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MG artist
02-06-2015, 10:30 AM
Hey there,
I'm looking for good 3d painting and sculpting application/s, there are too many choices ( ZBrush, Mudbox, 3dCoat, MARI, Substance etc ) and I can't make a decision :bangwall: :D I would like to learn widely used software. Which one/combination would you suggest? Thank you.

bobakabob
02-06-2015, 10:55 AM
ZBrush and LW are a great combination. 3d coat is a good alternative. Mudbox keeps things v simple by comparison but nowhere near as versatile or innovatory.

mummyman
02-06-2015, 10:56 AM
It could depend on your budget and time to learn each! Zbrush can produce amazing results and has the nice LW GoZ button. Lino has some nice workflow tutorials out there to show it. I have used Mudbox as well. It's a lot easier to use, but not sure about getting maps out of it. But I found this the other day if you want a cheap, free alternative that is stripped down: http://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/#1423158769530

Good luck!

lertola2
02-06-2015, 11:02 AM
I have both Zbrush and 3dcoat. I can't say anything about the other programs you mentioned. I have gradually drifted into using mostly Zbrush. 3dcoat does have the ability to sculpt with true voxels which is something that Zbrush does not have but the Zbrush's dynamesh feature mostly does the same thing. They both have rather odd interfaces that are a bit hard to get used to. 3dcoat has a much better interface for retopologizing and also unwrapping UV maps precisely. But both programs do a good job at automatically retopologizing and making UVs and thats usually good enough for me. The goz feature for Zbrush and its ability to open documents with huge polycounts has been what has tipped the balance in favor of Zbrush for me. Both are deep programs that can very productive after an initial big learning curve.

Edit: I think that Zbrush is the most widely used sculpting software.

-Joe

MG artist
02-06-2015, 11:13 AM
Thank you for the quick replies. I'm asking with reportedly unlimited budget-time :) I am more inclined towards zbrush for sculpting ( mainly due to it's popularity and ability to handle many polygons ) but what about 3d painting?

EDIT: I know that zbrush has polypaint but I'd like something with more options, photoshop isn't always suitable especially with complex objects, and each channel ( normal, reflection and color ) has to be altered manually making even small changes a pain.

jasonwestmas
02-06-2015, 11:39 AM
Zbrush is popular for a reason. definitely learn it. For texture painting there a lot of choices today for that as well. Mari pro is great but I doubt it's very cost effective for most texture work. . . for huge resolutions mari is a no brainer. Mudbox and 3DC are probably the most widely used for texturing.

MG artist
02-06-2015, 11:47 AM
Thanks, my textures are usually 4-8k, would Mari be needed for that resolution or Mudbox/3dCoat can work well ?

Surrealist.
02-06-2015, 11:47 AM
I use Zbrush and Mudbox. Modbox for painting. Mudbox has recently lowered in price and also has a 10 dollar per month rental. Zbrush hands down is the best app at sculpting these days. I just seem to gravitate to Mudbox for painting. I like the workflow there. Been meaning to check out Mari though.

Mudbox can paint 8K but export higher.

MG artist
02-06-2015, 11:54 AM
Is zbrush-mudbox-lightwave workflow easy? Thanks again.

Greenlaw
02-06-2015, 11:55 AM
I use both ZB and 3DC too. I can't add a whole lot more to what Joe said already but I'll try.

I mostly use 3DC simply because I've been using it longer. I found it easier to learn 3DC than ZB but both programs can be confusing in different areas because they have non-standard interfaces. Between the two, 3DC's interface is closer to what you might call 'normal'. I think they both work best when you learn how to navigate the interface with hotkeys and modifier keys--in this manner, using the two programs seem to be more similar.

I like 3DC's UV mapping tools a lot. I still use Headus UVLayout for really complicated UV maps or when I need extra fine accuracy, but I'm using 3DC's UV tools more often now. 3DC can also read multi-layered objects directly from Lightwave, which can be useful. The developer is very responsive to user requests and updates come out frequently via the 3DC forums.

