Smith Micro Software's Consumer Group Releases New Poser Pro for Professional 3D Artists

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Review Article
  • Are we using the same product? July 08, 2009
    Reviewed by 'Joe B'
    Review of Smith Micro's Poser Pro
    Well, at this juncture I've been working almost daily with this product, and thought it was high time I shared some of my impressions with other prospective customers/victims.
    First of all, as a long-time software professional, I am quite aware of the complexities associated with 3D rendering, and the high demand on processing resources -- both memory and CPU. Even though I'm running a fairly capable machine (quad-core, 64-bit, 8Gig of ram, 2 - 1-terrabyte drives, Win XP-64, etc.), I am prepared to accept that complex 3D scene rendering will take some time. That said, what I DO NOT accept is the necessity for the program to outright refuse to render, or even LOAD some scenes, reporting "not enough memory to load texture map'! In software engineering terminology, this just indicates sloppy memory management. Even after researching the issues, tweaking the render settings, running a 3rd-party memory management utility -- the problem persists.
    Perhaps even harder to excuse is the generally brittle nature of the package. It regularly becomes necessary to resort to ctl-alt-del, bring up the program manager, find the process, and use the "kill process tree" command to get rid of the hung application, and then start the whole process over from the start, often losing work in the process.
    Then, of course, there are the incessant "An unexpected exception occurred: -50" messages. Once again, ctrl-alt-del, etc., is the only way to proceed.
    Don't even bother looking in the event manager, or searching for a log that might explain the source of the problem. The Poser "engineers" apparently considered such niceties as superfluous.
    Interestingly, it's often possible (and necessary) to load a scene that Poser Pro refuses to accept by using Poser 7! I can then eliminate some elements, save the file, and reload back into Poser Pro. Did someone decide it was necessary to introduce some additional bugs into the flagship package.?
    I also have a strong suspicion that the program suffers from some severe memory leaks. If you monitor memory usage, you'll see that, regardless of the nature of the scene, memory usage just keeps on increasing, until, inevitably -- that's right: ctrl-alt-del.
    The thing that amazes me most, is the proliferation of gushing reviews of this shoddy piece of . . . programming. Are the reviewers on Smith Micro's payroll? Have they done any more with it than render a quick naked woman, gawk over it, and then write: "WOW, what a GREAT product!"?
    There are, of course, so many other annoying quirks as to defy enumeration here. Suffice it to say, that this is an extremely irritating program with which to work.
    Smith Micro touts this as a "professional package," an utterly absurd assertion. It's quality is such that I might overlook the bugs in a freeware package, but certainly not in something costing nearly five-hundred bucks. Oh well, there's a sucker born every minute.
    Now, as someone who has watched my own company's profits eroded by software piracy, I am generally opposed to such abuses, however, in cases like this, my advice is to acquire the product from someplace like Emule, or Vuse, or other torrent servers, use it for a while, and if you still think it's worth the asking price, then by all means, write that check. Otherwise, just use it at a cost that's precisely what it's worth: $0.

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