Welcome to the forum
You are correct, Carrara allows you to create mathematical “formulas” that in turn create custom features.
Using formulas, you can define your own objects, deformers, tweeners, shaders, gels, backgrounds, and backdrops…
The interface for creating formulas is common for all items. Formula editing becomes technical quickly. Higher math or programming experience is recommended.
“Pie” charts are charts that are often used by people to display information…to make it easier to understand. They are called “pie” charts because they are shaped like “pies”...the kind you eat…and they are circular.
You can make “slices” in a pie chart, just like with a real pie….but you don’t eat them
The slices in a pie chart are for clearly showing information…like if you had a bunch of numbers, and wanted each slice to be a different number to make it clearer…..
They’re just for displaying information…..so you can get a clearer understanding of the information…it’s easier to understand things when they are presented as pictures rather than just as numbers….
Sometimes people want to animate those “pie charts”, perhaps to show numbers that are changing….so you would animate the “pie” chart, and make the slices change during the animation…..
You can also make a “formula object” using Carrara…..and this will allow you to make objects with some very interesting shapes. But higher math or programming experience is recommended….
To do this…to add a formula object…..go to the upper left hand corner of the screen and choose Insert, and then “Formula”...and a Formula object will appear in your scene. You’ll see that the default formula object is a wiggly looking object, with a very interesting shape. And on the right hand side of the screen, under the General Tab, under Formula, you’ll be able to modify the formula for the object.
When you change the formula, it changes the way the object looks…because the formula describes how the object looks….
But in Carrara you’re not limited to just making “formula objects”, you can also make formula deformers, tweeners, shaders, gels, backgrounds, and backdrops…
Which means you can make some very interesting deformers…and tweeners (which are what describes the animation motion between keyframes…), and other things….all using formulas….......
Once you have your “pie chart” and the “slices” of the pie, you can animate the “pie chart” to show changing numbers…..or to just move the pie chart during the animation….and you can use formulas to help you with the animation….by using formula tweeners….
Hope this helps