Free Software that Makes Life Easier

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  • makmamakma Posts: 52
    edited April 2015

    There is an excellent Inagoni's Architools plug-in. Now you can make a great use of it trying your hand as an architect, interior designer or city scape manager. A huge library of furniture models of real products sold all around the world offers you almost everything to fill the enviroments of your scenes with real world items. Try it out for yourself. Take a look into huge IKEA models library. Try new skills in arch-viz rendering.

    http://www.polantis.com

    P.S. Thank you, Dart.

    Greetings,

    Marek

    Post edited by makma on
  • FifthElementFifthElement Posts: 569
    edited December 1969

    Not a free software but some very good hi-res HDRI maps :

    http://noemotionhdrs.net/

    Enjoy :)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,671
    edited December 1969

    Not a free software but some very good hi-res HDRI maps :

    http://noemotionhdrs.net/

    Enjoy :)

    Nice! Thanks!
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    probably old news, sorry if it's been posted

    Unreal engine is free, www.unrealengine.com

    check out this video !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjPiGVSnfI made in real time..... whatever real time is

    and the making of above video, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clakekAHQx0

  • OnlyLuvsCatzOnlyLuvsCatz Posts: 22,347
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    probably old news, sorry if it's been posted

    Unreal engine is free, www.unrealengine.com

    check out this video !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjPiGVSnfI made in real time..... whatever real time is

    and the making of above video, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clakekAHQx0


    yes a few pages back this very thread,
    I found rendering with matinee using DAZ content pretty slow
    the ragdoll physX cool though
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    ragdoll is good :)

  • JimbowJimbow Posts: 556
    edited December 1969

    Anything from autodesk these days are either rental or cloud, they do not want you to own anything, they are going to have all software as rental only next year, you will not be able to buy any software from autodesk at all.

    I will not go anywhere near them.

    As someone who's used Softimage almost every day since somewhere around 1990, you can say that again.

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,536
    edited December 1969

    Jimbow said:
    Anything from autodesk these days are either rental or cloud, they do not want you to own anything, they are going to have all software as rental only next year, you will not be able to buy any software from autodesk at all.

    I will not go anywhere near them.

    As someone who's used Softimage almost every day since somewhere around 1990, you can say that again.

    “One can't help but assume that Autodesk bought it to harvest technology then engineer its downfall,” says Dan Upton, a lighting TD at Jellyfish.

    http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/features/motion-graphics/long-lonely-death-of-softimage/

    I saw this last year and dug it out again. I hope this is not the future of Carrara.... fingers crossed. I keep looking at Z-Brush, but it's beyond my ability and budget for quite some time.

    :down: SileneUK

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    very sad silene

    a legacy normal map tool for photoshop see bottom of page at right,

    could be worth a play with

    http://quixel.se/ndo

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,536
    edited May 2015

    head wax said:
    very sad silene

    a legacy normal map tool for photoshop see bottom of page at right,

    could be worth a play with

    http://quixel.se/ndo

    Thanks, Andy. I'm going to try and purchase this again. It wanted Swedish Krone last time when I got to the basket and my US card attached to PP didn't want to process it. Maybe they have revamped their payment format. Will try. It looks like a great set of products for the money. A student licence is only $49. Fingers crossed!

    Cheers, x :-) SileneUK

    ETA: OK payment went through PP just fine even though it does take it in SK, now 2, 1 GB files, are downloading. Will give it a spin after the weekend!

    Post edited by SileneUK on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,671
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    probably old news, sorry if it's been posted

    Unreal engine is free, www.unrealengine.com

    check out this video !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjPiGVSnfI made in real time..... whatever real time is

    and the making of above video, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clakekAHQx0

    Bummer that I've run out of time in the middle of the "Making Of" presentation - I'll certainly be revisiting that ASAP!!!
    Way back when they've first become available, I've purchased the amazing X-Frog Billboard packs and later Dimension Theory's Econo-surroundings stuff. I was really impressed by how they've figured out how to use depth map information against the ray tracer to give real (or More-Real) lighting to billboard items. After thinking about that, I'm really quite sure that we could do the same via shaders in Carrara - I really think that suc a thing could become possible. Another thing that I've found interesting about their billboard trees is how they were using several planes to create a single tree - a technique I've been using when I was trying to use billboards in my animations to reduce the plane-like problems as the camera moves.

    Man, the Demo is truly a beautiful piece of work and a wonderful story. The presentation that follows is absolutely awe-inspiring! Thanks for the links!

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    SileneUK said:
    head wax said:
    very sad silene

    a legacy normal map tool for photoshop see bottom of page at right,

    could be worth a play with

    http://quixel.se/ndo

    Thanks, Andy. I'm going to try and purchase this again. It wanted Swedish Krone last time when I got to the basket and my US card attached to PP didn't want to process it. Maybe they have revamped their payment format. Will try. It looks like a great set of products for the money. A student licence is only $49. Fingers crossed!

