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OK, DAZ, seriously, what’s going on?
Posted: 02 January 2013 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 166 ]
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Rashad Carter - 02 January 2013 12:21 PM

What I will say is that the fact that there are so few Carrara users who push it as far as Howie and a few others indicates a potential problem.

Yes, Carrara can do amazing things, but can it do so easily? Sure, Howie knows how to model, light, and construct a naturalistic looking scene. He cannot be alone. So either no one else in the Carraraverse has an interest in building landscapes, or, its not nearly as easy as it should be and therefore only a select few can accomplish it.

Ease of use speaks highly for a software. Just how long would it take me today to become the next Howie Farkes in Carrara? Probably a very long time. Clearly, Howie is the key. But aside from hiring Howie to make all of my scenes for me, how can I do my part to help showcase the power of Carrara?

...


So ,yes, we as individuals need to take more responsibility and start producing more amazing stuff to showcase Carrara. Believe me, if there were 5 or 6 Howie Farkes type people building products for Carrara it would give new users the idea that reaching that level of expertise is likely for the masses. But the current situation appears that only a few will ever reach that level.

Many of the best Carrara users are also well versed in other, high end applications. This gives them experience, and even a sense of vocabulary which is useful.

Respectfully, the flaw in this argument is that you would also have to want to sell products at DAZ. If “pro-user” means “merchant at DAZ” then you will not find many at all.

I’ve seen dozens of amazing landscapes posted by users here, but they are often making assets for games or architectural renders…. That *is* professional use of Carrara. Being a merchant does not require you to be an expert at anything except pushing a product through DAZ - and while there are some lovely things for sale here, there is also a lot of embarrassing crap.

If DAZ didn’t sabotage their users by deleting galleries and breaking links to old forum posts… not to mention the ArtZone implosion… there would be evidence of the greater Carrara userbase who have tried their hand and succeeded at stunning landscapes. Rather than imagine a rhetorical conundrum that Carrara must be harder than it looks or we would be able to buy more presets—how is that a valid argument to not TRY to create some of those landscapes yourself?

It’s time consuming to build very large scenes, and most people don’t post completed projects here just to get praise from other forum regulars. They are working on a bigger picture (like a game, or specific video project). When something DOES get posted you have our local troll attempting to pull apart its legitimacy (see other current threads), so why bother with that forum bullshit? Who cares?

The really great thing about Carrara is you don’t HAVE to be a 3D geek to get great results, so yes many of the really great Carrara users are doing other things too. So what? That’s WHY I use Carrara because I’m busy with other aspects of my projects and don’t want to be buried under an overpriced “industry” standard that milks me for $$$ each and every year…. I get most of my compliments from my graphic circle of friends, not Carrara hobbiests who don’t really care about using Carrara as a studio tool.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 167 ]
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holly wetcircuit - 02 January 2013 12:58 PM

The really great thing about Carrara is you don’t HAVE to be a 3D geek to get great results ...

I agree.  I have no interest in modelling, writing Python scripts, etc.  I will let the 3D pros do that and buy their products (at a reasonable price - I’m looking at you, Turbo Squid).  But I do like having Carrara’s tools to make small changes to 3D elements, e.g. lopping off a piece of a model, changing a texture, etc.

Overall, I feel more like a student movie director, blocking scenes, positioning actors, setting the pace (via keyframes), etc.  Rather than books on 3D software, the books I prefer are about movie making, like this:

http://tinyurl.com/a95ct2x

(Interesting that the examples in that book were done in Poser)

Its one of the most engrossing hobbies I can think of, and I don’t have to put up with egotistical actors, grumpy crew, bad weather, etc.
cool smile

 

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Posted: 02 January 2013 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 168 ]
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holly wetcircuit - 02 January 2013 12:58 PM
Rashad Carter - 02 January 2013 12:21 PM

What I will say is that the fact that there are so few Carrara users who push it as far as Howie and a few others indicates a potential problem.

