Completely new to Carrara and 3D, Badly Need "Where To Start" Advice

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Comments

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,582
    edited December 1969

    bobh said:
    Sure wish water was a doable thing, though.

    Well, like I say, it is. It's just that you wouldn't be using software, you'd be using other methods, like compositing. It's what professionals did for many years before there was fluid sim software, and in fact they still do it today. Same with fire.

    Here's a crappy video I did years ago to show how quick and easy it is to composite a flame into a video. Did the anim in Carrara (I think), downloaded a flame against a black background, texture mapped it on a plane, and voila. Took all of maybe 1/2 hour. Crappy compositing job, but the concept is what's important.

    You can find a jillion flame videos on the internet and composite them in a snap. Same with fluids. But I know everyone here wants to do it in software for some reason, so I won't push it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cFkAFoDtbY&feature=plcp

    And here's a still image, candle rendered in Carrara, flame composited using an internet download. You can find flame, smoke, explosions, etc., or make your own using a video camera.

    Candle.jpg
    635 x 640 - 105K
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,682
    edited December 1969

    Mech4D has done some cool stuff using metaballs I believe and normal maps keyframed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkhBvFFH7Xw&feature=plcp

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,582
    edited December 1969

    By the way, "compositing" is an extremely important (actually crucial) and powerful technique used by just about everyone who makes any sort of film or video on a professional level. But unfortunately it's one of those many, many, many concepts you might never even be aware of if you spend your life merely playing with Carrara or similar software, or reading software manuals. It's an entire field of knowledge and expertise all by itself, and it allows you to do some absolutely incredible things, while saving time, and money, and headaches..

    But unfortunately it's pretty much ignored by most hobbyists. Not sure if it's just because they're unaware of it or what, but it's rarely, if ever discussed. On the other hand, it's one of those things usually discussed in books on 3D basics, though, since it's so critical to the process. Carrara doesnt' have a built in compositor, though Blender does have a fairly decent node based compositor.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,682
    edited December 1969

    if you mean using video backgrounds and alphmapped video planes to stick animations in from other programs, I do THAT a lot already!
    and there is shadowcatcher.

  • RoygeeRoygee Posts: 1,888
    edited December 1969

    Here's one of a candle flame I did a few years ago - picture a flame mapped onto a plane with a bend modifier applied and a bit of movement.

    As Joe points out - 3D graphics is all about illusion and faking it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTSGfPRG2V8

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,582
    edited December 1969

    Roygee said:
    3D graphics is all about illusion and faking it.

    And using reference materials so that what you produce looks believable....

  • Kevin SandersonKevin Sanderson Posts: 653
    edited December 1969

    Yay! Finally some posts about compositing and using real references! Every time I mention them in the past it seems to go down with a thud... either they don't understand or don't care. I'm with you on the books, too, Joe! I have a bunch of them I've collected and read since 1994. I just wish I had more time to use what I've learned before I forget it all again. :)

    I think so many efforts at realisitc renders would be improved if folks would look at reference photos. All the pros use them.

    Video Copilot and some other sites have some very good smoke, fire and water shots ready made for compositing and if you dig you can find some freebies.

    There are so many things you can do with real footage that makes things look so much better and it can save so much time.

  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Excellent info. I'm aware of compositing, and know about it. I am not skilled with it yet though. I'm glad to see that it gets used for this, as smoke/fire/water sims don't seem to exist for Carrara. Glad to know that the quick-n-dirty cheater methods are considered to often produce the best results. I do know that Hollywood still does this a lot (cheap, quick, excellent realistic results).

    Very good info, thanks for clarifying this. And great examples!

  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    if you mean using video backgrounds and alphmapped video planes to stick animations in from other programs, I do THAT a lot already!
    and there is shadowcatcher.

    Wendy, can you explain your workflow on how you go about this? Thanks. :-)

  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    ...it's one of those things usually discussed in books on 3D basics...

    Lots of advice on reading general 3D books. Well-heeded on my part, trust me. So I ordered the most authoritative book I could identify as a starting point. Glad I did.

    The book is "Digital Lighting and Rendering" (Second Edition), by Jeremy Birn. The moment I started reading it, I ran across this fascinating statement in the opening Forward:

    “WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK?
    You should read this book when you have at least a working knowledge of how to use a 3D package, and are interested in taking your 3D rendering further.”

    In other words, Birn is saying to read books like this AFTER having become familiar with using a particular 3D software package to at least a familiar, workable, usable degree - not the other way around. This would make sense, since reading all of these lessons means nothing to a reader who has no idea where to go in the software to apply the lessons.

    So if this expert is to be taken seriously, and judging how his book is used in a large number of university courses on the subject, I'd say it's a safe instructional path I've chosen, which is going through the exceptionally well-made tutorials on Carrara and combining that with detailed questions I am asking in here amongst you gurus first before hitting the books.

    The well-recommended books I'm accumulating will come in handy when the time comes for me to advance to "artist" or if I need help on a specific issue that I can't find elsewhere. In the mean time, the questions and tutorials will accomplish exactly what I need - learning the software first to where I'm actually able to at least create some scenery and animations of my own, even if it's at a "hack" level of quality (gotta start somewhere - *shrug*). THEN the lessons in the books will start having relevance on what I'm trying to achieve.

