Updated and link-checked, July 2020.
1. Vital for Beginners:
The best starting option for new Poser users is the official Smith Micro training DVD. This was $50 but has now been kindly placed online for free by Poser’s new owners, and at summer 2020 can be found as a handy ordered YouTube playlist at “Learning Poser Pro 11”. This adds two extra videos at the end on using Poser with other software, such as Vue, and another explaining the additional render types in Firefly.
For those using both Poser and DAZ Studio, you may want to know about “Managing Your Runtime” in Poser, and “How to Import a DAZ Studio Library” of content into your runtime, so that it shows up in your Poser library.
Upgrading? See my tutorial on the correct workflow for an upgrade install from Smith Micro’s Poser 11 or 11.1 to Renderosity’s new Poser 11.2 or 11.3. It was a bit of a leap, and if you didn’t ‘do it right’ then you might lose stuff.
2. Installing content, the basics:
Apple Mac users will also need to know, right away, that their new Poser install will almost always need their downloaded and purchased content on an external disk-drive. I’ve no idea why this is. But this measure is not needed for the PC users, who can have their Poser content folder (aka their ‘runtime’) located anywhere.
Also, the safest install route is to do it manually for Poser content, once you know what you’re doing. I do the following: i) first unzip new content to a temporary directory; ii) take a peek at the extracted folders and sub-folders. Check that it has the usual ‘runtime’, then ‘textures’, ‘geometries’ folders, such as those here…
iii) if there’s nothing strange lurking up top in the Content folder, and the lower folder structures seems normal, then I just select the ‘runtime’ folder and merge folders with my main runtime. I do this via a simple copy-paste of the runtime folder, pasting it on top of my main Poser ‘runtime’ folder. In Windows this move will merge the pasted folder with the recipient folder. After a while you get the hang of it and it all becomes routine, and you can easily spot if anything wasn’t packaged right by the content maker (which is often the case with freebies).
Note that the default Poser 11 content runtime location is no longer just “Content\Runtime” (as it used to be), but rather… C:\Users\Public\Documents\Poser 11 Content\Runtime
The final thing to know is that the first time you point Poser at your (possibly) massive runtime library of content, it will take a while (possibly several hours) to index it all. You will see the ‘little yellow-circle icon’ at the top of the Library, pulsing, which shows that the content is being indexed. After that eventually completes and you set it to ‘shallow’ for subsequent runs, Poser just updates the Content Library index incrementally and it won’t need to do a full indexing every time. But if you have that big a runtime, I would personally recommend you use PzDb as your Library and only use the Poser library for Lights. That’s what I do.
3. Not Vital for Beginners… but useful to know they exist:
The YouTube Playlist Learn the Poser Hair Room and discover dynamic hair. This is for when you want to “grow” new special hairstyles, unusual eyebrows, weird beards or add fur to animals.
The YouTube Playlist Learning about Poser and Dynamic Clothing introduces the Cloth Room and dynamic cloth.
The YouTube Playlist How to Use the Poser Face Room. This helps you craft a new 3D character that fits some photos you have of a real-world person.