    Cheers, x :-) SileneUK

    ETA: OK payment went through PP just fine even though it does take it in SK, now 2, 1 GB files, are downloading. Will give it a spin after the weekend!

    Pleasure!

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    probably old news, sorry if it's been posted

    Unreal engine is free, www.unrealengine.com

    check out this video !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zjPiGVSnfI made in real time..... whatever real time is

    and the making of above video, video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clakekAHQx0

    Bummer that I've run out of time in the middle of the "Making Of" presentation - I'll certainly be revisiting that ASAP!!!
    Way back when they've first become available, I've purchased the amazing X-Frog Billboard packs and later Dimension Theory's Econo-surroundings stuff. I was really impressed by how they've figured out how to use depth map information against the ray tracer to give real (or More-Real) lighting to billboard items. After thinking about that, I'm really quite sure that we could do the same via shaders in Carrara - I really think that suc a thing could become possible. Another thing that I've found interesting about their billboard trees is how they were using several planes to create a single tree - a technique I've been using when I was trying to use billboards in my animations to reduce the plane-like problems as the camera moves.

    Man, the Demo is truly a beautiful piece of work and a wonderful story. The presentation that follows is absolutely awe-inspiring! Thanks for the links!

    Yes it's amazing, aye? Lovely ending!

  • stringtheory9stringtheory9 Posts: 411
    edited May 2015

    I just discovered this software and it looks amazing. It lets you splice and combine BVH files and mix and match any bones combination while fixing joint offsets and more. It has a mapping function so you can map (retarget) any skeleton into a format that actually works in Carrara! It fixes foot sliding along with a host of other issues. You can even add a sountrack for timing and rotoscope. I'm 30 minutes into it so just scratching the surface right now but it has extensive documentation so there isn't too much guess work. This could be the Carrara animator/cleanup dream tool!

    It's free, runs on Mac or PC and there are a ton of animations that can be downloaded from the site.

    Enjoy! http://charactermotion.com/products/danceforms/index.html

    Post edited by stringtheory9 on
  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,018
    edited December 1969

    Incredible. Just what I was looking for. Actually, I ended up writing my own plugin which is only halfway done. I will definitely give a serious try to that software before carrying on.

    Thanks a lot for the link

    I just discovered this software and it looks amazing. It lets you splice and combine BVH files and mix and match any bones combination while fixing joint offsets and more. It has a mapping function so you can remap many different animation formats into a format that actually works in Carrara! I'm 30 minutes into it so just scratching the surface right now but it has extensive documentation so there isn't too much guess work. This could be the Carrara animator/cleanup dream tool!

    It's free, runs on Mac or PC and there are a ton of animations that can be downloaded from the site.

    Enjoy! http://charactermotion.com/products/danceforms/index.html

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited May 2015

    I just noticed the “making of” video for the Unreal Engine “world”, where they built an environment modeled after the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Pretty fascinating how they did it, if anyone is interested in stuff like that…

    I’ve always been a big proponent of CG people pushing back from their computers and going outside with a camera and taking photos. Why? Well, to learn about the world and lighting and texturing and shadows and colors and all that stuff. And also it’s a great way to make background for your renders, as well as texture images for your 3D objects.

    And the guys doing this Unreal Engine demo took that to the next level. They even sent a couple guys to New Zealand for a week (Scotland was too rainy), and the guys took many terabytes of photographic images of the rocks, trees, leaves, grass, etc so they could re-create them in 3D. And they used a technique called “photogrammetry”, where you take a bunch of fotos of, say, a big rock from all different angles and feed that into photo scanning software that generates very high resolution 3D meshes. It also generates very detailed photographic texture maps.

    They even brought some blue-screen cardboard sheets so they could photograph their leaves and grasses against the bluescreen for later compositing. Something that anyone here can do real quickly, even with a cellphone camera.

    One of the challenges was to “de-light” the resulting 3D objects, since the photos were taken in natural lighting (sun, shadows, ambient bounce light), and they need to undo all of that and make just a raw diffuse map so they can accurately light the object in their 3D renderer.

    Anyway, I’d encourage folks to take a look at the “making of” video and allow it to spark some excitement and interest in trying some new ways of generating your textures and objects. Some of you must be getting real bored with just downloading plugins and using premade stuff for all of your textures and objects and stuff. :) :) :) :)

    Also, the photo scanning software they used (Agisoft PhotoScan) is available for a 30 day trial. And I think the standard version is pretty reasonably priced. Might be an opportunity for someone to make some cool scanned objects....

