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Via General Specialist, we’ve learned that you can get a full copy of the Poser 5 3D modeling / figure posing and animation tool for Windows and Mac. Hurry, as the offer ends tomorrow (Friday September 9):

Free Poser 5 Offer

I just picked up my free copy and have some details on how to get it, and why this program is important, both now for visualists and in computer graphics history:

Ordering Details

Not surprisingly, the response has already been overwhelming, but if you’re patient, the order seems to go through. Content Paradise is the content provider for Poser models (and both Poser and the Content Paradise goodies are published by e-frontier). The popularity of this download caused their machines to crash, but they’ve extended the offer and if you get in queue, they’ll get to you. Once you confirm your email address (it takes a couple of hours to get the confirmation) and checkout with your order, you can download at any time through the end of the month.

Poser 6 is the current version; check the new features to see what you’re missing. New 3D content, some powerful new rendering options in terms of shadows and lighting, a “toon outline” mode, and most importantly OpenGL acceleration are in the v6 upgrade. But you do get all of the significant features of Poser 5, including new hair features, facial photo mapping, “morph putty” for intuitive modeling, multiple renderers, Flash export, animation features, and collision detection.

Poser Memory Lane

Some naysayers may dismiss Poser, partly because of its popularity, but for visualists, VJs, and animators this is a gold mine for creating motion graphics, animations (as Flash or video), and standard 3D OBJ models. (Both Jitter and Processing support OBJ import, which will be one of the things I’ll be playing with in my free copy!) So sure, 3D snobs might call Poser users … well … posers. But that may be because people are suspect of tools that are easy-to-use, and the inevitable newbie abuse that follows.

Poser, now eleven years old, also has a proud history. Its original creator was Larry Weinberg, the legendary, Emmy- and Academy-Award winning animator and effects supervisor who worked on everything from Deep Space 9 to Coke polar bear ads. (Bless Wikipedia, because one thing I didn’t know about Weinberg was that he was the grandson of cel animation legend Dave Fleischer of Fleischer Studios fame.) So, if you’re trash-talking Poser, you’ll have to trash-talk Larry Weinberg, as far as I’m concerned.

Poser, like Painter, was originally a Fractal Design product before that company merged with MetaTools to become MetaCreations. When the latter was disbanded, Poser went on to be distributed and developed by Curious Labs, which is now e-Frontier America. Regardless, you’ll see the MetaTools/Kai Krause influence on the product, just as in Kai’s Power Tools, Eric Wenger’s brilliant Bryce, MetaSynth, and Artmatic products, and others. Poser is a rich and visionary product, and like those tools sprang from the imagination of one person. It’s great to see the product alive and well, as near as I can tell. I’ll be sure to share what I do with it, and fellow CDMo visualist Jaymis I’m sure will be firing it up as well.

Now, go crash some servers.