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Posted: 21 February 2013 07:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 91 ]
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UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!
Unfortunately, the current state of the forums only allows for images to reside at the bottom of the post. For this reason mostly, there will be a lack of screenshots at this time. I am planning to add more as the Features of the forums improve


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Posted: 21 February 2013 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 92 ]
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Forum Help Links

Links to various troubleshooting discussions within the forum:
Such as:
Learning Carrara 8….
*  Can a person Make a living with this stuff we do?

Genesis - Carrara 8.5 - DIM Support Thread Links
                Got questions about Genesis use in Carrara, DIM use for installing?
                This page lists links to threads that have answered many questions to common problems

►►►  Carrara Resources  ◄◄◄

►►►  100+ TUTORIALS at CARRARA CAFE

Lighting
Carrara Lighting Tutorial High Quality Video Tutorial by Mark Bremmer - includes scene -
Michael 6 HD Light Study by Ringo Monfort
Lighting presets for artists and dummies Freebie!
Object with glow & IL
Reflections and stuff
HDRI an Interior?
WIP - Playing with HDR
Point of view of light
Want faster, more efficient renders and/or better lighting?
How do I import video as a background in Carrara?
Rendering with Movie Gels question
Orbiting a Scene with a Camera
HDRI Anyone know where I can find cheap (or free) HDRIs?
Volumetric Primitives vs. Glows and Lighting Effects

Physics
Trying out physics in Carrara
Bullet Physics - First Steps by 3dage
Physics for falling leaves?
Directional Force tutorial
Why do my objects hop at the start of physics simulation?

Particles
creating rain (animated)
Particle Thread by DimensionTheory
Particle Problems on a Mac

Modeling
Polygon Modeling, Post your creations! Learn and share experiences
Building Carrara Terrains Intro
Using Formulas in Carrara
formula modeler - help with first baby step - a sphere
Growing a vine or spline?
Creating stuff for Genesis in Carrara
weight painting and rigging issues
Text choppy modeling
Weird polygon overlapping when smoothing in vertex modeller
Texturing booleans_is this a bug?
Smoothing in Carrara how does it work ?
Tesselation in Carrara on an abritrary position like in Heyagon?
Problem with Projection Mapping
Sculpting alternatives in Carrara 8 Pro
I need a screw
Low Poly Modelling for Game Mods
WIP - Star Altar
WIP - English Town Hall / Square
Questions on vertex modeling (rotating the axis system, grouping etc)
How to create a Triangle Primitive in Carrara?
5 ways to fix poke through without using conforming clothes! An informative tutorial by Diomede64
Joint rotations of bones?
Proper way to Load Reference Images
Create a character with a custom face from a photo
spikeys on conforming models
Does anyone use Carrara for Modeling?
Export as obj without loosing Pose (“Completely Insane!”)
Export and paint UVmap - workflow - how to do it…
UV unfolding question
Separate Materials on Polygon selections
Duplicating a Rigged Object
Working Box and Display help inquiry
How do I center the hotpoint of this object?
Exporting Trees - Leaves
Exporting UV mapps in Carrara??
Modeling in Carrara with the help of Phil Wilkes

Replicator
thread for replicator introductory methods, tricks, and advanced tips
Surface Replicator and NLA Clips Question

Rigging
Rigging in DS 4.6.2.120 for use in Carrara

Shaders
10 Reasons You Need a Falloff Shader Plugin - new article at CARRARA CAFE
No bump with Lux in carrara shaders?
Carrara shader - fade to transparent?
I am trying to add a wool texture map to my clothing figures
Shaders not showing up
How do you Bump ?
Help need with 2 shaders (a Translucent Shader & a Thick-ish Liquid)
Animating glow channel
problems applying a procedural shader to a metaball object
Adding Paint Brushes to 3d Paint
Please release Genesis Elite Maps for Carrara.
Suggestions on how to do a wet skin shader?
How do you create realistic ocean?
Carrara and texture baking to a model
Does anyone have a carbon weave shader they wish to share?
How can I Create a Circular Texture?

Features
Cararra Sound Clips
Layering textures in 3D paint
The Fire Primitive!!!
Questions on vertex modeling (rotating the axis system, grouping etc)
Making Landscapes in Carrara
plant generator, generation count
3D Painting on objects with shaders?
Adding the included DP paint brushes
How do I add a custom brush to Carrara nonphoto renderer?

