Morphography tutorials
Morphography's Minimalist Magnet Method
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• Introduction

Many Poser users are intimidated by the magnets - they "don't get it" - they play with them for a bit, perhaps, but it's all too complicated and they give up. I know I did.

However, intensive research by teams of talented scientists toiling away in our secret underground laboratory has revealed some valuable information which has made me into a magnet user. Maybe not an expert yet, but I'm ready to share this information with you now - and you don't even have to send $25.

• The Secret

The one fact you need to keep in front of you like a shining beacon when working with magnets is this:

Poser's "magnets" are NOT magnets.

That's it. They look like magnets, sure, but that's just a piece of very poor interface design tacked on by Metacreations. If you had a magnet in your hand, you could point it at something magnetic, and that something would be pulled towards the magnet. If the thing was flexible, you could deform it.

Poser's "magnets" don't work that way.

Let's do an experiment to show you how they really work.

• A Simple Demonstration

  1. Open up your copy of Poser 4, and make the ground plane visible by selecting Display > Guides > Ground Plane; or just cut to the chase by typing CTRL-G.
  2. Now click on the ground plane, and select Object > Create Magnet.
  3. You won't see anything, so zoom out until an enormous magnet comes into view.

Make sure that the magnet itself is selected (it is by default). You'll see "Mag 1" in the element selector below the document window.

Note that magnets count as props, even though they have no real substance and don't show up when you render.

Now play with the scale and translate dials, and see what happens. This picture shows a 300% yScale of Mag 1:

Can you see what's happening? The transformations you perform on the magnet itself are transferred to the object it's attached to, except that they "fall off" with distance. We'll see what causes that in a minute, because it's the key to using magnets.

But first, the experiment.

Select the magnet base by clicking on the thing that looks like a "keeper" stuck to the ends of the magnet; or just select it from the element selector.

Now play with the xTran and zTran dials. The base and the magnet both move, but that's all. The deformation you made in the ground plane stays there. However, if you increase the yTran dial, the hump will subside, and vice versa; the opposite of what happened if you alter the yTran dial on the magnet itself.

All too confusing. I therefore propose to ignore it. :-)

So, contrary to other magnet tutorials you may have read, I do not position the magnet base at all when using magnets. I treat the magnet - magnet base pair as nothing more than an over-complicated user interface feature. In fact, it may help to make them both invisible, and select the magnet when you want it from the element selector list.

Simplicity is the key to the Minimalist Magnet Method. The real power of the magnets is in the magnet zone.

Next: Entering the Magnet Zone

• Main Index • Tutorial Index • Introduction • The Magnet Zone • Making a Morph • Making a Full Body Morph