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Completely new to Carrara and 3D, Badly Need “Where To Start” Advice
Posted: 31 July 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Ok, I am NOW officially impressed:


GT40 vs Ball Bearing:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eDov7NwxGU&feature=related


This is exactly the kind of realism I wanted to see out of Carrara!  (Whew!)


And a nice display of the physics engine to boot!

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Posted: 31 July 2012 09:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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bobh - 31 July 2012 07:36 AM
Kevin Sanderson - 30 July 2012 05:12 PM

Ease of use, price and the ability to use DAZ content keeps me with Carrara and Studio. I would’ve gone to 3ds Max long ago if I could afford it and the plugins you need, and could figure out how to get DAZ content in easily. I gave up on modeling my own content years ago.


Now this is a very interesting comment to me, especially as a newcomer.  The first part of the comment, about price and DAZ content is certainly understandable, and I agree - the additional DAZ content and inter-app compatibility is a HUGE appeal to anyone who wants to hit the ground running.  But the additional comment about giving up on modeling is what’s really interesting to me. 


I would consider Carrara to be a fairly simplistic place to start with learning modeling (at least this is my great hope, because I want to model more than anything).  I know modeling is a lot of work, takes a lot of time. 


Here’s what I’m noticing, and where somewhat of a concern of mine lies:


As a simplistic observation from a “noob”, I refer to nearly all the Carrara work out there that makes use of DAZ content.  Aside from the animation itself, which I know is really difficult to get right, the look itself never seems to rise above “very basic video game”.  I’m cautiously including the works of the real gurus out there who are pretty much considered Carrara deity (their work is much better, but still…)


HOWEVER - the little custom modeled stuff, like the included model of the trumpet laying on the ground that comes with Carrara library - that thing renders out like a real photograph!  I mean, it deserves a well-earned “Wow!”.


So I’m baffled - Why on earth do I never see any Michael/Victoria/DAZ content animations made in Carrara looking like the stunningly realistic quality levels of that little trumpet image - or some of the other dazzling architectural renders I’ve seen?  Especially when Carrara does prove that it is capable of doing so?  I’m totally baffled.  Really hoping someone can shed some light (and maybe a few appropriate shaders) on this for me.  Is obtaining such a result that elusive?  Impossible?  Or is it so much work for that level of realism that nobody bothers? 

 

 

Modeling is not fun to me. It sems like building a house with one hand. That’s how hard it is for me. I have never tried it in Carrara, though.

I really believe that making things look real is not easy and most people posting are either hobbyists who just want to make something for fun and not perfection or the others don’t have time or maybe simply don’t know or have the eye for it. Also, until recently with the advent of much faster processors and cheaper memory, it was hard for many to achieve realism in Carrara because it takes time to do test renders. Also, it’s a fast program, but there are newer, faster renderers. But if you take the time to get your settings right by experimenting, you can obtain fast quality renders. That said there are some quality renders that approach realism or look very real in Carrara…

You have, of course, the Howie Farke’s (Martin Hedenstroem) scenes which do take a while to render.

http://www.howiefarkes.com/

Patrick Tuten’s site:

http://www.tutengraphics.com/

3D Celebrity’s (Alyssia Indermuehle) Carrara hair promo pics all rendered in Carrara:

examples:  http://www.daz3d.com/shop/dynamic-venus-hair/

http://www.daz3d.com/shop/dynamic-romance-hair/

http://www.daz3d.com/shop/dynamic-catwalk-hair/

And Aly’s Mountain scene: http://www.daz3d.com/shop/carrara-vista-in-the-clouds/

DimensionTheory (Jeffrey Felt): http://3dimensiondigital.com

http://3dimensiondigital.com/images/gallery/car/popups/BreakfastFinal.jpg

Phil Wilkes has some great renders over at Renderosity and here with his Carrara hair and Realistic seas in the store and also Restif and Moviehawke1 have some good renders over there done in Carrara.

