This is really funny, too. Because I am, like many others, I’m sure, one of the variety that really never planned to figure out exactly what all we can or cannot do with formulas in Carrara. Now here I am at the edge of my seat. Some of the examples I’ve seen within the links of that French page (from this day forth, I shall always refer to that wondrous link as “That French Page! lol) are very close to something I’d love to be able to create in Carrara very quickly. Without it being quick, I’d just rather make an alpha map. Making and using alpha maps is quickly becoming a peeve of mine. I enjoy the Carrara trees and their leaves so much - with their complete lack of use of alphas.
I am beginning to see where it’s likely faster to just have a few extra polygons than it is to use alpha maps.
This is one of the reasons I’ve stuck with Carrara for so long (and why it sometimes pains me to see it in the state it’s in now). It’s got more potential than I think Daz knows what to do with. In fact, hold the cookbook—the feature itself could use better documentation.
(Concentrate your translation on page 8. That’s where it discusses the inputs and outputs, in greater detail than the current Carrara docs do.)
And I’ll toss out one more thing to remember about Carrara while you’re fiddling about with the formulas on That French Page (eh, as good a name as any): If you have a formula object you like, there’s a Formulas folder in the Objects tab. Just drag it from the object list and drop it in there for safe keeping and future use.
The Shaders tab doesn’t have a similar Formulas folder, but you could totally create one. Drag your formulaic creations into that.
In fact, it might be good to gather the assorted shapes and formulas from That French Page as a collection of objects and shaders. Let copy and paste sing.
Some of those other things, like gels, backgrounds, backdrops, deformers, tweeners, and so on, don’t have as clearly defined a place in Carrara’s ecosystem, but remember that to the right of the picker where you chose the Formula option in the first place, there are disk (save) and folder (load) icons. Create a place for your creations so you can come back to them again and again. Load, tweak, save, lather, rinse, repeat.
So now that I’ve had a short perusal of “That French Page”, I am certainly going to be using formulas in Carrara. Does this mean I’ll look heavily into figuring out my own stuff the likes of what Territan (bless his heart) is doing? Maybe. I’ve never done poorly at math - and geometry was just, plain cool! Loved that class!
The point was supposed to be that I wouldn’t really need to. There are examples a plenty on that French page to keep me fulfilled for some time. It’s not like I’m looking to replace box modeling with formulas.
Formula-modeling a human head would be a nightmare incarnate. However, if you want to create something with mathematical precision, a formula is just the thing. And let’s face it, it’s good to have options.
Nobody ever thinks they’ll need the math they’ve learned up to this point. Until they do. And don’t forget there are many cases in nature (e.g. the shape of the nautilus’s shell) that inspired the math in the first place.