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Eovia Carrara 5

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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Eovia Carrara 5

The Bottom Line

Carrara 5 struck me as a little derivative in its functionality, and its user interface a disorganized attempt to fit too much information in too little space--but it more than makes up for it by bringing all of the usability of major 3D animation programs to the desktop for a mere $299. If you're patient and willing to learn, Carrara 5 could be a great program for you to produce professional-quality 3D images and animations.

Pros

  • Light on resource usage, runs quickly.
  • Wonderful rendering engine.
  • Plenty of presets for beginners to learn on.
  • Priced at a fraction of the cost of other 3D software.
  • Supports Poser 6.

Cons

  • User interface is an overwhelming visual assault.
  • Very hard to figure out how to do even simple things.

Description

  • Carrara 5 combines standard 3D animation functions with beautiful effects for enhanced output.
  • Complex editors allow for greater control over each step of your animation.
  • New tools add to the program's functionality and the range of modeling/animation options.
  • Comes with a full set of prebuilt DAZ models.

Guide Review - Eovia Carrara 5

After only five seconds in Eovia's Carrara 5, I found myself searching the Help files for the rather hefty User Manual--and this is despite being accustomed to programs like 3D Studio Max, which can to the uninitiated look like an esoteric conglomeration of undecipherable symbols. I didn't know where to look first, or how to start.

Don't get me wrong, Carrara 5 is a great program--but you have to find that great program under the layered stacks of intrusive panels in tiny fonts. Carrara is definitely not a program for the impatient or the point-and-click animator; it takes a great deal of time to learn to navigate and familiarize yourself with its many tools and functions, and even longer to learn to use them effectively.

On the plus side, Carrara renders some stunning images. Ambient occlusion, translucency channels, subsurface scattering, microdisplacement mapping, fresnel effects, and anisotropic lighting are only a few in the list of upgrades that add a uniquely rich appeal to the look and feel of scenes built in the program. I love the surface replicator, which can populate an entire field of trees (or anything you choose) in a matter of moments. But in truth, it's not a particularly unique program; it doesn't do anything that you can't find in most other major 3D animation software, but it makes itself stand out by doing it for a mere $299, making it a low-cost alternative to programs produced by larger names in the industry.

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