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Carrara is an advanced all-in-one 3D tool. With Carrara, you can not only use all the 3D content you'll find on DAZ3D.com, but also create your own complex 3D models and environments. Carrara includes everything you need to create a 3D project from start to finish. Load in DAZ 3D models or create your own from scratch. Customize them to your heart's content, animate them, add complex physics and render effects. Combine live footage with 3D models, use lip-sync tools, simulate real-world lighting, and much, much more.

What's New

  • 64-bit
  • Multi-Threading
  • Bullet Physics Library
  • Improved FBX and COLLADA Data Exchange
  • Plant & Vegetation Improvements
  • Render Time Optimizations
  • Network Render Optimizations
  • Negative Lights and Photometrics
  • God Rays and Barn Doors
  • Normal Maps
  • Editing of Posed Meshes
  • Puppeteer for Carrara


Mac OS X 10.6 or later

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Carrara User Discussion

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Maclover1.1 Member IconComment+740

This app is very sexy (I actually own the Pro version), but it performs fairly badly and can easily be overwhelmed by complex models and thus crash quite a bit, I own this and never really used it too sacred of the crashing.. reminds me of the OS8-9 days.. OUCH. As for the latest Snow Leopard update, well it does not work at all, they've had issues and said the new release fixed the missing interface text bug... but it does not... and basically the interface (which is a bit weird like Bryce, Poser.. you know those.. wanna be smart interfaces Kai Style plugins of the 90's) ends up being an annoyance (I hate the Poser interface too, looks like a bad toy).

If you need a really sturdy 3D app.. I would advise Cinema4D.. which can be enhanced with a great Poser plugin (InterPoser) that thing is sturdy as a rock.. then again it is German.. Germans tend to make very sturdy software... At least I perceive things that way.

Also if you want a cheap cool 3D app, definitely get Cheetah.

DAZ bought Carrara and Hexagon but the development is lagging, which I find unacceptable coming from a big developer. We are not talking shareware here !!! For instance no upgrade of Hexagon in ages. Daz is much more concerned with content I believe, and their software apart from DazStudio are not up for the real game.

I'd avoid this app, even if does look really good. It's like sex... the best ones are not essentially the best looking ones lol

Reply0 replies
Version 7.0
Frankentron5000 Member IconReview+2

I've been using Carrara for about 6 years, in various incarnations. The interface is incredibly intuitive and the company Eovia (not Kai, which is owned by Corel) has constantly strived to maintain the clean feel of the original interface while adding more usable layers and options for the more advanced users.

I've seen some condescending views toward Carrara lately, and I'd like to set the record straight. I'm an Art Director for 10 years now, specializing in print, however I do dabble in some web and animation. Carrara does what I want it to do, without investing in a 4-year degree to learn 3D. The first time you open up Carrara, you can poke your way around and learn to make custom shapes, textures and animations.

I've used Maya, Strata, Lightwave and a host of other programs, trying to find something that works the way I think. These programs were cumbersome, clunky, very PC and 'numerically mechanical' in their starkness. There are no clues and no intuition in their layout and you have to refer to the manual just to put points on a grid. To make a basic model takes hours and days.

In complete contrast, Carrara allows you to crete a basic model, create a texture, or add a mapping of your own artwork, light it, add background elements and export the whole thing as a tif, pict, mov, or whatever you need or can think of. I have used it to create product display photos for proposal comps, animated titles for movies, and a host of other small projects.

If you're a graphics professional with a need for a 3D program that just plain works, you need Carrara. This thing has saved my butt several times and I'm thankful it exists. Don't let the PC and Silicon Graphics guys scare you. I think something like Carrara scares them, because it delivers totally professional 3D results at minimal cost, with minimal time investment.

Unless you're a 3D professional (of which very few actually exist), Carrara will do everything you need...and more. After 6 years, I've barely touched on all it can do.

Reply1 reply
Version 4.1.1

>"... 3D professional (of which very few actually exist)..."


Anonymous Member IconReview

Carrara is a royal pain in the tush to use, the GUI a real nightmare and so hard on the eyes. But it's the only Mac 3D app to my knowledge that will correctly convert a UV mapped OBJ (nurbs) into a texture mapped 3DS (polygons). This is very nice when you're going from Poser to something like Natural Scene Designer that only imports 3DS. For that alone, it's a must have, though it is a rather expensive format converter. Otherwise, I'd prefer to work in a long string of other modelers and rendering engines that are far more user friendly.

