||This article has an unclear citation style. (March 2012)|
|Stable release||8.5 / August 26, 2013|
|Type||3D computer graphics|
|License||Proprietary commercial software|
Carrara is a full-featured 3D computer graphics application featuring figure posing and editing, as well as nature modeling, in addition to traditional modeling, animation, texturing and rendering. The software is also capable of dynamic hair and fur simulations, particle effects, soft body and rigid body dynamics. Carrara is now owned and developed by DAZ 3D. Carrara is compatible with Poser and DAZ format 3D figures and props. It is further supported by a number of 3rd party plug-ins and add-ons.
Carrara is considered to be comparatively easy to learn and use.
The history of Carrara started in 1989 when a group of individuals founded Ray Dream, Inc. with the idea of creating graphic software for the new Mac computers with color displays. Two years later the first version of their new 3D graphics program which they named Ray Dream Studio was released.
In the years that followed Ray Dream Studio became a successful product having at one time over 200,000 users. In 1996 Ray Dream Inc. was sold to Fractal Design Corporation (developer of Painter, Poser). Fractal Design Corporation was in turn acquired by MetaTools (developer of Bryce, KPT) shortly thereafter. The combination of the two companies was given the new name MetaCreations. Around the same time another 3D graphics program named Infini-D was acquired from Specular International. Now owning two 3D graphics programs, MetaCreations decided to merge Ray Dream and Infini-D into one application giving it the new name Carrara.
MetaCreations released version 1.0 of Carrara with significant bugs. They soon released a patch for the code, then afterwards stopped support of the package. For a short period, the only way Carrara users could get the patch was through other internet sites or Carrara interest groups in different places on the web.
Around the year 2000 when MetaCreations was divesting itself of most of its products, it sold Carrara to a new company named Eovia founded by former employee Antoine Clappier. Eovia developed Carrara for several versions culminating with version 5 in 2005. That same year Eovia shipped a new 3D modeling application, Hexagon.
Eovia installed significant upgrades to Carrara which would include bringing forward the Ray Dream physics package, originally not licensed in the MetaCreations version of the code. Improvements included soft shadows, caustics, global illumination and better atmosphere models.
In 2006 DAZ 3D (developers of DAZ Studio and a line of articulated 3D figures) acquired Eovia along with Carrara and Hexagon. Several former employees now work for DAZ and continue development on Carrara.
DAZ 3D has had a significant focus of adding functions for poseable figures as well as models for hair and animation tools.
DAZ 3D works in an "Open Development" environment, releasing early and turning to the users for input and feature input.
In May 2010, the company launched Carrara 8.0 to the public. It included the addition of the Bullet physics package which has provided Carrara the ability to generate improved animation techniques for scenes involving collisions of multiple bodies or particles. DAZ has also added models for softbody dynamics which makes it possible for cloth and other clothing types of animations to be generated more realistically.
In Carrara 8.0:
- 64-bit for Mac and Windows OS
- Multi-threading for Mac and Windows OS
- Bullet physics Library
- Improved FBX and COLLADA Data Exchange
- Negative lights and photometrics (IES)
- God rays and barn door lighting & effects
- Editing of posed meshes
In Carrara 8.5:
- Native DSON importer
- Native AutoFit and improved Fit To functionality for figure clothing and accessories
- Improved Sequencer, Keyframing and Animation Tools
- Smart Content and CMS Integration
- Animation Commands — Zero, Memorise, Restore (figures, selections and selection trees)
- Improved representation of lights in viewport (Spot, Sun, Moon, Tube, and Shape lights)
- Shader additions (Multi-Layer Shader and Elements)
- Digital Carver's Guild
- Shoestring Shaders
- Sparrowhawke 3D