When creating animations in Poser it is possible to set an AVI as the background for reference. However that only gives you one view and can be difficult to line up. You can also apply a movie to a prop but it will not render in preview. The Rotoscoper plug in will provide you with two plain squares each with a front view or side view projected on it. They update in real time. You can even play the sequence backwards. These views act as guides as you manually pose the figure at each frame.
Current Version 1.03
This is how your Poser workspace will look:-
Or if you prefer to use orthographically views, like this:-
Click the animation control buttons to step, jump or play through the sequence. You can play forwards or backwards. You can also use the Poser animation buttons or the <---- left and -----> right keyboard keys. Creating the pose is not automatic. Use the reference images as guides as you manually build up the animated sequence.
Preparing the images.
Using a suitable digital video camera record the front and side view of a subject performing the required action. If you can use two cameras and film simultaneously then so much the better. If that is not possible then you will need to film the action twice. These will be used as a visual reference only. A high degree of accuracy is not required. A relaxed common sense approach is all that is needed. A sequence using images provided by Peter Lewis ( http://www.3d.sk ) have been set up to provide the example scene included with the plug in. I highly recommend visiting his site to see the large quantity of high quality reference images available.
In addition to Poser you will need a digital camera capable of recording moving images and a program to prepare the image files. IrfanView is a free graphics application that will do the job. You can download it from http://www.irfanview.com/ Be sure to pick up the plug ins. The simple steps required to prepare the files for Rotoscoper are covered in the instructions.
The speed at which Poser is able to refresh the screens during play back will be dependent on the Poser version and your computer's memory. Provision is made to reduce the play back speed to accomodate this. All responding beta testers found that all images loaded in all versions of Poser when stepping through the animation. One tester found that Poser 5 had difficulty in displaying the images when looping through the animation. At the time of writing I have been unable to determine if their computer included a graphics card or not.