Carrara 8.5 Pro - Prepurchase Question

lisa-2189459lisa-2189459 Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I used to be into 3D back in the RayDream Studio days but I stepped away to raise a family and now I am slowly getting back in and I'm thinking about purchasing Cararra 8.5 Pro to break the ice and am trying to understand pricing.

If I signup for the Platinum Club will I get a discount for Cararra 8.5?
Since 8.5 came out last year, I assume v9 will be coming out soon, how does pricing on updates work?

Comments

  • SpacelandSpaceland Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    I am not a Platinum Club member but I can say that Carrara offers a lot compare to other programs.

    The price for 8.5 is very good even if you are not a member.

    As for the price of version 9, no idea, the only thing I think it was said it is in the pipe line of the dev.

    Beside that, a Platinum member could give you more info.

  • Steve KSteve K Posts: 1,651
    edited December 1969

    lisa said:

    If I signup for the Platinum Club will I get a discount for Cararra 8.5?
    Since 8.5 came out last year, I assume v9 will be coming out soon, how does pricing on updates work?

    I am a PC member and long time Carrara Pro user. The price for Carrara Pro 8.5 shows $171 when I'm logged in, and $285 when I'm not (i.e. the price for non PC members).

    I am still using V 8.1 since the newer version seemed to be mostly about the included Genesis content, which I am not interested in. Also, there is apparently still no comprehensive documentation for anything after V.7, according to this:

    http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/software/carrara/start

    There are some piecemeal topics for V. 8.5 here:

    http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/public/software/carrara/8_5/userguide/start

    There are also various Carrara Forum topics with support information, like this:

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/29301/

    I don't know about V.9, it took several years to get from 8.1 to 8.5, even with no comprehensive documentation update. DAZ Studio and the newer figures (after Gen4, e.g.Genesis+) seem to be getting most of DAZ' attention.

    Having said all that, I still greatly prefer Carrara Pro 8.1 to everything else I've used (Poser, Lightwave, Bryce, ...), mostly due to its near flawless handling of the vast amount of Poser content available (in my case, Gen4 characters plus scenes, props, etc.)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    ...and I prefer 8.5 to 8.1 even though I'm not really using Genesis much at all - yet - but I will be soon.

    Yes, Platinum Club will give great savings for Carrara, and is an excellent path to build up a collection of great model assets of high quality at near-free pricing (1.99 USD), which is huge for me. I buy pretty much everything that Petipet and Jack Tomalin produce for the PC (as well as a lot of others), which has really come in handy for creating and/or filling scenes.

    Yup. First stop - Platinum Club. Next - Carrara 8.5 and a pile of goodies! :)

    Carrara totally rocks, no matter which version you're using. Once I went to 8.5, I have a hard time leaving the extra amenities behind that it offers by using an earlier version, so I finally uninstalled the others. However, if budget gets tight, and you just want to get to using Carrara ASAP, my friend at Carrara Cafe has compiled this List of Special Carrara Links, which can help you to get into it much cheaper - and also gives links to some excellent Carrara Essentials material. Also, the first edition of Figures, Characters and Avatars, by Les Pardew, is still often available at Amazon and other places, and it comes complete with Carrara 6 Pro and Hexagon.

    Good luck, and I look forward to your joining this, most wonderful community of 3d enthusiasts!

  • Rich GellesRich Gelles Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Lisa,

    You have asked a few questions and a lot of them are who knows kind of answers. Like when is version 9 coming out. Or what price an update would be. It seems DAZ had a lot of flack from the upgrade price from 8.1 to 8.5 --so again who knows. And I do not recall if they ever addressed would 8.1 upgrade to 9 be same as 8.5 upgrade.
    When or what will be version 9 --again ----supposedly early 2014 but things happen all the time with delays and Daz development.

    As other said it almost always pays to join platinum club and buy Carrara then . You might even like being a Platinum club member.

    In any case -----welcome !! And for the record 8.5 is my version of choice by a long shot. Daz actually put out a pretty solid version.

    rich

  • WheatpennyWheatpenny Posts: 31
    edited December 1969

    lisa said:

    If I signup for the Platinum Club will I get a discount for Cararra 8.5?

