11-10-2011 03:41 AM - edited 11-10-2011 03:43 AM
I've just got Carrara Pro 8 for my RL work (and my own personal designs as well). I'm just wondering if it is suitable for SL Mesh design, or if there are drawbacks to overcome?
Also, does anyone know if it can do sculpties? (I have Hexagon 2.5 to fall back on if it can't do sculpties, but it used to crash on me at times... hopefully the latest patch has fixed the problem)
Also, are there any Carrara 8/Hexagon 2.5 oriented tutorials for SL designing?
11-10-2011 08:31 PM - edited 11-10-2011 09:40 PM
Carrara is quite suitable for SL mesh, and as a bonus it has a built-in Collada exporter as well.
(Being primarily a stubborn Hexagon user, I only know the basics of Carrara (to my shame LOL!) even though I have owned it for a long while). However, when I was figuring out my SL mesh workflows, I managed to get my Hexagon .obj files converted to Collada .dae files via Carrara, which is very handy (Hexagon has no such option).
Be aware though, that being a quad-based modeler, you will need to convert your quads to triangles prior to final mesh conversion to .dae (collada) for exporting. From my limited knowledge of Carrara, its automated triangulate function is a bit inefficient (it divides each quad into FOUR triangles); I ended up using Blender for this function, as its triangle conversion merely divides each quad into TWO triangles, which results in HALF the poly count as the Collada equivalent. So keep this in mind - for mesh efficiency, it might be worth jumping between Carrara and Blender (model the mesh in Carrara, and then use Blender to convert to triangles; after which you can re-import the resultant .obj file back into Carrara for the remainder of your workflow (UV-mapping, materials etc)). It's definitely NOT as scary as this might sound, though!
So yah, if you use a common-sense low poly approach to your mesh creation, Carrara Pro 8 should be perfect for most of your SL workflow. (Not sure about sculpties - although you could possibly create a sculptie primitive inside of Hexagon, and then import that mesh into Carrara for shaping - as long as you don't remove any of the vertices or faces, it should in theory be fine - how you go about converting it to an RGB sculpt map I am unsure of though, short of taking it back into Hexagon for that step).
Regarding tutorials specifically for SL, I don't think I have seen any for Hexagon/Carrara, other than a basic sculptie tutorial over on DAZ for Hexagon. But you could use pretty much any modeling tutorials for Carrara/Hexagon, and they would be applicable to mesh building for SL in general - the main thing to keep in mind is that you would be wanting to keep your meshes relatively LOW POLY (I assume most tutorials would not be overly concerned with poly counts, due to them being aimed for meshes to be used in high-polycount 3D rendering). However, the general mesh building theory would still be applicable, providing you stick with a low-polygon approach as you create.
Have a lot of fun!
11-13-2011 10:12 PM - edited 11-13-2011 10:15 PM
Thank you for your reply.
Glad to hear Carrara Pro 8 can work well for my SL meshes, and as you say, the built-in Collada exporter would be a serious plus (if only it worked more efficiently). With 8.5 currently in Beta, I'll have to see if they've managed to fix that double-up problem (or at least made it optional, if it's a 'feature'). If not, I guess I'll have to install Blender again (which I personally loathe for it's terrible interface), but as you say, simply using it as a file format convertor should minimise the hassles.
As for Hexagon, I'd have used it a lot more for sculptie work if not for the crashes I had in the past, otherwise I'm sure I'd be as dedicated to it as you are.
It would have been nice to just use Carrara Pro 8 for both, but failing that, Carrara and Hexagon would be a good pairing fo my SL work, I'm sure. As for tutorials, for lack of any (that we know about), perhaps I'll end up recording some.
Anyway, thank you again for your reply. Kudos to you.