Learning Carrara 8....

13

Comments

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    I actually give distance to my tail lights and signals and use different setting for when the brakes are applied, the blinkers are on, etc., as with the glow channel settings. I set them up this way before saving the vehicle, or whatever is may be, to the browser, just in case it gets close enough to something for the light to come into affect. Like the fire on the end of a cigarette - it not only glows, it gives off light. In the video below, watch carefully how the lightning is not only glowing, itself, but it also brightens most everything around it:
    "Walking in a Storm"
    I have several others that show how tail lighting and blinkers can really affect the realism of an animation, but I haven't broadcasted it on YouTube, as they will be in one of my episodes, so are currently in Top Secret status. I'll see if I can find some time to do a quick render to illustrate what I mean.
    Already a couple of years old, I built an Eight Core worksation with 16GB RAM. The RAM never maxes out, but those eight cores far more than quadrupled my render speed from my dual core. I can't wait to build a new one and use this one as my render node! ;-)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Here are my notes regarding the creation of the lightning storm. I'm still a virgin in Dogwaffle - well I guess not any more... but I'm still young and inexperienced anyways.

  • redhorseredhorse Posts: 83
    edited December 1969

    Wow! Very convincing storm in that video, Dartanbeck. I haven't been bitten by the animation bug yet, but this might make me think about it. :) I haven't yet been able to produce a convincing storm like that in a still image, let alone a video. I think I know what I'm going to try for my next image...

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    redhorse said:
    Wow! Very convincing storm in that video, Dartanbeck. I haven't been bitten by the animation bug yet, but this might make me think about it. :) I haven't yet been able to produce a convincing storm like that in a still image, let alone a video. I think I know what I'm going to try for my next image...
    It was animations that dragged me into finding Carrara. I was animating in Poser, but there's no predictable way to manipulate meshes in there - at least not in version 5. I tried magnets... yeah... no. Yuck.
    A waiting room in a large hospital of all places. I see this guy playing around with a somewhat Poseresque type of software - but no... this is different... It was Eovia's Carrara 5! I asked him if I could watch for a while. He went off showing me the rooms and, what I now realize to be very few, some of its features. Wow... Bryce 3d meets Poser, meets 3ds max, I said to him. He said yeah... and continued on with making his scene. The next day, he was in a comfy chair in the same waiting room. He flagged me over. "Just about to start watching TV. Care to join me?"
    I had nothing to do but wait for hours: "Absolutely", I exclaimed and sat down in the comfy chair next to him as Lynda.com's Carrara 5 Essential Learning came on the screen, instructed by Jack Whitney. He started from the beginning and we watched the whole thing together, pausing for coffee and munchies between concepts.

    I actually bought Carrara Pro (fairly recently - just before 8 was officially released) as a means to animate and render, knowing that I could eliminate poke-through with the handy-dandy vertex modeler. The guy I was talking about wasn't making an animation. What Jack Whitney demonstrated was cool - but that was him on a screen. I had no idea how easy and fun animation becomes once in Carrara with an optimized pile of content within a scene to play with! Even shaders? Yes... shaders!
    I get on the Carrara forum. During a casual conversation, I bring up: "Too bad I can't make mesh tweaks in the model room along the timeline, so I can animate changes to the mesh." Probably 3dage, but someone replied "No, but why don't you make a new morph, and save your tweaks in a morph? Then you can dial them in along the timeline"
    My life was forever changed that day.

