If you are just starting out with generating 3D-images, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
There are lots and lots of 3D software that seem to do very similar things – but not quite – and it is really unclear which one is right for you.
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Originally, my goal was to find something simple that I could use to quickly generate high quality 3D-images of figures and some simple backgrounds. In particular, I wanted to use these 3D-images for my online articles and blogs.
I started with Poser 7, got some great 3D-models from Daz and started having a lot of fun creating 3D-images. I chose Poser because I had used it briefly a few years back, and wanted to go with something I was familiar with.
Should you use Poser as well?
If I had to do it over again, at this time, I would not start with Poser. Instead, I would download a free version of Daz Studio and start generating images with that first.
If you find yourself enjoying the experience, I would go directly into Carrara .
Carrara is comparable in price to Poser, but it is superior in most ways to Poser.
- Carrara is much faster than Poser.
- I like Carrara’s posing controls more than Poser’s. Carrara runs more smoothly than Poser on my computer, which makes it significantly easier to pose figures and clothing. I have difficulty using Poser’s direct manipulation controls because of the significant time lag.
- I like Carrara’s rendering quality a lot more than Poser’s. Rendering speed is also much faster in Carrara compared to Poser. For example, the 3D-images on this page are generated using Carrara 7 and Photoshop.
- Because of lag, doing more complex backgrounds in Poser is difficult and unpleasant. In contrast, Carrara is much better at handling backgrounds, as well as supports terrains and environmental effects.
- Carrara has much better support for shaders (e.g., character, object, and clothing textures). In addition, there are a variety of pre-built shaders in Carrara and you can purchase more from Daz. With better textures, you can generate higher quality, and more realistic looking 3D images.
- Carrara supports a much larger range of functions compared to Poser. The biggest one for me is the ability to do vertex editing. You may think that you do not want to mess around with vertices, but it is very nice to have the ability to tweak little things such as making a shirt slightly longer or shorter, slightly changing the shape of an object, etc.
Ultimately I really wanted the ability to change the faces of my characters.
Carrara will easily grow with you as you gain more 3D experience, and want to do more with your 3D software.
One of the key weaknesses of Carrara (as of Carrara 7) is that it does not support dynamic clothing (which is supported by Poser and Daz Studio). However, you can drape the clothing within Daz Studio and import that into Carrara.
** I am not sure how well it will work when animated within Carrara because it will no longer be dynamic.
Unfortunately, Carrara 8 still does not support dynamic clothing.
Moving to Carrara
If you are currently using Poser or Daz Studio it is very easy to switch to Carrara. You can easily import both types of files into Carrara, and you can also point Carrara to your Poser and Daz Studio model libraries (also called Runtime Libraries).
Once you do this, you can access all the models from the content browser within Carrara, and just drag and drop Daz Studio or Poser objects into your Carrara scene.
This means you do not have to reinstall any of your existing Poser or Daz Studio models.