3DXtract e-zine

A Hidden (now unhidden!) Gem of the early 2000s!!!

3DXtract e-zine for Carrara and Amapi was truly a work of love and passion.

Between November of 2003 and October 2005, this team of enthusiasts worked together to bring about something incredibly special and enjoyable - something that helps to demonstrate the magic of these amazing software packages.

Even today, these articles offer a level of inspiration and technical know-how that is refreshing to behold. Many things have changed in Carrara since these great e-zines were published, which is fun to see! Still, the tutorials and tips are mostly still very educational toward applying these skills to our workflow!

Screenshot of Nov/Dec 2004 Issue

September 2013

Carl Desmond visited us in the Carrara Discussion Forum at Daz 3D and offered this important message:

(his post)

Hey all,

I was just talking on the phone with Andrew Turner and he reminded me that back in 2002 (was it then? so long ago... can't remember... any way...) my wife "allowed" me to purchase Carrara for X-mas! I enjoyed it so much and couldn't wait to learn more and more. After reading the manual I couldn't find any tutorials or additional content online, so I decided I had to provide it. I launched 3DXTRACT and I offered $50 (USD) payment for each tutorial submitted and took the time to read, edit, and as it interested me, step through the tutorials. I wrote articles, interviews etc. and I learned a lot from the experience. I enjoyed every issue and interaction to say the least. For those that contributed, thank you so much! It was an awesome time! For those that read and purchased it, thank you even more! For those that never had the chance to be a part of all the typos and improper English... well, you can now re-live the early 2000's all over again by downloading the link above. All the issues are provided and searchable using the PDX file contained within. 500MB in all. Surprisingly, a lot of the tutorials still apply to Carrara 8.5! Some things never change ;)

P.S> I still love my wife, I have had 2 more children since then... and I did upgrade to Carrara 8.5... Still learning as always.

The link he included in his post was active for a number of years, but alas - no longer.

It feels sad to let something this special pass into inaccess, so I'm hosting them here for all of us late-bloomers and veterans alike to enjoy and learn from.

Issue/Content Index


It's really fun to just open an issue and read it through - absorbing the lessons of these greats!

Most of the time, this is how I read these - pick an issue and go through start-to-finish.

The Index on the left is an excellent resource for digging up articles regarding specific topics.

The complete download collection includes this Index as well as some search files, if you know how to use them. Personally, I'm fine with the Index.

Download the Complete Collection

November 2003


December 2003


January 2004


February 2004


March 2004


April 2004


May 2004


June 2004


July 2004


August 2004


September 2004


October 2004


Nov/December 2004


Jan/February 2005


Jan/Feb 2005 Supplement

"Stupid Modeling Tricks" - Mark Bremmer


March/April 2005


July/August 2005


Sept/October 2005


I cannot express enough gratitude to Carl for sharing this collection with us, and to all of the contributors who have made this all such a magical, memorable archive!

Thank You All,



Carrara 8.5 offers the latest in DAZ technology. Our software engineers have worked meticulously to ensure that the new features in Carrara 8.5 exceed the standard you've come to expect for Carrara. Carrara 8.5 provides seamless support for the Genesis and Genesis 2 3D model figures you know and love. The new parameters tab grants intuitive access to morphs for your figures and allows you to filter by region, body part and even keyword. Carrara 8.5 ships with AutoFit and Morph Projection, which allows you enormous versatility in clothing.

New and improved animation and keyframing tools including Key Frame Filters and a Graph Editor, which puts the power in your hands. These new tools, as well as new intuitive keyboard shortcuts, connect the serious animator to the 3D model in a symbiotic relationship. Smoothing, refining and perfecting animation sequences has never been easier.

New SubDivision and Smoothing tools allow the user to control 3D rendering levels and model levels, allowing smoothing from within the assembly room. This cuts time out of your flow and saves you from needlessly switching between the modeling and assembly rooms just to update smoothing options.

Improvements to the viewport avatars for lights and cameras provide a new, aesthetically pleasing look to the interface. The Sunlight, Moonlight, Shape Light and Tube Lights have all received a makeover. This provides a greater visual reference as to how light will emanate from a source and react in the scene.

Now you can enjoy figure posing, modeling, 3D landscape design, rigid and soft-body dynamics, animation and 3D rendering all within a single application at an affordable price. Add a whole new dimension to your 3D art and animation with Carrara.

  • What's Included and Features

    • Support for:

      • Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10

      • Mac OSX 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10

    • Native DSON Importer - seamless integration of:

      • TriAxTM Weight Mapped figures (Genesis, Genesis 2 Female)

      • General Weight Mapped figures

      • Legacy Parametric Figures (4th Generation and earlier)

      • Support for multiple UV sets (through Hierarchical Material(s) Presets and Material(s) Presets)

    • Genesis Content

    • Native AutoFit Functionality

      • Conversion of legacy parametric clothing to TriAx weight mapped figures

      • Automatic Morph Projection

      • Automatic Weight Map Projection

      • Morph Preservation

      • AutoFit does not currently work on Genesis 2

    • Improved Sequencer, Keyframing and Animation Tools

      • New Key Board Shortcuts to:

        • Play/Stop animation

        • Advance Frame

        • Previous Frame

      • Animation Filters

        • Sample - Creates a key at every nth frame of the animation

        • Smooth - Smooth out wild keys to get an even looking animation

        • Reduce - Programatically determine which keys are unnecessary and eliminate them

      • Graph Editor Scaling Box allows for easy adjustments of timing, scaling and amplitude of animations

    • Smart Content

      • Browse content by File, Category or Product

      • Selection based filtering of content - only see the content that is compatible with a selection

    • Animation Commands

      • Zero, Memorize and Restore figures, selection or selection trees

      • Memorize and Restore allow users to store values for the model's current pose and/or shape and restore all or part of the figure to the previously memorized values.

