Tag Archives: Carrara

Creating Animated Fog with Carrara – 3D Shenanigans #14

In this live event I’ll create animated volumetric fog with the highly underrated Carrara. I’ll show you around the app and explain how the programme works, introduce you to some of its features, and then I’ll animate good looking fog. Once exported as a transparent image sequence, I’ll try to animate it live over my own camera feed. It’ll be a hoot!

This concept was inspired by my Skeleton at the Graveyard animation I made three years ago.

We’ve discovered a similarly simple effect last Saturday in Subnautica (the ceiling effect at around 2:15:00).

What is a Shader Browser

In this episode I’ll show you what a Shader Browser is in Carrara and DAZ Studio. I wish Blender had one – perhaps there’s one in the works? We’ll talk about how it could be integrated as part of the Blender Cloud Add-On too.

This video was inspired by a discussion we had over on the HiveWire forum, feel free to join in here.

My new HP Z600 Workstation

photo-sep-24-16-22-52I’m as excited as a kid in a candy store – because last Monday my new (old) HP Z600 Workstation has arrived! Built and sold to the government in the summer of 2009 for roughly $5000 (give or take a grand), it came to me via an eBay auction for $171 plus postage some seven years later.

Equipped with two Intel Xeon 5560 processors, no hard drive, 4GB of RAM and only a COA sticker for Windows Vista, I had a little bit of work to do to get it all going:

  • get a USB keyboard
  • get a power cord
  • get a graphics card
  • perhaps grab some more RAM
  • find a network cable
  • download a copy of Windows Vista (not easy to find in 2016)

I wanted to use this machine for 3D rendering in both Carrara and DAZ Studio, so for the latter I decided to buy an NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics card. I had to do a few internal modifications to the machine to make it work – but work it does, and it was a lot of fun to get this rig going.

Without further ado, here’s my Z600 story.

Continue reading My new HP Z600 Workstation

How to suppress the “Incoming Network Connections” Dialogue for DAZ Apps on your Mac


Mac Users will be familiar with the above dialogue. If you have DAZ Studio, Install Manager and/or Carrara installed, this thing shows up several times during your working day:

  • when you start your computer
  • when you launch Install Manager
  • when you launch DAZ Studio
  • when you launch Carrara

Should this drive you crazy, then read on – because there is indeed a solution to this! It has to do with a bit of command line hacking and location scouting. But if you’re clever enough to figure out such complex 3D applications, the following steps will seem like a walk in the park to you.

The following steps worked for me on OS X El Capitan 10.11.6, DAZ Studio 4.9 and Carrara 8.5 Pro.

Continue reading How to suppress the “Incoming Network Connections” Dialogue for DAZ Apps on your Mac

How to animate clouds in Carrara

Carrara’s Realistic Sky produces some pretty decent clouds. I’m particularly fond of the Cirrus clouds. The manual suggests that they can be animated too, but I didn’t really know how to do it. Thanks to a tip from Mark Bremmer I was put on the right track.

Here’s how to do it:

In the Scene tab, setup a realistic sky to your desire. Configure the clouds as you like on one or more of those cloud layers at the bottom. Pay close attention to the little Animation box and give your clouds a particular direction and speed.

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The default is about 3mph, but at that speed cloud movement is hardly noticeable. The maximum we can set here is something like 153mph. Let’s use that. The transformation slider lets us choose how much the clouds will change their appearances. Click OK to leave the sky editor.

Still in the scene tab, notice a box called Cloud Animation. It’s set to 0 seconds by default. Leave it like that and set your first keyframe on the timeline.

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Now move your timeline forward to the end position of your animation, say to 10 seconds. Add the same value into the Clouds Animation box and set another keyframe. That’s more or less it. Move the playhead and see the Clouds Animation value update – that’s an indication that Carrara will now animate your clouds.

Note that even with 150mph, the movement is extremely subtle. In the video above I had to speed up my animation by 500% to get this result.

How to lock objects in Carrara

It happens to me time and time again: I want to select an object in a busy scene, move it from a far away view, and it turns out I’m actually moving something else – perhaps the ground plane, or vital objects in the background.

Wouldn’t it be nice to lock objects that you never want to move in Carrara? Lucky for us – there is such an option! It’s done using the Constraints Tab (under Motion).

First select the object you want to be come “immovable”. You can even select several objects by holding SHIFT. Do this either in the scene or in the scene hierarchy.

Now head over to Motion and examine the Constraints drop down menu.

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Set your object(s) to Full and they can’t be moved anymore. Easy as that!

Constraints are quite powerful as you can see from the various options in the drop down. Some of the interesting ones are:

  • 2D Plane: allows you to move the object in only two directions
  • Axis: allows movement along a single axis
  • Ball Joint: specify how far rotation is allowed along any given axis (used in rigging, for example so that a door can only open so far in one direction)


How to use sunlight and moonlight in Carrara


Carrara can provide realistic sunlight and moonlight as ambient light sources. To use either of them we need to set the scene’s atmosphere for those to come to life. Here’s how to do that.

From a default scene that comes with a distant light, select the scene itself, and under the Atmosphere properties, choose either Sky or Realistic Sky (the default is none, which won’t work with sunlight or moonlight).

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Now select the light in your scene and change it from Distant Light to either Sun Light or Moon Light. Notice the light object in your scene change and display either a sun or moon symbol next to that big arrow. Drag it around to position it.

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To edit its properties, head back to Scene – Atmosphere – Edit. There are a lot of options to play around with here. I’ve explained more about them in this article, including how to show the sun and the moon in your scene.

How to disable Image Grids in Carrara

You know those grids in Carrara that often get in the way? Those that only appear in the viewport and not in the final render. The ones that show you the outlines of your objects in yellow:

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Sometimes you can’t see your scene with too much clutter. And I keep forgetting that there’s a super easy way to switch these grids off.

Cast your eye to the to of the viewport and find the following icons:

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See those three little grid icons? Click any of them to make it disappear in the viewport. It’s that easy! Disabled grids turn dark, enabled ones are lighter in colour:

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 19.42.54

With the side grids switched off, the scene looks less cluttered.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 19.43.02

Sometimes I forget how user-friendly Carrara can be 😉

Skeleton at the Graveyard

Yesterday I’ve animated this skeleton. The steps involved were rather complex, so I thought I’d better write down how I did it.

In principle, there are four parts to this animation:

  • the animation of the skeleton (using DAZ Studio and aniMate)
  • the cloth draping (using Marvelous Designer)
  • a moving fog layer (using Carrara)
  • a graveyard picture (from Graphic Stock)
  • and finally, blending it all together (in Premiere Pro)

Here’s how I did it step by step.

Continue reading Skeleton at the Graveyard

How to install Carrara 8.5 in Mac OS X Yosemite

I’m configuring a new Mac Mini 2012 specifically for all my 3D ventures this year. As such I’m installing all my favourite (and annoying) 3D apps fresh from scratch. Being a futuristic kind of guy I’m using “the best operating system ever” (yeah, right!) OS X Yosemite.

Over the last 7 years I’ve installed Carrara more times than I can count and in every version of OS X and Windows that I can remember, and it’s never given me any trouble – neither when installed manually or via the DAZ Install Manager.

Until today, when I’ve received the following message in OS X Yosemite: “The application cannot get the administrator access right”. Thank you, Yosemite!

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.04.18 PM

What does that even mean? I thought my user account HAS admin privileges.

Turns out they’re just not administrative enough. The solution to this awkward puzzle is to login as root for the initial launch of Carrara. Which leads us to the next adventure:

How do we enable the root user in OS X?

Continue reading How to install Carrara 8.5 in Mac OS X Yosemite