    Yes.
    I was originally not a PC Member, then when I put the PC Membership and Carrara 8.5 in my cart, I got the discount right away.

  • lisa-2189459lisa-2189459 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thank you everyone for responding. I'm still debating on what to do. I was initially thinking this would be a good starting point since I'm re-entering the 3D world after about 10 years or so and Carrara's feel seems very similar to the old RayDream, KPT, Bryce interface. I think I could get used to it easily and back up and running quickly but the Carrara demo interface seems a bit antiquated. Is this still the same interface as 8.5 or is it just the demo? Can you tell me how it renders glass, chrome and shiny things, (I know this is the age old question for 3D) but I'm looking for something that does Photo Realistic Ray Tracing and is good with reflective and transparent surfaces.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    Carrara might feel a bit antiquated, because I think parts of it kind of is! LOL
    But it is excellent, in my opinion, at rendering shiny things. I think that any render engine will make you wait a little for high-quality results when it comes to super-high realistic reflections, refraction, stuff like that. Carrara has a 'Caustics' setting in the render room that can really make your high end 'shinies' shine!

    In my experience, Carrara's native photo-realistic render engine is very fast.
    This fast render was done at very low, test render settings in Carrara's photo-real engine, with a reflective shader from one of Ringo Monfort's sets, Digital Painters Shaders III. The glass was actually a poor choice of shaders on my part - straight from Carrara's rather excellent shader preset collection. The model was made (this was a mid-way test before I added the tail, engines, and other accessories) in Carrara 8.5 - where posed Genesis in a sitting position, and modeled the ship around him - what fun!

    XJ2346-MU14a.jpg
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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited February 2014

    Oh... and yes, I left Genesis as a plain clay shader on purpose. That's how I make him when I model around him. I just like him that way!

    It is my opinion that Carrara has some of the finest shader potential. But perhaps that is because it is laid out in a way that works well with 'my' mind. The channels just seem to make sense to me, and there are so many options that we can apply to each channel, and then multiply, add, lay-over, etc., complete other sets of possibilities, that it becomes quite easy to tweak shaders into something you have rolling around in your imagination. Yesterday I spent nearly the whole day playing with this lava shader. And the one below is reflecting water, but I think I switched refraction to none.

    Oasis1aFC1HLF.jpg
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    LavaLake.jpg
    1280 x 720 - 1M
    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited February 2014

    lisa said:
    Thank you everyone for responding. I'm still debating on what to do. I was initially thinking this would be a good starting point since I'm re-entering the 3D world after about 10 years or so and Carrara's feel seems very similar to the old RayDream, KPT, Bryce interface. I think I could get used to it easily and back up and running quickly but the Carrara demo interface seems a bit antiquated. Is this still the same interface as 8.5 or is it just the demo? Can you tell me how it renders glass, chrome and shiny things, (I know this is the age old question for 3D) but I'm looking for something that does Photo Realistic Ray Tracing and is good with reflective and transparent surfaces.

    Carrara's interface is based on Ray Dream (mostly, + Kai Krause the "interface guru" of yesteryear...) so out of every program out there Carrara should feel the most familiar to you. If you don't like the interface *shrug* to each their own. C8.5 has made a TON of actions key-programmable, so if you prefer a Blender-style fastkey interface you can customize.

    Like most programs I guess, Carrara needs a few plugins to feel complete, but the good news is they are in the same "budget" range of Carrara. For glass fx I recommend you grab SHADER OPS at Digital Carver's Guild. Provides a simple fresnel shader that gives you control over edges. (see pic below)

    A word of warning - CARRARA is more an ART PROGRAM than a science program. If you want "physics-based hyper-accurate blah blah" and ultrarealistic microsimulations, that is NOT Carrara.... Carrara operates more like a "friendly" 3D suite on a powerful fractal-based render engine - you can make complex but mediocre-looking scenes very quickly (especially with the help of all the Poser content), but if you are willing to look a little deeper at the settings for shaders, lights, etc you can get Carrara to do some amazing things and the renders can be very fast.... I say it is like a fractal program because you use the shaders and light to add and alter color and brightness and saturation. If you are ok thinking of your images in these terms like an artist - rather than as a scientist who wants to simulate reality - then Carrara can be very rewarding using it as an art tool.

