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the Carrara love.

Welcome to my free Carrara tutorials and training on advanced uses of Carrara plus some free shaders too!

Interested in Basic Carrrara tutorials? Go here.

Whether you are a professional 3D artist or a 3D-ophile that is looking to take your work to the next level, this page provides ways to step up your work with these free Carrara tutorials.

**Disclaimer: The movies in this section assume that you already have a thorough working knowledge of Carrara so I don't take time to explain basic and intermediate uses of Carrara. Additionally, this section also integrates additional common pro level software into the work flow pipeline.

How do I get DAZ3D Carrara or Carrara Pro?

Advanced Tutorials for Carrara by DAZ 3D

Choose Your Interest


Oh, want a little inspiration?

Make HDRI Maps

HDRI carRequires Quicktime to view.

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to use Carrara's spherical camera to create custom HDRI maps for your scene. While this tutorial focuses on a "studio shot" environment, the same techniques can be used with Carrara's environmental scenes as well. This tutorial is 11.5M, Duration: 09'51.

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Spherical Cameras, HDRI application, HDRI magnitude adjustments

Photoshop: Make HDRI function, adjusting levels in multiple reference images, publishing HDRI imagery

Software Required:

Photoshop CS2 and above, Carrara 5 and above

Create Labels

Create a decal or label in Carrara

Requires Quicktime to view.

Applying labels to an object is not a particularly difficult thing to do - once you understand how, that is. Learn how to create labels with Carrara and utilize some of the texture masking capabilities nestled in the Carrara Shader Tree options. This tutorial is 11M, Duration: 06'44.

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Shader Tree and masking options, confining bump maps to specific areas, swapping label content

Paint/Drawing programs: Exporting content for both texture and masking requirements in Carrara.

Software Required:

Paint program like Photoshop or Corel Photo Paint, Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. Carrara 5 and above.

Weatherize Quickly

Requires Quicktime to view.Create a decal or label in Carrara

Making "perfect" computer objects age and look more real is an essential 3D task. There are many ways to do it. We'll look at some easy and quick ways to make this task less of a chore using some incredible Carrara tricks. This tutorial is 14.8M, Duration: 13'37.

Oooops: During the movie I mention using Shader Ops by Digital Carvers Guild. It is actually Shaders Plus that contains the Bevel function. So sue me. ;-)

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Multi channel mixers, Elevation Shaders, Environment Shaders, Procedural Mixing

Digital Carvers Guild: Anything Goos, Enhance C, Shaders Plus

Software Required:

Carrara 5 or better, Photoshop CS or better, Enhance C, Shaders Plus and Anything Goos from Digital Carvers Guild.

You can have the final shader I built for this exercise if you like. However, if you don't have Enhance C, Shaders Plus and Anything Goos it won't work at all. Click here to see a final image created with the shader plus get the actual shader itself.


Faking Atmosphere

Requires Quicktime to view.Create a decal or label in Carrara

Carrara doesn't have volumetric shaders yet. (There's always hope for the future though) So, in the meantime, I'll show you a great trick for getting that nice, believable atmosphere that fades into space. This tutorial is 10.0M, Duration: 07'42.

In Action: Would you like to see this technique in an animation? Of course you would. View it here. 1.6M

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Alpha masks, Point-At behaviors, Glow shaders

Pixel Based Art: Radial blends

Software Required:

Carrara 5 or better, Photoshop, PhotoPaint or a pixel based image editing program. Illustrator can be used if you export the art file into a pixel format.

Errata: To view an excellent, completely different way to create an atmosphere, check out this tutorial by Kixum. If you're not a member of Renderosity, you'll need to join, but membership is free.

Particle Emitter Smoke Trails

Requires Quicktime to view.Create a particle smoke trail in Carrara

The Carrara Particle Generator/emitter is awesome. In this advanced tutorial you'll discover the mysteries of the Particle Shader and how to create a smoke trail with the Carrara particle emitter where the smoke changes color and opacity over time. This tutorial is 17.6M, Duration: 6' 57".

Extra item to note: While I don't mention it this tutorial, it is VERY easy to over-set your particle settings and have too many particles. How many are too many particles? So many that the file won't render in your lifetime. ;-) Instead of adding tons of particles to your scene, try starting with just a few and then slowly increasing the count as needed.

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Multi channel mixers, Particle Shaders, Sprites, Splats

Software Required:

Carrara 5 or better, a pixel/bitmap painting program for the sprites.

