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Please can someone explain what benefits Carrara has over Hexagon/Bryce/Ds
Posted: 09 November 2012 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been fiddling with DazStudio/Bryce/Hexagon for a few months now and am hitting problems where Bryce will not let me pose characters from DS without passing the characters in every change. Nor will DS bring Bryce scenes in with all the detail I have beforehand.

Is Carrara an additional add in to the suite or a bundled package? Is it supposed to be able to do all the things the other packages do in one place then?

I see the advertising hype about what results it can produce but not enough to convince me to buy it (yet). Will it replace the above mentioned three packages or is it another package to do more?

Thank you everyone for any feedback. I guess a lot of other people out there would also like to know why they should look at C too.

Terry

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Posted: 09 November 2012 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That’s a real tough question. A lot depends on what you want to do, and a lot depends on personal preference.

I can give my personal views it that helps.

In terms of modelling, Carrara has it, but IMO Hexagon is far better. So I rarely (if ever) use Carrara for modelling.

For landscapes, I despise Bryce because of the lack of OpenGL display and slow rendering, so I never use it. Carrara is far better, IMO.

Daz Studio has a lot of features Carrara doesn’t have. Though personally, I started with Daz Studio and then moved to Carrara for a bunch of reasons. Mainly, as I recall, because of the deadly slow render time in D/S and I just didn’t like the interface. And Carrara had some nice landscape features.

Bottom line, a lot of people use only Carrara, since it can do modelling, texturing, animation, rendering, etc. Basically everything you might need to load and render content, or even make your own models. But the devil is in the details, so the more you tell us about what you want to do the more we can help. But honestly, if you have D/S and Hex and Bryce there isn’t a lot of reason to get Carrara for most people. 

For example, if you want to do dynamic cloth, Carrara has only a barely functional cloth sim, and probably won’t have a real one for a very long time (as in years). But D/S allows you to load and use the Optitex cloth from the store, which Carrara doesn’t. But it all depends on what you care about.

But if you just want to load and render content from the store, then Carrara can do it. But so can DAZ Studio.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I use Carrara mainly for rendering purposes. It renders much faster than Poser, even with reflections and shadows, and the results are stellar (Poser has better anti-aliasing though, for close-up renders).

I’d agree with Joe though; Hex is better for modeling. Carrara is mostly middle-of-the-road but it can perform all the basic functions that you’d want from a 3D app. IMO it’s good to have in addition to to Hex and either DS or Poser, but you probably wouldn’t want to have just Carrara by itself.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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ilnyne - 09 November 2012 11:15 AM

I use Carrara mainly for rendering purposes. It renders much faster than Poser, even with reflections and shadows, and the results are stellar

That’s pretty much my opinion, also.  I’m not a modeler, so I can’t comment on Carrara vs. Hexagon.  Bur for setting up and rendering animations, I much prefer Carrara to Poser (a program I’ve used for MANY years).  Especially for large scenes which quickly get unmanageable in Poser IMHO.  And of course Carrara loads Poser content directly with only a few drawbacks (have to fiddle lights, procedural shaders).

I have tried DAZ Studio a little, but it seems confusing to me, probably because I feel so comfortable in Carrara.  Just no incentive to dig in to DS.

I was also a Bryce fan for many years but have now abandoned it entirely, mostly thanks to Howie Farkes great landscape scenes for Carrara.

FWIW, there are almost 1,000 hits on YouTube for “Carrara Tutorials”, many of which are about modelling, so those may show the possibilities and limitations.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Carrara is more of an all round 3D software, and as such, it includes many of the features found in DS/Bryce/Hex. Because it is a general purpose 3D software, it will be missing some of the features or ease of use of a targeted application. For instance, like Joe mentioned, Carrara’s cloth sim capability is not as good as optitex in DS, some of it’s landscaping tools are not as robust as those in Bryce, and the modeling tools in Hex are easier to use in most cases.

That being said, there are tools in Carrara that aren’t found in the other three. For instance, Carrara has dynamic hair and DS doesn’t, Carrara has spline modeling, and Hex doesn’t. I’m not a Bryce user, so I can’t really talk about it specifically, but take a look at Howie Farkes store (http://www.daz3d.com/shop/catalogsearch/result/?q=howie+farkes) and you can get a very good idea as to what Carrara is capable of. Carrara also blows the doors off of Bryce and DS for speed when rendering! Carrara also has a tree generator that is very capable, but definitely not as feature rich as the one found in Vue.

