Carrara 8.5 Beta and Genesis
So you’ve seen the hype and perhaps some of the beautiful art surrounding Daz3d’s flagship 3d CGI software, and you want to take a closer look - but you’re not sure where to begin?
Allow me to get the ball rolling on helping you out.
please feel free to add any knowledge or questions you have about the subject. Genesis really rocks with its near-unlimited capabilities… we want everyone to know what’s currently going on with it.
I’ll begin by saying that I’ll likely edit this first post with updated info as I get it - so you may want to check this top section if you get lost.
To expect any of this to work there are many important things to know about the process - please bear with me and read carefully.
The main Genesis figure resides in the installation of Daz Studio.
If you do not use Daz Studio, Genesis Essentials will likely want to be installed where Daz Studio would normally put it, via DIM. I strongly suggest using this default installation.
Always be sure that you have the very latest files.
Of course, the easiest way to insure this is to use the DIM (DAZ 3D Install Manager) - and, of course, the only way to use DIM to install Genesis, is to start from scratch and have it install everything that has anything to do with Genesis and Genesis Support Content. Here’s why: Genesis gets updated. During some of those updates, although it was made clear that Genesis needed to be uninstalled prior to reinstall, people didn’t do it. Errors everywhere - and stuff just didn’t work. This was not just Carrara beta either. Some updates require that some files no longer in use get removed - and that doesn’t happen with an overwrite.
DIM always uninstalls and then reinstalls. DIM can install wherever you tell it to. And it updates products to wherever you had it install it first. DIM running you Genesis installations, at the very least, is the only way to go, in my honest opinion.
Be sure to open DIM on occasion so that it may check for updates on any and all of you installed Genesis and other products
...and of course:
Carrara 8.5 No longer in beta, we now have the power of the official release of Carrara 8.5, and it R O C K S ! ! !
DIM Installs the new Carrara 8.5 to a new directory path compared to previous versions of Carrara, even the beta. If you’ve decided to uninstall ant of your previous versions of Carrara, please go into the settings manager of DIM and remove the path(s) of any uninstalled versions for the Applications Paths tab. Otherwise products will double install eating up your storage capacity.
DIM will keep you essential file up to date, as long as you remember to run it occasionally. No problem for me - because I often buy new content - so it just gets run regularly in that regard - which is how I noticed that DIM grabs updates for all sots of files - and it’s really fast at updating what needs it. Just good practice in this line of work - always update!
When it comes to any saves in the browser, normally saved to a folder within the Daz3d > Carrara folder structure found within “My Documents” by default, it is advisable to copy that whole structure, from within the “Carrara” subfolder, and paste to the new folder created by 8.5, something like “Carrara85b” (whatever it is). This makes everything you’ve already saved to your browser from another version of Carrara accessible to the beta - without the worry of over-saving cross versions of files. You can generally open files made in 8.5 in 8.1, but 8.5 incorporates, and automatically switches to a new, more up-to-date texture map format (Fast mip-map), which previous version can’t make heads or tails of. Since your 8.5 saves will use this, when you open the file in 8.1 or previous, you have to go change that value in every shader that uses any sort of image file. In my files, one scene could take a whole day or more to edit in this way - just warnin’ ya!
Now you should be good to go.
About “Smart Content”
Carrara 8.5 adds a new tab to the browser - “Smart Content”. This tab functions differently than any others as it only shows the available products that you have within your Daz Studio library database that works with whatever is selected in your Instances window (right side panel) within Carrara.
Once Genesis is loaded, select the main figure or its ‘Actor’ tag in the hierarchy, and much of what you’ve installed for Genesis will show up in Smart Content, no matter the category. Clothes, Props, Poses, etc.,
Select the head to bring up hats, some hairstyles are in here instead of the previous, make-up options, etc.,
Some products include a separate installer called ‘Metadata’
This must be installed for that product to be recognized by Smart Content. In the DIM “Installed” tab, DIM places a check mark next to anything that included metadata for Smart Content
If you don’t use Smart Content, or simply forgot to update your database, all the Daz Studio library is also available to you in the “Content” Tab of the Carrara browser. By default, this is both “My Library” and “My Library Runtime”
Please keep in mind that when searching for content from your Daz Studio library (as opposed to a Poser-Style Runtime), Carrara 8.5 beta does not currently block folder that mean nothing to Carrara yet. This means that you can expect to find a whole slew of empty folders. You’ll quickly learn where to go, and what to ignore though
In the content structure, Genesis can be found at: My DAZ 3D Library > People > Genesis
Genesis Character Presets, which are also used in Carrara to load specific UV sets for Genesis are found at: My Library > People > Genesis > Characters
After Genesis in the People category, you’ll see Clothing and Hair and so on.
My DAZ 3D Library Animals is where the new and exciting Daz Horse 2 (also built using the new Genesis technology) gets installed to, as with the SubDragon that comes with DS. Any questions on finding anything?
Genesis was designed so that individual “Character Presets” can be made, which can contain a whole new UV Mapping data set. This is really powerful because it allows product makers to make serious changes to the mesh, and provide a remapped UV to avoid texture stretching/pinching, etc.,
Daz Studio has the capability to switch these UV allocations on the fly, as you change character needs. But this is not the case with this version of the 8.5 beta.
In Carrara 8.5b, You must load the appropriate “Character” of Genesis to get the correct UV. Once you get that character of Genesis loaded, you can make any changes you like to the shape, but the UV set remains the same as what it was when you loaded it. Got that? Here’s what I know about the breakdown for UVs:
V4 UV set - Basic Female
M4 UV set - Basic Male
V5 UV set - V5 or any V5-based character
M5 UV set - M5 or any M5-based character
Troll UV set - Troll
Young Teens… etc., etc.,
Loading Genesis into Carrara is as easy as either double-click the file, drag the file into the work area, or drag the file to the instances tab. Your choice. Know that the first instance of Genesis takes a bit of time to load into Carrara. It actually fools you into thinking that Carrara locked up. Don’t worry - and don’t let it stop you from loading in several Genesis figures - for each subsequent load is closer to instantaneous after that first load.
I guess it’s slightly different than DS that some of Genesis’ installed morphs can be found under the “Genesis” in the hierarchy, and others in “Actor”, while expressions and such are in the head and grasps and such are in the hands.
====================== More to come ===================
I hope this helps some of you ease your way into trying the new beta.
Even if you don’t try Genesis, I encourage you all to at least check out how much bliss is packed into this new Carrara!!!