Yes, Carrara can do amazing things, but can it do so easily? Sure, Howie knows how to model, light, and construct a naturalistic looking scene. He cannot be alone. So either no one else in the Carraraverse has an interest in building landscapes, or, its not nearly as easy as it should be and therefore only a select few can accomplish it.

Ease of use speaks highly for a software. Just how long would it take me today to become the next Howie Farkes in Carrara? Probably a very long time. Clearly, Howie is the key. But aside from hiring Howie to make all of my scenes for me, how can I do my part to help showcase the power of Carrara?

...


So ,yes, we as individuals need to take more responsibility and start producing more amazing stuff to showcase Carrara. Believe me, if there were 5 or 6 Howie Farkes type people building products for Carrara it would give new users the idea that reaching that level of expertise is likely for the masses. But the current situation appears that only a few will ever reach that level.

Many of the best Carrara users are also well versed in other, high end applications. This gives them experience, and even a sense of vocabulary which is useful.

Respectfully, the flaw in this argument is that you would also have to want to sell products at DAZ. If “pro-user” means “merchant at DAZ” then you will not find many at all.

I’ve seen dozens of amazing landscapes posted by users here, but they are often making assets for games or architectural renders…. That *is* professional use of Carrara. Being a merchant does not require you to be an expert at anything except pushing a product through DAZ - and while there are some lovely things for sale here, there is also a lot of embarrassing crap.

If DAZ didn’t sabotage their users by deleting galleries and breaking links to old forum posts… not to mention the ArtZone implosion… there would be evidence of the greater Carrara userbase who have tried their hand and succeeded at stunning landscapes. Rather than imagine a rhetorical conundrum that Carrara must be harder than it looks or we would be able to buy more presets—how is that a valid argument to not TRY to create some of those landscapes yourself?

It’s time consuming to build very large scenes, and most people don’t post completed projects here just to get praise from other forum regulars. They are working on a bigger picture (like a game, or specific video project). When something DOES get posted you have our local troll attempting to pull apart its legitimacy (see other current threads), so why bother with that forum bullshit? Who cares?

The really great thing about Carrara is you don’t HAVE to be a 3D geek to get great results, so yes many of the really great Carrara users are doing other things too. So what? That’s WHY I use Carrara because I’m busy with other aspects of my projects and don’t want to be buried under an overpriced “industry” standard that milks me for $$$ each and every year…. I get most of my compliments from my graphic circle of friends, not Carrara hobbiests who don’t really care about using Carrara as a studio tool.

So then we have a conundrum. We need to get the word out about Carrara. Best way to do that is with galleries and showcases. Many of the best Carrara users are working in professional realms, but obviously Carrara is itself is still not used enough in professional workflows to have carved its own stable niche in the industry.

That movie that was linked, it was my first time seeing it. Amazing, no doubt. Still, I wonder how many people other than the Carrara community have ever seen it?

What if…
God forbid…
We tried a little experiment…
To make a movie as a community?

A Daz3d+ Carrara userbase short film?

Here’s the idea.

We as a Carrara userbase, we have the tools to do amazing things. What’s missing around here are the examples of the amazing things. So lets coordinate an effort. I truly believe that if we put our minds to it, we could produce a short 10 minute engaging and entertaining animation of Carrara at its best.

This is not a demo reel. This would be an actual story, with characters, plots, and intrigue.

Blender has already done a dragon movie, so lets not even touch that. Unless of course, we would do it better. But personally I;d rather do some other type of subject.

The point is, Carrara has POWER, all it needs is the exposure, it needs to be higher profile.

Perhaps we could run a thread that asks people to submit basic story ideas. Ideas must have a beginning, middle and an end. Ideally, we could vote on the most popular ones and determine the best of all.

Once the story is developed, we can begin to involve members of the community to the level they desire. For example, there are some who might be willing to offer services for rendering nodes, others who might want more direct involvement.