http://www.daz3d.com/shop/carrara-realistic-seas-2/


http://www.daz3d.com/shop/crista-hair/


Animations take more work and time so they are rare, but they are out there, but many just use Carrara as VFX, etc.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AfC6s5ocH8

 

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Posted: 31 July 2012 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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all Aniblocks I am afraid! I openly admit I use premade content and just tweak stuff
the dance off was rendered in iClone with Poser and Genesis figures imported via 3dxchange after exporting as fbx files from Daz studio,
a combination of Gofigure aniblocks and iClone iMotions used.
Carrara rigging exports as fbx and imports into iClone too btw, I rig stuff not nessesarilly stuff I have made and use in Carrara and iClone
Carrara rigging does not work in studio or Poser though I have been playing with obj files of figures using morph targets to animate them in studio.
I play with a lot of software!
the lipsync is Daz studio 32bit lipsync but I also have the mimic plugin for Carrara and use it, I think studio does lipsync better though myself, Carrara a bit mumbly looking.

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Posted: 31 July 2012 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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wendy♥catz - 31 July 2012 09:57 AM

...
the dance off was rendered in iClone with Poser and Genesis figures imported via 3dxchange after exporting as fbx files from Daz studio,
a combination of Gofigure aniblocks and iClone iMotions used…the lipsync is Daz studio 32bit lipsync ...


”...And I then passed it through a cheese grater, and then reprocessed it in blender (as in kitchen appliance with rotating blades), and then re-modeled it all using Testor’s model cement.  I then patched it all with Windows 7 Service Pack 2, and compiled it in Borland Turbo C++ 3.0.  I then linked it all together in Adobe Flash Professional, rendered it out to a FLV file, and ported it into Apple QuickTime and posted it online.”


(singing) “...and a partridge in a pear treeeeeeee”


Heh


Crap, I’ve got SOOO much learning to do.  Sheesh.

 

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Posted: 01 August 2012 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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bobh - 31 July 2012 08:54 AM

Ok, I am NOW officially impressed:


GT40 vs Ball Bearing:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eDov7NwxGU&feature=related


This is exactly the kind of realism I wanted to see out of Carrara!  (Whew!)


And a nice display of the physics engine to boot!

That is good work from a pro.

Did you have a chance to check the links I posted above?

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Posted: 01 August 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 01 August 2012 08:39 AM
bobh - 31 July 2012 08:54 AM

Ok, I am NOW officially impressed:


GT40 vs Ball Bearing:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eDov7NwxGU&feature=related


This is exactly the kind of realism I wanted to see out of Carrara!  (Whew!)


And a nice display of the physics engine to boot!

That is good work from a pro.

Did you have a chance to check the links I posted above?

Yes, I did, there’s some pretty good stuff and then there’s some REALLY good stuff.  My main interest is seeing how well Carrara can truly stand up to the competition, mostly in terms of realism. 


I actually do have MAX and Maya in my available arsenal, but Carrara appears to be just downright fun, complete, do-it-all, and “quick and dirty” in ways that 3DS and Maya never will be.  So I’m in my decision-making process about what 3D product I will eventually call “home”.  I’m very loyal, for better or worse, and have the habit of sticking with one do-it-all product and shunning all others - if I can find one that fits, which is usually fairly rare. 


So far, Carrara has it all, but my main concern is quality/realism.  It doesn’t take long to be producing very realistic looking scenes in 3DS or Maya due to their power, but no other product “does it all” like Carrara does, especially for the price and feature set of DAZ product compatibility, and on lesser hardware that don’t break the bank.  I have never seen nor heard of a cheaper or simpler render farm solution.  And the DAZ world is the only place there is to have a newcomer to 3D like me hit the ground running in virtually no time.


The DAZ world is VERY compelling in terms of the tools, but have me scratching my head about the popularity vs realism problem I’m seeing.  Most everything I see looks like cheap video games, not photo-realistic, which is what I’m after (as much as my skills allow).