I’ve been a Carrara user since Version 2, so I’m a bit biased, but Carrara is my favorite 3D application. Typically I’ll use Hex for modeling, but often use Carrara as well. I’m using DS now more than I used to, but still prefer Carrara a lot. I also have Poser, and of the three (Carrara, DS, Poser), Poser is the one I use the least. Carrara handles DAZ figures/content, and most Poser figures/content very well, except Poser or DS specific shaders often need work.

I think the greatest weakness of Carrara is also it’s greatest strength. It’s so feature rich that you end up wanting more or better features like those found in the high end applications (i.e. Maya, C4D, or even Blender). I find it to be very flexible and enjoyable to use. Because it has more features and capabilities than DS/Bryce/Hex, the learning curve is a bit steeper, so you really need to be willing to put a bit more effort into learning Carrara. As ilnyne mentioned, Carrara is a great addition to your 3D tool set. It greatly expands your capabilities and options without breaking the bank.

I find working with advanced materials/shaders in Carrara much easier than in DS (though DS is getting better). I also find lighting to be quite easy in Carrara, and for me, getting decent renders from Carrara is easier, but I also find DS quite easy to get decent results as well.

Bottom line though, you should really download the demo version and take it for a serious test drive. Often, a 3D application that one person simply loves, the next person may find totally unusable. Also, as mentioned above, if you can give us an idea regarding what you would like to do, we would be able to give you some more specific and focused answers. Unfortunately, the galleries here aren’t functioning yet, there were some fantastic renders from Carrara. It might be worth it to take a look at the Carrara gallery over at Renderosity, there’s several really talented Carrara artist who post there. Oh, Carrara Cafe is another good resource that has some excellent images in the gallery (http://carraracafe.com/).

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Posted: 09 November 2012 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I love Carrara’s texture room, and I have it loaded with plugins (some here in the store, but more listed on my Carrara website (click the link in my sig to see what’s out there).

Carrara is a really good all-in-one 3D package - for the price there isn’t much that can compare. I bought Poser as well but almost never open it (they can easily share runtimes). Most of the stuff D|S needs plugins for, Carrara has built-in. Yes you can do most content from the Poserverse, but that is a really small part of the 3D world….

If you have already invested in the other programs (or downloaded them for free) they do not stop working just because you buy Carrara. Personally though I find moving files from program to program to be tedious and problematic, so there are many things I DON’T do because of the hassle of saving intermediate files and working around compatibility issues…. Being able to do almost everything in one program DEFINITELY has advantages.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I went from DS to Carrara for one major reason:  animation.

Carrara is MUCH better for animation.  The timeline in DS just flat sucks.  You can only see the keyframes for one item at a time (the one you have selected).  In Carrara you can see the keyframes for everything. 

That’s not the only reason Carrara is superior for animation, but it’s the biggest, IMO.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Studio is a tool.
Hex is a tool.
Bryce is a tool.
Carrara is the machine.

wink


I don’t use studio any more, Bryce and I have never come to terms. I use carrara for pretty well everything except modeling. Hex models the way I learned, carrara doesn’t.

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Posted: 09 November 2012 08:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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If its ease of use for making expansive or environmental animated or static renders your after then you most definitely should check out Eon Software’s VUE.  Cornucopia3d.com. Accepts Poser and DAZ figures and animation.

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Posted: 10 November 2012 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The first reason I got excited about Carrara (before using it) was its ability to alter and edit clothing on Poser compatible figures - as well as altering/editing the figures themselves.

Doing these simple operations turns out to be a dream in Carrara. What a great poke-through removal tool! But what I was really after was the ability to add movement and motion morphs to clothing. I never seem to buy clothes that come with morphs built in that allow for the clothing to hang forward as the character bends, for example - Carrara can make such morphs like a dream!

These things got me to enjoy modeling in Carrara more than anything else. It’s just my “Comfy” program.

Owning Carrara Pro has been much MUCH more than that - I knew I’d use it for this and that, but I wasn’t quite ready for how awesome Carrara truly is. Landscapes are incredibly cool, as is the atmospheric playground they call the “Realistic Sky”. I mean, I really don’t need to know anything, or be taught anything to get good use out of them - but the more you learn, the better you get.

Texturing in Carrara is a little different - but so much better in my honest opinion. All attributes in the Carrara Shaders make sense - compared to some others. It also has a whole slew of built-in procedural settings and adjustments - enabling you to create your own shaders from the ground up - without the use of texture maps.

Animatable primitives like: Fire, Ocean, Fog, Clouds of various types, Particles, etc., are really quite fun to play around with and use to make up different special effects and such.

