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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon August 28, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When installing Poser Debut on my desktop PC (64-bit OS, 9 GB RAM, i7 CPU 920x2.67GHz, running Windows 7, and lots of free space), I first selected the option to install the whole shebang. It took about 45 minutes and the program stalled every time I tried to use it (including after closing all other programs, and after a couple of reboots). So I uninstalled it and reinstalled it choosing the alternative option to install a minimal version. This only took a few minutes and I've had no problems with it since, including when other programs (e.g., Firefox and Media Jukebox) are running.

I've played with the open source 3D software Blender, using the book Blender Foundations: The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6 for guidance. Given that my interest in playing with 3D software is both amateur and casual, I find Poser Debut less intimidating and much easier to learn. Both Blender and Poser Debut have what I consider steep learning curves, but Poser Debut has automatic functions, a library, and built-in tutorials that make that learning curve easier to ascend. (Play may not be the right word in this context, for using 3D software is work, except perhaps to those who use it so much and so skillfully that using it has for them finally become play. I think that anyone who buys Poser Debut thinking that they are just going to dive in, have fun - as suggested by the line, "The Fun Way to Learn 3D" on the software packaging - and produce a sharing-worthy 3D animation in short order is going to be disappointed. Poser Debut - and 3D software in general - does not provide instant or near-instant gratification.)

It doesn't appear at this time that you can get a trial of Poser Debut from Smith-Micro, but you can get a 30-day trial of Poser 8, and I would recommend that anyone interested in buying Poser Debut first try the trial version of Poser to see how they like working with the software. Poser Debut is a stripped-down version of Poser 8 (i.e., Poser Debut "contains a reduced subset of Poser 8 features," as Poser Product Manager Steve Cooper puts it) and one can find a comparison chart by going to poser dot smithmicro dot com backslash poser-debut backslash #Compare. There is also good information from Cooper at blog dot smithmicro dot com in the Feb. 10, 2011 article titled, "The Primer on Poser Debut."

The tutorials included with Poser Debut are helpful and easy to follow. Each tutorial screen has written instructions that are repeated and demonstrated in videos. Each tutorial is mercifully short, providing bite-size chunks of information.

Suggestion from a grandparent to parents (or anyone else) considering buying Poser Debut for a young'un: If you know that the child or adolescent in question has a serious interest in learning to create computer-generated 3D graphics and animation, and that she or he also has the discipline to stick with the challenges of 3D software, go for it. Otherwise, I think you'll waste your money.

For the right end-user, Poser Debut is a great way to dip into 3D software.
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Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have the full version of Poser 8 and I use it occasionally. When I was given the opportunity to try out this version I was hoping it would be a lot easier than the full version. I don't think it is. Fortunately, the program offers great instructions and videos to help you learn the program. If you are serious about learning Poser these instructions will do it. However, it still will require a lot of work and dedication on your part.

I actually installed this Debut version on my son's computer since I have the full version on my computer. I was happy to see him working through the instructions--but after about 30 minutes, he was gone from the computer and busy doing something else. When I asked him what he thought of the program his response was similar to what others are posting here, "It's pretty complicated."

Yes, it is pretty complicated. However, if you want to learn how to use 3D art and animation this product will do it. The biggest question you have to ask yourself is if you are motivated enough to learn it.
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VINE VOICEon September 5, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Software comes with 2 DVDs: one for MAC, one for Windows, "Quick Reference Guide", User Guide, and registration card.

On first launch of the program after installation, the program froze and then gave an error message and closed. I actually couldn't get the program to launch without it freezing. So I performed the installation again.

Upon reinstalling the program, it launched fine so I ejected the installation disc and put it back in the box.

I docked the tutorial in the upper right of the screen so that it would be out of the same space as the character. The tutorial box snapped nicely into the menu in this area so that it was no longer a floating box. I tried to follow the instructions, but found one of the preliminary steps confusing:
3. "Navigate to the Poser Deput Content > Primitives folder." - Ok, I got to the poser deput content folder, but nothing shows up in the space below where I presume these subfolders should appear. Later in the tutorial there are pictures of the library of objects that you are supposed to see in this area, but I do not see anything other than a solid grey box. I tried adding one of the subfolders using the icon to the right, but got the error that the subfolder already exists! So, I can't move on in the tutorial.
Oh, and then the program gave me an error about the disc not being inserted and closed again.

I gave the program one more chance, this time skipping the tutorial and just trying to manipulate the default figure on my own. I successfully twisted the figure into a human knot within a few seconds and could not find a "reset" button. I found that if I undocked the tutorial from the right menu, the library subfolders showed up, but it was still hard to navigate between folders. I managed to add some pants to the drawing pane, but they were not attached to my figure, and moved independently of each other.

