anyone use carrara and Lightwave

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  • cyborgty_074ff6c243cyborgty_074ff6c243 Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    I picked creating animated movies as a hobby because I knew it would always present challenges as I worked to improve my skills. Right now I have justifications for Carrara and Lightwave (by the way the Poser Fusion plugin comes with Poser Pro purchase).

    Regarding the initial focus of this thread, I have been successful with exporting models in various formats from Lightwave Modeler to Carrara. But I have struggled to find a clean way to export animated scenes or animated characters from Lightwave Layout to Carrara. I tried FBX, Collada, MDD, etc., but result is either I see nothing in the scene, Carrara hangs, or when I tried MDD, the model(s) imported into Carrara (using the MDD plugin) appear messed up/unrecognizable. If bringing models from Carrara (as obj, 3ds, fbx) to Lightwave, I sometimes find some of the polygon normals are not facing the same direction. This is easy to resolve by using the 'Unify Normals' option in Lightwave Modeler.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    But she was saying that, when it came to rendering, nothing topped LightWave, which the company already had. That statement always intrigued me. So I asked for further explanation, but I never seem to get one - from anyone.

    What exactly are you looking for? I won't say that "nothing" tops LightWave (I mean there must be some reason why Maya and Cinema 4D are 2.5x the cost...). But a few of my (non-3D-artist) friends do state that LightWave renders are better than Carrara renders -- of course, the skill of artist is a big factor here too... :red:

    I suspect that this is a rather fruitless argument. As you have stated (repeatedly ;) ), Carrara works for you. It fits your style and your goals. More power to thee sez I.Yeah... agreed. LightWave, at least as far as I can tell, looks like some top-notch stuff. It really does.
    What am I looking for? Well I was looking for a good modeling/animation app that would allow me to bring in my figures that use morphs, conforming clothing and hair, and be able to work with them within - even if I had to set up the animations in Poser or DAZ Studio. But what I've found in Carrara was much better than that. All of the morph INJections and such can actually be done IN Carrara... rather than dealing with export/import files. This takes the guess work out of the equation for me - as my modeler is also my animation creator, texture maker, scene setup stage, special effects designer, physics calculator, and everything else that I need it to do.

    While there are a lot of features in LW that I know I would Love to use, it would be one of those situations where I think I would get a headache trying to include it into my workflow.

    I'm lucky in the prospect that I seem to be immune to whatever it is about Carrara that some folks get annoyed over. Sure, I run into limitations and frustrations, but then it seems that there is another answer within Carrara that enables me to push past what I thought was a limitation... and get back into limitless animation work. So I'm camping happy.

    It might have been a different story if I'd have learned 3d modeling and animation in school, using LW, 3ds max, or Maya, and gotten used to features in them that might not be present in Carrara, but that's not at all the case for me. I learned modeling basics in 3ds max, but am still quite new to it - and am finding that Carrara simply has everything I need - and much more. I am now attempting to learn the 'much more' aspects, which is very exciting.

    I was all excited about ChronoSculpt too... but lately Philip Staiger has been teaching me how I can do most of that sort of thing in Howler. Adding Howler to the mix is having a tremendous effect on my workflow. If I adopt the method I've been testing, render times with diminish to seconds per frame, while giving me the control to get exactly the animations I've been looking for all along - except much better. Many sacrifices made earlier will be coming back as a most doable prospect. And If my theory about how I'm planning to work with my long, curly, Carrara hair works out, I'll have something vastly superior than what I was originally shooting for... which I think is very cool.

    Sorry for being such a Carrara nut. But it's not my fault. It's Carrara's fault. It's DAZ 3D's fault too... since I'm not sure I would be this happy if they didn't take us into 64 bit and all of the other extras they've added. But that doesn't change the fact that I still drool over some of what LightWave has to offer... that's for sure!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,031
    edited December 1969


    ...Sorry for being such a Carrara nut. ....!

