Why I finally gave up on Carrara

TheWizzTheWizz Posts: 0
edited August 2012 in Carrara Discussion

I started with Carrara some years ago now, at version 5. I've used it on and off over the years, and have generally managed to do what I needed with it, although at times it's been quite a struggle. I've done product illustrations, logotypes, some animations, some physics. No character animation or soft body stuff though. And not really used any DAZ content, except for some experimentats.

But I recently decided to try something else, and got myself Cinema 4D. I'd like to share my initial experience, since I suspect many here are in a similar situaition.


THE GOOD

Carrara is an amaingly complete and competent program. Looking at its feature list, it's geally got it all. There are very few areas it doesn't cover or support. If you look at features per dollar, it's probably second to none. As a learing tool, and for getting your feet wet in 3D, it's excellent. It covers all the bases, so you can get to grips with the nomenclature and concepts. Ppolygons, edges, vertices, extrusion, shaders, bump maps, displacement, procedural shaders, lighting, rendering, ambient occlusion, global illumination, animation, motion blur, vector blur, hair. The list just goes on and on - Carrara really has it all!


THE BAD

As I see it, the main (dare I say only) problem with Carrara is its flakyness. It crashes. It locks up. It enters what I call "zombie mode" (i.e., windows can me moved, menus pulled down, but no commands work). It leaks memory while rendering. It often fails to import files from other programs - sometimes antirely, often partially, with wierd looking or missing geometry.

Don't get me wrong. It doesn't *always* do these things, as evdenced by all the example scenes you can find on the forums, as well as the result I've manaed to accomplish myself over the years. But it happens often enough to be a real problem. At least if you're trying to get a job done on a deadline, and not just goof around.

I've mainly used it on a Mac, and occasionally on a PC. It seems somewhat more stable on the PC (I haven't encountered the "zombie mode" there yet, for example). So perhaps PC users have a better experience than I have. Also, I assume you can learn how to use the program to avoid all its pitfalls, and be productive. But I haven't.

And, yes, I've tried to be a good citizen over the years and filed bug reports, provided small, reproducible test cases, etc. Occasionally a problem has been improved/fixed. But most of my bug reports are still lingering with little or no attention, year after year, and the bugs have remained in the program (I haven't used 8.x, mind you, but the forums here don't seem to indicate any significant quality improvements).


THE UGLY

So, I've asked myself, why is this so. Being a professional software developer myself, I have some experience with what can go wrong with a program. So here are my thoughts.

1. Loss of original developers. Carrara has been around for many years (started as Raydream, if memory serves me). It seems quite lilkely that the original developers and architects behind it arew long gone. At least most of them. It's possible that there are many areas of the program that aren't well understood by the current developers/maintainers.

2. Featuritis. Each new version needs some new "killer features". At least that's what marketing people tend to believe. As you keep adding new features to a complex piece of software, the quality tends to deteriorate over time. Particularly if those features are added by people not intimately familiary with the original software design.

3. Focus on content - not software. It's clear that DAZ focus and main revenue is the content they sell, not the software. That's why they can sell Carrara for a fraction of what other apps cost (and give away DAZ Studio for free). This is also indicated by features added over the last few verisons, as they have focused more on supporting new content capabilities and formats than making the existing features of the program work reliably.


So I finally decided to give up on Carrara, at least for my professional needs. I still like the program. It has a nice overall feel to it, and it's quite approachable (as far 3D programs go), and fun to use. I'd still recommend it if you just want to play around and learn the concepts. But not if you need to get a real work done, fit into a workflow with files from other 3D apps, or keep a deadline.

I've been using Cinema 4D for a couple of weeks now. It certainly has its learning curve (but having used Carrara helped a lot). I miss a few things from Carrara. But overall, I'm a happy camper. Yes, the program is more expensive (particularly if you want the top-of-the-line Studio version). But it hasn't failed me yet. It has imported the files I've thrown at it with little or no problem. It's not leaked memory as far as I can tell. It has rendered reasonably fast with good looking results (yes, it supports network renderering, just like Carrara). And it hasn't crashed on me once. Not a single time! For such a complex piece of software, that's pretty impressive. I'm sure there are bugs, and it will probably crash on me some day. But so far, it's been night and day as far as reliability is concerned.

