Modeling Objects in Carrara - Q&A - Come One and All



  • DesertDudeDesertDude Posts: 1,015
    wgdjohn said:

    In the pic I've shown is my 3rd attempt to recreate what PhilW shows... even my 3 attempts only took minutes till I got something vaguely similar to his example. I also scaled my base oval to be narrower than it's its width... still needs work on each path as you can see a bit of a problem near its pointed end... fixable though. I've included a pic which highlights where Double Sweep is.

    Yeah, I just tried and floundered for a few attempts, and then...success, whatever that is. Anyway, so easy and powerful!

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    John's Crazy Objects:  A Paneled Box

    In one of the DAZ sales the other day I nearly bought some poses mainly to get the objects/props that were included. "Naa..." I said to myself... "I can make something equal or better, ha ha, in Carrara. Within a short time the other night I created something very close to the object I'd seen. This has 3 shader domains and made from a single cube with 5 segments. To create the look similar to what I saw each inner segment was chosen... I then turned on symmetry and move both at once to get the frames look... this left me with 4 panels in the center on each side of the cube. Next I used fillet on all outer edges to bevel those to give it a bit of rounded off look. OK... now for the panels... using the edge selector I selected the edges for each square and used extract along twice... this let me create more inner squares for each one since I wanted a bit of tapered/stepped look like door panels, cabinets and other things have. I then selected the inner squares/polys and scaled them... moving them inwards towards the center of the cube... now that I think about it scale probably should not have been used I should have instead just moved them towards their opposing side a tiny bit. Scale for all at once will not produce what I wanted. I need to work from my early version which only defines where the frames are to be

    In my render I've noticed something strange... why would It show any circles inside some of the glass panels?? ... noticeable on back sides and bottom... hmm...  Shown below is what I came up with so far.

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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,558

    Refraction maybe? Are your glass panels individually solid (and the middle hollow), or is it essentially a single glass block wrapped in a  metal frame? I think the light would behave differently in each case.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Middle is not hollow. Could be refraction... probably due me getting crazy with "add thickness" for the panels. I used a glass shader for the panels. Immediately after the first test render I thought about how you add glass as a separate mesh. I'm was thinking about having 2 different versions... one for solid panels and another for one with glass instead.  Now I'm considering making only one version. It would have empty polys for each panel opening... then I can create 1 polymesh for each cube side or even 1 polymesh for each panel opening... that way I can have each inner panel be either glass or solid eliminating the need for 2 versions.

    What I'm planning is first adding thickness to the entire cube after beveling with fillet that way the whole thing will be same thickness. Then cut/punch out each panel... afterwards use "extract along" for each all outer panel openings at once so they will be equal... the inside can remain flat since it doesn't need a beveled/stepped look.

    Oh... cool... I've started messing around with both extract along and most important fillet... I wasn't that happy with the bevel on the cube... by changing range to 2 it ends up with quads at corners and is much smoother... reason I want quads is to pass QA at DAZ if/when I finally get something worth submitting as a product.

    Below shows the modified bevel closeup and a quick render.  Also at left side shows what I want to start as extract along for the panels before I punch them out in the center of each.

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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,558

    Don't forget that not all edges will have the same curve -- you might want large shallow curves in some edges compared with tight curves on others. Then you have to think about and plan what order you'll do the fillets in to get the best results. (and the top/side face will likely wind up as an n-gon, so you need to remember to deal with that)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016

    Don't forget that not all edges will have the same curve -- you might want large shallow curves in some edges compared with tight curves on others. Then you have to think about and plan what order you'll do the fillets in to get the best results. (and the top/side face will likely wind up as an n-gon, so you need to remember to deal with that)

    I'm not understanding why I'd want different curves... as is I'm just using fillet for all outermost edges of the cube at the same time to give them a sanded/rounded off look. I just took a close look at all the outermost filleted edges and they all turned out equal which is what I wanted. For the panels I'll do all at once and use extract along instead... now that I think about it I may want to give all panel's outer edges a slight fillet also after the openings have been punched out and everything is connected if needed. I'd thought about doing something that might create n-gons last night but steered away from it. I don't understand how the top/side face could end up as an n-gon... well as long as I pay attention. :)

    Found something like what I'm aiming for... Precious Model Poses for Eva 7 - On The Box this may have been the poses that had the box I'm re-creating but different in that I want 4 panels on each side... there are actually only two or three box designs shown.

