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View Full Version : Is LW BRUSH plugin a decent alternative to other 3D sculpting software?



jperk
10-12-2017, 05:25 PM
Yeah, I know Zbrush offers more powerful tools, as well as maybe 3Dcoat and Mudbox. What does LW Brush offer for the $169 value? Is it worth looking into?

TheLexx
10-12-2017, 05:42 PM
There are some Brent Alleyne Youtube videos where he looks at LW Brush:-

Lightwave 2015 & LW Brush Mesh Sculpting (no commentary) here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBxv7DKbvrI)
Lightwave 2015 & LW Brush Demo 02 (with commentary) here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgluDZg1nVM)
Lightwave 2015's LW Brush plugin vs Modo here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3XA4dykW3g)
LW Brush vs Modo pt2 here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoG06LCN8oQ)

He does converse off at a tangent with all sorts of personal opinions, but they at least give some idea.

erikals
10-12-2017, 06:02 PM
a decent alternative... ?
nope.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3eqeEoNbDw

it sure does help for LowRes stuff, however Modeler is still gonna be SuperSlow with HiRes objects...

Chris S. (Fez)
10-12-2017, 06:15 PM
A good example of why Next and the new geo engine is being developed in the first place. How fast does that mesh smooth in Chronosculpt?

jperk
10-12-2017, 06:23 PM
So at this point, 3rd power plugins aren't really a good investment?

Chris S. (Fez)
10-12-2017, 06:32 PM
I use them every day. That crinkly man mesh is ridiculously high density for most projects. I imagine 3rd Powers tools will ultimately be updated to allow sculpting in Layout after the Next release. But who knows when that will be...

jasonwestmas
10-12-2017, 09:54 PM
no, it's not a replacement for zbrush or 3DCoat at all. At best it's an excellent tool for detailed sub-patch modeling. It's a good investment if you are more of a traditional poly modeler and don't need the capabilities of the former.

djwaterman
10-13-2017, 01:06 AM
LW Brush doesn't build up new geometry, it just pushes existing geo around in a really nice fluid interactive way, it's not a substitute for sculpting tools and was never mean't to be. Watch the videos, it's clear what it does compared to a true sculpting app. If you want a sculpting app then the 3rd powers tool isn't it.

erikals
10-13-2017, 02:01 AM
How fast does that mesh smooth in Chronosculpt?
Fast!

gar26lw
10-13-2017, 02:43 AM
i don’t have an answer yet but i bought lw brush the other week so at some point i will.

i picked it up to adjust subdivision meshes. bought another of their plugins too so i’ll do a write up of the two once i’ve got a decent amount of exp in them.

TheLexx
10-13-2017, 03:43 AM
So at this point, 3rd power plugins aren't really a good investment?Some of those other plugins have been incorporated by RR into his CA workflow, like the 3rd Powers Cage and Lattice (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKaO9YvZ17M)tools, and weight painting in Layout (point 5 (http://www.liberty3d.com/2017/07/new-video-from-ryan-roye-current-rigging-concepts/)).

hypersuperduper
10-13-2017, 04:07 AM
lwbrush isn't a sculpting tool, it merely applies some sculpting-like tools to traditional polygon modeling (among other things) but it is absolutely worth the cost if you intend to model anything even remotely organic in Lightwave. In addition to the sculpting-like manipulation tools it features a bunch of other tools that are top notch such as the fabulous knife tool. Don't get it if you want to use a sculpt > retopo > bake workflow, because it won't help you much even if it does have a serviceable 3Dcoat-like retopo tool. but if you want to model directly it is great.

jwiede
10-14-2017, 06:12 PM
The 3rdPowers plugins are valuable plugins, but that doesn't mean LWBrush is a suitable alternative to a proper sculpting toolset or app (such as 3DCoat or ZBrush), and it isn't really. The tools in LWBrush are still quite useful in poly modeling, however, and help address omissions in LW's native modeling toolset.

