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Completely new to Carrara and 3D, Badly Need “Where To Start” Advice
Posted: 07 August 2012 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 07 August 2012 10:33 AM

...Joe is correct. You should learn as much about 3D so you can more easily make heads or tails out of what a program can do and the potentials. I’ve been going at this stuff since 1994 in what little spare time I have and it’s always been a challenge but it’s always easier, and saves loads of time if you get the underlying principles. There are good books that explain textures, lighting, animation, proper ways to set up your shots, color theory and more. You will always be learning!


Oh, I certainly intend on doing so.  I did not mean to convey that I never would, or that the videos are all I’m ever going to watch and then stop.  I know how this hoby is a univese unto itself, believe me.  I’ve just been interested in getting my feet “adequately wet” to really fire up my motivation and to keep me going shoudl I run into hardships.  By no means do I intend to skip learning anything, especially proper methodology and concepts.  I just wanted to hit the ground not necessarily runnng, but at least not doing a face plant that would have made me give up.  That’s all.

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Posted: 07 August 2012 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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3DAGE - 07 August 2012 11:19 AM

BobH wink

I used 3D studio, and then Max,  for a long time before I found Carrara, and I still use Max occasionally, but I prefer the ease of use of Carrara both for simply making a quick scene using pre-made content, and for general modelling and animation.

The vertex modeller in Carrara is a decent place to start learning Box modelling, and the tools and skills you’ll learn in the process will transfer to any other program

As far a bringing in 2D drawings and making them into 3D models,
you can use the vertex modeller to view front/back, top/bottom and side elevations of your sketches and use those as a template to layout your basic shape.
You can also use the Spline modeller to import (AI) Illustrator line artwork.

Carrara has many good tools, but as JoeMamma 2000 points out, there is a learning curve, and it’s a big task to try to learn everything at the same time., some thing may seem easy and others will leave you dazed and bewildered, but there are a bunch of very helpful people here who are glad to help.

smile


Very cool!  grin  Your first sentence is EXACTLY the same reason I’m here.  not that I have any real exprience in MAX, but this is the kind of thing I LOVE to read about Carrara - “I use 3DS MAX, but prefer Carrara because blah blah blah…”.

What you say about using my sketches as background templates for modeling is exactly what I was trying (and probably failing to) describe eariler.

Understood about the learning curve.  Duly noted.  I know for a fact that this is the case.  But a pleasant surprise so far on my part is that the software itself is VERY user friendly and easier than I had originally imagined (good grief, compared to interfaces like Maya, it’s a cakewalk).  And once the ground rules and concepts of of 3D in general are understood (as JoeMamma2000 points out), it’s really not as bad as I was thinking.  I personally love the learning process, even if I crash my way through a good portion fo it, and really don’t see it as a chore the way some might.  Why else would I be a systems guru and programmer?  Like I said before, I’m really quite excited about all of this and that I’m FINALLY getting around to actually learning/doing it.  grin

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Posted: 07 August 2012 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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3DAGE - 07 August 2012 11:19 AM

BobH wink

I used 3D studio, and then Max,  for a long time before I found Carrara, and I still use Max occasionally, but I prefer the ease of use of Carrara both for simply making a quick scene using pre-made content, and for general modelling and animation….

3DAGE,

Under what circumstances do you sidestep Carrara and go MAX?

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Posted: 07 August 2012 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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One other beginner book to get is Digital Lighting & Rendering, Second Edition by Jeremy Birn.

This book was mentioned and recommended heavily in various posts on the old forum.  It isn’t written for any one particular program and is clearly written.

Brim’s website also has some stuff on it you’ll want to look at.

http://www.3drender.com/

The Carrara 5 Pro Handbook that was mentioned does have 2 modeling projects that use Hexagon in it and you’ll see how to combine Hexagon with Carrara in it..

Also, you may want to pick up is Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art, by Les Pardew.