Until recently, I mainly used ZB for Fibermesh for FiberFX. FiberMesh hair guides work well in Lightwave but there are a few gotchas to be aware of for getting vmaps transferred from your characters to the hair guides. The Brudders Production Log (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?133274-The-Brudders-2-Production-Log-%28Well-sort-of-%29) link below has more details about that. I'm starting to get more interested in ZB for general modeling but it's too soon for me to say much about that.

Both programs give you a lot for what they cost. ZB upgrades continue to be free and 3DC paid upgrades are rare and reasonably priced. I like the licensing scheme for 3DC better--I find it more flexible to move it around and use it on different computers when I need to. ZB allows you to install on only one workstation and one mobile but it's not that difficult to move to a different machine either.

There's a lot of online training available for either program, both free and paid. Digital Tutors even has a workflow tutorial by an artist who brings her character back and forth between the two programs to use different features.

IMO, you really can't go wrong with either.

G.

MG artist
02-06-2015, 12:08 PM
I might actually end up learning both 3dcoat, zbrush and either Mari or Mudbox but I think that this will drive me crazy. Substance is very interesting but it's still new and made mainly for video game textures.

jasonwestmas
02-06-2015, 12:35 PM
Programs like substance painter are really neat to use mainly because of the superior hardware shading; which makes the values of the albedo, roughness and emissive a lot easier to visualize while you paint imo. I'm not really sure what makes SP mainly for video games other than the fact that you can't output textures greater than 4K.

Surrealist.
02-06-2015, 07:52 PM
Also apps like Substance designer/painter and dDo are not really replacement apps for Mari 3DCoat/Mudbox (in their painting capacity). You add those to the pipeline. I use dDo but have also looked into Substance Designer for a similar but nodal workflow. But one way or another it all comes together either in Mudbox and/or, over to PS to finalize everything. I am trying to work a 3D painting app into the mix more and more but there are some things like Vector Graphics that I just can't do in 3D yet. Mud and ZB both have curves but this is not really the same. Both ZB and Mud have good projection painting. I have not used 3D Coat but the reports are usually favorable. I have been considering adding it as well. But... ah... so much software so little time... lol.

Anyways for me often times things originate in Mudbox, certain maps I might paint there because it makes more sense to do it in 3D.

I do highly recommend some kind of procedural painting like dDo or SD/SP to add to your workflow.

jasonwestmas
02-06-2015, 09:33 PM
It is interesting how the subject of texture painting has become so vast over the years. I kinda thought it was silly at one time that mari was strictly for texture painting until I more fully understood all that could be done with it. Before mari was even available for sale people used to do 90% of the work in photoshop and use ZB 1.5 or Bodypaint to paint out the seams. Those were simpler times when we didn't rely on procedural texturing with hand painting. Thinking about those times before 3dcoat, mudbox and mari. . . I always wanted to use procedurals from lightwave and bake those into my texture maps. Sadly at that time there wasn't much of a procedural selection to choose from that I knew of and there wasn't a quick way to experiment with painted textures on top of procedural surfacing and there was no interactive previewer like VPR. Now thanks to VPR, substance designer, SP and Mari, that very workflow that I wanted is now available. So obviously I wasn't crazy for wanting to mix procedurals (it was technically possible to do) with hand painting. . . only it was a very disconnected way to do things at that time, not any more.

vonpietro
02-06-2015, 10:22 PM
i'm surprised no one told you about scupltris by the makers of zbrush.
it's free.
start with that.
I'm pretty impressed with substance painter - particle brushes are amazing. plus it outputs 4k. Which is better than the 2k from 3dcoat educational(not enough - 4k min)

hmm, it occured to me i'm not sure if you can paint in scupltirs.=)

oh ya -blender is free.

MG artist
02-07-2015, 03:57 AM
Thank you all for the answers.
jasonwestmas: Substance Painter/designer output 4k textures, that's the only problem, material painting is definitely a huge time saver and helps making realistic textures. I'm between DDO/3DO and SD/SP for procedural texturing.

