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i2dontknow84
06-02-2008, 05:35 PM
Hi,

I was planning to buy Lightwave 3D as soon as I learned it and as soon as I saved up the money, but then a special limited time offer came out for Carrara Pro 6 for $195, so I jumped on it after watching some online training videos of what it can do.

Now I am wondering if it would still make a lot of sense for me to learn and buy Lightwave 3D down the road after I have learned basic 3D modeling and texturing in Carrara Pro. So my question is...

What can Lightwave 3D do better than Carrara and what can Lightwave 3D do that Carrara Pro 6 cannot?

Would LW allow me to work faster? To automate more? To have more flexibility in my modeling? To expend less effort creating figures and textures? What specifically?

Just wanting to know if I should still plan on learning and buying it down the road. Any info will be much appreciated.

Thanks,

i2dontknow84

beverins
06-02-2008, 06:40 PM
Hi,

What can Lightwave 3D do better than Carrara and what can Lightwave 3D do that Carrara Pro 6 cannot?

STEP ONE
check the Newtek page for the list of what Lightwave can do.
Then check the list of features of Carrara.
See anything missing on the Carrara feature list?
That should answer your question about what Lightwave can do that Carrara cannot.

STEP TWO
The idea of "doing better" is a qualitative judgement. With an artist at the helm who knows how to USE the tool they have in front of them, great things are possible with just about any 3D program. They made a MOVIE with BLENDER, and that's a FREE program.

Now, however, that being said... what projects has Carrara been used in? Does it have even one production credit? Has anyone made a short film with it? Lightwave may get slated constantly over its current lack of modern features, but let's be honest - segments of IRON MAN are made with Lightwave, as is all the animation/fx in Battlestar Galactica to name two of the hundreds of projects that LW is used in. If people are using Lightwave to do this stuff and not Carrara DOES say something positive about the capability of the software.

Not to say that Carrara can't make imagery on an equal with anything Lightwave can make. As I said above, if you become someone who knows every single nook, cranny and crevice in Carrara... and can EXPLOIT this knowledge to surpass the perceived limitations of the software.. then congratulations, you have become an ARTIST.

My recommendation is to Download the demo of LW. Newtek FINALLY do have the software up for download and it is a fully functional 30-day trial. Compare the two, and see if the workflow agrees with you.

beverins
06-02-2008, 06:44 PM
If you want my personal opinion, though, after having TRIED Carrara...

There's a reason it's $195. It's great for rank beginners. Learn with it. Get your pinky toe wet.

Then move to something else when yer ready to get SERIOUS.

And no, doesn't have to be Lightwave but I think you'd be an absolutely marvelous fool for not considering it once you're more experienced with 3D.

Snosrap
06-02-2008, 07:19 PM
but then a special limited time offer came out for Carrara Pro 6 for $195,

My son purchased (which I've inherited now) an educational version of Lightwave for $195. That turned out to be the best investment I've ever made in one of my kids education.

Snosrap

rezman
06-02-2008, 08:41 PM
I've used Carrara from the start, actually I've used RayDream Studio (from which Carrara borrowed most of its code) from the start. Carrara is a wonderful little program with an incredible raytracing engine. It is very easy to get the look you are after quickly. The interface is more accessible for newbies....but...

It's all about workflow. As your project gets larger you really begin to see how important workflow really is. Lightwave's workflow is smooth, logical, and grows as large as you need it to. Carrara simply isn't there...it isn't designed to be. It's consumer software, not professional.

If you want to make a short, a TV show, or a feature length film devote all of your time learning Lightwave inside and out and don't even touch Carrara. If you want to make some really slick images and a few cool animations then stick to Carrara.

adamredwoods
06-02-2008, 11:38 PM
I really liked Carrara's user interface. But it didn't take me long to hit the wall with it.

Rigging a character is MUCH harder than Lightwave, but I like the timeline UI better.
Also, particles doesn't hold a candle to LW. And dynamics. And hypervoxels.