Seeing that GT40 clip really perked me up and proved to me (at great relief) that Carrara can in fact measure up to the big dogs in VERY impressive realism and even physics to a large degree.  We might not be cranking out content in Vray or iRay, but close enough nonetheless, especially for my cell phone apps and video game creation needs.


Anybody feel like sharing their “learning the ropes” stories, and how easy/fun/nightmare they found it to be to learn the ropes in the DAZ world?  Or maybe some awesome tips that a newcomer should know early on?  grin

 

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Posted: 01 August 2012 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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and for not realistic but awesome
check this out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLK2Niozipw

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Posted: 01 August 2012 06:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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bobh - 01 August 2012 03:40 PM
Kevin Sanderson - 01 August 2012 08:39 AM
bobh - 31 July 2012 08:54 AM

Ok, I am NOW officially impressed:


GT40 vs Ball Bearing:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eDov7NwxGU&feature=related


This is exactly the kind of realism I wanted to see out of Carrara!  (Whew!)


And a nice display of the physics engine to boot!

That is good work from a pro.

Did you have a chance to check the links I posted above?

Yes, I did, there’s some pretty good stuff and then there’s some REALLY good stuff.  My main interest is seeing how well Carrara can truly stand up to the competition, mostly in terms of realism. 


I actually do have MAX and Maya in my available arsenal, but Carrara appears to be just downright fun, complete, do-it-all, and “quick and dirty” in ways that 3DS and Maya never will be.  So I’m in my decision-making process about what 3D product I will eventually call “home”.  I’m very loyal, for better or worse, and have the habit of sticking with one do-it-all product and shunning all others - if I can find one that fits, which is usually fairly rare. 


So far, Carrara has it all, but my main concern is quality/realism.  It doesn’t take long to be producing very realistic looking scenes in 3DS or Maya due to their power, but no other product “does it all” like Carrara does, especially for the price and feature set of DAZ product compatibility, and on lesser hardware that don’t break the bank.  I have never seen nor heard of a cheaper or simpler render farm solution.  And the DAZ world is the only place there is to have a newcomer to 3D like me hit the ground running in virtually no time.


The DAZ world is VERY compelling in terms of the tools, but have me scratching my head about the popularity vs realism problem I’m seeing.  Most everything I see looks like cheap video games, not photo-realistic, which is what I’m after (as much as my skills allow).


Seeing that GT40 clip really perked me up and proved to me (at great relief) that Carrara can in fact measure up to the big dogs in VERY impressive realism and even physics to a large degree.  We might not be cranking out content in Vray or iRay, but close enough nonetheless, especially for my cell phone apps and video game creation needs.


Anybody feel like sharing their “learning the ropes” stories, and how easy/fun/nightmare they found it to be to learn the ropes in the DAZ world?  Or maybe some awesome tips that a newcomer should know early on?  grin

The big thing is to get used to the idea that you will have to adjust shaders for anything Poser or even DAZ related as Carrara is a different beast in how it handles them, as all programs are. Shaders are always different. That may be one of the reasons why you aren’t seeing more realistic V4/M4 stuff. Lighting is important, too (many folks don’t bother to learn it).  There are some tutes and video tutes on YouTube that come to mind that explain how to adjust the shaders for Poser/DAZ characters. That info may also be in the videos you have. Also, make sure you buy the characters with the best textures. A hurdle many have to get over is there are many really bad textures (over airbrushed/solarized, baked in specularity, etc.) in the Poser/DAZ universe. YMMV also with even the SSS sets sold for Carrara. You will have to tweak and adjust, which requires many test renders. The good thing now is that the latest computers really can speed that process up where just a couple years ago, it took a lot of time to do test renders.