Animation and Posing
A Guide to using Tweeners in 3D Animation (Tutorial) - Sci Fi Funk
IK Chain naturally move hips
Ik tool for limbs
To drive a bicycle…
How to Transfer Animation Data
Animation and Compositing in Carrara?
animating skeleton along a path
Mimic - DMC files for Genesis 2
Cararra and Mimic Pro Experiment
Mimic for custom characters
When Setting Up Mimic…
How to use Mimic Pro for Carrara effectively Tutorials - Sci Fi Funk
*NLA head Clips library and transfer - Sci Fi Funk
GFA animate file import
how do you place gun or any object in the actors hands?
Commercial Poses translate whole figure in xyz coordinates. Any solution?
Combine NLA clips (Looping or Matching Previous Location)
*  ShareCG Download Carrara Helper and Modifiers for Genesis by fabaone
Brekel Kinect Pro Body Motion Capture to Carrara Experiment
Animation walk/run cycles created in Carrara 8.5
importing bvh files into Carrara 8
Picking up and dropping an object animation in Carrara
help animating expressions with genesis
How to save a pose in Carrara?
Trouble with Constraints
Can Carrara 8.5 beta play animations made by ds timeline? ... Yes.
Poser animations (pz2) in Carrara
Animating a swimming shark, snake or an arrow
Universal convert from Angles to Quaternion?
Spin modifier Decelerate?
Carrara graph editor help
*  Old Forum - Animating Plant Growth
    (also explains how a Hard Drive defrag fixed the original poster’s Error problem)
*  New Forum - Discuss the same Topic - Animating Carrara Trees

Dynamic Hair
Animating hair growth
Hair keeps moving
Making eyelashes with Carrara Dynamic Hair
Hair - Fur - How do I?
How do I simulate fur?
New hair prop is very confusing
Real Fur for Millennium Cat and C8.5
Can Carrara’s Dynamic Hair be used outside of Carrara? ...No it cannot.

Backgrounds, Skies, and Environmental
Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes
Rendering a 360 “skybox”?
Upside down backdrops

Rendering
Tasty Occlusion Sammich
alpha only image series/ convert to avi
Post Your Space Scenes
Flickering AVI My AVI flickers in Carrara
Carrara 7.2 Pro Shadow pass corrupt
Carrara Rendering with Render Node - image differences
What Percent of your finished art get’s shown to others?
Carrara 8.5 Pro Rendernode License Issue
Renderfarm Advice
Linear Workflow - Gamma Coorection = 2.2

Nuts n’ Bolts
How does one learn to be a Carrara programmer?
Best hardware specs Carrara v8.5 2014?
Auto-detect runtimes
Error - can’t open file
Mac version progress?
Install Manager through proxy?
Carrara as a file converter
Madness in ungrouping
Carrara 8 Pro Mouse configuration
How Important Is OpenCL
export OBJ with skinning and morphs not working?
Issue when adding smoothing to a imported FBX file
import enigma
How to go from Carrara8.5 to Daz Studio4.5?
Carrara on Multiple Monitors
very long time to save
Computer Spec_ CPU & GPU question
I can’t duplicate!
Grouping messes up object size
Cant load CR2Importer.mcx - Carrara On Linux
Carrara Running Slow?
Carrara on Multiple Monitors
Carrara and games
What do I put on a NAS for network render?
Unable to Save Files
New Mac Carrara Install Questions
Am I the only carrara user that wishes there were transport controls ( Shortcuts)
Carrara stalls mid-render
Trackball with scroll in Carrara 8
Anyone using a monoprice Tablet with Carrara?
Quicktime 29.97 broken in 8.1.1.12 ?
Carrara 8 Render Node not working
Carrara and Unity Game engine
Carrara 8 to Unity export problem (absolute transform)

Feature Requests
Carrara 9 feature request
No send to Carrara or vice versa? (for DAZ Studio)
Carrara for CAD work
Cararra * Pro Bug Ridden?