    I wouldn't worry. It is a Carrara forum after all. ;-)

    I respect the OPs desire not to have this thread be a software pissing contest. It is important though to know what the limitations of going back and forth are going to be.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited December 1969

    Steve K said:
    CyBoRgTy_ said:
    As I stated in my previous post, whatever you bring into Lightwave thru Poser Fusion must be animated in Poser Pro.
    That's enough for me right there. Thank you.
    Carrara it is.

    Yup. (And thanks to Ty for the clarification, I wasn't sure about that after reading Smith Micro's info.) I had Lightwave and Poser before I had Carrara. They all have their strengths, but Carrara is dramatically better than Poser for animation. And using Poser content directly in Carrara, with all the sliders, etc., sounds simpler than the Poser Fusion approach.

    My Lightwave is an older version, and I have not tried Poser Fusion, but Carrara just works for me. I do still use Lightwave stand alone for the occasional scene I find, it can be pretty impressive. And I still need Poser sometimes, like when the morphs don't work in Carrara (see my separate topic here in the Carrara forum). But those are the exceptions, the rule for me is Poser content in Carrara.Same here. I really NEED to have control of those sliders during the entire animation process in the app that will be rendering.

    Since I am so impressed with LightWave, some day, when I have extra cash, and it's on some ridiculous sale, I'll likely end up with it. I keep saying that, but then I think about what else I could buy... mixed with the fact that I can already do what I want in Carrara. So maybe some new cymbals for my drum kit instead? Who knows?

  • invisigothinvisigoth Posts: 121
    edited December 1969

    I used to to use Carrara and Lightwave...and now mostly Carrara and Hexagon

    mainly though for modeling

    Carrara can probably do the modeling..or at least most of it.....but i was never comfortable with Carrara modeling room..it seems backwards to me..

    and the spline modeling room have the "Y" axis so different from what i am used to from basic coordinates in school and other 3d programs

    since i had Carrara standard before i got pro version..i had to cheat by using Hexagon to have access to some of the pro modeling tools

    so when i eventually did get a pro version...i just kept using Hexagon

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited December 1969


    ...Sorry for being such a Carrara nut. ....!

    I wouldn't worry. It is a Carrara forum after all. ;-)

    I respect the OPs desire not to have this thread be a software pissing contest. It is important though to know what the limitations of going back and forth are going to be.

    Right. And I have yet to see any evidence that LW would be able to fit into my workflow, aside from being a modeler, which I already have. Bummer, 'cause it looks so cool! Now I'm just really hoping that DAZ puts some of those great types of features into Carrara.

    I used to to use Carrara and Lightwave...and now mostly Carrara and Hexagon

    mainly though for modeling

    Carrara can probably do the modeling..or at least most of it.....but i was never comfortable with Carrara modeling room..it seems backwards to me..

    and the spline modeling room have the "Y" axis so different from what i am used to from basic coordinates in school and other 3d programs

    since i had Carrara standard before i got pro version..i had to cheat by using Hexagon to have access to some of the pro modeling tools

    so when i eventually did get a pro version...i just kept using HexagonThat's cool. Hex does look really sweet! But like you say, if Carrara feels backwards to you... then that's probably why I have a little difficulty using Hex - being that I got used to modeling in Carrara.

    So, what ever happened to LightWave, might I ask? Just never updated it over time, found it not fitting into the flow of things? Really interested to know... if you don't mind sharing.

  • invisigothinvisigoth Posts: 121
    edited April 2014

    Dartanbeck ....So, what ever happened to LightWave, might I ask? Just never updated it over time, found it not fitting into the flow of things? Really interested to know… if you don’t mind sharing


    the same reason i am stuck with Carrara 7...............

    after car accident..lost job..