    Here's an oldie but a goody, made using a bunch of test renders destined for the recycle bin: Just for Fun
    This one was an advertisement for my Dragon Animation Kit: Dartanbeck's Mil Dragon 2 Animation Kit (not trying to push the product, lol... I just like this vid!
    I needed a way for Rosie to take the swords that were parented to her back, and unsheathe them into her hands, where they become parented. You can't. So I made two Custom NLA Clips that only affect her from the abdomen up through to her head and both arms and hands. One is where she reached for the swords, and the other is where she unsheathes them. So I have two Rosies in the scene, both with the same walk cycle NLA Clip that only affects her from the hip down. One Rosie reaches for the swords. The swords on her, are parented to her back. The other Rosie unsheathes the swords. The swords are parented to her hands on this copy. As Rosie 2 begins to draw the swords from her back, I check the visibility box to make her appear. In that same frame, Rosie 1 disappears. it's all a play on the eye, is all - nobody will ever notice! Here's my example: CamSwitchTechA (again, an older video)
    And here's my Carrara 8.5 Genesis demo: Genesis in Carrara Demo
    And one more that's much older: Previsual Renders A

    Most of my new animation aren't available publicly yet.

  • Jay_NOLAJay_NOLA Posts: 1,145
    edited December 1969

    Thank you redhorse. I copied all that info and the pics into a Word file.


    Great storm Dartanbeck I like how you used AnyFx for the rain. Very glad your enjoying Howler.


    whispers65, glad you got the book. Let me and the others know what you think of it, when you get through it. I've been working on making a listing a listing of books to help a beginner using the various programs DAZ makes, and feed back helps as I'm wanting to narrow it down to just the best of the best and which ones actually have helped people.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    redhorse said:
    Here's the technique I use for headlights, tail lights, and street lights. The method is the same, only the colors and values of some parameters change.

    1. Add a spotlight to the scene. Using the scale tool (double ended arrow on the left toolbar, second from top), shrink the spotlight so that it is small enough to fit inside the object that is supposed to emit light. Then move it inside the object with the big end nearest the glass/lens. It is important that the spotlight pyramid fits entirely within the object without intersecting the sides of the mesh. Adjust the spotlight to point slightly down towards the pavement and slightly away from the center of the vehicle.

    2. With the spotlight selected, adjust its properties to give you the effect you want in your scene. I find that around 300% brightness works well. I also like to set both the angular and range falloffs to 100% to make it appear more realistic (no hard stop to the light - it fades to black so to speak). The range and half angle should be adjusted to your particular scene.

    3. In the material room, select the object that is to be emitting light and open up the material for the light's glass/lens (assuming the model maker created a separate material zone for the glass - they usually do). Here there are two ways you can go: Alpha or Translucency. For my purposes, adjusting Alpha to 40% worked best, making the material somewhat transparent while still retaining its color and such.

    4. Next, make the material glow. Set the glow channel to multiply and set the two nodes that creates to color and value (1-10000%). Make the color the same as your light. Make the value whatever looks good. For me, around 230% did the trick.

    Sometimes you will want to enable aura for an object that is supposed to be glowing to give it that hazy glow around the glass. I have found that aura doesn't always work right and sometimes (as in this case) postwork was the better route to add that glow.

    Also make sure you check "light through transparency" in the render settings.


    Very informative post, but I'm not sure why you need to have the entire "geometry" of the spotlight icon within the light housing? In my experience, somewhere around the default position of the hot point (but not the hot point itself) is the origin of the light. As long as that point is within an enclosure, it should work whether you can see any of the light's icon or not.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited March 2013

    Not to belabor my point, but here's an example I did using a helicopter with a searchlight/headlight and running lights. The searchlight is a spot and the running lights are bulbs. I also have lights inside the chopper to simulate dash and display lights.


    I also use translucency for the light lenses. The green light on the side is actually a white bulb, but the light lens is a translucent green.

    chopper_detail.jpg
    640 x 480 - 52K
    Picture_2.png
    989 x 762 - 247K
    Post edited by evilproducer on
  • redhorseredhorse Posts: 83
    edited December 1969

    You may be right Evilproducer, but in all cases for me when any part of the light's geometry intersects the surrounding mesh, it doesn't shine at all.

    Either way, the key is to have the light source within the object so that the object itslef directs the light and produces the appropriate shadows.

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    New Question - Do you have a save position?

    What I mean by that is when you create scenes do you have save positions to be able to go back and recreate that shot or change it if you want to?

