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Animation Project - Blender vs Carrara
Posted: 18 October 2012 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am about to start my first serious animation project a 3 or 4 minute short.  My goal was to use it as a learning project about animation in Carrara.  which I bought from Evovia just before it was acquired by Daz.  However, I am having second thoughts and may do the animation in Blender instead.

I admit I love using content and Genesis but the animation tool set is a little more robust in Blender.  I have been using Blender more and more.  In fact, I have done maybe twice as many animation in Blender then I have in Carrara.  However, all of my sets are content and the outdoor scenes would be much easier to in Carrara.

I could bring them in as objects and I already have a couple of characters that I modeled and rigged in blender, but they are not as good as what I can get from Daz

Blender’s dynamic hair, dynamic cloth and the particle system are better than what is available in Carrara (or I don’t really know how to use them as well) and I am not sure if Daz is really going to invest the development time into improving those parts of Carrara. 

But Blender does not support content and I truly love the versatility that brings

I guess my dilemma is do I invest the several months working on this animation into Carrara or Blender.  If I use blender, I will have to do a lot more modeling and rigging and that will extend the time that it takes to finish and I am not sure I can really get the look that I want. 

I have not had much luck moving things from carrara to blender.

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Posted: 18 October 2012 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I wonder how well the Mdd plugin could work for that…...I’ve been thinking about that
MDD plugin lately.

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Posted: 19 October 2012 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This artist is using the animation tools in Carrara pretty well in this video. Makes me think of the videos of people using messiah, which is an awesome animation tool. I don’t understand French so I’m not sure of the usage of Puppeteer in this way but it sure looks good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcNE7dvUK6s

MDD might be a good option. BVH is another. I was thinking of using those with messiah to get animations into Carrara if I run into problems with Carrara. But I too am looking to Carrara for animation of content. If only content was more readily handled by other packages. Blender has some neat effects capabilities, but they are involved to setup.

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Posted: 19 October 2012 01:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hmmm, I wonder how well mdd would work. Another thing that Carrara has going for is its shader system is much easier to use. 

But, I really like Blenders dynamic cloth and hair.

Either software that I use is going to create trade-offs in the final product. 

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Posted: 19 October 2012 01:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I have Messiah too but never use it, one of those impulse buys, I did however get Genesis in dynamic cloth animated into it via Animate2 mdd plugin for Daz studio.
I have gotten mdd exports out of Carrara into Blender too but Blender is even more beyond my small brain, oddly I can also via collada export get stuff I and others have rigged in Carrara into Blender as a dae import but not Daz figures, they mangle up when animated.
I cannot get Blender stuff out rigged, bought the Sintel box set and tried quite a bit but so far the skeletons do not remain attached or only partly.

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Posted: 19 October 2012 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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They’re also working FBX import in blender now - hopefully that could work too.

http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?241595-Blender-FBX-Import

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Posted: 19 October 2012 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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wendy♥catz - 19 October 2012 01:11 PM

... Carrara into Blender as a dae import but not Daz figures, they mangle up when animated.
I cannot get Blender stuff out rigged, bought the Sintel box set and tried quite a bit but so far the skeletons do not remain attached or only partly.

That has been my experience for the most part.

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Posted: 19 October 2012 01:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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some of my silly tries
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adbEItWN_yQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVlqNsksuo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nElVhl9MjM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxPeLDQc934
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf0_h9r_gjk

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Jaderail is at it again

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Posted: 19 October 2012 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’ve used MDD a lot for moving animations into and out of Marvelous Designer which I use for cloth animation. I have also had some success in using lo-res proxies to improve hair animation. As a long term Carrara user, Blender would be a big learning curve for me, so I would do it in Carrara but it has to be a personal choice.

I used Carrara in doing an animation for a music video (which I did around six months ago but has just been released!):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOvH6VNpib8&feature=plcp

The animation kicks in around 4:00 (but I recommend watching it all!)

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Posted: 19 October 2012 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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What about using the best of both, by rendering out animation sequences with alpha channel backgrounds, and then compiling in a video editor.

you can make a plane in carrara, and have a sequence of images applied to that. (like a sprite) so, you could combine stuff in carrara from blender or any other software,...also, backgrounds or set’s rendered separately, combined with animated figures or sprite’s in blender could get you round some content handling issues.

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Posted: 19 October 2012 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Carrara is about the only 3d software that I have really used except for Blender and I have only been using it since 2.5 I love Carrara but I wish the developers would try to improve some of the non-content features like hair, particles, soft body physics and the animation timeline.

