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Carrara5 Pro Handbook by Mike de la Flor

COW Library : : Ringo Monfort : Carrara5 Pro Handbook by Mike de la Flor
Carrara5 Pro Handbook by Mike de la Flor
A Creative COW Book Review

Ringo Monfort reviews: Carrara5 Pro Handbook by Mike de la Flor

Ringo Monfort Ringo Monfort
Inglewood, CA, USA

©Copyright 2006 Ringo Monfort and Creativecow.net. All Rights Reserved.
Article Focus:
In this article, CreativeCOW.net leader, Ringo Monfort reviews Carrara 5 Pro Handbook (Graphics Series) written by Mike de la Flor, and published by Charles River Media, 512 pages, January 2006, ISBN: 1584504633, and feels that, ''the book falls short...''. Read the full review for Ringo's point of view...


Carrara5 Pro Handbook by Mike de la FlorMany users that have upgraded to Carrara 5 or Carrara 5 Pro are looking for learning material that will teach them how to use all the latest features that were added to version 5 of the application. It is understandable as version 5 of Carrara is loaded with new features and while they are easy to use, most users would like to see detailed tutorials to help them learn how to apply those features.

The Carrara 5 Pro Handbook claims that if you are a new or seasoned user, you'll find everything you need to get started with Carrara 5 and that it provides a complete, detailed guide to Carrara 5 Pro, including in-depth coverage of the features and tools. Well, after reading the book from cover to cover, I would have to say that the book falls short of the promises in the above statements.

About 80% of the new features are not covered in the book.

Here is a list of things that are not covered:

New particle system, replicator, surface replicator, ambient occlusion, irrandiance map, anisotropic lighting model, fresnel, translucency channel, weight painting, new volumetric clouds, matchmoving, include/exclude lights, bounding box display, smoothing of multiple objects and not all the new tools in the vertex modeler.

If those were the things you wanted to learn, then this book is not for you.


Now to get into what the book does cover.

  • It starts with basic understanding of 3D concepts and techniques such as 3d modeling, texturing and animation.

  • Part II is getting to know Carrara assemble, texture, modeling and rendering rooms. But all of these are touched upon very lightly - it is more of an overview.

  • Part III is all about Modeling with Carrara and Hexagon.

    Here the book does get into detailed samples of modeling techniques with spline and vertex modeling. It also includes a short section that covers modeling with Hexagon the new 3D polygonal modeler from Eovia Corp. While they are very good tutorials, again, some of the new tools in the vertex modeler are not covered at all.

  • Part IV is texturing ranging from UV editor, projection mapping layers, subsurface scattering and displacement mapping, but here the books fails to mention the anisotropic, fresnel and translucency the new features of Carrara 5.

  • Part V gets into animation using morph targets, walk cycle with bones. The samples are good, but missing here is the use of the new graph editor and the weight painting tool - another set of Carrara 5 features.

  • Part VI covers rendering with Carrara using HDRI, Global Illumination, skylight, Caustics, NPR etc. But again, the Carrara 5 rendering features Ambient Occlusion and Irradiance mapping are not even mentioned.

  • Part VII Using Carrara with other programs: such as Flash by using Vector style, Native poser importer and exporting to After Effects. Very good material in this section.

  • Part VIII The last part covers 3rd party plugins from Digital Carver Guild. Here the book has useful information about Anything Grows, Anything Goes and Cognito.


In Conclusion

In conclusion the book does have some fine material that will get new users of 3D started. But due to the omission of 80% of the new Carrara 5 Pro features, I cannot recommend the book to anyone that upgraded from Carrara 3 or 4 to Carrara 5.
Buy it at Amazon.com
You can find better resources online that do cover the new features of Carrara 5 .

I give the book 2 cows


©Copyright 2006 Ringo Monfort | Creative Cow
All Rights Reserved


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