If the choice is between buying 3DCoat / ZBrush or buying LWBrush, then buy 3DCoat or ZBrush, LWBrush cannot compare to a full-featured sculpting app. I have LWBrush as well as 3DCoat and ZBrush, and while LWBrush's tools can offer a few capabilities similar to sculpting, they're incredibly limited compared to the full set of capabilities of either 3DCoat or ZBrush (both of which offer many more capabilities on top of their full-featured sculpting toolsets).

IMO, 3DCoat has a very nice selection of capabilities which complement LW's limitations particularly well (f.e. 3DCoat's UV tools help augment LW's limited UV tools).

prometheus
10-17-2017, 11:17 AM
So at this point, 3rd power plugins aren't really a good investment?

The thread is about lw brush, not about all his plugin, so if you ask the question about 3rd powers plugins as a good investment, it doesn´t make any sense:D

Based on rumours, not having any of them..the metamesh plugin seems to be one of the most liked ones by 3rd powers.

hypersuperduper
10-17-2017, 11:41 AM
LWbrush and paintweights are worth every penny, metamesh I don't use as much, but it works very well even if it can generate some iffy topology of you arent careful. I have their Boolean, Sticker and lattice tool, which are all great but more one trick ponies. LWbrush and paintweights are full toolsets and are indispensable in the work I do. And would recommend them to anyone who wants to do any sort of character/organic work in lightwave.

But again not as a replacement for zbrush or 3dcoat. Not the same thing at all. I agree with the above that 3D coat is a great compliment for lightwave thanks to its top notch UV mapping tools, which are pretty spare in lightwave, as well as great sculpting and painting for a pretty reasonable price.

Spinland
10-17-2017, 12:52 PM
As in all jobs, the best tools to accomplish them can vary. Methinks that's sort of a chestnut but one that might not always get its due.

I have the entire 3rd Powers suite, and when the job can be done properly in LW alone they are beyond golden: they add the functionality I need (and, sure, I'll grant should already be in LW but my job is to use the tools I have and not the ones I wish I had). I do a lot of character modeling where all I need do is build a good solid foundational mesh and then use LWBrush to push and pull the details where I want them to be. That being said, and I'll echo other comments here, there are levels of detail that, if needed, LWBrush won't be able to give you.

In all honesty my answer as to "what to get" is get all three. I use (and value) ZBrush and 3DCoat for their respective strengths, as I do all the 3rd Powers tools. In the end, the answer has to come from you: what do you want to accomplish? What CAN you accomplish? Which of the tools available will get you there via the best path that suits your style? I understand the desire to maximize value for your tools spending, and this is indeed a valuable venue for getting insight, but there also comes a point where you have to make the final call. Cop out? Nope. Ask about a specific workflow concerning a specific task and you're gonna get no end of damned good answers. Ask a more general question about "what apps should I have in my toolbox" and you're not gonna get anything more specific than offered here because the question introduces too many variables. :beerchug:

Greenlaw
10-17-2017, 02:08 PM
I agree, for maximum flexibility, get all three if you can. Get one or two depending on what you really intend to do with these tools.

Of the three, I use 3DC the most. It works well with LightWave and is arguably easier to wrap your head around than ZBrush. I use it mainly for sculpting, projection painting, generating normal maps and UV maps. It was a frequent lifesaver for me when I was doing fx work for features. These days, I probably use 3DC more for 3D printing, bouncing between it and Modeler.

It took me a while (years actually,) to warm up to ZBrush. I used to detest its interface but once I 'got it', I decided the workflow is actually a pretty good one. The one downside is that I still use ZB infrequently enough that I need to spend a couple hours re-learning it whenever I come back to it. I've never had that problem with 3DC--it's more straightforward I think. That said, I can switch tools more quickly in ZB and I feel I can get finer details working in it. (Well, once all the shortcuts come back to me, anyway.)

What I really like ZB for is FiberMesh--for certain hair and fur setups for LightWave, it's easier to work with than Edit Guides. (With some caveats, which I've explained a few times elsewhere in these forums.)

I like the licensing a little better with 3DC. Back when I was freelancing, I found it easier to work with my 3DC license at a client's studio than with ZB. Thus, I wound up using 3DC more often when working offsite.