    • Improved Fit To Functionality

      • Automatic projection and following of morphs for TriAx weightmapped figures

      • No more relying on built in clothing morphs to fit clothing over a TriAx figure

    • Improved Viewport Avatars

      • Spotlight, Sunlight, Moonlight, Tube Lights and Shape lights have all received a makeover and can easily be identified in the viewport

  • Features Introduced in Carrara 8.0

    • Pro - 64-bit support for MAC and WIN OS - Work faster and smarter as you take full advantage of your computer's 64-bit hardware.

    • Pro - Bullet Physics Library - Create and edit rigid and soft-bodies for realistic and exciting animations. Enjoy a robust particle system, collision detection and a remarkably fast rigid-body physics engine.

    • Pro - Network Render Optimizations - Enjoy greater control over your render farm as you easily add and remove nodes via your master machine. Render frames or buckets as you choose for greater safeguarding against lost render data. Get GRID for even more power!

    • Pro - Negative Lights and Photometrics - Now you can work with negative lights and photometrics (IES) for even greater control over your lighting.

    • Pro - Editing of Posed Meshes - Now you can do important clean-up and detail work on your conforming objects while the model is posed or conformed so you can see the results as you work. Morph Creation allows you to utilize Carrara's great modeling tools to make your own custom morph targets and easily save them as a parameter slider within your existing figure.

    • Multi-Threading for MAC and WIN OS - Spread the load on your CPU intensive calculations.

    • Improved FBX and COLLADA Data Exchange - Take rigged and animated models straight into your favorite game engines, like UnityTM, and see how rich your experience can be with your own, or any of DAZ 3D's existing content options. Also, import from a variety of popular formats and/or export your work to and from other packages including LightWave, Adobe After Effects, 3DS, LWO, PSD, and more.

    • Plant & Vegetation Improvements - Add custom models and textures for unique leaves, flowers, fruit and more. You can also use a variety of different leaf objects per plant for natural variation.

    • Render Time Optimizations - Get more than 200%* improvement in performance when rendering complex scenes using your high-end MAC or Windows system.

    • God Rays and Barn Doors - Harness the creative force of god rays and the control of barn doors as you design superior lighting for your scenes. The Light Lab also features robust control over lighting direction, intensity, and tinting from one or more sources to ensure a more accurate production of real-world environments.

    • Normal Maps - View normal maps both in real-time display and at rendertime.

    • Puppeteer for Carrara - You asked for it, and you got it. Introducing Puppeteer for Carrara. This tool contains everything as seen in DAZ Studio and has been fully integrated for use with any Carrara animation project.

    • 3D Paint and UV Editing/Unfolding - 3D Paint Tool that enables textures to be selected, edited and "painted" directly onto an object. Also a new UV Editor that shows a 3D view of the polygon mesh, a 2D display of the UV values on the polygon mesh vertices, and a set of tools to manipulate them.

    • Rendering Options - Achieve a new level of realism in your scenes with Soft Shadows, Blurred Reflections, Blurred Transmission, True Ambient Lighting, Caustics, Global Illumination, Ambient Occlusion, HDRI, Motion Blur, Subsurface Scattering, Shadow Catch, Transparency with Absorption, Depth of Field, and more. And, with Multi-Pass Rendering you can retouch or edit images without having to re-render.

    • Vertex and Symmetrical Modeling - Streamline the modeling process in both the "Modeling" and "Assembly" rooms. Ideal for creating and editing anything from characters to vehicles and more. This feature allows users to edit both sides of a symmetrical object at the same time.

    • Figure Content LOD Support - Includes support for Content Figures that have multiple Levels of Detail (LOD).

    • Non-Linear Animation Track Groups - Using Carrara for creating animations? This merge track tool will provide an improved interface to create groups of tracks then collapse or expand the tracks in those groups.

    • Animation and Web Capabilities - Create Web animations, generate thumbnail images, preview them in storyboard format, and create virtual tours using QuickTime.

    • Dynamic-Hair - With the Dynamic-Hair and fur modeling/simulation feature, you can paint, cut, brush and shade 3d-hair to bring your images to realistic life --- and do it with the greatest of ease.

    • Image-Editing Tools - Import 2D images from a variety of formats, transform them into 3D objects, then incorporate them into your scenes.

    • Landscape Creation and Presets with the Landscape Wizard - Quickly and easily produce remarkably realistic landscapes, impressive fantasy worlds, and other dynamic scenes. Also included are presets for terrains, waters, skies, rocks, clouds, fog, and more.

    • Intuitive User Interface - Take advantage of handy palettes to create and edit objects, design scenes and render final images quickly and easily.

    • Texture Editor - Easily import, create and edit texture presets, then save them as new textures for future use.

    • Displacement Modeling - You can paint detail on a model with the greatest of ease --- using free-form brush tools --- almost as if you were modeling with clay.

    • Ocean Primitive - Simulating the surface of the ocean, this feature can be used to create both still and animated oceans. You will be able to control the waves, plus the speed and direction of the wind.



Render Node provides 10 nodes and 20 CPUs out of the Box.

See GRID here

Have a Question? Just Ask!

I love to help others as best I can. This is a rather broad topic: CG Filmmaking, so my articles on any particular topic may not answer your specific question.

Most of the questions directed to me are regarding Carrara or How did I do this?

For these sorts of things, post your question at the Carrara Discussion Forum (or another appropriate category) at Daz 3D.com forums, and if I don't see it right away, someone else might. They are such a friendly and helpful bunch! I've learned so much from that forum over the years!

For a more immediate question directed to me, log into those forums and Send me a PM!

Please support this site - every little bit helps!

and support this site at the same time!!! :) Thanks!!! :)