Some of My Personal Favorite
Daz 3D Poducts
It's absolute Magic how well Carrara works with our libraries of Poser and Daz 3D content, directly from its own browser, maintaining all of the main features we want in the first place - fully rigged, morphs, the ability to click to add poses and expressions, to add clothing and hair, etc.,
There are some things that we need to do manually, like sort out how to get the textures working properly for Carrara's render engines (see Character Design 01) and the newest Daz Studio DUF content always carries a risk that it won't work as easily as the Poser format content of the past, so we need to create workarounds. Often times such workarounds can be easily carried out using various tools in Daz Studio, saving a new version of the content back into our library.
While I love that we can do these workarounds, often very easily, more times than not I prefer to pick content that just loads in and works. Sometimes I'll get something that I know needs Daz Studio assistance just because either I really want the product or I have an idea for a different sort of workaround that I'd like to try, and sometimes simply because I want to pioneer something new on my own.
On this page I would like to take a walk through some of the content that I've purchased over the years that works really well in Carrara so that you can feel confident to grab Carrara-Approved products and like me, start to notice the patterns of who most often create such content. I won't be highlighting products that were made specifically for Carrara use here, because that's already a given that it'll work.
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
Also see my various pages in DAZ Zone > Daz 3D Content, where I highlight some of the products I've been using in my articles and tutorials.
Kibaretto's Starcarrier, Commander and Alpha Base work very nicely in Carrara and have a very unique, compatible design and style that makes the three sets work nicely together. At a glance, the audience will recognize the architecture and know who's base or ship they're on. It's the same unique styling used in his space craft products and newer set designs as well.
Watchtower has also been an invaluable kit for me. Add this as a foreground stage for actors and also plunk a bunch of them in the background for added depth of civilization in an otherwise hostile environment! Further adorn this with some Battle Towers for even more protection and variety.
The Guardian also fits right in as an awesome Sentinel, obviously created by the same engineers.
Kibaretto has made a bunch of other cool scene kits since. I plan to eventually collect them all, they're so cool!
From amazing scenery kits like Tyco Station and The Rabbit Hole to well-worn vehicles like M11-FLEA and Nomad to imaginative Robots and Beings like DreadNaught and Denizen along with cool character and creature enhancements like Troll 2112, Anu Naki and her A N Terra minions of the deep, and a whole slew of everything we need to finish populating such epic scenes, TheAntFarm has captivated my interest as long as I've been a Daz 3D customer!
...and these few items are just the tip of the 3D iceberg!
TheAntFarm's products are very well made and always seem to work in Carrara very well.
I love the textures and craftsmanship of the models, all the controls and features make them very animation friendly.
Even better, they look so cool that just looking at them helps to get that next story written!
With TheAntFarm, you seldom get a squeeky clean, brand new thing that just rolled off the showroom floor.
Nope. You get something that's been around the block - something with an apparent history!
...and he's Great at pulling that off!!!
I mention from time to time that I'm a little leery of buying some of the newer content that's only sold in Daz Studio (DUF) format simply because not all of them will work properly in Carrara. It's usually not a big deal because we can always open it in Daz Studio and figure out how to save it in a form that works for our needs.
Well with TheAntFarm, I never hesitate. I've recently bought some of his newest DUF-only products and I just love working with them - like I do all of his work!
20 seconds into my Character Design 01 tutorial video is a test shot I did in Carrara just as I was making that video. The scene comprises of every piece of the Sci-Fi Wall duplicated several times over to make a really big wall, littered with literally Hundreds of vehicles from his new Sky Traffic set, and the towers of civilian living buildings are built using both of his Vertical Living kits fully assembled, stacked high, and duplicated several times. That's a Lot of elements in a single scene, and it rendered smoothly without a hitch!
On that note, I've also built a rather sizable destroyed city with his Dystopian Desert Destruction Kit, which is Awesome! Like Sci-Fi Wall and his new Sci-Fi Hub (Amazing!!!), this kit comes loaded with options - lots of individual parts and presets to get started with.
