Carrara user Joe Pingleton combined a looping NLA walkcycle with Fractal Dimensia’s PySwarm script, the PyCarrara plugin, and Sparrowhawke3D’s Follow Terrain plugin to create this animation test of multiple figures finding their way across a varied terrain.
He explains the process:
This is another experiment with the PySwarm plug in for Carrara 8.5 Pro and NLA Clips. This time the figures follow the terrain object using Sparrowhawke3d’s Follow Terrain Plug In for Carrara.
I created a “Boid” group that was a figure with a looping walk cycle NLA clip with a duration of 2 minutes. Then I replicated that “Boid” 10 times and numbered the “Boid” groups. Then I used PySwarm to generate a movement script with 10 boids and 1 attractor object. Then I imported the PySwarm script into Carrara. Then I applied Sparrowhawke3d’s Follow Terrain Plug In to make each “boid” drop to the surface of the terrain object. One walk NLA clip and the Pyswarm script control all movement, no key frame editing.
Sparrowhawke3D plugins have been updated for Carrara 8 on the Mac in 32bit and 64bit flavors, including recent versions of Jiggle and Cloth. The “experimental” Laboratory plugins have also been updated and are offered as a separate download.
Carrara will have a new GPU render option soon, according to an announcement on Octane Render’s website!
“Today we’re proud to announce that an integrated plug-in is being developed for Carrara from DAZ 3D by Simon Guard….
Carrara users will be pleased to know that they will soon be able to experience OctaneRender’s dazzling speed and quality from inside DAZ 3D’s Carrara, allowing an instantaneous photoreal preview of the scene while editing cameras, lights, materials and objects in the scene.”
on February 3rd, Otoy put out a limited call for beta testers for their Octane Render plugin. It currently supports Windows 7 & 8 preferably 64-bit, and Carrara 8+ (64bit Pro preferred). The testing phase will take “a few weeks” and when it’s done the plugin will then be released as an ongoing beta product. http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=38065#p169499
**UPDATE – new video posted Jan 26 2014
Plugin author Simon Guard posted a second video showing his progress with the Octane Render plugin for Carrara. The video demonstrates some JAW DROPPING NEAR-REALTIME updates between Carrara’s Assembly Room and Octane’s GPU-powered unbiased renderer.
DAZ 3D’s Millennium Dragon 2 model is loaded in Carrara and posed. One of the shaders is converted to the plugin’s Octane Materials Shader tree, which helpfully preserves the original shader in a sub-tree until Octane’s shaders are activated. A menu item will batch convert shaders, but it is not obvious from the video whether converting improved render speed or quality. Remarkably, Carrara’s native shader appeared to pass the imagemap textures to Octane as well.
Trees from Carrara’s Plant Modeler are replicated. A small Terrain with several instances of trees demonstrates Octane’s depth-of-field. As a pièce de résistance HowieFarkes’ NOBLE PINES full environment scene is opened in Carrara and rendered by Octane, although limits of the automated material conversion become apparent. The update looks promising already, but a title at the end says there is still much to do, “texture baking” “animation” and “live DB”.
**from Oct 25 2013
Octane Render offers GPU-based unbiased renders in realtime on your graphics card. The company claims speed increases of 10x to 15x over traditional CPU based unbiased engines. Octane Render supports all major platforms and runs with Window XP, Vista, 7, 8 (32 or 64 bit), Linux 64 bit and MacOS X. Currently, Octane Render requires a CUDA enabled Nvidia video card to be installed.
Octane Render runs as a standalone program, but over the last few months the Octane community has been rolling out integrated plugins for a growing list of 3D programs including Maya, 3DS MAX, Lightwave, Blender, and Cinema4D. The integrated plugin for DAZ 3D’s Carrara was announced on October 24.
A lengthy video below shows the current state of the plug-in:
A release date and price for the plugin has not been announced. The plugin will require a Standalone license, but combo prices for the Standalone and various plugins are offered on the website:
PySwarm for PyCarrara 0.6 was recently released (01-25-2014), among the many new functions and fixes, is the addition of several demo scenes to experiment with and learn from.
FractalDimensia also recently revealed the future plans for PySwarm at the DAZ 3D forum thread:
So here is the current order of future MAJOR enhancements (I’m leaving out other improvements): 1) Revised containment algorithm (V0.6.1) 2) Basic motion animation (V0.6.2) 3) Terrain following (V0.7) 4) More motion animation (V0.7.1) 5) Predator-Prey rule (V0.8) With that said, I am willing to consider shifting priorities based on user needs. “First come, first serve.” If you have a need for a feature, and no one else is requesting something else, just let me know. I’ll consider changing the order!
Prolific plugin creator Fenric has released another helpful Carrara addon called MOVE TO CAMERA, and that is exactly what it does: selected items in the Assembly Room hierarchy are moved directly in front of the current rendering camera.
This release raises the total number of plugins offered on Fenric’s web store to eleven, several are free.
In my tests the base of the objects were moved more or less to sit directly in view of the render camera. Interestingly, the objects did not appear to be positioned in relation to their hotpoint, and some items were moved near to, but not directly in front of the camera. Clearly the purpose of the plugin is to make finding and repositioning objects in your scene easier, and should be helpful to anyone who creates large scenes with many objects.
A trial version of MOVE TO CAMERA is available on Fenric’s Downloads page and will work for about 10 minutes before timing out. The plugin license can be purchased for $5 http://fenric.com/wordpress/downloads/