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AbnRanger
09-13-2007, 08:21 AM
I'm having a bit of difficulty deciding between the two, and would like some input from those who already use either or both.
I've been itching to get my hands on Zbrush (3) for a while now, and as I get ready to pull the trigger, I noticed that they went up in price. I also noticed that Modo 301 just started shipping...and it appears that you can do some really high-detail sculpting in it as well.

So, I'm figuring that for a little bit extra, I can do most everything I'd want to do in Zbrush and considerably more...inside Modo.
Anybody else out there had to deliberate over this as well?

SplineGod
09-13-2007, 08:32 AM
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=594071#post594071

taproot2
09-13-2007, 09:48 AM
I have both and I really enjoy both, but, ZB3 is a seasoned sculpting package while Modo301 is new, VERY new at high-rez sculpting, and we all know what that means as far as bugs and the standard quirks of a new release. That said, I would say for the price, right now Go get ZB3, crest that learning curve as fast as you can and start having some fun. Modo is still growing and I do intend to grow with it.
Good Luck and Good Fun!
Me

Mike_RB
09-13-2007, 09:55 AM
The link Larry posted shows some modo sculpting in action. If your plan is hard core super detailed character sculpts, go with zbrush. Modo is pretty new on the scene and while 301 is capable it really isn't going to come close to the top end of what you can do with zbrush. With modo you get a lot of other goodies, and you may want to wait until they ship the demo version of 301, but if you're making a decision now, and you want to make hirez characters, go zbrush.

ericsmith
09-13-2007, 10:34 AM
There's an issue with zBrush that seems to be frequently ignored, and that's the integration into an overall production pipeline.

The thing is, being able to push around millions of polys in real time may be cool, but unless your client is buying a zbrush screen shot, you're going to have to translate all those polys into an image based displacement map. And unless you can crank up the subdivision in the final rendering app to match those millions of polys, the final render won't be the same as what you had in zbrush.

What I really like about Modo's methodology is that I'm painting the actual displacement map, normal map, and/or bump map that I'm ultimately going to render. I can see exactly how all the detail is going to work on the actual mesh I plan to render.

Eric

SplineGod
09-13-2007, 11:07 AM
You also have free or cheaper alteratives that allow displacement painting:
Silo
http://www.nevercenter.com/videos/?vidclip=silo_for_high_poly.mov
Hexagon
http://www.daz3d.com/i.x/software/hexagon/-/features?
Mudbox
http://www.mudbox3d.com/
Blender
http://www.blender.org/features-gallery/features/feature-videos/?video=sculpt_two

There are lots of options and most of these apps have demos you can download.

Zbrush apparently integrates will enough into most pipelines. Its definately used a lot in the industry.
LWs able to get good results using a combination of displacement and normal maps.

cresshead
09-13-2007, 11:12 AM
good list ole splinegod!

I'd try belnder first [free]...just learn the sculpting side and how to import/export models..that maybe enough for all your needs

but if you want to use the leader this tech then go Zbrush3..nothing else has it's tools and overall capabilities.
also zbrush retopology tools and posing are FANTASTIC.

SplineGod
09-13-2007, 11:17 AM
Cresshead,
Thats something else I forgot to mention about Silo and Blender, both have excellent topology brush tools which are a great way to create lower rez geometry from higher rez geometry with control over the flow. This is a much better way to deal with something to place normal maps onto. I think Zbrush also has similar topology tools.

cresshead
09-13-2007, 11:39 AM
yeah VERY important set of tools..

i made a quick overview of them here:-
http://www.cresshead.com/training_zb3_2.htm
http://www.cresshead.com/training_zb3_3.htm
http://www.cresshead.com/training_zb3_4.htm

youtube based videos:thumbsup:

OOZZEE
09-13-2007, 12:29 PM
modo - new painting is very nice and can detail quite a bit with image based painting. easy to get into and learn. + now have animation !! a tad more expensive.

zbrush - lots more detail (LOTS MORE) but very hard to get your head around it. - a bit less expensive.

theo
09-13-2007, 01:16 PM
What I really like about Modo's methodology is that I'm painting the actual displacement map, normal map, and/or bump map that I'm ultimately going to render. I can see exactly how all the detail is going to work on the actual mesh I plan to render.

Eric

Yes, but there are probably a lot of Modo artist that will still utilize Z3 for its incredibly extensive mesh manipulation/detailing toolset.

I think it comes down to detail. No matter what package you use to create the initial model Z3 will continue to hold the title for ultra-detailing mesh structures.

If the artist does not require ultra-fine mesh detailing capabilities then Z3 may be a waste of money. It is not a general modelling package. It can be used for general modelling I just think it is nuts to do it there if you have a full-fledged general modeler on the desktop like LW or Modo.

ericsmith
09-13-2007, 02:15 PM
I think my point is being missed.

I agree that nothing comes close to zbrush's ability to push around millions of polys. But getting that highly detailed mesh out of zbrush and into the main 3d app is the problem. Either you have to export real geometry, which means trying to deal with millions of polys in another app (which we're agreeing is not so good, or you'd be able to sculp right in that app), or you have to translate the real geometry into an image to be displaced in the other app.

I guess the question I still have is, what good does it do to be able to sculp millions of polys if I can't render them? If the final rendering technology incorporates image based normal maps, etc, then wouldn't it be better to work directly in that medium in the first place, so what you see is what you get?

Eric

IMI
09-13-2007, 02:44 PM
I've been using ZB 3 (now 3.1) for a couple of months and it's a blast. I haven't been able to get good results yet with displacement maps in LW, but there's a definite technique to it towards perfecting it which I just haven't learned quite yet. LW 9 ships with a ZBrush head to show how to go about it, and when I mess around with that it's...well, it's very cool to see how it's done when it's done correctly. :)
I made the mistake of trying to load one of my 1,000,000+ poly models into Modeler. Didn't work out to well. Didn't work out at all, actually...
But the cool thing is, you don't have to do that. All the sculpting and everything in ZBrush doesn't have to be taken to an extreme, and it's a very easy way to block in organic shapes quickly, which can be subpatched in LW. And, of course, there's the displacement/bump/normal map thing, which alot of people seem to have figured out quite well. Just not me. :D
Don't know about modo 301 yet. Right now it seems to be alot of OH WOW! But, it just got released, after all.
To sum it all up, ZB3 seems to be tailor-made for use with LW. Weird interface. Bizarre, even. Odd ways of doing even the simplest stuff, but IMO, well worth it.

cresshead
09-13-2007, 02:46 PM
yeah, but your missing our point!
you don't get the same amount of TOOLS in other apps as you do with z brush...
and when lightwave can take advantage of millions of polys for rendering like that of vray, mental ray etc then you'll be kicking yourself that you went with a sculpting app can can't deliver those millions of polys...the 'fault' is not at z brush but with the renderer....yeah i TOTALLY get you that lightwave can't take advantage of all those millions of polys..yet...but if it's to grow it's have to and the sooner we get a bucket render capability in lightwave the better.

Sande
09-13-2007, 02:54 PM
I think that in most cases when people are trying to render something zbrushed with 1000 000+ polygons they are doing it wrong - you could use only a fraction of those polygons and boost your mesh with normalmap - and get the same results...

jin choung
09-13-2007, 03:08 PM
There's an issue with zBrush that seems to be frequently ignored, and that's the integration into an overall production pipeline.

The thing is, being able to push around millions of polys in real time may be cool, but unless your client is buying a zbrush screen shot, you're going to have to translate all those polys into an image based displacement map. And unless you can crank up the subdivision in the final rendering app to match those millions of polys, the final render won't be the same as what you had in zbrush.

What I really like about Modo's methodology is that I'm painting the actual displacement map, normal map, and/or bump map that I'm ultimately going to render. I can see exactly how all the detail is going to work on the actual mesh I plan to render.

Eric

actually, if you attempted to sculpt at the resolution of zb inside of modo, you would run into the same problem.

ultimately, you would have to tesselate into a dense enough mesh in order t support the image based sculpt you made.

same issue.

only maybe in modo, you are limited by simply how dense you can make your sculpt because it simply CAN'T. the obvious solution here is that you just DON'T go that high in zb, or you transfer some of the higher res details into a normal map. see? no work wasted.

also, in certain renderers like renderman, it is indeed possible to use the highest possible levels of detail and render without a hitch so yah, it is not essentially a pointless feature.

just cuz you can't do it comfortably in lw doesn't mean it can't and isn't used frequently in xsi or maya and the likes.

jin

ericsmith
09-13-2007, 03:58 PM
yeah, but your missing our point!
you don't get the same amount of TOOLS in other apps as you do with z brush...

Can you give some examples? My experience is with version 2, but maybe there's more sculpting tools in 3. From what I've seen in the promos, it looks like most of the new tools aren't about sculpting, but trying to get zbrush more into the mainstream of modeling (ie. multi-mesh support, retopology, rigging, etc)


actually, if you attempted to sculpt at the resolution of zb inside of modo, you would run into the same problem.

ultimately, you would have to tesselate into a dense enough mesh in order t support the image based sculpt you made.

same issue.

This isn't right. The thing that Modo offers that maybe people don't realize is that when you do image based displacement, it doesn't just displace whatever vertices you have. It also creates a normal map, and displays it right in openGL. So you can sculpt detail at the level of the resolution of the image, not just the resolution of the mesh.



only maybe in modo, you are limited by simply how dense you can make your sculpt because it simply CAN'T. the obvious solution here is that you just DON'T go that high in zb, or you transfer some of the higher res details into a normal map. see? no work wasted.

To further my point, that's what Modo offers in an interactive environment (ie. there's no back and forth. What you see is what you get). You're creating the displacement map and the normal map at the same time. And you can even change the subdivision level on the fly to see what level of division you will need to hold the detail in real geometry.


also, in certain renderers like renderman, it is indeed possible to use the highest possible levels of detail and render without a hitch so yah, it is not essentially a pointless feature.

just cuz you can't do it comfortably in lw doesn't mean it can't and isn't used frequently in xsi or maya and the likes.

Are you saying that Maya, XSI, etc can handle raw frozen poly counts in the millions without causing major difficulties? I wasn't aware that they could. I certainly don't know what graphics card could comfortably display 10 million polys, or what kind of RAM requirements you would need to manage a scene like that.

Bucket rendering is a good idea, and makes micro poly displacement more feasable, but it's still just displacing subdivided geometry using image-based displacement maps.

Ultimately, I think it's a debate that can't be won on either side. I just wonder if people aren't quite getting just what Modo's sculpting capabilities really offer.

Eric

IMI
09-13-2007, 04:04 PM
only maybe in modo, you are limited by simply how dense you can make your sculpt because it simply CAN'T. the obvious solution here is that you just DON'T go that high in zb, or you transfer some of the higher res details into a normal map. see? no work wasted.

jin

If I read that modo 301 has a poly limit for sculpting/rendering, then I can't remember what it was.

But, I'm surprised to even hear complaints about LW not being able to deal with those ridiculous ZB meshes. From the outset, I don't think anyone ever claimed that ZBrush meshes were made to be exported as-is. Seems to me the idea always has been (for now at least), to use it to create those normal, bump and displacement maps.

Lightwolf
09-13-2007, 04:04 PM
R U saying that they wouldn't use normal maps in renderman, they would just divide the mesh until they had all the detail that they had in z brush?
That's how RenderMan worked from day one (which is in the 80ies).

If you like to, look up Reyes rendering.

Cheers,
Mike

IMI
09-13-2007, 04:07 PM
I just wonder if people aren't quite getting just what Modo's sculpting capabilities really offer.

Eric

I for one would like to know. Knowing what it's capable of in that department would definitely be important before I decide to upgrade from 203.

Mike_RB
09-13-2007, 04:10 PM
I for one would like to know. Knowing what it's capable of in that department would definitely be important before I decide to upgrade from 203.

Some better info about this here:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=594273#post594273
With an image explaining the 'bump trick' that modo is doing.

IMI
09-13-2007, 04:20 PM
Some better info about this here:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?p=594273#post594273
With an image explaining the 'bump trick' that modo is doing.