Plugins
How does one learn to be a Carrara programmer?
texture from camera (solved using DCG Shader Ops 2 and Inagoni’s Baker)
Sparrowhawke3D Plugins for Carrara 8/8.5 for Mac (and some updates)
After Effects plugin still work?
PySwarm for PyCarrara
PyCarrara question
aniBlock importer failed to load (in Carrara 8)
Oh yea. Octane for Carrara
Skin Settings for Luxus for Carrara
Simulating Realistic Flocking Behavior in Carrara using PyCarrara
Exploration into PyCarrara Plug-In
soundwaves and py Carrara
*  Want fluids for Carrara? Try PyCloid!!! If you like it, please don’t forget to Donate!
Luxus for Carrara released!
Luxus: IBL and Background
Genesis 2 basic female Mimic lipsync tute
just a little more detail for Fenric’s weight map utility?
soundwaves and py Carrara

Post work
Question regarding Carrara Render Settings for Postwork
Pros and Cons of Carrara DOF Vs. Postworked DOF
Project Dogwaffle and here are Dogwaffle Video Tutorials - Playlists Very entertaining and informative!
Post work lip sync, anyone? Check this out!

 

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Posted: 22 February 2013 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 93 ]
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Forum Help Links Continued…

Genesis - Carrara 8.5 - DIM Support Thread Links
                Got questions about Genesis use in Carrara, DIM use for installing?
                This page lists links to threads that have answered many questions to common problems

Content
How do I load Carrara 8.5 native content?
Buy Something That Doesn’t Work in Carrara? Please Post your Questions and Workarounds here
Custom daz imports into Carrara
Can’t open DAZ Studio saves in Carrara
What’s like the best option to export file from Daz to Carrara pro8?
M4 Skeleton has red bounding boxes in render, how do I remove them?
Photo real sci fi interiors
Poser9 Weight Mapped Figures
How can I remove green triangles? (clothing pose handles, etc.,)
Morphs Work In Poser, but Not in Carrara?
Mimic Lite
Morph Injections in Carrara
Carrara Content Folder Set Up
Carrara Object Catalog or Content CD
Frozen Figures
help with texture crawl in Carrara 8.5…
Carrara Freepozitory archive and more new free stuff for Carrara
Buy Something That Doesn’t Work in Carrara? Post your Questions and Workarounds here. (please)
Issue with fitting boots
Carrara 8.5 beta (172): how to fit dynamic clothes properly?
How to generate INJ/REM? With Carrara or DS4.5?
Editing Victoria/Genesis in the Vertex Modeler?
Anyone else try the Homo Erectus models in Carrara 8.1?
Humanoid Displacement Maps
Save a Pose/Morph in Carrara
Save a Pose I tried the above link, but…
TraffiKar shader ugliness in Carrara

Using Other Apps
How to export custom rigged to Daz Studio 4.6?
Carrara Export Terrain - Unity3D Import Terrain
MakeHuman 1.0.0 released!!
Is anyone using Carrara and Lightwave?
Can Carrara work with Marmoset Toolbag 2?
Blender to Carrara
Screensaver for Carrara scenes?
Marvelous Designer dynamic clothing in Carrara
Carrara and Unity Game engine
Question about legality - using Daz Models in non-commerical Game Mods
Carrara obj export and makerware/3d printing
Realtime GPU rendering using Carrara rigged figures try iClone
GPU RENDERING for Carrara has Arrived!!! -  Thanks CASUAL!
Need advice from experienced clothing modeller about Rigging and Adding Morphs
Carrara and PFMatchit 2013 Matchit
New to Carrara from D|S and would love some advice
Carrara scene back to DS?
Carrara vs Daz Studio?
Anyone using Pepakura to “sculpt” real 3d models from Obj files? Best Poly reduction software?
Carraraesque Music Software?

Carrara Render Contests and their WIP Threads
- Excellent workflows descriptions in the WIP threads, and wonderful renders in the Entry threads
Carrara Challenge VIII - “The Great Race” or “Don’t Fence Me In” - WIP
Carrara Challenge VIII - Entries - The Great Race or Don’t Fence Me In
Carrara Challenge #7:  “CARDS FROM AN UNUSUAL DECK”  - WIP
Carrara Challenge #7: “Cards from an unusual deck” - THE WINNERS


Carrara Pre-Purchase Questions
Carrara 8.5 Pro - Prepurchase Question
Miscellaneous Tips & Tricks for Carrara

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Posted: 27 February 2013 09:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 94 ]
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Quite technical, but explained alot to me, thanks Fenric)  Fixing pose channels so they work in Daz and Carrara:

http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=185755

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Posted: 04 March 2013 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 95 ]
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emeyer - 27 February 2013 09:37 PM

Quite technical, but explained alot to me, thanks Fenric)  Fixing pose channels so they work in Daz and Carrara:

http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=185755

Added to the Helpful Threads from the Old Daz3d Forum Section - (Here), formerly listed as “Old Daz3d Forum Links
Also moved that heading (“Helpful Threads from the Old Daz3d Forum”) up in the Table of Contents list for better visibility.

emeyer - Thanks for the valuable input. This has been a helpful thread to me as well. wink

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Posted: 04 March 2013 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 96 ]
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Updated a lot of information found in the Forum Threads Index of “Help!” Topics page. Please make requests If there are older threads that you’d like to see listed - or that you think would be helpful to others. I am currently avoiding those that turn into bickering contests without an abundance of user help.

