Poser Creator Series: Understanding Poser Scale with Dr Geep

Jan 29, 2020 at 10:00 am by Michelle Willard

Understanding Poser Scale with Dr Geep

Poser offers users the ability to use interactive 3D figure design to create art, illustration, animation, comics, web, print, education, medical, games, story boarding, and more. Using the program, creators can bring their stories, dreams and fantasies to life. From historic to contemporary, sci-fi to fantasy, Poser is the 3D graphics software tool used by professionals and hobbyists alike.

That's why we want to take a closer look at some of the creators who leverage the power of Poser to create. 

Unlike the real world, the digital realm has no hard and fast rules about the size of things. It's up to the program you use to set its own scale.

When Poser was first launched, there was no scale, just "Poser Native Units." It wasn't until Poser 5 that PNUs were assigned a real-world value. That's how Poser ended up with three settings for Poser Native Units (found in settings Edit > General Preferences > Interface > Display > Units and set it to "Poser Native Units").

The 1 PNU = 8 ft. scale was assumed in the early days, because the Poser 4 manual said the male figure was 6 feet tall and measured 75% of a PNU. It wasn't until Poser 5 that users could choose between PNUs, inches, feet, millimeters, centimeters or meters. And since Poser 6, one PNU has equaled 8.6 feet (103.2 inches). Using this scale, La Femme is a cool 6 feet tall.

Confusing? Yes. Now imagine content creators using their own scale or just eyeballing props and making things that just looked right.

So Dr. Geep devised his own system. He found the 1 PNU = 8ft./96 in. to be hard to deal with and 103.2 was even worse. So he introduced the Dr Geep Scale (DGS) of 1 PNU = 100 in. to help make the math a little easier. Under this scale the Poser 4 male stands a little taller than 6'3" and L'Homme is closer to 6'5".

Here's the breakdown:

Poser 4 Scale: 1 PNU = 8 feet (or 96 inches/2.43 meters)
Dr Geep Scale: 1 PNU = 8 feet 4 inches (or 100 inches/2.54 meters)
Poser 6+ Scale: 1 PNU = 8.6 feet (or 103.2 inches/2.62 meters)

Things get even knottier when you try to export for other programs. DAZ, for example, still uses the 1 PNU = 96 in. This make Victoria 4 stand 5'10.5" in DAZ but 6'2" in Poser. The difference is even starker in other programs. Poser's scale is tiny comparatively. When importing from other programs, you must scale the OBJ (File > Import > Wavefront OBJ to open "Import options"). Other 3D modeling programs need to use a plug-in to export to a scale usable in Poser.

If you want a full break down of progam scale to reality for programs and figures, Morphography has a handy chart.

In the meantime, Dr Geep discussed DGS in the best way he knows: comics.

How long have you been creating digital art and why did you start?

Dr Geep: Let me know if this answers your question. 

OK, OK, here it is in non-cartoon form. I guess I started about 1995 and created digital art for 10-15 years. I have not really been doing anything lately (last 5-6 years). I started when I saw an ad for "Fractal Design - Poser" in a throw away ad paper that came one day in the mail. The original Poser only cost about $29.95, if memory serves. I started because I was fascinated with the idea of creating 3d "stuff" on the PC.

What is your favorite thing to design?

I guess my favorite "thing(s)" to design is (are) props using only Poser and DGS (Dr Geep's Scale).

Why do you create tutorials?

I like to discover how to "make things work" in Poser and then share what I have found (in tutorial form) with others who might benefit from what I have found.

Why do you do infographics instead of videos?

Not sure exactly why but maybe one of my "pages" might be worthwhile for someone to print out and save for reference. That's not so easy to do from a video in my opinion.

I would usually try to do one page per day and always enjoyed the questions/comments that would follow a posting.

By the way, I still have 14 of my "Dr Geep's Wacky World" CDs available. I used to sell 'em on my website but, alas, my website is no more.

Here is a cover page of a 14-page tutorial I did about Dr Geep's Scale (DGS). It is a .pdf file. The whole thing is 14 yards long.

Also, this one.

One more ..

And ... guess what ... Just one more ...

And last but not least ... 

All the above tutorials are available in .pdf format on the Wacky World CD and ... much, much more.

If you want one of these collectors items, you can send Dr Geep a sitemail on Renderosity @Geep.

What can you create? Let us know on Twitter at @poserpro, using #CreateWithPoser.
Sections: Tutorials