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tomjacobs
03-06-2011, 01:29 PM
I finally have saved up the money to purchase one of these products. Now my question is which one would work best with LW10? And an easier learning curve would be helpful.

Dexter2999
03-06-2011, 01:33 PM
http://www.pixologic.com/zbrush/trial/
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/download/item?siteID=123112&id=13571415

See which one you like best.

and don't forget 3D Coat
http://www.3d-coat.com/download/

Intuition
03-06-2011, 01:58 PM
mudbox... hands down.

Though I'll speak on both.

I've used both extensively in production and at home.

Mudbox is as straightforward as you can get. You bring in a 3d model and you begin to paint/sculpt on it.

Mudbox by default allows you to have multiple UV tiles with ease. This way if you feel a single 8k map is not enough for your character you can move the extra pieces into the next UVtile. Mudbox will automatically generate a new map for each tile. This frees up more pixel space and detail levels.

In mudbox, if your model is getting too dense for your vidcard or ram you can select polygons with the select brush and then "hide unselected" at this point you can then continue to add subD levels (say level 5, 6 or 7) on the model while only displaying what you have kept unhidden. This allows further detail. When you step down again the whole model will be revealed. At map bake time you can then choose this high level as the target and, though it takes a little time to bake, mudbox will give you the fine details in the final map. I have made a dragon with nine 8k maps in mudbox. It takes about 40 minutes to do the map export but it does it perfectly. Remember 40 minutes is just because I am making nine 8k maps. And is not typical of every project. :D

Mudbox is also resolution independant for painting as well. You can determine the size of the color map and it will display that resolution no matter what level of subD you are displaying.

Zbrush on the other hand has a color map resolution that is based on the subDivision level. It did not used to be this way but now it is. Also, Zbrush has an HD sculpt mode but I found it very unstable on large models and would crash often.

Zbrush is a much deeper app. It does many more things then mudbox but overall I don't use 90% of them

Mudbox and Zbrush are about tied when it comes to projecting details on a new mesh with new UV's in case you need to change mid project. mudbox is fairly strightforward whilst Zbrush has load in order and selection order tricks to make it work with the project all feature.

Zbrush requires a separate plug-in for making more then 1 UV tile of detail.

Zbrush's sculpt feel is a little better then mudbox's. Also Zbrush has many nice default brushes.

I prefer mudbox's UI and navigation overall and mudbox's stencil and stamp modes are easy to use where as Zbrush has little tricks to get them working. Mudbox lets you rotate brushes/stencils easily, while zbrush will have you trying to rotate the mesh to line up with the brush/stencil.

Navigation in Zbrush is super tricky and not like any 3d app at all. Mudbox has the same viewport navigation as maya (alt + lmb, mmb, rmb) for all the functions, again easy to use and you will be sculpting quickly.

Zbrush requires holding shift then click hold then let go of shift then drag to zoom in and out amongst other things.

Zbrush is overall the bigger deeper app while mudbox is much easier to use, more a real 3d application. Zbrush runs in 2.5d which requires you to load a 3d mesh then drag it out on the document... then press "activate" or convert to 3d mesh before sculpting. If you unclick the activate button it drops the mesh to a 2d document like photoshop.

IN mudbox you are always in 3D....always. Its a 3d app.

I'd also recommend uvlayout as a companion. Its easily the best UV unwrapping tool in the market. It takes a little getting used to (take like 3 vid tutorials) but the UVs it produces for me are so evenly spaced and distortion free that I never have any UV pixel stretching problems now. DD uses it so much that its been made into a facility wide app that you can get just by typing uvlayout in the linux terminal.

faulknermano
03-06-2011, 02:06 PM
Navigation in Zbrush is super tricky and not like any 3d app at all. Mudbox has the same viewport navigation as maya (alt + lmb, mmb, rmb) for all the functions, again easy to use and you will be sculpting quickly.


To add, you can modify the keys in Mudbox so that it functions exactly the same as LW's Modeler: CTRL+ALT+LMB == zoom, ALT+SHIFT+LMB == pan.

I used to hate the fact that MB didn't have the posing tools as ZB, but as 2011 that's no longer the case.

I haven't touched ZB myself for quite some time now, but I do wonder of how reliably it exports complex displacements / VDMs. MB occasionally has artefacting problems but I can't be sure that isn't a inherent problem across apps.

Tangent: what we need is adaptive subdivision in MB.

probiner
03-06-2011, 02:12 PM
tomjacobs
What are you looking for? What tasks do you expect to perform with them?

Cheers

tomjacobs
03-06-2011, 02:53 PM
I am looking for something to add more details to my models. I primary use Lightwave to create models for a game engine that I am developing in my spare time. So if I can add details thru a displacement map with the shader code instead of increasing the polygons in the model would be helpful.

Plus I have seen some of the artwork created in both applications and I wish to learn. Thus something with an easier learing curve and one that is not a hassle to integrate with LW10.

gordonrobb
03-06-2011, 03:29 PM
I am a zbrush user, and have never used Mudbox, but I agree with the first response, get the trials and see which one you like best. You are unlikely to get any kind of unbiased view from users of either package, although Intuitions seems quite far reaching.

hcoat
03-06-2011, 04:09 PM
Just on principle I'd say zbrush. They both can do what you want, but with AD on it's way to becoming a monopoly it is always better to support the competition. That way we will see more innovation in the 3D market. As soon as LW has GOZ Plugin you would be very happy with choosing zbrush.

Danner
03-06-2011, 06:02 PM
If you just want to paint details and not add geometry or deformations, take a look at Mari

http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/mari/

cresshead
03-06-2011, 06:07 PM
also have a look at blender 2.5 this have much improved sculpting capabilities and cost nothing other than your time to install and use it.

the main things zbrush has over mudbox is z spheres, shadowbox and not caring one jot what your video card is....also free updates unlike mudbox or 3dcoat....i bought zbrush 2 and havn't paid a penny for all the updates so far.

probiner
03-06-2011, 06:47 PM
Ok, well i'm going to say.... 3D-Coat. I would say it's the one that integrates better with LW.
The only item i don't like 3D-Coat right now, is Mesh Sculpt. Displacement and Normal Map detailing it works great. But to transform a mesh i would go with Zbrush or Modo.

The only other beefs i had from trying it were:

The spacing of the brushes. But i find the same issue in Modo and Zbrush. Don't know Mudbox. It's that you just can't have that 1% Spacing Photoshop stroke and you end up with some inconsistent spacing between brush samples.

It can delay on you in some processing tasks


Other than those 3 i think 3D-Coat is great with lots of unique features for detailing.

For the needs you expressed i guess any of them could do. Maybe along the road you will have another needs and objectives that one of them might do better than the other. Be aware that 3D-Coat like Zbrush sometimes have not so obvious ways of getting things done.

All around i think 3D-Coat gives you the most wide toolset for LW for lowest price acquisition price, but it won't deliver as well as the others in some areas (Intuition if you tried 3D-Coat, step in and compare it with Muddy :D)

Cheers

tomjacobs
03-06-2011, 08:33 PM
Thanks for the info. Sounds like both products will work for what I am planning to do with. While I am leaning towards Mudbox because of the animation import, I will take Dexter suggestion and try out the demo(s).

wesleycorgi
03-06-2011, 08:42 PM
I'd advocate 3D-Coat, too, because of cost, Mac-compatibility, LW-compatibility.

akademus
03-06-2011, 08:50 PM
I use Zbrush everyday. I was also confused with navigation until I started using it on a Cintiq and all of the sudden it all made sense. The whole interface is made so you don't use the keyboard and mouse at all. So you sit hands down on your tablet and work.

Never used Mudbox, partially because its AD, partially because they seem to be adding features that are hype at the time, while Pixologic takes much smarter route and add what users want based on their experience...

Don't know, choice is yours! Try them, see what suit you better. Sometimes you just click with the app...

Intuition
03-06-2011, 09:04 PM
(Intuition if you tried 3D-Coat, step in and compare it with Muddy :D)

Cheers

I do have 3D coat. I haven't really used it for sculpting. Pretty much use it for retopo exclusively. It is the fastest way to do retopo on the market.

Can't contribute any sculpt experience except that the sculpt feel is not my cup of tea. Mudbox has a toyota sculpt feel. Zbrush has the mercedes/bmw sculpt feel. With 3Dcoat I can't tell what it is about it I don't like. Its not bad and I know I could get used to it. Similar feeling to modo. I love modo for modeling and even some sculpting tricks in it are nice but the overall feel of the sculpting in modo is slightly disconnected though getting better with each release. 3D coat feels the same as modo to me. It works, does the job, but doesn't quite feel right to me yet.

My disclaimer would be that mudbox did not feel the same as Zbrush but after a few settings adjustments in mudbox and in my wacom settings I could get very close to zbrush.

Its an experience with the app kind of thing.

lwaddict
03-07-2011, 07:29 AM
I'd say start downloading all the demos and chose what works best for YOU.
In 3d, how you get there isn't as important as simply getting there.

For me...
and for what it's worth...

ZBrush all the way.

Intuition
03-07-2011, 06:46 PM
We have it here at DD but I rarely fiddle with it. I tested it out for a little bit and felt that it does things that I like in both mudbox and modo as far as texture painting goes.

Sadly, I haven't really put enough time into it to tell you what the ups and downs are other then it seems like it handles color painting a bit better then anything else.

As far as response rate goes this test was on a linux machine and mudbox is also much better on the same machine as a dual boot windows/linux box when running in linux. As is maya and nuke.

Cohen
03-11-2011, 07:53 AM
zbrush all the way for me. The lightbox is awesome, and zspheres and mesh extraction + mesh layers tools are awesome. And I LOVE their decimation tool. Sometimes I dont even bother with displacements/bump maps anymore. :D

Intuition
03-11-2011, 12:07 PM
There are some great things in Zbrush for sure but...

...had to add to the thread again because my co-worker was asked to fix problems in a zbrush file.

I realized that there is no real way of checking UVs in Zbrush. :devil: :bangwall:

Somehow zbrush keeps jacking the UVs up ever so slightly so that there are small errors around the seams of certain geometry.

He exported the maps and mesh to mudbox and can check the UV's live in mudbox. Then could see where there was small pinching in the uv map once the mesh was in mudbox and was subdividing.

I mean, mudbox has no shadowbox modeling feature or anything but....

bazsa73
03-11-2011, 12:21 PM
Dont forget buying a tablet :)

bazsa73
03-11-2011, 12:27 PM
Zbrush pushed it maybe too far into the "we are the intuitive tool makers" direction but I read here and there on forums the rants of technical folks and I agree with them that it is very cool in ZB having all those super brushes and curves and whatever cherries on the cake but when it comes to the technical aspect, namingly when you want ZB to communicate to the outward world it gets somewhat cumbersome so to say. But it is a great tool.

Philbert
03-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Of course my vote has to go to 3D-Coat. So many great tools in one inexpensive package, works great with LW (including the LW AppLink), easy to use interface, rapid development, plus it's a growing team now with Raul (Farsthary) working on Live Clay (http://farsthary.wordpress.com/) dynamic subdivision.

3dWannabe
03-12-2011, 01:48 PM
Check out this video on 3D Coat / Lightwave integration:

http://vimeo.com/18975997

and here's the link to the Lightwave 3D Coat applink:

http://www.3d-coat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7308&view=findpost&p=56689

BTW - 3D Coat's beta has just added a Transform tool in the Retopology room which could be used as a simple poly modeler and will no doubt be expanded upon.

3D Coat was the 1st to implement ptex, and it's moving forward at a very fast pace.

Philbert
03-12-2011, 01:52 PM
Yeah I made a little demo video of the AppLink as well:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfCC8CcNvrg

Boris Goreta
03-12-2011, 02:35 PM
I started using ZBrush recently. It looked really complex at start and I didn't know what brush to use to achieve what I wanted at the time because there are soooo many brushes and alphas to choose from. What you need to do is buy a couple of ZBrush tutorials, one which introduces you with ZBrush and another which is based around some project, say sculpting a Dinosaur. After that I realized that all you need to achieve amazing results are 4 or 5 brushes and several alphas and thats it. All those other brushes are just variants of the base brushes anyway.

Transfering the model to LW is very easy and it matches the model in ZBrush. I just hate that I need to flip displacement textures on V every time I export the map but I'm sure there is a way to automate this. I am having trouble with normal maps but then I learned that you need to have a seamless UV map to get a good tangent normal map which is just a way a tangent normal map works but in most situations you don't need them since displacement and bump are more then enough. I'm still a beginner after all but the WOW factor hasn't worn off even after a couple of months of using it and I have a feeling it never will. With ZBrush you will not use it just to add details to your model, soon you'll model everyhing in it because it will just become too easy.

Cohen
03-12-2011, 07:04 PM
There are some great things in Zbrush for sure but...

...had to add to the thread again because my co-worker was asked to fix problems in a zbrush file.

I realized that there is no real way of checking UVs in Zbrush. :devil: :bangwall:

Somehow zbrush keeps jacking the UVs up ever so slightly so that there are small errors around the seams of certain geometry.

He exported the maps and mesh to mudbox and can check the UV's live in mudbox. Then could see where there was small pinching in the uv map once the mesh was in mudbox and was subdividing.

I mean, mudbox has no shadowbox modeling feature or anything but....

That sounds like an isolated incident. It may be possible to have discrepencies along the seams depending on the quality of bake you or your co-worker did and whether you are applying the baked maps to an orginal model and not exporting the model in zbrush (usually when you have smoothing turned on for the sub-divided uv's). Under those circumstatnces, I can see possibility for discrepncies.

So "small errors around the seams of certain geometry" sounds like a GIGO problem. I personally have never had any seam discrepencies that I can remember, regardless of the application I port my stuff to.

So is this a persistent problem Intuition?

Maybe autodesk doesn't want the apps to play nice with eachother. :devil::screwy::D

Cohen
03-12-2011, 07:13 PM
Of course my vote has to go to 3D-Coat. So many great tools in one inexpensive package, works great with LW (including the LW AppLink), easy to use interface, rapid development, plus it's a growing team now with Raul (Farsthary) working on Live Clay (http://farsthary.wordpress.com/) dynamic subdivision.

I've never gotten passed the mechanical feel of 3d coat. And by that I mean the entire program. The interface's sliders and pop-ups: all feel 'mechanical', as well as the 'brush system' (Atleast for voxel sculpting), are all too mechanical, and because of that, it never feels like I'm sculpting on 'clay'. Zbrush feels more natural for me. If they improved the 'feel' of the program, I might consider using it.

As for Farsthary's work on unlimited clay, I have to ask myself why I would ever buy 3d coat for that feature when Farsthary's unlimited clay in blender is further developed than that. And considering that he's already stated he would finish it for blender, its a fairly mute point now.

Cohen
03-12-2011, 07:18 PM
oh yeah - Disclaimer: These are just some of my opinions. No need for any flame wars. :devil:

Cohen
03-12-2011, 07:28 PM
oh, one more thing, (sorry for the rant). How are autodesk's annual, subscription licenses working out for you guys?

Since zbrush 1, all of my upgrades have been... FREE. :D

whats that like, 8-9 years of free upgrades? - 'nough said

Philbert
03-12-2011, 07:50 PM
As for Farsthary's work on unlimited clay, I have to ask myself why I would ever buy 3d coat for that feature when Farsthary's unlimited clay in blender is further developed than that. And considering that he's already stated he would finish it for blender, its a fairly mute point now.

Live Clay development is barely started of course it doesn't work as well as something else that has been around for a while. Live Clay is supposed to have a lot more features too, I know one is supposed to be real time booleans. Raul says there is a lot more in store but he's playing his cards close to his vest for now. Another reason to buy it for that is that when you're done with it, you can of course move it to voxels if you like, or do your retopo, UVs, texture painting, all right there in the same app then easily export out to LightWave .LWO files with all of your textures already applied and ready to go.

Cohen
03-12-2011, 08:39 PM
Another reason to buy it for that is that when you're done with it, you can of course move it to voxels if you like, or do your retopo, UVs, texture painting, all right there in the same app then easily export out to LightWave .LWO

Point taken, but his unlimited clay is piped through blenders modifier stack, so its already a neat solution that should have lots to offer to that of what will probably be in 3dcoat. Blender already has texture painting, PTEX support, retopo plus that nifty shrinkwrap modifier. So I don't see live clay's integration with 3d coats pipeline as full of 'bells and whistles' as others may.

Don't get me wrong though, 3d coat is good. But my slant on it is largely due to the fact that I already have zbrush. I feel like if you already have zbrush, then you will have to do a lot of convincing for yourself as to why you should take a project into 3d coat. - my opinion of course.

Philbert
03-12-2011, 08:43 PM
Right but the OP implied that he does not already have zbrush. It's also a LightWave forum so we can not assume everyone is a blender user, many do not like the blender UI or other things about it.

Dexter2999
03-12-2011, 08:48 PM
Point taken, but his unlimited clay is piped through blenders modifier stack, so its already a neat solution that should have lots to offer to that of what will probably be in 3dcoat. Blender already has texture painting, PTEX support, retopo plus that nifty shrinkwrap modifier. So I don't see live clay's integration with 3d coats pipeline as full of 'bells and whistles' as others may.

Don't get me wrong though, 3d coat is good. But my slant on it is largely due to the fact that I already have zbrush. I feel like if you already have zbrush, then you will have to do a lot of convincing for yourself as to why you should take a project into 3d coat. - my opinion of course.

I think your argument might be biased in that you own ZBrush. Then again the only way to get somewhat unbiased response would be to either have all of the applications already or none of them. Having none would be a less informed reply.

KC, who has access to all, said earlier that 3D Coat is great as a retopo utlility if nothing else.

3D Coat is a valid product in what it offers and for it's price point, and how well it interacts with LW.

But bottom line is what "clicks" with the user while offering functionality.

Intuition
03-12-2011, 09:44 PM
So is this a persistent problem Intuition?



Well the main problem here is not really that it is an isolated incident per say, but rather Zbrush's whole methodology.

Both mudbox and zbrush would treat the geometry fairly the same. You can't have 100% perfect matching of subdivision between apps anyways, yet even with that limitation you can still get accurate results.

The main problem in zbrush is that you can not view the UV's in zbrush at all. Its kind of a "faith in the workflow" argument. There are spots in Zbrush's subdivision that create problems. These problems can be consistently a problem over in mudbox as well. The difference is that in mudbox I can see them right as they happen. I can switch to the UV view and see the subdivided result live. In Zbrush you will have to export your mesh back to a 3d app and then look at the UV there to confirm problems.

Most of these problems show up in clothing models being prepared for the upcoming xmen movie. These problems have been corrected and are no longer problems once the models were moved to mudbox. They are cases where edge loops were closer together against wider quads where the geometry turns tight angles. Like the way a pocket on a coat looks when the pocket cover folded over the pocket.

The geometry had trouble with the displacement map export at folds where quads have angles that are over 90 degrees at subD time. Zbrush would always produce slight distortions in these cases.