So, let's see if this posting gets yanked by the forum admins, or whether I'll get totally shot down by the Carrara fan-boys. It doesn't really matter, since I doubt I'll be coming back here very often. Anyway, thanks or the years we shared. I've learned a lot, and I blieve I "got what I paid for", so I have no hard feelings. I just wish things would have been different, or improved significantly over the years, since I really liked you.

Bye, Carrara.

-JM

Post edited by Richard Haseltine on
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Comments

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, I think your analysis is pretty spot on, as the Brits say.


    The only area I'd see it differently is in the flakiness. Honestly, I've found it to be one of the least flaky programs, especially of this kind of complexity, that I've used (some recent betas are exceptions, though). But yeah, my personal opinion (could be totally wrong) is that its days are numbered. I just can't see a small company handling all of those software packages simultaneously, it's just not cost effective.


    But one area that I think Carrara has pretty much locked up is the ability to render humans and characters (ie, content). Say what you will, but for those CG folks who need to render characters, there really isn't much in the way of choices. Doing it on any of the big professional applications is horrendously difficult, and requires either a lot of money or someone to model and rig from scratch. Once they lose that edge, and content can flow freely into Blender and some others, I think the fat lady will sing.


    Though saying goodbye to any software seems a bit premature, to me at least. It's all about the tool and the task, and you use whatever is best. So I know a lot of hobbyists like to form strict allegiances to certain software like some kind of personal, emotional attachment, but for me I have about the same attachment as I do with my Makita drill. I like it, and it does a nice job, and the battery has a nice long life, but I don't get angry when someone says Makita drills suck. I really don't care, as long as it does what I need it to do. I'll always keep it, as long as it works, and use it when I need it.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,632
    edited July 2012

    lol! you can NEVER have too many tools!
    I collect tools, esp free or cheap ones!
    I keep adding programs to my computer that I do not know how to use, Houdini apprentice, MikuMikuDance and Metasequoia being some of the latest.
    got Messiah, wings3D, Realsoft and several builds of Blender, iClone, Unity, Unreal to name a few!
    Carrara is the only one that I can actually figure out.
    if I had endless money I would definately have Cinema4D, Autodesk's suite of goodies, Modo, Zbrush, Realflow, Adobe's creative suite and a bloody beast of a computer!
    and still only be able to do crap!

    Post edited by JaguarElla on
  • 3dView3dView Posts: 0
    edited July 2012

    The Wizz-----I think you gave a honest and fair post. No harm in getting a more professional application. I have to chime in on flakeyness........I have never really found alot of that. I will say this the better your rigs the less flakeyness goes on.....especially more memory ----but overall I have found Carrara pretty stable ----especially 8.1.

    come back in a few months and drop us more info on your experiences. Always interesting to see how the other side lives. Somehow ...I think you will keep Carrara in your tool kit as pound for pound for speed of results ---its unmatched and we just hope that 8.5 and beyond gives us even more fun.

    Post edited by 3dView on
  • TheWizzTheWizz Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes, I'm sure I'll drop back into Carrara from time to time. Especially if I need to revisit scenes I've already done in Carrara to make minor alterations or new renderings. It's not like I'll delete it from my harddrive. Anyway, the reliability issues I've experienced over the years have been very real and very annoying and time consuming. I've used it on a number of different Macs, with various versions of MacOS as time has progressed. And I never found it to be reliable (mind you, I have't used version 8.x). And it's not just one problem. I've found issues with many aspects of the app. Most of the problems have been reproducible, and I have filed bug reports (which often have been confirmed by DAZ or others). So they shold have been fixable, given the amount of time that has elapsed.

    Anyway, moving forward, I'll focus on Cinema4D for my 3D work, now that I bought it. I'll try to post back here with my experience once I have used it a bit more.

    I should also mention that I bought modo two years ago. However, I didn't find it particularly approachable, and never really groked its shader method (despite spending quite some time trying to). Carrara is certainly easier to get to grips with. Cinema4D was also quite understandable in this area, and its modelling tools are more diversified (while modo seems focused squarely on mesh modelling). I'm sure modo is an excellent program once you get the hang of it. I just never made it over the hump and became productive.

    As always, YMMV, so if Carrara is rock solid for you, good for you. I can only speak for myself, and my own experience. Loved the program, hated its flakyness.