Thanks. Looks intriguing. :)

jin choung
09-14-2007, 12:22 AM
Can you give some examples? My experience is with version 2, but maybe there's more sculpting tools in 3. From what I've seen in the promos, it looks like most of the new tools aren't about sculpting, but trying to get zbrush more into the mainstream of modeling (ie. multi-mesh support, retopology, rigging, etc)

give it a try if you get a chance... it is unbelievably like working with clay... and with certain brushes (like clay and clay tubes), the effect is remarkably less like "displacing polys" and rather like "adding mass"....

This isn't right. The thing that Modo offers that maybe people don't realize is that when you do image based displacement, it doesn't just displace whatever vertices you have. It also creates a normal map, and displays it right in openGL. So you can sculpt detail at the level of the resolution of the image, not just the resolution of the mesh.

but that technology is pretty familiar to us already... it was in deep paint 3d, bodypaint, etc...

you are generating a normal map and seeing the results real time without having to generate more polys.

problem is that such detail is never apparent on silhouettes (at least not for normal/bump maps). that's fine unless you change your mind or find that you have to get much closer than you thought.


To further my point, that's what Modo offers in an interactive environment (ie. there's no back and forth. What you see is what you get). You're creating the displacement map and the normal map at the same time. And you can even change the subdivision level on the fly to see what level of division you will need to hold the detail in real geometry.

how do you determine what details goes into a displacement map or what gets into a normal map? do you paint on different bitmaps?

in my mind, zb simply lets you work without having to think at all about such things. you can make your mesh EXACTLY the way you want it to be, not thinking about displacement this or normal that.

you just make it what you want... that's wysiwig in my book. this is what it will look like (if you so choose) when you render it out in maya with displacements in renderman, if need be.

no work is lost.

and then, at the end, you just bake. and if the difference map produces the mesh you see in zb at rendertime, that's all that matters.

i don't see (at all) how the map being generated on the fly is any kind of advantage.

Are you saying that Maya, XSI, etc can handle raw frozen poly counts in the millions without causing major difficulties? I wasn't aware that they could. I certainly don't know what graphics card could comfortably display 10 million polys, or what kind of RAM requirements you would need to manage a scene like that.

no... they cannot. you bring in your base mesh, take it to the limit surface at render time and apply your difference map as a displacement to be applied at rendertime.

you're making it sound like if i make a sculpt of millions of polys, that that will never be usable in my maya workflow. that is SIMPLY NOT TRUE. all the details can be preserved and generated in my final renders.

and don't take my word for it, this workflow is exactly what they did for king kong and LOTR.

no work is lost. the finest levels of detail can be recreated at render.

modo's process looks interesting and cool and could be another way to tackle the task but i don't see how it is "radical" or "revolutionary" or how it's so beyond us all that we're not taking it all in....

Bucket rendering is a good idea, and makes micro poly displacement more feasable, but it's still just displacing subdivided geometry using image-based displacement maps.

what else do you have? and why is this somehow an inferior process to you? you work with a sane mesh density while rigging/animating and you render the super detail at render time. this is not a compromise... it is IDEAL.

Ultimately, I think it's a debate that can't be won on either side. I just wonder if people aren't quite getting just what Modo's sculpting capabilities really offer.

we get it. it's just not that big a deal.

jin

p.s. BUT... i would like some more detail on what these "vector maps" are .... what are the specs? are they hdri? and, i'd definitely like to see an example of "undercuts" being represented in a map such that you can sculpt a mushroom with a stamp.... that does seem new and cool.

jin choung
09-14-2007, 12:58 AM
There's an issue with zBrush that seems to be frequently ignored, and that's the integration into an overall production pipeline.

no it's not.

The thing is, being able to push around millions of polys in real time may be cool, but unless your client is buying a zbrush screen shot, you're going to have to translate all those polys into an image based displacement map. And unless you can crank up the subdivision in the final rendering app to match those millions of polys, the final render won't be the same as what you had in zbrush.

ha. see, this is a HUUUUUUUUUUGE "unless". and very few clients just want a zbrush screenshot.

in case it has to be said, king king, the LOTR series and the last two pirates of the carribean movies more than aptly and sufficiently prove that this EXACT WORKFLOW can work to truly stunning effect.

no work is lost or wasted because you used zb.

because it may not be able to be done in lw is a rather small knock all things considered.

and further, any part of a sculpt, any detail level can indeed be converted into normal maps if so desired.

but the wysiwig part of zb is that you simply don't have to think about that while you work. you are making a model and you simply don't have to care about the technical details.

this is quoted from another thread because i think it is apt:

"i don't see how finding a workaround for not being able to push as many polys around as somehow being a superior workflow than being actually being able to push around that many polys-

unless, it allows you to sculpt at such detail level that actual geometry could not possibly keep up. so is that it? modo can create detail that zb cannot possibly? i don't know it but somehow i doubt it.

and if that's not the case, it's a workaround... not at all an advantage."

so my question would be, can modo, because of its way of doing things, create detail at a level that zb can't? as i said, i doubt it. and if not, it is not an advantage (and a disadvantage if it can't do at least as much) but simply a different way of doing things. that's fine for what it is but it's not revolutionary and certainly not essentially better.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that in most cases when people are trying to render something zbrushed with 1000 000+ polygons they are doing it wrong - you could use only a fraction of those polygons and boost your mesh with normalmap - and get the same results...

that is what I was trying to get at in my last post. Z brush allowing you to use all those polys is purely to aid the sculptor. All that fine detail should be baked out to normal maps. no one should be trying to render out a 3mil poly head in...IMO...it is a waist.

i think most people would agree with these sentiments. why create detail that you need to right?

but we have to consider the world outside of lw. with renderman, you simply will not get more detail than you need.

at rendertime, it will subdivide according to how many pixels you have in your final image to support it. if it doesn't need a 5million polys, it will not subdivide to that level.

and normal maps and bump maps do indeed make sense but considering that processor time can be cheaper than human time, if they have renderman, they might just send it through with just the super hires displacement map and let rm do the optimization instead of having someone go over what needs to go onto displacement and what needs to go onto normal...

the point is, if you have the final model, the world is your oyster and all options are yours.

jin

jin choung
09-14-2007, 01:12 AM
ok, seriously... somebody has to show me this cuz it sounds like complete bs by someone who doesn't understand how it actually works:

http://www.luxology.com/whatismodo/sculpt.aspx

"True Displacement
modo can work with a true vector displacement—not just height fields. This means you can store objects like a mushroom in a vector displacement map. You can even turn 3D geometry into a brush and sculpt using ears (or mushrooms).
"

so this guy is saying that you can drop an image onto a flat, highly subdivided plane and get a mushroom?

SHOW ME!

jin

jin choung
09-14-2007, 02:01 AM
nevermind, found it.



http://www.xsibase.com/forum/index.php?board=29;action=display;threadid=28834;s tart=0



holy crap, that's really fing amazing. but i get the tech now... it's also figuring out the difference between the two different mesh features and relating it back to identical uv maps (which seems to be the magic part).



good stuff and very very cool.



jin

Mike_RB
09-14-2007, 07:28 AM
nevermind, found it.

http://www.xsibase.com/forum/index.php?board=29;action=display;threadid=28834;s tart=0

holy crap, that's really fing amazing. but i get the tech now... it's also figuring out the difference between the two different mesh features and relating it back to identical uv maps (which seems to be the magic part).

good stuff and very very cool.

jin

In modo all you do is sculpt away and it generates thevectormap as you go, so of course overhangs and directional sculpting are possible. You can also save geometry with overhangs as a brush and sculpt using that...

ericsmith
09-14-2007, 10:47 AM
problem is that such detail is never apparent on silhouettes (at least not for normal/bump maps). that's fine unless you change your mind or find that you have to get much closer than you thought.

and


how do you determine what details goes into a displacement map or what gets into a normal map? do you paint on different bitmaps?

This is the key to what you're not getting about Modo. The mesh is displaced from the image map in real time as you paint on the image. You don't have to choose what is displaced and what is normal. Modo displaces what it can, and shows the detail that is too fine for the mesh to handle as a normal map.

And this actually brings me to another gripe I have about zbrush. In my experience, if I sculpted a bad crease, or anything too rough, it was difficult if not down right impossible to erase it. The smooth tool just wouldn't completely erradicate my mistake. I know there's the ability to save a morph before you begin sculpting, but I could never get that feature to help me in this situation (maybe just user error). The thing is, when I'm scuplting with an image, it's very easy to just pick my base color and erase anything I want back to the base mesh value. I find the process much more flexible.


Bucket rendering is a good idea, and makes micro poly displacement more feasable, but it's still just displacing subdivided geometry using image-based displacement maps.

what else do you have? and why is this somehow an inferior process to you? you work with a sane mesh density while rigging/animating and you render the super detail at render time. this is not a compromise... it is IDEAL.

It wasn't my intention to say that bucket rendering was inferior. I was just trying to clarify the fact that even with renderers that can micro-displace millions of polys worth of detail, the workflow is still to create image maps from zbrush's ultra-high geometry objects and apply them to base subD meshes at rendertime. You would almost never export a 5 million poly frozen mesh out of zbrush and try to import that into the host 3d app.


unless, it allows you to sculpt at such detail level that actual geometry could not possibly keep up. so is that it? modo can create detail that zb cannot possibly? i don't know it but somehow i doubt it.

and if that's not the case, it's a workaround... not at all an advantage."

so my question would be, can modo, because of its way of doing things, create detail at a level that zb can't? as i said, i doubt it. and if not, it is not an advantage (and a disadvantage if it can't do at least as much) but simply a different way of doing things. that's fine for what it is but it's not revolutionary and certainly not essentially better.

Well, technically, yes. I can paint on a 10k x 10k displacement image. Assuming the UV map is really efficient, that would equate to around 100 million polys. But more importantly, I can have multiple images and UV maps on the same mesh, and use all of the advanced tools of a full-fledged polymodeling app right there. I can edit or create new UV maps while scuplting (if you need a new UV map added to a project in progress in zbrush, you pretty much have to start over). The point is, I can make scuplting part of my overall modeling workflow, not an isolated task. I know that zbrush is adding more polyediting tools, but they're no where near the abilities of Modo or Lightwave, or pretty much any major 3d app, in this area.

The bottom line for me is that in spite of zbrush's innovation, it's not a fun tool for me. The workflow is just too akward. Just an example, I have this creature I tried to sculpt detail on in zbrush 2. At around 5 million polys, the interaction was pretty slow, and there still weren't enough polys in the facial area to give me the detail I wanted. The only way I could accomplish the job at the detail level I would have liked would be to cut the mesh into seperate pieces and sculpt them individually. But then I would end up with seams, and no easy way to fix them. I went ahead and did the detailing, but was pretty unhappy with the final results. Later, on a lark, I quickly re-did the texture in Modo 201 using just bump, and while I would like to refine the results more, I think they are better than what I was able to accomplish in zbrush. I've attached a comparison.

I've been waiting for a sculpting solution that allowed me to work directly on the displacement map. I find that a superior way to work, and Modo provides that for me.

Eric

jin choung
09-14-2007, 12:30 PM
This is the key to what you're not getting about Modo. The mesh is displaced from the image map in real time as you paint on the image. You don't have to choose what is displaced and what is normal. Modo displaces what it can, and shows the detail that is too fine for the mesh to handle as a normal map.



actually, i don't like this... i'd rather just sculpt in all detail in one mode instead of the software deciding for me what goes where and how...

ummmm... as for 10k x 10k... yah. i'd like to see how responsive modo is at that point. zb3 can boast a billion polys of detail too but there are caveats... though not necessarily insurmountable an issue to actually implement that detail.

and imo, it does NOT seem like zb is trying to be more poly edit friendly... everything still seems like it's devoted to its own sculptural only (for all intents and purposes) workflow.

if that's not your bag, you're certainly entitled to your preferences.

but the idea that zb's millions of polys are somehow wasted work and that the generation of a difference map for use in a pipeline is somehow inferior to just generating the displacement map as you go ... i don't accept that at all.

again, pirates of the carribean, king kong, lotr.... they all look pretty good to me.

jin

p.s. you should try out zb3... pretty neat stuff. not enticing you to change your mind but there's some improvements and optimizations that make it quite different from zb2.

jin choung
09-14-2007, 12:32 PM
It wasn't my intention to say that bucket rendering was inferior. I was just trying to clarify the fact that even with renderers that can micro-displace millions of polys worth of detail, the workflow is still to create image maps from zbrush's ultra-high geometry objects and apply them to base subD meshes at rendertime. You would almost never export a 5 million poly frozen mesh out of zbrush and try to import that into the host 3d app.



of course. but i don't see why this is an important point for you. really.

what you sculpt in zbrush is what you see in your pirates of the carribean or what have you.

nothing is lost.

you get your millions of polys at render time.

jin

Mike_RB
09-14-2007, 12:50 PM
actually, i don't like this... i'd rather just sculpt in all detail in one mode instead of the software deciding for me what goes where and how...

