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Carrara v8.5.0.149 (PC/Mac) Beta Update
Posted: 17 July 2012 05:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 166 ]
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I tend to share swordkensia’s confusion about the D|S to Carrara connection…


I’m not a D|S user, haven’t been in a very long time, so I’m not up to speed on the relative merits of the two applications. But I’m having a hard time figuring out why people who use D|S would have a need to move to Carrara. Off the top the only thing I can think of is the cloth simulator that Carrara doesn’t yet have. And maybe some of the built in content libraries (shaders, scenes, objects, etc.) that Carrara does have that I don’t think D|S has. But does Carrara really have that much that D|S doesn’t??


But it seems like D|S also has a lot of features that Carrara doesn’t have, which might make people go in the reverse direction (Carrara to D|S Pro). And since they are working now on integrating some of the D|S features into C8.5, it’s pretty clear that Carrara is somewhat behind in those and other areas. And heck, they even developed a D|S Pro, which didn’t exist before. Why would they need two “Pro” apps?


Although a D|S to Carrara integration does seem to bode fairly well for Carrara’s future, if indeed that’s the purpose. I mean, why would they spend development time on integration if Carrara was going bye bye soon? Unless this new format is really more directed at being able to integrate DAZ content and applications with external applications like Blender, so that they’d open up that huge market to DAZ content. Which makes a lot more sense to me. Maybe integration with Carrara is just a by product of that effort.

As a matter of fact, that’s one thing that has baffled me…why doesn’t DAZ at least assist in developing a file interchange format for its content and scenes with external apps? There’s a lot of Blender users out there who would love it, not to mention all the other 3D apps out there. Although, I’m sure it’s a lot easier said than done, and I’m guessing the rigging methodologies in the apps are very difficult to interchange.


Anyway, my personal guess is Carrara doesn’t have much longer to live. And when 8.5 comes out next year, I think most people are going to be very, very, underwhelmed. Cloth won’t be in a usable state for another couple years I’m guessing, and there are just far to many features that it doesn’t have that the competitors do. Heck, even Blender’s getting to a point where it’s blowing the shorts off most competitors, especially with some of the wizz-bang features that hobbyists love to play with so much (smoke, flames, physics, etc.). When the content bridge is made into Blender, and you can do scenes like you do in Carrara and D|S, I think the song is over for Carrara.


Although the wildcard in that theory is whether Blender internals are written to be able to handle the huge poly count objects and scenes that Carrara and D|S can generate, and can handle very efficiently. If Blender bogs down with Carrara scenes, or freezes completely, then it’s a different ballgame. But if that’s not an issue, anybody who sells 3D software has to deal with the realization that there’s a ton of free 3D software out there, and when it comes to free vs. paid, it’s a real tough sell to get people to chose to pay. You have to be pretty serious about it, and willing to drop hundreds of $$, which people don’t do on something they’re only gonna play with for a few weeks and then move on.


So, we’ll see. But IMO, it’s not looking good. Personally, my only interest in new Carrara releases are for the future cloth simulator that can be used with content. Other than that, there just ain’t much reason to use Carrara. So like so much other software, I’ll keep it updated, and keep checking its status, but it’s of limited use until (and if) the cloth gets done.


And BTW, I want to give a bit of a rant…


Just saw an old (I think) interview with some DAZ guys, and one of them commented about how they chose to include Bullet in C8. They did it to satisfy their customers’ desires, wasn’t their first choice though.


That really tweaked me.


Why? Because customers don’t know the ins and outs of integrating any external software with any DAZ software. All we know is we want physics, we want it now, and the quickest and cheapest way that we knew to get it was to grab an already developed and free module and plug it in. Did we know that it couldn’t handle over 100k polygons or whatever? No. Did we know it wasn’t the best choice? No.


So pointing at your customers and saying we did it for you, wasn’t our first choice, but we listened to you, is pretty poor sportsmanship if you ask me. I remember them asking, and I agreed, use the quick and easy free option. Because let’s face it, Carrara was already 10 or 15 years behind the times in that regard, and it seemed crazy to start a 5+ year project to build a cloth sim from scratch. But what we didn’t hear was “oh, but the way, are you sure, because it has such and such limitations?...”

   
Anyway, we’ll see what happens. But I have extremely low expectations, so at least it won’t take much to make me pleasantly surprised.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 167 ]
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Joe,

Lots said in that last post.  I just address one that you mentioned.  Why would a DS user move to C.  I was one of those DS users and found that DS was lacking in the ability to:

1)  Create your own content. (ex: Small items i would need for my scene but was not available anywhere)
2) Much better lighting and render engine (IMO)—plus at the time it had HDRI which DS didnt and I dont think it has still.
3) Way better Shaders etc. Or at least better from my point of view.
4) Able to use other content for example - Import as an OBJ and do skin it quickly.

I dont know if this stuff is better now in DS as I had stopped using DS back around 2.0.  I love Carrara as it is not a toy like DS is…

Just my opinion.

I hope Carrara has many iterations to follow.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 168 ]
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Daz Studio 4 Pro is light years away from Daz 2.0 which as you say was exceptionally basic..