Surrealist.: Thank you for explaining your workflow, it's very helpful to see how other people work. I wish I could learn/buy all this software too but I have to start only with one or two my time is limited.

vonpietro: I'm already aware of sculptris, it's very limited on the things it can do but it's a nice toy to play with, I have spend a couple of hours.

After some consideration I think I will go with the following software, in case it helps anybody:

Sculpting: ZBrush ( stability, many features, popularity, handles many polygons, UV creation-retopology tools )

3D painting: Mudbox or MARI ( I have to try them and see which one fits better my needs )

Procedural-PBR 3d painting: Substance designer-painter ( nodes, fast developing, many features )

I might learn 3dcoat in the future, at the moment all the above are more than enough for me. This thread is another proof of how active and helpful is Lightwave community :thumbsup: Now the hard part, start learning :dance:

jasonwestmas
02-07-2015, 10:00 AM
MG, Looks like you want some of the more heavy duty toolsets. :) Mudbox and Mari are definitely in that vein. Zbrush is also in that family but as you probably know the painting tools are kinda limited for making color adjustments and the only texture channel you can view is the color. So what I like to do is paint a base color layer (poly-vertex paint )as I sculpt in ZBrush especially if I'm doing concept sculpts. Then use the more refined texturing apps. for the subtle adjustments and details and of course the channel painting capabilities.

One of the cooler capabilities of mudbox and mari is that they have a lot of photoshop-type capabilities like color adjustment layers, for example, which can be applied to huge texture maps. Which means less program hopping.

MG artist
02-07-2015, 10:27 AM
Yep, heavy ones :) It's just because when learning new software I prefer choosing something that is accepted in most places and usable for most jobs. It will definitely take me a few months to get familiar with all of them but they deserve it. Hopefully Mari and Mudbox as you said are slightly PS-like, fewer hours of frustration learning them. I'm not sure though if my system is good enough for Mari, just 1GB graphics card and 12 GB ram.

jasonwestmas
02-07-2015, 10:34 AM
yeah programs like mari and mudbox are very GPU intensive because they are designed to not only give you really nice shading but also designed to display many many texture maps at one time on screen. For example UDIMs which allow you to apply dozens of huge textures to the same material. It's not entirely necessary to work with UDIMs but it makes texture management super simple. Which of course demands a lot of video Ram. I'm not sure about mudbox but mari does have the capability to cache texture display to disk which slows things down a bit but then you can view things on a less beefy card. I would definitely check to see what the hardware recommendations are for the latest versions of these products.

MG artist
02-07-2015, 10:56 AM
Just checked Mari and I meet the minimum requirements on the graphics card, for everything else my system is fine. That said a hardware update this year is inevitable.

jasonwestmas
02-07-2015, 01:27 PM
Right, I decided to upgrade my computer needs just recently. I needed more ram to finish some projects I'm working on in a timely manner. People don't always think of memory as being something to speed up your workflow but it does greatly as I have found out. In a nutshell memory allows you to see more at once, instead of all disconnected. There was a time when more memory didn't help much because the software didn't permit to take advantage of GPUs and huge polygon scenes. That is not the case anymore!

Greenlaw
02-07-2015, 01:45 PM
I'm pretty impressed with substance painter - particle brushes are amazing. plus it outputs 4k. Which is better than the 2k from 3dcoat educational(not enough - 4k min)

Just to be clear, the commercial version of 3DC outputs up to 16k textures, assuming the computer can handle it. (TBH, I didn't know there was a limited educational version.)

G.

MG artist
02-07-2015, 01:53 PM
Thanks for clarification Greenlaw, I wasn't going for the educational version anyway, 2k is pretty small.

Surrealist.
02-08-2015, 12:00 AM
When you get to Zbrush, take a deep breath, and take it from the basics. It really is not at all like other apps. One thing that helped me understand what I was running into with Zbrush was the fact that it started as a 2.5D application. When you first open Zbrush it is in 2.5 mode. Meaning you can not sculpt anything. All you are doing is dragging 3D tools across the canvas. Or placing these objects (as tools in various places around the canvas). So the 3D tools then become the things you can sculpt on. But to do that you have to enter Edit Mode.