Cool. I guess the point people are making is that zbrush ends up going to a map anyway to go to other apps, so why not go strait to the map.... It's just vertex's with locations, whether its stored as x,y,z (real polys), or as a vector and magnitude from a cage its all the same.

jin choung
09-14-2007, 02:46 PM
right, so it's essentially just a different way of going about it. i don't see it as an advantage.

and again, i wonder about performance... if you're keeping a huge mesh as well as a huge map in memory, something's gotta give.

it seem zb went the complete other way. no maps at all required for painting, it's all just vertex info... this is available in lw and other apps and i always thought it was stupid as heck... until the mesh is being worked out at subpixel subdvision levels... then, there are no more downsides and a significant upside of no image map overhead until you convert at the end of your process.

i guess that's a reason to wait until the end... overhead.

jin

IMI
09-14-2007, 03:05 PM
Cool. I guess the point people are making is that zbrush ends up going to a map anyway to go to other apps, so why not go strait to the map.... It's just vertex's with locations, whether its stored as x,y,z (real polys), or as a vector and magnitude from a cage its all the same.


Call me dense, but I'm not quite following this. When sculpting in modo 301, you're getting the actual change in the geometry that you see, but it's also creating the rest from an image map which takes over where it needs to? Is that sort of what's going on?
I think I'm gonna have to go back and study this thread some more, and the other one. I suspect this is far more cool than my tired brain can realize right now. ;)

RedBull
09-14-2007, 05:22 PM
p.s. you should try out zb3... pretty neat stuff. not enticing you to change your mind but there's some improvements and optimizations that make it quite different from zb2.

Yeah i find ZB is so cool because of the polycounts, but completely rubbish with integration and workflow. Mudbox by comparison is Sooooo much better... (wish it could handle the ZB polys)
But ZB uses Pixols which is a 2.5 Perspective Projection trick, to give the appearance of 10Million polys being displaced. Mudbox on the other hand is using actual 3D. So they all handle things differently...

I'm surprised that the Modo sculpting is quite nice, despite it's differences to the others... Modo is lacking in the amount of tools, i miss like the hook tool in ZB for example.. And it's workflow isn't as silky as MB..
Modo can paint, render and model in one application, which is an advantage over all the others.... However Bodypaint and Mudbox will likely still be my paint/sculpt tools...

ericsmith
09-14-2007, 05:37 PM
Call me dense, but I'm not quite following this. When sculpting in modo 301, you're getting the actual change in the geometry that you see, but it's also creating the rest from an image map which takes over where it needs to? Is that sort of what's going on?

Yeah, but it's really not that mystical. Imagine applying a displacement map in Lightwave. It will displace whatever geometry it can, but you most likely won't see all the detail that is in the map. Now, use the same image in the bump channel on that mesh, and you'll see more detail. It won't be real geometric detail, but the illusion will get you close enough to where in most cases, you wouldn't notice the difference.

So when you paint interactively on that one image in Modo, it both displaces and bumps. What's cool is that they built the sculpting tools (push, pinch, smooth, emboss, etc), they can push around the pixels in the image the same way they would push vertices around.


right, so it's essentially just a different way of going about it. i don't see it as an advantage.

and again, i wonder about performance... if you're keeping a huge mesh as well as a huge map in memory, something's gotta give.

Well, I tested 10k x 10k on simple subdivided sphere, and it seemed plenty responsive. I will say, however, that 10k x 10k is probably excessive for most jobs. I would probably never go higher than 4096 x 4096, which equates to around 16.7 million polys. Dealing with an image that size and 50,000 polys should be no problem, and 50,000 polys would give a lot of detail for the displacement.

Ultimately, you're right when you say it's just a different way to go about it. If the zbrush workflow is comfortable to you, then that's fine. But I do think that what Modo has done is pretty clever, and will work well for a lot of users. More importantly, I think that Modo can deliver the same amount of detail in the end render as zbrush is capable of, without having to go into a special (and often akward) isolated environment.

Eric

IMI
09-14-2007, 06:22 PM
Thank you, Eric, it's making more sense now.

So, how can this be used with LW? Or can't it? Are the maps exportable, able to be linked to a .lwo export like any other image map?

Mike_RB
09-14-2007, 06:56 PM
Thank you, Eric, it's making more sense now.

So, how can this be used with LW? Or can't it? Are the maps exportable, able to be linked to a .lwo export like any other image map?

There is a 3rd part node that lets you use vector maps as displacement maps in LW. Also you can do what you would have to do with zbrush and bake the displacement to a height map (or you can just paint a height map instead and forgo the vector feature).

jin choung
09-14-2007, 08:13 PM
But ZB uses Pixols which is a 2.5 Perspective Projection trick, to give the appearance of 10Million polys being displaced. Mudbox on the other hand is using actual 3D. So they all handle things differently...


actually, everything that i have been talking about is excluding "pixols"... if you're working in pixols, that stuff is never coming out of zb (welllll... not entirely true but you have to jump through hoops).

i was just talking about sculpting actual polys. and with the new HD sculpt mode, zb boasts the ability to sculpt BILLIONS of actual polys.

i could be wrong but i think the poly pushing crown still goes to zb.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

but if we're talking about off-putting interfaces... MAN do i agree.

i'm used to it at this point but ugh... yah, zb was not intended initially to be a "3d app" and it really really really shows.

but as i was thinking when i bought it this year at siggraph... zb is so good that despite all the knocks against it, including truly wretched hot key conventions - that i'm getting it anyway!

jin choung
09-14-2007, 10:40 PM
actually, here's a question out of genuine curiosity:

HOW does modo decide what becomes displacement and what is a normal/bump trick? is there a threshold control?

or is it just doing both all the time?

jin

ericsmith
09-15-2007, 01:09 AM
Yes, it does both at the same time.

You paint on one image map. For the sake of simplicity, lets just look at straight displacement, not vector displacement. That image is used to displace the vertices (not just the base cage, but the subdivided polys - not sure if that point is obvious, but just thought I'd clarify). The image also works as a bump map on the surface, and Modo displays this in openGL.

If you increase the subdivision level, you'll see more geometric detail. But that doesn't change anything. All you ever really paint the image, which will give you the same end result as if you had sculpted millions of polys in zbrush and then converted that to a displacement map.

You just paint the map directly, and see the final results of what the model will look like rendered as you work. Personally, I prefer the preciseness of painting the image map directly. It offers me a level of flexibility and control that zbrush couldn't come close to in my experience.

Ultimately, even if you can manipulate billions of polys in zbrush, you'll never get more detail than the resolution of the exported image. So it all comes down to the image, which is what Modo's workflow is all about.

Eric

jin choung
09-15-2007, 01:34 AM
thanks for the info and clarification.

so does that mean that for the animation app (say maya) that will take the final model, it will project the same map as both a vdisp map and a normal map? or does the user decide what detail goes to what? how is that determined?

jin

p.s. oh and yeah, i was assuming the displacement was happening to the subdivided, limit surface approximation.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 01:40 AM
oh, btw, i experienced the thing with the smooth brush eradicating detail but that's with the default setting.

if you set the smooth brush to low and have a deft touch with the tablet, you can readily get smoothed without eradication.

jin

IMI
09-15-2007, 01:44 AM
Huh.
On Luxology TV I just found a video (with narration) showing this. It's an extremely hi-res hand model being sculpted, and then having the resulting polys being baked down into a displacement map and applied (fully visible in OpenGL) to a very low-poly layer of the same hand model.
Phenomenal.
Then he proceeds to paint more displacement into the low-res layer, using the disp map, and it's just as if he were sculpting on the hi-res version.
What's more, he then proceeds to add bump to it.
Like I said, phenomenal, really. And, aside from the fact that the model needs a UV map, the procedure didn't look particularly complicated at all. Eric and Mike, I assume this is what you've been talking about.
I'm sold. :)

Something tells me I shouldn't provide a link to the video, but it's about 3/4 of the way down on the main 301 page of the training section of Luxology TV.

IMI
09-15-2007, 01:49 AM
I think I'd have to say at this point that modo is hell-bent on taking on ZBrush in a big-time way.
I had suspected that they were up to something more than just catching up, and if these videos are to be believed, they have some pretty hefty targets in sight.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 01:52 AM
cool video...

but it's interesting that it is demonstrating precisely the kind of workflow that eric is saying modo helps you avoid... that is, draw the displacement map directly... why bake?

so why is that guy baking?

oh, and cool... competition is always good. complacency is bad. so let's let the games begin. if their gallery starts coming up with things zb can't do, make sure and post links here and at the zb forum! :)

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 01:57 AM
just finished watching the video.

frankly, i'm not crazy about having to use a "different method" for adjusting the intensity of the bump map... and that seems to be global adjustment of all the bump maps you applied... no selective smoothing in a certain area.

and i'm sure it can be avoided but yeeesh, that seam down the webbed section between thumb and index finger kinda makes you, if not wonder, then think twice about the baking to uvs thing in modo....

jin

IMI
09-15-2007, 01:59 AM
cool video...

but it's interesting that it is demonstrating precisely the kind of workflow that eric is saying modo helps you avoid... that is, draw the displacement map directly... why bake?

so why is that guy baking?

oh, and cool... competition is always good. complacency is bad. so let's let the games begin. if their gallery starts coming up with things zb can't do, make sure and post links here and at the zb forum! :)

jin

I don't know. I wasn't looking at it that way, because once he did that, and chose a save location for the image file, the red flags went up and I started thinking about using this with LW, which is mostly what I'm interested in.
Apparently I'm having some sort of mental block incorporating exactly what you and he are discussing into what I've been thinking and seeing.

Yeah, competition is good. I wanna see LW 10...err...9.5 add these features now. :D

IMI
09-15-2007, 02:07 AM
and i'm sure it can be avoided but yeeesh, that seam down the webbed section between thumb and index finger kinda makes you, if not wonder, then think twice about the baking to uvs thing in modo....


The UV map he used could have been better. I just assumed it was done in a hurry.
But now I'm wondering if modo 301 doesn't have a projection feature for this technique, which would go a long way towards helping out with the seams on bad UV maps.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 02:07 AM
actually, i don't get it. why is that guy sculpting on the 350k mesh in the first place?

after the bake process, he has a subd hand with displacement applied so why didn't he just start with the subd hand?

jin

IMI
09-15-2007, 02:12 AM
I think it was necessary to have the actual geometry in the first place in order to get the detail to get the process rolling. That would be my assumption, at least.
Honestly, I don't know, but I'm hoping someone comes out with a video showing such a process in great detail, with alot of discussion and explanation.

Manji312
09-15-2007, 04:20 AM
The video actually shows the two types of sculpting available in Modo. You have a sculpting type that operates on the points of a mesh, hence the hirez mesh he started with in the video, and you have a sculpting mode that operates on vector or grayscale displacement maps. To be honest I'm not sure why the video shows the mesh type sculpting in this manner because imho zBrush clearly has the advantage in this area. Where I think Modo shines (besides being available on mac and pc) is the ability to sculpt with vector displacement maps. And the beauty is, you aren't limited to one map, so if you wanted to try something out, you could just create a new map. ZBrush is still the king of digital sculpting, but for many things I think Modo will be quite capable of performing solid sculpts to enhance models. That being said, I love sculpting with zBrush, and I probably wouldn't even really think too much of sculpting in Modo if Pixologic had more commitment to us mac folks. Since Pixologic has left the mac side hanging, I have found Modo quite capable of detailing the objects I would normally bring into zBrush to detail.

cresshead
09-15-2007, 04:28 AM
And the beauty is, you aren't limited to one map, so if you wanted to try something out, you could just create a new map.

with zbrush if you want to try something out just add a new layer...how hard's that?....ohh yeah not that hard!:D

you can turn it on and off to see what it look like and delete it if you didn't like your test layer..

