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Metacreations Announces Next-Generation 3-D Software

MetaCreations Corp. this week announced Carrara 1.0, its complete 3-D modeling and animation solution, designed for print, video and the Web. Carrara was developed from almost a decade of MetaCreations' 3-D development experience with products including Ray Dream and Infini-D.

MetaCreations believes that the new tool will provide a comprehensive, high-end feature set coupled with a "blazingly fast" rendering engine and revolutionary work-flow approach called SmartFlow. Carrara was designed to provide the "ultimate creative freedom" for 3-D artists and designers, along with those 2-D creative professionals who are ready to move into the world of 3-D.

Carrara will feature MetaCreations new workflow approach, named SmartFlow, that is expected to substantially shorten the traditional learning curve for new 3-D developers while providing "maximum productivity" for the power user. SmartFlow utilizes an intuitive interface environment that will enalbe users to work through projects using a series of production steps.

Carrara's storyboarding capabilities will allow fast, effective pre-visualization of animations. The tool's physical effects will allow users to apply characteristics such as weight and bounce to modeled objects, and will support the MetaStream file format to allow the creation of compact 3-D objects for streaming over the Web.

Carrara's new 3-D modeling features include:
  • Next-Generation User Interface via SmartFlow - based on a "room" concept, each room features the interface items needed to complete a task such as modeling, texturing, rendering and more
  • High Speed Hybrid Renderers - Carrara includes several renderers from a Draft Z-Buffer to a high speed Hybrid Renderer
  • MetaStream Support - users can create fully textured objects and export them as MetaStream objects
  • Direct 3-D and Open GL Support - enables direct manipulation, texturing and modeling of 3-D objects in real time using hardware acceleration
  • Importers and Exporters: 2-D File Support - GIF, JPEG, TIFF, PICT (Mac), PCX (Win), BMP (Win), Adobe. Photoshop, Corel PhotoPaint (Win), Targa TGA (Win), Adobe Illustrator, TrueType Fonts, QuickTime, AVI, Sequenced Image Output (for all 2-D file types). 3-D File Import and Export, including DXF, OBJ, 3DS (win), RDS (import only), MetaStream (export only), VRML 2 (export only)
  • Hundreds of 3-D Clipart Objects - advanced users can save hours by customizing clipart objects to meet their needs; all of the clipart objects can be fully modified using Carrara modelers and shaders
  • Hundreds of Shaders and Presets - Carrara ships with hundreds of shaders, camera presets, light source presets, and special FX presets
  • Open Architecture - Carrara's API is based on a fully object oriented and mature source code, and the SDK (which will be available on the MetaCreations Web site) will contain documentation, headers, examples and tools
Carrara is scheduled to become available in the fall for Windows 95/98/2000/NT and Power Macintosh.