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PRESETS [MetaForm 1.1]

Presets allow MetaForm users to quickly load and save complex material and prop settings. This tutorial serves as an introduction to using MetaForm's new 1.1 Presets system.

MetaForm presets come in a variety of flavors:

  • Surface presets: *.msf
  • Directional Emitter presets: *.mde
  • Spherical Emitter presets: *.mse
  • Mesh Emitter (props or emission-enabled figures) presets: *.mme

Depending on the currently selected actor (prop, figure, MetaForm prop or Surface) the relevant preset will be available in the Load Preset dialog.



We'll start by setting a simple cylinder prop on fire. Using a new blank Poser scene, load MetaForm 1.1 and insert a cylinder prop from the Poser library. It must have particle emissions enabled before any presets can be loaded. To do this, ensure the cylinder is selected and click the Object Properties button.

In the Fields and Particles tab, enable both Field Generation and Particle Emissions. Enabling Field Generation will coat the cylinder in fire too. Click OK when done.

The Object Properties buttons brings up the  Props/Figures dialog

When OK is clicked, MetaForm will add particle and field parameters to the cylinder.

Ensure the cylinder is still selected and click the Load Object Preset button. This opens the Load Emitter Preset dialog.

The Load Preset button opens the Load Preset dialog for the relevant actor type

Navigate to the Fire subfolder and load Large Fire. If you enable Surfacing at this point, the emissions won't look too hot (no pun intended). The particles of course look nothing like fire. We need to add a Surface preset which will change its behavior and appearance, notably the gravity and material settings. This, combined with the emissions preset, will create the fire effect.

To load the Surface preset, use the Load Surface Preset button in the Surfaces panel.

Navigate to the Fire subfolder and load the Combustion Surface preset.

The Load Preset button opens the Load Preset dialog for the relevant actor type

Enable Surfacing by clicking either of the Surfacing buttons and render the scene.


When using fire effects (especially fire with smoke), you may wish to specify a few seconds of pre-frames to allow the flames and smoke to form fully.

Emitter and Surface presets applied

Next, carry out a similar series of steps for a MetaForm directional emitter.

Start a new Poser scene and insert a Directional emitter. Ensuring the emitter is selected, load the Medium Fire preset. Then, using the Load button in the Surfaces panel, load the Simple Flame preset.

The Simple Flame Surface preset uses a simple ambient gradient with perturbation and is much less dense than the Combustion Surface preset.

Medium Fire emitter  preset and Simple Flame  Surface

Try a spherical emitter now. Using a fresh Poser scene, insert a spherical emitter and load the following:

  • Emitter preset - Large Fire.
  • Spherical emitter preset - Combustion.

As spherical emitters generate particles in all directions, the flame emissions appear to be thicker and more layered, especially at the base of the fire. (The flames still rise because of the Surface's gravitational settings)

Spherical Emitter with Large Fire preset and Combustion Surface preset

Lastly, try an animated lava preset. Insert a directional emitter and a plane prop into a fresh scene. Click the image to the right to see the arrangement used. The plane will be used to simulate a pool of lava, and the eruption shall be generated by the emitter in the middle of the plane.

Load the Lava preset to the Surface and the Eruptor (60) preset to the emitter.

You can add distortion to the lava by adding Surface Noise. A value of 0.5 was used in this example.

Because this is an animated preset, it contains keyframed parameter settings. The emissions start at zero, then erupt, then fall to zero again before frame 60. This shot was taken around frame 30 (of 60).

Lava Eruptor preset

There are a few examples of the sample presets supplied with MetaForm. You can, of course, create your own. You may also wish to try the above processes on a Poser figure! Enable particle emissions and load a mesh preset in the normal way.


  • Presets can be single-frame or animated over a series of frames.
  • Animated presets may not generate particles on the first frame.
  • Surface presets contain material and parameter settings, including: textures and colors for each layer, mapping attributes, threshold settings.
  • Emitter presets contain particle emission settings.

Arg, it burns, it burns.



The process for saving presets is quite straightforward. Once you are happy with the existing settings (created from scratch, or modified from an existing preset), click the Save Object Preset button in the Object Properties panel.

In this example, we have used an emitter. The Save Emitter Preset dialog pops up. Presets can be saved Non-Animated - a single keyframe is saved which is applied to the duration of the animation - or Animated - keyframed information is saved.

The Save Object Preset button

The Save Emitter Preset dialog


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