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In this tutorial, we cover the basics of creating Surface props, applying Field and Particle characteristics to a stock Poser figure and applying Presets to the Surfaces and Figures.

Step 1

[1] Create a new Surface using the "Create Surface" button in the "Surfaces" panel of the plug-in.

[2] In the dialog that appears, rename it "Fire Surface" (for example).

[3] Click OK.


The "Surface" is a special Poser prop that MetaForm creates. Initially it is invisible and has no geometry associated with it. It can be selected using in the standard Poser actors menu or by clicking on its name at the top of the plug-in window.


The Surface prop has a number of parameters associated with it which are explained in detail in the User's Guide.


The Surface prop also has a number of pre-defined material names that will be associated with the surface layers when the geometry is created.


Step 2a

Make sure that the Fire Surface prop is the currently selected actor in Poser. Then load the Preset for either "Simple Flame Surface" or "Combustion Surface".


Two alternate fire surface presets are provided with MetaForm. The Simple Flame Preset creates surfaces with distinguishable tongues of flame that give way to a small amount of gray smoke. The Combustion Preset creates surfaces with a particle based fire effect. No flames are identifiable, but instead multiple layers of hot particles are emitted which turn into large quantities of black smoke as they rise. For both surfaces, the transition between fire and smoke is dependent by the V texture coordinate of the preset materials and can be controlled by altering the Particle V Mod Rate parameter of the emitters. This parameter is automatically set for the fire emitter presets.


Step 2b (ProPack)

To load the Surface Preset in ProPack activate the "Load Preset" button [5] and then browse to and select the desired preset file in the dialog and click "Open" [7].

Step 2b (Poser 5)

In Poser 5 the Surface Preset can be loaded directly from the "MetaForm Presets\Fire" subfolder in the standard Poser Pose Library.


The Preset files are special Pose files intended for use with MetaForm props. The Surface Presets contain parameter settings for mapping, layer control, particle dynamics etc., as well as surface materials that are applied to the layers of the surface geometry when it is created.


Step 3

Load or select the figure that you want to "immolate". Do whatever posing or animation you need.

Here we’re using the low res P4 Nude male as the relatively low poly count makes calculations quicker and uses fewer resources.

Frame 1 Frame 31 Frame 60


Step 4

With any body part of the figure selected as the current actor [8], activate the "Fields and Particles" button of MetaForm's Prop/Figure panel [9]. In the dialog box make sure that the Current Surface is the "Fire Surface" [10] and check the "Particle Emissions" selection [11]. Click OK [12].


Selecting field emissions add new parameters to a figure's "body" actor. These new parameters are detected by MetaForm during the simulation and surfacing process and allow MetaForm to include the figure's mesh in field and particle calculations.


Step 5

Once MetaForm has finished processing, select the "body" actor of the figure from the actor pulldown menu under the Poser document window.

You will see that a whole new set of MetaFlow Particle Emission parameters have been added to the figure.

These parameters control the emission of particles from the figure’s mesh. Characteristics such as the initial velocity, size and lifetime of the particles emitted can be set and keyframed using the parameters.

The particles emitted are associated with the Surface selected in the Field Properties Dialog when they were added to the figure and also inherit many of their characteristics from the Surface prop, such as gravity effects and material settings.


Step 6

With the "body" part still selected, load either the large flame emitter preset or the huge flame emitter preset from the "Poses\MetaForm Presets\Fire" library.

ProPack users will need to load these files using the "Load Presets" button, whereas Poser 5 users can load the Presets directly from the Pose library palette (see Step 2).

The "Large Fire Emitter" is good for human sized figures, the "Huge Fire Emitter" is good for (approx 5x) larger than human figures.


Step 7

Click on one of the surfacing buttons [13]. In the Simulation Dialog set the number of pre-frames [14] to 60 or 90 to allow time for the fire to develop before the first frame and click OK [15]. MetaForm will then simulate the emission of metaballs from the surface mesh of the figure and create the actual surface geometry.


When rendered the Surfaces should look like the images shown. The figure on the left uses the Combustion Preset in the surface material. The figure on the right uses the Simple Flame preset.

If the results aren’t quite what were expected, try adjusting the particle parameters in the body actor of the figure. Particle rate increases the number of particles emitted per second and Particle Size increases the size of the particles.

The transition between fire and smoke can be adjusted using the Particle V Mod Rate parameter, decreasing the value of this parameter causes the particles to “age” more slowly, resulting in more fire and less smoke.


Step 8

We can further enhance the effect of the immolation by covering the body of the figure with the fire Surface.

In order to do this disable Surfacing then click again on the Field and Particles button [16] (making sure that a body part of the figure is the currently selected actor).

Select the Field Generation checkbox [17] of the Dialog and click OK [18].

MetaForm will now add new field generation parameters to the “body” actor of the Figure.


Step 9

Reactivate Surfacing. Now you can Render the final image or create an animation using the Render Image Sequence button in the Options Dialog.


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