I figured it wouldn’t be a smooth transition. I just wanted to give a try.
Right now I have this theory that DS4 will be good for setting up and experimenting with different character designs but that C8 is where I’ll get most of the rendering and scene creation work done. I know some people do everything from within Carrara but DS4 file sizes seem so light that I feel more comfortable creating different combinations until I get just what I want.
Be that as it may, I have Shader Ops and Toon Pro from the Digital Carvers Guild to help me along. Might there be other necessary apps or plug-ins for helping to get the most of my renders?
Carrara’s file sizes can be very light as well. It depends on what options you use when saving a scene. If you use the save all internally, then the file will be large if you use image maps or movies. If you save using local settings or externally, then they can be pretty small as the software is only referencing them. Other things to do that help prevent bloated files is to go under the Edit Menu->Remove Unused Masters and select the options listed there.
As 3dage mentioned, each program’s shader engine is different. To me it doesn’t make sense spending time in DS4 tweaking the shaders, then coming into Carrara and having to do the work all over again, because thigs get lost or confused in the translation between the two programs. It might make sense for adjusting morphs and such if you’re more comfortable with DS4, but things like shaders and lights don’t really work that well from what I’ve seen.
The other thing to consider with the shaders you mentioned is that, while they’ve been optimized for DS4s shader system, they’re still image map based, so if there’s a specular map in DS4, it can be used in Carrara under Carrara’s Highlight/Shininess channel. The same goes for bump, translucency, etc. etc. They’ll just need to be adjusted to get the look you want. Additionally, Carrara has many shader functions that can enhance the final look when used alone or in conjunction with the image maps that may not be available with DS4 without additional plugins.