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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,306

    HI John.

    If you start by creating a simple box,. then select and extract along each side to create an inner edge,. to make a box which can be smoothed and will have rounded edges and corners.

    then you can use extrude on all of the inner panels,. to create the inner panels. Use "Crease edges" in the extruded areas to make them hard and sharp.

    If you want a Quad panel,. select the panel and use Model /Tesselate / Mid edge to Centre,. to divide the poly,. then use extrude to create the inner panels

    Pic to help

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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,558

    Yeah,sorry, I was being a bit generic. For that particular box, all your curves are equal. But more often than not, for other models they won't be. I can't show you right now cos I'm in the middle of a big render across all three machines, but as soon as I get the chance I'll knock up an example.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Andy,  If I understand this right, see pic, I show the polygons that need to be tessalated. As they are now they have 5 polylines which I consider n-gons... am I right?  Pic 1 points those out... also pic 2 shows the approach I took. I like how the smoothed box looks with the quads around each corner.

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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,306

    Yep,. any more than four vertices is a n-gon,. you've go that right.

    I only have quads after tesselating ,..I'm not sure why you have five,.

    You can select the four main panels,. hit + (on the right hand panels) to Grow that selection until you have all the faces of that "frame" area selected,. then go to EDIT / Dissolve

    that gives you a single quad again, to start over.

    I like the look of the better thought out division of 5 and the moved edges,.

    it's all about thinking it through, and sometimes starting over again with a better idea. :)


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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016
    3DAGE said:

    I only have quads after tesselating ,..I'm not sure why you have five,.

    Andy, I should have pointed out that the first pic was yours, sorry... wasn't feeling well last night.  Imagine that you took the screen pic before your chose "Model /Tesselate / Mid edge to Centre".

    I did want to ask how you ended up with the corners to be non rectangular... I'm wondering if that happened by choosing smoothing... or rather un-creasing the outermost corner edges.

    Tonight I've started fresh but still used fillet on the corner sides. I then used "add thickness" as before at a bit higher setting. I found it strange that at first all the faces for the inner newly created mesh had the normals facing the same direction as the outer faces. I'm wondering if this was because the outermost faces, where they meet are creased. Wondering what would happen on a flat rectangle without creasing I added one and extruded it.. inner normals faced inwards and outer outwards. So back I went to see what needed to be done to fix my abNormal Normals... I'm adding the pics of my new approaches in my next post as a TIP which shows how to easily fix Normals.  I've yet to finish it... got busy adding shading domains... hopefully they don't dissapear when I extrude and join the inner to outer meshes.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016

    TIP:  Fixing Normal that face in the wrong direction.

    • The first pic shows Normals facing the wrong direction. This was after using "add thickness" to a cube that had creased edges.  FYI: Normals are those spikes which show the facing direction of faces.
    • 2nd pic shows that only 1 poly needs to be selected to correct the direction for the cubes inner "Normals".  Yep it's that easy.

     This was a happy surprise to me... thought I'd share it with you.

    Modeling in Carrara is funnnnn!

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,233

    Wonderful stuff! Yes, John... it's refraction doing that to your glass. To see an example, try a quick render with refractions turned off in the render room... you'll see the magnifying glass look disappear!

    To use refraction to your benefit (that shader is really set up nicely - I love it for a LOT of things) try making the panes in those panels only the thickness of a window (panes having thickness of 1/8" or so) for a more window-glass-like look, or go thicker for more refraction (magnification glass effect).

    As a side note on that same idea (glass shader), often when I buy content products with glass pieces in them, I'll look closely at how the artist has set up the alpha channel - often with a cool map which adds a bit of debris and/or scratches around the edges. So I'll open the Clear Glass shader along side of that one, and copy the Alpha map over to the transparency channel of the Glass shader, and invert the value. 