Clearly, such a project would need someone to be at the head of it, coordinate it, and that person would not be me, I do not have the practical experience nor the time. But if someone out there does, this could be awesome.

One quick story idea could be of an alien traveling toward the Earth from outer space. It’s always fun to open with a nice open space shot. Anyhow, the alien ship breaks apart into smaller ships, and each of these pieces travels toward a different location on Earth. traveling down through the clouds would be awesome to animate. One pod travels to the Valle Alpina, where we see flowing rivers and streams, gorgeous mountains and deep blue skies. Another one of the pods travels toward the temperate regions of Europe, strolling along the Country Lane. Another takes us to a Dystopian City or something, Another arrives in a tropical location and another underwater, one in the polar regions.  Almost like a series of little vignettes each displaying a graphically specific and unique environment where fun things can happen. Broken up into pieces this way, the film could easily top 10 minutes. A team of 2 or 3 persons would be assigned to each location, and each would contribute 3 minutes of final footage by a date long from now, say July 1 2013 or something. Anyhow, the pods after gathering information about the planet then return to space, reassemble themselves into the original vessel, and leave off flying toward the Milky Way.

Cheesy Idea?

Could be fun.

Lots of fun.

And hard work.

Which is also fun!

All that would be needed from there is to put it together and publish that baby as a community project.

Thoughts?

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Posted: 02 January 2013 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 169 ]
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It’s all in the ambition. Not meaning to sound arrogant, but I can build a scene like Howies, I’m just too damned lazy. I’ve deconstruct Howies scenes and there is nothing special to them other then the amount of effort put in to it. And Howie puts a lot of time and effort in to it.

When I was on the eovia forum most people had a good understanding of Carrara, and a lot were pro users. Thing is most of them stayed with C5 and never came to DAZ. Most of the few that did have moved on getting fed up with the direction DAZ took carrara. A lot of people that use carrara now use it quite casually, treating it as little more then a glorified DAZ studio or poser. Just look at the number of people using carrara now that would rather build their scene in studio then try to get it in to carrara, then actually learn how to set up a scene in carrara.

Why learn how to use carrara if all you use is premades. It’s like having someone else do your home work, you learn nothing from it.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 170 ]
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Rashad Carter - 02 January 2013 02:17 PM

So then we have a conundrum. We need to get the word out about Carrara. Best way to do that is with galleries and showcases. Many of the best Carrara users are working in professional realms, but obviously Carrara is itself is still not used enough in professional workflows to have carved its own stable niche in the industry.

That movie that was linked, it was my first time seeing it. Amazing, no doubt. Still, I wonder how many people other than the Carrara community have ever seen it?

Here is a good showcase, though there is a lot of unnecessary fluff at the top of the site wink  Carrara Gallery

That site is not even mentioned on the Carrara pages, but seems to be the most active Carrara site around, other than this forum.

If you want them to buy….make a fan art movie of batman, lara croft, x-men or something like that.  A younger generation will flock to make the same.  wink

 

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Posted: 02 January 2013 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 171 ]
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Rashad Carter - 02 January 2013 02:17 PM

One quick story idea could be of an alien traveling toward the Earth from outer space. It’s always fun to open with a nice open space shot. Anyhow, the alien ship breaks apart into smaller ships, and each of these pieces travels toward a different location on Earth. traveling down through the clouds would be awesome to animate. One pod travels to the Valle Alpina, where we see flowing rivers and streams, gorgeous mountains and deep blue skies. Another one of the pods travels toward the temperate regions of Europe, strolling along the Country Lane. Another takes us to a Dystopian City or something, Another arrives in a tropical location and another underwater, one in the polar regions.  Almost like a series of little vignettes each displaying a graphically specific and unique environment where fun things can happen. Broken up into pieces this way, the film could easily top 10 minutes. A team of 2 or 3 persons would be assigned to each location, and each would contribute 3 minutes of final footage by a date long from now, say July 1 2013 or something. Anyhow, the pods after gathering information about the planet then return to space, reassemble themselves into the original vessel, and leave off flying toward the Milky Way.

