Which Poser version?

Although the full details are revealed at the Smith Micro website, I’ll summarize the main differences between the various Poser versions. This might be of help for those who consider an upgrade, or might be of help in the “to Pro or not to Pro” quest. Hence:

  • Upgrading to Poser 9?
  • Upgrading to Poser Pro 2012?
  • Poser or Poser Pro?

Roughly, my advice reads as follows.

  • When you’re relatively new to this software or to this kind of imaging, it’s better to concentrate on learning the main features and on developing the artistic side: camera, light, rendering, post-processing, materials, posing. And hence to leapfrog versions. From Poser 8 to 10 to …, from Pro 2010 to Pro 2014 to … .
    I see no need to rush.
  • When you’re a seasoned user on the edge of the features Poser / Poser Pro offers, then following versions makes sense. From Poser 8 to 9, from Pro 2010 to 2012.
  • When you’re suffering scene-size or render-speed issues, when you’re on 64-bit, when you really want more grip on scene handling, posing detail and render quality, then taking the step from Poser to Poser Pro might be just for you.
  • When upgrading, the preliminary, initial offer from Smith Micro is by far the cheapest. From the moment the new releases are out, prices won’t drop to that level anymore.

Upgrading to Poser 9?

The main features you’ll get when upgrading from Poser 8 to Poser 9 are:

Various former Pro features:

  • The Recent Render palette, so you can easily compare two recent render results
  • Indicator for parameter change, indicator for Joint Strength
  • Full Body Morph import


  • Support for scripts in Python 2.7
  • Expanded Context menus
  • Morph brushes are pressure sensitive (handy for Wacom / tablet users)
  • Object grouping and Hierarchical Scene Inventory
  • Camera’s for Frame Object and Rotate Object
  • Full Body Morph deletion
  • Single mesh characters (as derived from Daz Genesis)
  • Using Weight Maps for rigging (making WM’s is a PPro2012 feature)
  • New Subsurface Scattering and Skin materials
  • Improvements on: focal / motion blur, reflection and indirect lighting
  • Realtime (=Viewport) support for soft shadows, ambient occlusion etcetera
  • Some performance improvements
  • More content with the package, and a somewhat improved Library
  • More constraints in Animation

Upgrading to Poser Pro 2012?

The main features you’ll get when upgrading from Poser Pro 2010 to Poser Pro 2012 are:

  • Everything you’ll get from upgrading Poser 8 to 9, except for those features which were already available in Pro 2010


  • 64-bit application for the Mac (was: Win only)
  • Weight Map creation tools (as Poser can only use created weight maps)

Poser or Poser Pro?

The main features you’ll get when upgrading from Poser 9 to Poser Pro 2012 are:

  • Interfacing with other software (Photoshop, 3DS MAX), via COLLADA or PoserFusion
  • 64 bit application, 64-bit Firefly rendering, Render queue and network rendering, and background rendering
  • HDRI import/export, PSD export with layers for post-processing
  • Gamma Correction for shadow/highlight strength management,
  • Weight Map creation tools (as Poser can only use created weight maps)