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View Full Version : New guy, looking at texture creation



tanker
01-19-2013, 03:53 PM
I know NewTek's work horse program is Lightwave and actually I've used it before (back at lightwave 6 I believe, so I have catching up to do and I didn't use that much either) and am looking to get it again. My trouble right now is, what's the best texture editor for ones buck to go along with Lightwave? Keep in mind, if I were one who liked getting the biggest most expensive package, I would be trying to get Maya not Lightwave (okay, so maybe autodesk, I hear the latest release of Maya has a tendency to crash out of the box, sounds like someone is getting over confident in their market eh?). Right now I'm working with blender for models and Photoshop for textures (I know Photoshop is mondo expensive, but it's part of my schooling so I had it anyway) -oh and Carrara for rendering-. I've heard of Z-Brush, but am hesitant because of the price tag. Lightwave is already quite a buy, but I was relying on it's similarity to Blender, supposed easier learning curve, lower price than most and market respectability to justify the expense. Is there a variety of texture editors out there? Actually I've done most of my homework on the modeling side and often rely upon built in material controls, but now I'm looking to have more direct control.

Thus, what are some good texturing programs to accompany Lightwave? (Go ahead and make a case for Z-brush, I'm not against it, I'm just trying to save money.)

Serling
01-19-2013, 05:28 PM
Gimp (http://gofree.com/download/Windows-Software/Graphic-Design/gimp.php) for texturing UVs. It's free.

ZBrush is a digital sculpting program. It's a whole different class of animal, and not something you would necessarily need for what it sounds like you want to do. A paint program like Gimp will not only allow you to create textures that you can "map" right onto the surface(s) of your model, but it can be used to create "displacement": using the grey-scale values of a 2D image to change the shape of a 3D mesh.

You can read more about the difference here:

http://www.talkgraphics.com/showthread.php?16280-Displacement-Maps-vs-Bump-Maps

If you're just looking to apply textures to surfaces or add displacement mapping, Gimp (or any 2D image editor) is what you want. ZBrush would be overkill for what you appear to want and would involve learning a whole new app.

lertola2
01-19-2013, 06:25 PM
Lightwave has lots of features for texture editing. Its a big subject but I think if you have Lightwave and Photoshop you are good to go.

Snosrap
01-19-2013, 06:41 PM
Corel Draw too has a great image editor (painting app) in Corel PhotoPaint and also come with a really nice vector drawing (Corel Draw) application too. You can pick up a student version direct from Corel for $99. A great pixel and vector app for $99 is a steal.

geo_n
01-19-2013, 06:50 PM
3dcoat is the easiest texturing tool you can pick up that has good price. Its like photoshop in 3D. Painting directly on 3d models is easier than trying to paint on 2d uvmaps.
Plus you can do uvmapping in minutes instead of using lw uvmapping tools which are not as powerful. If you wanted to try out sculpting, you can with 3dcoat as well with voxel technology. Not as powerful as zbrush but its ok. Characters I did in my signature were done with 3dcoat and lightwave.

tanker
01-19-2013, 07:11 PM
I admit 3dCoat's 350 price tag is much nicer than Zbrush's 700, however doing a little research, any thoughts on sculptris? Maybe pairing Sculpris with 3dCoat?

geo_n
01-19-2013, 07:22 PM
Sculptris is not really a texture painting tool like 3dcoat. Its free though and easy to use for sculpting doodles.

tanker
01-19-2013, 07:40 PM
Well it has been said in other places that 3dcoat isn't great for sculpting and that's Zbrush territory. For now I'm trying to build a resume, but not break the bank. Lightwave will already be quite the jump, and really, I've learned Carrara, Poser, Blender, Gimp, Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Premier, so I'm sure if I have to turn around and learn Zbrush I deserve a "bring it on" attitude. The money is what concerns me, though a less steep learning curve is a bonus.

geo_n
01-19-2013, 08:03 PM
zbrush sculpting is indeed more powerful as well as mudbox that is capable of high def details. Price is too high for me though for the kind of work I do. Its the same thing for lw and other 3d software. You buy what you can afford and what scope and scale you want to work on. :D

gravin
01-19-2013, 08:21 PM
Zbrush definitely has it's advantages as a sculpting tool but there is a bit of learning curve and mind shift needed to get past the interface and get work done. Once you get past that it's really a joy to use but for some putting it down for a length of time can mean having to readjust when they pick it back up again later. 3D-Coat is a pretty capable sculpting tool as well, arguably more feature rich then sculptris if your needs reach beyond simple sculpting tools. I would argue that if you opted to pick up 3D-Coat you would probably find little need for Sculptris.

For texture creation I think 3D-Coat complements Lightwave very well and has a more broad tool set then ZBrush in many ways. There are places were ZBrush has an edge when more complex tricks can get things done faster but 3D-Coat seems to have the most intuitive everyday texturing tool set IMHO. Of course I don't own ZBrush, I've only spent some time learning it with the demo and various online tutorials so a more experienced users may have better insight. Either way they both have there merits and flaws so it really comes down to measuring whats important for your own workload.

Edit: 3D-Coat does have steeper hardware requirements then ZBrush.

Surrealist.
01-19-2013, 08:29 PM
I think one thing to remember about ZBrush. It is a one time purchase. All upgrades after that are free. You can't beet it. It has some decent topology tools and can do UV maps too. Maybe not as nice as 3D coat in that area. But in general I think Z brush is a very wise investment and a great companion to LightWave. Also Zbrush is very much the premier sculpting app that "everyone" uses. Having that on your resume would be a big plus. But the real reason to get Zbrush is because it is just a fantastic versatile tool and it would increase your productivity in many ways. In fact, since you have Blender already working for you, I would put that higher in priority over another 3D app. Between Zbrush and Cycles you could produce some very nice work. Zbrush gives you a lot of modeling tools, great sculpting workflow and even a nice fiber system. Then of course painting. And they are making improvements all the time.

My 2C.

jeric_synergy
01-19-2013, 09:29 PM
IMO, if you're just re-starting, wait at least a month before investing in a high $$$ texture editor.

You'll be that much closer to the next upgrade on that software, and have a much better idea of what you need.

Meanwhile, do it the painful way with Photoshop.

prometheus
01-22-2013, 01:47 AM
Havenīt checked in on 3d coat that much except for a demo quite some time ago.
Zbrush now have the zbrush goz support which is great, and also the option to style fibers and export guides to use with fibrefx in Lightwave.

wonder why no one is mentioning Mari:)

Michael

50one
01-22-2013, 02:22 AM
Mari - bodypaint on steroids with twice the price of LW...

prometheus
01-22-2013, 03:09 AM
Mari - bodypaint on steroids with twice the price of LW...

yupp..Mari for Huge Productions, for Huge textures, and Huge amount of textures, and for a Huge wallot.
Good GPU nvidia cards are important for taking advantage of it.

Mari was developed especially for avatar since there was no other software around that could cope with textures at that level at that time, and now it is
available for windows and the rich masses:)

Nothing for an everyday artist not working with big studios exactly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S1ojsbRcqw

Michael

prometheus
01-22-2013, 03:44 AM
I was of course going of topic with such expensive software as Maris, when the tanker mentioned the pricetag as importance.

As mentioned ..3d coat might be the best money/value ratio for the performance tanker might want, I would still recomend investing a little more in zbrush though, partly becaus the goz interaction with lightwave,
and also with the notion that a lot of companies, even here over in small Sweden mentions that they require or see it as a bonus if you have that in your skillset.

Michael

50one
01-22-2013, 04:00 AM
yupp..Mari for Huge Productions, for Huge textures, and Huge amount of textures, and for a Huge wallot.
Good GPU nvidia cards are important for taking advantage of it.

Mari was developed especially for avatar since there was no other software around that could cope with textures at that level at that time, and now it is
available for windows and the rich masses:)

Nothing for an everyday artist not working with big studios exactly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S1ojsbRcqw

Michael

I've had email from Luxology about Mari demo for Lux users, but trial version was a 19day trial...not even a month lol.
I'm quit happy with PS to do my texturing work, i know that 3d coat is capable app, but if we were to speak about industry standards and the possibility of getting work - than Zbrush would win, just like Maya or 3dsmax with Lw/Modo

prometheus
01-22-2013, 04:12 AM
of course You can get a long way, and you should use photoshop as a base standard tool learning texturing, so You can work with that solely mostly, but 3d paint programs getīs you a more
true to shape painting and instant response to where you paint on the 3d shape, like painting a rock with cavities in certain areas is much easier to do in zbrush etc,
simply another dimension in workflow.

Michael

Philbert
01-23-2013, 01:01 AM
I admit 3dCoat's 350 price tag is much nicer than Zbrush's 700, however doing a little research, any thoughts on sculptris? Maybe pairing Sculpris with 3dCoat?

Not really much point in pairing sculptris with 3D-Coat since they do they same thing except 3D-Coat does a lot more. I would say if you're getting started Photoshop is fine for learning and even OK for pro work depending on the project. painting in 3D with something like 3D-Coat will definitely take care of the seams and UV stretching problems that you'd have to worry about when painting in 2D.

Waves of light
01-23-2013, 02:58 AM
Yep, 3DCoat will allow you to sculpt (voxels), retopology, create UVs and directly paint onto your model. You can even edit the maps inside PS, save and 3Dcoat syncs with PS to pick up the changes. You then export all your maps to use in your renderer (in my case Lightwave)

I went down the 3DC route as it was a lot easier to pick up over Zbrush. But I know a lot of people who use Zbrush for sculpts and 3DCoat for painting textures too.