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Does Carrara Pro do it all?
Posted: 23 December 2012 07:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Thanks for finding that link, Joe! I remembered bits and pieces from that thread about DAZ trying a few times to have people write new docs and they flaked out. Seems someone doubted that recently or took issue or didn’t know/// ah it’s late. But thanks for finding it and reinforcing my old memory cells!

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Posted: 23 December 2012 09:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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And now that maybe a potential Carrara user has been scared away by a bitch-fest over a manual that’s ninety percent correct (excluding bullet and a few other additions) I can go to bed happy. confused

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Posted: 23 December 2012 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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evilproducer - 23 December 2012 09:09 PM

And now that maybe a potential Carrara user has been scared away by a bitch-fest over a manual that’s ninety percent correct (excluding bullet and a few other additions) I can go to bed happy. confused

CARRARA! Come for the Features…. Stay for the Psychosies…

 

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Posted: 24 December 2012 02:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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evilproducer - 23 December 2012 09:09 PM

And now that maybe a potential Carrara user has been scared away by a bitch-fest over a manual that’s ninety percent correct (excluding bullet and a few other additions) I can go to bed happy. confused

I know, right?

And coming from a DAZ rep, too. Wow. You’d think they’d have better sense than to say the manual needs a complete re-write, when in fact everyone thinks the manual is, like, pretty awesome and stuff.

But I agree, we should all be a lot more considerate when saying stuff about Carrara, and its manual and stuff. Try to keep things positive, in case potential customers are reading this. So if, for example, you think the manual sucks, don’t actually say it sucks, say it’s awesome or something. That way we’ll get more customers buying Carrara, and that will be good for all of us.

And after they buy it, when they get pissed because of the lack of an updated manual, just put them on ignore or something.

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Posted: 24 December 2012 02:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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When I finally ended up buying Carrara, I already knew that this was what I was looking for… “an affordable 3d animation studio that has vertex modeling capabilities that has the ability to work with Poser/Daz3d figures and props the way they were designed to work”.

Personally, I’m far more impressed now that I’ve owned it for a while, that I was back when I used to drool over the awesome older info page they used to have here. Too bad the new advertising doesn’t even give anyone a clue!

When I first started looking for such a program, a friend sent me a link to Carrara - but Eovia sold it then. Version 5 was being advertised heavily on the new Vertex Modeler and its Poser compatibility. They sure made it look easy compared to trying to work with Poser stuff in anything like Blender or Max. Carrara allowed conforming figures to work - just like they did in Poser.

Sure, when I finally did buy it, Carrara 8 was in beta and the timing was such that I got it for an extremely tiny price. But I was saving up the entire amount for Carrara 7 Pro and, when my savings exceeded that amount, I came to buy and found that I didn’t need nearly the amount that I had to work with. So I ended up giving all of that money to Daz3d anyways. Nothing wrong with having a huge pile of cool new products to install along with the shiny new software, right?!!!

I knew that, especially after Daz got their hands on it, that my Gen 3 (and now Gen 4, since Daz gave me all of that with my Carrara purchase!) would load from the browser, but I was really surprised that everything, including loading, just seemed to work better than the version of Poser that I had. The browser was there immediately upon program load - unlike the hours it seemed to take Poser whenever I switched runtimes. Everything just seemed better and more powerful.

Right away, I decided to try my hand at performing some mesh changes on some clothes that I’ve always wanted to tweak. Carrara’s vertex modeler was amazing! I could tweak anything - so I did… and often… still do, all the time.

What I got from Carrara that I did not expect:
- Content -
Beyond the enormous “Native Content” pack that comes with Carrara, Daz3d literally filled my account with downloads. Much of it came from the fact that I became a Platinum Club member in the same order, but they sure got generous with free gear for a sale of software that I feel was already worth far beyond its meager price. The Native content also includes a gigantic collection of assets that were made in Carrara for use in Carrara. You can tell that most of it was included specifically to allow new (and Vet) users to study and learn from. Together with the very informative and well organized (well written) manual, the user can learn some really powerful skills towards their own goals as they explore that particular task. Learning through dissection, so-to-speak.