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 07:31 AM
with zbrush if you want to try something out just add a new layer...how hard's that?....ohh yeah not that hard!:D

you can turn it on and off to see what it look like and delete it if you didn't like your test layer..
Having layered images does that for modo, you can dial the opacity of a second layer down, or even use a different rez image or UV set to get detail in hard to reach places.

RedBull
09-15-2007, 07:32 AM
i was just talking about sculpting actual polys. and with the new HD sculpt mode, zb boasts the ability to sculpt BILLIONS of actual polys.

i could be wrong but i think the poly pushing crown still goes to zb.


Yeah but ZB is always using tricks to have this detail (very good tricks)
But Mudbox uses true 3D perspective, ZB uses a 2.5d projection that looks like 3D. You cannot compare ZB to other applications, because it's cheating. :)

It's like projection painting, MB doesn't suffer from this and either does Modo.
To the end user it makes little difference, but i prefer MB for this reason, but yep ZB definitely gets more polys because it's not true 3D mesh painting.

IMI
09-15-2007, 07:57 AM
That being said, I love sculpting with zBrush, and I probably wouldn't even really think too much of sculpting in Modo if Pixologic had more commitment to us mac folks. Since Pixologic has left the mac side hanging, I have found Modo quite capable of detailing the objects I would normally bring into zBrush to detail.

It never ceases to amaze me that some of these apps, such as ZBrush and even moreso, 3dsmax, get to be so popular, yet resist porting to Mac. Especially considering Mac's popularity particularly in the CG world.

This thread is like a roller coaster ride for me. I already have ZBrush and like it quite a bit. I bought it, and am not going to stop using it and learning it.
I also have modo 203 and am wondering whether 301 has enough for me to upgrade to. Reading this thread, one minute I'm thinking YAY modo!... then the next, wait a minute...he has a good point there... GO ZBrush! ... Then the next - well, you get the idea.
I wish I'd never even read any of this, life would be so much easier. :D

Now I'm wondering, what's this about vector-based images? I (think) I understand that it's a mathematical representation - sort of like a procedural, but an image file? At least I think that's what I read about it pertaining to Photoshop and shapes, curves, etc.
Does anyone know where I can read more on the subject of how modo 301 is using these vectors, and, specifically what that means? :)

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 08:02 AM
Now I'm wondering, what's this about vector-based images? I (think) I understand that it's a mathematical representation - sort of like a procedural, but an image file? At least I think that's what I read about it pertaining to Photoshop and shapes, curves, etc.
Does anyone know where I can read more on the subject of how modo 301 is using these vectors, and, specifically what that means? :)

It's exactly the same thing as a normal (height) displacement map, except it uses color for 'direction' as well. So instead of just pushing in or out of the normal it can also lean north/south/east/west of the pixel on the UV it started from. Which lets you have overhangs and mushroom displacement shapes possible in a displacement map.

IMI
09-15-2007, 08:06 AM
Ok, thanks for the explanation. Normal maps I understand, so this makes sense. :)

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 08:12 AM
I meant normal as is the type of height field grey scale map you get out of zbrush. I should have probably used the word 'standard' height displacement map.

IMI
09-15-2007, 08:30 AM
Ah, thanks for the clarification. No matter, I finally get it. :)

Also I just read that Dan Ablan has a modo 301 Courseware coming out on October 1st @ $179.00 after that time, but only $89.00 if ordered before Sept. 30th, according to his 3D Garage website, and according to Luxology's website, a new modo 301 book, due out in December.

cresshead
09-15-2007, 08:58 AM
i think that we finally have some choice...
for me i choose zbrush as i find it 'fun' and quite freeing..i have some training vids so the learning curve was very shallow.

all the apps are quite capable thesedays you just need to find the 'one for you'.
one that's in your price range [inc learning vids/books] and how it works for your personal taste.

AbnRanger
09-15-2007, 09:50 AM
I think I'd have to say at this point that modo is hell-bent on taking on ZBrush in a big-time way.
I had suspected that they were up to something more than just catching up, and if these videos are to be believed, they have some pretty hefty targets in sight.I too am pretty much sold on Modo at this point.
Up til now, I didn't think it's sculpting ability was much more than Max's paint deformation tools. After a closer look, it seems that it's far more and can even approach Zbrush-level of detail without having sluggish viewport interaction.

The fact that you can do the whole process from modeling, sculpting, UV editing, painting, texturing to rendering at an extremely high level (even has a FPrime-esque preview renderer)...without having to step outside to a stand alone app. to do any of it, is the bee's knees. I'm sure it's the reason why Autodesk bought Mudbox (to integrate with Max and Maya)...realizing that this was going to become a trend.

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 10:11 AM
I too am pretty much sold on Modo at this point.
Up til now, I didn't think it's sculpting ability was much more than Max's paint deformation tools. After a closer look, it seems that it's far more and can even approach Zbrush-level of detail without having sluggish viewport interaction.

The fact that you can do the whole process from modeling, sculpting, UV editing, painting, texturing to rendering at an extremely high level (even has a FPrime-esque preview renderer)...without having to step outside to a stand alone app. to do any of it, is the bee's knees. I'm sure it's the reason why Autodesk bought Mudbox (to integrate with Max and Maya)...realizing that this was going to become a trend.

At this point I would still recommend trying it 1st. It's cool technology and has the potential to be really sweet after a couple of revisions. At the moment though it is still at a version 1.0 with all that entails. Currently in the readme for 301 there is a couple of 'known issues' regarding the sculpting, like having some update issues where you get double displacements sometimes if you layer them. If you need to sculpt a mountain to match footage from the camera view, sculpt clothing wrinkles and sandbags, weld seams and denting your all good to go. Medium rez characters and organic details too. If you want to sculpt gollum, get zbrush, at least for now.

ericsmith
09-15-2007, 10:39 AM
so does that mean that for the animation app (say maya) that will take the final model, it will project the same map as both a vdisp map and a normal map? or does the user decide what detail goes to what? how is that determined?

You've got to get away from this idea of detail going to two different places. That's only a display trick.

After you sculpt in zbrush, you export a displacement map. After you sculpt in Modo, you save the displacement map. What you do with that image in the animation app is exactly the same, regardless of whether you created it in zbrush or Modo.

If you want to apply that image to mesh displacement and the bump channel (or as a normal map, if you use vector displacement in Modo), then you can. In the case of Lightwave, where true micro-poly displacement isn't quite there yet, this is a good idea. But if you're using a render that can do as many polys as the image can create, than you would just use the image for displacement.

One more time... The final app has no idea where the displacement image came from. zbrush bakes the image from millions of polys. Modo allows you to paint (or sculpt) that image directly. That's the only difference.


oh, btw, i experienced the thing with the smooth brush eradicating detail but that's with the default setting.

if you set the smooth brush to low and have a deft touch with the tablet, you can readily get smoothed without eradication.

I actually had the opposite problem. If I sculpted a hard edge or crease, and wanted to get rid of it, I couldn't. I could soften it with the smooth brush, but no matter how much I tried, I could never completely erradicate it.


but it's interesting that it is demonstrating precisely the kind of workflow that eric is saying modo helps you avoid... that is, draw the displacement map directly... why bake?

That video was just demonstrating the different options available. You can use the sculpt tools to push around raw geometry without the need for images and UV maps, and you can also sculpt by painting the displacement map directly. And, you can go from method A to method B by baking hi-res geometry into an image map. All the bases are covered.


frankly, i'm not crazy about having to use a "different method" for adjusting the intensity of the bump map... and that seems to be global adjustment of all the bump maps you applied... no selective smoothing in a certain area.

and i'm sure it can be avoided but yeeesh, that seam down the webbed section between thumb and index finger kinda makes you, if not wonder, then think twice about the baking to uvs thing in modo....

Honestly, it seems like you're trying to find fault, whether it's there or not. Being able to adjust the global intensity of the bump as it draws in openGL is a feature. And it has nothing to do with the actual bump image, it's just a display tool. Complaining about it would be like complaining about the ability to change the light intensity in the viewport, or being able to turn the grid on and off.

And I'm fairly certain the seam near the thumb was an openGL display issue as well. I don't know about Maya, but that kind of thing is common in Lightwave. Also, you'll notice that it dissapeared as he rotated around the mesh. I highly doubt it would show up in the render. Oh, and by the way, doesn't zbrush bake displacement to UVs in exactly the same manner? So wouldn't you experience the same problem if you had done the high-res sculpt in zbrush?


with zbrush if you want to try something out just add a new layer...how hard's that?....ohh yeah not that hard!

you can turn it on and off to see what it look like and delete it if you didn't like your test layer.

But can you work on multiple layers of displacement on the same mesh? So, for example, you have one image for lower-res displacement for an entire body, and then a much higher res image for fine details around the eyes, all at the same time on the same mesh? Or seperating different parts of a sculpt on different layers to make it easier to do global edits on different aspects of the scuplt (like multiple layers in photoshop), again, at the same time on one mesh?

Eric

IMI
09-15-2007, 11:00 AM
At this point I would still recommend trying it 1st. It's cool technology and has the potential to be really sweet after a couple of revisions.


This is what I'm thinking too, which is why I haven't already whipped out the CC and made a beeline for the Buy Now page.
I can see why they temporarily suspended their demo downloads for 301, but it's disappointing nevertheless that I can't start checking it out right away without buying it.

ericsmith
09-15-2007, 11:16 AM
and i'm sure it can be avoided but yeeesh, that seam down the webbed section between thumb and index finger kinda makes you, if not wonder, then think twice about the baking to uvs thing in modo....

It's also worth noting that the seam only showed up when he lowered the subdivision level of the base mesh all the way down to 1.

Eric

IMI
09-15-2007, 11:20 AM
It's also worth noting that the seam only showed up when he lowered the subdivision level of the base mesh all the way down to 1.

Eric

I'd love to be able to try it and see if that's really an issue at all. I kinda doubt it. I can't help but feel that with a better UV map, it wouldn't have even been a problem. That actually kind of surprised me, that he showed the UV map. It's the only part of the video that made me cringe. :D

IMI
09-15-2007, 12:14 PM
I just remembered Amorphium, which was actually the first 3D app I ever used, around 1999. I don't know whatever became of it, although I seem to recall that around 2002 or so they came out with an upgrade, maybe through a different company. Apparently it didn't go far.
Wasn't Amorphium the first 3D program to have this mesh sculpting, albeit sans displacement mapping?
IIRC, it even offered a rudimentary masking feature.

cresshead
09-15-2007, 12:21 PM
I just remembered Amorphium, which was actually the first 3D app I ever used, around 1999. I don't know whatever became of it, although I seem to recall that around 2002 or so they came out with an upgrade, maybe through a different company. Apparently it didn't go far.
Wasn't Amorphium the first 3D program to have this mesh sculpting, albeit sans displacement mapping?
IIRC, it even offered a rudimentary masking feature.

no, metacreatoin's bryce was the first...:thumbsup:

IMI
09-15-2007, 12:34 PM
I used Bryce - briefly (version 4, I think) - before getting into Vue. Where or when did Bryce have mesh sculpting? Or do you mean displacement mapping? Hell, I can't remember if it had that, either.
I do remember Bryce had primitives, and that's about it.
Are you talking about the uh...whatever they called it - the terrain objects, and carving them with alphas?

IMI
09-15-2007, 12:38 PM
Metacreations. Heh. Those ba$tards owe me some support, which they promised and never delivered. They went out of business about two weeks after I bought Painter 6 at Comp USA. :D

cresshead
09-15-2007, 12:44 PM
bryce is a dislacement modeler for terrains...and you can use a terrain mesh for more than...terrains...i saw some amazing models of characters and m/cycles made with bryce and bryce 2 back in 1996/1997

bryce got me into 3d..before that i tried dream3d [part of coreldraw suite] and that scared me off 3d for ages...
bryce brought me back..