    I lot of times I may do like 10 shots for the same scene and change it up as I go along but there's no way for me to go back to shot 2 or 6 if I need to. I can try and reposition everything but it's always off.

    Just curious what y'all do in situations like this.

    Thanks as always for your time and effort!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    New Question - Do you have a save position?

    What I mean by that is when you create scenes do you have save positions to be able to go back and recreate that shot or change it if you want to?

    I lot of times I may do like 10 shots for the same scene and change it up as I go along but there's no way for me to go back to shot 2 or 6 if I need to. I can try and reposition everything but it's always off.

    Just curious what y'all do in situations like this.

    Thanks as always for your time and effort!


    There are a couple ways to do this. See screen shots.


    The first way would be to position your camera and save the camera position. You can save multiple positions. There is a limit per camera that I've bumped up against, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe seven or eight.


    The next method would be to create several cameras and position them how you like. You can then either set your rendering camera's position to none of these other cameras, or you could set one of the other cameras as the rendering camera in the Render Room. If you use the Batch Queue to render, you can add your scene multiple times in the list and select a different render camera for each one. Make sure you save the outputted files with unique names, or they will be overwritten by the next render in the queue.

    Picture_4.png
    1245 x 919 - 204K
    Picture_3.png
    277 x 611 - 80K
    Picture_2.png
    807 x 631 - 111K
    Picture_1.png
    383 x 469 - 47K
  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    New Question - Do you have a save position?

    What I mean by that is when you create scenes do you have save positions to be able to go back and recreate that shot or change it if you want to?

    I lot of times I may do like 10 shots for the same scene and change it up as I go along but there's no way for me to go back to shot 2 or 6 if I need to. I can try and reposition everything but it's always off.

    Just curious what y'all do in situations like this.

    Thanks as always for your time and effort!


    There are a couple ways to do this. See screen shots.


    The first way would be to position your camera and save the camera position. You can save multiple positions. There is a limit per camera that I've bumped up against, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe seven or eight.


    The next method would be to create several cameras and position them how you like. You can then either set your rendering camera's position to none of these other cameras, or you could set one of the other cameras as the rendering camera in the Render Room. If you use the Batch Queue to render, you can add your scene multiple times in the list and select a different render camera for each one. Make sure you save the outputted files with unique names, or they will be overwritten by the next render in the queue.


    I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear with my question. If it is the same scene, I normally create the extra cameras for each shot angle. What I'm referring to in this case, and I didn't do a good job of explaining, is that I'm actually moving the characters around and changing their positions so it's more than just a camera angle.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969


    I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear with my question. If it is the same scene, I normally create the extra cameras for each shot angle. What I'm referring to in this case, and I didn't do a good job of explaining, is that I'm actually moving the characters around and changing their positions so it's more than just a camera angle.


    For an animation? For a series of still shots?

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969


    I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear with my question. If it is the same scene, I normally create the extra cameras for each shot angle. What I'm referring to in this case, and I didn't do a good job of explaining, is that I'm actually moving the characters around and changing their positions so it's more than just a camera angle.


    For an animation? For a series of still shots?

    For a series of still shots. like I may have a group of zombies down at one end of an alley chasing a person, and then I move them all for the next shot, then in another shot maybe a group of people join in and start attacking the zombies, etc. Everything is done in the same setting. (I haven't done this scene lol but I think you get the idea).

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969


    I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear with my question. If it is the same scene, I normally create the extra cameras for each shot angle. What I'm referring to in this case, and I didn't do a good job of explaining, is that I'm actually moving the characters around and changing their positions so it's more than just a camera angle.


    For an animation? For a series of still shots?

    For a series of still shots. like I may have a group of zombies down at one end of an alley chasing a person, and then I move them all for the next shot, then in another shot maybe a group of people join in and start attacking the zombies, etc. Everything is done in the same setting. (I haven't done this scene lol but I think you get the idea).