Kind of like Planetary Traveler that was done with Bryce?

I still watch that once in a while, though its pretty dated now. I like that it was pretty open and loose in terms of content, although it was all fairly abstract.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 07:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 172 ]
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From what I have seen the “competitors big buck” programs do have demo reels, showcasing both stills and animation from a direct link. Daz’s Carrara page showcases nothing! No screenshots of the program interface, nothing but “Whats New” and here’s a link to other stuff (resources).
If we truly want new users, they need to be drawn in by all of the good points of Carrara…show the customer how user friendly it is, and how to use all of it’s abilities…..show off all of the great art it can make.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 07:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 173 ]
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McGuiver - 02 January 2013 07:27 PM

From what I have seen the “competitors big buck” programs do have demo reels, showcasing both stills and animation from a direct link. Daz’s Carrara page showcases nothing! No screenshots of the program interface, nothing but “Whats New” and here’s a link to other stuff (resources).
If we truly want new users, they need to be drawn in by all of the good points of Carrara…show the customer how user friendly it is, and how to use all of it’s abilities…..show off all of the great art it can make.

You missed a couple if you’re talking about this section. http://www.daz3d.com/products/carrara/carrara-what-is-carrara

They had more stuff on the old site. It probably got lost in the switch to the new web design or worse yet it was designed out so it would be a “prettier” web page (how I hate that thinking). I think all the promo videos are still there on YouTube in the DAZ3D channel.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 174 ]
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To back Holly’s remarks, I’ve seen Carrara in the pro industry a lot. My big brother is lead engineer for very special vehicles and his company uses a small studio that uses Carrara for all of their modeling and rendering. Since I’ve heard (and seen) that, I’ve been running across more and more. My products are evidence of that - considering how many have sold.

Promoting Carrara - I don’t think it would be a bad idea to get a good selection of stickies in the forums. I know - that can be a big PITA too…

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Posted: 02 January 2013 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 175 ]
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Regarding the movie idea, yes it’s a cool idea. I hate to be a stick in the mud, but honestly, who has time? I think it would go a couple weeks (if that) and then die a lingering death. I’m more than willing to contribute to a demo reel, provided what I would submit is deemed worthy, but a narrative story by committee has absolutely no appeal for me.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 176 ]
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evilproducer - 02 January 2013 08:59 PM

Regarding the movie idea, yes it’s a cool idea. I hate to be a stick in the mud, but honestly, who has time? I think it would go a couple weeks (if that) and then die a lingering death. I’m more than willing to contribute to a demo reel, provided what I would submit is deemed worthy, but a narrative story by committee has absolutely no appeal for me.

Really? I guess.
But your stills tell a whole story by themselves, most of the time anyways.
Although time is HUGE regarding making any sort of movie without at least a small team, I have been working for a few years on mine, and I haven’t yet rendered out a whole clip that will be used in it, as I’m still performing prep work. I’m so darned close now, though, that I just put the recording studio and my main voice actors on alert that we’ll be meeting up very soon - so we can get on the schedule.

Big PITA if you don’t have the passion, I suppose. The best part of the entire project… and I repeat, the BEST part was acquiring Carrara. I own, 6 Pro, 7.2 Pro, 8 Pro and, well, I am now using 8.5 full time, except for my Daz products I’m working on. And any of the versions would be equally as exciting to work with. It’s just that, for my workflow, the latest versions always steal my heart.

People asking about tutorials lately… it’s just cool because I get to start pulling out my file from magaremoto, Dimension Theory, Cripeman, 3dage, lynda.com, mmoir, 3dlust, PhilW products plus the infinite skills series, Howie Farkes, etc.,
...And not only do I find myself happy that I’m going through these again, but I relish at how it is so absolutely true that All you need to get something to happen in Carrara is the imagination and resolution to pull it off - and, with enough knowledge towards the many functions of Carrara - or at least where to start looking, you can find a way!