IMI
09-15-2007, 12:54 PM
Oh, OK, I had a feeling that's what you meant. Vue had a similar ability back then, but I think it was after Bryce before maps could be used on a terrain object.
Yah, that's right - Bryce could also use DEM info, IIRC.
But that's not the same thing, really as I was talking about. Amorphium had brushes and actually acted on the normals of a poly mesh, whether it was one of its primitives, or an imported mesh.
Never heard of dream 3D. I get the impression it's a good thing I didn't. ;)

IMI
09-15-2007, 01:01 PM
Just did a search for dream 3D. Looks kinda like like Ray Dream Studio, from what I remember.

cresshead
09-15-2007, 01:31 PM
yeah was a cutdown version of raydream..i used to call it nightmare 3d!
moving wire shadows to move the object is DUMB!

yeah i had amorphium...had a great nack of creating squidgy lumps of poo.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 02:20 PM
Honestly, it seems like you're trying to find fault, whether it's there or not. Being able to adjust the global intensity of the bump as it draws in openGL is a feature. And it has nothing to do with the actual bump image, it's just a display tool. Complaining about it would be like complaining about the ability to change the light intensity in the viewport, or being able to turn the grid on and off.

But can you work on multiple layers of displacement on the same mesh? So, for example, you have one image for lower-res displacement for an entire body, and then a much higher res image for fine details around the eyes, all at the same time on the same mesh? Or seperating different parts of a sculpt on different layers to make it easier to do global edits on different aspects of the scuplt (like multiple layers in photoshop), again, at the same time on one mesh?

Eric

okay,

but it matters... with the bigger deformation stuff, he was able to smooth and locally blend in detail with a smooth brush. but with the bump, he can't. just a global adjustment. imo, that's limiting and sorry to bring it up but not an issue you run into in zb cuz even the smallest detail is actually going into the mesh and you can always use the smooth brush.

as for layered sculpting - yes, on the "exact same model":

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/3D_Layers

and

http://www.zbrush.us/zbrush_3.shtml... this shows multiple characters on the same mesh via layers... maybe 3/4 the way through the movie.

you literally have a layer selection window just like photoshop and you can turn layers on and off and have some detail (like battle damage) that only shows up when you click the layer on.

jin

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 02:43 PM
but it matters... with the bigger deformation stuff, he was able to smooth and locally blend in detail with a smooth brush. but with the bump, he can't. just a global adjustment.

Incorrect, the bump and the mesh are being driven by the image. You use the smooth tool, it smooths out the image, if you have enough polys to reflect that small of the change, they get effected, if you don't the bump of course gets smoothed as you are smoothing the image thats driving both.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 02:47 PM
Yeah but ZB is always using tricks to have this detail (very good tricks)
But Mudbox uses true 3D perspective, ZB uses a 2.5d projection that looks like 3D. You cannot compare ZB to other applications, because it's cheating. :)

It's like projection painting, MB doesn't suffer from this and either does Modo.
To the end user it makes little difference, but i prefer MB for this reason, but yep ZB definitely gets more polys because it's not true 3D mesh painting.

hey red,

actually, you seem to have a somewhat inaccurate understanding of zb. nothing that we're talking about, where a 3d model is going to be used in another 3d app like lw or maya (ala pirates of the carribean) is "pixols".

for example:

http://download.pixologic.com/movies...ing_A_Face.zip

mo tricks. no pixols. no baking. everything in that video is just pushing raw polys.

in context of stuff that interest us, the thing about zb is RAW POLY PUSHING POWER.... not pixols. primarily, pixols is for painting a 2d image with each stroke carrying zdepth info along with rgb. if it was just pixols, i would be alot less interested in it and it would have much less of a place at the table.

and regards to poly pushing, nothing can touch zb yet. mudbox comes in 2nd currently... but as i said, competition is good for everybody including the consumer so keep it comin'!
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

it used to be that you can go into a "projection mode" where the model is no longer rotatable, and then you use pixols to sculpt and then when you jump out of the projection mode back into true 3d, the pixols get baked into polys.

but zb3 has tried very hard to make working like that an option rather than a necessity.

any time you see a zb video and the guy is rotating around and sculpting and rotating around, he is not using pixols. and these days, most people aren't because you don't need to.

check out this video too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgTBinucsfc

and (again, all polys, no pixols to speak of):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXn1ihlbMsA&mode=related&search=

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaUZgEu8W34&mode=related&search=
(link above doesn't really get good until halfway through)

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 02:57 PM
oh, and re: vector displacement maps, i finally got my head around exactly what is going on:

- traditional difference map - you take TWO meshes. one mesh is hires sculpt, the other mesh is low poly cage that will be displaced at render time. the difference between HIRES and LORES is encoded into the LOW RES MESH'S UV MAP TEXTURE. only ONE uv map is taken into consideration.

- vector displacement map - you take TWO meshes. one mesh is hires sculpt, the other mesh is low poly cage that will be displaced at render time. the difference between HIRES and LORES is encoded in the LOW RES MESH"S UV MAP TEXTURE. BUT... when that comparison between hires and lores is made, BOTH the hires mesh's uvs and the lores mesh's uvs are taken into account and a CORRESPONDENCE is made between the uvs.

this allows the computer to say "ah, this vertex on the lores mesh CORRESPONDS to that vertex on the hires mesh". in traditional difference mapping, THEY DON'T CARE about correspondence, just the distance from hires to the NEAREST POINT on the lores.

since a correspondence is made, a determination can be made in regards not only how far away a point is from the nearest point on the other mesh, but we can say that the corresponding vertex went up 2 and left 3 and forward 7.

THIS allows you to encode undercuts like mushrooms.

neat stuff. and using lw and denis' cool plugins, you can generate such maps for any mesh... (errr, any mesh that will actually load into lw and not bring it to either to its knees or a screaming crash).

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 03:00 PM
Incorrect, the bump and the mesh are being driven by the image. You use the smooth tool, it smooths out the image, if you have enough polys to reflect that small of the change, they get effected, if you don't the bump of course gets smoothed as you are smoothing the image thats driving both.

oh. ok. i'm just going by what the dude said in the video. he should have demonstrated that then... much more useful. when he switches to laying down the wrinkle swatches he speaks as if he's in a separate mode now and that in that mode, he has to use these different techniques.

jin

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 03:02 PM
oh. ok. i'm just going by what the dude said in the video. he should have demonstrated that then... much more useful.

jin

There is a global control for how much of the bump effect you see in the viewport. It's not just 'off or on' you can dial it up or down to taste, it has nothing to do with erasing the bump but not the rest of the sculpt, thats all connected and being driven by the image, the GL bump control just dials the effect for the viewport.

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 03:03 PM
oh, and re: vector displacement maps, i finally got my head around exactly what is going on:

The neat thing with modo is you only need the low rez, a uv map and the sculpt tools, you are essentially painting where you want the hirez model to have been(in baking terms).

jin choung
09-15-2007, 03:15 PM
oh, for redbull,

this too is all poly pushing... no pixols need apply.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T47wxQ-NZhc&NR=1

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 03:18 PM
The neat thing with modo is you only need the low rez, a uv map and the sculpt tools, you are essentially painting where you want the hirez model to have been(in baking terms).

right. i'm not too impressed by that cuz i don't find baking to be anything like an onerous task - a lot of it kinda reads to me as a "solution looking for a problem"... but that's cool. if people dig it, more power to them.

jin

ericsmith
09-15-2007, 03:20 PM
okay,

but it matters... with the bigger deformation stuff, he was able to smooth and locally blend in detail with a smooth brush. but with the bump, he can't. just a global adjustment. imo, that's limiting and sorry to bring it up but not an issue you run into in zb cuz even the smallest detail is actually going into the mesh and you can always use the smooth brush.

No, you're totally not getting it. That global control control happens in addition to all the image editing ability you have. It's like this: If you create bump texture in Lightwave, you can add layers, adjust the parameters of these layers, including opacity, blending mode, etc. On top of that, you can control the overall bump strength for that surface. What he adjusted in that video was simply an overall openGL setting that modified the amount of bump you see in advanced openGL. That's certainly not the only way to adjust the bump. It's an image, and Modo has a slew of painting tools.

Also, as we've discussed to death already, even though he chose to create a seperate bump map, he could have painted that exact same detail on the original displacement map, and you would have seen it just the same. But what I like is the fact that if you want, you can seperate the fine detail from the bigger sculpt work. In Zbrush, big detail and fine detail are all on the same mesh. If you lay down a nice fine detail skin texture, and then want to do some broad stroke smoothing on bigger features, you're going to obliterate the fine detail as well. I suppose you might be able to pull this off if you step the subdivision level way down, but that could be an unpredictable process.


as for layered sculpting - yes, on the "exact same model":

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/3D_Layers

and

http://www.zbrush.us/zbrush_3.shtml... this shows multiple characters on the same mesh via layers... maybe 3/4 the way through the movie.

you literally have a layer selection window just like photoshop and you can turn layers on and off and have some detail (like battle damage) that only shows up when you click the layer on.

Just to be clear. Let's say you have a head sculpt. You have the hair detail on one layer, the wrinkles on another, and moles/freckles on a third. Can you see all three layers at the same time, on one mesh? If you go in and start working on the hair layer, will it leave the wrinkles and freckles untouched? I ask, because the layers in zbrush looks more like morph targets. So each one is a complete mesh, and you can't see the seperate detail of multiple layers on a single mesh. You simply toggle back and forth between them. That's very different than being able to seperate different areas of detail into separate layers, but all visible at the same time.

Eric

ericsmith
09-15-2007, 03:28 PM
Okay, sorry to bang you over the head about the open gl bump strength issue. Several others straightend that out while I was typing.

Darn 5 minute edit limit...

Eric

loki74
09-15-2007, 04:10 PM
I figure nows as good a time as any to jump into this craaaaaazy thread.


One thing that I reeaaaly have to say that ZB has going AGAINST it is that... well, number one, if you own a Mac, ZB3 (or, more importantly, the UB version) is still a ways off. Number two, they're kinda @ssholes about it. There is no Mac friendly mod named Chilton to answer all of your questions--nope, questions and complaints may NOT be issued!

I own ZB, just got it... I can't throw down more than 15 ZSpheres or zoom in (which is okay i guess, since i prefer to scale the ztool in edit mode instead) without ZB crashing. We really need ZB UB, and Pix is pretty much keeping everyone in the dark.

And the UI really sucks. It just does. Like Jin said, it wasn't originally meant to be a 3D app, but a 2.5D app. So all this "edit mode" and "tool" stuff feels very much like a hacked workaround to force 3D into 2.5D. I think they should have an entirely separate UI (at least for the viewport area) for when you jump into edit mode--ie, with multiple viewports, no "canvas," backdrop images etc etc.

ZB is an incredible app, don't get me wrong... its just still got more room for improvement than many would lead you to believe.

jin choung
09-15-2007, 04:16 PM
no problemo.


Just to be clear. Let's say you have a head sculpt. You have the hair detail on one layer, the wrinkles on another, and moles/freckles on a third. Can you see all three layers at the same time, on one mesh? If you go in and start working on the hair layer, will it leave the wrinkles and freckles untouched? I ask, because the layers in zbrush looks more like morph targets. So each one is a complete mesh, and you can't see the seperate detail of multiple layers on a single mesh. You simply toggle back and forth between them. That's very different than being able to seperate different areas of detail into separate layers, but all visible at the same time.


yes. that is it exactly. and regarding the video, yah, it is morphing between them but that's just for the movie.

yes, you can paint some details on a layer and it will only be visible if that layer is on. JUST LIKE PHOTOSHOP. this is made clear in the docs link.

you can have ONE MESH (yes. one mesh. did i mention it was one mesh?) and paint hair in one layer, scars and wrinkles on another layer and larger folds on another layer.

they can all be visible at the same time. or you can selectively turn each one on and off by layer.

it is EXACTLY like photoshop layers for sculpt detail. i believe this method of sculpting was pioneered by mudbox. but zb grabbed it for zb3. :)
--------------------------------------

and further, as in the video, you can have a black man sculpt in one layer, an asian man sculpt on another layer, a caucasian man sculpt on another layer and a woman sculpt on another layer....

and you can TURN THEM ALL ON at the same time if you want!

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 04:21 PM
I figure nows as good a time as any to jump into this craaaaaazy thread.