Underwater Scene Set-up

Requires Quicktime to view.Create Underwater Scenes in Carrara

Sure terra firma is nice to render but underwater scenes have an allure that can't be matched. Learn how to quickly create an underwater scene using the basic tools in Carrara plus a gel for a spotlight created in Photoshop. This tutorial is 25.3M, Duration: 15' 04".

Extra item to note: I can tell when I record these late at night. At the very end of this tutorial, I mention setting the particle coordinates to local. What I REALLY meant to say was, "...set your Shader Tree Noise option to Local Coordinates in the alpha mask."

Areas Covered:

Carrara: Fog, Noise Alpha masking, Particle Emitters, Gels, Light Cones, Terrains, Ocean Primative

Software Required:

Carrara 5 or better, a pixel/bitmap painting program for the Gel.

Roads on Carrara Terrains

Requires Quicktime to view.Create a particle smoke trail in Carrara

This tutorial is definitely not for beginners and is not about painting in the Carrara terrain editor. 35 minutes of wizarding with Carrara and other software show you how to create textured roads that quickly follow your terrain features while also remaining smooth and graded. The smart observer will also figure out how you can build mountain switchback roads and roads that span valleys just waiting for you to connect them with modeled bridges. Too much fun.

This tutorial is 68.7M, Duration: 34' 44".

Special Note: I cover the Photoshop Hi-pass filter in this series to assist in "leveling" your road bed. Don't be surprised if you sometimes need to create two Photoshop layered Hi-pass elements or apply a levels adjustment layer for very subtle control. Each terrain is different and there is no perfect set up but the seeds will have been planted in this tutorial. ;-)

Areas Covered:

Carrara: terrain editor exports and imports, Terrain shading specialties, shader modifications.

Photoshop: Magic wand, path creation and export, path stroking, Hi-pass and blur filters, layer target selections

Illustrator: Custom brush creation and application

Software Required:

Carrara 5 or better, Photoshop CS+, Adobe Illustrator CS+.


Walk Cycles made easy in Carrara

Requires Quicktime to view.Create a walk cylce in Carrara

I write for several 3D magazines. 3D World magazine asked me to write another Carrara Q&A segment on something that I get a lot of questions about. Well, walk cycles for people is one of those subjects, and multi-leg walk cycles for creatures.

Special note: Obviously, this is for a multi-legged creature. However, there are some tricks I show about creating smooth cycles which are applicable to any walk cycle. The work files are included in the 3D World magazine CD.

This tutorial is 57M, Duration: 18' 04" at 1024x768p.

Areas Covered:

Carrara: target helper objects, linking, animation clips

Software Required:

Carrara 6 or better.


Free Carrara Shaders

I have some sort of dysfunctional need to texture things. Because of this odd and twisted passion, I'll periodically be posting some shaders for you to use. These shaders are free for your commercial or personal use but they cannot be sold or redistributed without written permission from Mark Bremmer. If you do use them professionally, please show me how you're using them - I'd love to see!

Dry Grass Shader for Carrara

Carrara Free Shader - Dry Grass Example
I've created this Carrara shader to use as base art ground cover for arid climates. It's perfect for setting up a general drought appearance. After that, I replicate arid grass and shrubs on it. It also has a displacement map for additional dimension.

Release Date: May 27, 2008
Carrara Version: 5 & 6
Texture Source: Photographic
Seamless Tiling: Yes
Texture Maps for: Color, Highlight, Shininess, Bump Displacement Map: Yes
Special Tips: Disable displacement when modeling and performing test renders to speed things up. Displacement mapping is disabled by default on this shader.

Download (9.1M):

More Soon!

How'd he do that? Free Carrara scenes.

No tutorial required. Sometimes it is just faster to check out a real Carrara scene and see how it was put together. Lights, shaders and models all integrated.

Mushroom Cloud – This first scene creates an atomic explosion worthy of a graphic novel. You can dowload the atomic bomb/mushroom cloud file here (187k).

Learn how to make a mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb in Carrara 7 pro.


Thank You!

I love adding FREE tutorials and shaders to this section.

Are they helpful to you? If so, I always welcome a "Thank You." It would be so polite! :D


Special request for an advanced tutorial or shader?

Let me know here. Sometimes, I pay more attention to requests that have been accompanied by a "Thank You". Imagine that.