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Posted: 10 March 2013 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 97 ]
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DartanBeck,

I just wanted to say thank you for all the time and effort you have put into these forums and Carrara information you have put together pointing to everything!

Its appreciated.

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Posted: 11 March 2013 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 98 ]
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test

At last I can write here!

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Posted: 12 March 2013 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 99 ]
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-_Milo_- - 10 March 2013 09:26 PM

DartanBeck,

I just wanted to say thank you for all the time and effort you have put into these forums and Carrara information you have put together pointing to everything!

Its appreciated.

Thanks man,
Your appreciation is greatly appreciated! smile

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Posted: 12 March 2013 07:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 100 ]
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guess mine isnt ;
smile heh just kidding,
nice work Dartanbeck

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Posted: 13 March 2013 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 101 ]
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Carrara & Computers

Carrara is actually quite friendly to Windows PCs. I wish I knew something about Mac systems, but I’ve never even used one. If I can get some good information together regarding Carrara and Mac, I’ll gladly do a nice write-up on that as well. In the meantime, those of you wishing to buy or build a PC, or even upgrade the one you have, you’ve come to the right place. I’m no computer expert, and I know nothing of code, networking setups, etc., but I have built my own PC’s the last three times I’ve needed a new one - and each build was a great success - and I’ve learned a lot about building one for Carrara this last time, yet there’s still more that I wish to discover.

First things first:

Anyone considering an upgrade for the sole purpose of getting more performance from Carrara should keep the following in mind:
The biggest render upgrade will come from adding :
- More cores - The higher the number of cpu cores you have, the faster the render - period.
- Fast cores - The faster your cores the better, but this is secondary to the above.
- RAM - just make sure you have enough RAM to keep your cores fed. If I’d have gone with 8 GB instead of 16, I doubt that there would have been much difference in render times.
- DazSpooky says: “Use a solid state hard drive” the speed of file delivery is an outstanding improvement. Last time I checked, this was not an option for me. Still too expensive to get enough storage to hold my runtimes and Carrara files. Maybe next time?

Make sure that if you go with more cores that you increase airflow or other cooling as well - as more cores means a LOT more heat. I got a great deal on an Antec thee hundred 2, which has a fan slot (comes empty by default, which still helps) on the back side of the motherboard. I enjoy my parts staying clean - so all of my intake fans are filtered. To keep noise down, I went with several low rpm 120mm fans. Four filtered intake, three exhaust with a 230mm silent fan exhaust on top of the case. This might seem like a bit of a vacuum. But there are other fans blowing in there and I feel that my intake/exhaust ratio is pretty good. And it is quite quiet compared to my last build with a thermaltake V7000 case which came laced with 90 and 80mm fans everywhere - all intakes came filtered. One day I’m going to fix its broken switches and put that beast back into operation. Big Blue is one beautiful, and cool-lookin’ case!!! Perhaps as an eight core render node?

Kevin Sanderson (fine chap) has pointed out that a great graphics card, like a top-end GTX, means all the difference in the world when it comes to interface performance. I cheeped out on mine, but it still came with good stats on the latest OpenGL at that time. I’m loving my set up so far. I have a lower end GT Fermi Edition sporting 1GB DDR3 @ 1700MHz, with only 48 CUDA cores @ 810MHz, and 1620MHz on the Shader clock. Thing was cheep as a box of nails but works like a dream. Nonetheless, as I upgrade my machine, I’ll be looking closer at the PNY workstation offerings - which cost as much, if not more than my whole workstation by themselves. I think that their big claim to fame comes from their impeccable OpenGL capabilities. We’ll see.

