Poser Base Knowledge
For beginners, Poser often is a bit confusing because there are so many different file types.
In the following I’ll present an overview.
How does Poser work?
Nearly all files used by Poser are simple text files (exception: textures are image files). In these files Poser finds the instructions which files it should load and what it should do with them.
Here's the example of a figure file (.cr2 file). Click the colored boxes to get more information (activate pop-ups):
Most of these data can be saved in extra files which can be loaded individually into Poser. For example, there are pose files (.pz2) for changing the pose, poses for facial expressions, INJ files for morphs and mat poses for applying textures.
When you save a Poser scene (.pz3), the software creates another text file with all this information, including also camera and light settings and perhaps animation data.
Adding files to the content library
As explained above, Poser uses many different file types which work together, so it is important that every file is in the correct place.
When you purchase a Poser product you usually get a .zip file which automatically installs the content into the correct folders. DAZ products have even a real installer.
But with some freebies you'll notice that the freebie creator hasn't bothered to zip the files in the correct way. On installation, such files usually end up somewhere where Poser can't find them. This is why it's better to sort Freebies manually.
The runtime structure looks like this:
Geometries (this is where the folders with the .obj files go)
Textures (.jpg and .png files)
The subfolders of "Libraries" contain the following files, sorted by file extension:
.cr2 -> Character (figures & conforming clothing/hair)
.pz2 -> Poses (poses, morphs and mat poses)
.mt5, .mc6 -> Materials (single materials & collections)
.pp2 -> Props (objects and dynamic clothing)
.hr2 -> Hair (hair which works like a prop)
.fc2 -> Face (expressions)
.hd2 -> Hand (hand poses)
.lt2 -> Light (light presets)
.cm2 -> Camera (camera presets)
Can I move and rename files?
Yes, but not all of them. Files and folders which are NOT located inside the "Libraries" folder must not be renamed or moved. That applies e.g. to the folders "Geometries" and "Textures". Within these folders you shouldn't move or rename anything, otherwise Poser won't find its files. Generally speaking, .obj files and texture files should always stay where they are.
Within the "Libraries" folder you can move files, but only within the categories. If you put a .pp2 props file into the Character folder Poser simply won't display it because it has the wrong file extension. ( <-- this is NOT true anymore for the newer Poser versions. They display all Poser file types no matter in which folder the file is! )
Within the categories you can rename files, move them and add new subfolders. Instead of having all figures in the "DAZ People" folder, you could create two separate folders for V4 and M4. Or you could rename the file "AB Hair.hr2" to "Hair XY for V4.hr2". Remember to rename the matching .png file, too, otherwise Poser won't display the preview icons in the library.
Folders which are not present in the list above must not be renamed or moved. There is for example the folder "!DAZ"; it is within the "Libraries" folder but it's not displayed in the Poser library. There may also be similar folders by other merchants. These folders contain morph data which is loaded by certain INJ poses - so these files have to stay where they are.
Why do I sometimes find .obj files in the characters folder or conforming clothing in the props folder?
Not all merchants follow the logical sorting system explained above. Poser is looking for the files in the folder which has been specified in the .cr2 / .pp2 file. If the .obj file has been placed directly into the characters folder and Poser can find it there, it's working fine. In this case you must NOT rename the folder, for if Poser searches for the file in “Runtime:Libraries:Character:Dress1” it has to be there. If you changed the folder name to "Dress2" of course Poser wouldn't find it anymore. This is why I personally prefer to have the .obj files in the geometries folder. Then I can arrange my libraries to my liking. (See also the next topic: Correcting Paths)
When you change the file extension, you can put the files anywhere in the library and it'll still work. That can be very handy, let's say when you have a clothing set with 5 conforming items and 1 prop. To avoid clicking through the library to find that one file, you can change the file extension and have all the files together in one folder.
A freebie contains all the necessary files, but Poser can't find them. Can I correct that?
JYes, that's quite easy.
Open the file with a text editor and correct the paths. A correct path structure in Poser files looks like this:
This way you can also put displaced .obj files into the right place. Make sure to move the files to the location you specified in the cr2 path!
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