    -JM

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,632
    edited July 2012

    mmm

    Post edited by JaguarElla on
  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited December 1969

    TheWizz said:
    As always, YMMV, so if Carrara is rock solid for you, good for you. I can only speak for myself, and my own experience. Loved the program, hated its flakyness.


    I think the difference in flakiness might be a Mac vs. PC version issue. I've been using software for many, many years, since the 80's, and in all those years, no matter what application I've used that had both Mac and PC versions, you'd always hear the Mac guys complaining that:

    1. The cool new version of the software that was just released doesn't include the Mac version, that's coming later, and

    2. They're experiencing all kinds of bugs with the Mac version


    I feel bad for the Mac guys, cuz we all know it's a much better platform, it's just that (at least I believe this is the case...) developers tend to put less focus and resources on Mac versions because it's often a much smaller market for them. I started out with a Mac when it first came out, loved it, but unfortunately had to move over to a PC, as much as I hate it, because it's ultimately so much easier, for many reasons.

  • TheWizzTheWizz Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    That could very well be the case for Carrara (i.e., being more solid under Windows). I can't really tell, since I've mainly used it on my Macs.

    But so far, C4D has been rock solid on my Mac, so apparently it can be done.

    -JM

  • head waxhead wax Posts: 2,913
    edited December 1969

    As I see it, the main (dare I say only) problem with Carrara is its flakyness. It crashes. It locks up. It enters what I call “zombie mode” (i.e., windows can me moved, menus pulled down, but no commands work).

    for the last three months I've used Carrara continually all day everyday (ecept when I am asleep :) ) well no I render then

    and it rarely locks up
    and when it does it will happen at fairly predictable times

    eg when I have too many windows open in the shader room and i start closing them rapidly with the auto render left on

    I am on PC so it could be that

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Unlike most rantings on this passionate subject, I found TheWizz to have made well-reasoned arguments. (Bravo!)


    Since 3D work in his/her world is mostly for professional purposes, I don't blame the demand for stability. That's very important and I'm sure that "the big boys" in the market ought to provide a better platform in that regard.


    At the risk of being labelled an apologist or shill for Daz, I've always tried to support their side in these arguments. This is primarily driven by a video tour of the Daz office that I once watched. I was surprised at how small the team is and I immediately understood why development cycles were taking so long. After all, there are nearly 1000 developers working on SQL Server at Microsoft and at least that many testers...every build gets put through close to 1,000,000 automated tests (maybe more than that now). Clearly, Daz cannot put that sort of resource against Carrara.


    However, I confess that it is getting harder to defend Daz's position. I am just a hobbyist with 3D and Carrara is just about perfect for me. But I do want the next version to be released before the universe is consumed by heat-death. :-)


    I hope Carrara 8.5 sees the light of day Real Soon Now. I do look forward to reports from TheWizz (or anyone else) about working with other tools...I find them interesting even if I likely won't jump ship to a new product any time soon.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,687
    edited December 1969

    I've got to say, for my part, Carrara 7.2 Pro has been very stable for me, and I'm on a Mac running OSX 10.4.11. Granted it's the now obsolete PPC architecture. I do however, sometimes use an Intel iMac as a render node running the latest version of OS X, and I have had only two issues that cause a crash. I've had a supposed crash when I quit the program. The OS thinks it has crashed and wants to know if I want to send a bug report. The other issue is if I have multiple scenes in the Batch Queue. When it finishes a render, and it goes to load the next scene it crashes.


    I also occasionally get a randomization or gamma issue on the Intel render node when using shaders that use random functions or a scene that has GI enabled. Otherwise it works fine.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    I would add that the cycle of improvement / new versions seems to have stalled recently. I came in on C6 and updates to C7 and C8 came through fairly regularly. But Daz seems to have been working on integrating Genesis into C8.5 for over a year now and progress is painfully slow. And in the meantime, the other improvements and bug fixes that regular Carrara users have been asking for seem to be going nowhere. Carrara is still a very capable program - and I am probably one of the "fan boys" that were referred to earlier - but I do worry that without significant new impetus, Carrara may be facing a bleak future. Let's hope that Daz get their act together and deliver the improvements that we have all been waiting for.