 

Since you are new and probably don’t know the history, there has also been a widely divergent opinion among Carrara users about the pursuit of realistic versus stylized and those who don’t care either way (one of the big reasons you can’t find more realistic examples along with a smaller user base than most other programs). Then there are the folks who are anti-content and those who are pro-content and those who don’t care either way. There has been much drama over the years since DAZ saved Carrara when eovia folded their American operation. Some users have moved on frustrated with the slow addition of new features (some like dynamic cloth have been held up for a few years now… Carrara was supposed to get it right after DAZ Studio but then problems with Optitex surfaced. Workarounds are the only way to get that in right now (unless you have an older version of DAZ Studio before the export was broken) or dynamic cloth from Poser. Soft body cloth is improving but not quite there yet IMHO.) Many are still upset about the lack of a new updated manual (some of them moved on), though the manual that exists covers many of the features as not much has changed (DAZ has been promising new docs once they get DAZ Studio docs wrapped up). New features are a moving target and the best help for those are right here in the forum from Andy (3dage), Holly, PhilW, DimensionTheory, evilproducer and a few others. Boojumbunn is the guy who’s the expert on setting up a render farm as he has one in his garage. (Animations are rare as setting up a render farm that worked close to like it should has only been fairly recent. The older render farm network setup was quirky and different than others.) Wendy knows a lot about getting stuff in and out of different proggies as she is always trying out new stuff. Hope all that helps.

More helpful tutes and examples http://www.carrara3dexpo.com/

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Posted: 02 August 2012 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 01 August 2012 06:31 PM

The big thing is to get used to the idea that you will have to adjust shaders for anything Poser or even DAZ related as Carrara is a different beast in how it handles them, as all programs are. Shaders are always different. That may be one of the reasons why you aren’t seeing more realistic V4/M4 stuff. Lighting is important, too (many folks don’t bother to learn it).  There are some tutes and video tutes on YouTube that come to mind that explain how to adjust the shaders for Poser/DAZ characters. That info may also be in the videos you have. Also, make sure you buy the characters with the best textures. A hurdle many have to get over is there are many really bad textures (over airbrushed/solarized, baked in specularity, etc.) in the Poser/DAZ universe. YMMV also with even the SSS sets sold for Carrara. You will have to tweak and adjust, which requires many test renders. The good thing now is that the latest computers really can speed that process up where just a couple years ago, it took a lot of time to do test renders.

 

Since you are new and probably don’t know the history, there has also been a widely divergent opinion among Carrara users about the pursuit of realistic versus stylized and those who don’t care either way (one of the big reasons you can’t find more realistic examples along with a smaller user base than most other programs). Then there are the folks who are anti-content and those who are pro-content and those who don’t care either way. There has been much drama over the years since DAZ saved Carrara when eovia folded their American operation. Some users have moved on frustrated with the slow addition of new features (some like dynamic cloth have been held up for a few years now… Carrara was supposed to get it right after DAZ Studio but then problems with Optitex surfaced. Workarounds are the only way to get that in right now (unless you have an older version of DAZ Studio before the export was broken) or dynamic cloth from Poser. Soft body cloth is improving but not quite there yet IMHO.) Many are still upset about the lack of a new updated manual (some of them moved on), though the manual that exists covers many of the features as not much has changed (DAZ has been promising new docs once they get DAZ Studio docs wrapped up). New features are a moving target and the best help for those are right here in the forum from Andy (3dage), Holly, PhilW, DimensionTheory, evilproducer and a few others. Boojumbunn is the guy who’s the expert on setting up a render farm as he has one in his garage. (Animations are rare as setting up a render farm that worked close to like it should has only been fairly recent. The older render farm network setup was quirky and different than others.) Wendy knows a lot about getting stuff in and out of different proggies as she is always trying out new stuff. Hope all that helps.

More helpful tutes and examples http://www.carrara3dexpo.com/


REALLY good info and advice.  And thanks for dropping the names of those to come groveling to for tips and info.  grin


I did stumble across the “sore spot” about the documentation issue, and agree with the complaints.  As a software developer, I’m amazed to see such a spectacle, especially for software as complex as a 3D rendering product - I mean - “seriously?”.  I have also read in product reviews that Carrara’s modeling tools are becoming outdated.  Not horribly, but enough to draw criticism in reviews now.  I remain neutral on that one for now, I’m gonna be happy just to learn them.


