How to set up an External Runtime

     Setting up an external runtime is easy and can be done in a few quick steps.  The difficulty with using external runtimes comes from determining the best way for you organize your folders so that you are able to quickly find what you need.  Everyone's brain works differently so organization of library content may vary.  Before we get started lets go over a few terms.

What is a Runtime Folder? The runtime folder is where all of your 3D models are installed.

What is an External Runtime Folder?  An external runtime folder is a folder that isn't located on the main hard drive or within the same Poser folder. 

What is a Multiple Runtime Folder? This is a term used to describe the use of more than one runtime folder.  Instead of having one runtime folder it's possible to organize the runtime by themes such as Characters, Clothing, and Props.  Each theme folder has its own runtime folder which makes it possible for me to remove a theme without affecting the other themes.  Using a single runtime folder for all of your 3D content is not recommended as it provides no organization benefits or flexibility.

The process of installing 3D content stays the same when using an external runtime. Only the location of where you want to install it changes.

Advantages of an external runtime

1. Your content is safe if your main hard drive crashes.

2. You can move your external hard drive to another computer that uses Poser without having to reinstall all of the content.

3. Content can be stored on a home NAS making it possible to access the content from different computers without having to move the content at all.


1. Your content isn't safe from external hard drive crashes.

2. It will take slightly longer for your content to load off the external drive, (Unless you have the new USB 3 connection).

How External Runtime Folders Work

     To get an external runtime folder to work, you must have a Category folder and inside that folder a Runtime folder.  For example, BASES will be my category folder and inside of that folder will be a folder called Runtime.  This is how my external runtime folder looks like on my hard drive.

Poser Download Content (top level folder)

-Bases (Category folder)

-Runtime (the runtime folder).

The Runtime folder is required for the content to be installed.  I won't go into detail at this point since it will cause confusion, but if you wish to use an external runtime folder then you can use the folder set up that I use.  Download the External Runtime Folder Here

How to use the Poser By Design External Runtimes Folders

Step 1: Download the Zip file that contains all of the external runtime folders along with the organizations of them.

Step 2: Unzip the .zip file and copy the Poser Download Content folder (right click on this folder and choose copy)

Step 3: Paste the folder on your External hard drive or a location outside of the Poser Folder

Step 4: When asked where to install your content, pick the appropriate category folder to install in.  Note: Do not select the actual Runtime folder as the place to install the content. Choose the category folder.

Management of the External Runtime Folders

You can add or rename the category folders as you see fit.  When adding a new category folder make sure that you create an empty Runtime folder inside of the category folder.

Preparing your external runtime - Detailed

     Before you install any 3D models into your runtime folder, you need to take some time and map out the organization of the category folder structure.  What will you name your category folders? How do you want the organization of your folders to look?  Do you want to separate shoes from clothing? Do you want to separate cars from props? Questions like this need to be answered before you start installing anything into a runtime folder.  These questions are often difficult for many people who are setting up a runtime folder for the first time, so I have provided a sample external runtime.  To be more exact, I'm sharing my external runtime folder set up minus the content.

Step 1: Think about how you want to organize your 3d models.  If you aren't sure then you can use the same multiple runtime setup that I'm using. Click here to download my external runtimes folder structure.

Step 2: If you are making an external runtime folder from scratch then make sure that you have an empty runtime folder inside of each category folder.  If you are using my external runtime setup then place the collection of folders either on your computer's hard drive or on an external drive.

Step 3: Now that your external runtime folders have been set up, you are ready to use them to install your 3D models.  The installation of the 3D models is simple.  Pick the appropriate category folder when asked where you would like to install your content.  For example, if you are using the external runtime folders that were provided, then all A4 hair will be installed in the hair folder for A4.  All of the A4 shoes will be installed in the shoes folder for A4.

IMPORTANT WHEN INSTALLING: The folder that you will choose to install content in will be the category folder and not the actual runtime folder.   If you still are unsure about how to create an external runtime folder then download the external runtime folder that has been provided.

Step 4: Add the category folder to your Poser Library.  To do this click on the "add to library" button and select the category folder that you want to add.  You should now be able to see your external runtime folder in your library.

     Remember organizing the folders before you install is the key, so make sure that you know the organization that you want to use before installing your 3D models.  If you are still confused about this then contact me through the contact us page and schedule a live demonstration.

FAQ #1:  What if a 3D model can be used with different base models?

Answer: When you come across this then put it in the folder for the model that you use most often.  For example, if you install hair that can be used on M4, V4, A4, and V3 then put that hair in the hair folder for the model that you use the most.  In my case I install most of my A4/V4 hair models in the Hair A4 folder because I use A4 more than V4.  This makes it easier to find hair that fits multiple 3d bases.

FAQ #2:  Why doesn't my external runtime folder show in the library?

Answer: Possible reason may be that the external drive that you have your content stored was not on when you opened Poser.  Another reason is that you didn't add the external runtime category folder to the library yet.

If you still are having trouble with creating an external runtime then request a live demonstration on creating and using an external runtime.