The transition from a 2D package to a 3D title is one that many artists will consider at some point, as they become tempted by the potential of turning their flat drawings into immersive worlds complete with fully fleshed out characters. However, many such applications are difficult to master – and although you’ll still need to reach for the manual regularly, Carrara does have the advantage of enabling you to concentrate on your creativity rather than having to decipher complex settings.
Tools and menus remain accessible without being distracting as you begin to explore the additional dimension that the application provides. Panels providing access to more complicated features of the software are arranged around the edges of the interface enabling easy access, and a timeline is available at the foot of the screen to suggest its animation potential.
Existing users will appreciate developments in lighting with ambient occlusion, translucency and subsurface scattering, adding body as well as depth to 3D objects, while inclusion and exclusion light lists provide greater control over what will be affected by your scene’s lighting.
Animation benefits from improved particle generation and joint orientation giving more natural movements, while skinning improvements let you concentrate on a character’s skeleton, leaving its surface to behave naturally without intervention. New tools make painting and modelling far easier, while new 3D manipulators and soft selections help to mould shapes organically.
More powerful 3D packages exist, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a rival that manages to balance capability with usability as effectively as this.
•Poser 6 support
•PC: Pentium II 300MHz, Windows 2000/XP/ME, 128MB RAM, 300MB HD
•Mac: Power Mac G3 266MHz, Mac OS X 10.1, 128MB RAM, 300MB HD
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