I know some people who like it, but give me a good crisp black on white viewing area and solid intuitive controls that make it easy to select parts and manipulate them. It takes so much longer to achieve the same results in Carrara than it does in my favorite modelers. I only use it if it does something that nothing else on a Mac will do, which isn't much.

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Version 3.0.3
Joseph RIvera Member IconReview+0
Joseph RIvera

I've just begun dabbling in 3D design and thought I'd start with a simple program in order to get my bearings. As a 2D designer, I had much to learn and in many ways Carrara was a good choice for beginners. In other ways, the program is frustrating and limiting.

I went at Carrara like I do any program, install it, open it and begin to play. I was able to get the basics, making 3D primitives and type, which Carrara gives you plain and easy control of. After that, I found myself reaching for the manual to understand the concepts behind Carrara's unconventional interface.

Like most programs inherited from the former Metacreation's Kai - this one is bogged down by a heavy GUI, with floating 3d windows and buttons and lots of unnecessary texture. I know the graphical treatment is supposed to make using a program easier, but breaking from user interface convention has, in my opinion, always made the Kai products irritating to use.

Carrara is based on the concept of "Rooms," various areas in which you work on different aspects of the image - assembling, modeling, animating, texture and rendering. The relation of these rooms is sensible in some respects, for instance going from the assemble room to the rendering room allows for a useful separation of all of the rendering windows from the windows you are using to build your scene. On the other hand, the relationship between the assembly and animating room (which looks like a storyboard - with multiple active frames) is tenuous at best, and generally just plain useless. The animation room is an example of "Nifty" interface gone awry. Not only is it difficult to use, it often just plain doesn't make any sense. I think that portion of the GUI can be removed altogether and replaced with a more robust timeline in the assembly room.

The program also employs context-sensitive panels, which house information for the currently selected objects or scenes. Some work well, giving the user easy and sensible access to the information they need to change without needlessly cluttering the screen with other information. Other panels, like the texture panel are idiotic and very poorly thought out.

The texture panel quickly becomes cluttered and unreadable once you begin adding custom textures (even when you turn off the enormous icons representing each texture). The program also has a consistent problem with updating textures properly, and seems easily confused with changing a master texture, or making a new master for the texture (as far as I can tell, the decision to ask you which you want to do is arbitrary and is given at the will of the program. I found myself pulling my hair out at glitches in the program that rendered the wrong textures, refused to let me create new textures or refused to update changed textures in the image. Texturing is a crucial part of 3D work, and this section should be worked on pronto!

As I mentioned, animating in the program is cumbersome - and I recommend a more robust package if you plan on creating anything extensive. The user interface just completely gets in the way, and even the simplest animations become a chore.

The program does really shine when it comes to single frame images though. The rendering in Carrara has a very special, silky quality to it. Some may not like the effect, but I found my final rendered images to be soothing and dreamy. Of course, with some manipulation of light and turning off functions like soft shadowing - you can change the rendering to just about whatever you like. For a basic photorealistic render, Carrara was pretty swift. But, when doing full antialiasing, ray tracing, caustics and transparency, it ground to a halt. One scene (which was admittedly complicated) took three days to render on my Dual 2.0ghz G5. Not exactly the kind of speed I am looking for.

Overall, I'd say Carrara - like many other Kai gooey GUI programs (Bryce, Poser) is amusing for the hobbyist that wants to make good looking images without having to invest in the extensive learning required by bigger, more complicated 3D packaging. While it does do animation, and offers reverse kinematics, particle animation, and metaball modeling - those parts of the program are cumbersome and unintuitive. For illustration, it is a decent tool that creates sometimes stunning renders at a bare-bones cost. If you can get past the lousy interface, you'll be able to find a warm place in your heart for Carrara.

Reply0 replies
Version 3.0.3
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Current Version (8.x)


Downloads 12,390
Version Downloads 2,497
License Demo
Date 08 Feb 2011
Platform OS X / Intel 32
Price $149.95
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