Woah check it out! There’s a picture of my tiny cpu workhorse! (Top image below) It features Eight, 3.1Ghz processor cores, to say the least! These new chips have plenty more going for them, as if that isn’t enough!
- Please note that the rest of the images in this article are of near random choosing and have no representation of parts in my computer, except where noted -

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fx_processor_top_header_graphic_572.pngfan.jpgmonitor.jpg
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Posted: 13 March 2013 05:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 102 ]
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How to Build a Carrara Workstation Yourself
In this world of 3d art and animation, we eventually crave a computer that can help us work faster, more stability, and all around more efficiently. For the last few years I’ve been enjoying building my own PCs, which has brought me the good fortune of getting the actual computer components that I really want as well as keeping my pay out much lower than it would have been otherwise. It may seem scary the first time, I know I surely was intimidated. But when it all comes down to it, the process is much easier than building a good model or assembling a 1200 piece puzzle. You just need to know where and how to look for all of the parts that you need, and use good sense during assembly - like, not to create any static electricity as well as taking preventative measures against finding any along the way, for example. In fact, if you lack the dexterity to do the actual assembly process, perhaps someone you know would be willing to lend a hand. It really is as simply as plugging everything in where it goes.

As with most of what I can write about, this really only pertains to Windows-Based computing, as that’s all I know. To my knowledge, a MacOS machine has to be purchased that way, and I know nothing of Linux, but the main building procedure should be the same.

If this starts to sound like an advertisement for Newegg.com, it isn’t. Just that, during my research, I tried to find a place that had everything I need to buy so that I could save some cash on shipping - besides, it’s really nice to get all of the stuff right around the same time. Believe me, once you start down this process, you start to get this exciting feeling in your gut that doesn’t go away… even as you’re firing up Windows for the first time on your shiny, new computer! Also, as I searched the internet for the best prices, the best links I could find elsewhere were all slightly more expensive, plus I couldn’t get everything I wanted in any one shop (Newegg, being the exception - not to say that others don’t exist). For someone like me, I need a place like Newegg, because that is where I do most of my actual designing. After I finally decided this, I settled down and created an account. It doesn’t obligate you to anything, but it gives you an incredible My Wishlist feature - where you can save several lists with custom names. So you can (and should) make several ‘builds’, each with their own custom wishlist. This way you may easily weigh the differences between price and quality, this style or that, etc., Plus when it comes time when something new comes out or certain items become unavailable, if even temporarily, you have a speedy way to make a switch. With that done, let’s go shopping!

Decisions decisions…
In this modern age of computing, the tables have really turned. Before we had to really watch our purchases as you never really knew if you’d get a product that isn’t really up-to-snuff. Nowadays, you can buy the least expensive laptop from pretty much anywhere and it’ll last you for years. Buying PCs is like that, too. Technology has grown to a point where you can expect to get great pricing on some of the best new products available. What we’re looking for is a bit more special that the average gaming device. I used to build my rendering machines based upon a gaming PC, with the mentality that if you can run high-end games, you can run anything. While this might be somewhat true, it doesn’t entirely apply to Carrara or most of the other 3d rendering apps - and it certainly won’t get you the best deal for the fastest render speeds. Know this now. I am no expert on this. But I’ve done it before - and most successfully, too, I might add.
Carrara would rather have a quad core processor than a zippy video card. This is not to say that the graphics card won’t help. You want a good, solid card that can really turn out good OpenGL results - but in Carrara, it won’t help at all with rendering. Times are changing, however, and GPU (graphics processor unit) rendering capabilities are becoming a reality - but Graphics cards are an easy upgrade if you choose wisely on a good motherboard, but we’ll talk about those a bit later.
Quad core isn’t the top dog anymore, either. I have an AMD Eight Core Desktop processor. Garstor uses server class stuff, which I am incapable of talking about at this point. Too bad, too. Because server class motherboards allow two, possibly more by now, processors on the same board (in the same computer). So two eight core cpus would give us sixteen cores, which isn’t just twice as fast - it much faster than that!