This is very unlike Mudbox. When you open Mudbox and load a model, first thing you want to do is just drag across it with a brush. Well by default that is what you get in Mudbox. Easy. However in Zbrush it is not like this at all.

And the entire terminology and workflow of Zbrush is based on the idea that it is first a 2.5D app. Meaning you are dragging 3D objects around on a flat canvas.

So in the past (2.5D) you might have several tools (objects) laying around on the canvas that you put there to make your project. Basically painting in 2D with 3D.

But now, even though that can be a great workflow to create brushes you can use and other things, mostly people don't do that. They simply drag out one tool and immediately hit the Edit Button. That one tool then is the sculpt starting point, Say a box or sphere or other type of tool. And that one tool can have subtools etc. You'll learn all about that of course. I just wanted to share this. It is usually covered in tutorials, but it took me about a week to get my head around that one.

Digital Tutors has real great introductory lessons on Zbrush.

Best of luck with learning!

CaptainMarlowe
02-08-2015, 12:18 AM
Hi there, I couldn't add much to what's been said, but I'll concur to the idea that substance suite comes on top of other sculpting/painting app. I usually sculpt and paint base textures in 3D-coat, and I add the fine details either with Substance designer (i really like it) or Substance Painter. The main problem I have with painter is that it is very GPU-intensive, and my GPU is a bit faint for that (3D-coat is much more responsive in painting several 4K at once on the same model).

MG artist
02-08-2015, 02:32 AM
Surrealist. : Thank you for explaining the workflow of zbrush, kind of strange but I expected it to be, I'll definitely start with tutorials for the basics and maybe even for more advanced things.

CaptainMarlowe : Thanks for the info, would you mind telling me what GPU you are using ?

adrian
02-09-2015, 04:33 AM
Indeed once you get over the learning curve for ZBrush it is an absolute joy to use. It works mostly well with LW, just be aware that you will lose pretty much all of your fine sculpted details when bringing your mesh back into LightWave though - at least in my experience thus far.

jasonwestmas
02-09-2015, 07:28 AM
Indeed once you get over the learning curve for ZBrush it is an absolute joy to use. It works mostly well with LW, just be aware that you will lose pretty much all of your fine sculpted details when bringing your mesh back into LightWave though - at least in my experience thus far.

Detail retention depends on the size of your displacements or normal maps. Then you have to be rendering enough polygons to support the amount of pixels in the displacement.

Surrealist.
02-09-2015, 08:36 AM
And for this reason it is also a good practice to have displacement maps and normal maps. Displacements for the broader strokes and normal for the finer details, skin and so on. Even if you sculpt this stuff in Zbrush you don't need to have all of it displaced.

jasonwestmas
02-09-2015, 09:03 AM
yeah if you're really smart about where you put your Tangent Space NM seams you get some really nice details going if you have enough pixels in your map.

adrian
02-09-2015, 09:30 AM
What would you call enough pixels? On my latest sculpt I created maps of 8192x8192 - even setting the rendering sub-patch level to 7 or above on object properties (anything above 7 makes precious little difference) the result is massive loss of fine detail. I even tried exporting the model at a high poly level from ZB (ie 1 million poly model) - not much difference there either except LW slows to a crawl.

jasonwestmas
02-09-2015, 10:30 AM
What would you call enough pixels? On my latest sculpt I created maps of 8192x8192 - even setting the rendering sub-patch level to 7 or above on object properties (anything above 7 makes precious little difference) the result is massive loss of fine detail. I even tried exporting the model at a high poly level from ZB (ie 1 million poly model) - not much difference there either except LW slows to a crawl.

I don't know, I would have to see what your pixel to polygon ratio is and how many maps you are using for a single area. If one of your subdivided polygons is larger than a single displacement pixel that is projected on the UVs then you will begin to loose detail. If you are trying to spread your 8K map(s) onto too large of an area, that will cause your displacement to loose detail as well because there won't be enough pixel information to describe your Zbrush sculpt. To save on memory you can try the polys per-pixel subdivision method.

