Carrara 8.5 beta Meets Genesis (Starter Tutorial)

DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,602
edited January 2013 in Carrara Discussion

So you've seen the hype and perhaps some of the beautiful art surrounding Daz3d's flagship 3d CGI software, and you want to take a closer look - but you're not sure where to begin?

Allow me to get the ball rolling on helping you out.
please feel free to add any knowledge or questions you have about the subject. Genesis really rocks with its near-unlimited capabilities... we want everyone to know what's currently going on with it.

I'll begin by saying that I'll likely edit this first post with updated info as I get it - so you may want to check this top section if you get lost.

To expect any of this to work during the beta phase, there's one most important thing to know about the process - please bear with me and read carefully.

The main Genesis figure resides in the installation of Daz Studio.
There seems to be updated separate Genesis downloads that allow it to be installed by itself for Poser Users. I am currently not on top of those, and will edit this portion when I find out. If you know the info, post it and I'll put your quote up here.

Always be sure that you have the very latest files.

Although the release of Genesis was an official release, Daz3d has since taken it upon themselves to rework part of its workings to make it function in other software choices. Carrara 8.5 Pro beta requires the absolute latest version of anything in order to work properly. In the end of this beta period, we'll have a shiny new system that works beautifully. For now it works very well - but only if you pay attention, and make sure to have the latest versions of:
Daz Studio 4 (preferred = 4.5) - If you experience any problems loading Genesis from the Carrara browser (an error has occurred) it is likely that you need to reset your download for this.
Genesis Products - If you've purchased Genesis clothing, hair, morphs, etc., prior to the release of the new DSON, you'll likely need to reset their downloads and reinstall them.

...and of course:

Carrara 8.5 Pro, build 172 it is the "build" number that you'll need to keep an eye out for. If this thread remains necessary (doesn't get lost in the shuffle) I'll be sure to keep this number updated.
Install the beta version to a unique folder. (Example, where Carrara 7 resides in "Daz3d > Carrara" and Carrara 8 resides in "Daz3d > Carrara 8" you'll want to install 8.5beta into something like; "Daz3d > Carrara 85b")
When installing the beta, it is IMPORTANT to know that you should NOT uninstall an official version of Carrara when doing so. If you get a popup window asking if you'd like to uninstall, just say NO!!!

If you have the official release of any version of Carrara, you'll have an installer for Carrara Native Content. You may wish to (I did) install this again to the unique folder mentioned above. You may also wish to install any other Carrara products and/or plugins to this version as well.
When it comes to any saves in the browser, normally saved to a folder within the Daz3d > Carrara folder structure found within "My Documents" by default, it is advisable to copy that whole structure, from within the "Carrara" subfolder, and paste to the new folder created by 8.5, something like "Carrara85b" (whatever it is). This makes everything you've already saved to your browser from another version of Carrara accessible to the beta - without the worry of over-saving cross versions of files. You can generally open files made in 8.5 in 8.1, but 8.5 incorporates, and automatically switches to a new, more up-to-date texture map format (Fast mip-map), which previous version can't make heads or tails of. Since your 8.5 saves will use this, when you open the file in 8.1 or previous, you have to go change that value in every shader that uses any sort of image file. In my files, one scene could take a whole day or more to edit in this way - just warnin' ya! ;)

Now you should be good to go.

About "Smart Content"
Carrara 8.5beta adds a new tab to the browser - "Smart Content". This tab functions differently than any others as it only shows the available products that you have within your Daz Studio library database that works with whatever is selected in your Instances window (right side panel) within Carrara.

For this to work properly, you must, at the very least, open Daz Studio and let it update any content you've installed since the last time you've opened DS, and is fully opened and ready to use. After that, you can close DS. So if you just bought and installed something for Genesis (or anything else, for that matter) and it's not showing up in "Smart Content", it can be one of two things:
Either you haven't updated your DS database as explained above, or:
You have something selected in Carrara to which you have no available product within your database.

Once Genesis is loaded, select the main figure or its 'Actor' tag in the hierarchy, and much of what you've installed for Genesis will show up in Smart Content, no matter the category. Clothes, Props, Poses, etc.,
Select the head to bring up hats, some hairstyles are in here instead of the previous, make-up options, etc.,

Some products include a separate installer called 'Metadata'
This must be installed for that product to be recognized by Smart Content.