    Alpha, white = visible, Black = Invisible

    Transparency, White = Transparent, Black = Opaque

    The wonderful difference between Alpha and Transparency is that Alpha will actually turn the material Invisible from the render and lights effects. Transparency will keep the material fully visible, but see-through. It's a wonderful difference that immediately made me love using Carrara's shader room! 

    So by using Trasparency, we can have see-through shiny or dirty surfaces, depending upon how we control Highlight and Shininess, where those two channels actually diminish when using Alpha instead.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Thanks Dart,  I am redesigning it to have seperate meshes for the panels for that reason. That way I can set a Shader Domain for the panels and make them either solid, glass, opaque or anything I wish.

    Just checked the "glass" shader and Alpha has no setting. I'll mess around with a few different procedural Shaders to see what I come with and also check out some texture maps for Alpha then go create my own. :)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited December 2016

    John's Crazy Modeling:

    Below shows a simple tombstone I created/modeled for a group animation. Click on the image to be wisked away to YouTube for the video with sound FX. As stated... this was a goup effort... my contribution was Livonia's tombstone.

                                         The Final Gesture - Animation Clubs First Animation



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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,306
    edited October 2016

    HI John ,. doh,... my bad on the pic identification :)

    The outer edges of mine are as you say,. Uncreased,. and with the smoothing,. plus the fact that the extruded panels, and their edges,. limit the smoothing.

    a quick example,. if you make a simple box, one poly per side,. then add smoothing,. you'll get more of a ball shape.

    if you tesseleate, Mid edge to centre,.or subdivide the model,. then apply smoothing again,. it'll be more boxy,. and less like a ball.

    the more definition an object has,. the less it'll curve when you add smoothing.

    once you work with it for a while,. you'll see that you can use sub-division smoothing as a modelling aid to help you create curved edges by using tools like extract along, or dynamic extrusion,. while smoothing is active. can move edges to adjust the shape

    as a simple example,. the cube can.

    I started by creating a rectangle. then used dynamic extrusion to extrude the straight basic shape, and the Top indented section,. I used scale to shrink the Base and Top sections,. then applied Smoothing (2 levels).

    although the base geometry is rectangular, the smoothing sub-divides it to create a nice curved shape,. it can also make an almost perfect opening.

    Once you work with smoothing for a while, you reach a point where you can predict how a shape will smooth, depending on it's geometry. which can make modeling even more fun, and easier.

    Best of all,. if you want that as a higher poly model,. you can "convert" the smoothing to real geometry,. or convert just one level, and add one level of smooth.

    or leave it as a low-res drinks can. :)

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2016

    Andy, Thanks

    I've been rethinking my simple Paneled Box. Here is my plan... I'll first create only the big outer frame... then the flat panels to fill each opening which can be glass or solid looking... then the inner frames... I'm thinking to have multiple shader domains for the frames so that only 2 will be shown for opposing sides.. then another 2 frame copies for the other sides and yet another 2 for the top and bottom. This should allow me to have 1 single object. Any 2 frames at a time will be able to have an invisible shader applied so they do not show thus having 3 options for the inner frames... 2, 4 or all 6 sides to have frames. Good grief I'm making this hard on myself I could just modeled separate objects for each look.  Naa... the challenge is too much fun. :)

    Today I have extruded the inside of the frames, inner and outer, shown above a few times for a tapered look. I'm currently experimenting with bridging or connecting the outer frame to the inner frame. Hopefully the new shading domains I added won't be lost. If they are I'll start fresh again from my first first object... all won't be lost... it will be much easier to set shading domains again using your cool example showing smoothing.

    Oh thanks for your tips especially "+-" which I'd forgotten.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 16,233
    wgdjohn said:

    Thanks Dart,  I am redesigning it to have seperate meshes for the panels for that reason. That way I can set a Shader Domain for the panels and make them either solid, glass, opaque or anything I wish.

    Just checked the "glass" shader and Alpha has no setting. I'll mess around with a few different procedural Shaders to see what I come with and also check out some texture maps for Alpha then go create my own. :)

    We can add alpha to that one, if you need parts of it to disappear. By transparency works better for solid materials we can see through ;)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Dart, Thanks to you I created an "invisible" shader. :)  I think you mentioned how in virtual penny 4 yor carrara thoughts ? when Misty Mist wanted parts of a figure to be invisible.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    John's Crazy Objects:  A Paneled Box - my 3rd approach!

