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Rilokin
07-22-2013, 02:59 PM
I am trying to decide which software to buy to go along with my lightwave. I have tried mudbox, and I was really impressed. I want to try zbrush, but I cant find any demo/free trial version to help me decide. From what I have seen zbrush looks like it has more functionality than mudbox, and cheaper than mudbox too.

Using mudbox was extremely easy, and I really enjoyed picking up a new piece of software, and it being so easy to use. How is zbrush in that regard?

This is a very important decision for me, because my wife and I are expecting a baby, so there wont be any more upgrades after this for awhile to come. Please help me make the best decision.

:argue:

I really wish I could try Zbrush, maybe I am missing it somewhere????

nickdigital
07-22-2013, 03:10 PM
My vote would be Zbrush. They continue to release updates/upgrades that are worthy of whole paid version releases. You can also work back and forth between LW and Zbrush. This is off the LW features page.
https://www.lightwave3d.com/new_features/


GoZ™ Fiber Mesh Support

Creates a powerful interchange between LightWave and ZBrush by allowing you to send models to ZBrush for futher detailing and texturing; return them to LightWave for final rendering and the node flows for normal maps will be automatically set up. LightWave 11.5 also allows you to use Pixologic’s Zbrush hair styling tools to create guide curves, which can be brought directly into LightWave and attached to objects.

There's also 3DCoat which is cheaper but is also a strong alternative.
http://3d-coat.com/

hrgiger
07-22-2013, 03:21 PM
I've never tried Mudbox so I couln't say. But both Zbrush and 3DCoat are fast growing applications. The value I've gotten from Zbrush considering I haven't had a paid upgrade the whole time I've owned it since Version 2 and with many free upgrades is pretty incredible.

Burchigb
07-22-2013, 04:08 PM
Zbrush, hands down

OnlineRender
07-22-2013, 04:09 PM
Zb

bobakabob
07-22-2013, 04:39 PM
ZBrush!

Greenlaw
07-22-2013, 08:08 PM
I've used all three, though I haven't touched Mudbox in ages. At the time, Mudbox was the more limited of the three--I'm not sure how it is nowadays. After AutoDesk bought it out, I lost interest in it.

IMO, either ZBrush or 3D Coat is more suitable for LightWave users.

I think ZB has a slightly higher learning curve than 3D Coat but there are a lot of good resources for learning ZB. (I especially like the courses at Digital Tutors.) ZB also has FiberMesh, which works great with LightWave's FiberFX. If you use FiberMesh with FiberFX, you'll also want to get the free DrainBGVmap (http://www.mikegreen.name/) plug-in if you want to transfer weight and UV maps from your mesh to the FiberMesh guides--this is how we got the textures applied to the fur 'Brudders 2' (https://vimeo.com/channels/littlegreendog/68543424). I haven't tired ZB's UV map tools but the new auto retopo looks fantastic.

I'm quite fond of 3D Coat because it's been LightWave friendly from its early beta days. I think it's a little easier to learn than ZB even though it's gotten quite sophisticated with the latest release. The new LiveClay feature is very cool, though I tend to still work in voxel mode. The UV mapping tools in 3DC are top-notch and retopology is quite good too. The auto retopology tool, Autopo, works well when it's guided by the artist, even for deformable characters.

As far as features go, both programs are becoming quite comparable--they both have frequent releases and they keep 'one-upping' each other...and everybody wins of course. :)

I thought I read that the price was going up for both programs, but 3DC will probably remain the less expensive one.

Final thought: The licensing for 3DC is more flexible than ZB's. ZB allows you to register a single license on up to two computers--typically a workstation and a laptop. That works for me but if one system completely dies on you, you'll need to contact Pixologic about a transfer. That's happened to me a couple of tiems and its usually not a big deal unless this happens under a tight deadline. 3DC, on the other hand, allows you to install on any computer you want so long as you run it on only one computer at any time. This works well for me because it means I can run it at a client's location if I have to, and if one of my computers kicks it, the software is still available to me on another computer. (This is comparable to LightWave's current 'dongle-free' scheme.)

