While on this subject, I should really add this.
One of the first things they teach you when it comes time to discuss “What software do you need in your toolkit?”, there is never an all encompassing list. More, there’s a list of suggestions that resemble the types of applications to try, and get used to. You are taught to get used to learning different software whenever possible, because no one software does it all.
Carrara can open a lot of stuff. It can, as intended, perform so much under its own interface, that my toolkit, as a Carrara owner, is much smaller that an artist whom uses Blender, for example. I buy plugins out of luxury, not necessity. Not the way it is with other applications. And most of my plugins are quite inexpensive. Not so with many other applications.
Enough of my rant, like this, though. I’m really not a big meanie, as most here can testify to.
Carrara, for me, is a blissful launching platform for rendering and animating the cool stuff that I buy here at Daz3d and Renderosity. Solomon is an excellent animator who uses 3DS MAX (latest version, with all of the bells and whistles), and is kind enough to post in our “Animations” forum, here at Daz3d. He is making this really cool Gorilla movie, and landed a nice job with an animation pose content company. He loves the new features of his software and uses it well - and even he says that - for using content the way I use it, Carrara is a great platform to stick with, but the new xxx(A Character Content and animation system within a more expensive version of Max) is really handy and fun to use. We’re talking about a huge price difference. I’ve tried Max and will never say that it is anything short of excellent. But when I took what I learned into Carrara - I actually enjoy Carrara more.
On the other note, about Daz3d, I’ve read articles regarding what Daz has done in Joe’s post. It wasn’t exactly as black and white and down right inhumane as Joe made it sound. Many of the people who used to work on the Daz payroll now willingly work instead as Daz Published Artists. The software thing was an outreach program to try and meet the faces of some new 3d artists, without them having to invest a cent. This was meant to be a much shorter period of time - as those softies cost a lot of money to develop. But they did it anyways, and decided to keep it going for another month. They must really like bringing in new artists because they’re still giving away some of the most popular 3d art software in the world!