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Author Topic: Is Carrara 8 compatible?  (Read 6119 times)

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Sommnia

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Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« on: June 18, 2010, 09:18:47 PM »

Hi, I'm new to creating a game and have a question about whether Carrara 8 is compatible 3d software  http://www.daz3d.com/i/software/carrara8?_m=d   with the WME...?

If not, what other 3d software - apart form Milkshake - are compatible?

I much appreciate your help  ::)

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MKG

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2010, 11:35:28 PM »

Depends what you mean, Sommnia. If you mean "Can I import a Carrara scene directly into WM?" then the answer is no. If you mean "Can I import a rendered scene from Carrara into WM?" then the answer is yes. Horses for courses - WM is a 2.5D application, not a full-blown 3D thing. On the other hand, if you were just talking about models from Carrara, then as long as you can export to x format WM will gladly accept it. Treat WM as a theatre stage, complete with backdrops, and you won't go too far wrong.

Having said this, I'm an inexperienced user - so I'm prepared to be shot down.
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2010, 12:45:56 AM »

Depends what you mean, Sommnia. If you mean "Can I import a Carrara scene directly into WM?" then the answer is no. If you mean "Can I import a rendered scene from Carrara into WM?" then the answer is yes. Horses for courses - WM is a 2.5D application, not a full-blown 3D thing. On the other hand, if you were just talking about models from Carrara, then as long as you can export to x format WM will gladly accept it. Treat WM as a theatre stage, complete with backdrops, and you won't go too far wrong.

Having said this, I'm an inexperienced user - so I'm prepared to be shot down.

Thanks MKG for taking the time to write your thoughts on this.  I was thinking along the lines of creating rooms or scenes to import into WME - the term render is a new one for me as I am completely new to the world of creating computer games.  I take it that render means the scene is then complete? ready for the game.  I would also need an animation software for simple tasks, ie doors opening, brief movement of a figure or thing.
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MKG

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 09:13:40 PM »

Ah - and I thought I was inexperienced  :D

No - a rendered scene is a virtual photograph of the 3D scene you set up in Carrara (or Daz Studio, or Poser, or any other such thing) - and it obviously is then a 2D scene. As such, it can be used in Wintermute. In front of that, you can place true 3D characters and animate them. If it's done well, it's difficult to tell that you're not looking at a full 3D environment (just don't expect to see anyone actually walking through a door - but a scene transition as the door is approached is just as effective).

Take a look at the Art of Murder demo to see just how effective the illusion can be.

Oh - I forgot to mention that what you're thinking of doing is precisely what I do - set up a scene in Carrara, render it, and import the render to WM.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 09:17:00 PM by MKG »
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2010, 05:25:53 PM »

Ah - and I thought I was inexperienced  :D

No - a rendered scene is a virtual photograph of the 3D scene you set up in Carrara (or Daz Studio, or Poser, or any other such thing) - and it obviously is then a 2D scene. As such, it can be used in Wintermute. In front of that, you can place true 3D characters and animate them. If it's done well, it's difficult to tell that you're not looking at a full 3D environment (just don't expect to see anyone actually walking through a door - but a scene transition as the door is approached is just as effective).

Take a look at the Art of Murder demo to see just how effective the illusion can be.

Oh - I forgot to mention that what you're thinking of doing is precisely what I do - set up a scene in Carrara, render it, and import the render to WM.


Ooh thanks for explaining about the rendered scene.

Art of Murder, I might have played that one, but I'll take another look.  I've been inspired by the games from Jonathan Boakes (my fave is Dark Fall: Lights Out), also Return to Ravenhearst, and The Painted Tower.  Beautiful graphics, a great story, imagination and fun puzzles are a must!  ::)

So as a current user of Carrara, would you say you are happy with this particular software?