- Assembly Room Bliss -
First impressions left me loving the control of the view. Standard controls on the interface, or just use ‘Alt’ with the mouse. Easy to take for granted, but I still love how Carrara’s work space handles with my mouse
The standard ‘scene building’ window is the “Assembly Room”. Carrara can remain quite responsive even with a whole pile of junk in memory. The ease of view control, ease of selection and organization, the flexibility of how one sets up the viewport, not to mention the incredible sequencer (timeline) keyframe editor - which very sensibly resides in the same screen space as the browser - giving the user plenty of work space real estate. Tools that are more similar to what one would expect from 3d modeling software are well placed along the interface - which is customizable. Never tried that though… they made it just the way I prefer to work, so…

- Texture Room -
Anyone using figures made for Poser will get to know this room right away - unless they like their people looking blue! smile
The power that the user has over how each material renders in shear perfection! With enough imagination and determination, nearly any CG suite should give good results. Carrara makes this really fun and even intuitive. On top of that, Carrara makes keyframe animation really easy for your shaders as well! Here’s a great example of using Native Content for help on how certain channels work to create an enormously wide variety of effects.

- Render Room -
Carrara’s render engine is a dream come true. Super easy batch rendering (allowing multiple render tasks to occur as you sleep/work, etc.,) and a mind-boggling array of settings that can turn out anything from super-fast tests to week-long single frame shots. In Poser, it seemed that the longer the render took, the better the render. In Carrara, you have to be careful not to use this foolish mentality.  Sure, excellence will take time in any render engine. But Carrara has capabilities that many scenes really don’t need in order to get superb results. But you can actually use Carrara features to actually handle the entire lighting operation of a scene using its powerful realistic sky editor and a ‘sun’ light, and then go into the render room and specify how much liberty you’d like to give the render engine for its calculations. But take away the need for the software to calculate everything for you, an artist can decide to get really clever with global ambiance and light placement - setting up each shader just right and turning out fantastic results with amazing speed - even with full raytracing! Carrara’s render speeds simply blew me away when I first used it. I still strive diligently for scene efficiency in this respect - as I mainly only render animations, I need to have some speed considerations or I’d never get anything done. So I’ve found some settings with lighting scenes and in the render room that I’m happy with, and use those as good starting points.

- Working File Efficiency -
Some of my friends here, on the forums, and I have discussed to some length regarding the many ways that we can keep our scene files sizes tidy and efficient. Carrara’s menu helps big time with a very simple set of features tied to “Edit > Remove Unused Masters” as follows:
Edit > Remove Unused Masters
                              > Remove Unused Objects

                              > Remove Unused Shaders

                              > Consolidate Like Shaders

These simple commands can bring file sizes way, way down from where they’d be otherwise.
SciFi Funk (Daz forum handle) has put together some great sets of tutorials on how he uses the vertex modeler to actually delete parts of Daz Products that will never be ‘seen’ by Carrara’s cameras, bringing asset sizes far below their starting point. Although many artists would never need to go through such extremes, it’s a handy gift to have that availability - especially in his case; building gigantic scenes with many highly detailed products sold here, along with models he’s created himself within Carrara, to achieve very massive city scenes.
Keeping assets organized within each saved file is super fast and easy with Carrara’s “grouping” feature without actually disrupting the way that the Poser runtime file handling works.

I’ve not yet explored physics and particle systems in Carrara yet - but that’s going to happen fairly soon. I’ve seen many examples and read many tips, and I already know enough to know that with Carrara, I’ll be able to perform 100% of the video footage for my episodic movies from within Carrara. I’m going for a certain “look”, which just so happens to be given easily by Carrara.

If you take a small look for Carrara-compatible products at Daz3d, you may not find much in the new store. I’m fairly certain, by how well they’ve been getting this place to work, that this will be fixed sometime in the near future. In the meantime, perhaps one of us should see if we could get a good thread displaying Carrara products ‘stickied’ in the Carrara forum? Would be nice because I’ve started a habit of purchasing Carrara products - whether I really need them for my project or not - simply because they’re a great way to see how other artists work with Carrara scenes/features, etc.,
I’ve been pleasantly satisfied with the results and commend each of them for the quality of their products. But even more, I thank them for the expertise that they’ve sent my way for such affordable prices. And then we get to the freebies section of the forum! I haven’t looked lately, but the old forums had a true wealth of top-notch learning offered freely by Carrara enthusiasts that have really propelled my skills immensely! This forum can be the same way. Sure you’ll find a healthy pile of smart-ankle posts and even some petty bickering, but if you wade through that, you can get some real help and advice in here.