One thing that I reeaaaly have to say that ZB has going AGAINST it is that... well, number one, if you own a Mac, ZB3 (or, more importantly, the UB version) is still a ways off. Number two, they're kinda @ssholes about it. There is no Mac friendly mod named Chilton to answer all of your questions--nope, questions and complaints may NOT be issued!

I own ZB, just got it... I can't throw down more than 15 ZSpheres or zoom in (which is okay i guess, since i prefer to scale the ztool in edit mode instead) without ZB crashing. We really need ZB UB, and Pix is pretty much keeping everyone in the dark.

And the UI really sucks. It just does. Like Jin said, it wasn't originally meant to be a 3D app, but a 2.5D app. So all this "edit mode" and "tool" stuff feels very much like a hacked workaround to force 3D into 2.5D. I think they should have an entirely separate UI (at least for the viewport area) for when you jump into edit mode--ie, with multiple viewports, no "canvas," backdrop images etc etc.

ZB is an incredible app, don't get me wrong... its just still got more room for improvement than many would lead you to believe.

definitely agree on the mac thing. it doesn't seem like they care that much about that segment of the market anymore.

i haven't had any of those problems you mention on my pc though.

yep, and the "tool", "edit mode" and "canvas" and rotating the model instead of rotating a camera are all really bizarre concepts for anyone coming from a traditional 3d modeling perspective.

but it's so good, i had to get it despite all that.

well, if you have zb already, it'll be a free upgrade when it finally comes out for the mac... but yah, if they've burned their bridges with you and you are a devoted maccie, it may be time to move on.

jin

Mike_RB
09-15-2007, 05:00 PM
yes, you can paint some details on a layer and it will only be visible if that layer is on. JUST LIKE PHOTOSHOP. this is made clear in the docs link.

Can you put them at different opacities? Or reveal just parts of one of the sculpting layers with a texture mask or image sequence... There are some interesting applications for animation that are possible with the image method as well...

RedBull
09-15-2007, 05:05 PM
hey red,

actually, you seem to have a somewhat inaccurate understanding of zb. nothing that we're talking about, where a 3d model is going to be used in another 3d app like lw or maya (ala pirates of the carribean) is "pixols".


Obviously only when editing and using mesh brush based deformations, ZBrush actually uses a trick so it never has the amount of polys in memory it pretends it's using..

Of course when rendered it's using polygons, and any map or exporting is using raw polygons obviously. :)

Why do you think that not even MB can touch ZB polycounts?
It's because MB doesn't use the projection trick that ZB uses...

I didn't get a chance to view the vids, but i have used ZB since 1.0 :)
And have tested and tried all sculpting applications thus far....

As i said to the end user, you can hardly tell, but if you look carefully you will always see perspective issues in ZB (regardless of modes) compared to MB.
When you rotate or move in ZB it's using 3D, as soon as you sculpt it's uses the projection trick to make it look like your sculpting in 3D.....

It's not a true 3D like Modo or MB, just a very tricky trick..... That has left everyone else with no way to compete against it...

ZB has no problem on my PC using tools on 7million plus polygons objects, and can subdivide much more. But it can only do this by cheating.....
But as long as ZB cheats good we don't care.. (or in your case even notice... :) And that's the way it should be.....

jin choung
09-15-2007, 06:24 PM
Can you put them at different opacities? Or reveal just parts of one of the sculpting layers with a texture mask or image sequence... There are some interesting applications for animation that are possible with the image method as well...

yup, if you look at the link to the docs. in one of the posts above, you can even see the intensity slider.

by default it is at one but you can turn it up, drop it, heck, even go negative.

another nifty features is if you end up sculpting a helmet on a guy and later decide you want that to be a separate mesh from the head, it will separate out the DIFFERENCE between the base mesh and what is on the layer.

jin

loki74
09-15-2007, 06:28 PM
definitely agree on the mac thing. it doesn't seem like they care that much about that segment of the market anymore.

i haven't had any of those problems you mention on my pc though.

yep, and the "tool", "edit mode" and "canvas" and rotating the model instead of rotating a camera are all really bizarre concepts for anyone coming from a traditional 3d modeling perspective.

but it's so good, i had to get it despite all that.

well, if you have zb already, it'll be a free upgrade when it finally comes out for the mac... but yah, if they've burned their bridges with you and you are a devoted maccie, it may be time to move on.

jin

yea, the problems I get I'm assuming are because I have to run ZB thru Rosetta...

There's no way I'm switching back to PC or dualbooting or using a VM, but at the same time I only just now bought ZB. So I'll stick with it for now... if anything, it will get me trained up in 3D sculpting so by the time the ZB/Mac situation gets reeaaaly bad (assuming the worst here), not only will Modo's sculpting tools be much more mature, but I will have some sculpting experience to fall back upon...and by then, hopefully I'll have some more money, hahah!

jin choung
09-15-2007, 06:28 PM
Obviously only when editing and using mesh brush based deformations, ZBrush actually uses a trick so it never has the amount of polys in memory it pretends it's using..

Of course when rendered it's using polygons, and any map or exporting is using raw polygons obviously. :)

Why do you think that not even MB can touch ZB polycounts?
It's because MB doesn't use the projection trick that ZB uses...

I didn't get a chance to view the vids, but i have used ZB since 1.0 :)
And have tested and tried all sculpting applications thus far....

As i said to the end user, you can hardly tell, but if you look carefully you will always see perspective issues in ZB (regardless of modes) compared to MB.
When you rotate or move in ZB it's using 3D, as soon as you sculpt it's uses the projection trick to make it look like your sculpting in 3D.....

It's not a true 3D like Modo or MB, just a very tricky trick..... That has left everyone else with no way to compete against it...

ZB has no problem on my PC using tools on 7million plus polygons objects, and can subdivide much more. But it can only do this by cheating.....
But as long as ZB cheats good we don't care.. (or in your case even notice... :) And that's the way it should be.....

hey red,

i don't know where you're getting your information but you're wrong.

the only time zb uses pixols is when you use projection master or using the 2.5d brushes.

ask around. do some research. for someone who has used it since v.1, you are pretty misinformed.

zb beats mb without "cheating". haha... do you need to believe that for some reason?

anyhoo, look it up or ask around if you care to know what's really going on and can't take my word for it.

and if you have a link for where you're getting YOUR info, i'd be curious to see it.

jin

jin choung
09-15-2007, 06:37 PM
yea, the problems I get I'm assuming are because I have to run ZB thru Rosetta...

There's no way I'm switching back to PC or dualbooting or using a VM, but at the same time I only just now bought ZB. So I'll stick with it for now... if anything, it will get me trained up in 3D sculpting so by the time the ZB/Mac situation gets reeaaaly bad (assuming the worst here), not only will Modo's sculpting tools be much more mature, but I will have some sculpting experience to fall back upon...and by then, hopefully I'll have some more money, hahah!

why not a vm? i hear one of them on the mac works really well... forgot what it was called.... or what about boot camp? but i guess if you absolutely don't want to be in a windows environment then yah, you're gonna have to wait.

condolences.

jin

p.s. oh! how's this for a convoluted solution - howabout trying to dualboot linux and then trying wine?

cresshead
09-15-2007, 06:44 PM
jin, some just detest windows so much you'll never convince them to use ZB3 windows..it's their choice and they can use modo or silo if they prefer to stay on a pure mac only pc..or they can continue to use ZB2 on mac.

no doubt when ZB3 is out on OSX they'll have a look and try it...choice is the main thing...once upon a time there was only zbrush around...now they're some competition with different workflows/tools everyone's free to try them out...

your not going to convert everyone no matter what you show them ya know!

jin choung
09-15-2007, 06:49 PM
hey cress.

actually, i'm not trying to convert anybody. not to zb and certainly not to windows.

and yah, choice and competition is great. unfortunately, almost all the strong competition stepped into the ring at higher price points but hopefully, the continuing battle in this market will hammer everyone down. especially since blender's free solution is pretty dang accomplished and i hear is getting developer attention.

so yes, fight fight fight for my love and dollars.

:)

jin

RedBull
09-15-2007, 08:20 PM
hey red,

i don't know where you're getting your information but you're wrong.
zb beats mb without "cheating". haha... do you need to believe that for some reason?

I don't have time for to convince you, just thought i'd share on some of the differences in this topic.
Also I didn't say Pixols was the trick for sculpting... It's a projection trick that ZB uses, and it's well known to use it. I even remember Brad at Lux even commenting in a Modcast recently about it.

If you have tried compared both MB and ZB, it's actually quite obvious to the eyes and on a technical level....
If you read Mudbox site you will see some things like..

" Fast high quality brushing in 3D (no projection) on dense models."

"True 3D camera"

Notice the "No Projection" claim, as this is the biggest difference to myself who uses both of them daily.
ZB uses the projection trick, MB uses no projection and ZB is always using it (despite the modes available). Modo uses a novel approach of offering a different approach that is a nice compromise.

ZB can deal with huge amount of polys and is smoother and faster than MB....
But it's the perspective difference that makes it achieve this.

Mike_RB
09-16-2007, 12:22 AM
Just for fun, here yah go:

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/quick_modo_demo.mov

I start with a sphere and a 2k image map and 20,000 GL polys (number is in the lower right hand corner). Keep an eye on the polycount and on the viewport type at the top left (advanced shows the gl bump trick, shaded does not).

I end up sculpting 1M polys without the GL bump trick and it was still pretty smooth (minus the hiccups from the recording software, still getting used to it, anyone have suggestions for a fav app for this?). Also at the end I apply the displacement map to a different object. No mode changing, no putting some detail in the bump and some not.... It's all transparent, just have UV's and a disp map and off you go.

loki74
09-16-2007, 01:09 AM
why not a vm? i hear one of them on the mac works really well... forgot what it was called.... or what about boot camp? but i guess if you absolutely don't want to be in a windows environment then yah, you're gonna have to wait.

Yeah, parallels is pretty good as VMs go, but the good rep it gets is mainly in the context of non "power users." ie, it'll tackle myspace, youtube, MS Office, and all that stuff fine and dandy... but millions of polyons?? eh, I'd rather run it under Rosetta.

I actually would consider BootCamp, but theres no way I'm gonna fit all that on my puny laptop HD... I'd get an external, but I'm a little tapped out atm. (i'm sure you can guess why hahaha XD)

All that said though, I seem to be having much better luck than some other Intel Mac users, so I'm counting my blessings. And even if I chose not to buy ZB, Modo would still be waaaaaaayy outta my pricerange. So I still think its a pretty good compromise, I just cant wait for the UB!

jin choung
09-16-2007, 01:31 AM
If you have tried compared both MB and ZB, it's actually quite obvious to the eyes and on a technical level....

If you read Mudbox site you will see some things like..

" Fast high quality brushing in 3D (no projection) on dense models."

"True 3D camera"

Notice the "No Projection" claim,

ZB can deal with huge amount of polys and is smoother and faster than MB....
But it's the perspective difference that makes it achieve this.

do you know what you're talking about? what PRECISELY do you (think you) mean by "projection trick"? do you even know?

yah, no 3d camera. that's from zb's whole 2d legacy. you rotate the model. there is no camera to really speak of.

ASK SOMEBODY AT MB what "no projection" means... they are talking about ZB'S PROJECTION MASTER and projection master only - CIRCA ZB2.

when you sculpt in zb outside of projection master (which is the norm is zb3) you are sculpting in "true 3d - on polys" as much as you would be in mb.

listen, it sounds like you're making an honest mistake... so just do some research and ask some people.

i don't know what YOU are seeing as a trick when you sculpt in zb but you're wrong on this. trust me.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 01:37 AM
Yeah, parallels is pretty good as VMs go, but the good rep it gets is mainly in the context of non "power users." ie, it'll tackle myspace, youtube, MS Office, and all that stuff fine and dandy... but millions of polyons?? eh, I'd rather run it under Rosetta.