That being considered, I make cpu (central processing unit - or processor) options my first priority. Since we’re build a desktop PC workstation, I’ll try to avoid bringing up server-class parts. For that stuff, you need to look in a different category at Newegg, which is good. Server-class and desktop parts are often not compatible.
In my search for a cpu, I have a few things in mind that I’m most interested in at first. Once those criteria are met, then I’ll look deeper at the products themselves and make sure that it would be an acceptable choice, like customer reviews, and other consumer specs. For a Carrara workstation, my first glance goes to the number of cores and the price, all at the same time. I am always working under an impossibly tiny budget, so I have to make do within the lowest prices I can find. If cost is less of a concern, you may feel free to drop that part. So I check both AMD and Intel processors in the ‘Desktop CPU’ category and look for the biggest bang for the buck. In my case I really lucked out and was shocked to find an eight core processor at a very affordable price, through AMD. The very next thing I check is the slot configuration. This is how the cpu connects to the motherboard. Usually noted by a code name, otherwise the number of pins. This is how I’m able to check the availability of compatible motherboards - which is the next thing on my list.

Picking out a good motherboard begins with sorting them by the cpu connection type, as mentioned above. Once this criteria is met, I begin looking for the maximum amount of (and the type of) RAM the board is capable of handling. I never want to spend money on multiple cores only to have them sitting idle due to a lack of rather affordable RAM, which we’ll shop for next. This may seem funny, but if you don’t pay attention to this detail, you could end up getting excited over, and buying, a motherboard that can’t use all of the RAM you’ve bought. How embarrassing! Once this is out of the way, I look next at the video card compatibilities, number of SATA(newer, faster hard drive/disc drive interface) connections, USB connections, what kind of features it has in general. I try to save money, but I also try to get the best motherboard I can, even if it means that I have to find a way to increase my budget. The motherboard is the information highway that gives your cpu direct control over everything in your system. Together the cpu, motherboard, RAM, and your primary Hard Drive make up the brain of your computer. These parts should get major consideration.

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Posted: 13 March 2013 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 103 ]
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Something that I’ve just seen is the new cpu product line from AMD that combines cpu and Radeon graphics card right in the cpu chip! Definitely requires some looking into. If this allows Carrara and other multi-thread enabled software to utilize the 384 Radeon cores… yikes!

It helps to work your shopping decision together at this point. You’ll want to spend a bit of time on motherboards, then RAM and Graphics cards and Hard drives, etc., and go back and fourth a bit so that you have a better idea of what kind of interfaces you need to have on your motherboard, what type and speed of RAM the motherboard requires, how many hard drive connections are available, etc., Certain chipsets on the motherboard may work smoother with certain graphics and vice versa. Similarly, you’ll want to pick the fastest interface for hard drives at the time of purchase that your budget can afford - and the right RAM needs, etc.,

I like the idea of RAM that includes some sort of cooling assistance - like heat sinks or something better. I only use heat sinks. Nothing separate to install - they come built onto the RAM boards. It’s likely that my extremely cool case would keep unassisted RAM cool enough, I think of the fact that I’ll sometimes have renders go on for longer than a day - sometimes even three. As rare as this may be (for me) I like to feel confident that my precious parts aren’t going to melt when I push them hard.

As I’ve mentioned what Kevin was saying, I think that many interface graphics issues can be helped, not by the greatest gamer video card so much as the best card at OpenGL, as that is what the workspace view uses. The one he ended up getting IS a fantastic gaming graphics card -and that is a great place to start looking. But other than that, Carrara doesn’t really need a great card. I was looking for something inexpensive, and that’s what I bought - which just happened to be a really good video card. Sometimes you find amazing deals just at the time that it comes to place the order. If you have the time, do a quick check through each category of parts that you may have had to compromise on due to budget. Sort stuff from lowest first and see if a better deal awaits.
Otherwise, when I’m shopping for the parts in the ‘design’ phase - where I may be slightly less concerned at price in lieu of discovering what’s available, I’ll often sort items by consumer ratings. Especially when it comes to motherboards - be aware that often the most expensive, ‘elite’ board might not be as well suited to your needs as one that costs a fraction of that cost. Some features that are perfect for advanced gaming may have nearly no effect on Carrara-oriented work. If you game on your workstation, perhaps you want something like that. I use mine for everything that has to do with my video production which includes Sound, Image, and Video editing and mastering along with basic internet and various handy utilities that aid in the dealing with content purchases, installation and management.

