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Dicing Up Your Props Like a Pro

Author: Crescent

Tools Needed

  • UV Mapper
  • A text editing program

Support Files

Introduction

Once you're bitten by the Poser bug, you're at risk for coming down with the dreaded Modeling fever as well. Well, I can\'t cure it, but I can do my best to make it less painful.

In this tutorial, you'll take a 6 sided die and make it Poser friendly.

Please download the !practice-die.zip file and let's get started!

Step 1 - Putting your mesh on a DIET with UV Mapper.

Open up the !practice-die.zip file and extract the !practice-die.obj file somewhere on your hard drive.

In this case, I was nice and already assigned all the materials to this object in my modeling program. On the other hand, that's all I did.

Open up UV Mapper and import the object. Because I'd already mapped the object, it displays the texture template.

Some programs need to know what way the normals need to face in order to display the object properly. (Normals means which side of the polygon to display.) Poser doesn't need this information, so you can tell UV Mapper to dump the information and make the file size smaller - always a happy.

Go to File: Save Model and use these settings:

400-01d73.jpg

Please save it inside your Poser directory, in the :Runtime:Geometries:!practice folder and call the new object die-old.obj. (We're going to make an improved version of the mesh later, thus the “-old” in the file name.)

Did you note the file size difference? From 419KB to 278KB. (If only I could run my bills through UV Mapper!) ;-)

Step 2 - Importing the prop into Poser.

Open up Poser and delete whatever figure loads so you have a blank scene.

Go to File: Import: Wavefront OBJ … and navagate to :Runtime:Geometries:!practice then load die-old.obj

Use the following settings:

400-01d83.jpg

Centered - loads the object into the middle of the Poser document. This makes it easy to find.

Percentage of standard figure size - no matter what the original size of the object was, make it x% the size of a Poser figure. Poser uses much smaller units than many other programs, so instead of complicated formulas, it's easier to import it at 100% then scale it down within Poser. Yes, this die is going to be enormous!

Make polygon normals consistant - make all the normals point the same way. This makes sure you don't see strange black squares or odd holes in your prop. (If a normal is pointing the wrong way, it will appear invisible compared to the polygons around it.)

Click on Select Figure: Drop to Floor. It's easier to scale if you can see the entire object.

Go to Render: Materials. (Or if you have Poser 5, go to the Material Room.)

Set the Box to white, and the Dots to black. The exact settings are up to you. (Heck, make the Box chartreusse and the Dots hot pink if you want to.)

Step 3 - Propping up the Die in the Library.

Set the lights and rotate the camera so you get a nice shot of the die. Save the prop in one of the Props folders as die-old. I created a new folder called !Practice and saved my prop in there.

400-01d93.jpg

Restore the camera and load a Poser figure into the scene, such as Michael 3.

You may not see your figure after it loads. Why? The die is 100% of the figure size. It's covering up your figure.

Make sure the die is selected and scale it down so it is in proportion to your figure. I scaled it down some, then moved the die around so it was in line with his hand and used that to judge what size to use. I decided on a scale of 1%.

Drop the die back to the floor so it is in front of the figure. (It makes it easier to find later.)

Go to File: Export: Wavefront OBJ …

Select Single Frame.

Uncheck the UNIVERSE box. This will deselect everything at once.

Check the die-old box only.

400-01da3.jpg

Remove all the check marks from the options box.

Save the object as die.obj in the :Runtime:Geometries:!practice folder.

Delete the die that's in your Poser document. (The die must die.) ;-)

File: Import: Wavefront OBJ …

In the Prop Import Options box, remove all the check marks from the options.

The die loads up in the proper location at the proper size. Yeah! We're mostly done!

Save the die in the prop library as Die-old1. Don't worry about how the thumbnail looks. We made a nice one earlier on.

Close that Poser document. It's time to hack up the prop file.

Step 4 - Diving into the .pp2 file.

When Poser saves props to the Props folder, it takes all the object information and embeds it in the .pp2 file. It's better to keep the mesh outside the .pp2 prop file.

Why?

If you want to include variations of the prop - such as different colors, smart propping the item to different figures, etc., then it's much more efficient to have the mesh separate, and have the .pp2 files include just the necessary modifications. If a prop is 1 MB, then if you want to have 10 different colored props, it would be a 10MB download. Or, you could have a 1 MB mesh and 10 .pp2 files of 10-20KB each.

Open up your text editing program and load your die-old1.pp2 file. It will be in :Runtime:libraries:Props:[whatever folder you saved it in] folder.

If your text editing program has line numbers, please turn them on. It will make the next part easier.

When you open up your die-old1.pp2 file, it will start with the following lines:

{

version

{

number 5

}

(The number depends on the version. For the most compatibility, change the number to 4.)

Just after the } - line 6, please insert the following:

prop Die

{

storageOffset 0 0 0

objFileGeom 0 0 :Runtime:Geometries:!practice:die.obj

}

This tells Poser that the object is called Die where it can be found.

The next section is the embedded mesh information. Delete the entire block. (A block is a statement like “prop die” and everything within the { } that comes directly underneath it.) You can tell the mesh is embedded in the file because of the line “geomCustom” and all the v, vt and f lines underneath it.

If you are using line numbers, it's lines 12 through 8442.

400-01db3.jpg

After the deletion, in what is now line 12, please make sure the line says “prop Die”. (In the picture above, I hadn't changed the line yet.)

Scroll to the bottom of the file. Make sure the file ends with:

doc

{

addActor Die

}

}

Note: you *must* use the same exact name for the prop throughout the file. “Die” is different from “die”. There are 3 places where the object name is referenced (in order, “prop Die”, “prop Die”, and “addActor Die”) and the name must be exactly the same all three times. Please make sure all three prop name references match or you'll have problems loading and using the prop!

Save the file as die.pp2.

Step 5 - Mopping Up and Patting Yourself on the Back.

Now it's time to tidy up.

Using Windows Explorer (or the Mac equivalent) go to: :Runtime:Geometries!practice and delete die-old.obj.

Then go to: :Runtime:libraries:props:[whatever folder you saved the die in] and delete die-old.pp2, die-old1.pp2, and either die-old1.rsr or die-old.png. (If you have Poser 4, you will have the .rsr file. If you have Pro Pack or Poser 5, you will have the PNG file.)

Rename die-old.rsr (or die-old.png) to die.rsr (or die.png.) Now you have the nice thumbnail you'd made earlier teamed up with the fully Poserized prop.

Open up Poser and load the die. Create a cool render with it. ;-)

You've now successfully imported a prop, scaled it, saved it to the library, and extracted the scaled mesh to an outside file.

400-01dc3.jpg