Monthly Archive for February, 2009

I’ve Upgraded to Carrara 7 Pro..

DAZ 3D was having a sale this February.

I managed to get an upgrade from Carrara 6 Pro to 7 Pro for just under $90 using the platinum club price.
I wanted to take advantage of
the 50% Platinum Club discount before it ended on 2/28/09. Since I was a member, Platinum Club members get 50% off in addition to the original sale discount
The listed sale price of the items would last until the date indicated on the product page, but the Platinum Club benefit price on all the DAZ Original products would change from 50% to 30% on March 1. So I had to act fast!

The regular price of the upgrade after the original sale discount of 30 % (?) was $181.12 ( now, as of 3/20 it is $ 169.95 ), and with my Platinum Club membership, 30% (or 50%) Discount it was $90.55. And with the $5.00 voucher the price was now $85.55.

They also had a free update for Carrara 7 owners , Carrara 7.1 , so that was also another good incentive to get the upgrade.

So what’s new?

Well, according to the product page :
“Carrara 7 Pro augments already impressive animation, landscape, modeling, and rendering capabilities with a strong set of new features. The significant enhancements to Carrara 7 help deliver a professional 3D solution at a price that fits into almost any budget. Carrara 7 will stimulate professional users toward greater creativity and help them to stay competitive, while providing incredible ease-of-use and unbelievable results.”

Not only does Carrara 7 include robust new features such as Multi-pass Rendering, 3D Paint, Vertex Modeling in the Assembly Room, UV Editing/Unfolding and NLA Grouping, version 7 also has many enhancements to previous features.

DAZ Studio Content Support Improvements
Better capabilities in bringing DAZ 3D products into Carrara.

We have enhanced the handling of DAZ scene files being loaded into Carrara 7. This will require an updated version of DAZ Studio (build 2.3.3.146) in order to see the full effect of the updates.

3D Paint
Adds capabilities for painting directly on the model.
Carrara 7 includes a new 3D Paint Tool that enables textures to be selected, edited and “painted” directly onto an object.

UV Editing/Unfolding
Create better 3D painting and textures with better UV’s.
Carrara 7 includes a new UV Editor that shows a 3D view of the polygon mesh, a 2D display of the UV values on the polygon mesh vertices, and a set of tools to manipulate them.

VERTEX MODELING
The Vertex Modeling capabilities that were previously only available in the “Modeling” room are now available in the “Assembly” room. This enhancement saves time by allowing you to perform modeling functions in the assembly room where other objects can also be seen.

Multi-pass Rendering
Image retouching/editing, without having to re-render. Another huge time saver!
The Multi-pass Rendering tool new in Carrara 7 enables you to render multiple passes and save these off to separate image files. These render passes or layers (multi-pass render layers) can be edited in another application such as Photoshop to increase contrast in the rendered image, change a reflection color, make an edit to a shadow map, or even swap out a background color.
This tool will make it faster to make changes to a rendering, instead of re-rendering for hours and hours. The edits to layers can be changed in minutes.

COLLADA Export (WIN OS)
You can now export a figure or scene into COLLADA format.
COLLADA is becoming a new standard for transferring content. In this new release of Carrara, you will be able to export your models in this new format.

Rendering Optimizations for Transparency
Improvements in memory management of the computer/software.
Carrara 7 now provides better and faster results by optimizing previously time consuming and complex transparency rendering operations.

Support larger texture sizes in the OGL display
Visual improvements in how textures are viewed in the OpenGL display.
Carrara 7 provides you the ability to increase the texture size that is displayed in the Open Graphics Library (OGL) or viewport. The settings will be based on what texture size your graphics board will support and can be adjusted for performance or quality (up to 4096×4096).

Overall, this new upgrade looks good. But I hear that it is aimed for mostly the amateur CG artists, not professionals ( they use Lightwave, Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, etc. ) But hey, that sound like me to a “T”!

“Octobrianna” – in DAZ Studio

Recently over at Warren Ellis’s Whitechapel Forum , there was a Remake / Remodel thread reimagining an re-interpreting old and little used comic book characters that were in the public domain. The last one that was done involved a creation of Peter Sadecky and other members of a Soviet underground movement called the Progressive Political Pornography Party. (??)
According to Mr Sadecky :

“They looked for a new hero, who would represent what they believed in and would be willing to fight for their ideals. Since this saviour did not seem to be forthcoming, PPP created their own, and called her Octobriana.”

( There have been stories that this was all a lie, and that this Peter Sadecky stole the artwork and concepts of the original Character, fled to the West, and re named her “Octobriana” )

Anyway, I had some ideas on doing this, but by the time I started to do some sketches, Warren Ellis closed the thread suddenly, due to some members not following rules or something.

I still thought that this was an interesting character to do, and I had also noticed that everyone was doing 2d art on the thread, so I decided to do something different, using the 3D application, software, Daz Studio.
I am still going to do some 2D traditional artwork of Octobriana, eventually…

Anyway, I titled the pictures collectively , ” The Komarovskiy Incident “.

In this picture, we see that Octobrianna on a mission to an abandoned Soviet “Secret City” or PGT ( Posyolok Gorodskogo Tipa [PGT] or “Urban-Type Settlement” ) …… When she runs into a little trouble…

For the creation of these renders, I was inspired by something I remembered a while ago that Mr. Ellis talked about Abandoned Russian Nuclear Polar Lighthouses and it got me thinking about what might still be lurking in some of those forgotten secret Soviet Nuclear Research Facilities. And what Bizarre Soviet Experiments may have been conducted during the 70 year reign of the Union. I found out that During WW II and the Cold War, the Russians had whole secret cities and factory-towns entirely devoted to chemical, biological and nuclear weapons research and manufacturing.
Google “zakrytye administrativno-territorial’nye obrazovaniia (ZATO)”, it’s quite interesting reading.

This render is called “The Komarovskiy Incident : Two ” . Now I wish that I could have figured out how to make the left pistol grip pose look better, otherwise, I think this is good picture!

Below is a “Pasty” of all the Octobriana renders I uploaded at my DeviantArts site so far. I’ll see if I can do more of Octobriana pictures – I ‘ll see if I can do some in Poser as well…


New York Comicon 2009!

I went to The New York Comicon last weekend, here in New York ( of course! ) on Sunday 2/8/09. I didn’t have any money to spend there – the most i bought was a $ 4.00 issue of the first ANNA MERCURY comic. Despite that, I really had a good time there, being to a con like that gives me the inspiration to work hard on my own artwork. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go to the 2010 con the whole weekend, and with more money!