Good comments about the shaders.  The general gist of things that I’m starting to come to understand is shaders shaders shaders.  Overwhelmingly so, it seems.  I practically know nothing about them, but will soon.  Good points about DAZ content and shader “compatibility issues”.  Is there a way to be able to tell which DAZ content has good/crappy shaders and textures before making the purchase?  This appears to be a potentially annoying issue for a guy like me who’s after as much realism as I can pull off.


Drama:  yup - you’ll find it anywhere where a product is both well loved and has weaknesses.  Recipe for much drama.


“YMMV also with even the SSS sets sold for Carrara.” Ok, you got me.  What’s that mean?


And major thanks to anyone contributing to my noobness and answering my questions, it is such a nice thing.  You guys have already given me some really good advice that has me really excited about this product.  Hopefully Carrara is a product that doesn’t require TOO many workarounds for too many weaknesses…

 

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Posted: 02 August 2012 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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I try to work with what I know works. That way I have no complaints with Carrara. smile


You can find good textured characters by looking at the promo pics. They are not supposed to be tweaked by Photoshop so they should be a good indicator. If the skin tone doesn’t look real, you know it’s probably not realistic, though on a couple occasions I have found textures that were actually better than the promo pics… Vanessa by Maelwenn comes to mind…. Angel by Maelwenn also gets used a lot on various other characters. A lot of folks like the DAZ Elite Lana texture. Blackhearted over at Renderosity gets raves about the textures for his new new GNDV4 Athletic and GNDA2 Athletic.

 

There are sub-surface-scatter shader sets for Carrara that are separately sold. They may work for you, they may not as it depends on lighting but I’ve never been really wowed by them. But at least you won’t get the wax look that is all the rage with the Poser folks who are not really clear on the way SSS should look. It’s sad when they don’t believe it’s SSS unless the ears glow or they see that waxy look (which is not SSS). I like the look 3DCelebrity (especially) and PhilW get in their Carrara renders for skin.

 

DAZ has been burned over the past couple years by flaky technical writers who did not deliver the manuals. So the staff is working in their spare time on a new manual for Studio first. There is a person DAZ hired to coordinate the effort. Once Studio is done they were going to start on Carrara which will coincide probably with v9, if v8.5 ever gets finished. You have more info in those videos you bought than you’d probably find in a manual anyway. I learned more from Sub7th’s fruit bowl video tutorial (which is gone now) than I ever did from the manual.

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Posted: 02 August 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Stupid question (yes, there IS such a thing):


What’s “SSS”?

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Posted: 02 August 2012 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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sub surface scattering
the shining a flashlight through your mouth or a bright light glowing through the earflaps effect as I prefer to call it!

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Posted: 02 August 2012 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 02 August 2012 09:36 AM

...You can find good textured characters by looking at the promo pics….
...There are sub-surface-scatter shader sets for Carrara that are separately sold…
...Once Studio is done they were going to start on Carrara which will coincide probably with v9, if v8.5 ever gets finished…
...You have more info in those videos you bought than you’d probably find in a manual anyway…
...I learned more from Sub7th’s fruit bowl video tutorial (which is gone now) than I ever did from the manual….


Where do you buy the additional “seperately sold” content for Carrara specifically?  I saw 14 items in the DAZ store for Carrara, but that was it.  Are you referring to all the Studio4/Michael/Victoria accessory content that you use to eventually import into Carrara?


You mention Carrara 8.5 and v9.  I’ve come across posts where it seems there is doubt for the futur eof the product, which would be an absolute shame because I see Carrara as the “glue” that holds the rest of all these products together (no finished animations without it).  Hoping Carrara’s future is solid, but there seems some doubt.  Care to elaborate?


Videos being better than books/manuals:  1000% agree.  The VTC videos, as well as PhillW’s videos,  are fantastic.  Screw the manuals.


Sub7th’s fruit bowl video tutorial:  is this available anywhere?  Anybody download it somewhere/somehow before it was taken down?