    You could save each iteration of the scene as a different file, or you could set your scene up for the first image of the series, then advance along the timeline and reposition everything, thus generating keyframes. You could move it just one frame for each image in the series. Carrara will automatically change from still image to movie in the Render Room, so make sure to change it back so that it renders the current frame. You should only have to do that once.


    Once you have each "frame" positioned how you wish, make note of the frames where each shot in the series is located and save. If you have six images in the series, add the scene six times to the Batch Queue and in each instance change the frame number in the File Format area of the Render Room. You will have to temporarily enable the Movie option to change the frame number you wish to render, then set it back to Current Frame. Hopefully that's clear enough.


    As I mentioned in a previous post, make sure you save each image you render from the scene in the Batch Queue with a different name or it will overwrite the file when it switches to the next instance in the queue.

    Picture_7.png
    241 x 151 - 19K
    Picture_5.png
    230 x 134 - 11K
    Picture_6.png
    298 x 210 - 24K
  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969


    Lights are amazing. Turn off the shadows of a distant light that is aimed upwards can create accent lighting with such a small amount of effort. It just requires the initial vision. SciFi and Fantasy are the realms in which I live - my poor wife is totally fine with it, too... even though sees more into thrilling mysteries with crime solving heroes solving their crimes with microscopes behind the scenes.

    The Aura I've mentioned, along with using light cones from well placed spot lights are a great way to get great scifi interiors - debatable, of course. Sirius Labs and Radius, by 3DLust are built from the ground up using expert modeling techniques within Carrara. He makes full use of "Anything Glows" lights within those scenes. They take a bit of horsepower (which you seem to have) to render - because there's a lot of pro highlights going on there. Just check out those promo images.
    ...and then an image of mine below, which is a screenshot of one of my chase scene animations.

    I picked up both Sirius Labs and Radius in the sale. :)

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969


    I'm sorry. I wasn't very clear with my question. If it is the same scene, I normally create the extra cameras for each shot angle. What I'm referring to in this case, and I didn't do a good job of explaining, is that I'm actually moving the characters around and changing their positions so it's more than just a camera angle.


    For an animation? For a series of still shots?

    For a series of still shots. like I may have a group of zombies down at one end of an alley chasing a person, and then I move them all for the next shot, then in another shot maybe a group of people join in and start attacking the zombies, etc. Everything is done in the same setting. (I haven't done this scene lol but I think you get the idea).


    You could save each iteration of the scene as a different file, or you could set your scene up for the first image of the series, then advance along the timeline and reposition everything, thus generating keyframes. You could move it just one frame for each image in the series. Carrara will automatically change from still image to movie in the Render Room, so make sure to change it back so that it renders the current frame. You should only have to do that once.


    Once you have each "frame" positioned how you wish, make note of the frames where each shot in the series is located and save. If you have six images in the series, add the scene six times to the Batch Queue and in each instance change the frame number in the File Format area of the Render Room. You will have to temporarily enable the Movie option to change the frame number you wish to render, then set it back to Current Frame. Hopefully that's clear enough.


    As I mentioned in a previous post, make sure you save each image you render from the scene in the Batch Queue with a different name or it will overwrite the file when it switches to the next instance in the queue.

    Thanks! Sounds simple enough. One of these days I'd like to try my hand at some animation even if it is something simple. But for now, still shots is fine.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Yeah... that Batch render is slick! I use it a lot - you'll see ;-)

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    Yeah... that Batch render is slick! I use it a lot - you'll see ;-)

    I had no idea that it would do it. I'm watching videos tonight and just ran across it also. I think tonight I'm going to set up some test renders and see how it does. It beats sitting here waiting for each one to render. I can set them up and go watch a movie. :)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    It's easier on the system resources as well. You can also pause and resume renders, and set up scenes while a render is going on.

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    It's easier on the system resources as well. You can also pause and resume renders, and set up scenes while a render is going on.

