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December 2, 2011
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Poser rendering settings by Aeon--Soul Poser rendering settings by Aeon--Soul
6Aug2013 Update: we added the screenshot of Semidieu's "Advanced Render Settings 2", which is actually what we've been using for years, since it was released. It is convenient because it can be prompted by ctrl+y instead of the regular Poser render window (which anyone should forget about ;)).


We've been asked by a few people about the rendering settings we use so here they are!

NOTE: to achieve a great 3D render, regardless of the tool you use there are a few elements to take into consideration:
- lights
- shaders (skin in particular)
- rendering settings
they all contribute to a great 3D pic, well, of course great models and composition are must-haves too but the above 3 concern the quality of the rendering output not its artistic quality (which is MUCH harder to put into guidelines ;)).

Poser 9 and Poser Pro 2012 settings are on top below them are Poser 8 and Poser Pro 2010 settings, the only difference being the new subsurface scattering feature.

With the release of Poser 8 Smith Micro introduced a new feature for rendering in Poser: IDL, that is Indirect Lighting.

This feature can very highly increase the quality of the final render output so we suggest everyone to use it for their final renders.
Please, note these are final render quality settings, they're not meant for wip/test renders but for the final, high quality, render!
For WIPs of test renders you can either avoid IDL entirely (for example, we don't use when working on the very products, to check textures and so on, sometimes we turn it on to fine-tune materials though) or just lower some of the IDL settings (for example when you are testing your lights and you need IDL to be anabled as lights have a very different outcome with IDL on).

1- The Poser main render settings panel, it's actually similar to the one available even in previous version (but the Poser 4 engine is no longer available), still, you have to use the manual settings for the Firefly rendering engine since the Auto ones are poor (they don't include displacement, smooth polygons etc.) and certainly are not recommended for final renders; unless you only need a rough one to be heavily postworked in some 2D editing program.

If you don't need to use IDL this already includes all you need (just uncheck the IDL little box).
The DOF may also not always be necessary (even though it can always help to add depth and a certainl 3D feel to your renders, even close-ups):
- you can avoid it for characters-only shots while if you're rendering them in an environment it will really help to add depth and the feeling that they are in the scenery
- you can add/fake it at a later time (especially if your machine isn't very powerful since using DOF can heavily increase rendering times, especially on less powerful machines and especially in combination with IDL). On simplere shots (for example character- only or close ups), you can successfully use the brlur blush or functio in photoshop or similar programs. For more complex shots you can use separate renders and masks, semidieu's scripts can come really in handy in such cases (you can find them at or you can also use tools such as DOF pro etc.

2- If you decide to use IDL you can simply set it up on the previous screen, HOWEVER it's much better that you use the advanced IDL settings available through the script by Dimension3D (included in Poser) (Scripts -> Partners -> Dimension3D -> Render Firefly

3- On the IDL render settings window that will open up put the shown settings for an high quality, image outcome.


- Add as many cores as you have since the rendering speed is incremental, of course this means your computer will not be able to do much more than rendering OR, don't use all your cores if you want to do other things while Poser redners (like watching a video, modeling, texturing etc.), obviously this means it will take much longer for the render to be completed.

- samples and irradiance cache: of course the higher these settings the better, however rendering time can really increase if you boost them too much. For more complex scenes you may want to keep these values a little lower, you can also run some tests with area rendering to see if the outcome difference is worth the additional rendering time.

- pixel samples: if you're using DOF they should be as high as possible. If you've set a "light" DOF 12 may be enough, if it's stronger choose and even higher value for the pixel samples. Your best bet is to check with a smalle area render on the most distant object how the brlur of the DOF renders out, when you're satisfied with the outcome you can render the whole image.

We hope this may come in handy ;)!
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Hi, thanks for sharing your settings. I've only just started using the D3D script and was wondering what the second Irradiance Cache setting (the one below IDL, that you have set to 70) is for. Does it have any real effect if it's set a bit lower, say at 47.4? I'm not too sure what it's controlling since the Irradiance cache setting that's colored green is the one that reflects in the normal Firefly render settings window. Clarification would be greatly appreciated!
Aeon--Soul Mar 26, 2014  Professional General Artist
It does have an effect, it's the quality of lighting, a lower settings can still work, but will have an impact on the lighting outcome (you will see a difference in how the light it's rendered out with different values for that setting).
70 is a fair number as it doesn't make it too hard on Poser to calculate the rendering, but looks great!

