Poser 11 resurrects the character-led modelling and animation software

Mac and Windows versions of Poser 11 and Poser 11 Pro have been released with new rendering, usability, rigging, materials and lighting features.

Back in August we revealed that there were stirrings of life over at Poser central (AKA Smith Micro).

Now two new versions of the software have emerged with a host of new features, including physically-based rendering, improvements to cartoon OpenGL rendering, actor selection history and custom parameter palettes.

Poser Pro is available today for £238.49 and Poser 11 is available for £95.41. These prices are 30% lower than RRP until November 30.

Poser 11 and Poser Pro 11 include a brand new Poser figure, Pauline. This figure will be the standard in content creation for Poser 11 and is included free with the application.

Among the improvements are a user-adjustable interface scale setting that resizes the entire user interface. If you have a high DPI monitor, you can scale up the interface. If you have a small monitor, you can scale it down to maximise screen real estate.

Also new, the Auto-save function can be customised to vary the time between saves and can also have a set period of inactivity pass before it triggers.

Built on Blender’s Cycles Render Engine, the new SuperFly (top) brings physically based shading and rendering to Poser.

Smith Micro said accurately rendering light the way it behaves in the real world makes it easier to produce hyper-realistic renders.  Poser users can choose to use the same familiar materials as the existing FireFly rendered, or take full advantage of the SuperFly material system, by building Cycles or physically based shaders.

GPU assisted rendering is supported via Nvidia CUDA (Poser Pro version only).

There are also new improvements to Realtime Comic Book preview, available in one panel (pictured below). New Geometric Edge Lines automatically produce a geometry-based outline around figures which produce 'ink' lines in OpenGL preview. The width of the geometric outlines for each material can be adjusted with settings in the Material room.

Users can create different ink weights for different parts of their figures and also set the outline width to be controlled by animation key frames for dynamic adjustment.

Smith Micro said the new Actor Selection History feature (top) works like the history in a web browser, allowing you to keep track of recently accessed objects with back and forward buttons.

Users can see the whole history by right clicking the history buttons, and hot keys can be assigned to the previous and next actor.

It's intended to make it easier to navigate through the actors in a scene while posing, and offers a constant list of recently-modified parameters.

A new rigging feature (bottom) allows for smooth, weight mapped linear translation of body parts for smooth translations and a whole new dimension of control to figure rigging.

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Poser Pro offers the creation of control handles (top) which provide an easy way to give ghost bones a handle that is automatically excluded from renders and making it much easier to work with in the scene. Handles can be parented to any body part and set to control any other part.

Poser's direct manipulation tool (bottom) is also easier to use thanks to a broader ribbon style and depth cueing

Absolute scaling makes it easier to share content between Poser and other applications.

It's available for import & export of 3DS, DXF, LWO and OBJ geometry files.

Also new, Adaptive rigging can automatically set a figure’s joint center to match a drastic morph and automatically create the needed dependencies. It can match clothes with one check box.

Extreme morphs sometimes need the rotation centers for joints to be moved to accommodate the morphed shape, and this new tool automatically sets up the rig to match the morphed shape.

Poser now lets you add frequently accessed parameter dials to custom palettes so you always have those dials at you finger tips without selecting different actors or lists.

The palettes are saved with figures, props and scenes upon request.

It's also now possible to customise Poser’s hot keys. Users can assign preferred keys to frequently performed tasks and map menu commands to the hot keys.

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Poser now supports the creation of layered materials, useful when simulating the way light interacts in complex surfaces, or to make a tattoo or a scar.

Also new, when editing vertex weights and morphs, you can limit the painted area by groups or materials.

Sometimes when working with weight maps or creating morphs, you need to limit editing to a certain area, and these options give you more control over how you limit the editing area.

For more new features in Poser Pro 11 and Poser Pro, visit SmithMicro's site