Nowadays, I decide to ignore the advice given regarding the perpetual use of beta software and opt to stick with the Carrara 8.5 beta (currently as of this writing build 172), which I’ve grown very comfortable with. I did the same when I first bought Carrara 7 Pro - which then entitled me to use the Carrara 8 beta and a free copy of 8 upon release - which turned out for me to be a huge benefit. I’m sure that when the Carrara 9 beta becomes open for testing I’ll move onto that as well - we’ll see when the time comes.

All in all, though, If Carrara 7 Pro was all that I had available to use (or even 6 for that matter), I’d still be using it and loving every minute of it. They’re all excellent suites and for me, yes… Carrara does nearly everything for my work. I only use DS and Hex as a combination suite (using the bridge that comes installed on each of them) to perform some minor file changes to figures that I want to give more morph flexibility to for my animations. But that’s just me. All of my scene creation, actual figure morphs, animation, lighting, rendering, etc., takes place strictly within Carrara.

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Posted: 25 December 2012 08:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Kharma - 18 December 2012 06:47 PM

I purchased Carrara and the Infinite Skills learning videos.  The program is awesome in what it can do and the videos fantastic as well.  I wish this was done for more programs and even some of the more complex products for Daz Studio…makes the learning curve alot easier.  I go over the steps in the videos over and over until I can use the tools no problem, it really helps to see what they can do instead of guessing, also I think you sometimes miss the potential of the tools.  Its a great foundation for learning and I would never have figured out alot of the abilities of the program on my own.  the people here in the forums are also awesome at answering any of my questions

I also bought that learning series. it is great! It me me off and running quickly.

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Posted: 26 December 2012 01:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 24 December 2012 02:07 AM
evilproducer - 23 December 2012 09:09 PM

And now that maybe a potential Carrara user has been scared away by a bitch-fest over a manual that’s ninety percent correct (excluding bullet and a few other additions) I can go to bed happy. confused

I know, right?

And coming from a DAZ rep, too. Wow. You’d think they’d have better sense than to say the manual needs a complete re-write, when in fact everyone thinks the manual is, like, pretty awesome and stuff.

But I agree, we should all be a lot more considerate when saying stuff about Carrara, and its manual and stuff. Try to keep things positive, in case potential customers are reading this. So if, for example, you think the manual sucks, don’t actually say it sucks, say it’s awesome or something. That way we’ll get more customers buying Carrara, and that will be good for all of us.

And after they buy it, when they get pissed because of the lack of an updated manual, just put them on ignore or something.


I have the manual Joe, and refer to it frequently. For version 7, it seems fine and when I tried the 8.0 beta when bullet, the light profiles and sunbeams were added, those were the only topics I could find lacking in the manual (obviously). There may be more, but those are the only areas that I’ve had any issues with.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 27 December 2012 07:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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evilproducer - 26 December 2012 01:28 PM
JoeMamma2000 - 24 December 2012 02:07 AM
evilproducer - 23 December 2012 09:09 PM

And now that maybe a potential Carrara user has been scared away by a bitch-fest over a manual that’s ninety percent correct (excluding bullet and a few other additions) I can go to bed happy. confused

I know, right?

And coming from a DAZ rep, too. Wow. You’d think they’d have better sense than to say the manual needs a complete re-write, when in fact everyone thinks the manual is, like, pretty awesome and stuff.

But I agree, we should all be a lot more considerate when saying stuff about Carrara, and its manual and stuff. Try to keep things positive, in case potential customers are reading this. So if, for example, you think the manual sucks, don’t actually say it sucks, say it’s awesome or something. That way we’ll get more customers buying Carrara, and that will be good for all of us.

And after they buy it, when they get pissed because of the lack of an updated manual, just put them on ignore or something.


I have the manual Joe, and refer to it frequently. For version 7, it seems fine and when I tried the 8.0 beta when bullet, the light profiles and sunbeams were added, those were the only topics I could find lacking in the manual (obviously). There may be more, but those are the only areas that I’ve had any issues with.