Surrealist.
02-09-2015, 10:59 PM
Yeah, which is why again you don't really wan to be displacing at that level. Also it is helpful to export spec or displacement maps and mix these with your diffuse paint layer.

2K is probably enough for the head. I usually split my models into 3 parts: Head 2K torso 2K and feet and hands 2K. You can get a lot more detail with 4K. And if you are going 8K it should well be enough for realism.

Then using all maps in your render, spec, diffuse, and normal maps give you plenty of detail if they all originate from the high res sculpt. It is a process of combining these in all of the render channels to create the over all effect of detail. You don't have to create it all with geo.

And also the key is having a good retopo that captures the larger broad strokes. It is far more efficient to do that with modeling than with displacement.

adrian
02-10-2015, 02:45 AM
From reading Richard & Jason's comments I don't think I'm doing things the best way which is following along with the ZB to LW tut I bought from Simply Lightwave. My 8k maps are simply for the head (neck upwards).

Are there any other tuts out there detailing a ZB to LW workflow? My level of expertise on displacement/normal maps is pretty much beginner. For instance I have a really simple question: why are normal maps blue-ish in colour rather than black/white? What is the best format to use for it? PNG or TIFF?

Danner
02-10-2015, 03:36 AM
Bluish images means they are "tangent space" normal maps, object space normal maps are way more colorful.
Object space normal maps have a different color depending on where in 3d space the normal is facing, Tangent space normal maps have different color depending on where the normal is facing but taking the surface as reference not 3d space. So they define the direction of the normals not the distance from the original surface as a bump or displacement map would do.

Danner
02-10-2015, 04:46 AM
126975 bump vrs normal

MG artist
02-10-2015, 05:57 AM
This thread is going nicely, thanks everybody for extra tips on the zbrush-lightwave workflow

adrian: Both png and tiff are lossless formats, personally I prefer png for almost everything, it has good compression and it is readable by most software whereas tiff is not a single format, there are many variants and it's older.

adrian
02-10-2015, 06:27 AM
Cool thanks! I generally use PNG for texturing/bump maps but I recently read that TIFF contains more shades of grey than PNG but not sure if that's still relevant as it was an older article.

jasonwestmas
02-10-2015, 07:07 AM
Greyscale 16-32 bit maps are used for normal displacement which need to be tiff or exr format. RGB .exr displacements are called "vector displacements" which combine TS normal map colors with greyscale displacements for much better directional displacement. Lightwave only supports Tangent and Object space normal maps which can be any 8-bit RGB format I think, and 16-bit tiff normal displacement maps. It will not support 32-bit images for displacement. . .natively.

If I were you Adrian, I would start small and try to get a high rez spherical sculpt to look exactly like a zbrush sculpt. Get the technicalities down first before trying something more complicated.

adrian
02-10-2015, 08:28 AM
Funny you should say that because I had that very same idea come to me this morning! This is certainly something I will experiment with. Start with a sphere, sculpt some large details, sculpt some smaller details and then use Alphas with the Dam Standard brush for the minute details.

MG artist
02-11-2015, 05:20 AM
Both png and tiff can have 24 bits of color. The extra 8 bits is alpha. They shouldn't have any difference in quality if compressed with the best options. And that's another disadvantage of tiff, a lot of options and formats. Also tiff can't be bigger than 4GB, then you have to use BigTIFF a format not widely supported by software.

Greenlaw
02-11-2015, 08:45 AM
A few additional notes:

Technically, PNG is capable of supporting up to 48 bits. I'm not sure Lightwave supports that variant in it's PNG reader though. I like to use PNG for general textures, sometimes with transparency enabled. Sometimes I'll use the 8-bit dithered version for some large textures to reduce RAM overhead because Lightwave's Pixel Blending does a pretty good job with smoothing out the noise. I don't recommend this for textures with subtle gradients like 'sky maps' though--that's pushing the 'el cheapo' limits and you'll likely get banding. I occasionally use PNG for simple output like RGBA mattes and other things where I don't require much color depth.

TIFF is a very old graphics format and there are a zillion variants, some of which also support 48 bits. Because of this, it's commonly used for displacement in programs like Lightwave.

