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Make your own simple props from primitives

Author: Dama

Tools Needed

  • Poser
  • UV Mapper


Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a project and could use that extra little prop to really make the picture? The life-preserver illustrated below was the result of one of those moments, but it shows that you can make your own props from primitives. Lots of everyday items can be put together (with a little patience) from simpler shapes. Which can be very useful if you find yourself in the middle of a project and need a simple prop that you can't find anywhere else.


Step 1 - Build your prop


Launch poser and go to the Props directory. The default folder that opens up is probably Prop Types, which is where you want to be. Scroll to the bottom of that list and double-click the torus.

After the torus loads, you can work on it where it is, but I've rotated mine up 90 degrees so I can see it better.

Adjust the Fatness dial to 0.250 and the Y-Scale dial to 50%.

Now we'll make the four wrap things that go around the floatation part. Go back to the props library under Prop Types and this time load up a cylinder. Manipulate its shape according to the following settings:

Scale: 65%

Y-Scale: 75%

Z-Scale: 50%

Z-Rotate: 45 degrees

Move it so that it is in the top right quadrant of the life preserver. It should stick out a bit more on the outside, so you can paint in ropes after rendering. Like this:


Now make another cylinder with the exact same settings as above. This one goes in the bottom left quadrant.

To make the other two wraps, make two more like the first two, except rotated on the Z axis by NEGATIVE 45 degrees (instead of positive 45 degrees). Place them in the top left and bottom right quadrants.

It should look like this (except all white):


Go to File, then to Export, then to Wavefront OBJ. If the life-preserver-in-progress is the only thing you have loaded into the scene, tou can accept the default settings for every option and save it to your Poser directory. You can also save the PZ3 file in case you need to adjust something later.

Step 2 - Make a UV Map


Open up UV Mapper. Click File, then Load Model. Locate your life preserver OBJ file you just made and click OK. It will tell you how many vertices and normals and facets and whatnot. Just click OK. You'll probably also get a little box that says 'The model you have loaded contains out of range UV coordinate data. Would you like to correct this?' CLICK YES.

The UV image that displays will look nothing at all like your life preserver, and it would be nearly impossible to texture it like that, so we need to make the UV Map more texture friendly. Click Edit, then New UV Map. You can try the different map styles, but I like Planar. Accept the defaults for each and click OK. When you have a map you think you can work with, go to File, then Save Model. Accept the defaults and click OK. You can overwrite the original OBJ file, or save it as a new OBJ file. I always overwrite mine so I don't use the wrong one.

Now be sure to save the UV map. Go to File, then Save Texture Map. Choos a size, don't check any of the boxes, and choose a place to save it.

Step 3 - Make a texture map


Open up your favorite image editor, find the UV map you just made, and go to town. Make your preserver any color, with any wording you wish.

Save your texture map, and then export a JPG file to your Runtime:Textures folder.

Step 4 - Put OBJ and texture map together


Now go back to Poser. Click File, then Import, then Wavefront OBJ. Find the OBJ file you saved out from UV Mapper and click Open. UNCHECK 'Percent of standard figure size' and then click OK. It will probaby load really big. You can load up a human figure for a few seconds to adjust the scale, or you can do that later.

Go to your materials settings and apply your texture map. When you have it the way you want it (scale, materials, placement, etc.), save it to your own folder in your props library.

That's it! You have just made your very own simple prop from scratch!

Here are some other things I've made from primitives: