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Carrara 8.5 Smart Content


Carrara 8.5 syncs with the DAZ Content Management Service to access metadata for Smart Content. This Smart Content can be browsed in the new Smart Content Tab in Carrara 8.5

Process Overview

  • Import Metadata
  • Access the Smart Content Pane
  • Browse the Smart Content
  • Load Smart Content


Smart Content relies on the DAZ Content Management System to maintain the metadata database. DAZ CMS must be installed and running in order for Smart Content to work in Carrara 8.5. This tutorial assumes that DAZ CMS is installed and running on the user's machine.

Import Metadata

In order for content to show up in the Smart Content pane two requirements must be met. The first is that the content is Smart Content this means that it ships with a metadata package. Smart Content is labelled as 'Smart' in the DAZ Install Manager. The second is that the metadata for the product has been imported into the CMS Database. Metadata must be imported each time a new 'Smart' product is installed.

Carrara 8.5 currently has no front end for importing metadata for new products into the CMS database. There are two options for users to import metadata into the CMS database.

  • Auto-import Metadata via the DAZ Install Manager:
    • Any smart content installed with the DAZ Install Manager will have it's metadata automatically entered into the DAZ CMS database. This means that the content will show up in Carrara 8.5's Smart Content Pane the next time the application is launched.
  • Import Metadata manually via DAZ Studio: (Note: This method requires the user has DAZ Studio 4.5 or higher installed on their system).
    • If smart content is not installed through the DAZ Install Manager then the metadata must be manually imported. This can be done by launching DAZ Studio and importing the metadata when the dialogue prompt appears.
    • If no dialogue prompt appears at start-up users can import metadata by opening the Content Library Pane's Active Pane Options Menu and choosing 'Content DB Maintenance' from there the user can choose Re-import Metadata. Check the newly installed content and accept the dialogue. Note: Content is listed by SKU

Access the Smart Content Pane

The Smart Content Pane is located within the Carrara 8.5 browser. To access the Smart Content Pane simply open the browser. This can be done by clicking the 'browser' tab in the bottom left corner of the Carrara 8.5 interface. Next open the Smart Content Tab by clicking 'Smart Content.' This tab is right most tab in the Browser.

Browse the Smart Content Pane

The Smart Content Pane can be browsed by File, by Category or by Product.

Browse by File

Browsing by file is a powerful way for the user to find files based on scene selection and category.

To browse by file click the white triangle next to 'Files' in the Smart Content Pane. This will expand the files tree.

Under the Files tree are the categories lists. By default only the Default categories are shown. If users have added other categories to the Content Database they will appear. To access files simply browse to the category the file resides in.

The items that show up in File view are governed by the current scene selection. Only compatible content for a figure will show up in files if it is selected. If no selection is made then all content will be available. In order for the filtering to work properly the line above the “Actor” line should be selected in the Instances Tray. If the root node is selected the Smart Content Pane will display all content.

In file view selecting a high level category will display everything in that category as well as any files listed in sub-categories.

Browse by Category

Browsing by category offers the user the ability to intuitively browse for files based on category but removes limitations made by scene selection.

To browse by category click the white triangle to 'Categories' in the Smart Content Pane. this will expand the Categories tree.

Like 'Files' the default categories are listed first. If the user has created other category sets they will be listed below the default categories.

Unlike the 'Files' section all items with metadata will show up in the category view regardless of the current scene selection.

Highlighting a category in 'category' view only displays the items within that category and not the items in it's sub-categories. In order to access a file the category it resides in must be selected in the Smart Content Pane.

Browse by Product

Browsing by product provides a simple way for users to access all parts of a product in one location.

To browse by product click the white triangle next to 'Products' to expand the product tree.

The Products section has an alphabetical list of products by product name. To access a file expand the first letter of the product name to reveal a list of products with the same alphabetical listing. Clicking on the product name will reveal all files associated with that product.

Note: Accessing a file through the product section requires that the user knows the name of the product the file is a part of.

Load Smart Content

Loading items from the Smart Content pane is simple. To load a particular file simply double click the icon. This will load the item at the scene's origin.

Users can also drag an icon and drop it into the scene. This will load the item in the location it was dropped in the view port.

Finally users can drag and drop icons into the scene tray. This allows the user to parent an item and load it simultaneously. If the item is parented it will load near it's parent. If an item is not parented it will load at the origin.


The Smart Content Pane provides an intuitive and simple way to browse through and load content. By taking advantage of Files, Categories, and Products users can quickly and easily locate the content needed for their scene.