Oh my… straying again, huh!
Sorry ‘bout that! hmmm

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Posted: 02 January 2013 09:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 177 ]
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It’s not that I don’t have the passion, it’s that I don’t have the passion for doing anything by committee. I’ve helped with a couple long distance projects and it was difficult getting on the same page. You think you have a clear idea of what’s wanted, and then it’s not quite right. You ask for the raw footage for compositing and lighting and if you’re lucky you’ll get it two months later, if at all. Gee, a screen cap? well that sure helps- Not. hmmm


I do sincerely wish anybody that wants to try the best of luck, but I will admit to a healthy dose of cynicism.

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Posted: 02 January 2013 10:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 178 ]
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cdordoni - 02 January 2013 06:28 PM
Rashad Carter - 02 January 2013 02:17 PM

One quick story idea could be of an alien traveling toward the Earth from outer space. It’s always fun to open with a nice open space shot. Anyhow, the alien ship breaks apart into smaller ships, and each of these pieces travels toward a different location on Earth. traveling down through the clouds would be awesome to animate. One pod travels to the Valle Alpina, where we see flowing rivers and streams, gorgeous mountains and deep blue skies. Another one of the pods travels toward the temperate regions of Europe, strolling along the Country Lane. Another takes us to a Dystopian City or something, Another arrives in a tropical location and another underwater, one in the polar regions.  Almost like a series of little vignettes each displaying a graphically specific and unique environment where fun things can happen. Broken up into pieces this way, the film could easily top 10 minutes. A team of 2 or 3 persons would be assigned to each location, and each would contribute 3 minutes of final footage by a date long from now, say July 1 2013 or something. Anyhow, the pods after gathering information about the planet then return to space, reassemble themselves into the original vessel, and leave off flying toward the Milky Way.

Kind of like Planetary Traveler that was done with Bryce?

I still watch that once in a while, though its pretty dated now. I like that it was pretty open and loose in terms of content, although it was all fairly abstract.

It could be like an Exquisite Corpse… the parlor game. We could each add a chapter.

But we should avoid the rigid heirarchy of “teams”, there aren’t really enough of us with co-operative temperaments for that to last. tongue wink

Actually we could organize it to be ongoing and open-ended…. Based on Rashad’s synopsys above I suggest:
1- The “Alien Visitor” can be a shared model hosted at CarraraCafe (or ShareCG).
2- Each “chapter” begins with the visitor descending from the sky. SOMETHING HAPPENS. Then it goes up into the sky. End.
3- Each chapter gets uploaded to youtube (I prefer Vimeo, for the quality)
4- Someone adds them to a common Playlist that links them all. (we could create a community account, so more than one person has the password)
5- There is no director. videos are uploaded as they are completed. They don’t need to play in any particular order (youtube playlists can be shuffled, I think) ...Well except for the opening movie in Space….
6- There are not a lot of rules, and we should be rather liberal about how the Visitor gets treated in each scenario: it could be a silent observer, it can interact, it can alter its shape and size and textures - so long as it begins and ends traveling to the next scenario. If we’re going to have a community project it should be fun and everyone should be able to participate what they like. (I’d rather not do a laborious unpaid advert for DAZ).

Rashad, You should start a new thread to discuss the project. We could get some suggestions for the alien visitor… maybe hold a contest?

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Posted: 02 January 2013 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 179 ]
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. smile

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Posted: 02 January 2013 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 180 ]
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Sounds like a great idea.

As I recall last time this was tried it lasted a while, but then they had trouble agreeing on a site where they’d store all the files and renders and stuff so everyone could access them. And I think they couldn’t agree on a lead producer-type person to make final decisions. Or a subject and a story. And as I recall after about a month or so there were only a few guys participating and then it just died.

But that’s just my recollection. I’m sure you guys won’t have those kinds of troubles. Maybe there are some members still around who can advise you of the possible pitfalls.

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