Morphography tutorials
Importing 3DS Props
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Here's a fairly full description of how to import models in .3DS format into Poser and use them as props. 3DS is one of the most common 3D mesh formats around, and there are a whole host of models that can be used. Most sites that offer 3D model downloads will have 3DS stuff. Check my Links Page if you need some leads...

On the face of it, it's easy; Poser has the facility to import 3DS right there in the file menu. But if you've tried it for yourself, you may have found that saved Poser documents didn't load right when you came back to them; perhaps the colours had all changed, maybe everything had changed to one material where before there were several.

• What You Need

See the Utilities page for a link to a suitable editor.

• What To Do
  1. Import 3DS file into Poser. Use the default settings.
  2. Rotate and scale as required. Many 3DS props need an xRotate of -90° unless they were specifically designed with Poser in mind.
  3. You can add a figure to judge your scaling against, and if you want to make the model into a smart prop.
  4. Change the colours to your preference, and add texture maps if wanted.
  5. Rename the object if wanted.
  6. Uncheck "display origin" (in the properties dialogue) if not wanted.
  7. Add the prop to your library as usual.
  8. Call up the materials dialogue and inspect the list of material names. If there are none which contain spaces, there is no need to do anything more.
If there are spaces in any material names, you need to get rid of them since Poser will ignore the part after the first space when the file is re-opened. Some 3DS models have materials named

MATERIAL #1
MATERIAL #2

and so on. The object then ends up with everything assigned to MATERIAL since the #1, #2 parts were lost. Even worse, since MATERIAL didn't originally exist, its properties will have been made up at random and will probably be puce with pink highlights, or something equally revolting.

The easiest way to fix this, I now believe, is with a simple text editor. Make a note of the offending material names, then open up the PP2 file in your text editor. This may appear daunting, but the way we're going to do it is quite straightforward. You don't need to type anything directly into the file at all.

Select your editor's search and replace - some just call it "replace". You will have two boxes to enter things into. Type the first "spaced out" material name into the Search box. Then type in a new name in the Replace box, or whatever it's called. Use underscores, or just run everything together, as long as there are no spaces; and of course each material must have a unique name.

The material you're editing will occur more than once within the file. First, in the form:

usemtl MATERIAL #1

which will be there at least once. Secondly, in the form:

material MATERIAL #1

which will be there once in a Poser 4 prop, twice if you used Poser 3. Whatever, the text editor should find all these for you and obediently present them for your approval. Replace all instances preceded by usemtl or material; if there are any which aren't, they're probably a coincidence and nothing to do with the job at hand.

Repeat as necessary for the rest of the materials, and save the file, to a different name if you aren't confident.

That's all, folks!
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