How to Make a CGI Movie

by Daniel Ketchum

One of the coolest things being used in movies these days are computer-generated characters. CGI makes it possible to create characters that can't exist in the real world and put them in locations you could never afford to build. It used to be that to make a CGI movie you needed massive networked computers and some very expensive software like Maya or Lightwave. But you can now use fairly inexpensive programs like Poser Pro and Vue Infinite to make some very impressive CGI movies.


Open Poser Pro. Then go to the "Figures" library on the right and find a figure you want to use. To put it in the scene, click on the single "Arrow" at the bottom. This will change out the default figure for the one you picked.


Go to the "Figures" library again and load some clothing for the figure into the scene. Remember that the clothing has to have been specifically made for the figure you are using. Then go to the "Menu," click on "Figure," and then select "Conform to Figure." In the dialog box that pops up, select the name of the figure you picked. Now the clothing will stick to the figure and bend and move with it.


Go to the "Camera" controls on the left and click on the "Key" you see there. This will turn on automatic key framing.


Select the figure from the little drop down at the top of the scene window. Then use the "Parameter Dials" on the right to pose the figure. You can bend individual parts or move the figure to a different position, or even change facial expressions.


Go to the "Time line" at the bottom, and select a frame farther over, say frame 15. Now use the "Parameter Dials" to move the figure again. Because you have auto key framing turned on, Poser will automatically create all the frames in between. This is called "tweening." Save your file.


Go to the "Layers Panel" on the lower right, and click on the "Ground" item. Now go to "Object" and select "Edit Object Material." In the window that opens, scroll to "Landscapes," and select a ground plane texture, such as "Grass."


Go to "File" and click "Import." Lead Vue to the Poser animation file you saved, select it and click OK. If this is the first time you have imported a file from Poser, you will have to first guide Vue to your Poser exe file in the Poser directory. After this, you should be able to import the file. When Vue asks you for extra details of how you want to import the file, you should go with all the default settings, except that you should change it from import a "Single Frame" to "Import All."


Now, with the first frame selected in the time line, position the figure where you want in the scene. Click on the render animations icon in the time line, select the speed, size, file format and other attributes you want, and click "Render."

Items you will need

About the Author

Daniel Ketchum holds a Bachelor of Arts from East Carolina University where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser and Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.

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