones. You can move the ones with the move tool. Each bone should start in the pivot point for the body part. I donít have to be to careful with that now, I will fine tune that when I work on the joint parameters.

I also don't need to worry about symmetry now; the symmetry tool will fix it later.

The hierarchy editor is a good tool to check for the correct parent-child relationship. When I make any mistake with the bone tool, I can correct it here by drag and drop.

This image shows my final setup. It is actually take after all the corrections I made in the joint setup phase and with the symmetry tool, covered in the next tutorial. But I include it here to show you the result I work towards.

With all bones set up, I return to the pose room. There I try to move each body part, checking that the right parts move with it. Don't worry about weird deformations, they are normal because we haven not setup the joint parameters jet. But if you move a part, all its children should move with it, and no other parts. If not, the usually problem is that internal name doesnít match the group name.

If the internal name is wrong, I go back to the setup room and fix it. If the group name is wrong, I fix that after the next step.

Now I memorize the figure and save it to the character library. When setting up a figure this way Poser will create a new *.obj file in the character library folder and use that in the figure. That is some what inconvenient so I will change it to use the *.obj file I the geometry folder.

For this purpose, I open the figures *.cr2 file in a text editor. A special Poser file editor would probably more continent, but I havenít bothered to find one jet. In the file will be two identical lines beginning with figureResFile. For example:

figureResFile F:\3D\Poser_Run\MyRuntime\Runtime\ libraries\character\SLE\zwergin.obj

In both lines, I change the path to point to the correct file:

figureResFile F:\3D\Poser_Run\MyRuntime\Runtime\Geometries\SLE\zwergin.obj

Even with windows being case insensitive with path names, Poser has to have the correct capitalization in the path, or it will not find the file. Don't worry about the absolute path jet; it is too early to fix that now.

If I have a problem with the names of my groups, I can now reopen my Wings3D file, change the material name, save, smooth and export. After fixing the group names in a text editor as described above, I overwrite the *.obj file in the geometry folder.

In Poser I reload the figure from the library. The problem should now be fixed.

The next step will be the setup of the joint parameters.