Blender is much more powerful in these areas and with 2.5 blender is not that hard to use.  Plus Blenders animation tool are better and in many ways easier to use then the ones in Carrara.  My modeling and rigging skills are okay but not in the same league as what I can get from content creators.

Don’t get me wrong, I would have been very disappointed if Carrara would not have added support for Genesis.  The flexibility that Genesis gives is just unbelievable.  I love using content

I will probably use Carrara and if Carrara lags in development in the future most of the skills I learn with this project will be transferable to Blender.  I might have to rewrite the script a little.

 

 

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Posted: 19 October 2012 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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3DAGE - 19 October 2012 02:27 PM

What about using the best of both, by rendering out animation sequences with alpha channel backgrounds, and then compiling in a video editor.

you can make a plane in carrara, and have a sequence of images applied to that. (like a sprite) so, you could combine stuff in carrara from blender or any other software,...also, backgrounds or set’s rendered separately, combined with animated figures or sprite’s in blender could get you round some content handling issues.

Hmm, that thought crossed my mind but I have not done much with composting scenes so it would definitely add to the learning experience

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Posted: 19 October 2012 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Compositing could save you tons of time and frustration. The way Andy (3DAGE) suggested will save you even more time as you can see where effects are going and they can be enhanced with lights, etc. in Carrara. As good as Blender fire looks, it’s still not as good as the real thing, so I’ve been planning on adding things like that into scenes in Carrara as needed. There are some very good affordable stock footage VFX collections around (especially the ones at Video Copilot).  And you can easily animate lights to make it look like the fire is casting flickering light and more tricks like that. You can put sprites into the Carrara particle generator that will really enhance what it can do. I don’t think many use it as well as it could be used. I think Age of Armour has made the best use of it so far. I have so many ideas but so little time working a split shift.

I’m experimenting with hair in the coming weeks and I’m thinking of trying it on geometry that has morphs so it can be moved that way for more control. There are many ways of doing things and sometimes it’s better not to let the software package do everything.

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Posted: 20 October 2012 03:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Doing it in multiple passes can be useful even if only working in Carrara (or Blender). For the music video animation, I rendered out the backgrounds first, containing the moving water surface (from the underside), shafts of visible light (using an animated light gel) and particles for debris in the water. I then used this in the Backdrop when I added the characters, and more particles for bubbles. It made setting up the animations easier without so many elements all in the same scene, and sometime I was able to re-use a background sequence so it didn’t have to be rendered twice.

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Posted: 22 October 2012 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Something I learned about using Carrara for 12-24fps character animation (and this may only apply to me), is that I can either use it in conjunction with mocaps (gfa, BHV, etc) or I can animate robot people—androids, cyborgs, transformers, etc. But if I’m animating living, breathing organic life without the aid of any motion capture, I’m not sure Carrara is best suited for this kind of animation.

A little OT perhaps, but I think at the stage you’re at (development) it’s really important to know exactly why you’re creating the animation you want to create.

For instance, my main objective is to tell stories, so I’m able to get creative in the presentation. I’m not stuck in a fixed mindset that I need to create an animation that move and looks like a Pixar animation.

If story is your main objective, I personally believe compositing is in fact the most important tool you can have at your disposal. Whether you use Carrara or Blender or both, learning how to composite and manipulate images is key. I cannot use Carrara without After Effects or Flash.

If your objective is to showcase your abilities as an animator, that’s a tougher position, because if you’re looking to be hired by a studio, they’re not hiring people to animate in Carrara or Blender. And I’m not certain that practicing in either of these disciplines will help you to animate in, say, Maya.

If you don’t have it, I would suggest grabbing a cheap copy of PS (or whatever program you’d like) and start fiddling around with PNG sequences. AE and PS are essentially the same program when it comes to compositing.

You can composite just inside Carrara and Blender, but I still think the workload is too intense if your objective is to just tell a story.

Even something like Rosa which was a huge achievement by a single animator relied heavily on Mocaps and, while some of it was done in Blender, obviously DAZ content was used, as well as a ton of compositing. 

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Posted: 22 October 2012 06:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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The main purpose is to tell a story using animation and to learn as much as possible especially in the area of character animation.  This is strictly a personal project to push my 3d knowledge. 

Carrara, Blender, DS Studio and Poser 7 are the 3d apps that I own and I am not planning on buying anything else, but I want to get decent results using these products.

I currently teach graphics design and animation in a public high school, so I have access to the entire Adobe suite through adobe creative cloud ($30 a month)

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