    I'm not going to worry about doing on the machine tonight but I did set up 9 images to queue so I'll see how that works. I'll either have 9 great images or somewhere in between. I changed a setting or two or three on the rendering so hopefully I didn't mess it up. If so, oh well I'll try again tomorrow night.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    Good luck! I know it sucks when you have something not work out!

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    Prettty much an epic fail last night. After 2 1/2 hours I checked on the 9 and it wasn't even 1% into the first. Normally they render in about 15-20 minutes or so....hmmmm...I know I changed some settings but obviously that didn't work as well. I stopped everything and redid the first 3. Those did render but don't look as good as normal. Oh well. I'll try again.

  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    Prettty much an epic fail last night. After 2 1/2 hours I checked on the 9 and it wasn't even 1% into the first. Normally they render in about 15-20 minutes or so....hmmmm...I know I changed some settings but obviously that didn't work as well. I stopped everything and redid the first 3. Those did render but don't look as good as normal. Oh well. I'll try again.


    What did you change? If you can share your settings people here may be able to offer suggestions on what can be minimized and still get a great render.

  • whispers65whispers65 Posts: 836
    edited December 1969

    Prettty much an epic fail last night. After 2 1/2 hours I checked on the 9 and it wasn't even 1% into the first. Normally they render in about 15-20 minutes or so....hmmmm...I know I changed some settings but obviously that didn't work as well. I stopped everything and redid the first 3. Those did render but don't look as good as normal. Oh well. I'll try again.


    What did you change? If you can share your settings people here may be able to offer suggestions on what can be minimized and still get a great render.

    What I was going to do was take one of Howie's products - Stoney Creek in this case and set up all of the default scenes that come with it. The screen shot shown is everything at default values. I believed I may have changed the "Light through Trans" at the top (going by a video I saw) and maybe the "Global Illumination" setting - either sky light or indirect light. I'm thinking I did indirect light.

    Other than that I'm wanting to render either 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080 (laptop screen settings for wallpaper).

    Another thing I noticed is according to the vid, his showed to overwrite settings yes and mine didn't have anything and from looking I'm not sure where I would set that so I'm not even sure it took my settings at all. It's confusing.

    Screenshot_(10).png
    1920 x 1080 - 1000K
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,901
    edited December 1969

    To see the Batch Queue render settings for each scene in the queue, you need to click the Batch Queue's tab at the bottom left of your screen, and then select each scene in the list. The Yes will automatically appear under Overridden when you change something in the render settings. The render settings shown in the screen shot you posted are for the unnamed scene (called Doc1) which you have open. The settings that I see are looking pretty decent for a fast render. The only thing that I would turn off would be the Compatibility Shadows Mode, as that is for opening scenes from earlier versions of Carrara.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    What I was going to do was take one of Howie's products - Stoney Creek in this case and set up all of the default scenes that come with it. The screen shot shown is everything at default values. I believed I may have changed the "Light through Trans" at the top (going by a video I saw) and maybe the "Global Illumination" setting - either sky light or indirect light. I'm thinking I did indirect light.

    Other than that I'm wanting to render either 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080 (laptop screen settings for wallpaper).

    This will likely take the rest of April and perhaps most of may to complete the first render. Just sayin' :smirk:
  • MiloMilo Posts: 487
    edited December 1969

    ManStan said:

    I would agree with that. though I did manage to upgrade myself to this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883155622 but not 5 of them.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Holy low prices, Bat Man!!!
    Congratu-freaking-lations Milo!!!! :ahhh:

  • ManStanManStan Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    -_Milo_- said:

    I would agree with that. though I did manage to upgrade myself to this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883155622 but not 5 of them.

    Cool, I'd still want 5. I'd love a render farm. It would be nice to be able to do a 15 second animation in something less then days lol I've been working on one for a couple of weeks, showing off the ocean primitive and floating turtles, It's about ready to render but to do it with any quality means a day or so to render it out.

    globalwarm_b.jpg
    700 x 350 - 72K
    Post edited by ManStan on
Sign In or Register to comment.