How are you doing?
We are delighted to talk with you today. Doing great!
To begin, what are your thoughts regarding the Carrara 8 release?
Overall I was really excited about the release. It came at a good time for the company, and was a great way to start the summer. The included features seemed to be strong for this release. We took time to ask the community what final features they wanted from a list of possibilities. They choose the Bullet Physics. This would not have been my first choice but we took the input from the Carrara Community and had the physics ready for release. It was a big hit!
How did Carrara 8 compare to past Carrara releases at DAZ 3D?
Carrara 8 was one of our strongest releases ever. We are very happy with how it’s been received and the community that continues to grow around this amazing product. We have a goal of increasing the awareness and user base around Carrara, we feel it’s a tremendously capable tool that too few are aware of.
What class of software does DAZ 3D aim to develop Carrara for?
Carrara is not all things to everyone. We clearly see this as the most advanced software that we offer. Itâ€™s the natural progression from DAZ Studio, Hexagon and/or Bryce with its capabilities. Carrara has always been a good companion tool for all other high end and specialized tools. We see a lot of users whose pipeline includes Carrara. Iâ€™m continually surprised when a professional animator, modeler or a movie maker sends us clips of their work. Itâ€™s very impressive.
From my point of view, Carrara’s interface is oriented towards an animator’s world, but at the same time it seems to be moving in different directions. What actual road-map do you see for Carrara?
Of course with all the advances we are making, ease of use is critical. We strive to create tools that are not intimidating but easy to learn. We also want to make sure the tools used for modeling, rendering and animation are usable for every user, regardless of their experience.
We also have challenges in maintaining compatibility between our tools and with our figures. Sometimes the focus on figure integration slows down many features we want to develop in other areas. This makes many of the feature requests we receive from the community difficult if not impossible to implement. We are committed to developing capabilities to utilize our 3D figures in all our applications.
Right now, our focus is to add more depth to the existing features, while adding support for the new tools the community is clamoring for.. One such area of focus is content navigation. This is a problem for all our apps, so we’ve been working hard to develop a central service that will improve this for all our tools.
In forums about Carrara we occasionally see debates whether Carrara is a professional tool or that it is only a tool for hobbyist. What is your opinion?
Really my opinion is only that, an opinion. Yes, it can be used by both hobbyist and professionals. The reality is that there is a quiet community of professional users who produce incredible work. We work with many people who produce pieces for broadcast (TV), movies and even more for book illustrations. So is it a professional tool? Yes. Is it priced for everyone to use these high end capabilities, Yes! I think the fact that professionals are using Carrara is an inspiration to the amateurs who also use these tools. They know that when their skills improve they can be creating projects with professional results.
What do you think about Carrara’s evolution?
When we attend trade shows we have a lot of people approach us who have used Carrara for years, even since its inception. Carrara has many loyal users who all want this high-end tool to continue to move forward. Iâ€™ve loved the progress Carrara has made since I began working with the community to outline features back for Carrara 6.5, 7 and 8. The input from the community really helps round out the needed improvements. I just wish we had the time and resources to accommodate more of the requests.
Now there is a very important question to all of those who use Carrara. What future plans does DAZ 3D see for Carrara? Are there any concrete plans and ideas for Carrara 9?
The list is long for features we want in Carrara 9.0. However with limited resources and time we will try to make the most of it. One of the projects currently being worked on is the compatibility to use the new Genesis figure that has been developed for DAZ Studio 4.0. Carrara will have the ability to open the file and allow full access to the figure.
We are also looking to improve the OGL display within Carraraâ€™s viewport.
Does DAZ 3D see specific areas of Carrara that need to be improved? What is planned?
We know there are many UI and workflow improvements needed. Weâ€™ve received many detailed reports from users on how to create the needed fixes. We will begin work on an initial implementation for Carrara 9, but we wonâ€™t be able to do it all in one release. It will have to be a phased implementation.
We are also aware of fixes needed in the Dynamic Hair tool. We will be spending time to fix issues there as well.
A substantial effort is under-way to develop a new standard file format for DAZ 3Dâ€™s products. This new format will also be implemented inside Carrara. We know this is not a trivial implementation, but the results should be a large improvement in working with all the DAZ 3D owned software products over the next year or so.
DAZ 3D has made some impressive steps by implementing the Bullet Physics Engine into Carrara 8.0. Can we expect more steps like this for upcoming releases of Carrara?
Definitely. There are many other such toolsets available that we hope to integrate into our software applications. We would love to hear what other such engines or toolsets our users are most interested in us tackling next.
DAZ 3D renovated rigging system for DAZ Studio Advanced and migrated from zones based rigging to weight mapped rigging system for generation 5 figures. Will Carrara’s rigging tools set get renovations too so people could create content inside Carrara?