    Glad I had this worked out without even really knowing it.

    :-)

  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yay! Finally some posts about compositing and using real references!...There are so many things you can do with real footage that makes things look so much better and it can save so much time.

    This is definitely one of the areas I will have to study, because my work will need these elements, especially with some of Carrara's identified limitations, such as special effects. I'll definitely be hitting the books on these.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,582
    edited December 1969

    Excellent find, bobh !!! Glad you found something that supports that which everyone here desperately wants to believe. Fumble around with the software for a couple of years, then read a book to find out what it all means. Brilliant. Hope that philosophy works well for you !!!

    And by the way, not to ruin your party, but the isn't talking about books in general, he's talking about HIS book: Because, obviously, no author in their right mind would tell you what you need to know first before you read any book on the planet.

    "You should read this book when you have at least a working knowledge...."

    That doesn't mean it applies to all books, because each book is written for a specific purpose, and assumes/requires a different background and knowledge base. But I'm sure that doesn't matter to anyone here, that's just an annoying detail.

    Believe what you want to believe, don't worry about the facts. It's more fun that way, right?

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,723
    edited December 1969

    Bobh, The Jeremy Birn book is very well known - a good choice and I am sure that you will pick up a lot from it.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,682
    edited December 1969

    bobh said:
    if you mean using video backgrounds and alphmapped video planes to stick animations in from other programs, I do THAT a lot already!
    and there is shadowcatcher.

    Wendy, can you explain your workflow on how you go about this? Thanks. :-)


    I did today it in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW9ARhSKQ7A
    in the first scene
    M5 and S5 Genesis were rendered seperately and mapped on planes as png image sequences with alpha channel because it was getting an error has occurred rendering with two Genesis figures fully dressed,
    the background video from iClone.
    working as a new scene now but wanted to get the video up in a hurry for talk like a pirate day,
    my new video future posted video will have better lipsync as I am using the figures, not matching video clips with audio files in Windows moviemaker!
    the point is you can use lots of animated textures on planes or any object to composite a video.
    even bring a splash in from Blender or a video of a fire etc

  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited September 2012

    Excellent find, bobh !!! Glad you found something that supports that which everyone here desperately wants to believe. Fumble around with the software for a couple of years, then read a book to find out what it all means. Brilliant. Hope that philosophy works well for you !!!

    And by the way, not to ruin your party, but the isn't talking about books in general, he's talking about HIS book: Because, obviously, no author in their right mind would tell you what you need to know first before you read any book on the planet.

    "You should read this book when you have at least a working knowledge...."

    That doesn't mean it applies to all books, because each book is written for a specific purpose, and assumes/requires a different background and knowledge base. But I'm sure that doesn't matter to anyone here, that's just an annoying detail.

    Believe what you want to believe, don't worry about the facts. It's more fun that way, right?


    Hahahaha - right on queue. I was wondering what kind of fire that would draw - I was almost able to set my watch by this one. LOL ;-)

    Post edited by bobh on
  • bobhbobh Posts: 0
    edited September 2012

    PhilW said:
    Bobh, The Jeremy Birn book is very well known - a good choice and I am sure that you will pick up a lot from it.

    I already am - thanks, PhilW. And by the way, I've also purchased both of your Infinite Skills tutorial sets. Excellent "hit the ground running" stuff, hopefully I will get good enough to actually need the advanced set.

    :-)

    Post edited by bobh on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,723
    edited December 1969

    bobh said:
    PhilW said:
    Bobh, The Jeremy Birn book is very well known - a good choice and I am sure that you will pick up a lot from it.

    I already am - thanks, PhilW. And by the way, I've also purchased both of your Infinite Skills tutorial sets. Excellent "hit the ground running" stuff, hopefully I will get good enough to actually need the advanced set.

    :-)

    Good man! ;-) The first set is more about the individual features, while the "Advanced" set goes more into modelling and working on specific projects, so you should be able to dip in and out as you see fit, once you have the basics under your belt. Actually I wanted to call it "Carrara Projects" rather than "Advanced Carrara", but Infinite Skills made the final decision on that!

  • cyborgty_074ff6c243cyborgty_074ff6c243 Posts: 112
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    bobh said:
    PhilW said:
    Bobh, The Jeremy Birn book is very well known - a good choice and I am sure that you will pick up a lot from it.

    I already am - thanks, PhilW. And by the way, I've also purchased both of your Infinite Skills tutorial sets. Excellent "hit the ground running" stuff, hopefully I will get good enough to actually need the advanced set.

    :-)

    Good man! ;-) The first set is more about the individual features, while the "Advanced" set goes more into modelling and working on specific projects, so you should be able to dip in and out as you see fit, once you have the basics under your belt. Actually I wanted to call it "Carrara Projects" rather than "Advanced Carrara", but Infinite Skills made the final decision on that!

    I tend to read the software product manuals, which are good at showing how to navigate around the interface and find features, but are usually bad or weak at showing practical use of the features. I appreciated going through the project based approach Phil uses in the 'Advance Carrara' tutorial set.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,582
    edited December 1969

    bobh said:
    Hahahaha - right on queue. I was wondering what kind of fire that would draw - I was almost able to set my watch by this one. LOL ;-)

    Exactly. Someone posts nonsense, and luckily there's someone around to make the correction. You're welcome.

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