The Posermocap Resource Page
Here’s a list of the resources and tools we use that are a great help in the animation process. We don’t want to say that these are “must-have” tools – there are alternatives out there for everyone’s individual workflows – but the tools listed below are what we find incredibly useful and that we have incorporated our own animation processes.
Some of these tools are free. Others will cost. Choose what works for you and your budget. Note that we have used affiliate links on some of these. If you decide to purchase a commercial tool through our affiliate links, then that puts a little money into our pockets at no cost to you. Resources were included on this list without any regard for whether they are our affiliates – they were included solely on the basis of whether they would be useful.
DAZ|Studio Pro (D|S) is our go-to software for character animation. The program was originally designed for creation of still images, with animation being added later, but there is a lot of power under the hood if you know what you’re doing. The Pro version was made free a few years ago, and has continued to remain so with subsequent versions of the software. The program has a clean and customizable interface that makes it very quick to learn, and the animated previews play back very fast. Don’t underestimate how important a real-time preview can be when doing character animation.
DAZ|Studio Pro is supported by the DAZ storefront, which has one of the widest selections of character models and clothing, and a very helpful support community.
Essential Add-Ons for DAZ|Studio Pro include:
- Go Figure keyMate: An enhanced keyframe plugin for DAZ|Studio. This gives much better control over keyframes than the standard timeline included in D|S. An absolute must-have if you are planning on using D|S for animation of any type.
- Go Figure graphMate: The companion plugin to keyMate, this gives motion graphs and graph editing capabilities over keyframes. Also a must-have for D|S.
- Go Figure aniMate 2: aniMate introduced the idea of aniBlocks to D|S. These allow you to take animation data and arrange it on characters using a Non-Linear Editor. aniMate also allows sub-track editing so you can layer and blend multiple sets of animation data together on the same character.
- OTOY Octane Render: D|S uses the 3Delight render engine. Octane is a replacement or alternative to DAZ|Studio’s native 3Delight render engine, and allows for much faster rendering at much higher quality. Octane is an unbiased pathtracing render engine, which is capable of producing some very realistic imagery. It also uses your graphics card processor to render out images much, much faster than the CPU. We use this for ALL of our rendering out of D|S, so that makes it essential for us.
Poser and DAZ|Studio are competing programs in the character animation arena, but they do share models and animation data to a surprisingly large extent. Poser is a commercial program that has seen a lot of use over the years in the creation of still images and, like DAZ|Studio, animation support was added later in the program’s life. Nevertheless, the program is used professionally for animation in web series such as Roosterteeth’s RWBY. Poser has some decent tools included in the base package and supports dynamic cloth and hair as well as physics. Also, OTOY’s Octane renderer is available as a plugin for Poser, which will allow much faster and more realistic rendering than the built-in Firefly renderer.
Blender has come a long way in recent years and has developed features and render qualities that rival even the big-name animation packages. This open-source software has a very active development and artistic community, who are constantly adding to the options and knowledge base.
The interface is very different from most animation packages out there, with its own hotkeys and shortcuts, but once you get past that, you have the equivalent of a muscle car for animation. The program has a lot of flexibility and power under the hood. Its ability to read and write almost any 3D format out there combined with its feature set make it the Swiss Army Knife of our toolbox. The Cycles render engine uses the GPU to render images very quickly and realistically, matching Octane in quality and speed. Added features such as smoke, volumetrics, fluid simulation, and physics bring features that would cost thousands of dollars to your desktop for free. We’re learning Blender as fast as we can, and are trying to find the best way to include it in our workflow.
If you are using Blender and DAZ|Studio, get a copy of mCasual’s Teleblender 2 script (currently version 2, version 3 is being worked on). This script allows you to export entire scenes from DAZ|Studio (including animation and materials), and import them to Blender. This makes DAZ|Studio and Blender an incredibly powerful combination.
Useful tutorial and resource sites for Blender include:
Although it’s not technically an animation program, we’ve included it here because of its ability to create cloth simulations and export those to an animation package of your choice. Marvelous Designer was originally designed as a clothing design tool, where you would use actual clothing patterns and drape those onto a 3D avatar. With the addition of animation capabilities, the program can create very realistic cloth simulations much faster than most other programs.
Import of animated clothing data to DAZ|Studio can be done using OBJ sequences and this script on ShareCg.
We’ve mentioned this program a few times earlier, but we wanted to go into a bit more detail on its capabilities and functionality. Octane is available as a standalone render engine that will create very realistic 3D images using your graphics card’s GPU for rendering. One of the options available is pathtracing, a very computationally intensive render approach that will actually calculate how light travels and bounces around a scene and interacts with materials – including subsurface scattering materials like human skin. The render quality is as realistic as we have seen, and the render time is blazingly fast. The standalone program can also be accessed by plugins for animation programs, and plugins exist for DAZ|Studio, Poser, Blender, Max, Maya, Cararra, Lightwave, and others. If you are able to incorporate this into your workflow, we would definitely recommend this.
