Update: I now have a dedicated Poser Pro blog!
An interesting in-depth review of the new Poser 2012, by a genuine long-time user who writes clearly. Most interestingly for us real-time 3D people, the review starts off by detailing the real-time capabilities (and glitches) of the software…
“The OpenGL [real-time] previews are now much better than before, and I no longer envy DAZ Studio for it[s OpenGL previews]. As a matter of fact, I think the Poser previews are now much superior to [those of] DAZ Studio, because now we can preview soft shadows and ambient occlusion in real time. In some cases the previews are almost as good as the rendered version when it comes to lighting and materials.
You can preview the direct results of up to eight lights in real time, and you can select which ones will be included in the previews, so that you can exclude IBL and specular lights since they will not be visible until rendered anyway. Being able to visualize shadows in real time saves me a whole lot of time when setting up a scene.
[…] some [complex] skin materials […] tend to turn […] into some mushy black or brown. This already happened in Poser Pro 2010 and it’s rather annoying…”
The review also points out that zooming in to preview hair in close-up, in an OpenGL preview, is likely to crash Poser. Real-time OpenGL is also said to have problems with handling transparencies (opacity) on materials.
Although, for making 2D stills pictures for use as iClone backdrops, one could probably work around such issues (have simple skin, paint/paste the hair on afterwards in Photoshop, avoid props with transparencies).
Be aware that successfully running the latest 4.3 version of OpenGL may be dependent on you having a good desktop gaming graphics-card — but most iCloners on desktop PCs will probably already have one, and I read that a lot of the OpenGL 4 features were back-ported to the older 3.3 version (which even my old GeForce 9600 card can run).