By Michael Burns | on February 12, 2009
Price When Reviewed: 370 . 115 . 170
Pros: 3D Paint; Vertex modelling enhancements; multi-pass rendering; stronger Daz 3D integration and free content; UV and modelling enhancements; Collada support.
Cons: Limited number of new features; user guide needs updating; no Collada for Mac version and Windows Collada import is missing.
Compositing software can also make use of these individual render passes to speed up the output of VFX animation. When choosing which passes to render, you can select whole groups, for example to add ambient, diffuse and specular layers at the same time, but it’s just as simple to select individual layers for rendering.
Carrara accepts a range of image formats, and you can choose from element options to save the renders into a separate image files or a single image file using multiple layers (providing you’re using a file format that supports this, such as PSD). The resulting passes are then displayed in Carrara, and are also saved as files.
Modelling enhancements include the ability to work with Vertex Modelling tools in both the Assembly and the Modeling room. This means that you can quickly work on figures and objects as they are posed and positioned in the scene or on an isolated model in a default pose in the modeling room. On the subject of figures, Daz 3D content is fully supported in Carrara.
There’s no longer any need to mess about with transposer utilities or plug-ins, as you can import .DAZ format content faithfully from the Content tab of the browser. You can perform many of Daz Studio or Poser’s figure, prop assembly and posing tasks, with the added bonus of the modelling, rendering and animation facilities of Carrara. This will be of more benefit to Daz Studio users, as the Poser renderer is already very capable.
Two of the latest Daz Millennium figures, Victoria 4 and Michael 4, are included with the Pro version and there is a marked improvement in the handling of .DAZ scene files being loaded into Carrara 7.0. However, to preserve whole scenes exported from Daz Studio, you need to download the 220.127.116.11 version (or higher) of it first.
Once you’ve added models to the scene, you have access to the new Level of Detail (LOD) facility. This allows you to use lower-resolution meshes while working in the scene, but render with a higher-resolution mesh. A dialog box under the Parameters tab in the Properties tray allows you to add LOD and use different resolution meshes, depending on how far the figure is from the camera. The only caveat is that the figure or object needs to have LOD levels available and each mesh must have the same vertices as the other levels.