But you are correct in that Carrara’s render engine is good. far better than the 3delight effort that is offered in Studio, plus Carrara’s shader system is excellent,  hence why I Render in Lux when I use Studio, which is an exceptional renderer, but that option for Carrara users was unfortunately taken from us.. Infact, were Daz to go the other way and shoe horn Carrara’s Renderer and Material system into Studio it would be good bye Carrara for definate.


But that just re-afirms my point, the gap between the Latest Studio and the current Carrara is far smaller than ever it was.  Even more so when you consider that Studio 4.5 will have instancing and Geometry shells…., so now landscape scenes with masses of plants will be possible in Studio.


and damn, I cannot believe that I am actually ‘bigging up’ studio…but the reality must be acknowledged.


and one final point if I may….how many people here would be so keen to pay for their point release of Carrara when Daz gives its other software away for free..

I purchased Studio 4Pro, and then got stung when Daz decided to give it away…before that I would have GLADLY PAID ANY PRICE for a Carrara point release…now…welll I’m not so sure..

I will probably wait for Carrara 9, should such a beast ever come.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 169 ]
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well I started off my 3D experience with iClone!
now I find Carrara rigging imports into iClone I have gone full circle!
Daz studio is just there because it is free!
(and quite good for getting Daz and Poser models into iClone!!)
they HAVE fixed the fbx import as well as export for most things in the beta!
so integration for other software suites outside Daz studio is on the cards as achievable
and
I have gotten rigged animated Carrara figures into Blender! and other apps like Houdini and Unreal game engine, I mean stuff RIGGED in Carrara by me ( and 3Dage’s cute Kreature figure as it looks better than my sad stuff), but the point being my stuff actually works too!
so indi game development a real possibility as one can model, rig and export from Carrara, not my thing but there is a market out there!
currently Max and Blender seem to be the main players, very pricey or free and confusing!!!

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Posted: 17 July 2012 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 170 ]
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Instancing would have been one of the big differences for me between DS and Carrara - I didn’t know there were plans for that in DS 4.5, that will reduce the gap!

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 171 ]
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akulla3D - 17 July 2012 07:47 AM


1)  Create your own content. (ex: Small items i would need for my scene but was not available anywhere)


Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that ridiculous modeller that Carrara has. And you’re right, occasionally it’s okay for making a quick prop or something to drop in your scene. But now that they gave away Hex, I think it’s tough to consider the Carrara modeller as a selling point. 

akulla3D - 17 July 2012 07:47 AM

2) Much better lighting and render engine (IMO)—plus at the time it had HDRI which DS didnt and I dont think it has still.


That’s true, I recall that the D|S rendering was also incredibly slow compared to Carrara. So actually, now that you mention it, that was one of the main reasons I moved to Carrara also. I couldn’t stand the slow rendering in D|S.


Now, in the scheme of things, I think we can all agree that the Carrara render engine is pretty sucky, though, compared to what’s out there. Heck, even Blender’s previous renderer, which everyone was complaining about, was much better than Carrara, IMO. Carrara’s renders have always looked very dull compared to the bright, snappy renders you get elsewhere.


And I know most hobbyists get all tingly and goose-bumpy at the mention of Octane and YafaRay and Lux and Unbiased Renderers that take 12 hours to render a frame and GI and all that fancy stuff, and I think that only exists for D|S as a plugin, while Carrara ain’t got that goose-bumpy stuff. And of course when Blender can do content, game over. The new Cycles renderer has all that giggly stuff built right in.

akulla3D - 17 July 2012 07:47 AM

3) Way better Shaders etc. Or at least better from my point of view.


Yeah, I gotta say that the built in shaders in Carrara are really pretty nice, if that’s what you’re talking about.

akulla3D - 17 July 2012 07:47 AM

4) Able to use other content for example - Import as an OBJ and do skin it quickly.


Not sure what you’re referring to here, but I recall D|S has a very nice plugin (free?) that allows you to quickly rig an obj, which Carrara doesn’t have. I recall being pretty impressed with that.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 172 ]
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Having struggled with the poor documentation & tuitorials for Lightwave, Hash Animation Master, Cinema 4D, and Maya, I find Carrara to be the best program for “generally”  learning CG within.  The available tutorials (such as De La Flors’ v5 handbook and Phil Wilkes’ v8 DVD course from Infinite Skills) actually explain the CG universe in understandable English.  Given that the modified-for-the-better Kai Krause interface is a plus, too, I would hate to see Carrara disappear.

But maybe it is indeed time for DAZ to fold all of its software into one program.  I would gladly pay a reasonable price. 

Furthermore, I am not unhappy with Daz support nor with their website.  They’ve always managed to get back to me with a workable solution to my issues. 