This a great question. The good news is that the Carrara rigging system is very similar to the one used in DAZ Studio 4. The difference is how the weights are painted per axis. Carrara is standard for painted weights to most in the industry, we would like to add to the functionality at some point. Our desire is to make the changes in Carrara to accommodate compatibility with DAZ Studio 4. We are working to prioritize projects for Carrara 9 right now, and we will have to see where this falls. I can’t say for sure when it will be in, but we want to see it there.
Does DAZ 3D have plans to expand their market area? For example, what does DAZ 3D think about fast growing and evolving Linux base?Â Would there be any chances to see any DAZ 3D software to run natively on Linux? More importantly can we expect rewritten tools by DAZ 3D that could be OS independent?
We would love to get all of our tools to be as OS independent as possible. This is not a trivial task, especially for products that have been around for a while, like Carrara. Wherever we are able to make in-roads into this, we push as far as we can.
DAZ 3D has a cool set of applications to develop. Can we expect generation 5 of DAZ 3D figures to be developed entirely in DAZ 3D software and that Carrara will take the lead?
As stated above, we are integrating the new Genesis figure to be opened directly into Carrara. This will be the first time a DAZ Studio file format will be read directly into Carrara. This is an exciting time for our customers. We hope this will solve many of the issues with compatibility with the DAZ 3D Content.
Is there anything special regarding Carrara’s development team that youâ€™d like to tell to the public?
We are a diverse group. One thing many people donâ€™t understand is that we work with developers all over the world. Not only do we have a development team in Utah, but Pierre is working from Paris, France. We have also had developers in other European countries and at one time one located in Australia. We try to keep our team flexible, not only in the time they come into the office but where they work.
Thank you very much for your time!
You are very welcome. DAZ 3D is very excited to help with the Carrara User Group and the www.CarraraCafe.com web site. We look forward to working and adding to the discussions coming from the strong Carrara Community.
I keep hearing that Carrara’s SDK could be more open. There are any plans to improve the SDK?
We’re looking into this to see how best to open this up similar to how the DAZ Studio SDK is freely available. We’re convinced that the more we can open things up for the community to leverage, the greater our products can become.
Are there any special customs like singing a special song, do a little dance or something like that before the developers sit in front of their computers to work on Carrara?
There are no rules! It depends on the season and the mood.
What feature in Carrara makes development team feel proud of themselves?
There are a lot of features in Carrara, all different from each other. As engineers, being proud is usually attached to being able to resolve challenging problems. In Carrara 8 the multi-threading optimization was one of these cases. But working on Carrara is not just being an engineer, we are also users. And as users, we are proud when a feature pleases and answers the needs from people that are using the software. In that regards, the Bullet integration was a long demanded feature and we are happy that we could provide to our users. Ultimately, being proud is just one step. We always want to deliver something better. We are quickly seeing the future and how our features could be improved, made easier to use or extended. This is keeping us filled with new problems to solve!
I am sure we all would like to know a little more about the people behind Carrara, what hobbies do you have when you are not sitting at the desks writing code for Carrara?
I have many hobbies that keep me busy when not working on Carrara. It is fun to see that even if we are scattered around the world, I share some activities with my coworkers. I am a mountain biker and skier. The only difference is that they go in Utah’s mountains to practice whereas I go in the French Alps! I also like spending some time using graphics software to do some 3D modeling, drawing or painting for instance. This is different than writing code and it is good for personal development. Itâ€™s one reason why I work in the graphic software industry.
Is there a time when you are not at work and all of a sudden you had an idea pop into your mind about how to improve Carrara or a new feature youâ€™d like to add?
There is no predefined time for this. What is great about working on rendering and modeling software like Carrara is that living our life provides plenty of such time. It could be hiking in the country and seeing how a tree is moving in the wind, being in winter in the mountain and looking at the snow packing on mountain peaks. Just observing the world around is usually source of many new ideas! Another moment could be when we let go the engineer part of us to let our artistic side express by using Carrara on any other software creating some 3D art. This is a good time where idea pops out!
Many users know that Carrara was born when Ray Dream Studio (RDS) and Infini-D were merged into one package. Carrara is one of those software applications with a long history with its predecessors RDS and Infini-D or as a Carrara Studio from Eovia. How did DAZ 3D decided to acquire Carrara software from Eovia?
Actually Eovia contacted us regarding the acquisition of Carrara. We were very excited with the feature rich toolset provided in the software. We knew it was years ahead of where we were in the development of DAZ Studio. We also knew that Carrara had some Poser compatibility. That was an important part of the decision. Community was also very important to DAZ 3D, and the Carrara community has a strong following. With the diverse skills, abilities and industries found within the user base of Carrara, DAZ 3D loved the differing showcases of work. Really, the tools in Carrara cross-pollinize with the direction we want to head with DAZ 3D.
As Carrara was purchased by DAZ 3D, what were the initial plans for Carrara?
Obviously content integration was important to us, as we are heavily vested in the 3D content market, but ultimately we wanted to simply help the Carrara community continue to thrive.