An unbiased render engine like Octane, Lux Render also uses the pathtracing approach. Reality for DAZ|Studio is a plugin that allows DAZ|Studio to access Lux Render, while Reality for Poser does the same for Poser. As of this writing, Lux uses the CPU rather than the GPU for rendering, so it is slower in calculating pathtracing renders.
Now, we start looking at videogame engines. Unreal Engine powers a lot of video games out there, and it is able to render some very high-quality images in real time. We’re very excited by the possibilities, and are looking at ways to bring this into our workflow. We’ve added this for people who want to look at all the options for rendering, and we will update this entry as we learn more.
Editing and Compositing Software:
We use this. It’s worth it. Get it.
Okay, maybe a little more description is worth it. Creative Cloud is Adobe’s software suite that includes Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere, among lots of others.
- Photoshop: The photo editing software. Use this for creating and editing still images and for doing post-work on stills. The automation capability lets you create “Actions” that can batch process lots of images all at once.
- After Effects: After Effects is like Photoshop for video. Professional-grade compositing software that lets you layer multiple video clips together and apply effects to each layer. To get an idea of what After Effects can do, check out the tutorials at Video Copilot.
- Premiere: Video Editing software that allows you to compile multiple video sequences together into a longer video. Premiere is a non-linear editor, which means you can shift video clips around as you want on a timeline. We use this to edit all of our videos.
Creative cloud is available as a subscription service, so you pay a monthly fee of US$50 as of this writing to keep using the software.
If you are doing any type of 3D animation, you will want to have a look at ReVision F/X’s ReelSmart Motion Blur. This allows you to apply motion blur in After Effects, rather than in your 3D application. The motion blur renders faster and usually looks better too.
Although Blender is primarily animation software, it does have a very solid suite of compositing and video editing tools. And, being open source, is free to use. Blender is certainly very capable, but nowhere near as flexible and extensible as Adobe’s After Effects or Premiere.
An open source alternative to Photoshop. We’re including this here for people who do not want to use Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
3D Content Sites:
One of the biggest and most-popular sites for 3D Content for DAZ|Studio and Poser. There’s a great support forum, and an excellent selection of content for creating 3D animation and artwork. Some of the things you are going to want to look at here:
- Genesis 2 Female/Genesis 2 Male: The current cutting-edge 3D figures offered by DAZ3d.com. The Genesis 2 figures are able to be morphed into pretty much any character you need, and have a massive assortment of accessories. While the Base Genesis 2 Starter Bundle is included with DAZ|Studio Pro, there are a series of high-quality figure extension sets/base characters such as Michael 6, Victoria 6, and all of the variant characters such as Teen Jayden for Michael 6, and Olivia, Stephanie, Lilith, Teen Josie, Gia, and the cartoon-like “The Girl” for Victoria 6.
- Genesis: A slightly older figure, Genesis still enjoys a lot of support and has a lot of content. There are ways to transfer Genesis morphs and accessories over to Genesis 2 Female and Genesis 2 Male. Genesis animations and poses will also work with Genesis 2 Female and Genesis 2 Male – but with slight differences. The skeletons of all three models are similar, but not identical, so you will see some minor variations in how each character is posed or animated. The base Genesis Figure is included with DAZ|Studio Pro.
- M4 and V4: Michael 4 and Victoria 4 were some very popular figures and the amount of content for them is absolutely huge. They have different skeletons from any of the Genesis series (and even from each other), so animations and poses for one will not work with any of the others. They are still worth having in your library in case you need figures using an older set of clothing or accessories.
Vendors on DAZ3d.com:
- Posermocap’s Store: Our own store at DAZ3d.com. Of course we were going to include ourselves on this list. We specialize in motion captured animation for DAZ characters that makes your movies easier to create. You will find all of our DAZ-exclusive content here.
- Skamotion’s Store: Keyframed animation for DAZ Genesis/Genesis 2 Female and V4 figures. If you are looking for running motions, catwalks, and other sexy, feminine motions, look here.
- GoFigure’s Store: The makers of Graphmate, Keymate and aniMate, their store is here. They also have quite the selection of aniBlocks for the older M4/V4 characters.
- Stonemason’s Store: Excellent-quality sets and props for use in DAZ|Studio and Poser. It is really amazing just how much detail Stonemason puts into his projects. We have most of his sets, and are getting the rest.
Other 3D Content Sites
Renderosity is an independent DAZ/Poser/3D content storefront with a lot of content. Many of the vendors here still support the older V4 figure, and there are a lot of vendors creating vehicles, sets, and other props. Worth checking out.
A collection of artists who produce some high-quality clothing, props, and other content for Poser. They very heavily support the older V4 figure. Keep an eye out for some of the professional-quality light sets, materials, and scripts if you are a Poser user.
Leaving the DAZ and Poser-specific content providers, we get into the higher-cost vendors supporting Max, Maya, and others. There is a lot of useful free content on here, but if you are looking for high-polygon, high-quality models, you can find them here – along with a high price tag compared to the DAZ and Poser content sites. Other professional providers include 3D02.com, etc.
That’s a lot of resources already. We will keep adding to the list as we find more, so keep checking back. If there’s a resource you would like to see added, let us know (include contact form).