Since my level of interest was falling rapidly, I give up. The manufacturer of this software still has room for improvement as far as navigation of menus in the graphical user interface. So I will generously give it 3 stars.
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VINE VOICEon October 20, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Poser is a 3D modeling studio. It's designed to create 3D artwork, and its claim to fame is that it supports mouse-driven humanoid figures (that you can "pose") in a simple way. In theory, you just drag a figure onto a scene, move the arms, legs, and head with a few mouse gestures, and the figure is in the pose you want for your artwork. Add a few props, move around the virtual cameras & lighting, and render a professional-looking computer-generated 3D image. It comes with several default people, props, clothing, etc.

I did like this product, and it worked as advertised - but be prepared to spend a LOT of time learning your way around it. This isn't something that you can just load up and use out of the box - you'll have to work through several tutorials (included with the product) before you can even begin to experiment with the UI. I wouldn't call it counterintuitive, but it's not something that you'll be able to just figure out without some guidance. It's very easy to click the wrong thing, or drag something too far, and screw up your scene and not be able to figure out how to undo what you just did. Of course, 3D modeling is pretty complex - I've done some 3D modeling using free tools like POVRay and Blender, and I must admit to being impressed with how the Poser people organized the controls once I got the hang of them. The quality of the rendered images is top-notch; if you're patient enough, you can get near photo-realistic output. But you have to be VERY patient). The human figures, of course, always look computer animated (and have pretty dull, lifeless expressions), but the props can be made to look very realistic.

There is some support in there for crude animation, but if your interest is in real animation, you're probably going to need to invest in a few more tools, like Maya. Poser claims to integrate with these, but I don't have access to them to verify this (not that I have any reason to doubt them, either).
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Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
First thing to know: 3D animation, in general, REQUIRES that you learn the fundamentals. There is a high learning curve with 3D animation, but the upside is that once you've gotten a grip on it, the skill allows you to create animation in a number of settings.

I have Poser 8 and thought it is tremendous. POSER DEBUT, if I'm not mistaken is introductory version of Poser 2010. If you've used any version of Poser before, this program is a nice upgrade.


* You'll need 2.5GB of HD space. You can install the full version or an abbreviated install. (The only difference is that you'd be missing the nude models.)
* Two (2) separate install discs for the Mac OS and Windows.
* There's both a printed USER GUIDE and a QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE (keyboard shortcuts)
* Both the User Guide and Quick Reference is in installed in the App file as pdf's.
* Installation is roughly about 2 minutes.
* Only $50. (You'll see discounts from time to time here on Amazon, but this software is definitely worth it.)

Poser is, in my opinion, the best of the animation softwares that SmithMicro produces. But, be aware, if you're not familiar with 3-Dimensional animation, it is 80% scientific and 20% artistic.

The instruction manuals tells you how the figures, tools and "The Pose Room" operate. The floating menus, excellent. But, in order to get the most out of Poser or any 3D animation, you're going to need to understand the basics of virtual modeling.

If you can get your hands on these books, both will bring you up to speed and also the second book will teach you how to integrate traditional 2D animation with 3D modeling.

3D Art Essentials: The Fundamentals of 3D Modeling, Texturing, and Animation

Hybrid Animation: Integrating 2D and 3D Assets

POSER DEBUT is a very good software.
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Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I received this software as part of the Amazon Vine reviewing program. I thought my daughter, a tween-something artist, might enjoy using it with her Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet.

I installed it on a desktop running Windows XP. Installation was quick and painless, and the program was up and running in no time. Using the program did not put any real drag on the machine's resources and the operations were smooth - switching from this n' that while working within the program.

We took a female form, added hair, and added clothing to the model. Things got pretty funny while moving the limbs around as you literally can move them around and around (corkscrew effect...) as though they are not limited by their joints. Just trying to get clothing on the model took a bit of finesse.

I'm sure with practice and tutorials, this sort of thing comes easier, but perhaps not easily with this program for those with a short attention span when it comes to learning the details instead of jumping right in. (I would fall into that category, but thankfully my tween doesn't. She's still continuing to use the software and says it's getting easier over time.)

This is the 'debut' software and gets you started working with 3D art and animation for a reasonable price. Essentially it's geared towards beginners or enthusiasts, but not intermediate to advanced users. If you're really into it, Poser 8 or Poser Pro 2010 is the way to go.

I'd recommend this software to Windows 7, Vista or XP users, and Mac OS X 10.6, and 10.5 users who want to dabble in 3D and are looking for a fun way to do it. With this software you can create 3D art and animation, bring virtual stories to life (like in the SIMS game) and get started doing it with only a few hours of time committed to learning the software.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 17, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The makers of this product say that it lets you make 3D art even if you don't have an artistic bone in your body. I might have an artistic bone or two, as well as at least 200 other non-artistic ones. So I didn't go into this thinking that I'd be able to create true works of art. I ended up finding out that for people who admit to having limited talent at most, it's quite possible to make use of this product and have good results.