I’ve also just noticed that many companies, several of which are big RAM makers, are now making SSD (solid state hard drives), which have no moving parts - which makes them faster. When shopping for hard drives, I like to go large. As large as I can afford - and as many as I can afford. I’ll often dedicate an entire drive that I’m not using any more strictly for Temp and scratch disk use. Then if I need a temporary spot to toss some files to… there it is. I’ll take a good, fast internal drive over external hard drives any day. The ultra-fast connection of SATA over USB makes a big difference when it comes to accessing runtimes and other vital information. Keep in mind that the textures for all of your runtime contents are in that runtime folder. So unless you save all assets completely when you save to a faster drive, you’ll still need access to that runtime folder at render time. Good external drives are essential to me as well, though. I need them to help pass files and information from one computer to the next. Internet cloud drives are on the frontier right now, and will likely help eliminate such a drastic need, but now that their prices are low, I like to collect 250GB and larger portable hard drives when I see them on close-out sales.
I use SATA 6GB/second internal hard drives. When I bought my 8 core Zambezi processor from AMD, Spooky bought the higher cost version Zambezi, too. He claims that the SSD’s are the way to go for D|S, Poser, Carrara, etc., I think it would make for an interesting test to see how much performance difference there actually is. I know that I can really tell when my external USB drive is connected. It totally slows down the system drastically when something decides to have a look at it’s contents. Which, for some reason, often happens when loading contents from a runtime - even though my runtimes are internal. Still… the system will pause, and I’ll hear that external drive spin up and start responding its thoughts back. Something else to keep in mind - it’s a good idea to keep slower drives unplugged from the workstation when not needed.

Innards are the primary concern. If all you can afford for them is a cheap case, or use an existing one, do that. My genius brother always told me not to spend any extra on a fancy case - put that money into the system instead. My first build ignored his advice, which has been to my benefit ever since. I prefer to seek out a case that comes with gamer-class cooling built in and, just as importantly, filtered intakes. I get nervous when I approach my tender electronics with canned air or the end of a vacuum tube (recommended by many PC experts over compressed air - but be mindful of static electricity and bumping fragile parts) so I opt for budgeting in some extra cash for a good, solid case that isn’t going to cut me to shreds as I install my components, has filters where the intake fans go, and comes with at least two 120mm fans. I look for other features as well, and it’s quite difficult to find a case that has a side panel intake, that has a filter there. Not a big deal. I simply order an extra filter or two or three from whatever selection they have available at the time.

External interfaces, like USB, Firewire, Audio, etc., and their placement on the case could easily be of a big concern to some of you as well. Go for it. Find a case that matches what you want and how you work. The fact is, building your own will save you enormous amounts of money, so you might as well make it something that you are ultimately pleased with using. A few posts down, Evil Producer highlights some Mac Machines that are currently available at this time of writing. Keep in mind that, although I don’t have a support line to send my computer to to have it fixed, nor anyone to call who knows how my machine is configured, I built an Eight Core (3.1GHz per core) PC with 16 GB of RAM (heat sinked), a 1 GB DirectX 11 GT520 Fermi-class video card, 1.5 TB internal Primary hard drive, DVD multi burner/drive, Military Spec Motherboard with 32GB Ram capacity, No mouse, keyboard or monitor, as I have those already, A very high quality Antec three hundred - two case with filtered intakes, extra fans and filters to fill all available slots in the case, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (no use for the Pro added features that I know of), Sony Home Movie HD Studio Platinum Suite, which also includes Sound Forge and DVD Architect all for less than a thousand dollars!

Like I said earlier, I know nothing of Macs. I do know that I am the only one of my parents children who doesn’t have a Mac. The rest use them almost exclusively. Everybody I know who owns a Mac will likely remain Mac users the rest of their lives - which definitely says that Apple is certainly doing something right! But these saving are what will keep me in a PC for the rest of my life as well. Not just the cost savings either. Once you start down the road I’ve described - even if only at Newegg - you’ll see the amazing choices available. I tweak my designs around what makes all of my software happy - and it works!

BTW, the pictures in this article are near random, and not from my PC build.++
++ Exception: The Case in the image below, with blue fan lights, is a larger, more stylized version of mine. I opted for no side window and no colored lights. Mine, being a smaller unit, also does not have the sloping top - but it did come with all of those big fans, including the roof-mounted giant - a 230mm exhaust fan! The two big blue fans in front, as with the rest in the case, are 120mm silent fans. The case is very quiet.


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Posted: 13 March 2013 05:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 104 ]
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With limited time, it’s frustrating to leave this article in shambles, but… it is what it is, and real life always has to take precedence over my fun typing time. Please know that I’ll be back. If you have any questions regarding this or other subjects within this thread, please post your concerns.

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Posted: 13 March 2013 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 105 ]
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