Overall, I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

G.

Philbert
07-22-2013, 08:18 PM
Neither. 3D-Coat is the easy choice. Mudbox is limited in what it can do and in some ways so is zbrush. Zbrush also has its interface going against it.

Greenlaw
07-22-2013, 08:23 PM
BTW, there's a course at Digital Tutors that I really like because, in it, the artist effortlessly switches between ZBrush and 3DC to take advantage of the strengths of each program.

Character Modeling Workflows in ZBrush and 3D-Coat (http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/615-Character-Modeling-Workflows-in-ZBrush-and-3D-Coat)

G.

wyattharris
07-22-2013, 11:38 PM
I've used all 3 but I'd only consider myself skilled in ZB. My opinion on the other 2 wouldn't be fair.

ZBrush developed a reputation for having a steep learning curve but I think it is much better now and it just gets easier and easier to use. Dynamesh is just the best! This latest release made retopologizing and UV mapping so easy you can't go wrong. Dedicate the time to get over the initial hump, probably purchase one good tutorial set and you'll be good.

I don't recommend Eat3D, I thought it was way too general.
I did like Martin Krol's 'Characters Made Easy' (http://www.martinkrol.com/store.html) set. It's for an older version before Dynamesh but it goes from character concept all the way to finished textured model. The store links are all broken, the reseller he was using dropped out, but you can order directly from him now. $40 + shipping for 24 hours of training.

djwaterman
07-23-2013, 12:29 AM
If I had my time over I'd probably go for 3D coat, not because it's the best but I get a strong feeling it's easier to learn. Since I rarely touch ZBrush I feel like I'm starting over anytime I open it up, but that's my fault, obviously ZBrush is amazing and can't be faulted. Give me an uninterrupted few weeks with it I'd probably have a different opinion.

I'm suggesting 3D coat because it's the cheapest and you're having a baby, plus its good (by all accounts).

Greenlaw
07-23-2013, 01:54 AM
In general, I agree: 3DC is easier to learn than ZB. If you know how to use Photoshop, it's not a huge leap to learn 3DC.

But I have to say, ZB has gotten easier to learn than it was a few years ago. Pixologic made a respectable effort in making the interface more consistent because a lot of it actually makes sense to me now.

It helps that the available training material is much better now too. Because of ZB's 'curious' GUI, I used to get very frustrated that I had to re-learn the program every time I needed to use it, and after the second time, I gave up. Then, when FiberMesh was added, I decided I really needed to learn the program again. This time I followed along with an introductory course on Lynda.com, and then later with an advanced FiberMesh course on Digital Tutors. The process went so smoothly, I'm not sure what the problem was.

Last year's addition of GoZ for LightWave also makes a big difference--kudos to LightWave 3D Group and Pixologic for simplifying this critical step.

BTW, 3DC has its own 'GoZ' called Applink, plus 3DC has always been able to directly export .lwo with surface nodes already applied. Like I said above, the two apps are becoming very similar feature wise, and you really can't go wrong with either one.

G.

Rilokin
07-23-2013, 07:29 AM
Thank you all for the replies. I am still thinking things over. I have been watching all the videos on Zbrush website, and it looks just down right amazing. I really am leaning that way. I just so wish they had a trial version. The dang lightbox looks awesome! Still thinking though, it wont be a snap decision.

jasonwestmas
07-23-2013, 10:16 AM
you'll get more for your money with zbrush. I find zbrush to be a far better concepting tool with dynamesh capabilities. You'll probably fall in love with zbrush's sculpting brushes too. . . and mudbox to be far better at textures and shading previz. So it depends on your needs. You can paint all your textures and see them in ogl inside of mudbox which is super nice not to have to leave your sculpting and painting app. to get a decent idea for what you are painting on your models.

Philbert
07-23-2013, 02:26 PM
One thing that I love about 3D-Coat is that Andrew (the developer) is always ahead of the curve. Many of the zbrush tools like dynamesh and shadowbox were in 3DC first and I actually feel that 3DC does them better even after zb got them. Like as I recall in dynamesh you have a click a button or key every time you want to mesh to regenerate. 3DC does this with every brush stroke. Plus 3DC has free updates nearly every week or two. Version 4 just came out a few weeks ago and there have already been half a dozen tools added since then.