EXR is what I like to use for output because it's capable of floating point, putting it way above PNG or TIFF, plus you can embed a lot of auxiliary channels that are useful for compositing like motion vectors (for post motion blur), Material/Object ID (for selecting almost anything in the scene), Normal (for relighting,) but I digress. All this data can make the file huge but it has pretty decent compression too. Because EXR is capable of a higher range of colors, it's ideal for displacement.

Anyway, 24-bits is fine for normal maps but you generally want higher for displacement. For many channels like bump, spec, alpha, etc., 8-bit grayscale is fine. Usually I don't fuss too much about this unless I'm working with a really huge complicated scene and I need to watch my RAM overhead or reduce load time, which can become critical for network rendering.

Hope this helps clear up some of the choices.

G.

jwiede
02-11-2015, 08:30 PM
EXR is what I like to use for output because it's capable of floating point, putting it way above PNG or TIFF, plus you can embed a lot of auxiliary channels that are useful for compositing like motion vectors (for post motion blur), Material/Object ID (for selecting almost anything in the scene), Normal (for relighting,) but I digress.

As of TIFF 6.0, the SampleFormat tag provides for floating-point pixel formats among others, and libtiff offers (among others) IEEE FP & LogLuv channel representation support. TIFF has also offered multi-image-per-file support for ages, via paging and extensions.

There are definitely aspects where EXR is superior TIFF, it's just that neither FP support nor multi-image support are among them.

Personally, I prefer working in EXR in LW because of exrTrader's excellent support for the EXR standard. That said, TIFF is a very powerful, flexible format as well -- the OSS libtiff support effort ensures widespread software compliance and support for advanced features in the TIFF 6.0 spec.

Each format has strengths and weaknesses, use the best tool for the job.

MG artist
02-11-2015, 11:03 PM
For textures which one do you prefer ?

Is HDR a good alternative to EXR ( for output ) ?

Greenlaw
02-12-2015, 10:38 AM
EXR is a far more common format for compositing 3D but it probably depends on your compositing program. I usually composite my EXR files in Fusion to take advantage of FP color and also because Fusion automatically recognizes the extra buffer channels in an EXR without having to extract them. For example, if you have motion vectors embedded in an EXR, you can simply add a Vector Blur node under the loader and you have instant motion blur in your image. This can save you many hours on a single rendered sequence. I don't think Fusion can automatically read the other channels in a TIFF like that but I've never tried that.

It does work with RPF though--I've used that to pull the Z Coverage channel for Vue renders which allows Fusion to automatically apply AA to the results of other buffers like Depth and O/M ID. BTW, I prefer to use exrTrader to output my EXR images from Lightwave--it keeps the process simple and efficient. There are many issues with using RPF though. First, it's limited to 16 bit (the last time I checked anyway,) and, second, the data is uncompressed so the files are HUGE. What we would do in the Box is render out an EXR for our beauty pass and auxiliary channels (motion, M/O ID, normal, depth, world coord, etc.), all except Z Coverage which for some reason was only available for RPF. At the same time, we would render the RPF with the Z Coverage. Then, in Fusion, we would set up a comp to extract the Z Coverage channel and embed it to the EXR, and output a new EXR. After that, we could blow away the RPF and the original EXR files, and use the new complete EXR for compositing. That sounds like a lot of extra work but our workflow was actually pretty streamlined, and it was worth it because it saved us tons of disk space and our comps ran significantly faster because of the smaller files. (EXR files are lossless but very compact.)

I don't think I've heard of anybody compositing with HDR files.

G.

lertola2
02-12-2015, 11:22 AM
One advantage of TIFF that I did not see mentioned is that TIFF supports 16 bit per channel images. And Lightwave reads 16 bit per channel images if saved in TIFF format. This can be a real advantage when using a gray scale tiff image as a displacement map. I have worked on many jobs where terrain displacement maps in 16 bit tiff format worked very well. An ordinary 8 bit grayscale image would have produced visible banding.

sadkkf
02-12-2015, 12:09 PM
So the difference between Substance Designer & Painter is Designer is node-based while Painter is brush-based. Correct?