Zbrush can only produce two types of displacement for UVmap output to render engines.

There are 3 ways big render engines can interpolate a UV map when using subD (micropoly) displacement at rendertime.

1. Linear UVs (though mesh is subD the uvs are not smoothed at rendertime).

this type of map always provides a perfect representation of the displacement map at rendertime. Its only drawback is that since the Uv's are hard edged its hard to paint on the map in photshop.

2. smoothUVs.

This type of map is great for being able to do post work on in photoshop. The main drawbacks being that depending on how the render engine subD's the mesh you can have problems at the seams in the UV space as each engine push/pulls the UV space a little differently. One can try to compensate with more quads/loops near the seams.

3. smoothUVs with linear borders.
The newest kind, though rarely used. This gives you the ability to be able to paint on the map like a smooth UV map but still has linear borders so that the UV seams never become an issue.


Mental ray and renderman can render all 3 types in maya. You just have to set the correct interpolation. Vray can use 2 or 3 but does not use linear UV's.

Mudbox can produce all 3 of these types of maps. Zbrush does 1 or 2 but not 3.

Mudbox automatically looks at uv tiles and adjust map outputs automatically. Zbrush requires you get a separate plug-in for multiple uv tiles.

Mudbox has color painting resolution that is independant of the amount of subD used. Zbrush color paint resolution depends on the resolution of the mesh.

Again, Zbrush has more tools overall and has the mercedes sculpt feel. Mudbox is easier to learn, more of an actual 3d app, has the same UI navigation as Maya (made for the maya projects at weta) and is now integrated well with AD products overall. AD knew that Zbrush was out there and aimed correctly at its market share with mudbox development.

Still, I can't rip on zbrush. Just that the general consensus here at DD is that Zbrush is not as loved as Mudbox is.

Why is this?

Zbrush still has no 64 bit version with no plans to go 64bit, mentioned even in 2010.

Mudbox IS 64bit and has a linux version which just kills in raw polycount power and map usage. We have converted many Zbrush users to mudbox here at DD due to its quick workflow and lack of workflow hangups that zbrush has repeatedly caused trouble with.

Yet our main concept artist Nick Lloyd uses Zbrush mainly still for most of his work. To be seen in Jack the Giant Killer. So, overall, I can't rip on it. Just that I don't use it with confidence as much as mudbox though I do think the zbrush sculpt feel is a bit nicer and more refined then mudbox overall.

gordonrobb
03-13-2011, 03:53 AM
I could be wrong, but I think you're wrong n the uv point. There's actually mre than one way to view UVs in Zbrush. Bust way is in UVUnwrap, younjust hit the Unwrap button and it shows you your model unwrapped, you can then move bits or pain directly in to it

Intuition
03-13-2011, 01:24 PM
You may be right about the UV views if its a zbrush 4 thing. For some reason they are still using zbrush 3.5 here at DD, at least on commercials side.

Since I am very comfortable in mudbox I haven't really used zbrush 4 at all. I mean I downloaded it at home and used the shadowbox but haven't really used it at all.

I did ask them to possibly try zbrush 4 as it may have the UV view.

If zbrush 3.5 has the UV view then well I can only claim ignorance. Even our Zbrush guy in commercials didn't mention a way of seeing UVs. He said you can make a color map which you can then view in the texture view but this wouldn't let you look at indvidual verts but rather see the shape of the UV outline in the image.

like this

http://www.digitaltutors.com/forum/showthread.php?18488-How-do-you-create-UV-Layout-in-Zbrush

TeZzy
03-13-2011, 03:15 PM
zbrush doesn't have a true UV view. It uses the UV master plugin that can flatten out the uv's in 3d space. Mudbox got this feature in the 2011 version I think. And it already had a proper uv viewer ages ago.

clagman
03-15-2011, 08:08 AM
I checked out the latest Mudbox demo, super nice!