  • McGuiverMcGuiver Posts: 133
    edited December 1969

    My thoughts on Carrara development

    When I think about how Daz 3D has really pushed for Genisis compatibility I wonder if they are only thinking of those customers who wish to use Carrara as another model posing toy.
    The serious companies, such as Dreamworks, Blue Sky, and Disney Pixar use their software to make their own unique characters, sometimes grabbing personal traits from their voice actors. Carrara has this capability.
    Carrara Pro has the beginnings of being a great animation software, needing only a few new tools and upgraded modules to be capable.
    Don't get me wrong, I am aware that there are Carrara customers that use the software professionally, but, Genisis compatibility is not really giving them the needed tools for a professional. Although I am not currently using Carrara to make a living, I still understand it has some vital limitations that keep it from becoming the software of choice for professional use.

    We really need new tools, and improved tools to make the Pro version of Carrara a viable contender in professional animation software.

    I don't wish to bash Daz, selling models is their bread and butter, but Carrara is the tool used by many for their bread and butter, or possibly even a new artists future bread and butter.
    Carrara is a great tool, I just want to see it achieve notoriety as a full featured animation software that anyone can learn.

    C'mon development team....please, bring the pro version of Carrara up to the standard of truely professional.

    When looking at what would make Carrara Pro great, I see:
    improved soft bodies,
    rag doll physics,
    updated particle system that includes dynamic fire, true fluid dynamics and dynamic smoke,
    a new (easy to use) magnet system with either attracting or repellant forces,
    more realistic billowing clouds.
    .....etc....?

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited December 1969

    McGuiver said:
    C'mon development team....please, bring the pro version of Carrara up to the standard of truely professional.

    Why?


    Why do you guys continue to believe that the goal for Carrara should be to be a tool that high end professionals would want? Why?


    DAZ does what makes DAZ the most money. They define who their market is, and they do what they can to get those people to buy stuff. Just like any other company. DAZ's market is NOT professionals. Never has been, and I'm not sure why it would ever be. They enjoy a niche market right now, that almost nobody else has.


    In terms of numbers, there are vastly more hobbyists who want to buy content and inexpensive/free 3D software than there are high or middle level professionals who would switch to Carrara. Not even close. So why would you spend all that development money on adding high end features that most hobbyists have little or no use for, and certainly don't want to pay for, instead of doing stuff that the hobbyists want?


    Most high end professional studios would never switch software. The logistics alone are a nightmare, not to mention the fact that most have their own in-house and/or proprietary software, or used established software that caters to them. Most high end studios have direct connections to those developers, and the developers understand their needs. Does DAZ have that? No. Could they break into that business? I'd be very surprised if they could. Very surprised. Personally, I can't imagine it could happen.


    It's a hugely different market. Hugely different. Pros want features and are willing to pay for them. Hobbyists are not. You can't have a business model where you charge $100 per user for an upgrade with tons of new high end features that cost you $300 per user to implement.


    Yes, it would be nice if DAZ would put in the features I want, many of which are high end features. But I realize that's not possible. They MUST focus on their market and their source of revenue, which is hobbyists buying a $19.95 set of V4 clothing. Otherwise they have no revenue.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    Joe, I think you are right - Daz should not be competing directly with the likes of Maya and 3DS Max. Many hobbyists start with Poser and Daz Studio, and for some that is all they will ever need. For others, they will get a taste for 3D and want to take things further, to add more professional features, while still having access to a large library of content that they have invested in. That is where I see Carrara's biggest niche. It is affordable, powerful and easy to use in that role. But they need to deliver Genesis compatibility as soon as possible AND address the bugs and features that regular users have been asking for for a long time now. I think that they can earn good money from doing that - and at the moment, Carrara users are probably mostly not buying too much Genesis content until it is fully integrated into their platform of choice.

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 236
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    But they need to deliver Genesis compatibility as soon as possible ... I think that they can earn good money from doing that

    Not from me.

    Why?
    - I bought Studio 4 Pro. Will not buy software anymore from DAZ which is more than 20$. No bad feelings, just a decision.
    - for stills I can import Genesis into Carrara
    - for my humble attempts on animation I'm back to V4. With all the "perfect"-fixes V4 bends and looks better than Genesis. And all the aniblocks and Carrara hair etc. I bought work on V4 better or only but not on Genesis. Hoping more for "perfect"-fixes for M4 than for Carrara 8.5
    - the (for me) most impressive feature in DS4 is the smoothing modifier. Not in Carrara 8.5? Fine.



