MetaCreations Carrara

Inspired by its siblings Ray Dream and Infini-D, Carrara collects more than 600 impressive features inside a stylish interface. It will gratify picky pros and hobbyists, but may daunt novices.

Carrara's interface resembles that of MetaCreations' Bryce landscape creation software: icons glow when activated, navigation knobs allow fluid manoeuvres through 3D scenes, and preview screens let you accelerate work on special effects. Trays slide out from the sides of the screen to reveal animation controls, property settings, or libraries of pre-set objects and effects.

Different stages of model production occur in five separate rooms (Assemble, Model, Storyboard, Texture and Render), each equipped with suitable tools and effects. The Model room, for example, makes available six model-making modes for shaping organic forms, creating models from math formulas, turning TrueType fonts into 3D logos, or sculpting fantasy landscapes. The only thing missing is a Drop Object command to help ensure that your models rest on the ground.

Carrara mimics real-world nuances beautifully, distorting a rubber ball as it bounces off a wall or straightening an arm when you tug on a character's hand. Optical and atmospheric effects (such as blurring fast-moving objects or simulating dusty beams of light) are equally cool. And unlike most 3D apps, Carrara renders these effects lickety-split.

Carrara imports and exports images and models in most popular 2D and 3D formats, including JPEG, GIF, AVI, QuickTime, VRML (1 and 2), and MetaCreations' MetaStream format. For the tools it delivers, Carrara is a bargain.

MetaCreations Carrara

Price: $799

Distributor: Scholastic New Media

Phone: (02) 4328 3555


Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Goddard

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?