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Getting Acquainted With The Face Room

For use in Poser 5, 6 and 7

Poser's Face Room allows a great deal of control over the shape and texture of your figure's face- here's how to get started using the Face Room tools.The Photo Lineup feature in the Face Room can be challenging at first, but it's a powerful tool to customize your Poser figures.

The Photo Lineup tools give you a good deal of control over the placement and orientation of the photo; they also allow a good degree of control over the shape of the face, through the built-in morphs. The trick to using the Face Room is to understand the proper workflow. Using the tools in the right order can avoid potential problems with faces getting distorted- distortions can happen if the tools are used in the wrong order.

When you enter the Face Room, you should see your figure's face in a 3/4 view, as shown below. You can use the camera controls to pan around, zoom in and out, and see the face from different angles.

Now, to begin using the Photo Lineup, let's bring in a face. The images that you use don't have to be terribly large- 500-1000 pixels in each dimension is usually fine- but they should be clearly lit and uncluttered. Ideally, the face should be clearly presented against a plain, neutral-colored background; the two photos should be taken from straight ahead and as close to 90シ as possible. Artistically posed, dramatically lit head-shots tend not to work very well at all.

To bring in a face, click the folder icon at the left side of the Photo Lineup workspace, and in the Open dialog that pops up, find the picture that you'll be using.

Poser will ask you to click on your photo to identify the outer corner of the eye, and the side of the mouth. This lets Poser do a rough match of facial features in the photo to those on the head of the 3D figure. We'll be fine-tuning these proportions shortly.

When the photo first comes into the Face Room, it won't line up perfectly with the head outline- this is normal (see fig. 2) As a first step to fitting the photo to the head, we will need to resize the photo and adjust its position.

Note- if you skip resizing and positioning and jump straight into pulling the adjustment dots around, you risk distorting your image map and/or the 3D head. While this is fixable, it may give unpredictable results. We strongly recommend resizing and positioning your photo before proceeding to adjusting the dots.

Click and drag on the resizing tool (see fig. 4 below) to change the apparent size of the head outline, such that it fits the photo; click and drag on the positioning tool to move the photo around. You may need to go back and forth, alternately resizing and repositioning, until the face outline properly lines up with the face in the photo.

You can also adjust facial morphs here, to adjust the 3D head to approximate the shape of the face in the photo. If you're not certain how these dials work, or how to use them, don't worry- we'll be using another tool as well to adjust the shape of the face.

With the photo sized and positioned to best advantage, it's time to work with the adjustment dots. As you adjust the dots to bring the features into their final configuration, you may find it useful to zoom in on part of the face to fine-tune the adjustment. Use the magnifying glass tool to do this, as shown in fig. 4 below. You can also rotate the 3D preview head to check your work as you go.

The dots act to change the shape of the face by altering several facial morph targets all at once- if you reveal the facial morph dials, you can see the values change as the dots are moved around. It is possible to use the dots to drive the morph values past their maximum- this can cause strange distortions of the face and is the reason why we recommend sizing and positioning the photo before using the dots.

With the face adjusted, you can now click the "Apply to Figure" button- but there are a couple of other options you might want to use.

"Apply Shape Only" just changes the shape of the face; it's more subtle than applying both the shape and the texture from the photo, but if you're working from a black-and-white photo, for example, or if the lighting in the photo is very different from the lighting in your Poser scene, it can be useful to apply only the shape, and adjust the skin-tone of the head (and body) in the Material Room. Additionally, the Face Room applies texture changes only to the head; matching the skin-tone of the body with that of the head can be difficult.

"Spawn Morph Target" doesn't appear to do anything- but in fact it applies the shape changes that have been created, not as locked-in values, but as an adjustable morph, set by default to zero. This allows you to "dial in" morph values for the altered face shape at different points in your Poser animation, to let you change the face over time. For example, you might apply an age morph as part of the adjustment, to make your figure appear to age during the animation- or you might want to have one face morph into another. You can even take the same figure back into the Face Room several times to generate additional facial morphs that can be "layered" on each other for all kinds of interesting effects.

After clicking either Apply to Figure, Apply Shape Only, or Spawn Morph Target, you can return to the Pose Room by clicking the Pose tab. And you're done!