    ************************************

    Back to the thread starter: I really would like to know how things are going on in C4D from the perspective of a Carrara user. Especially shaders and render times. Hope to see some impressions the following months ... (especially regarding the ship wreck DAZ is now for 5, 6 or 8 weeks, which make C4D an option if the forced more or less non-spending on DAZ content keeps going)

  • misterdnamisterdna Posts: 1
    edited December 1969

    I've been with Carrara 6, Ray Dram designer whatever, a strange road of upgrades of the years. And 3D has never been my forte, I do more general design work. But I have used 3D for a project or two every year for the past while. After having an issue with Carrara just now, I decided to try Cheetah3D, and after an hour, I'm am ecstatic to find an intuitive speedy replacement for Carrara. Yay!

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 973
    edited December 1969

    McGuiver said:
    C'mon development team....please, bring the pro version of Carrara up to the standard of truely professional.

    Why?


    Why do you guys continue to believe that the goal for Carrara should be to be a tool that high end professionals would want? Why?


    DAZ does what makes DAZ the most money. They define who their market is, and they do what they can to get those people to buy stuff. Just like any other company. DAZ's market is NOT professionals. Never has been, and I'm not sure why it would ever be. They enjoy a niche market right now, that almost nobody else has.


    In terms of numbers, there are vastly more hobbyists who want to buy content and inexpensive/free 3D software than there are high or middle level professionals who would switch to Carrara. Not even close. So why would you spend all that development money on adding high end features that most hobbyists have little or no use for, and certainly don't want to pay for, instead of doing stuff that the hobbyists want?


    It's a hugely different market. Hugely different. Pros want features and are willing to pay for them. Hobbyists are not. You can't have a business model where you charge $100 per user for an upgrade with tons of new high end features that cost you $300 per user to implement.


    Yes, it would be nice if DAZ would put in the features I want, many of which are high end features. But I realize that's not possible. They MUST focus on their market and their source of revenue, which is hobbyists buying a $19.95 set of V4 clothing. Otherwise they have no revenue.

    I disagree.


    I'm a professional. I LOVE Carrara.


    Right now, the way things are, clients don't want to pay for a $20 V4 figure, much less something I have to build on my own.


    I don't think Daz needs to do a ton more development for Carrara. They need to better document the software they already have and foster more education on it. I use Carrara 7Pro, but I know very few artists who can even scratch the surface on what it can do, I know I don't.


    As the years go on, I find it harder and more expensive to obtain clients and more difficult to service them. They love the IDEA of custom design work, but they don't want to pay for it. They love the idea of quick turnaround, but they sit and spin for months wasting timewhile w could be working.


    For me and many other pros, Carrara offers great value and the power of being able to use V4 and other Daz/Poser content makes it the best solution.


    :coolsmile:

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 973
    edited December 1969

    Frank__ said:
    PhilW said:
    But they need to deliver Genesis compatibility as soon as possible ... I think that they can earn good money from doing that

    Not from me.

    Why?
    - I bought Studio 4 Pro. Will not buy software anymore from DAZ which is more than 20$. No bad feelings, just a decision.
    - for stills I can import Genesis into Carrara
    - for my humble attempts on animation I'm back to V4. With all the "perfect"-fixes V4 bends and looks better than Genesis. And all the aniblocks and Carrara hair etc. I bought work on V4 better or only but not on Genesis. Hoping more for "perfect"-fixes for M4 than for Carrara 8.5
    - the (for me) most impressive feature in DS4 is the smoothing modifier. Not in Carrara 8.5? Fine.


    I agree. I Love those aniBlocks and the perfect fixes for V4 are a miracle and work like a charm.

    :coolsmile:

  • McGuiverMcGuiver Posts: 133
    edited December 1969

    McGuiver said:
    C'mon development team....please, bring the pro version of Carrara up to the standard of truely professional.

    Why?


    Why do you guys continue to believe that the goal for Carrara should be to be a tool that high end professionals would want? Why?


    DAZ does what makes DAZ the most money. They define who their market is, and they do what they can to get those people to buy stuff. Just like any other company. DAZ's market is NOT professionals. Never has been, and I'm not sure why it would ever be. They enjoy a niche market right now, that almost nobody else has.