Carrara’s rendering has just surrounded me with bliss. Carrara rocks! I feel that it is a steal-of-a-deal at the regular price - even though you can always find a way to get some kind of deal on it. When I bought it, I became a Platinum Club member, which not only saved me a bundle on Carrara, but it enabled me to add a pile of 3d toys to the order - bedore realizing all of the top-notch free goodies that Daz gives us when we buy Carrara and a PC membership! I was overcome with joy as I downloaded gobs of 3d goodness! Been happy ever since!

The animation controls are the best in the business for me. I Love the keyframe sequencer and the tools built in to Carrara.
Carrara can handle some very large scenes - while also allowing you the ease of slimming that same scene back down using various approaches. The levels of sophistication that you may use in render settings will blow you away. Many people enjoy cranking it up to the max - utilizing global illumination and other high-end settings. The fact is, with the power of the shader room, you can crank out some gorgeous renders even using fairly quick and dirty render settings - especially when rendering animations - which simply turn out fantastically!

Sure, I own DS, Bryce and Hex. Do I ever use them? Rarely. Love them all for what they are - but Carrara is my comfy place… the place where I choose to live… the place where I choose to relax… the place I choose to stay!

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Posted: 11 November 2012 03:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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If you change the 2nd and 3rd letters of Carrara to an “o” and a “w” respectively - it becomes Cowrarra.

That obviously makes it the best 3D Package of the lot.

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Posted: 11 November 2012 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I bought Carrara Pro a few years ago with the plan then of moving away from Poser entirely.  I did have a few Poser props and figures I wanted to use and saw Daz advertising that Carrara would “work with all of my content”.  I installed it and thought I would familiarize myself with it by rebuilding my last Poser prop as a Carrara scene.  Unfortunately I found a bug that seemed so impossible to fathom that I would still like to know what caused it and how it was fixed.  I put that project on hold and decided I would see how my figures rendered in Carrara.  While I expected the material values to be wrong, I could not understand why nearly every figure came in with poke through it did not have in Poser.  To make matters worse, my attempts at fixing the poke through exploded my models.  I was told that my figures weren’t considered “content” as they were Poser figures, not Daz figures, and my poke through was caused by excessive scaling or “brute-forcing” clothes and props onto figures other than which they were designed for.  Unfortunately these issues, which seemingly affected only myself, caused me to put Carrara on the shelf.  I then got a job which required Poser use and couldn’t resist the most recent version, which is IMHO the most solid and useable released since I started using Poser 4. 

Carrara still tempts me.  It is difficult managing and navigating large environments in Poser.  I love the new IDL and SSS nodes, but the rendering times are getting a little long for my taste.  I don’t like the way the clothing room disrupts my workflow, and held hope that Bullet physics in Carrara would provide an acceptable alternative.  The jiggles deformer is something I thought Poser would have by now (though it was beta or pre-1.0 last I checked).  For animating figures, Carrara appears to have more options than Poser/D|S, aside from true dynamic clothing.  For animating in general the other two don’t seem remotely close to Carrara.

I just wish my luck with Carrara had been better.  I have been waiting for the 8.5 release to give it another shot, though I did not think it would take nearly this long.  I’m pretty sure the two problems I mentioned earlier have since been fixed in the beta, but I’d really like to have a non-expiring final release before I try Carrara again.

That said, this thread is encouraging me to take another look at what other people are doing in Carrara.  Of all the programs which work well with Poser, Carrara is certainly the most affordable.

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Posted: 11 November 2012 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Moogaloonie, have you tried saving your Poser character as a .pz3? Carrara does a pretty good job of importing those in. There are some V4 characters who will not load properly in Carrara (I believe it may be an INJ code issue) but if you load them in Poser, save out as a .pz3 and import them into Carrara they load and look fine… in fact you don’t have to tweak color, but of course you will have to make other adjustments like shininess. I just tried Alyson Casual to try a Poser figure, (in fact Andy is the only other Poser character I’ve saved as a .pz3) and imported her into Carrara and she came in fine with her outfit. I hadn’t made any adjustments so I can’t speak to poke through other than there was none in her outfit. Using Poser 8 and Carrara 8.11.12

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Posted: 12 November 2012 01:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 11 November 2012 08:31 PM

Moogaloonie, have you tried saving your Poser character as a .pz3? Carrara does a pretty good job of importing those in. There are some V4 characters who will not load properly in Carrara (I believe it may be an INJ code issue) but if you load them in Poser, save out as a .pz3 and import them into Carrara they load and look fine… in fact you don’t have to tweak color, but of course you will have to make other adjustments like shininess. I just tried Alyson Casual to try a Poser figure, (in fact Andy is the only other Poser character I’ve saved as a .pz3) and imported her into Carrara and she came in fine with her outfit. I hadn’t made any adjustments so I can’t speak to poke through other than there was none in her outfit. Using Poser 8 and Carrara 8.11.12

Also if it is a INJ issue then try using Fenrics utility that fixes those.  I found a few that came in not well that it straightened them up.

