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Ray Dream is an out of print mid range 3D program, that is the core feature set of Carrara. Its greatest strengths were (arguably) its Meshform modeler, hierarchical texture mixer, its interface philosophy, and fairly open plugin architecture which brought to the program many of its more advanced features, and useful details.

Ray Dreams Meshform modeler was like much of the program accessible on both the GUI level and the values related to the selection manipulatable and visible in the numerical pallet. There have been many vaguely similar systems but, few allowed one to work up point by point, line by line, surface by surface, instead of the standard of most other 3D modelers that all but invariably requiring you to reshape a primitive. No program to my knowledge has handled the point by point approach as cleanly as Ray Dream, but there are at least a few high end products (Maya / 3D Studio Max / possibly others) beyond my experience (that may or may not do it better or at all). Lightwave does have a similar modeler in that you can build point by point, and is more powerful in that it handles curved lines, but the interfaces bare no comparison and can be considered better or drastically worse by personal prefernce.

The hierarchical texture mixer allowed any image or procedural method to be mixed or used as a map in mixing other images or procedural method in (practically) unlimited depth. This mixing behavior can be somewhat seen also in Bryce, but where Bryce lacks the hierarchical structure, Ray Dream lacks the multi apply mode methods internal to the texture. Similar things do exist (even possibly in combination) in higher packages I understand (possibly Maya / 3D Studio Max) but I've never seen any thing like it in the mid to mid high range.

Ray Dream's interface has earned it both praise and scorn due to its drastic differences from the norms (such as they even exist) in the 3D industry. It follows more the line or reasoning of many 2D programs that combine selection and motion tools, and has a very extensive numerical pallet.

The plugin architecture of Ray Dream brought it a great deal of its feature set near its end, and also a great deal of Carrara's feature set to it.

  • Volume Lights (faked post render)
  • Booleans
  • Bones (though I'm unclear how close to true bones these are)
  • Metaballs
  • Skies
These and others were all third party additions that were, in many cases bought up and added into the basic package, and which remain in the Carrara feature set (often almost unchanged from the original plugs.)

At last check Carrara is Ray Dream, with a heavier (seemingly less stable) interface, and only one feature, and one interface convention inherited from Infini-D. These being Infini-D's particle system, and its lack of option to apply more than one change via the numerical pallet at a time, instead applying each change as you make it, which can be very counterproductive when working with large complex scenes and objects.

The rights and code to Ray Dream is currently owned by Eovia, who are only selling its descendant Carrara.

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