    In terms of numbers, there are vastly more hobbyists who want to buy content and inexpensive/free 3D software than there are high or middle level professionals who would switch to Carrara. Not even close. So why would you spend all that development money on adding high end features that most hobbyists have little or no use for, and certainly don't want to pay for, instead of doing stuff that the hobbyists want?


    Most high end professional studios would never switch software. The logistics alone are a nightmare, not to mention the fact that most have their own in-house and/or proprietary software, or used established software that caters to them. Most high end studios have direct connections to those developers, and the developers understand their needs. Does DAZ have that? No. Could they break into that business? I'd be very surprised if they could. Very surprised. Personally, I can't imagine it could happen.


    It's a hugely different market. Hugely different. Pros want features and are willing to pay for them. Hobbyists are not. You can't have a business model where you charge $100 per user for an upgrade with tons of new high end features that cost you $300 per user to implement.

    It's just so affordable, easy to use, has come so far, and is now so....so....so close to being something, beginners, hobbyists or professionals could use for any high end work. :)
    I do believe there will come a day when more artists won't need high dollar software with a steep learning curve to do high end work. Brian Taylors "Rustboy" gave me inspiration years ago.

  • EyosEyos Posts: 106
    edited December 1969

    I use Carrara 8.1 Pro for professional work and enjoy it a lot (also used Ray-Dream decades ago...). I find it to be very stable on the PC and also very capable.
    It is an amazingly complex piece of software with tons of features and modules, so I'm amazed that it rarely crash. Quite an achievement I would say, considering the small team that develops it.

  • cal_7ed8fd714dcal_7ed8fd714d Posts: 147
    edited July 2012

    JM (The Wizz),


    good luck and have fun with C4D! Great choice. =)


    It was a financial stretch, but I was able to get R11 with the AdvanceRender3 module a few
    years ago......even on my old laptop it runs silky smooth and very stabile.....a real pleasure to use.
    The learning curve is relatively easy.....the things you can do with Matrix Extrude and Hyper-NURBS!
    It's almost obscene. =O


    Also has a great material editor and rendering engine.


    On the other hand, much as I like using C4D, my interest is more outdoors, i.e. skies, terrains, and
    Carrara is better suited. Also like the cameras, modifiers, animation tools in Carrara better......at least
    more intuitive......i.e. so easy to put a spin modifier on something in Carrara vs doing 359.9 degree
    rotation, then rendering all but the last frame to get a smooth rotation in C4D.


    Also, nice to have the physics in Carrara......may not equal MoGraph, but does a lot now and has potential for more.
    Carrara is a lot of 3D app for a reasonable price, though I can see how having to compete for clients would cause you
    to upgrade to C4D or another "high-end" app.


    Would have upgraded C4D, but now the pricing structure has changed radically, so instead of just being able to get the
    core and the modules a la carte, you have to buy a chunk for $$$$. Too bad.....I think it excludes too many
    potential users, which seems a short sighted policy in this economy. Still an elegant app.


    If you haven't joined already, www.c4dcafe.com is the best place to learn and hang out......Nigel ("3DKiwi") runs a tight ship, but is a great guy, very helpful, and has created many great tuts for $1 ea.


    Hope you show us what you do with C4D, and keep in touch. =)

    Post edited by cal_7ed8fd714d on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    I don't think you can define "professionals" as just those who work for major studios. Yes, they would not even look a 3D package that cost less than £1000, and preferably a whole load more (or as you say, using very expensive bespoke software). But there are many professionals - ie. earning money from 3D - who work for small studios, or as freelance professionals, and Carrara is a good and powerful solution for many of their needs. And as clients are always wanting more for less, using Carrara with bought content (or a mixture of bought and custom content) can be a cost-effective approach. I used such an approach for a music video that I have been working on recently, using a combination of Carrara and Marvelous Designer, bought and custom 3D content, to provide a solution for a band that could not afford the tens of thousands it would have cost with a major studio.

  • cal_7ed8fd714dcal_7ed8fd714d Posts: 147
    edited July 2012

    I used such an approach for a music video that I have been working on recently, using a combination of Carrara and Marvelous Designer,

    Would love to see that, Phil. :)


    Yes, I've seen very professional work done with Carrara......I think one impediment (and I'm not "in the industry".......just anecdotal)
    is that the perception by other pros's is that Carrara is a hobbiest toy app.........someone at the C4D forum said to get a "real
    app", which I thought was unfair. Maybe it can't do bleeding edge animations like the best from C4D, Maya, etc. but wouldn't
    write it off as a toy......."it's the artist, not the app"........though you can only go so far with some apps, e.g. Carrara.