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MKG

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2010, 06:03:31 PM »

Happy with Carrara or WM? WM is a work of genius as far as I'm concerned. Carrara? It's OK - although I haven't seen 8 yet. To be frank, I've never managed to push Carrara into doing anything I couldn't do with the usual modeller/terrain generator/scene editor/renderer pipeline, but it is handy, I suppose, to have most of those things in the one place. It certainly cures a lot of import/export woes. To be even more frank, the only reason I ever considered it was that I could never get my head around Blender (but, once again, I haven't tried the latest version in which the interface has been redesigned).

In a perfect world (coming soon, folks  :D) I'd have an understandable Blender, a completed Makehuman, the open-source version of Zbrush (fat chance!) and WM - oh, and the GIMP, although it doesn't quite reach Photoshop standards yet. You may detect a preference for FREE there! In a slightly less than perfect world, Poser or Daz will finally get their dynamic cloth to work.

In the meantime, I have to use things that allow me to do what I want in a way I can understand. WM hits that nail right on the head and Carrara does too to be fair.
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2010, 09:09:22 PM »

Happy with Carrara or WM? WM is a work of genius as far as I'm concerned. Carrara? It's OK - although I haven't seen 8 yet. To be frank, I've never managed to push Carrara into doing anything I couldn't do with the usual modeller/terrain generator/scene editor/renderer pipeline, but it is handy, I suppose, to have most of those things in the one place. It certainly cures a lot of import/export woes. To be even more frank, the only reason I ever considered it was that I could never get my head around Blender (but, once again, I haven't tried the latest version in which the interface has been redesigned).

In a perfect world (coming soon, folks  :D) I'd have an understandable Blender, a completed Makehuman, the open-source version of Zbrush (fat chance!) and WM - oh, and the GIMP, although it doesn't quite reach Photoshop standards yet. You may detect a preference for FREE there! In a slightly less than perfect world, Poser or Daz will finally get their dynamic cloth to work.

In the meantime, I have to use things that allow me to do what I want in a way I can understand. WM hits that nail right on the head and Carrara does too to be fair.

Carrara sounds like a good little package (multi-tasking) and simpler to use than Blender - which I agree, seems rather daunting.  As I find Blender rather complicated (at present anyway) I'm looking for something - like you say - that is relatively easy to operate...for creating rooms, basic animation, rendering.  So far for my game, I've been creating my own '3d models' (dolls and various objects so far) in Photoshop.

I hope you're enjoying making your game.   :o
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2010, 10:04:37 PM »

Today I received an email back from the support at http://www.daz3d.com about the compatibility of Carrara with WM.  I almost thought they weren't going to reply since this email came 12 days later!

Quote
Carrara itself doesn't have direct compability with gaming engines.  It does support exporting in Collada (.dae) format which is compatible with Unity3D.  You should check to see whether Collada is compatible with the Wintermute Engine.

Well, I've never heard of .dae or Collada files - is this compatible with the WME?  And - if so - I wonder if they're really saying whether you need to buy BOTH Carrara AND this Unity3D software (yeah, I know, another question for daz3D!).  Anyone with any experience using Carrara for making games with the WME?

Your replies much appreciated  ::)


   
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odnorf

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2010, 10:18:39 PM »

WME is not a full real-time 3D engine. It just supports 3D characters over prerendered backgrounds (known as 2.5D). For this limited 3D part (characters) wme supports .x for the models & .3ds for the hidden geometry. For the 2D part of wme you need png/jpg/tga so all 3D apps are compatible since they can all render to at least one of those formats.

Unity3D is a very good engine that is real-time 3D and it has nothing to do with wme workflow.
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MKG

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2010, 11:38:58 PM »

Carrara will also save 3d models (whether imported into Carrara or created in Carrara) in both 3ds and x formats - exactly right for Wintermute. The dae (Collada) save in any Daz product is still questionable (but may have been fixed in the latest version of Carrara) - but that doesn't affect Wintermute. So, as far as characters and props go, Carrara can and does enable you to make stuff for use in Wintermute.