I can go on and on about TheAntFarm and all of his products that I currently own and that my wish list at Daz 3D is fully loaded with more that I still need to collect. Just have a look at his store and see for yourself the multitudes of awesome he's created over the years - and it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon!
Check out TheAntFarm at Daz 3D, and be sure to look at the various promo images and goodies that come in each set!
Daz 3D has some really nice training materials available here. The well organized layout helps you find what you need while inspiring to learn more!
Jack Tomalin's Castillo del Diablo
This is an excellent kit, and Carrara makes this thing Shine! Notice the main promo image here - we see the background sky and some distant terrain. Those things are in abundance in Carrara!
Carrara's Realistic sky is such a powerful tool, as is Carrara's Terrain Editor. Whether using a preset, the wizard or building a scene from scratch - or any combination of those, for that matter, creating overall backdrop environments is something that can be done in just a few clicks in Carrara, and we can really take this process to vast measures, making really any sort of environment we can dream up - and even animate the thing!
Castillo del Diablo has this amazing keep entrance carved into an immense formation of very nicely modeled and textured stone cliff. Plunk this beautiful thing into your Carrara scene, perform that quick shader tweaking technique I talk about in Character Design 01, frame in the camera to the shot you want and render away!
Jack Tomalin is another one of those artists whose stuff just works! I buy Jack's work all the time. Most of these amazing products of his are also PC+ items, so we get them for the largest discounts on the planet!
Like nearly all (if not all) of his products, Castillo del Diablo comes with a bunch of individual pieces to build with as well as a preset that loads everything into place. This is great for kit bashing, but also to build things a bit differently than his original vision.
In a scene that I made back when I first got this, I duplicated the cliff a few times to make a larger area of stone so that I could back the camera out far. After doing that, it just seemed like a good idea to add more towers so I stacked up the upper tower pieces and recessed them into the stone making duplicates of each as I placed them.
I ended up animating a pretty cool orc battle in front of it! :)
Beware the Xerr!
Every library needs animals and creatures. And no Animals and Creatures library is complete without Xerr!!!
This amazing beast is the real deal. Very nicely modeled and textured, this wonderful fantasy creature is easy to render!
Just be careful because Xerr eat anything (Anything) living.
Perhaps the most world-renowned 3D CG Artist, Stonemason's products are something special - every time you open one. Meticulous, yet efficient, each kit loads and renders nicely and is very friendly to set up in Carrara. Of the latest products of his that I've purchased, they came in both DUF (Daz Studio) and OBJ formats for user compatibility. I loaded the DUF version into Carrara without an issue.
Even his earliest Daz 3D work is top-notch!
One day when I was shopping around, looking for something fairly specific, I ran across this beautiful promo image, so I clicked on it. Silent City, by The DigiVault. Hmmm.
The promo images look really, really nice. It looks like a really full, encompassing set of a ruined future city.
This changed my mind about what I was looking for - I want this instead - so I bought it.
Eagerly, I loaded it into Carrara. Wow.
The clay render image to the right is a top-down view. It doesn't even begin to do this incredible set justice.
Huge multi-level city scene with a 90 degree bend, as tall as one could hope for and the levels are fun and easy to work with.
On top of that, it's very efficiently modeled!
Each of the surrounding tall buildings are separate props. You wouldn't know that at first. It all comes preloaded in a very cool, massive scene. I was so pleased that I'm making it a point to collect his entire store. In doing so, I've noticed a similarity here. Every material zone is numbered and described in its name. This makes shader optimization a breeze! This is one of those scene where the fog of the realistic sky in Carrara adds perfect depth and a sense of danger!
Let's look at some more from this incredible artist!
I have more - my collection of his stuff is nearly complete! I see he's got something new too! Mmmmm!!!
All of these scenes are designed to envelope the whole surrounding scene with interest, and he does it in a very efficient manner, like I said. The Underside actually has a bunch of buildings outside with lights, wires, etc., instead of just an image plane. So cool! This way we can animate some of that and even have things going on outside the building, jump over the edge, something can come in over the wall....
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!