Yeah… Great Manual… I Love it!
Very well written for a software user’s guide

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Posted: 29 December 2012 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I see Carrara 8 Pro is substantially discounted in the store at the moment. Would this mean that 8.5 is about to be released?

Would it be cheaper to buy the discounted 8 Pro and upgrade to 8.5, or buy a (probably initially discounted) 8.5?

After reading the thread I am wondering whether to switch from Studio 4.5, although I would miss some of the plugins (like LAMH, GenX, Reality) and shaders (pwsurface and pweffects) that I use a lot.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 08:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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luxgabu - 29 December 2012 08:21 AM

I see Carrara 8 Pro is substantially discounted in the store at the moment. Would this mean that 8.5 is about to be released?

Would it be cheaper to buy the discounted 8 Pro and upgrade to 8.5, or buy a (probably initially discounted) 8.5?

After reading the thread I am wondering whether to switch from Studio 4.5, although I would miss some of the plugins (like LAMH, GenX, Reality) and shaders (pwsurface and pweffects) that I use a lot.


I don’t know what the best financial deal would be. The only plugin you mentioned for D/S that I know is the Reality Plugin. It’s not directly available for Carrara, but I don’t know if there’s a way to get a scene out to put into the renderer (Lux?) that Reality is based on. I haven’t tried because I’ve been very happy with Carrara’s built in renderer.


I’m not sure what pwsurface and pweffects does, but Carrara has a very powerful shading system and you can do stuff in it, that in D/S you’d have to buy a plugin to do (if there even was a plugin for D/S that could do it.)


There are many things that Carrara can do that D/S can’t, but there are a few that D/S can do that Carrara can’t, such as fully functional dynamic cloth. But then again, Carrara has dynamic hair. There’s usually way to work around some of these limitations, but sometimes a D/S user can get a bit frustrated because of the learning curve. If you already have D/S, there’s no reason to ditch it. Many people here use it in conjunction with Carrara.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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The reason why the Reality plugin is interesting for me is that the renderer can use the GPU to accelerate rendering, that and the fact that the rendering can be interupted and resumed.

I can find that sometimes the (perceived or actual) limitations can act as a creative stimulus by forcing you to work with them or around them..

It is just that I have got into a ‘comfortable’ niche using Studio in a certain way.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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luxgabu - 29 December 2012 09:05 AM

The reason why the Reality plugin is interesting for me is that the renderer can use the GPU to accelerate rendering, that and the fact that the rendering can be interupted and resumed.

I can find that sometimes the (perceived or actual) limitations can act as a creative stimulus by forcing you to work with them or around them..

It is just that I have got into a ‘comfortable’ niche using Studio in a certain way.


Carrara’s renderer is completely CPU based, but if you render through the batch queue, you can pause your render quite easily, even still images. Carrara Pro also comes with render nodes which you can install on other computers you have on-site, and set up a small render farm.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 29 December 2012 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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evilproducer - 29 December 2012 09:25 AM

Carrara’s renderer is completely CPU based, but if you render through the batch queue, you can pause your render quite easily, even still images. Carrara Pro also comes with render nodes which you can install on other computers you have on-site, and set up a small render farm.

Evil, do you have any experience with the network render feature? I’m curious about attaching my other server and having 36 render threads chewing away…

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My 3D art Flickr page for final or near-final images
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Posted: 29 December 2012 09:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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One thing I have NEVER been able to pull off in Carrara is a satisfactory DOG FIGHT SKY scene. Where the plane(s) are twisting and turning and the ground look real and goes out and disappears off in the distance like the real one does!

Thats why I think BRYCE should be folded into carrara

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Posted: 29 December 2012 10:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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RichardChaos - 29 December 2012 09:50 AM

One thing I have NEVER been able to pull off in Carrara is a satisfactory DOG FIGHT SKY scene. Where the plane(s) are twisting and turning and the ground look real and goes out and disappears off in the distance like the real one does!

Thats why I think BRYCE should be folded into carrara

I’ll bite… How does a landscape generator help produce a dog fight scene? (Sure, I downloaded Bryce…but I’ve never used it) Is it strictly the ground effect? If so, then surely you can import Bryce landscapes into Carrara?

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My 3D art Flickr page for final or near-final images
My 3D art Flickr page for work-in-progress or experiments

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