*UPDATE* Octane Render for Carrara – “a few weeks” away

*UPDATE* Octane Render for Carrara – “a few weeks” away

Octane Render

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.”

http://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=36332

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:

OctaneRender™ Standalone Edition 1.20 License (199 €)

OctaneRender™ for Poser® + Standalone Combo v1.x License (329 €)
OctaneRender™ for Maya® + Standalone Combo v1.x License (359 €)
OctaneRender™ for LightWave™ + Standalone Combo v1.x License (339 €)

a plugin for DAZ Studio is currently in beta and available for purchase:
OctaneRender™ for DAZ Studio v1.0 beta + Standalone v1.1 License Combo (279 €)

PySwarm for PyCarrara 0.6 Released – Planned new features revealed

PySwarm for PyCarrara 0.6 Released – Planned new features revealed

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!

Further information can be found at the DAZ 3D forum thread, where FractalDimensia has an excellent startpage including details about installation, user guide, release notes and much more:
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/31190/

PySwarm_Logo_2

Luxus for Carrara Manual (PDF)

Luxus for Carrara Manual (PDF)

For all users who are interested in a Luxus PDF manual, here it is. Thanks to Spheric Labs for his permission.

This unofficial manual based on the development/documentation blog, you can find here including some related downloads:

-> http://carraracafe.com/plugins/luxus-the-luxrender-plugin-for-carrara-developmentdocumentation-blog/

You can download the manual itself here (comic style):
http://carraracafe.com/downloads/

Update: 2013, December, 14

– Tip added: Alpha and Transparency (by Spheric Labs)

by Holly and rk.

Luxus Manual (unofficial)

Move to Camera plugin by Fenric

Move to Camera plugin by Fenric

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.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 1.50.23 PM

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/

Advanced Shader Tweaker plugin by Fenric

Advanced Shader Tweaker plugin by Fenric

We all love the convenience of Poser content in Carrara but tweaking every shader is a tedious task, especially when it is the same settings over and over: reduce the shiny highlights, remove the extraneous color multiply… . Shader tricks that control settings in Poser often have no equivalent in Carrara, leaving a trail of “junk DNA” in the shader tree. Meanwhile, common settings like the bump and shininess values for a figure’s “skin” are scattered across multiple shaders…. We’ve come to accept that the benefits of content outweigh the inconvenience of manually translating each of Poser’s shaders by hand, one by one.

But no more! Fenric has released his ADVANCED SHADER TWEAKER plugin which adjusts many multi-shader values all at once!

AdvancedShaderTweaker

  • remove color multiply
  • remove extraneous alpha operations
  • Highlight value
  • Shininess value
  • Copy texture to bump
  • Bump amplitude value
  • Texture Filtering: Sampling, Gaussian, Fast MipMap
  • Enable Blurry Reflections
  • Reflection strength
  • Reflection bounce depth
  • Reflection fresnel
  • Transparency depth
  • Index of Refraction
  • SSS Translucence
  • SSS Reflection
  • SSS Fresnel
  • SSS Refraction
  • SSS Intensity
  • Translucency Value

The usual suspects are addressed directly in the Assembly Room so you can tackle the most common problems immediately as you load items into your scene.

It works by selecting the model (or models) to have the shaders adjusted for, and select the “Advanced Shader Tweaker” option from the “Fenric” menu, located under the main “Edit” menu. All the model’s shaders are adjusted at once.

FenricEditAST

If you hold down the “shift” key while choosing the menu option, then the tweaker will start in “texture filter” mode, where only the texture filtering options will be displayed. Finally, a fix to Carrara 8.5’s insistence on changing every texture shader to Fast Mip Map!

ASTtexturefiltering

The plug in is available now and costs only $10. A free trial version is available to download, and will operate for 10 minutes before automatically being disabled.
http://fenric.com/wordpress/downloads/

In order to enable full functionality, a license key must be purchased at Fenric’s store.
http://www.fenric.com

PySwarm: Swarming Python Script for PyCarrara

PySwarm: Swarming Python Script for PyCarrara

PySwarm

PySwarm for Carrara is a Python script by fractaldimensia specifically designed and written to use with DAZ 3D Carrara’s plug-in PyCarrara to manipulate and render realistic swarming object and other similar forms of group behavior in Carrara.

Historically, anyone who wanted to create an animation sequence that simulated flocking, herding, schooling, swarming, or other group behaviors had two options.

1) Create flight paths for each individual in the group. This can be very time consuming and prone to difficulties if you want to change any of the paths.
2) Use a replicator to create groups of animals. This can lead to animations that are not realistic enough because replicators require animals move in unison.

PySwarm offers a third and more flexible choice. Realistic swarming animation can be achieved by loading the PySwarm script into a text editor, selecting the behaviors you wish to simulate, tweaking a few parameters, importing the script into your scene, and rendering the resulting keyframe-based simulation.

An essential feature of PySwarm is that users of the script do NOT have to know how to program in Python to use it. The PySwarm script was engineered in a way that anyone who has Python and the PyCarrara plug-in installed on their computer can, with minimal effort, render complex-looking animation sequences.

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of animation sequences the PySwarm script is being designed to support.

  • Bees swarming around a beehive
  • Butterflies flying in an open field
  • A herd of horses running through a valley
  • An army of soldiers marching, but not in precise formation
  • Mechanical spiders swarming a futuristic fort
  • Predators moving through a large flock of prey (wolves and sheep, barracudas and fish, “bad guy”
    moving through a crowd of people)
  • Two groups of fighter aircraft in close “fur ball” combat

download the latest PySwarm script (V.0.3.1) along with a Users Guide and two .CAR starter files to use with the script here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8V9-txK8F4Mb0JBZ0tQVndmRkU/edit?usp=sharing

The PyCarrara plugin can be downloaded here:
http://pycarrara.sourceforge.net

These videos show PySwarm in action

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