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Carrara Shortcomings

March 10, 2010
tags:

Castle Test

As I’ve had a little bit more time to discover Carrara Po 7, I’ve also come to know some of its shortcomings. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the program, and since I caught it on sale, it’s a great dollar value. But there are the two things that have bugged me so far…

First off, if the vendor chooses to supply stock models, then they should be Good Models. The render of the castle above is one of the stock models I received in Carrara 7 Pro. The texture mapping here is nothing short of abysmal.

Second, Carrara  does not accept EPS file format as an import. It’s not a huge deal for me as I have other programs that provide EPS import support, but then things become a two step process. And as many of my models start off with a profile curve precisely drawn in Illustrator, I’m less likely to even start to try to use the modeling functions right within Carrara. I usually want the quickest way from here to there with no clunky detours.

I haven’t tried out many of the models within Carrara, so I’m not sure if the texture mapping problem as shown in the test render is common with all of the supplied models, or if it’s just an issue with this one I happened to select for a test render. Personally I would be happy with simple models done correctly rather than attempted inclusion of a more complex model with crappy out-of-the-box mapping. And let’s consider the disappointment of 3D beginners who have no clue as to what’s going wrong here. They need to use a supplied model because the don’t have 3D construction skills yet, and upon output, all they know is that their render doesn’t look right.

As far as the EPS import issue, I don’t know if EPS import is being added in the new Carrara 8 or not. It would be a huge addition though for those of us who use Illustrator extensively to draw precise profiles in their 3D workflow. I get around the EPS issue by using Hexagon or Strata 3d, using their respective import functions, modeling what I need, then exporting as an OBJ file into Carrara.

User opinions do matter. As I educate myself more in the use of Carrara, I’ll see what else bugs me, check into their support forums to see if the issues have already been addressed, and if not, post to the appropriate forum or write Support. Speaking up is the only way things get noticed and/or resolved. The mapping issue on the supplied model is very minor, but the lack of EPS support is a workflow issue, so that’s number one on my list to investigate further.

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