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Posted: 12 November 2012 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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HI Moogaloonie smile

Unfortunately I found a bug that seemed so impossible to fathom that I would still like to know what caused it and how it was fixed.

can you give some details about the type of issues you had.,.
perhaps we can help.

I could not understand why nearly every figure came in with poke through it did not have in Poser.

it sound’s like you’re importing a complete poser Scene file, with a clothed figure,.

Carrara is capable of doing that, but you can easily get into issues since poser creates a (Universe) for the figures.and Carrara already has a universe.

Importing from your poser runtime, using browser, is a much easier way to work.

To make matters worse, my attempts at fixing the poke through exploded my models

it would be helpful if you can explain what process you followed to adjust for poke through,

my poke through was caused by excessive scaling or “brute-forcing” clothes and props onto figures other than which they were designed for.

You can’t make clothes fit a figure which it was never intended to work with.

Before genesis and Auto-fit, all clothes were designed to fit a specific figure,. and Uni-mesh fit’s were also released for some products to expand the range of figures which the clothing would fit.

I just wish my luck with Carrara had been better.

Fortunately it has nothing to do with Luck,. but does have a lot to do with the process you follow.

If you can give some details about what you were doing, and how you were doing it,. then perhaps we can help to get you up and running again in Carrara 8,.

The main difference between 8 and 8.5 is Genesis and DS file compatibility.
so, as your issues don’t seems to be related to that,. it would be pointless to wait for C8.5’s release to figure out what’s going wrong for you.

If you give some details , perhaps we can help .

smile

 

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Posted: 12 November 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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moogaloonie - 11 November 2012 07:43 PM

I just wish my luck with Carrara had been better.  I have been waiting for the 8.5 release to give it another shot, though I did not think it would take nearly this long.  I’m pretty sure the two problems I mentioned earlier have since been fixed in the beta, but I’d really like to have a non-expiring final release before I try Carrara again.

That said, this thread is encouraging me to take another look at what other people are doing in Carrara.  Of all the programs which work well with Poser, Carrara is certainly the most affordable.

My outdoor, manual labor job has been over working me since spring, so I haven’t had NEARLY enough Carrara time. Since Carrara is one of the only things I like about computers, I can’t help but to get done when I can find time to fire up my machine - every so often. I have many hours, however, in each of the latest versions of the 8.5 beta - simply pushing my project forward with it, rather that scrutinizing it for improvements and have been very impressed along the way. Once in a while, during a Carrara beta, you may end up with a version that has a good show-stopper. But so far, Daz has released a better version relatively immediately following such a release - which is very cool. I’ve had the pleasure to communicate with a few of the devs working on Carrara - and these are some very capable, intelligent, and well-driven folks whom take the outcome of Carrara’s awesomeness very seriously - again… very cool!

As for working within Carrara in general, I’ve enjoyed my ride. Rather than importing stuff done from within Poser (or whatever), I simply operate my runtimes from within Carrara and do nearly everything there - I like it better than any other way of trying to do this stuff.

When it comes to rendering, you can be a total minimalist on the settings and still include raytracing within Carrara’s brilliant render engine. Between render options and the shear power that we have over the shaders and lighting, we can crank out some great stuff at very realistic time frames. It is also incredibly cool how: if you don’t have a needed asset for your scene, you can make your own - right within the same software - even in the same file, if you wish to. Some folks may not enjoy the fact that all or most Poser/Daz products should have a good going through for each and every shader for best results within Carrara. Personally, I love this part. For many reasons, I just feel a whole lot more comfortable working with my models’ appearances in Carrara’s Texture room. It allows you to do nearly anything. PhilW shows you how you can build an entire city out of a single plane using a Carrara shader in his advanced training dvd - truly spectacular what he can teach you - as well as from many of the true Carrara gurus you’ll find frequenting these forums.

Building asset scenes to test various aspects of Carrara as a total noob, I ended up with many ‘test clip’ renders over a long period. I saw that I could get a great deal on Sony Vegas if I ordered it with all of the parts for my new Carrara Workstation computer through Newegg - so I downloaded the trial version and used these ‘test clip’ renders to test drive it. Here is the resulting fantasy/scifi playground (keep in mind, these clips were mostly rendered with “test” render settings. Some of these setting have really helped me get more efficient with actual production settings):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qmDeVOl2YsQ

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