Oct 25 2003
Eovia Carrara Studio 3
Carrara Studio is the most capable 3D design suite you’ll find for the money. Carrara has a wide scope of competence, from creating broadcast-quality animations to photorealistic scenes to 3D composites with complex shadow-casting. Particle and physics control put this 3D solution in league with systems costing several times more.
In this new version, along with rendering improvements, alpha channel support and “Sky Dome Illumination”, you’ll find useful aids like the Scene Wizard and Tree Modeler. Also, the Shockwave export plugin, before a separate purchase, is now integrated right into the program.
Carrara renderings come off with a nice polish, even if you aren’t an expert. Tools like the Scene Wizard and Tree Builder, along with a large library of textures and models make this suite very accessible to newcomers. Professional 3D artists might find some of the simplification limiting.
The application has very modest system needs, making it workable on older systems. This is handy if you have an older machine you can make into a render-slave.
The interface is completely its own, with custom menus and buttons. It may take you a while to figure out how to close windows and navigate. It gives you a sense of immersion in the application, but can be confusing and annoying.
Animations created in the studio can’t be saved in any type of vector format like Flash. Quicktime movies are supported, but making Flash requires an additional plugin.
Carrara’s strengths are in its render quality and wide array of tools. Its quirky interface and limitations keep it from becoming an industrial strength 3D tool, and it’s lack of built-in vector animation puts it behind other solutions. All in all, it is well worth the price and very learnable.
Carrara Studio 3 is $399/$169 upgrade