You want the 1st edition paperback version of this book it comes as that version comes with the disk that has lots of content on it. that you can use.

The 2nd edition doesn’t have any disk with it.

 

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Posted: 07 August 2012 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Regarding the animation question, if there’s a stunning still image, there’s no reason that there can’t be a stunning animation. The main issue is time and ability. Time to do the animation and set up the all the scene’s components, and the time it takes to render. The other is the ability. It’s one thing to come up with a dynamic pose or frame a spectacular landscape, it’s another thing to get it from point A to Point G and all the points in-between. The other ability is recognizing how to optimize your scene for an animation and how to plan for those optimizations. Like most people here, I have my story I want to tell, but I know it’s not going to be feature length, and right now I’m limited by my hardware, time and ability.


Aside from the issues listed above, the biggest issue in my opinion is scale. Even lower budget computer animated shorts have departments or even just individuals dedicated to modeling, rigging, texturing/shading, lighting, animation (both character and incidentals) etc. There may be some overlap in low budget short films, but not on anything on the scale of a feature. Then there’s the writer, director, etc. Most here are just people with a computer (or two or three), and don’t have time to wear so many hats.


If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are pros here as well as hobbyists. Most have help they can give, the hobbyist no less than the pro in many cases.

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Posted: 07 August 2012 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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3DAGE - 07 August 2012 10:23 AM

HI Joe smile

But isn’t that speculation and rumor?


I’d say,.. personal opinion based on the fact that Carrara is currently being developed to integrate it further into the Daz 3D pipeline by adding the new DUF (Daz User Format) which will allow transfer of assets between those apps

Fine. But you do see my point, right? Neither you nor I nor anyone else here knows DAZ’s plans, so labeling your beliefs as legitimate opinion and implying that others are nothing but illegitimate rumor seems a bit off track, don’t you think? The only illegitimate views, IMO, are those that are presented with no supporting, rational, discussion.

If someone has a rational basis for their speculation, it at least deserves some respect and consideration, no? You presented one reason why you believe what you believe, I (and others) presented about 10 reasons why the opposite could be true. Neither of us pretends to know the answer, and I’m certainly not convinced either way is right, but any rational presentation is at least worthy of consideration and respect, IMO.

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Posted: 08 August 2012 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Jay_NOLA - 07 August 2012 05:12 PM

One other beginner book to get is Digital Lighting & Rendering, Second Edition by Jeremy Birn.

This book was mentioned and recommended heavily in various posts on the old forum.  It isn’t written for any one particular program and is clearly written.

Brim’s website also has some stuff on it you’ll want to look at.

http://www.3drender.com/

The Carrara 5 Pro Handbook that was mentioned does have 2 modeling projects that use Hexagon in it and you’ll see how to combine Hexagon with Carrara in it..

Also, you may want to pick up is Figures, Characters and Avatars: The Official Guide to Using DAZ Studio to Create Beautiful Art, by Les Pardew.

You want the 1st edition paperback version of this book it comes as that version comes with the disk that has lots of content on it. that you can use.

The 2nd edition doesn’t have any disk with it.

Good advice.  I actually do have the first 2 books you mention here on order, and waiting for them to arrive, as well as the Advanced tutorials by PhillW (Infinite Skills).  I’m holding off on the Figures, Characters and Avatars book due to the frighteningly scathing reviews.

 

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Posted: 08 August 2012 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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evilproducer - 07 August 2012 06:30 PM

Regarding the animation question, if there’s a stunning still image, there’s no reason that there can’t be a stunning animation. The main issue is time and ability. Time to do the animation and set up the all the scene’s components, and the time it takes to render. The other is the ability. It’s one thing to come up with a dynamic pose or frame a spectacular landscape, it’s another thing to get it from point A to Point G and all the points in-between. The other ability is recognizing how to optimize your scene for an animation and how to plan for those optimizations. Like most people here, I have my story I want to tell, but I know it’s not going to be feature length, and right now I’m limited by my hardware, time and ability.