    My third attempt looks to be a charm. :)  I've used the same basic cube and taken 3DAGE's advice to use extrusion for the inner panels. The very outer corner edges are not creased but instead Extract Along was used to give a similar look. Now with "smoothing on" the corners are rounded off a bit. I'll include a pic on a later version. I have yet to crease any lines for the inner openings... that will be play for another night.  Here is how I've done the box this time.

    • I'm using the same box that I originally saved before making any drastic changes.
    • A tighter, smaller, Extract Along all outer edges was used.
    • For the inner panels, 4 per cube face, I used Dynamic Extrusion twice, Note that I first selected each panel for all sides first. Now holding down the shift key to keep each on the same face flat on the plane... does that make sense?? I know why extrude twice... this is because I have plans for the inner extrusion squares... I will be tapering them later. 
    • Now that I have the outer box nearly done each inner panel needed to be deleted before using Add Thickness to create an inner box. I used a setting of -1 inch. Ohhhh... kewl... just as I hoped... the emptied polys are now connected to the inner box... sure saved a lot of time.  The results are shown in the pics I've included.

    Wish me luck on the next step... when I start a bit of a taper to the inner polys for each opening... perhaps tomorrow.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    John's Crazy Objects:  A Paneled Box - 3rd approach - Creased with/without smoothing on.

    I've made some additional modifications... not sure that I like them yet. And as normal I have questions and problems.

    1st pic:   Question - Here I have selected 4 edges yet only 3 show in right panel to be selected. 4 vertices are right though.

    2nd pic:  A problem?? This is after creasing the opening and shown at Smooth set to 1. Note that I actually have 3 rectangles. The Inner and outer have been creased... the polylines between them are not creased.

    3rd pic:  Render without *no* smoothing on. I had scaled 2 innermost polys possibly too much as they do not look that great... this didn't quite create the look I wanted... seems I over did it a bit.

    4th pic:  Smooth is set at 3 lower does not look right.  I think this is kinda cool looking. Even better is being able to have either rectangular or round openings created bye the same object. I'm still puzzled why if the opening is creased that this is possible.

    Next Step:  I plan to make either one, maybe 1 and also 4, panel(s) to use to fill the openings... this could be glass, translucent. opaque or solid.  I'm thinking already about placing a bulb light inside to create a glowing light effect that would somewhat shine through, out of all the openings and add interest to a scene. Almost forgot that I'll also want to add some Shader Domains... currently both inner and outer faces are all the same. Once I get this done I' m wanting to go back and try 3DAGE's method.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    I've just updated/added a few links.  If you want to see the changes go to the 2nd post on page 1.

    I'll be back shortly, hopefully soon to post a few pics of some objects I've been modeling for the Animation Club for Carrara.  The latest project is close to finished... Animation Clubs 3rd animation starting - Story Decided, Modeling starting.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    A Simple Example using Smoothing:

    The pics below show the advantages of using smoothing. You can have a very low poly model or vertex primitive...turn smoothing ON and increase the Smoothing level until it looks very nice with no sharp corners there polys change direction.  Also helpful when combined with Creased Edges... just adding a few creased edges and turning smoothing on will give your model a smoother look.

    Note that you can see the difference in both the vertex room and in renders. I have the smoothing level set to 3... I'd set it to 2 which looked very good but 3 made a tiny difference. Play with this and you will quickly see the differences. If you go back to the last model I posted a pic of the windowed, [4 per side],  box I also show it with smoothing off and then on... with it off the windows are rectangular... with smoothing on they are circular.

    Also see the last post above by 3DAGE to see what can be achived with smoothing.

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,432

    I should probably read this from the beginning instead of reading it backwards.....

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Right... There are plently of examples by many folks  and some cool tips... not to mention the few mini tutorials I've added. Lucky for me when I mention something incorrect someone helps everyone by correctiing my error. I'm very glad that they do.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    For this animation I modeled 2 items... the moon... a simple sphere with a moon texture applied [shaded by a color gel in a light by Dartenbeck]... and the signpost with sign you see at the beginning [modified to make it look better by mmoir].