Wolvy_UK
07-23-2013, 04:08 PM
I only recently found out zbrush does' nt have a demo available, I' m pretty sure it used to have one. Zbrush Ui has it's quirks, like pressing edit before you can actually sculpt, but once you start sculpting the brushes are great and the interface is not hard to understand.
When I bought zbrush at version 2 I did' nt like the interface, but as time has gone by it's got more customization options and a better laid out UI. You can swap buttons and panels around, put your favourite brushes in their own space for easy access and tailor it to how you work. You could make one custom Ui for sculpting, one for painting and so on, so there's not so much clutter.
I' ve had about 10 free upgrades since I bought it and all of them have had lot's of new features, not just bug fixes like some software have. I fully expect Zbrush 5 to be a free update too, but there's no guarantee, so I can' t say " buy zbrush and you' ll get free updates for life ! ". What' s been happening in the past is that everytime there' s a big release the price has gone up, which probably helps pay for the free updates.
Zbrush is used in a lot of studio's and there' s lot' s of training available, some by the people working on games or movies. Training is available on Digital tutors, Lynda.com, Gnomon, but not much training for Mudbox about.
With mudbox you also have to pay for upgrades, but I hear the painting is good in it, but when Zbrush 5 comes out, that might have better paint tools too, that' s what I'm hoping for anyway.

hrgiger
07-23-2013, 07:16 PM
One thing that I love about 3D-Coat is that Andrew (the developer) is always ahead of the curve. Many of the zbrush tools like dynamesh and shadowbox were in 3DC first and I actually feel that 3DC does them better even after zb got them. Like as I recall in dynamesh you have a click a button or key every time you want to mesh to regenerate. 3DC does this with every brush stroke. Plus 3DC has free updates nearly every week or two. Version 4 just came out a few weeks ago and there have already been half a dozen tools added since then.

If 3D-Coat remeshes with every change, does that lag on higher settings of mesh resolution? I find in Zbrush that if I'm using a higher resolution as I get closer to a final mesh and don't want to lose details when it remeshes, it can take several seconds for the remesh. For that I'm glad to be able to remesh only when necessary.

chikega
07-23-2013, 07:48 PM
3d coat has "Live Clay" brushes (in Surface mode) that use dynamic tesselation similar to what you would find in Sculptris. It only adds details where you need them depending on your brush size and Detail parameter input. In volumetric mode, you would up-res the voxels as needed. I find that it's best to rough out shapes in Volumetric mode, then take it into Surface mode for the fine detailing.

ZBrush's new Zremesher is pretty bad *** though. :)

jasonwestmas
07-23-2013, 08:15 PM
If 3D-Coat remeshes with every change, does that lag on higher settings of mesh resolution? I find in Zbrush that if I'm using a higher resolution as I get closer to a final mesh and don't want to lose details when it remeshes, it can take several seconds for the remesh. For that I'm glad to be able to remesh only when necessary.

It's so fast to remesh, I hardly notice, becomes second nature.

Philbert
07-23-2013, 08:44 PM
3d coat has "Live Clay" brushes (in Surface mode) that use dynamic tesselation similar to what you would find in Sculptris. It only adds details where you need them depending on your brush size and Detail parameter input. In volumetric mode, you would up-res the voxels as needed. I find that it's best to rough out shapes in Volumetric mode, then take it into Surface mode for the fine detailing.

Not to mention voxel mode that is constantly remeshing only the parts you work on as you work.

VIdeo: http://screencast.com/t/pgIoApnp3h

Edit: Sorry for the noises I forgot TweetDeck was chirping away in the background when I recorded.

hrgiger
07-23-2013, 10:09 PM
Not to mention voxel mode that is constantly remeshing only the parts you work on as you work.

VIdeo: http://screencast.com/t/pgIoApnp3h

Edit: Sorry for the noises I forgot TweetDeck was chirping away in the background when I recorded.