For general use, though, I think they're comparable programs. (Except for FiberMesh. There's no equivalent for this feature in 3DC.)

I have to admit, I have an affection for 3DC because back in the early pre-1.0 beta days, Andrew was very responsive in getting in some my file format and LW specific feature requests. I thought that was really cool of him, and it helped me a lot with the job I was on at the time. (I think it was a Turok game trailer--not sure now, it was a really long time ago.)

LW Brush won't give you everything you get with ZB or 3DC (not nearly,) but what I like about LW Brush is that it's right there in Modeler, which means I can check the results immediately in Layout without jumping through i/o hoops. If you don't need anything else found in 3DC/ZB (like being able to create complex organic UV maps, etc.) I can't express how awesome it is to have this tool in Modeler. It's so much faster than constantly switching between multiple native Modeler tools.

Anyway, I don't think you can go wrong with any of these tools. But some are better suited for certain tasks, so it depends on what you need to do.

BTW, LW Brush is pretty useful but, if you can afford it, I highly recommend getting the entire 3rd Powers Suite. If you mostly work in LightWave, these tools will prove invaluable.

erikals
10-17-2017, 02:38 PM
a good summary by Greenlaw.
also i believe some would get 3DCoat just for the remeshing and UV mapping alone. :)

gar26lw
10-17-2017, 04:14 PM
how do you find the paint wights and lattice tools?

Greenlaw
10-17-2017, 04:21 PM
Lattice tool is fun. I used it a few years ago on a horrible movie with killer lampreys, to push hundreds of instanced critters over a victim. The instances were coming from a point cloud, and Lattice allowed me to change the shape of the point cloud as it passed over the body. The instances just followed the points. Without Lattice, this could have been much harder to do.

I've only played around with the weight painting tool but haven't used it in production yet. Which is really weird because I've been asking for weight painting in Layout for many years. The need will come up again sooner or later. :)

erikals
10-17-2017, 04:22 PM
Painting weights is straight forward, not much to explain.

for Lattice, see >
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3rd+powers+Cage+Deformer+

Spinland
10-17-2017, 04:33 PM
how do you find the paint wights and lattice tools?

Haven’t had need for the lattice tools, but for rigging a new character the paint weights is beyond useful. I don’t know how I managed tweaking a new rig before I could interactively tweak the weights right in Layout.

Greenlaw
10-17-2017, 05:41 PM
Yeah, in the past, it was always been back and forth between Layout and Modeler for me, which is tedious when you need to get really specific. The last few times I had to do this on a job, Maya was available so I fbx'd the LightWave rig and mesh there, painted the weights, and fbx'd back. That was somewhat easier but still felt kludgey.

Glad to have the Weight Painter tool directoy in Layout now. Should be much easier next time. This really should be a native feature (along with DrainBGVmap or Weighter.)

gar26lw
10-18-2017, 02:57 AM
Yeah, in the past, it was always been back and forth between Layout and Modeler for me, which is tedious when you need to get really specific. The last few times I had to do this on a job, Maya was available so I fbx'd the LightWave rig and mesh there, painted the weights, and fbx'd back. That was somewhat easier but still felt kludgey.

Glad to have the Weight Painter tool directoy in Layout now. Should be much easier next time. This really should be a native feature (along with DrainBGVmap or Weighter.)

oh, thats cool what happened to the rig/constraints etc in lightwave when you did that? I guess it worked. Do you have any tips for a maya/lw character anim pipeline such as that?

Greenlaw
10-18-2017, 09:51 AM
Constraints, etc. won't transfer via FBX; I just painted the weights and FK-posed the character to test it in Maya. TBH, I don't remember all the details and it was probably not as easy as I remember. Some of it was easier but I seem to also recall manually typing in some values anyway because Maya is less forgiving about how the weight values are distributed. Sorry, for the fuzzy details...I don't use Maya very often and I'm not an expert with it. (I've had to good fortune to usually be sitting next to people who are.)

Being able to paint weights directly in Layout is much less complicated of course. And cheaper too. :)