I actually would consider BootCamp, but theres no way I'm gonna fit all that on my puny laptop HD... I'd get an external, but I'm a little tapped out atm. (i'm sure you can guess why hahaha XD)

All that said though, I seem to be having much better luck than some other Intel Mac users, so I'm counting my blessings. And even if I chose not to buy ZB, Modo would still be waaaaaaayy outta my pricerange. So I still think its a pretty good compromise, I just cant wait for the UB!

parallels... that's right. yah, zb was barely within my price range too. ugh, yah, and having purchased it with your hard earned cash, you gotta unceremoniously just wait for the mac version....

not cool.

my condolences.

hope they come through for ya before the new year... ugh....

condolences.

jin

p.s. hey, but whatabout linux and wine? it might be worth it to try or ask on the zb forums if anyone is getting acceptable results in wine. just a thought.

Mike_RB
09-16-2007, 01:38 AM
And one more, I model a pretty challenging 'brush', bake it to a vector map and then use that to sculpt (I stamp it into a sphere). Pretty neat stuff....

http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/modo_demo_geobake.mov

jin choung
09-16-2007, 01:41 AM
[QUOTE=Mike_RB]Just for fun, here yah go:
http://www.elementvfx.com/WebDemo/quick_modo_demo.mov
QUOTE]

yah, it looks pretty smooth and responsive at 1mil polys. and as always, the vector displacement map applied to a different mesh is impressive.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 01:45 AM
re: the last example - very cool. now there is something that zb can't do. they should have an example like that at modo's site... instead of just talking about vector displacement and how it could do undercuts and mushrooms, show it.

jin

RedBull
09-16-2007, 04:01 AM
listen, it sounds like you're making an honest mistake... so just do some research and ask some people.

Who should i ask yourself LoL. :)


i don't know what YOU are seeing as a trick when you sculpt in zb but you're wrong on this. trust me. jin

How about we agree that your right, just to end the discussion! :)

We'll just pretend that the small ZB programming team, who can't program a Mac are elitest genie magicans who are magically able to do what no other much more bankrolled programming teams have managed to do or will likely be able to using a true3D paradigm, despite the obvious growth in sculpting. :)

My only question to you is:
How do you suppose Pixologic/ZB is able to do handle so much more polygons than the competition and have been for a number of years? (Pixols?)
I'd like to be wrong because than i could expect Modo/Silo/Blender/Hexagon/Mudbox to all push the performance higher than ZB already has.... But of course i won't be expecting this. :(

BTW: Here is a quote from Brad Peebler (Luxolog) as well..... And i know we both aren't wrong.. ;)

"The ZB trick is that they arent truly "3D" they are more 2.5D. I think they even describe themselves that way. This can be seen in the fact that you never get any perspective distortion in the viewports you always see the mesh orthogonally projected. This can solve a lot of clipping math etc but also presents its own set of challenges. Effectively they are "faking" it. It is a very effective trick though!"

cresshead
09-16-2007, 04:18 AM
i love the constant use of the term 'trick' it's being used here to put over the feeling and belief that your being misled/duped/short changed..a great stratergy form other app developers to try and persuade people that actually zbrush is lacking in fundamental design and is flawed becase so...

yet i only have to look at it's results on the galleries and in high profile feature films to know that in reality other apps would walk on hot coals to get/use this ''trick''

In addition, one developer needs to have look in the mirror as they also use ''tricks''....vector maps and bumps... so their marketing can backfire on them if they really start to try and poke holes at Zbrush with marketing talk of ''tricks''

:thumbsup:

RedBull
09-16-2007, 04:20 AM
You can easily (and by all means should) work with perspective enabled in ZBrush. It's not limited to an orthogonal 3d viewport. So now we have layers upon layers of "tricks" in Zbrush that when combined blows everyhing else away. I love those "tricks".

Yeah me to Neverko, that was actually my point (somewhere)
I don't think anyone (well except Jin) would argue that ZB isn't using tricks...

ZBrush is really effective at pushing Pixols around rather than raw OGL polygons ZB uses it's own quick renderer for example to render them as well, I'm sure ZB has a bag of tricks, for the performance offered.
The perspective(ness) of ZB3.x is nice, but as mentioned above it's using clipping maths to overcome the 2.5d effect... The Orthaganol and Perspective are still using the same tricks.

It's quite noticeable on a recent head object I was using, when i was switching between both of them to compare. But when ZB has so many nifty features, the projection issues compared to a real 3D program are only a minor thing to pay for for the performance offered...

In the end it's more effective with tricks than without them!
Same as the Luxology approach I was concerned about not matching MB/ZB but there approach is really quite a good solution overall...

cresshead
09-16-2007, 04:33 AM
TRICK:

1. An act or procedure intended to achieve an end by deceptive or fraudulent means. See Synonyms at wile.
2. A mischievous action; a prank.
3. A stupid, disgraceful, or childish act or performance.
4.
a. A peculiar trait or characteristic; a mannerism: "Mimicry is the trick by which a moth or other defenseless insect comes to look like a wasp" Marston Bates.
b. A peculiar event with unexpected, often deceptive results: "One of history's cruelest tricks is to take words that sounded good at the time and make them sound pretty stupid" David Owen.
c. A deceptive or illusive appearance; an illusion: a trick of sunlight.
5.
a. A special skill; a knack: Is there a trick to getting this window to stay up?
b. A convention or specialized skill peculiar to a particular field of activity: learned the tricks of the winemaking trade.
6. A feat of magic or legerdemain.
7. A difficult, dexterous, or clever act designed to amuse.
8. Games
a. All the cards played in a single round, one from each player.
b. One such round.
9.
a. A period or turn of duty, as at the helm of a ship.
b. Slang A prison term.
10. Slang
a. An act of prostitution.
b. A prostitute's customer.
c. A session carried out by a prostitute with a client.
11. Slang A robbery or theft.
tr. & intr.v. tricked, trick·ing, tricks
To cheat or deceive or to practice trickery or deception.


like I say...a great but flawed marketing staratergy from people who really should know better as they themselves are using ''tricks'' if you really want to get down to it...

it's a method to open up the market of that app to more than a poly modeler.

RedBull
09-16-2007, 04:41 AM
TRICK:

like I say...a great but flawed marketing staratergy from people who really should know better as they themselves are using ''tricks'' if you really want to get down to it...

it's a method to open up the market of that app to more than a poly modeler.

Sorry Cress, you've lost me... Who are you saying is using deceptive marketing tactics? I don't think Lux or Pixologic have mislead anyone?

cresshead
09-16-2007, 04:46 AM
i must have tricked you then!

RedBull
09-16-2007, 04:56 AM
i must have tricked you then!

Hmmm, Confused me perhaps.

I think you were having a jab at Lux? But i couldn't figure it out (feel free too this is an NT forum after all!) but don't mind me, it's Sunday night here...
One thing i don't like about Pixologic recently is there claim of 64bit support.

"ZBrush takes full advantage of your 64-bit system"

Ppphhhh just because ZB3.1 works under XP64 does not make it a 64bit application. There is no native 64bit ZB version.
I think that one is quite misleading myself...

But it has nothing to do with programming "trickery" which is of course desired.

IMI
09-16-2007, 05:32 AM
How is modo 301 on the painting front? I messed around with painting in modo 203 a couple of times, but wasn't exactly blown away by it. Could be I didn't really give it a chance, though, because as far as 3D painting goes, I'm pretty happy with DeepPaint 3D and BodyPaint 3D.

Just this morning I learned how to do pixel (or is that pixol ;) ) painting in ZB 3.1, and frankly, I'm blown away by it.
You can take an extremely low-poly model with an obviously equally sparse UV map, load it into ZB, crank up the subdivision levels and literally paint on the vertices, where each poly has it's own color.
What impresses me about that is, you can then convert that vertex painting into an actual image map, which you can then apply to your lo-res object.
In DeepPaint3D, for example, when painting in 3D you're not actually painting on the image map - the paint is actually interpolated between vertex points. If you have a very lo-res object, then it's virtually impossible to paint any kind of fine detail into it, as even the smallest brush gets stretched. You can get a small amount of higher detail by going into projection mode, and it looks fine, but once you exit projection, the paint is once again interpolated and stretched.
Doing it in ZB is about the equivalent of doing it in 2D; all the benefits of being able to make a 2D image and apply it to a 3D object without the interpolation/stretching of painting it in a normal 3D painting app.
I get bored painting directly on a UV map in 2D. This ZB painting technique is cool way beyond words. :)

IMI
09-16-2007, 06:13 AM
While I'm at it, I discovered another thing about ZB, although this pertains specifically to LW, at least. :)

Actually, this is kind of annoying. I have this figure I've been working on in Modeler. Currently I have about 20 or so surfaces mapped to it, all sharing the same UV map. It's lo-res, but I've been working on it in Subpatch mode. There were a few parts I suddenly realized might benefit from ZB's sculpting, instead of using Drag or Dragnet in Modeler, or some other way, so I froze the mesh into about 40,000 polys and exported OBJ.
Opened that in ZB, did my sculpting - which, I have to say took maybe 5 minutes to get the look I wanted. I'd have spent an hour or more doing that with Modeler alone.
I exported it out as OBJ, and loaded it into Modeler. It looked alot better, but all my surfaces were gone, replaced by one surface, called "default mat" or something like that.
Very annoying, especially since it's now over 40,000 polys and recreating those surfaces would be a nuisance. The UV map was fine, at least.
But I discovered that the part groups I had set up were left intact, so those parts which were also surfaces can be selected and reassigned.
Or, better yet, in Modeler, use the Surfaces to Parts tool first before exporting, so then it's easier later on.
I'm hoping there's a way to keep ZB 3.1 from losing all my surfaces and reassigning it all into one. I haven't looked into it yet. Anyone know? I'm no big fan of PITA workarounds either. ;)

jin choung
09-16-2007, 03:50 PM
redbull,

yah. you are confused. you're mish mashing stuff that peebler and mb are saying and you have a confused composite idea of what is going on. peebler is taking bits and pieces of stuff and mb is talking strictly about one thing.

1. 3d camera - yes, zb does not have a moveable 3d camera. this does not mean that it's not working in true 3d. this is the weird (to 3d modelers) concept of rotating your object while modeling instead of orbiting around an object with your camera. THIS SAYS NOTHING ABOUT WHETHER YOU ARE WORKING IN 3D.

2. "PROJECTION TRICK" - http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/Projection_Master .... this is what is being discussed. ONLY WHEN DOING THIS are you applying pixols onto a 3d model. and as i said, we hardly use this anymore. check out those videos i posted. NONE of them use projection master. they are sculpting in true 3d.

3. 2d 2.5d - this is what zb started off as in version 1. and you have it when you paint on the canvas or use projection master. not when you paint a 3d tool onto the canvas and then enter edit mode.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

you didn't answer my question - what precisely do you think it means when you say "projection trick". or what it means when you hear people say "don't have a 3d camera".

you don't know.

you have a mish mash of quotes and ideas in your head but you're not exactly sure what any of it means.

i just set you straight.

seriously, open your head a bit and have a look around. ask not me but people you trust (argh... assuming you have good judgment on who knows what they're talking about) otherwise you're gonna end up looking like you don't know what you're talking about and foolish in front of people less compassionate then us.

why is zb so much better? because it is. why is maya so much better than lw in character animation?

in pure 3d sculpting, it leaves other apps in the dust and you're just gonna have to find a way to live with that.

jin

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 03:59 PM
I'm hoping there's a way to keep ZB 3.1 from losing all my surfaces and reassigning it all into one. I haven't looked into it yet. Anyone know? I'm no big fan of PITA workarounds either. ;)

no good news for you on this front then. it will bring all your surfaces into zb as one material.

you can get separate selection sets in zb if you put the different sets in different uv zones.... so head in (0,0 to 1,1), torso in (1,1 to 2,2), etc....

zb doesn't load in a lwo and things like parts will definitely not translate over into the .obj.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

but if you assign the different surfaces to different regions in your uv as i said above, you can have selection sets in zb and then you can easily reselect according to uv region back in lw and re-assign surfaces.

afraid that's the easiest way i can think of.

you're better off though in doing surface assignments after your zb sculpt.

jin

p.s. it's a pain sending your mesh not only into/outof zb but any other app.... maya for example. maya keeps the materials but not the proper settings.... so work is required "once you arrive" at your final destination.

jin choung
09-16-2007, 04:03 PM
How is modo 301 on the painting front? I messed around with painting in modo 203 a couple of times, but wasn't exactly blown away by it. Could be I didn't really give it a chance, though, because as far as 3D painting goes, I'm pretty happy with DeepPaint 3D and BodyPaint 3D.