Hmm, that looks like lower resolution then I work on when I get near the finer details before I leave dynamesh to finish the model. Do you actually work in that wireframe view, I Don't know how you see the contours of the model. Don't they have a shaded wireframe view?

Philbert
07-23-2013, 10:46 PM
I was only using wireframe mode plus at a low res so that you could see what's happening to the mesh. Of course I wouldn't normally work in wires only. Unfortunately there's no shaded wireframe it's one thing we've been asking for for a long time. It's not really a big deal though, I hardly look at the wires.

Of course your u can always download the trial. Its free for 30 days and totally unhindered. After that you can still use it with restrictions.
Http://3d-coat.com/download

Actually I just noticed another thing that I forgot. 3DC is on sale for $349 until July 31st.

AbnRanger
07-24-2013, 12:04 PM
To me, 3D Coat made the most sense, not only price-wise but it is superior to both ZBrush and Mudbox in 3 of the 4 main categories: Texture Painting, UV Editing (Mudbox doesn't offer it), and Retopology. Granted, ZBrush copied 3D Coat's Auto-Retopo toolset back with the R4 release, I believe, and just recently they improved the algorithm to make it more usable. It won't be long before Andrew changes that equation, though, and there simply is no comparison when it comes to the manual Retopo toolset. 3D Coat is the best there is, in that regard.

And to be frank, I still would not use an Auto-Retopo routine on a character. Why? Because you want/need FULL control over the topology, otherwise you'll be kicking yourself (or maybe the rigger will do it for you) when you have to rig and skin it. Auto Retopo generally tries to space the quads/loops out evenly, and that is not what you want on a character. You are left with a lot of clean up work to do, in order to make the model useful. Therefore, it's actually much more efficient to do it manually.

The Strokes tool is something of an auto-retopo tool in it's own right, so I use it as far as I can on a model, and use the remainder to finish up. One of the most powerful retopo tools is it's connection/usage of the Kitbashing toolset. You have a MODELS pallet, and can quickly insert quad mesh primitives for retopo presets. You can quickly create your own retopo preset (like a base head/face, torso, arms, etc.) with the Retopo tools and drag and drop the layer to the models pallet to store it for future usage. 3D Coat creates a thumbnail on the fly, for you.

Or if you already have some models that you want to use as a Retopo preset, you can copy them to the My Docs/3D Coat V4/ Vox Stamps directory (you can put them in their own discreet subfolder, there), and 3D Coat will magically create thumbnails there for you. I think this is a best approach to retoplogizing a character, as you get both speed and accuracy.

As for Sculpting...yes ZBrush has been the gold standard for some time, but with Andrew's recent work on the brush system (mainly in Surface mode), he has closed the gap to the point that the brush feel is mighty close, if not better in some of the brushes. Performance wise, there was a huge improvement with V4. I have a seat of MB 2012 and it's hard to tell a difference in brush speed...both painting and sculpting. As for modeling within the app...forget about Mudbox. It doesn't do that, either. 3D Coat has such a comprehensive set of Voxel Modeling tools, it will make you want to create more of models all there than you do in a traditional modeling app.

So, yeah. I like Mudbox, but with Autodesk's price structure and upgrade policy, it just doesn't offer what ZBrush and 3D Coat does. And between those two, I am naturally baised in favor of 3DC, but it is the best all-around app. There is a lot more training for ZBrush, though.

AbnRanger
07-25-2013, 09:32 AM
...ZBrush copied 3D Coat's Auto-Retopo toolset back with the R4 release, I believe, and just recently they improved the algorithm to make it more usable. It won't be long before Andrew changes that equation, though, and there simply is no comparison when it comes to the manual Retopo toolset. 3D Coat is the best there is, in that regard...Sounds like Andrew's already on it:

https://twitter.com/AndrewShpagin

bazsa73
07-26-2013, 01:27 AM
I only know Zbrush but I am mighty pleased with it.
Zbrush is a pro studio tool with a large user base, lots of tuts, free updates bla-bla.