If you don't like the idea of running the Daz Studio database, you do not need it to use Genesis in Carrara 8.5b
You only need Daz Studio CMS (Content Management Service) to use "Smart Content"
If you don't use Smart Content, or simply forgot to update your database, all the Daz Studio library is also available to you in the "Content" Tab of the Carrara browser. By default, this is both "My Library" and "My Library Runtime"
Please keep in mind that when searching for content from your Daz Studio library (as opposed to a Poser-Style Runtime), Carrara 8.5 beta does not currently block folder that mean nothing to Carrara yet. This means that you can expect to find a whole slew of empty folders. You'll quickly learn where to go, and what to ignore though :)

In the content structure, Genesis can be found at: My Library > People > Genesis
Genesis Character Presets, which are also used in Carrara to load specific UV sets for Genesis are found at: My Library > People > Genesis > Characters
After Genesis in the People category, you'll see Clothing and Hair and so on.
My Library Animals is where the new and exciting Daz Horse 2 (also built using the new Genesis technology) gets installed to, as with the SubDragon that comes with DS. Any questions on finding anything?

Genesis UVs
Genesis was designed so that individual "Character Presets" can be made, which can contain a whole new UV Mapping data set. This is really powerful because it allows product makers to make serious changes to the mesh, and provide a remapped UV to avoid texture stretching/pinching, etc.,
Daz Studio has the capability to switch these UV allocations on the fly, as you change character needs. But this is not the case with this version of the 8.5 beta.
In Carrara 8.5b, You must load the appropriate "Character" of Genesis to get the correct UV. Once you get that character of Genesis loaded, you can make any changes you like to the shape, but the UV set remains the same as what it was when you loaded it. Got that? Here's what I know about the breakdown for UVs:

V4 UV set - Basic Female
M4 UV set - Basic Male
V5 UV set - V5 or any V5-based character
M5 UV set - M5 or any M5-based character
Troll UV set - Troll
Young Teens... etc., etc.,

Loading Genesis into Carrara is as easy as either double-click the file, drag the file into the work area, or drag the file to the instances tab. Your choice. Know that the first instance of Genesis takes a bit of time to load into Carrara. It actually fools you into thinking that Carrara locked up. Don't worry - and don't let it stop you from loading in several Genesis figures - for each subsequent load is closer to instantaneous after that first load.

I guess it's slightly different than DS that some of Genesis' installed morphs can be found under the "Genesis" in the hierarchy, and others in "Actor", while expressions and such are in the head and grasps and such are in the hands.

====================== More to come ===================

I hope this helps some of you ease your way into trying the new beta.
Even if you don't try Genesis, I encourage you all to at least check out how much bliss is packed into this new Carrara!!!


Post edited by Dartanbeck on


  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,602
    edited December 1969

    Genesis and aniBlocks
    The aniBlock importer for Carrara works for Genesis as well. However, due to a different 'pose' in the initial rigging, some modifications of an aniBlock's animation are in order, when using sets designed for Generation 4 Daz figures.

    The most immediately noticeable area is the feet. Luckily for us, feet are an easy fix:
    Once the aniBlock file is imported to the character, go to the sequencer tab and locate the keyframes for both feet.
    Select all keyframes for each foot, EXCEPT for those in the "0" time frame.
    Press delete. Now you can easily adjust the feet to match what they should be doing along the timeline by simple rotation of the joint.
    Optionally, you can deselect keyframes at various intervals along the timeline prior to deletion. This allows you to see what the aniBlock set the feet at along certain time frames. Do keep in mind that aniBlock keyframes do not always land directly on a time frame when using 30fps. So if you scroll to where you left a keyframe, edit the rotation and find that you've just created a new keyframe, simply undo the action and drag the keyframe to the frame where you are set - they snap into place by default (snap checkbox above timeline).

    This method may be used for any part of the body. Keep in mind that aniBlocks, as with most other animated pose files, use the Hip for moving the figure along the path of motion. So when making adjustments for the hip, you'll always want to leave several keyframes on the timeline (don't just delete them all) as mentioned in the Optionally note above.

    Genesis also has new rig bones to consider. Since these bone do not exist in Gen 4 figures, aniBlocks will not alter them - giving you free reign to edit their rotation in any way you see fit. Here are some quick hints:
    Pelvis - Being an additional bone just below the hip, this bone can make adjustments to both legs (both at the same time) without interfering with the hip or anything above the hip.
    Abdomen 2 - Being between the abdomen and the chest, this handy bone can be used to alter the positioning of the uppermost torso without affecting the abdomen, the hip, or anything below.

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