Installing software is a simple affair. Carrara 8.5 (and Pro) can be installed using the usual exe file as normal, or we can use DIM - the Daz 3d Install Manager and now there's a new Daz Central way of installing.
No matter which you choose, there's something you need to know about installing the included content.
Carrara includes a Wizard system for certain things and also comes with a really nice selection of example files - a fully loaded browser of stuff to use, learn from, etc.,
When Carrara 8.5 came out, it was an Upgrade to Carrara 8, so the Carrara 8.5 Native Content files product in your library is only the additional Genesis content for the upgrade. You'll still want to install the Carrara 8 Native Content files in order to get Wizard functions and the full browser.
Carrara 8.5 Pro owners will also want to install the Pro content files for each as well!
Pro version includes much more for each of the Daz Figures support files. M4 and V4 for Carrara 8 Pro, and Genesis Male and Female content for 8.5 Pro.
The Official Installation Guide, by Daz 3D is always a great resource if you have further installation questions.
Part of my favorite magic of Carrara is that, for a 3D modeling software, it is particularly unique in that it can load Poser and Daz 3D content directly from its own browser - Intact!!! Meaning that the morphs work, the rigging is there - it's as if we were inside Daz Studio or Poser - but there are some things that don't work, which we need to know about. But like most other 3D modeling/rendering solutions out there, just because something doesn't work out of the box doesn't mean that we can't do it! For situations like that, it's best to head to the Carrara Discussion Forum at Daz 3D and inquire there. It is more common for me (myself) to stick with things that I know (or think) do work.
Looking for a Good Starting Point?
If you're new to Carrara and would like to read a great "Getting Started" thread about bringing in Genesis for the first time and going on and on from there, I can't recommend this thread enough, by forum member Diomede: No one asked me
Carrara hasn't been actively developed since 8.5 Pro was released with the exception of a few updates. The last version of Genesis that is officially supported is the first - Genesis (Victoria 5, Michael 5... all of the "5" family). However, Genesis 2 Male and Female figures DO WORK in Carrara 8.5, but have a few difficulty areas. Since the active development updates did not include the sixth generation, auto-fit (which fits clothing, etc., from a different generation to Genesis) doesn't know the difference between one Genesis generation and the next. So Auto-fit from Genesis to Genesis 2 (or the reverse) isn't even an available option. We can fit the items in Daz Studio and save the scene and open that in Carrara, however, and most everything should work quite well.
Well nearly the same thing occurs with Poser as well. They switched to their own form of Weight Mapping (more than this article is prepared to discuss), which does not work in Carrara. So the safe bet when looking for Poser compatibility products are things that are meant for Poser 6 or earlier.
Most often, this is only in regards to clothing and hair conforming figures and stand-alone custom figures - people and animals alike. I don't often have any trouble with scenery and other prop items.
As for the earlier mentions Genesis generation issues, there are some really cool work arounds to get some of even the very latest Daz items working in Carrara - so if this is what you're after, check out the Forum. There are some really knowledgeable, friendly people there who are always willing to help! My own articles spawned from "Introducing Rosie 5" touch on some of what I did to bring newer and older generations together to create my new Hero:
Just an FYI: There's a thread in the forum regarding things that don't entirely work in Carrara to come up with work-arounds to fix it: Buy Something That Doesn't Work in Carrara? Post your Questions and Workarounds here
Content Made for Carrara
There are some products that are made specifically for Carrara. If you bought these from Daz 3D, they too can be installed manually or using DIM or Daz Central. It has been my experience that these products normally install directly into the Carrara installation directory where the program resides.
Most of the time this means that the content will not automatically appear within the Carrara browser, which is silly. The creators of Carrara's browser system (in my honest opinion) made plenty of categories for us providers to install to - but I digress.
So if your Carrara-specific content is installed to its default location, you need to figure out what the folder name is and where it went.
In Carrara with the browser tab open and the appropriate tab selected (most often "Objects" or "Shaders", for example), click the icon above the browser on the far right (File/Folder Menu) and choose "Add Folder"
Navigate to the folder you've just installed and it will now appear on the bottom of that particular category in the browser.
A simple method that I use, instead of having to go through this for each item: Add Folder for Drive/Program Files/DAZ3D/Carrara8.5/Presets/:
Atmosphere (Misc Tab in Browser)
Background (Misc Tab in Browser)
Objects (Objects Tab in Browser)
Scenes (Objects Tab in Browser)
Shaders (Shaders Tab in Browser)
These folders will also shown what's already in the browser within the given tab, but will allow for deep searching for what was installed without having to keep adding more folders
So both options are just a matter of choice
Have a Question? Just Ask!
I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.
Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?
For these sorts of things, post your question at the Carrara Discussion Forum (or another appropriate category) at Daz 3D.com forums, and if I don't see it right away, someone else might. They are such a friendly and helpful bunch! I've learned so much from that forum over the years!
For a more immediate question directed to me, log into those forums and Send me a PM!