You can always make an area render with the different values and see what's the difference in rendering times and if it's not much on your machine, then I'd suggest sticking with the 70 :).
The D3D has more settings than the firefly window and allows you to achieve a better quality with more fine-tuned settings.
Thanks for the quick reply! After a few years of working with Poser, I've never actually run my own series of render tests, so I'm doing that now...just rendering the same image over and over, changing one setting each time to see if it makes any difference to my personal style. IDL and IC differences between 32 and 100 have so far been negligible so I'll leave them at 32. The difference is only visible in a few parts of the image and barely at that, and the difference in render time is enormous. I was previously putting both of those at 100 for my renders and there's just no need when lower settings look virtually identical even at full size.

I'll try out the 70 next to see if it looks much different and how long it takes. Gamma correction annoys me because I love the sharper, fuller and more saturated look of having the setting switched off but since it causes artifacts and light splotches here and there, I'm trying to find a balance between that and 1.6. Still need to experiment with the different post filters but it's really the pixel samples setting that kills me. A render (big scene with 5 characters and special effects, DoF) took 4-6 hours at preview window size with pixel samples at 4. It jumped up to 4 DAYS when I bumped the pixel samples to 12 and the dimensions to 3500 width. I expected an increase but not by that much. The larger size at 3 px took about 18 hours but maybe turning down the IC and IDL will allow for higher pixel samples settings without slowing the render to less than a crawl next time :)

Anyway, I didn't even know about the D3D script until I saw this (I know, it's sad) so thanks for opening my eyes!
Aeon--Soul Mar 30, 2014  Professional General Artist
Not a problem.
Yes, some settings may easily become overkill, 100 mostly is.
It also depends on the lights, shaders, reflections you may have. More complexity requires more precision and therefore longer render times.

It's honestly pissing that you have to wait for the IDL pre-calc so that you have to wait a long time before seeing how the light actually looks on the whole of the scene!.
Using the script should help further fine-tune settings to minimize waste to values, so to speak :).
Thank you Alice :)
Gem-3d Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you so much for sharing these settings ... I have a question though if i set the render size higher than the size you give the face and skin comes out black have you any idea why thanks in advance ..
Aeon--Soul Dec 22, 2013  Professional General Artist
No idea honestly the render size really shouldn't influence anything in the scene apart from rendering times. Is the only two things that render out black? It probably has to do with the skin shader.
Gem-3d Dec 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh ok then, thank you so much for your reply, i will use another skin and see what happens .
Aeon--Soul Dec 23, 2013  Professional General Artist
CyberdyneStudio4 Dec 8, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
I am having major issues with Poser Pro 2012 right now, for one I can't get my renders to look half as good compared to what I've seen other people doing. You said that programs don't matter, truth is they do matter. Poser Pro 2012 still can't render a low polygon environment that well, SSS just makes skin textures on models look better but does nothing for the environments. I noticed that some people use higher end programs that can make everything in a scene look good, while some guy I met that uses Poser has been using environment spheres that helped improved his lighting for both the models and the environments with Pro 2012. I constantly end up with shitty washed out results all the time and cant figure out what you did to get your work to look so good. Most of your work looks post worked which I know from experience isn't easy let alone something that can be easily slapped together either. Some people take hours post working in Photoshop, Gimp, etc. But my skills with post working arent good and it never takes me that long to improve the lighting in photoshop.
Maybe it's just me, most of my current work on my profile was done with Poser 7 except for the recent one I did "Alucarda's first SSS Concept" which I did the other night with Poser Pro 2012. Unfortunately I've tried to increase everything in my Poser's manual set up to 100 and 36 to see if the results would improve, it doesn't take that long on my end to render something since my machine can slightly handle certain models, etc. Problem is I just wish I understood lighting better, because I think lighting is something I'm very tired of guessing until I get results..I remember last year I retried a Render at least 65 damn times before I finally got it to look good, because when I buy environments. Developers often have a tendency to include 7 or more lights and when you have to move all those lights around it's hard to figure out how far they have to be, how close up or far back, whether or not they have to be inside or outside of the ball, and where they should be positioned. This is what makes Poser such a drag. Sometimes I try to just move the figure around instead of the lights if I feel that by default the lights are already positioned where they need to be if they are bought and preset. I truly respect and envy people like you that know what you're doing and understand how things work with digital programs. I get frustraited too easily when I have to retry too many times. You're also one of the few vendors I know of where I didn't mind dishing out my hard earned money just to own a lot of your content. But seeing that beautiful content go to waste and collect dust in my runtime because I suck with lighting saddens me.
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