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Hierarchy (PHI) Builder
Home | Product Info | Hierarchy (PHI) Builder
$8.75

Orders are processed manually. I aim to do this as quickly as possible and certainly within 24 hours but it will not be instantaneous. Please ensure that you include your correct email address and that your email client is set to accept messages from pcooke@philc.net and jlcooke@bellsouth.net.

The Hierarchy (PHI) Builder greatly simplifies
the writing of Poser hierarchy files.
Used in conjunction with an OBJ file containing group information you can quickly and easily create Poser figures without the need to add bones in the Setup Room. You will still need to adjust the joint parameters but you would need to do that anyway. The method is to write the hierarchy file then in Poser use the menu File > Convert Hier file.

Start by either opening an existing PHI file or by importing your model's OBJ file.

Tree view

Drag child actors onto parent actors to form the hierarchy.

Slow double left click to edit actor name/rotation order

Right click popup menu:-

  • Create IK Chain commencing with selected actor.
  • Edit rotation order including the option to also apply change to children.

Text view

Standard text editing including a right click popup menu.

Use text view to add or delete actors, you can not perform these actions in tree view.

Note that the indentation in the text view is to make it easier for humans to read, it is ignored by Poser.

Rotation order

A rotation order of zyx means that the "twist" will be along the Z axis. The bend and side to side will be along the other two. It is ESSENTIAL that the first order of rotation is along the axis that the actor would naturally twist. The order of the other two is less important. It has been suggested that the joint that is bent the most should go last.

Note the time saving option to apply edit to children also.

Menus

File
Use to open or save a hierarchy (PHI) file.

Tree
Expand or collapse the current tree view.

Import
Import an OBJ file that already contains the required grouping information. The application will make its best guess of how the hierarchy should be arranged. It is not intended to a perfect solution, rather it will give a good starting point for you to work from. Try importing some of the example OBJ files to get the feel for it.

Help
Display these instructions.

The PHI file format

objFile [file path]
------------------------

objFile
Defines the path to your wavefront OBJ file. Note that this must already contain the correct body part grouping. Can be absolute or relative to the Poser folder. On a PC the delimiter may be "\" or ":" on a Mac best to stick with ":". It is possible use a seperate OBJ file for each body part. See example_multiple_obj.phi for details. Note that it is very unlikely that you will ever need to redistribute the PHI file. Its sole purpose is to create the figure. So long as the OBJ's file path is correct it will not matter where it is initially stored. You can always move the file later and edit the CR2 file accordingly.

[Hierarchy level][Body part name][Rotation order][curve][path]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hierarchy level
Defines the parent/child relationship. All level 2 actors will be children of the level 1 actor. In the sample files you will see that the abdomen, lThigh and rThigh (level 2) are all children of the hip (level 1). The BODY is shown in the tree view to make vizulization easier, it is not required in the hierarchy file text. Similarly the indentation in the text view is to make it easier for humans to read, it is ignored by Poser.

Body part name
The body part names must exactly match group names found in the OBJ file. Do not use spaces. When creating groups in humanoid models I would suggest that you need a really outstanding reason to deviate from what has become the Poser standard naming convention.

Rotation order
A rotation order of zyx means that the "twist" will be along the Z axis. The bend and side to side will be along the other two. It is ESSENTIAL that the first order of rotation is along the axis that the actor would naturally twist. The order of the other two is less important. It has been suggested that the joint that is bent the most should go last.

curve
Optional keyword that may be used to provide better bending of long thin figure sections such as tails.

path
Optional path if this single group is stored as a separate OBJ file. See example file.

ikChain [chain name] [sequential list of actors in the chain]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

ikChain

Will attempt to build inverse kinematics into the figure commencing with the currently selected actor. If a bifurcation is encountered it will notify you because you can not have splits in an IK chain.

If you avoid "LeftLeg" and "RightLeg" as chain names but, for example, go with "Left_Leg" and "Right_Leg" you will bypass Poser's hard coded command to have those chains turn on by default when the figure loads.

Work flow

You will need the model's OBJ file to contain the required group information. The Hierarchy Builder will not do that for you.

Import the OBJ into the Hierarchy Builder and use the views and tools provided to create a workable hierarchy.

Save the file. The dialog will prompt you to save with a "PHI" file extension. It does not matter where you save to, it need not be to a Poser library.

Next in Poser use the menu File > Convert Hier file. Note that you do not need to import the OBJ file.

Poser will process the file and prompt you for a name to save with.

The result is delivered to your New Figures folder NOT the current preview which can give rise to the notion that nothing happened. This may be within your Poser library or your Poser Content library depending on the options you selected when installing Poser.

Browse to the New Figures folder, load the figure and check on the jointing.

Suggestion

Try starting by opening one the sample PHI files or by importing one the example OBJ files included with the application. They will help you understand the process. It should not take you very long to become proficient, you will then be able to build Poser figures in minutes rather than have to add every bone individually in the Poser Setup Room.

 

 

 

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