    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • BradCarstenBradCarsten Posts: 737
    edited December 1969

    My favorite free programs: (Not sure how to search for repeats)

    Free Online Normal/bump/displacement map generator
    http://cpetry.github.io/NormalMap-Online/

    Free noise reduction software- absolutely brilliant.
    http://www.neatimage.com/

    Ivy generator
    http://graphics.uni-konstanz.de/~luft/ivy_generator/

    Blender- castle wall generator script:
    http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?105507-Masonry-wizard-(walls-castles-etc)

    Arbaro tree generator- bit of a pain to setup
    http://arbaro.sourceforge.net/

    Of course blender, but I'm sure that's already been mentioned.

  • cdordonicdordoni Posts: 576
    edited December 1969

    Also, the photo scanning software they used (Agisoft PhotoScan) is available for a 30 day trial. And I think the standard version is pretty reasonably priced. Might be an opportunity for someone to make some cool scanned objects....

    Yes, the standard version is $179. The Pro version has a few functions that are needed for GIS (mapping) and fish eye lens support. For most modeling needs, the standard version is a good choice.

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    I just discovered this software and it looks amazing. It lets you splice and combine BVH files and mix and match any bones combination while fixing joint offsets and more. It has a mapping function so you can map (retarget) any skeleton into a format that actually works in Carrara! It fixes foot sliding along with a host of other issues. You can even add a sountrack for timing and rotoscope. I'm 30 minutes into it so just scratching the surface right now but it has extensive documentation so there isn't too much guess work. This could be the Carrara animator/cleanup dream tool!

    It's free, runs on Mac or PC and there are a ton of animations that can be downloaded from the site.

    Enjoy! http://charactermotion.com/products/danceforms/index.html

    This interests me to no end, will definitely be taking a look. Thanks for sharing.

  • OnlyLuvsCatzOnlyLuvsCatz Posts: 22,347
    edited December 1969

    I will look at that danceforms too, thanks StringTheory, saw your post on forum about animal walk cycles

  • stringtheory9stringtheory9 Posts: 411
    edited December 1969

    I just discovered this software and it looks amazing. It lets you splice and combine BVH files and mix and match any bones combination while fixing joint offsets and more. It has a mapping function so you can map (retarget) any skeleton into a format that actually works in Carrara! It fixes foot sliding along with a host of other issues. You can even add a sountrack for timing and rotoscope. I'm 30 minutes into it so just scratching the surface right now but it has extensive documentation so there isn't too much guess work. This could be the Carrara animator/cleanup dream tool!

    It's free, runs on Mac or PC and there are a ton of animations that can be downloaded from the site.

    Enjoy! http://charactermotion.com/products/danceforms/index.html

    This interests me to no end, will definitely be taking a look. Thanks for sharing.

    :-)

  • stringtheory9stringtheory9 Posts: 411
    edited December 1969

    I will look at that danceforms too, thanks StringTheory, saw your post on forum about animal walk cycles

    Hi Wendy, I've had some more time to get familiar with it and it truly is the Carrara animation companion. It even has a walk cycle generator with configurable gate and speed and then lets you map out motion paths. I'm not sure if it does quads though. But I do think its the best animation editor I've come across with regards to fitting it in to a Carrara workflow. It's a little like iClone meets Webanimate meets BVHacker. :-)

  • Philemo_CarraraPhilemo_Carrara Posts: 1,018
    edited December 1969

    I will look at that danceforms too, thanks StringTheory, saw your post on forum about animal walk cycles

    Hi Wendy, I've had some more time to get familiar with it and it truly is the Carrara animation companion. It even has a walk cycle generator with configurable gate and speed and then lets you map out motion paths. I'm not sure if it does quads though. But I do think its the best animation editor I've come across with regards to fitting it in to a Carrara workflow. It's a little like iClone meets Webanimate meets BVHacker. :-)

    I agree with you. The more I use it, the more I like it.
    The only thing I regret I haven't yet found a way to do (And I've read the user manual twice) is to import constraints for an import model. It's necessary in order to use inbuilt IK (snap in this software jargon) which would ensure a finest animation on BVH import in Carrara.I still have to try collada import.
    Anyway, it's now definitely part of my workflow.

  • stringtheory9stringtheory9 Posts: 411
    edited December 1969

    Philemo said:
    I will look at that danceforms too, thanks StringTheory, saw your post on forum about animal walk cycles

    Hi Wendy, I've had some more time to get familiar with it and it truly is the Carrara animation companion. It even has a walk cycle generator with configurable gate and speed and then lets you map out motion paths. I'm not sure if it does quads though. But I do think its the best animation editor I've come across with regards to fitting it in to a Carrara workflow. It's a little like iClone meets Webanimate meets BVHacker. :-)

    I agree with you. The more I use it, the more I like it.
    The only thing I regret I haven't yet found a way to do (And I've read the user manual twice) is to import constraints for an import model. It's necessary in order to use inbuilt IK (snap in this software jargon) which would ensure a finest animation on BVH import in Carrara.I still have to try collada import.
    Anyway, it's now definitely part of my workflow.