    now, no one will hire me because of injuries....meaning no more money to use on upgrades and programs

    i was just a hobbyist ...i did 3d as therapy


    and this computer that i had to cobble together after a utility malfunction fried my other one

    can't even run Carrara 8..i tried the beta and it tries to start..but crashes without even a startup or splash screen


    but it did work on my other machine

    Post edited by invisigoth on
  • invisigothinvisigoth Posts: 121
    edited December 1969

    also...i don't know if Daz still sell it..but you can get Hexagon on the disc the comes with that daz "figures" book

    it came will full versions of Carrara 6 pro,Hexagon Daz studio....and a lot of content

    and back when i bought it ..it was about 30$

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited December 1969

    also...i don't know if Daz still sell it..but you can get Hexagon on the disc the comes with that daz "figures" book

    it came will full versions of Carrara 6 pro,Hexagon Daz studio....and a lot of content

    and back when i bought it ..it was about 30$

    That's how I got Carrara and Hex as well. I ordered the book from DAZ as I bought the upgrade to 7 Pro, which came with a free upgrade to 8 Pro, at the time - toward the end of the beta. You're right... a fine pile of goodies!

    Sorry to hear about what's going on.

  • cyborgty_074ff6c243cyborgty_074ff6c243 Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    I just did the following test: exported Toon generations model as FBX from Carrara Pro 8.5 and imported it into Lightwave Layout 11.6.2. The Character imported fully textured and with its bone rig (can directly animate in Lightwave). However, even though I selected 'Export morphs' in Carrara, I don't see the morphs (as endomorphs) in Lightwave.

    More tests will follow.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    CyBoRgTy_ said:
    I just did the following test: exported Toon generations model as FBX from Carrara Pro 8.5 and imported it into Lightwave Layout 11.6.2. The Character imported fully textured and with its bone rig (can directly animate in Lightwave). However, even though I selected 'Export morphs' in Carrara, I don't see the morphs (as endomorphs) in Lightwave.

    Ooooh! FBX will do the bones too? That's helpful. Shame about the morphs, but I guess if you do all your shaping morphs in Carrara, you'll be okay. We just lose out on easily animating speech, blinks, etc.

    I have wondered about getting just the base mesh into LW and then rigging it with the Genoma stuff.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,109
    edited December 1969

    CyBoRgTy_ said:
    I just did the following test: exported Toon generations model as FBX from Carrara Pro 8.5 and imported it into Lightwave Layout 11.6.2. The Character imported fully textured and with its bone rig (can directly animate in Lightwave). However, even though I selected 'Export morphs' in Carrara, I don't see the morphs (as endomorphs) in Lightwave.

    More tests will follow.Meaning that you've dropped the hammer and bought LightWave! Good for you! I'm excited for you. You make all of your own models anyways, right?

    Garstor said:
    I just did the following test: exported Toon generations model as FBX from Carrara Pro 8.5 and imported it into Lightwave Layout 11.6.2. The Character imported fully textured and with its bone rig (can directly animate in Lightwave). However, even though I selected 'Export morphs' in Carrara, I don't see the morphs (as endomorphs) in Lightwave.

    Ooooh! FBX will do the bones too? That's helpful. Shame about the morphs, but I guess if you do all your shaping morphs in Carrara, you'll be okay. We just lose out on easily animating speech, blinks, etc.

    I have wondered about getting just the base mesh into LW and then rigging it with the Genoma stuff.Easily? How else are you going to do it, besides post work (or making all new morphs)?

  • cyborgty_074ff6c243cyborgty_074ff6c243 Posts: 132
    edited December 1969

    Meaning that you've dropped the hammer and bought LightWave! Good for you! I'm excited for you. You make all of your own models anyways, right?

    Actually, I picked up version 9 of Lightwave a few years ago for under $200 when I was taking some college classes. Last year, enticed by the demos of features added to version 11, I upgraded to version 11 for under $500 and that's when I decided to devote some time to learning the package (really started to focus more on learning Lightwave during the past 4 or 5 months; almost used it on my Crazy Ray episode).

    I mainly use characters that I create. Since I also own content that I purchased from Daz over the past few years, I purchased Poser Pro 2014 for its Poser Fusion to occasionally use with Lightwave.

    I will be using Carrara and Lightwave in the production of the next Crazy Ray episode (stay tuned). ;-)

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