Any thoughts on either of those vs Quixel?

Any native LWO support for these?

Surrealist.
02-12-2015, 01:01 PM
Well no not in LW like you can in other apps. I think you can use SD in Modo and Maya.

But both work as separately alone as well. Quixel requires PS however and does not stand alone as far as I know. I mean I user it every day but I am pretty sure there is not stand alone.

Substance painter and Designer are both node based as far as I know.

Quixel is Photoshop layer based and probably the simplest I would imagine. I think there are some advantages to Substance Designer though. I have played with it a little bit and I am impressed. Another one of those on my list to try out further.

But using them in LightWave is very easy. Basically you are just generating maps. You can even bake the Color Id Maps in LW with Surfaces or you can make them in PS.

sadkkf
02-12-2015, 01:09 PM
Well no not in LW like you can in other apps. I think you can use SD in Modo and Maya.

But both work as separately alone as well. Quixel requires PS however and does not stand alone as far as I know. I mean I user it every day but I am pretty sure there is not stand alone.

Substance painter and Designer are both node based as far as I know.

Quixel is Photoshop layer based and probably the simplest I would imagine. I think there are some advantages to Substance Designer though. I have played with it a little bit and I am impressed. Another one of those on my list to try out further.

But using them in LightWave is very easy. Basically you are just generating maps. You can even bake the Color Id Maps in LW with Surfaces or you can make them in PS.



I understand you wouldn't be able to use Substance inside LW, but am wondering what the support is for loading/importing LW objects into Designer/Painter. I downloaded the Painter trial and tried to import a model and it failed, even thought LWO is in the list of model types.

jasonwestmas
02-12-2015, 01:11 PM
Substance painter can paint with substance materials. A substance material is built with nodes inside of Substance Designer.

- - - Updated - - -


I understand you wouldn't be able to use Substance inside LW, but am wondering what the support is for loading/importing LW objects into Designer/Painter. I downloaded the Painter trial and tried to import a model and it failed, even thought LWO is in the list of model types.

FBX and OBJ only I believe.

sadkkf
02-12-2015, 01:23 PM
FBX and OBJ only I believe.


Thanks. Just one more step to take, I guess.

jasonwestmas
02-12-2015, 08:22 PM
Actually, I just checked and if you click the new project button you will find that SP does load lwo and lxo plus a lot of video game formats. With lwo files, Substance painter will read and separate each material name with its correct poly ID! So I guess you will only need the one format, not sure why you were having issues.

Surrealist.
02-12-2015, 11:19 PM
There could have been mesh errors. Maybe check it in the stats panel for ngons or other junk geometry (2 point polys) Not sure if it accepts ngons or not, but it might be safer to make sure it is all clean quads or tris.

Also they just officially announced SD 5:

https://www.allegorithmic.com/products/substance-designer

Looking real nice. They also upped the indie income limit to 100K!

Another thing to note is that if you are liking the PS kind of workflow Quixel has the advantage. But personally I think SD is much more powerful. Just that now, I am both financially and workflow locked into Quixel from using it for the last 2 years. I am dying to get some cash set aside - and time - to give SD a good go.

StereoMike
02-13-2015, 12:39 AM
I'm learning Substance Painter the last few days and it is disappointing. For me the interface is way better than 3D-Coats, the particle brushes are awesome, it works with lwo ... but... it crashes sooo much here. Don't know what to think of it, does it crash for otheres as well? What about substance designer? Same?

Surrealist.
02-13-2015, 02:21 AM
Well substance painter is real new. So I'd give it time. It has been in beta for a while. I think late last year was the first release.

Marander
02-13-2015, 03:59 AM
I'm learning Substance Painter the last few days and it is disappointing. For me the interface is way better than 3D-Coats, the particle brushes are awesome, it works with lwo ... but... it crashes sooo much here. Don't know what to think of it, does it crash for otheres as well? What about substance designer? Same?