    There is also now some expandability to other render engines like LUXRENDER (via a plugin) so you can use Carrara's "friendly" interface to build your large scenes and pass the render out to another unbiased render engine....

    whiskey.png
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    Post edited by wetcircuit on
  • lisa-2189459lisa-2189459 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Wow, those are some great examples and the glass is very realistic.

    Would anyone happen to know if any of the old RayDream files import into Carrara. I still have all my old .rds, .rd4 and .rd5 files backed up along with all my old shaders, in fact I still have all my old software too, just no box that will run it. I'd buy Carrara in a second if I knew I could import any of these instead of loosing them.

    Thanks again, you guys, and gals, have all been very helpful. I can see that this would be a great group to join.

  • WheatpennyWheatpenny Posts: 31
    edited December 1969

    lisa said:

    Would anyone happen to know if any of the old RayDream files import into Carrara. I still have all my old .rds, .rd4 and .rd5 files backed up along with all my old shaders, in fact I still have all my old software too, just no box that will run it. I'd buy Carrara in a second if I knew I could import any of these instead of loosing them.

    Yes, I just checked and the import command in the file menu has those file extensions listed.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    Kai Krause. That's the designer responsible for this wonderful interface? Awesome!
    Carrara's interface is my all time favorite - of anything! :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    I love Holly's glass work! That really is gorgeous!

    Wow... Carrara opens RayDream... that's just too cool!

  • lisa-2189459lisa-2189459 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I was able to open some of my old Ray Dream scenes with the demo but I'm not sure how I would go about importing Ray Dream shaders. Does anyone know of that's possible? I see that the shaders come in with the scenes but is there a way to import them with the scene? Also, does the full version of Carrara come with a set of shaders and are there shader packs available for purchase to add on or a resource that offers free shaders?

    I will more than likely purchase simply because I can bring in my RayDream work of which I have hundreds of files but I'm kinda hesitant in waiting for version 9 to come out.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    lisa said:
    I was able to open some of my old Ray Dream scenes with the demo but I'm not sure how I would go about importing Ray Dream shaders. Does anyone know of that's possible? I see that the shaders come in with the scenes but is there a way to import them with the scene? Also, does the full version of Carrara come with a set of shaders and are there shader packs available for purchase to add on or a resource that offers free shaders?

    I will more than likely purchase simply because I can bring in my RayDream work of which I have hundreds of files but I'm kinda hesitant in waiting for version 9 to come out.


    Digital Carver's Guild made some of the first plugins for RayDream. They are still in business and have a ton of great plugins for Carrara.
    http://www.digitalcarversguild.com/carraraplugins.php

    Some of the plugins for RayDream have become part of Carrara. There was a shader pack from DCG that is now included as Pattern Shaders. And the old RayFlect plugin called "Real Skies" became the Realistic Sky feature inside Carrara (the guy that was RayFlect actually owned Carrara for a while under the company name Eovia).

    Some other popular plugin sites are:
    http://www.inagoni.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.14
    http://www.des-web.net/shoestring_graphics.html
    http://www.sparrowhawke3d.com

    There are more, and quite a few are available here at DAZ 3D too.

    I try to keep a current list of plugins links on my 3d.wetcircuit.com website (in the sidebar)
    http://www.3d.wetcircuit.com

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    This article is a bit old, but info still seems to be current:
    http://carraracafe.com/essential-plugins-for-carrara/

    (hey, an old version of my whisky bottle render is in that article, LOL)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    lisa said:
    Also, does the full version of Carrara come with a set of shaders and are there shader packs available for purchase to add on or a resource that offers free shaders?.
    Yes. Carrara's Native Content pack comes loaded with excellent shader presets - lots of them!
    I compiled this list of Carrara-specific products available here, at DAZ 3D, which was made fairly recently. Thanks to Carrara artists efforts, I am falling behind on keeping it up-to-date:
    ►►► Carrara Resources ◄◄◄
    Plenty of excellent shader packs to choose from. I buy these various shader packs - not just for their intended uses, but also to see how these other artists set up pro-level shaders. Works great!

    Also, earlier in this thread I've shown a picture of my recent lava shader. That one started off as a Lava shader that came with Carrara - and tweaked it for a day ;)

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