And if Daz is in trouble, then we need to rally to their support.  The fact that Carrara is the one program they are NOT giving away is, in my opinion, an indication that they place a higher value on it.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 173 ]
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all you need to do in Carrara to rig an object is line up an existing skeleton, an imported bvh motion for example or create your own
go to animation
attach skeleton and you are done.
Daz studio needs vertex grouping and stuff that is well beyond my ability straight out the box.
you obviously have shown utterly no interest in what I do to get rigged figures into iClone for example,
as posted on various threads
not that I blame you, rank noob amateur that I am
and proffesional that you are
but
if you have overlooked this obvious tool in Carrara, you have totally missed out on what 3dage, Stu Sutcliff, Richardchaos for example and others are doing, who indeed use Hexagon and other software like Sculptris for modelling
that is, rigging and animating in Carrara.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 174 ]
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wendy♥catz - 17 July 2012 01:49 PM


you obviously have shown utterly no interest in what I do to get rigged figures into iClone for example,
as posted on various threads
not that I blame you, rank noob amateur that I am
and proffesional that you are


Uh oh…


Wendy little grumpy today? Huh?


Relax Wendy. Maybe, just maybe, I know nothing about it because I don’t do, or need to do, any of that. Not something I use. So if there’s a nice way to do that, then that’s good. ‘K ?

 

 

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Posted: 17 July 2012 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 175 ]
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The render engine and lights are SOOO much better in carrara.  The terrain and surface replicators make carrara almost equal to Vue for doing landscapes (at least for stills).

I tried out instances in DS4.5 they are fine, but without some sort of way to distribute them or any sort of terrain they are a pain to build scenes (at least compared to Carrara).

If they got a new render engine for DS that would go a long way to making DS better,.  I just bought Poser Pro during the last sale and Firefly is so much better and faster than DS.  (reality is great but it takes ten hours to get a good render).

I’m not sure why they cannot just pluck the best from Carrara, DS, and Hexagon and build one mean program that worrks without bugs

Oh, and is free…

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Posted: 17 July 2012 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 176 ]
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I would add that hair in Carrara is better than anything currently in DS - not saying it’s perfect, but much more realistic, and using proxies it is possible to get some good animations from it too.

And thanks to Dave Gregory for giving my Carrara Training series from Infinite Skills a namecheck!

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Posted: 17 July 2012 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 177 ]
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PhilW - 17 July 2012 04:50 PM

I would add that hair in Carrara is better than anything currently in DS - not saying it’s perfect, but much more realistic, and using proxies it is possible to get some good animations from it too.


And thanks to Dave Gregory for giving my Carrara Training series from Infinite Skills a namecheck!


Unfortunately for Carrara, DS will have hair later this summer that will exceed Carrara’s.  LAMH is truly an impressive project.  Dynamics are on the list as well.


With Infinito + DS4.5 instancing, DS4.5 is rapidly approaching Carrara, and in some ways, already exceeds C’s features.


I’m hopeful that DAZ has some plans to move Carrara forward.


Kendall

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 178 ]
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Really? All that is going on with D|S ?


Well, I think I just saw the fat lady waddling up to the stage…yup, now she’s up on stage, and she just grabbed the microphone…

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Posted: 17 July 2012 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 179 ]
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                Unfortunately for Carrara uses , Daz has never really known what to do with this application. It just does not fit for them . It is kind of this cool thing they own but yet somehow keep trying to make it like Daz Studio extra. While they keep trying to make Daz Studio better and better to replace? Carrara.

                It has become very obvious to me at this point that DAZ’s—focus is DAZ Studio, (besides selling content).

                Carrara is the cool application that does everything but capture DAZ’s heart. I actually feel for the developers who work on Carrara knowing full well the lack of true support they get for Carrara. They are working as hard as they can but there are limits to what a couple guys can do.

                They have kept it running. Even given it a wash now and then. But its not kept in the garage anymore. That’s for Daz Studio.

                It’s a shame as its just such a great application—————but you have to change the oil and rotate the tires now and then or else its just going to stop one day on the road and die.

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Posted: 17 July 2012 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 180 ]
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Keep in mind that Alessandro’s stuff (infinito—http://www.daz3d.com/shop/infinito-1-0/ and LAMH) are 3rd party plugins.


Infinito gives DS landscape generation and modification features that rival and slightly exceed Carrara’s, and the ability to place props/figures on the ground in varying degrees of situations is way beyond what C currently has.


LAMH is a hair generating plugin for DS which uses the Renderman RiCurves facility, or alternately generate an OBJ, to allow for hair/fur creation.  While it will lack C’s dynamics upon release, the creation and styling facilities are on par with Carrara.  Alessandro has stated that Dynamic Hair is on the priority list for the following version.


Carrars’s Ocean and Physics still are features not available in DS, and Bullet integration is said to be on the way for DS but I don’t know how far along that project is.


Carrara’s current shader facility is still a bit more flexible than DS “out-of-the-box” but the expansion of the Shader Facilities in DS to allow for full access to the Renderman RSL (Renderman Shader Language) either through the Shader Mixer GUI, or through the RSL Script Editor will offset that very soon.  RSL is hard to compete with.


I love Carrara and intend to buy the 8.5 upgrade when it is available, but I accept that Carrara’s legacy code-base is a definite disadvantage.  I’m personally hoping that Carrara will become the “High End” Content Creation and Animation Facility and let DS become the assembly and scene layout portion.  With the DUF format allowing movement of inventory to/from both environments I fully see DS4 as an integral part of the Carrara Workflow.  But that’s just my Opinion.


Kendall

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