But the UI is very nice!

frantbk
06-03-2008, 12:14 PM
Instead of collecting software, learn what you have right now, Carrara pro. Then in the future if Carrara pro is lacking in specific functions than upgrade to another package.

JeffrySG
06-03-2008, 01:39 PM
I've used Carrara from the start, actually I've used RayDream Studio (from which Carrara borrowed most of its code) from the start.

Yes, there are a few old RDD users here, like myself too! :D


And yes, I would stick with what you have. When it consistently can't do things that you want to do, you know it's time to migrate to another application, or add another 3d app to your workflow.

i2dontknow84
06-03-2008, 07:33 PM
Hi,

Thanks for all the feedback and info. Much appreciated.

The Lightwave 3D DVDs that I was watching before I decided to try Carrara did not walk me through the LW user interface or through the LW tools much. At least in the first couple of DVDs (I have not finished them yet)...

The presenter was just using the same three or four tools (and faster than I could even put a name on them) and doing the same thing over and over so I could not see the potential of Lightwave 3D and what specifically it could do.

The Carrara videos that I watched on the other hand took me through the user interface and through just about every tool and option there.

So I guess it was the difference in the material covered on the Carrara training videos verses the Lightwave DVDs that left me not seeing the difference between the two programs.

I appreciate all of your input and I will be focusing on learning 3D for quite awhile (and putting into practice what I learn).

I think down the road I will focus on learning Lightwave inside and out then I could really compare the two.

Thanks again,

i2dontknow84

AbnRanger
06-03-2008, 08:17 PM
Blender would be a much better option than Carrara...free and pretty darn impressive. Containing numerous features LW doesn't yet have. The downside at the moment is that it's not yet considered "Production" software (mostly since it's been essentially an open source experiment...one that's beginning to mature), but that's not due to capability. It's really coming on fast and strong with loads of features. The only investment would be learning it.
If you want to work in the industry, you can get a copy of Maya PLE and learn it, or an education version of Max, XSI, LW (I would say C4D, but it's EDU pricing is ridiculously high). But otherwise, even as a hobbiest, Blender is the flat out best return on investment

pooby
06-04-2008, 01:43 AM
The idea of "doing better" is a qualitative judgement. With an artist at the helm who knows how to USE the tool they have in front of them, great things are possible with just about any 3D program. They made a MOVIE with BLENDER, and that's a FREE program.


Yes, but FREE doesn't mean handicapped which is your implied point.

In the case of Blender, the lack of a price is an irrelevant point that has no bearing on the capability of the software.

AbnRanger
06-04-2008, 02:06 AM
Yes, but FREE doesn't mean handicapped which is your implied point.

In the case of Blender, the lack of a price is an irrelevant point that has no bearing on the capability of the software.Agreed, it runs totally counter to market norms, and is really starting to grab some attention. Look at the credits for Big Buck Bunny....massive list of developers (much of that is likely not full timers, but folks contributing their free time...nevertheless, that's a mess of code monkeys!)

Pardon me fellows while I jump off topic for a brief sec...
Pooby, since you are here, may I ask just what 3rd party renderers and particles are now available for XSI? Since they dropped in price, I might take a look at their demo.

pooby
06-04-2008, 03:18 AM
Well, I still render in LW at the mo, so I haven't done a ton of research in this area but
3Delight is a renderman compliant renderer which is available for XSI. This one looks impressive.
Vray is coming, at some point.
Holomatix, an Fprime-like Mental ray based renderer-previewer is in the works.

As regards to particles, XSI previously hasn't had a great reputation for particles, but I havent really played with them.
XSI 7 is most likely to incude some implementation of 'ICE' (formerly Moondust)
ICE hasn't been officially announced and there are no vids demoing it. It's all word of mouth from those that have viewed it, but it seems to allow a nodal programming for artists that may enable a great deal of control over XSI on a deep level, and this seems to be linked into a new particle re-working but don't quote me on that.