Defining the Poser Body Parts.

When UV-Mapping is finished, it's time to prepare the figure for Poser. We have to group the model in body parts. The most convenient way to do that in Wings is to set up one material per group. On export, there is the possibility to create one group per material.

Donít worry about the material zones of the finished figure jet; we will create them much later.

The name of the material for each body part has to be exactly same as the internal name of the body part in Poser. I could freely choose these names, but it has many advantages to stick to the standard Poser names for the standard body parts. In Poser, this name can be viewed on the properties of the body part.

The standard names are: hip, abdomen, chest, neck, head, rButtock, rThigh, rShin, rFoot, rToe, rCollar, rShoulder, rForeArm, rHand, rThumb1, rThumb2, rThumb3, rIndex1, rIndex2, rIndex3, rMid1, rMid2, rMid3, rRing1, rRing2, rRing3, rPinky1, rPinky2, rPinky3, lButtock, lThigh, lShin, lFoot, lToe, lCollar, lShoulder, lForeArm, lHand, lThumb1, lThumb2, lThumb3, lIndex1, lIndex2, lIndex3, lMid1, lMid2, lMid3, lRing1, lRing2, lRing3, lPinky1, lPinky2, lPinky3, rightEye and leftEye. The capitalisation is important, for Poser Rshin is not the same as rShin.

If you add non standard body parts, one thing is important: For body parts that exists on both sides of the body, both should named the same but the right one beginning with "r" and the left one beginning with "l". That way, the poser symmetry tool will work and save you and your users a lot of work.

There are several basis rules one needs to keep in mind when setting up body parts in poser.

  • A body part can have only one parent. Only one body part can have no parent, for humanoid figures, this has to be the hip.
  • A body part can have borders only with its parent and its children. That means that, for example, the first part of the middle finger can touch the hand and the second part of the same finger. It must not touch the index or ring finger, so at least on polygon between the fingers must belong to the hand. Actually, some more would be better, but I will discus this a bit later.
  • A join can deform the body part it belongs to and its parent. It can not deform its children and its grandparents. On the other hand, the border between the body part and its parent is totally unimportant for the join. The shoulder join can deform the shoulder and the collar, but not the chest or the forearm. Where the border between the shoulder and the collar sits is totally unimportant for the shoulder join. But it will impact the collar join, because this join can not deform the shoulder. So, when setting up the border between a body part and its parent, we should do that according to the needs of the joints of its children and parent, not its own join.

Some spots that need special care:

  • The collars need to include enough room for the shoulder join to work, especially below the arm pit. The also need to include enough of the upper arm for the collar joint to work correctly. That usually means that the shoulder part covers just from the middle of the upper arm to the elbow. Weird, but it works.
  • Anything that can be influenced by the movements of the neck has to be included into the chest or the neck.
  • At the base of the fingers, any polygon that can be influenced by more than one finger has to belong to the hand. When in doubt, have more hand and less finger.
  • The hip has to separate the thighs totally. At least one row of polygons in the crotch has to belong to the hip. The main movement in this area will come from the thigh join, not from the buttock, so everything that moves should be included into the buttocks, not the hip (because the thigh can not influence the hip).
If I have not done it before, this the time to give the figure its correct position and scale. I import a poser figure for comparison. I have set my import scale to 100 and the export scale to 0.01 in the *.obj import, because Wings, as most modelling programs, don't deals very well with the small scale of Poser objects.

With the imported figure as comparison, I uniformly scale my model to the right size, then I move it so that the y position of the soles is approximately 0. I also double check that the x position of the symmetry line is exactly 0.

When everything is set up, I save this file under a name I will recognize, we will need it later again.

That done, I smooth the figure and export it as *.obj. I don't save the Wings file with the smoothed figure; we always smooth the unsmoothed object again. And we will need the unsmoothed file later.

The next step will be in Poser and cover the Setup Room.