    I saw that mentioned in the docs somewhere. I believe it's under the figure menu. I'll get the exact details and post them here in the morning (gotta be up for work in 5 hours)

  • stringtheory9stringtheory9 Posts: 411
    edited May 2015

    Philemo said:
    I will look at that danceforms too, thanks StringTheory, saw your post on forum about animal walk cycles

    Hi Wendy, I've had some more time to get familiar with it and it truly is the Carrara animation companion. It even has a walk cycle generator with configurable gate and speed and then lets you map out motion paths. I'm not sure if it does quads though. But I do think its the best animation editor I've come across with regards to fitting it in to a Carrara workflow. It's a little like iClone meets Webanimate meets BVHacker. :-)

    I agree with you. The more I use it, the more I like it.
    The only thing I regret I haven't yet found a way to do (And I've read the user manual twice) is to import constraints for an import model. It's necessary in order to use inbuilt IK (snap in this software jargon) which would ensure a finest animation on BVH import in Carrara.I still have to try collada import.
    Anyway, it's now definitely part of my workflow.

    My bad, I don't see how to import constraints but they can be defined in the studio window as limits by clicking on a bone and then dragging the constraint dots. Once they have been defined in the Studio window they can be saved with the figure. Not quite as good as importing but at least they only have to be defined once.

    Post edited by stringtheory9 on
  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 7,757
    edited December 1969

    is hex almost free? ;)

    here are some old hex tuts daz recently uploaded https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyhW1xnP-jn_UnFboSTp5VA

  • OnlyLuvsCatzOnlyLuvsCatz Posts: 22,347
    edited June 2015

    head wax said:
    is hex almost free? ;)

    here are some old hex tuts daz recently uploaded https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyhW1xnP-jn_UnFboSTp5VA


    ah the Hexagon Use guide PDF videos they lost on the old site (I have them and on my android too!!!) they resurfaced in docs a few times but kept vanishing, I guess they decided putting them on youtube easiest.
    Post edited by OnlyLuvsCatz on
  • MiloMilo Posts: 499
    edited December 1969

    Natron is an open-source • crossplatform nodal • compositing software

    https://natron.inria.fr/ The sample with source looks good

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    -_Milo_- said:
    Natron is an open-source • crossplatform nodal • compositing software

    https://natron.inria.fr/ The sample with source looks good

    Well, well, I can attest to the fact that Natron is awesome. I spent some time evaluating it yesterday. I watched a couple of demos and just one tutorial video, then I launched the software and poked through everything, and was pleasantly surprised at how intuitive it was compared to Fusion which took me quite some effort and lots of videos to get a hang of it. Now, to be fair, perhaps having broken in on how node compositing works with the help of fusion, I was simply transferring knowledge from Fusion to Natron, all the same, I found myself liking the way Natron's 'logic' seems to make it more straight forward figuring out what it is you want to do. I definitely wish I found it first before Fusion, though Fusion has way more functionalities so far, but looking up the team behind Natron, they're heavy on research and fast with development, it does look like they'll be catching up real fast. Fusion also has a wider user base and more tutorials out there, so I'm nicely conflicted at the moment. Good thing though is that no knowledge is lost, who knows, if I spend more time with Natron, some more concepts on node compositing might be unhinged in my brain which would unlock more things in Fusion and vice versa, sometimes one needs to step sideways to get a better view at things.

    Thanks for sharing Milo......Natron is definitely an awesome find, being free and open source not being the only reason why.

  • DADA_universeDADA_universe Posts: 336
    edited December 1969

    I randomly stumbled upon http://guerillarender.com/. I know there are a gazillion render engines out there all promising to have a 'make art button', so if you're already screaming oh no, not another one, please just ignore, but if you're incurably curious like I am, well, here goes. Not gone very far in evaluating this, but I like what I've seen thus far. Seems pretty robust under the hood and perhaps some kind programmer can create a port from Carrara sometime in the future. For now you can drag in an Obj to get going. It also supports an Alembic workflow, ditto exr, volumetrics and procedural geometry. Python scripting supported, you can get a standard licence for free and for commercial use too, though certain restrictions apply which are perhaps fair considering. The paid for licenses though are quite expensive but hey, at the point you have a real need to trade up, you should have some major commissions already that should be able to pay for the license. Downside is that the user community is still small, so limited tutorials available, but it does not seem to have a steep learning curve. You'll have to navigate to their forum to see sample renders, though, they're already boasting of some boasting of some impressive use cases in Hollywood, like Dredd, Total Recall and Mirror Mirror, amongst others. There must be something in the water in France, just like Natron which I commented on above, Guerilla Render is also being developed by a French team, about time I went to take a dip in the Seine.

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