    This video is Animation Club for Carrara , Week #2 - Spooky Hollow. Ready To watch.

    Carrara's Spooky Night - Animation Club for Carrara Users

    The next animation is underway... storyline is decided and a lot of modeling already done... anyone who wants to contribute in any way... story ideas, modeling, animating, rendering time, music, sound effects etc. is welcome in any upcomming projects.

    Current project is Animation Clubs 3rd animation starting - Story Decided, Modeling starting.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited November 2016

    Objects I modeled for the above project, Spooky Night, also known as Spooky Hollow.

    The Moon... my version. This was made much better for the animation by Dartanbeck. I created this from a simple sphere in the vertex room and added Smoothing to make it look much rounder... nice smooth edges.



    The Signpost... my version. mmoir beveled the corners, impoved my simple, too perfect, look for the sign, added a nail and also a texture map for the text. Looks a lot better in the video. Also a vertex object with 2 polymeshes, one for the post and another for the sign. The post was created by making a path then dropping in a square shape to follow the path using the Path Sweep tool... I later addded a crack for where it was bent.  For the sign I used Create 3D/Cube specifying the size and segments and later scaled it to fit the post then moved it into position and rotated it.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited December 2016

    John's Crazy Objects: A drum, a soda/beer can, crayons and a stop sign.

    I've been off modeling some simple objects for the Animation Club for Carrara, aka; ACC. I've always seem to learn something... for the last one I learned how to add morphs in the VM room and also animated the intro which thankfully mmoir added a welcome addition to to spiff it up.  Below is the 3rd ACC project that is complete.

    Some excellent and quick modelers always contribute to the ACC projects. While I've not necessarily learned to model better I have learned to model faster.  Here are pics of the objects that I modeled.


    I was unhappy with how the text turned out for the Stopsign... I'd made it a very small font size to fit the sign... Thankfully Dartanbeck suggested making it the fidelity that I was happy with and scaling it... I did so and modeled a different pole for the sign and improved the white line polymesh boarder... the new sign design appears in Carrara Monthly Challenge 29: Anachronism (incompatible time) - Voting thread see it in my Entry.

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited December 2016

    John's Crazy Objects:  A Life Buoy

    Don't laugh. :)  this is my first attempt... there are a number of things wrong with it.  I took a few shortcuts to be able to create it in one day... yeah I'm that slow. It contains 3 polymeshes. The preserver, the loops and the rope itself.  Tools used are easy to use and are "Lathe" for the buoy ring,  I then "copy/pasted", not necessary, a polygon from that result and used "Extrude" to make a stack of polys so that I could use "Deform/Bend" on the stack to form a half pipe or loop for the future rope to go through.  Last was the rope... changing "Polyline" tool to "Interpolated Curve" to draw how/where the rope should look and go.  I spent the most time on getting the rope to fit into the loop holes without appearing to look too badly.  I'll be doing this all over again since I know where I went wrong and can do things more easily.

    Where? you might ask can you find out how to use the tools mentioned: Lathe, Extrude and Polyline tools and more are shown in DimensionT's video - Carrara Vertex Modeling Tutorial Part 1.  Deform is a modifier and was mentioned earlier ♦here♦  and later in this thread.

    Below are a few design phases... I'll not bore you with the rope.

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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,055

    I just made one for myself for a bit of fun - there can be many ways to get to the same end result.  I started with the disk in the vertex modeller, with 16 edges. I extrded inwards and then deleted the middle polygon, which gave me a ring of 16 polys. Add thickness to that and add smoothing gave me the basic ring/torus shape, a little flattened  I then selected, copied and pasted a single loop and then scaled that up slightly to make a loop. Set a new Shader Domain for that, duplicate, rotate 180 degrees and move to the opposite side. Duplicate again and rotate 90 degrees - as the mid-point of the first two would be at the centre of the shape, these should already be in position.  I then made the rope by Sweeping a circle along an interpolated curve. I drew the curve from the top view and then added a little up and down movement to it before the Sweep operation to give it more character. Hope this gives you some other options.

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