The big difference - as we were discussing above - is in the treatment of the environment. In Carrara, you can create vast, sweeping landscapes in 3D and populate them with highly detailed 3D models of buildings, people, plants etc. The main problem is that level of detail - game engines can't handle it and still run with anything like practical speed. It's OK if all you're going to do is set up a scene and render it (that's the virtual photograph), but making anything move in real time is a huge problem. Models for game engines need to be made at a lower level of complexity (although there are methods of making them appear more complex than they really are). So, the Wintermute engine (which was originally written as a 2D engine) will not handle your vast, sweeping, 3D landscape - but it will easily handle a 2D representation of it. You make your complex environment, render it in Carrara and import the finished render as a 2D background image into Wintermute. Then you put your low-resolution characters and props in front of that image. Now all the engine has to do is handle the characters and props - the background is a single-plane static object.

Odnorf is quite right in saying that Unity is a good engine - as is DX Studio - but even those engines, designed with 3D games in mind, will slow down if asked to do too much. It isn't too difficult to induce them to drop their frame rates to unacceptable (i.e. visible flicker) levels. And, of course, those two engines are not free if you're thinking of going commercial!!

The question of how far to take your representation of reality in a game is a complicated one. However ... you can create a five-mile wide landscape in Carrara, but would you really expect one of your game characters to walk five miles in real time to cross it? No - so you are going to use scene transitions even in a full-blown 3D engine. The advantage of using a program such as Carrara with Wintermute, then, lies in its ability to allow you to set up a 3D scene once but to create many 2D renders from differing viewpoints with differing lighting. From your single Carrara scene, you could easily manufacture a couple of dozen Wintermute scenes in day and night versions - a whole gamesworth of scenes, in fact.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 11:52:32 PM by MKG »
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Nihil

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2010, 10:16:58 PM »

I don't know about the current versions of Carrara, but I used it until v 6.0, and neither 3ds nor .x exporters were usable for WME then. 3ds didn't export cameras and lights, and .x lacked bone names and other things. So if you are going for 2.5d better get a demo version of Carrara before you buy the whole package.

MKG

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 02:43:48 PM »

Well, after doing a lot more homework in the last few hours, it appears that Nihil is correct - getting an animation out of Carrara is a virtual non-starter.

Static 3d models will export, and obviously any render is still usable. But as for making a Wintermute actor, it's as useful as a plastic haddock. Sorry if I've been misleading you, Sommnia. Lesson for self - stop believing hype!!!!!!!!

Looks like I'll need Blender after all - unless someone tells me that it also won't do the job it's supposed to do.
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2010, 08:02:28 PM »

Well, after doing a lot more homework in the last few hours, it appears that Nihil is correct - getting an animation out of Carrara is a virtual non-starter.

Static 3d models will export, and obviously any render is still usable. But as for making a Wintermute actor, it's as useful as a plastic haddock. Sorry if I've been misleading you, Sommnia. Lesson for self - stop believing hype!!!!!!!!

Looks like I'll need Blender after all - unless someone tells me that it also won't do the job it's supposed to do.

Oh dear!!  :o
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2010, 08:06:55 PM »

I don't know about the current versions of Carrara, but I used it until v 6.0, and neither 3ds nor .x exporters were usable for WME then. 3ds didn't export cameras and lights, and .x lacked bone names and other things. So if you are going for 2.5d better get a demo version of Carrara before you buy the whole package.

Thanks Nihil for your reply.  What do you use for creating animation etc?  :)
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Sommnia

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Re: Is Carrara 8 compatible?
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 08:12:16 PM »

WME is not a full real-time 3D engine. It just supports 3D characters over prerendered backgrounds (known as 2.5D). For this limited 3D part (characters) wme supports .x for the models & .3ds for the hidden geometry. For the 2D part of wme you need png/jpg/tga so all 3D apps are compatible since they can all render to at least one of those formats.

Unity3D is a very good engine that is real-time 3D and it has nothing to do with wme workflow.

Thanks Odnorf...I'll look into Unity3D.

Apologies for late replies everyone, my laptop was suffering from heatstroke.  Now I've a normal pc tower to work from  ::rock
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