Many animated 3D movies on DVD have special features sections that show how the animation process works at a professional level. This software lets you take advantage of the necessary components, including setting up figures, building a scene, adjusting relative positions and sizes, as well as camera position. It's easy to control lighting by adding lights in a multitude of positions and intensities, control shadows, and far more.

The software comes with an extensive library of shapes and figures, including people at every level from skeleton to muscle, skin and clothing, as well as choices of preconfigured hair styles, etc. There are all sorts of components for furnishing rooms, creating outdoor scenes, and so much more. It's not the type of product that expects you to design everything from the ground up. But it also includes basic component shapes such as cubes, spheres, and other basic building blocks. If anything, you can use this product to learn more than just the fundamentals of 3D computer animation design and rendering. It will leave you in a good position to continue with professional products, if you have the talent.

I found things slow going, which is because there's a lot to learn in order to progress with the software. There are built in tutorials, with enough instructions to walk you through things step by step. Although it might take a bit of looking around to understand what the directions are telling you to do, each step comes with a video to show you exactly how. One could easily learn how to use the product from watching the videos alone and following along by using the controls built into the product to produce what the video is showing you. If it seems as if I'm describing a tutorial that shows you how to duplicate something specific, that's not the whole picture. Learning the techniques means that when you go through things on your own, you will know how to move objects, change proportions, light things from desired angles, render things, and whatever else you need, without needing more hand holding.

Keep in mind that because the product is so comprehensive, it may take a while to install. The install process lets you select an alternative location for the libraries in case you don't want them on the operating system disk. The one problem I had was that the product did not correctly pick up on the location of my public documents folder, which won't be a problem for most people whose computers use the default settings. That was the only technical glitch I encountered, and is an easy one to get around.

Judging from the price alone, I would have expected far less. Considering how far this can take you on your journey to becoming a proficient 3D designer, it's an absolute bargain. Don't expect the overall process to be easy, but it is easy to learn on a step by step basis.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 13, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a novice when it comes to 3-D animation. Smith Micro makes it easy for someone like me to look like a pro. It comes with a step-by-step lesson plan to help new users get acquainted with the basics. I could follow most of it pretty well. It moved at a quick pace and wasn't too boring. Occasionally, I'd get frustrated, because it would tell me to go to something and I can't find it. In their tutorial, it's set up. In my page, I have to open it up, but I don't know where to look for it.

My biggest frustration was the library. I didn't have one at first. Turns out there was a glitch and the solution per Smith Micro (and it worked) was to run msconfig, close Poser and restart it. That's it. No need to actually do anything in msconfig. Just run it.

Overall, the tutorial was very helpful. They do have basic shapes that can be altered; but mostly, this software is about people and characters. There is a large library of figures with all sorts of clothing and props. More may be purchased, if desired. The characters' facial expressions, pose, hair, just about anything can be changed.

I find it easier to work in 3-D space on Poser Debut than Google Sketch-Up. I never have trouble placing my figures exactly where I want them. On the other hand, creating novel shapes is a little harder. That could be because I'm still new. I haven't figured out how to do that yet. If they could only merge Google Sketch-Up with this, that would be the perfect marriage.
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VINE VOICEon November 23, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I didn't realize the power of this software until I started playing around with it. 3D graphics are very complicated, but with Poser's built in functions and libraries what would be extremely complex can be accomplished in minutes. The possibilities are endless from 3D web graphics, to posters, and movies. It's up to you and your imagination.

There is a learning curve, but Poser comes with a built in quick start guide. I would suggest taking the time to work through this guide at a leisurly pace. While working through it take the time to play a bit and get familiar with the functions you are learning. After working through the quick start guide, using the software becomes second to creating 3D art and graphics.

Poser debut has enough built in libraries to keep us busy for a long time, and additional graphics can be purchased and imported into the program. This software is so fun, I wish I had more leisure time to work with it. Poser debut is a pleasure to use and anyone who is creative and will take the time to get familiar with the basic software functions can create some truly astounding rendered images.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 12, 2011
Platform: PC/Mac DiscVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am a full Poser 8 user. I went ahead and got Poser Debut in hopes that it was a newer version that would be compatible with Macintosh's Lion (Poser 8 isn't Lion compatible). Unfortunately it isn't. The buttons turn to generic page icons etc. So I installed it on my Snow Leopard partition and everything worked perfectly.

Poser is a great program for those who can't draw but want to create and pose people, animals, and objects. Quite a few high quality people, animals, and objects come with the Debut version. In addition to these items, Poser Debut comes with many pre-defined poses, hair, facial expressions, and clothes that are only a double-click or drag-and-drop away from applying to your figure.

The learning curve isn't too bad - there are tutorials that walk you through the steps needed to create your person and scene. Yes it even comes with furniture, walls etc. to make a full scene. I like the short video that is included for each step of the tutorial. I found this every helpful in locating the exact button the written steps want you to push etc. Kudos to Smith Micro for that.
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