House Mouse makes the big time!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

When everything around you seems to be going bust, it's the little things that bring some joy to your heart. I love DAZ 3D's House Mouse and have used him in several of my renders. (See right) But, hey, I KNOW I'm not the only one to love him. He was such a hit when he came out two or three years ago that just everybody had to have him. (Hey, he was 1.99 through DAZ Platinum Club so who could resist anyway?). Images all over the Poser forums and galleries had the little fellow showing his smarts.

Well, he's made the big time--on Saturday Night Live. One of their parody commercials featured him last December. Catch the video here. Heh. Poor mousie!

I'll wait.

And if you didn't get enough of him, well, whaddya know, I made a thumbnail gallery of some of my pics that feature the little fella. When you get there, just click on any thumbnail that catches your fancy to see the bigger render. Enjoy!


Peter UK said...

Another try,
Syl great work ,amazing 3D effect.Thanks.

chuck said...


What is that whole DAZ thing about?

Syl said...

Peter, thanks!

Syl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Syl said...


Imagine there's a program where you load up 3D depictions of people, animals, buildings, aliens, trees, flowers, spaceships, dragons, or almost anything you can imagine.

Manipulate them all into a scene, move a camera around, add lights, then hit a button and end up with a picture. (Then adjust everything and render again. And
again until you're satisfied.)

There are several programs that do this. Poser is one of them though it started out more humbly over a decade ago. It had a set of built in figures to use and
the figures were licensed from a company named Zygote. Zygote made figures mainly for high end rendering programs and sold the figures online. I believe even before there was such a thing as Amazon.

They also sold stuff (and gave away a freebie every week) for Poser and their Poser offerings were much cheaper. Poser was wildly popular so I'm sure that had something to do with it. For example, Zygote made a magnificent dragon which they sold to high-end 3D graphics companies and folks for about $750!

Then they made a Poser version which cost $75! And that dragon became a staple in the runtimes of scads of Poser users. ('Runtime' refers to the file structure of the Poser program itself--the root folder for all content is named 'runtime'.)

Someone at Zygote saw the handwriting on the wall, purchased the rights to all their Poser stuff, and split off and formed their own company that concentrated on stuff for Poser only---DAZ3D. And they kept the Zygote tradition of giving away something free every week.

As Poser developed, so did the 3D models for Poser. DAZ created a female figure named Vicky that they sold independently of the Poser program. Tons of clothes for her too. (This was during the Poser 4 period, the first time it was possible to easily use separate clothes on the figures. Prior to Poser 4 the clothes were mostly painted on though there were some other techniques available.)

Vicky was extremely popular and artists were scrambling to learn mesh modeling so they could make clothes and scene sets and accessories for her. Other stores opened and started selling stuff for Poser too.

Poser commerce hit the bigtime. (In earlier years, props and stuff were made and given away for free, now people were selling stuff (cheaply) instead--which was great because there came to be standards as to quality, setup of the download files for easy installation, and (almost) standard readme files and licensing.

The interesting thing about Poser commerce is that the vendors are Poser users themselves. Artists who have learned how to make their own meshes (3D stuff) and textures (painted 'skins' for figures, clothes, and props) and poses (click the pose and the figure assumes that stance).

Then Poser 5 came out. It had lots of new features but it was a disaster. It was so buggy that many people couldn't even run it. The backlash from the community was fierce and angry. I was teaching Bryce and Poser at the time and refused to even offer a class on Poser 5.

There was a danger that Poser would die.

So DAZ (a wise company with the best marketing I have ever seen) hired some people (mostly from the community itself) to write a new program to compete with Poser. If Poser died, so would they, because their entire business model was based on that program. So, out comes DAZ Studio--a program that does everything Poser does (except for some features in Poser 5 and 6) and does it better, faster, and easier--and they give it away for FREE.

No--they're not Microsoft, you still have a choice. The idea is that even if you get the program for free (and it comes with some nice content) you will still need to purchase more content--and more and more and more depending on how deep the addiction goes. And chances are you'll buy a lot, if not most, of it from DAZ.

Meanwhile, Poser is under new ownership (Japanese) and Poser 6 came out. It's a fine program and makes up for the travesty of Poser 5. But it takes a hefty--way hefty--machine to run it and still has the interface oddities that Poser is infamous for.

So we now have nice competition in the Poser world, and tons of figures to choose from. And several stores selling vendor content. Which is quite inexpensive, still. And hopefully for a long time to come.

I call it heaven.

Well, you asked. :)

(I tried to post earlier but it wouldn't take--then it messed up.)

chuck said...

Hi Syl,

That was a great story. Why not put it up as a post? I'm a bit curious, do you notice any gender aspects to poser? It almost sounds like a grown up version of playing dolls. Then again, it sounds like it is also a general artistic medium. How large would you say the community is?

Syl said...


I'll probably put something up at some point. Not sure.

I have no idea what the actual size of the community is. Most people you don't hear from. There are families who do it for fun, hobbyists, professionals, and those that mix all three in what they do. But it is at least hundreds of thousands.

As for the 'playing dolls' aspect, I'm sure there are some who use it that way--a lot of kids do for sure. But besides Vicky (who is soon to be a version 4) there are male figures as well as children, cats, dogs, horses, aliens, elves, fairies, warriors, monsters, dragons, ents, dwarves, mermaids, soldiers, anime, robots, and critters never before imagined.

It is the world of dreams for any artist!

Syl said...

Oh, as far as gender I can't tell what the split is, if any. Men and women both partake almost equally in usage of the program. I think there are more men who do 3d modeling and more women doing texturing as far as supplying content is concerned. Other than that, it seems pretty equal all around.

terrye said...


This is amazing. I had no idea any of this existed before Syl came along. A whole new world.

Rick Ballard said...


Make sure to go through all the galleries. (click Home - Galleries)

My compliments again, Syl. I still like the Owl on Park Bench best. Couldn't say why, though.