Just this morning I learned how to do pixel (or is that pixol ;) ) painting in ZB 3.1, and frankly, I'm blown away by it.
You can take an extremely low-poly model with an obviously equally sparse UV map, load it into ZB, crank up the subdivision levels and literally paint on the vertices, where each poly has it's own color.
What impresses me about that is, you can then convert that vertex painting into an actual image map, which you can then apply to your lo-res object.
In DeepPaint3D, for example, when painting in 3D you're not actually painting on the image map - the paint is actually interpolated between vertex points. If you have a very lo-res object, then it's virtually impossible to paint any kind of fine detail into it, as even the smallest brush gets stretched. You can get a small amount of higher detail by going into projection mode, and it looks fine, but once you exit projection, the paint is once again interpolated and stretched.
Doing it in ZB is about the equivalent of doing it in 2D; all the benefits of being able to make a 2D image and apply it to a 3D object without the interpolation/stretching of painting it in a normal 3D painting app.
I get bored painting directly on a UV map in 2D. This ZB painting technique is cool way beyond words. :)

haha... actually, you're not using pixols here either imi. in fact, the process is called "polypainting".

and yes, it's really cool.

in 3, zb is going whole hog into eliminating the need for your model to have any kind of 2d image map in memory at all - until the end. so you are painting directly on the mesh and then when you're done, you bake into a image map according to your uvs.

jin

RedBull
09-16-2007, 04:42 PM
yah. you are confused. you're mish mashing stuff that peebler and mb are saying and you have a confused composite idea of what is going on. peebler is taking bits and pieces of stuff and mb is talking strictly about one thing.

I didn't mish mash anything (it was a direct quote) just because people at the head of 3D development of competing application are more technically adept than yourself, don't take it personally. I'm aware of the white papers and algorithms and patents on sculpting and the clipping maths that ZB uses, I've seen the issues in first person.... But if you cannot admit your wrong, well than no big surprises...

It's easy to say that Brad and I are wrong, as we don't fully understand what is happening, but you on the other hand know all..... Perhaps you should be developing some code for sculpting applications? This is a well known thing, it seems only you are confused. Not even Ofer Alon disagrees with this.... :) (BTW he designed ZB.... :)You are the one who is confusing projection master with projection maths.. I have said repeatedly it's not about any of the modes in ZB...

Let's say that again, It's not about projection master (not mentioned by me)
so stop posting irrelevant links to stuff like projection master, it's got nothing to do with anything... DoH! You are plain incorrect, let's disagree okay, you are so far behind on a technical level it's impossible to teach you. The new ZB3 projections and perspective camera is nothing more than a hack, (a very clever and convincing one) anyone with any programming experience can tell this.... You obviously do not have this experience?

I cannot believe I'm having an argument with someone that didn't even know about how Vector Maps work without some very whitepaper tech from a link to XSIBASE.... (sigh, my bad)

Maybe you should read up on Pixols too?
It uses a proprietary "pixol" technology (see below) which stores lighting, color, material, and depth information for all objects on the screen.

"In comparison to pixols, 3D object in polygonal based 3D graphics software is a fully rotatable. Pixol object after snapshoting from a 3D object doesn't contains any information about its back side and becomes a part of the canvas. There is only one depth value stored per pixol. In result of this, one pixol cannot be behind another one (it can be done, but by using layers)."

Not only this but ALL the other sculpting applications are using OGL, hence the reason our videocards cannot handle the polygons ZBRUSH is using it's own faster voxel or pixol renderer which is totally CPU based. Not videocard based...

I guess I'm making this up too?
These are some of the many questions you failed to answer, like why ZB is able to do what it does..... hint it's not magic..... :) But from reading your posts your an obvious ZB fanboy (aren't we all), with no actual time spent in Silo/Hex/Blender/MB/Modo for comparison, so this conversation is completely pointless, so again let's agree to disagree so this thread doesn't get bogged in semantics...

Mike_RB
09-16-2007, 06:13 PM
There is a wiki with some info about zbrush technology... here is a snippet about pixols.

...................
ZBrush is not just another modeling package. It can create models with amazingly high polygon counts. In ZBrush, you can convert and export this high resolution geometry into the maps, textures and low resolution geometry that you want to use with other programs. ZBrush changes the modeling process. Instead of pushing and pulling points around, you are sculpting digital clay.

ZBrush is also a powerful depth-enabled paint program. In other programs, points on the canvas – the pixels – have color. In ZBrush, points on the canvas also have depth, material and orientation and are called pixols.

Pixols are not drawn just as color on the canvas. They are rendered using their distance, orientation and material information. A change in position of the scene lights will affect their shading on the canvas. Paint strokes can be given the appearance of metal, or wood, or concrete, or mirrors, or of many, many other things.

Pixols combines the simplicity of a 2D painting environment with the power of a 3D application.
..............................

IMI
09-16-2007, 06:35 PM
haha... actually, you're not using pixols here either imi. in fact, the process is called "polypainting".

and yes, it's really cool.




in 3, zb is going whole hog into eliminating the need for your model to have any kind of 2d image map in memory at all - until the end. so you are painting directly on the mesh and then when you're done, you bake into a image map according to your uvs.

jin


This is true. I forgot the actual wording, but the end result is the same. Avoiding colloquialisms, it's nothing short of fantasti-gasmic. ;)
I hadn't considered the implications of a lighter RAM load during the process. Excellent. :)

IMI
09-16-2007, 06:43 PM
Oh, I might add, I don't see any reason to diss modo because it's not ZB. I've learned enough about modo 301 through reading here and elsewhere to have decided I will be upgrading to that, as well. Gotta try to keep up with everything, you know. :)
Not interested in Mudbox. I'm sure it's wonderful, but considering Autodesk's purchase of it, who knows where it's customers will end up.

jin choung
09-16-2007, 10:32 PM
redbull,

you are really really confused. and if you continue to talk the way you do, you will just end up discrediting yourself. i've been trying to correct you so you don't make a fool of yourself in public but you seem impervious to correction. so be it.

i see where you're getting confused too but you are so utterly certain of your own omniscience that you won't listen.

so go on. make an [email protected]#$ of yourself. if your posts in this thread is any indication, your delusions and ignorance must run long and deep indeed.

so go about your way then.

jin

p.s. and did i miss something? when the heck did peebler become any kind of authority on anything? wtf.... sigh.

jin choung
09-16-2007, 10:44 PM
There is a wiki with some info about zbrush technology... here is a snippet about pixols.

...................
ZBrush is not just another modeling package. It can create models with amazingly high polygon counts. In ZBrush, you can convert and export this high resolution geometry into the maps, textures and low resolution geometry that you want to use with other programs. ZBrush changes the modeling process. Instead of pushing and pulling points around, you are sculpting digital clay.

ZBrush is also a powerful depth-enabled paint program. In other programs, points on the canvas – the pixels – have color. In ZBrush, points on the canvas also have depth, material and orientation and are called pixols.

Pixols are not drawn just as color on the canvas. They are rendered using their distance, orientation and material information. A change in position of the scene lights will affect their shading on the canvas. Paint strokes can be given the appearance of metal, or wood, or concrete, or mirrors, or of many, many other things.

Pixols combines the simplicity of a 2D painting environment with the power of a 3D application.
..............................

hey mike.

yah, that's when you're painting to the canvas or using projection master.

a "PIXOL" is just a pixel that carries not only RGB, but also Zdepth and MATERIAL info, making every stroke also receptive to lighting.

that's why you can paint strokes on the canvas that look like wood or metal or whatever and it looks "lumpy".

this is all that zb was in version 1.

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/Key_Concepts

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/Pixol
----------------------------------------------------------------------

a pixol is ONLY in effect when painting to the canvas or when using PROJECTION MASTER - again, a mode in which your 3d model is no longer rotatable and it is in effect, "dropped" to the canvas so that you can paint on it using pixols.

http://www.zbrush.info/docs/index.php/Projection_Master

when you "pick up" the model again, the pixol painting is transferred to your 3d mesh and then you can continue working with your model in 3d again.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

when you are not using projection master, when you are in edit mode (and rotating around your model and stuff), you are not working in pixols.

you are working directly with your 3d mesh, as much so as you would be in mb or wherever.

you don't have a 3d camera. but the model and all your sculpting is manipulating the mesh.

and as i said, in version 2.5, projection master was really presented as the way to do the really fine detail stuff but in version 3 and afterwards, a great effort has been made to make projection master less necessary. you can do pretty much all your detailing without switching modes.

jin

jin choung
09-16-2007, 10:50 PM
"In comparison to pixols, 3D object in polygonal based 3D graphics software is a fully rotatable. Pixol object after snapshoting from a 3D object doesn't contains any information about its back side and becomes a part of the canvas. There is only one depth value stored per pixol. In result of this, one pixol cannot be behind another one (it can be done, but by using layers)."


fool... what do you think "snapshoting" in the above is referring to?

sigh.

jin

p.s. oh hey, if english isn't your first language, i take it back. your error in properly understanding this stuff is understandable then....

loki74
09-16-2007, 11:36 PM
whoa okay...

I don't claim to know much about how ZB works BUT--

it seems to me there are two issues we have to differentiate here. I don't think anyone will argue that when you're in edit mode, you are manipulating true 3D data. Otherwise, rotating your object would not be possible (or would be really difficult), orthogonal or not.

However, it does seem feasible that ZB is not sending all of the 3D data to OpenGL. ZB could be using an OpenGL trick (which may cause perspective/projection anomalies), but that does not mean that you're not working on "true" 3D data.

again, i have no idea what im talking about; I'm just pointing out that neither of you might be "wrong" per se...

jin choung
09-16-2007, 11:43 PM
hey loki,

actually, redbull is contesting exactly that. that it's not true 3d data or mesh manipulation when sculpting in edit mode.

and also, zb doesn't use open gl at all (which i think as a result, rb thinks it's not real 3d). it uses its own software renderer (like quake 1 before it got its glide drivers... only a million times better)... and it seems to be faster for using its own software renderer.

shrug.

jin

loki74
09-16-2007, 11:50 PM
it uses its own software renderer ... and it seems to be faster for using its own software renderer.

wow, that i definitely did not know!! Software renderer faster than OGL? Seems to me like these Pix guys have quite a bit of tricks up their sleeves....


Question--when you are in edit mode, are all of the polygons available in some type of memory?

jin choung
09-17-2007, 12:15 AM
hey lok,

errrr... i'm not sure what you mean.

but every part of a single tool (object) is always accessible for you to edit.

and if you leave zb idle for a bit, you see zb starting to do something it calls "optimizing memory" or something like that.... you get a readout of how much memory is being used by the object and after it optimizes, it uses less.

jin

loki74
09-17-2007, 01:17 AM
well I guess what I'm getting as is, what constitutes actually having a "real 3D object" on your screen? Does that mean that all of the polys are in ram or cached on the HD, or something more?

It seems to me that not having all the polys in ram or cached somehwere would make ZB very sluggish. And I'm not sure how else you could manipulate anything in 3D without have the polys available right there.

So I guess I'm wondering, does it really matter? All sculpting programs get the job done regardless. As far as discussing whether or not it is possible for apps other than ZB to get such crazy poly counts is sort of pointless--technology advances at a ridiculous rate anyway. What matters is if the tool can do what you need it to do, if it can do it in a way that is easy to you, and if you can afford it. Really, that's all there is if you ask me. How the tool gets the job done is irrelevant.

If you need to have completley insane poly counts, hey ZB is great if youre willing to sacrifice some accuracy with how the perspective works. If you need your perspective to be spot on, hey go with Modo or Mudbox, just understand that you wont be able to push as many polys as you would ZB.

it's all just a matter of tradeoff and compromise, tailored to what the individual needs and can afford here and now.

jin choung
09-17-2007, 01:26 AM
yah... but for me, it's kinda like hearing "airplanes fly because of magic"... i suppose it doesn't affect the end result but it grates nonetheless.

also, it matters in the sense that there is an implication being made.

to paraphrase homer simpson - "i don't mind when something is said to employ tricks when it employs tricks or is about to employ a trick... but not... when... it's.... not...."

jin