Again, thank a huge Mucho Thanko to posting this information.  I love the history and “superflua” of a software product as much as I love its features.  grin

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Posted: 02 August 2012 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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bobh - 02 August 2012 02:31 PM
Kevin Sanderson - 02 August 2012 09:36 AM

...You can find good textured characters by looking at the promo pics….
...There are sub-surface-scatter shader sets for Carrara that are separately sold…
...Once Studio is done they were going to start on Carrara which will coincide probably with v9, if v8.5 ever gets finished…
...You have more info in those videos you bought than you’d probably find in a manual anyway…
...I learned more from Sub7th’s fruit bowl video tutorial (which is gone now) than I ever did from the manual….


Where do you buy the additional “seperately sold” content for Carrara specifically?  I saw 14 items in the DAZ store for Carrara, but that was it.  Are you referring to all the Studio4/Michael/Victoria accessory content that you use to eventually import into Carrara?


You mention Carrara 8.5 and v9.  I’ve come across posts where it seems there is doubt for the futur eof the product, which would be an absolute shame because I see Carrara as the “glue” that holds the rest of all these products together (no finished animations without it).  Hoping Carrara’s future is solid, but there seems some doubt.  Care to elaborate?


Videos being better than books/manuals:  1000% agree.  The VTC videos, as well as PhillW’s videos,  are fantastic.  Screw the manuals.


Sub7th’s fruit bowl video tutorial:  is this available anywhere?  Anybody download it somewhere/somehow before it was taken down?


Again, thank a huge Mucho Thanko to posting this information.  I love the history and “superflua” of a software product as much as I love its features.  grin

This will keep you busy… and I’m not sure all the search results that exist were returned but it’s a heck of a lot more than 14 items. smile
Do a search on Carrara -  http://www.daz3d.com/shop/catalogsearch/result/?q=Carrara&x=6&y=10
Almost 14 complete pages of 15 items each.

 

Negativity has reigned supreme here for years. v9 was being developed when the cries for bug fixes and the introduction of Genesis was folded into v8.5. It should be noted that Carrara is not free like DAZ Studio, Bryce and Hexagon and as long as they get more stuff right then wrong with 8.5, Carrara may be around a bit longer. It could’ve disappeared many years ago through the different ownership changes but hasn’t. Many are negative because they see Studio get a bunch of nice new shiny features, but they apparently ignored the furor when Carrara 8 was released and Studio followers were concerned. It’s the way it rolls around here. And with DAZ’s small development staff, they can only work so much on each program and seem to devote most of their efforts on each program one at a time. Studio is still being fixed up for 4.5.

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Posted: 06 August 2012 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 02 August 2012 02:58 PM

Negativity has reigned supreme here for years. v9 was being developed when the cries for bug fixes and the introduction of Genesis was folded into v8.5. It should be noted that Carrara is not free like DAZ Studio, Bryce and Hexagon and as long as they get more stuff right then wrong with 8.5, Carrara may be around a bit longer. It could’ve disappeared many years ago through the different ownership changes but hasn’t. Many are negative because they see Studio get a bunch of nice new shiny features, but they apparently ignored the furor when Carrara 8 was released and Studio followers were concerned. It’s the way it rolls around here. And with DAZ’s small development staff, they can only work so much on each program and seem to devote most of their efforts on each program one at a time. Studio is still being fixed up for 4.5.

More good info. 

Please fill me in on something here, as this definitely has me confused:  If Carrara dies, what does the DAZ world use in its place?  This really has me scratching my head.  It seems like insanity to me for DAZ to be ignoring what I am seeing as the MAIN APP of the entire DAZ suite of apps, and putting the cart before the horse with focusing on the “lesser” apps instead of the “Big Cahuna”.  Do I have this right?  Or am I getting this totally wrong?

Also:  THANK YOU for the links on all the content for Carrara.  Whew!  Yes, that will keep me busy - and completely devoid of pocket change for a good long time.  Heh

 

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