    Also, in a large shop, if everyone is using Maya, Max, etc, Carrara doesn't have a chance, as JoeMomma has previously said in other words. And if was taught in high school or college, it would have more credibility, but it's a "Catch-22" .....the teachers won't teach it since it's not widely used in "the Industry"! Aaagggghhh!!!


    That's why we pushed to get Reality 4 Carrara among other things......to boost Carrara's credibility, market share, etc.
    So "it is what it is.......what will be will be.......so well, tough sh....."


    No more tilting at windmills for me.......just going with the flow. ;-)

    Post edited by cal_7ed8fd714d on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    megacal said:
    I used such an approach for a music video that I have been working on recently, using a combination of Carrara and Marvelous Designer,

    Would love to see that, Phil. :)

    I'll post somewhere on the Carrara forum when it is made public - should be in a couple of weeks or so.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    I don't think you can define "professionals" as just those who work for major studios. .


    That certainly wasn't my intent. It was an example. An extreme example to clearly show the point.


    What I was trying to do (and I even used bold lettering to focus people on my point...) was to explain the difference in the MARKET, from the perspective of a software/content developer.


    There are many professionals who use 3D software. They are in advertising. They work for large and small advertising firms. They make music videos, in large and small firms. They make feature films, in large and small firms. They do general contract work in large and small firms for a variety of industries. They produce TV shows, in large and small firms. There are some "one man shows" who do work for a variety of industries. There are MANY, MANY different types of professionals who do 3D work. Nobody would ever argue with that. It's clearly true and clearly obvious.


    The distinction I was making involves the BUYING HABITS of various elements of those professionals. It's called the MARKET, and companies typically decide to service (ie, market and sell to) one or more of those particular markets, with particular buying habits. Happens in every industry on the planet.


    Now, the point I was trying to make (and it was NOT to put anyone down, but rather to explain the different markets in 3D), was that some of those professionals I described are in the market that is GENERALLY interested in the following:


    1. Low prices for software upgrades. Generally not willing to pay big sums for upgrades, and certainly not regular maintenance fees, since they generally operate on a very low budget, are self employed, and don't have the resources that a larger firm would have.


    2. Aren't interested in software with "collaborative" tools and features, which are absolutely required in larger firms where teams of people work together in a "pipeline" to produce a final result. Which is why these tools are generally found in the higher end software.


    3. Generally need to produce a result very quickly, for very low cost, and therefore tend to buy pre-made content that is very low priced.


    The list goes on, but I think you can see my point. The other end of that spectrum is, obviously, those professionals who work in firms with more resources, a team environment, higher budgets, etc. Those people tend to be willing to pay regular, and rather expensive, software maintenance fees, have on site resources to build materials from scratch, and clients who require VERY specific "content" for the 3D product they generate, which generally cannot be satisfied by premade, off the shelf content. They also have specific pipelines and sometimes in-house software developers who also define how the "content" must be designed.


    Now, none of this is opinion, it's pretty much factual. There ARE different markets for 3D products, and different types of professional users. And clearly DAZ is directing its marketing to one segment of that. But my overall point was that the market segment they are directing their efforts to, the "low end" professional (and that is not intended to attack or denigrate anyone, merely a description of the typical "low end" budget and complexity and needs of this market), is suprisingly identical to the buying habits and needs of the "hobbyist" market (and again, there's no intent to denigrate anyone, so if someone can come up with a less offensive descriptive word then please let me know).


    YES, there are professionals who use any 3D software. That's obvious. And YES, there are professionals who use Carrara. Again, obvious. But the ones who use Carrara, and other DAZ products and content, TEND to be what I have defined as the "low end" market, generally a "one man show" or very small firm with limited budgets and resources, whose buying habits tend to be quite similar to the hobbyist market.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    No argument here - I can agree with that!

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited July 2012

    And BTW, if I can recall the original purpose of the thread...


    I think the main point is that you CAN NOT expect a developer who is targeted at the hobbyist/low end professional market to treat that market, and the software it develops for that market, like a high end professional market. Doesn't make sense.


    High end professionals, that work in teams need stuff like:

    1. Scripting. Tools to allow customization of just about everything, so the professional team can set up their pipeline to make it easy for the entire team to do their part of the work.