Aside from the issues listed above, the biggest issue in my opinion is scale. Even lower budget computer animated shorts have departments or even just individuals dedicated to modeling, rigging, texturing/shading, lighting, animation (both character and incidentals) etc. There may be some overlap in low budget short films, but not on anything on the scale of a feature. Then there’s the writer, director, etc. Most here are just people with a computer (or two or three), and don’t have time to wear so many hats.


If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are pros here as well as hobbyists. Most have help they can give, the hobbyist no less than the pro in many cases.


This post hits many bullseyes, especially the limitations we all face.  And I wholeheartedly agree - every still may as well be an animation.  I have a pretty extensive background in Flash animation for the web, so I at least have the concepts of keyframing and motion behind me, even if it is only 2D.  I’m really only interested in animation, but who knows - producing a still or two in the future may be required every now and then.  Just short animation clips are really all I need for my software products, no feature lengths.


The wearing of so many hats:  Never met any worthy computer-related hobby that this wasn’t the case (including web site generation, etc).  grin

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Posted: 08 August 2012 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Side note:  Out of all the forums I intrude upon, this is definitely the slowest.  Maybe DAZ can one day move this forum onto a 486 or maybe even one of those newfangled “Pentiums” or something….

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Posted: 08 August 2012 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Next question:  Modeling

There seems to be two modeling products outside of Carrara that get a lot of mention, Hexagon and Wings3D.

Which is the better modeling app?  And is using an external modeler that highly recommended over using the built-in tools of Carrara 8?

Would love to hear some opinions on this…

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Posted: 08 August 2012 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Another question, definitely “cart before the horse”:

Realistic fire (particle effect):  Can Carrara do it?  Do we have any good examples?

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Posted: 08 August 2012 01:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Carrara’s modeller is capable, but it has its quirks…. ALL modellers have their stated philosophy about how their spiritually divined eco-therapeutic GUI system will magically make the creativity just flow out of you…. But what it always seems to boil down to is some little function that one program does differently than another, not something labeled on the tin, but some buried little function that compiles numbers behind the scene, THAT will be the reason you end up using one program over another. LOL!


You say you are already good at modeling so you probably have a good idea of your needs. Have a look at 3D-Coat as well. It’s a different kind of modeller but has some powerful features. Sort of a budget-minded Z-Brush….

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Posted: 08 August 2012 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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This one’s easy - Hexagon is the easiest, most intuitive, most cantankerous modeller around.  Has pretty much the same functions as Carrara, plus a few - but it’s just so darn easy to use.

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Posted: 08 August 2012 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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holly wetcircuit - 08 August 2012 01:51 PM

Carrara’s modeller is capable, but it has its quirks…. ALL modellers have their stated philosophy about how their spiritually divined eco-therapeutic GUI system will magically make the creativity just flow out of you…. But what it always seems to boil down to is some little function that one program does differently than another, not something labeled on the tin, but some buried little function that compiles numbers behind the scene, THAT will be the reason you end up using one program over another. LOL!


You say you are already good at modeling so you probably have a good idea of your needs. Have a look at 3D-Coat as well. It’s a different kind of modeller but has some powerful features. Sort of a budget-minded Z-Brush….


Actually, I have no real 3D modeling experience whatsoever other than poking around in a few apps to get a general feel, if I even got that far.  I’m experienced with Flash, but that is apples and oranges to 3D.  Thanks for the tip, however!  grin

 

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Posted: 08 August 2012 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Roygee - 08 August 2012 02:23 PM

This one’s easy - Hexagon is the easiest, most intuitive, most cantankerous modeller around.  Has pretty much the same functions as Carrara, plus a few - but it’s just so darn easy to use.


Can you tell me a few examples of the functions/capabilities that Hexagon has over Carrara’s?  And also what makes it easier than Carrara’s?  Also, you mention cantankerousness (heh).  What makes it so?


Thanks!

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