Same here at least with 1.1 on GF770, occasional crashes. I had troubles after using several particle brushes in sequence, there were extreme slow downs until it was not possible to do anything anymore and once it corrupted the save files. I haven't tried 1.2 yet on GF970GTX so maybe it's better now. SP is very much depending on the GPU and graphics drivers.

Still, it's really fun texturing in Substance Painter.

Although I haven't figured out yet how to perfectly load the textures in LW that it looks similar to the PBR. I think normal needs to be inverted, roughness map inverted = glossiness, using linear color space for the imported texture maps etc.

Maybe someone can share his experience how to use which texture channels for LW?

Marander
02-13-2015, 06:12 AM
Substance designer news, Indie is now even more interesting if you look at the last sentence...

"The Substance Engine has been given a major overhaul, bringing your power of expression to a whole new level with the introduction of new nodes including*dynamic gradient, pixel*processor, bevel, tri-planar projection and*new blending modes. We also added*important productivity improvements such as a transfer baker,*a*new template system and a*dependency manager. Find out morehere.*You can preorder Substance Designer 5 on our*store*and the upgrade is at -33% ($50*instead of $75*for Indie and $200*instead of $300*for Pro)*until release!*The official release date is*March 4th 2015. Note that*all those who purchased Substance Designer 4 after*January 1st 2015*will be upgraded for free!And one more thing.*We are also happy to announce that the Indie license revenue limit has been significantly increased for all software: it is now of $100,000/year!"

CaptainMarlowe
02-15-2015, 12:13 AM
I think that substance painter will become a very good painting app, but on my iMac, it has quite serious issues, because of a too old GPU (NVIDIA GTX 675 with 1 Gb). On the other hand, Substance designer has been rock solid for me since version 4.2, and since I love using nodes, I'm pretty comfortable with its power.
Currently, I rely more on 3D-Coat for painting and substance designer to add details, but I only use Painter for particle brushes, or when I need to correct manually a seam on a UV, which is often necessary with some substance designer effects. I know that the guys at Allegorithmic think about being able to send directly a Substance Designer project in Painter back and forth, which would be quite awesome in terms of workflow.

CaptainMarlowe
02-19-2015, 10:33 PM
Just a head-up. The problem encountered in Substance Painter with crashes and a message saying the GPU had a problem on Mac are not related to my GU, it is a bug introduced by Yosemite, and which seems to be partially fixed in the upcoming release. Substance Ptiner 1.3 will have the long awaited integrated bakers. I just miss 3D mouse support and some vector tools and I'll be fully happy with it, I guess (up to 4K, OFC).

m.d.
02-19-2015, 11:18 PM
The quixel suite would be a good option....but it is sooooo buggy.

As far as resolution and map size....it really comes down to how close the camera will come.
If you render a 1080p frame of a character face full screen, you better have at least a 2k resolution on the part you are seeing.
Most texture artist paint double Rez what the camera will see. If the map is only occupying 10% of the screen...then you could get away with very small maps. Basically you want no less then 1:1 render pixels to UV map pixels....more would be better

That is really the deciding factor on the size of the maps, outside of game engines of course.

MG artist
02-20-2015, 01:57 AM
@CaptainMarlowe: Thanks, good to know that crashing will get fixed.
@m.d.: I have considered quixel suite too but I think substance is better for me ( I like nodes ), they both have pros and cons.

Surrealist.
02-20-2015, 04:54 AM
Yeah I use Quixel on all of my texturing jobs. And although I have very limited experience with SD I could tell right off that it can do all that Quixel can do and more. However one thing that is indeed in favor of Quxel is the fact that it is hosted in Photoshop. It creates a Photoshop file that you can load save and edit separately from dDO. So when dDo crashes it does not take your file or work along with it. That is still open in Photoshop. There might be some bugs that crash photoshop, but I have not experienced them. And in general it is fairly stable for me. But the other advantage is you can use all of the photoshop tools to edit the dDO masks and so on as well as add layers, include decals and all that stuff is hosted right within the PS file. So for that kind of workflow it is the best going. I am not sure how it all works in SD. Again, another example where both might also be useful.... ha ha ha again... so much software so little time. :)