    2. Rigging tools: If you're building your "content" from scratch (the modeller) and rigging it (a separate rigger), and making it usable for the animator (yet another person), you need some very complex and flexible rigging tools. Hobbyists generally don't need this at all. They load a pre-rigged figure, and off they go.


    3. Direct support: Many have in house developers or software guys who need to have access to the vendor developers, and are willing to pay for that ability.


    There is a long, long list of differences, features that high end guys need/demand that hobbyists couldn't care less about. And when a high end guy wants a feature, his company is usually willing to pay for it, which most hobbyists aren't. And by that I mean that the true cost of developing that feature must be divided among the users, or else the company loses money. How many hobbyists, when they ask for a new feature, are willing to back that up by paying their share of its development, either with an upgrade fee or regular maintenance fee?


    So the point is, you can certainly ask for all the cool features you want, but don't expect an hobbyist software to be similar to any high end software. First of all, you probably don't want it to be, and secondly you probably can't afford it. That doesn't mean the the hobbyist software is any less good than the high end software, it's just different, and designed for a different group of people with different needs.


    So don't wish too hard for Carrara to be like the high end software. Is it really what you want?

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 1,717
    edited December 1969

    Hi Joe - I take your point, but there are some features that I (and others) have requested which would be (a) very useful and (b) relatively easy to implement (at least I think so from my programming days - certainly easier than integrating Genesis!). If Carrara is to keep its share of the "serious hobbyist / small professional" market, it needs to improve and keep pace with other developments. Carrara should be positioned as the Daz flagship product, but sometimes it feels like the poor cousin to DS.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    I used such an approach for a music video that I have been working on recently, using a combination of Carrara and Marvelous Designer, bought and custom 3D content, to provide a solution for a band that could not afford the tens of thousands it would have cost with a major studio.


    Perfect example !! If I could use your point as an illustration...


    Local band decides they want a music video to promote themselves. They have friends who say, "yeah, 3D stuff is easy, I know a kid who can do it cheap". Then they hear about this guy who does 3D as a freelance, and decide to check him out. They figure it's easy stuff, plus they're a struggling rock band with not much/any money since they only play gigs on weekends, so they want the video done for a few hundred $$ (or whatever that is in pounds...). Whatever the number, it's low.


    So the freelance guy decides to bite the bullet and do the job, maybe makes a tiny bit of money, but more likely loses a bit.


    Now, what kind of market is he in? Is he willing to spend $800 on a new software upgrade? What about a yearly maintenance fee? Is he willing to pay for the scripting feature upgrades that the bigger studios so desperately need, and will pay thru the nose for, because it can save them huge $$?


    No, he wants a free M4 model, and have to pay no more than $19.95 for clothing, and he wants to be able to load that figure, use some prepackaged animated motions and lipsyncs, and get the video out the door at a minimum loss.


    Now I'm just using this as a hypothetical to describe the challenges we all know that the low end professional market faces, and why they tend to have buying habits like the hobbyist. Not a bad thing, just the facts of life.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,550
    edited July 2012

    PhilW said:
    Hi Joe - I take your point, but there are some features that I (and others) have requested which would be (a) very useful and (b) relatively easy to implement (at least I think so from my programming days - certainly easier than integrating Genesis!). .


    Absolutely true. No question. There are things I've wanted for years, and I keep scratching my head trying to figure out why they haven't been implemented, since they're so obvious, would save so much time, and are seemingly incredibly easy to implement. Absolutely.


    Just keep in mind that DAZ does what DAZ thinks will make DAZ money. Which is what you and I want it to do, or else it wouldn't survive to improve Carrara. And we need to realize that making it a one click procedure to move two objects together instead of three clicks doesn't bring money in the door. And while I think that's a no-brainer, many don't agree. I'm sure your "very useful" and my "very useful" might have significant differences.


    So keep in mind they have many competing wants/needs from many users, and sorting that out can be impossible. But yes, there's no question it has its work cut out for it if it wants to be a "flagship" product. But like I've said before, maybe that's not the goal. Maybe content is the sole goal, and maybe Carrara is breathing its last gasp. My point is that people tend to assume "I want this, therefore it's what DAZ should do", and I don't think from a global perspective that's necessarily what they really want, all things considered.

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
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