This is Part 2 of the Carrara-izing Blender article series. This time we will look into different possibilities for moving from Carrara to Blender and also common work methods between them, to make it easier to use them both. The first part was originally written by JoeMamma2000 in the DAZ3D forum and can be found here.
Common Render engines – Octane
One major common aspect of both Carrara and Blender, is the Octane plug-in by Otoy for both rendering and shaders (materials).
Octane is available in both a stand-alone version, but also has integrated plug-ins for both Blender and Carrara, making it easier to work in both apps.
While the integrated plug-in has a different user interface due to its heavy integration in Blender or Carrara, there are several common areas like materials, lighting, cameras and so on, that can be used the same way since the render engine is the same.
Octane comes with a high price tag and a big feature set, but you can start with the free demo version to check if you meet the hardware requirements.
Currently it needs an NVIDIA GPU, get a demo version here.
Common Render engines – Luxrender and LuxCore
Another common render engine and material database, is the free Luxrender application that includes a free Blender plugin, but need a low cost commercial plugin for Carrara, Luxus for Carrara at DAZ3D.com.
An advantage with Luxrender is that it has full support for CPU rendering (no specific GPU limits or limited VRAM) at the cost of longer render times, but it also is possible to render via GPU.
The upcoming Luxrender 2.0 has been delayed, but a project re-boot is started and work is ongoing to improve.
There is a beta version of the Carrara plugin LuxusCore, with the Luxrender 2.0 engine integrated, more info here.
The Blender manual for LuxCore is here.
Export from Carrara to Blender Cycles, script by mCasual
Started in 2015 october and last updated in 2017 November, the mcjBlendBotForCarrara script has been around for a long time.
The scripts speeds up the export from Carrara to Blender and the Cycles render engine (now supports both AMD and NVIDIA GPUs).
Get the download from here and also save the PDF files of the web site, since it includes several must-have tips to get it to work: https://sites.google.com/site/mcasualsdazscripts2/mcjblendbotspecial
Bforartists vs Blender
A complete stand-alone version of Blender with a more user-friendly interface, called Bforartists is available from here: https://www.bforartists.de/
Have not tried it myself yet, but it is a free download like Blender, so go ahead and try it yourself.
Some info from the Bforartists FAQ: Q: Why should i use Bforartists and not Blender? You should use Bforartists when you are not comfortable with Blender, but are with Bforartists. I have seen generations of new 3D artists fail at the Blender UI, but being fine with other 3D packages then. Q: What is the difference between Blender and Bforartists? First let me point out where it is equal. There is no difference in the features. The main difference lies in the UI and usability.
Blender’s usability philosophy is centered around hotkeys and speed.
Bforartists usability philosophy is centered around the graphical menu. With an intuitive and easy to learn workflow. Made from an artist for artists.
The fluid simulation plugin for Carrara, FLUIDOS 1.1, is released now (Windows x64 only, by now)
A free christmas present by Alvin Bémar at ShareCG: https://www.sharecg.com/v/90155/view/9/Plug-in/Fluidos.
Includes a detailed manual and support for AMD or NVIDIA graphics cards for acceleration.
Version 1.00 was released 2017-12-24.
Version 1.01 was released 2017-12-26, update if you got FLUIDOS early due to a bug.
Version 1.1 was 2018-01-24 with the following change log: -Now, the depth in hierarchy is unlimited. Anything can be parented inside the Fluid Domain at any level. -Fluid Domain can be scaled using Overall (or its equivalent in Scale tool). -FluidS now can resize the diffuse particles (the default is 1.0) -A Range force slider allows to “thicken” the extent of the surface forces to one or two cells away the solid (default is one). -The user could now turn off OpenCL. -It was implemented three more GridFluidSim3d diffuse particles features: maximum lifetime, wavecrest emission rate, turbulence emission rate. The default values are the current ones in Fluidos 1.01 -The manual is updated. -Some bugs fixed.
Alberto: “I created an extension than comunicates with the Guy’s fluidsim software. So we can use Carrara objects and forces and the plugin translate this to fluidsim. The results are saved in bakefiles that the plugin reads for Carrara.
The Guy’s simulator has many features. I only retouched it something to use Carrara forces.”
Alberto: “LightX is a plugin with three new types of lights: BulbLightX, SpotLightX and AreaLightX. They are equivalent to Bulb, Spot and Shape (disc) lights in Carrara 8.5, but the LightX counterparts have real distance squared Fall Off (inverse quadratic). In addition, you can choose an inverse custom exponent from any real number from -2 to 5.”
Philemo has been busy with creating useful plugins for Carrara lately. This time it is the NoPokethrough plugin for Carrara, that had a free alpha version some time ago, but has now timed out while we wait for an official release at a Carrara content store. So what is it exactly? Philemo explains:
It’s a modifier you can apply on any figure or prop that removes poke through. It also creates morphs so that you don’t have to do the computation every time you do something. Morphs are keyframed and you can add different ones for different situations (a poke through created by a particular posture).
Latest status update by Philemo from 2016 November:
I’ve added a lot of features since and I’m slowly debugging it (while refraining to add more features 🙂 ). Once done, I have to compile and test for OSX and I’ll be ready to release a beta version.
So how does it work?
Add “No PokeThrough general utility” modifier to the actor or model of the cloth. You can have as much as you need (one initial, another one for cloth on cloth situation, other dedicated to a particular posture that isn’t solved by the initial one).
Target : Object to check against. Often, it’s the figure wearing the cloth, but not necessarily. Can be other clothes (cloth on cloth poke through), a prop or whatever you can intersect with. It’s better be the instance (model or actor, not the figure or a group, unlike the example). I can’t figure out why, but the intersection works better. Distance from body : minimum distance to body. Default to 0.1 inch (2.54mm) Dynamic : If ticked, collision solving is done whenever necessary. As it can take from 0.1 seconds, up to 2 or 3 depending on complexity, use it sparsily before creating a morph (because whenever necessary maybe quite often :-)) Morph name. Name that will be used for storing morph into the model. Will be corrected if necessary for unicity. “Create” button : create the morph “Update” button : update the morph offsets (resolve collision again) Morph value : coefficient of the morph (as in parameter tab). “Delete” button : delete the morph
This video by Philemo both explains how to use the NoPokethrough plugin for Carrara and also shows a second step-by-step method that results in better morphs: