PDA

View Full Version : ZBrush of 3d Coat



Borg403
02-09-2009, 09:22 PM
I'm thinking of getting either Zbrush of 3D Coat. Can anyone tell which is better?

Thanks!:help:

Dexter2999
02-09-2009, 10:09 PM
ZBrush from what I understand, is better right now. But, 3DCoat is has been evolving quickly and it is geared to be friendlier with LW.

And 3D Coat is cheaper.

If you are looking at adding a skill to work in the industry, I would think that ZBrush is more widely used and be more useful of a skill to add. If it is just for your personal use or you are working for yourself with no intentions of going to work for a larger studio, pick whatever you like.

Good Luck.

JeffrySG
02-10-2009, 12:13 AM
It would really depend on what you want to do with the application. I would look at the demos and the forum/galleries to see what each product does really well.

What are you intending to use it for? and what do you want to be doing with it?

SplineGod
02-10-2009, 12:36 AM
3dcoat supports LW far better then any of the others.
The next version will soon have volumetric scuplting.
I would download the demo and play with it.

Dodgy
02-10-2009, 02:03 AM
Zbrush is much faster with large poly counts, but 3d coat is fast enough for most things and has an easier workflow. I have both, but it's much easier to paint colour/spec/trans/displacement in 3d coat.

goodrichm
02-10-2009, 05:12 AM
I own both and find myself using 3D-Coat more than ZB due to easier workflow and better LW support. Plus, you'll not find better customer support nor faster development than 3D-Coat. The programmer is very quick to respond if you find a bug or need something changed/added. He outputs a new update every 2 or 3 days.

The support alone is worth the price of admission!

Best advice is like others have said, download the demos and test drive them to see which one fits your style.

The 3D-Coat demo link is in my signature "Voxel sculpting in 3D-Coat"...MG

IMI
02-10-2009, 06:03 AM
Does 3D Coat have something like Z Spheres and allow you to draw conforming polygons onto a hi res mesh to achieve a low res mesh from it or an overall better poly flow? Otherwise known as re-topologizing, it can also be used to easily create clothing meshes for an existing figure, because as you create your polygons, they "snap" to the underlying figure mesh.
I don't know if 3D Coat can do that or not. I downloaded the demo but didn't like the interface (strange words from a ZBrush user, I know) - enough to not really look into it, not to mention, the bizarro EULA...

But ZBrush is absolutely awesome for creating normal and displacement maps, and the poly painting is just out of this world. Plus, IMO, the re-topologizing feature is hugely under-rated for all it can be used for.

There are some issues between ZB and LW, since you have to use OBJ to get files back and forth, but there are workarounds for those issues. If that's important, or all you're interested in is disp and normal maps, go with 3D Coat.

But to answer your question, I don't know if ZB is "better" or not, but I suspect it is, by several orders of magnitude. Maybe not "better", but currently more capable and containing more features.

Borg403
02-10-2009, 06:34 AM
Thanks folks, sorry for the misspelling, late night. I like the fact that 3d coat maybe better with lw. I'll take the advice and download the demo.
I'm not to good using Photoshop. Sometimes it drives me crazy with the layers. :thumbsup:

TimothyB
02-10-2009, 09:48 PM
Does 3D Coat have something like Z Spheres and allow you to draw conforming polygons onto a hi res mesh to achieve a low res mesh from it or an overall better poly flow? Otherwise known as re-topologizing, it can also be used to easily create clothing meshes for an existing figure, because as you create your polygons, they "snap" to the underlying figure mesh.
I don't know if 3D Coat can do that or not. I downloaded the demo but didn't like the interface (strange words from a ZBrush user, I know) - enough to not really look into it, not to mention, the bizarro EULA...

But ZBrush is absolutely awesome for creating normal and displacement maps, and the poly painting is just out of this world. Plus, IMO, the re-topologizing feature is hugely under-rated for all it can be used for.

There are some issues between ZB and LW, since you have to use OBJ to get files back and forth, but there are workarounds for those issues. If that's important, or all you're interested in is disp and normal maps, go with 3D Coat.

But to answer your question, I don't know if ZB is "better" or not, but I suspect it is, by several orders of magnitude. Maybe not "better", but currently more capable and containing more features.

I downloaded the demo for 3DCoat and it had me confused with its interface despite liking Zbrush's interface.

3D-Coat will soon have something that's an alternative to ZSpheres, the voxel sculpting. You can see it here: http://3d-coat.com/v3_voxel_sculpting.html

Also, it has much better topology tools. Not sure how it stacks up when it comes to projecting detail from a 10 million polygon model to the new topology works. The cost of the app looks worth it just for this tool, then import the topology back into zbrush to do the projecting. Take a look at the topology tools: http://3d-coat.com/retopology.html

Also, the topology tools still work right over a voxel sculpt.

Carm3D
02-10-2009, 10:19 PM
Don't forget to look at Silo as well. As an affordable alternative to ZBrush. Silo does the displacement painting, but not multi-layered like ZBrush does. I own both Silo and ZBrush. Silo has cool retopolizing and UV tools.. And it's also a slick modeler to boot! I still use ZBrush for my displacements, however.

sculptactive
02-11-2009, 04:05 AM
I have use Zbrush for a long time and 3D Coat since it came out.
All future projects will be soley done in 3DC and of course LW

IMI
02-11-2009, 06:20 AM
Well maybe it's just me then. From what I remember of the demo, the interface gave me TrueSpace flashbacks, which wasn't a pleasant thing. ;)

SplineGod
02-11-2009, 07:53 AM
I find 3DCs interface far more intuitive then ZBrushes.
Displacements in 3DC can be layered and exported as endomorphs to LW. The topology tools are great. The upcoming volumetric sculpting etc is great. Andrew is a programming machine when it comes to updating 3DC. Again it supports LW far better then the others. When you export to LW the node network for the normal maps is already setup for you.

RollerJesus
02-11-2009, 07:58 AM
Right now, I'm trying to put both ZBrush and 3dCoat through their paces.

I've the 'Edit' mode of Zbrush to be very intuitive, easy to get results and a lot of fun to sculpt with. However, I'm having a lot of issues going back and forth from 2.5D mode to 3d (edit) mode and that has really turned me off.

I own 3dCoat but I had two main showstopper issues:

1) I have trouble getting usable meshes into ZBrush from Lightwave, they always had holes, despite making sure there are not overlapping UV's and they have a nice poly flow. For example, try opening one of the dragon objects that came with the content for LW 9.6. If you can, please share how the hell you did it.

2) I find the sculpting mode to be less 'intelligent' than ZBrush. I don't like to have to create a selection set when shaping, although I see how powerful it is, the extra step kills my creativity.

3) It's seems slow compared to Zbrush when painting anything with a brush size over 15 or so. I have a decent quad core machine and am running 64 bit but I can't get it to access more than one processor (don't know why). I am running the 64 bit version of 3dCoat (tried both OGL and DX versions - same result).

I plan on keeping at it for the next 20 or so days I have left in my ZBrush trial and make the call then if I want to switch or upgrade 3dCoat. As for right now, if I can make the 2.5D/3D thing work in Zbrush, it seems like the obvious choice. Although the 3dCoat developer (Andrew) is a miracle child when it comes to fixes/upgrades/etc. The tree generator that comes with 3dCoat is nice too!

`Patrick

erikals
02-11-2009, 07:41 PM
i do think the voxel sculpting looks pretty slick,.. :)
http://www.3d-coat.com/v3_voxel_sculpting.html

also the "Paint patterns"

$140 is great price

very well might check it out one day,..

pming
02-11-2009, 09:15 PM
Hiya.

I tried 3DC when it was first in beta. The EULA (iirc) made me uninstall it after I fiddled for maybe 5 minutes. Haven't tried it since.

I bought ZBrush months ago and am still absolutely amazed at the speed and quality I can get...even when I didn't know what I was doing. Just learning three or four tools was enough to let me sculpt a funky alien head with bumps, ridges, eyeballs, teeth, veins, scars, skin pores, etc. One of the best purchases I ever made. :)

As for the rest of the quote below...

Once you 'drop' your model, it goes into 2.5D mode. You can not "pick it back up"; at that point it is not a 3D object...it's a 2D object with depth information.

A1. I only did a simple test (only have LW for a VERY short time...two months tops), and I didn't have any trouble. It wasn't a complicated mesh or anything, so that probably helped. I also have Hexagon (great little modeler!), and it has a "cap holes" function where it highlights the holes first and caps the ones you want (click on them or 'All' to do all of them). Maybe there's another program out there free/cheap that has the same thing? (Hex is pretty cheap; it was bought by DAZ 3D).

A2. I can see that. Sculpting and painting in ZBrush, to me, feels like I'm actually 'sculpting/painting' a real object. Hard to explain, but it just feels fast and free-flowing.

A3. ZBrush was created to take advantage of pretty much everything you can throw at it; ram, video ram, CPUs, OS, etc. That said, ZBrush is phenomenally optimized...so even though I have a quad-core CPU as well, they rarely get above 50 or 60 percent uses. They are all used, however. Check under "Preferences", "Performance" (I think; there's multi-cpu stuff in there).

So, I guess you can guess, I'd suggest ZBrush. For added enjoyment, pick up a good ZBRush tutorial. I picked up "Texturing with ZBrush 3" from Digital Tutors. It also covers sculpting details and whatnot. I'm probably going to pick up their "game asset" ones as well...it looks fun and informative.

ZBrush. Can't go wrong, really. :)

Paul


Right now, I'm trying to put both ZBrush and 3dCoat through their paces.

I've the 'Edit' mode of Zbrush to be very intuitive, easy to get results and a lot of fun to sculpt with. However, I'm having a lot of issues going back and forth from 2.5D mode to 3d (edit) mode and that has really turned me off.

I own 3dCoat but I had two main showstopper issues:

1) I have trouble getting usable meshes into ZBrush from Lightwave, they always had holes, despite making sure there are not overlapping UV's and they have a nice poly flow. For example, try opening one of the dragon objects that came with the content for LW 9.6. If you can, please share how the hell you did it.

2) I find the sculpting mode to be less 'intelligent' than ZBrush. I don't like to have to create a selection set when shaping, although I see how powerful it is, the extra step kills my creativity.

3) It's seems slow compared to Zbrush when painting anything with a brush size over 15 or so. I have a decent quad core machine and am running 64 bit but I can't get it to access more than one processor (don't know why). I am running the 64 bit version of 3dCoat (tried both OGL and DX versions - same result).

I plan on keeping at it for the next 20 or so days I have left in my ZBrush trial and make the call then if I want to switch or upgrade 3dCoat. As for right now, if I can make the 2.5D/3D thing work in Zbrush, it seems like the obvious choice. Although the 3dCoat developer (Andrew) is a miracle child when it comes to fixes/upgrades/etc. The tree generator that comes with 3dCoat is nice too!

`Patrick

02-11-2009, 11:31 PM
Borg403:

3dcoat is doing things that are not possible in zbrush. The alpha builds for 3.0 are already proving very valuable additions to my toolset and the retopology functions are the best I've seen even compared to dedicated retopo programs or plugins. They also work directly with voxels so you can literally build a complex mesh from a simple sphere, and then either generate a polygon mesh from that automatically or trace over the voxels yourself if you need more control over edge flows for animation meshes.

The biggest weakness 3dc has right now is that the brushes for the voxel sculpting are not as fine tuned as what you would get in zbrush, which makes zbrush a much better 'finishing' tool. This is why I use both. However, if you are new to sculpting I think I would recommend 3dcoat first as you will have far less technical difficulty and more creative freedom to just explore and play with sculpting in general.

I've been a zbrush user since version 1 and I love it for sculpting - in comparison my mudbox license is literally not being used and I haven't even bothered to upgrade it after comparing mudbox 2009 to what I have in zbrush 3 right now. But I have to say that for me, the future of sculpting lies in voxels and as Andrew continues to enhance and refine them I expect that in a short time 3dcoat may very well replace my need for zbrush.

I definitely have more fun and feel more free to explore shapes in 3dcoat than I do with zbrush, because zbrush still depends on polygons in order to do what it does. You could slap a sphere down in zbrush and try to sculpt it into a character but you wouldn't get very far with it before you had to do some major reconstruction and smooth out the geometry in order to continue sculpting at higher detail levels. This is why people tend to build meshes outside of zbrush and import them in to sculpt on. I don't need to do this with 3dcoat. I can literally start with a sphere and get as complex as I want.

In order to get this far in zbrush:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/transpose2.jpg

I had to build this mesh in another application first:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/transpose1.jpg

You need to know a bit about polygons and subdivision and how to get the best distribution of them in order to take full advantage of sculpting in zbrush. In 3dcoat you don't. The default mesh you start with in voxel sculpting is a sphere. I can turn that sphere into anything, such as this:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/SwampTrollDetail.jpg

... and not have to worry about geometry at all. You can import different meshes and literally attach them seamlessly to another mesh like this:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/3dcHand3/3dcHand3.html

You can't do that in zbrush due to the limitations of working with polygons. There is so much innovation happening just in this area of 3dcoat that I am amazed with almost every new build released at how fast it is all happening. Even if you don't go with 3dcoat I would recommend adding it to your toolset at some point down the road. It really is becoming a necessary part of my toolset these days.

Frank_Geppert
02-12-2009, 01:14 AM
[email protected]: Thanks for this very detailed report about the current state of ZBrush and 3d Coat plus your pov on them. This is very interesting and appreciated. The video looks fantastic, the flexibility of this tool-set is great.

I really have to look further into this.

RollerJesus
02-12-2009, 09:08 AM
While reviewing this thread I realized that I was not talking about the Alpha version of 3dCoat 3. I've only used the latest full release 2.x.x, which explains my sculpting difficulties with the program.

Going to check out version 3 tonight!

Borg403
02-12-2009, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all the imput. I'm going to download all the demos and fiddle
around with them for awhile. But thanks again!:thumbsup:

Greenlaw
02-12-2009, 12:03 PM
FWIW, I have both and I prefer 3D Coat.

The workflow in 3D Coat is much easier to understand, and it works directly with LightWave. This is important to me because weeks may go by between sessions (i.e., texturing, retopologizing, or mesh detailing,) and I need to get back up to speed quickly. With 3D coat, my brain is able to dive into it and get working immediately.

It never seems to work that way when I try to use ZBrush for similar tasks; I feel like I have to spend a few hours relearning the program everytime I launch it.

The other thing is that 3D Coat was always designed with 3D model detailing in mind. To me, ZBrush still seems like a 2D paint program that had some nifty 3D tools rather inelegantly slapped on. I always feel like I'm jumping through hoops to get geometry and maps in and out of the program for LightWave. With 3D Coat, it's just import and export .lwo's, and no fussing with intermediate formats and fiddling with settings. In short, it just works.

I won't say 3D Coat is a perfect 3D detailing program, but it's been evolving at a rapid pace, and the developer has been very receptive to user needs and suggestions. The latest feature (in the public beta for version 3.0) is voxel painting which is just amazing.

Also, while price of 3D Coat has steadily gone up over the years (I think I originally paid $75 for it two years ago,) it's still a bargain at $140.

Anyway, that's my two-cents.

Greenlaw

Greenlaw
02-12-2009, 12:26 PM
Does 3D Coat have something like Z Spheres and allow you to draw conforming polygons onto a hi res mesh to achieve a low res mesh from it or an overall better poly flow?

I did something like this in 3D Coat a few weeks ago. I needed to create guide chains for long hair on a couple of female characters that followed the shape of an existing textured polygonal wig, and I used 3D Coat's retopology tools to knock this out quickly. The result was a lower poly duplicate of the hair, that had all the polygons flowing in the direction of the hair, the points of which which I used to base my curves on. To do this, I simply loaded the polygonal 'wig' object with textures into 3D Coat and 'drew' my patches on top of the object to follow the 'grain' of the hair texture. The tools in 3D Coat kept the new geometry fluid--I could slide the edges around and change the density of the mesh if I changed my mind.

When I was done, I saved the retopologized object for LightWave. Then in Modeler I was able use this to use this object for making accurate curves for the guide chains (using some of Stuart Aitken's wig making tricks from the Worley site.)

There actually several retopology tools in 3D Coat. I only used a handful of them and in this situation they worked brilliantly.

Greenlaw

erikals
02-12-2009, 02:04 PM
... and not have to worry about geometry at all. You can import different meshes and literally attach them seamlessly to another mesh like this:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/3dcHand3/3dcHand3.html

...now that's pretty neat, a feature i have been wanting for some time :)

jasonwestmas
02-12-2009, 02:05 PM
If you need really, really high detail sculpts you need Zbrush. Other than that ZB is pretty much out of touch with an artists 3D animation needs.

edit: what I mean by Animation needs is that if you are just making a still image in ZB you only need ZBrush and the tools in there facilatate that. But when you are making a picture in motion and full color SHADING, Zbrush does't really help you there that much. It has the poly paint stuff for color (Which isn't that great for machines less than 4GB of Ram) and the displacement stuff (Which is again a memory hog, but still impressive) but all other texture maps are really hard to do with ZBrush alone, mainly because you can't even view their effects till you get them into your animation/rendering package.

So the only real advantage to Zbrush is the sculpt tools themselves; Geometry Layers stuff and the Performance is outstanding. For all other needs look elsewhere.

wacom
02-12-2009, 02:32 PM
Go for 3DC- even if you later buy zbrush I just know you'll find a lot of reasons to still go back to 3DC every now and again- the painting tools are just that solid- and it's so much cheaper. Then again maybe you want to buy my zbrush license!?

Well, one thing I haven't seen mentioned here yet is the fact that 3DC 3.x's voxel meshes are VERY friendly to mesh reduction!

What does this mean? Well it means you can more easily take a mesh that is millions of polygons, export it, and use you favorite reduction tool while still maintaining a good amount of detail. For instance: I took a model that was 30million tris from 3DC and in XSI reduced it to roughly 8k with very little detail loss esp. on the border edges!


Then you can re-import that and bake out a normal map for the finer details. In writing this sounds almost the same as working in zbrush- but it's not- because voxel sculpting provides a very uniform distribution of triangles.

Which brings me to another topic- while on screen polycounts in 3DC 3.x show it's can't necessarily pump out as many polygons as zbrush, I find I need far fewer polygons to get the shapes I want than in zbrush. It's just a much more optimized way of doing things. So while zbrush has a higher count, it's method often means you have all these extra polygons in areas you don't need them unless you do some really extensive planning.

Don't forget- there are a lot of things people do in zbrush that would be better done in normal maps esp. if you're going to use another application for rendering etc. In zbrush this is a pain- but there's nothing stopping you from taking your refined mesh back into 3DC and adding details directly with it's normal mapping bump tools.

In the end if I personally had to choose which app I'd live without it's would be zbrush- I need direct painting with layers (sorry zbrush is REALLY a pain to paint in beyond the basic) and direct normal map generation more than high polycount objects and an interface that is horribly convoluted.

I could write for days promoting 3DC- it's really the best application I've ever purchased in terms of the cash to feature to usability ratio! It's nice to feel good about a program, it's direction, and it's developer- it makes it real easy to suggest to others!

OH- and the EULA was changed long ago- so there isn't any oddities there anymore as far as I know. Andrew is an amazing guy and developer regardless of if you agree with his religious views or not.

wacom
02-12-2009, 02:34 PM
Greenlaw- you've touched on a MAJOR reason NOT to use zbrush for me. I too feel like it's such an odd ball that it gets in the way of things. There is excentric or unique for a reason- and then there is just poor design (and I'm not talking about the "skin" of an app). I put up with that eccentric zbrush way of doing things because I had no other choice, but now there are less cumbersome choices on the market (thank god).

I just don't get the "pixologic" in zbrush! 3DC is just...logical in comparison!


...The workflow in 3D Coat is much easier to understand, and it works directly with LightWave. This is important to me because weeks may go by between sessions (i.e., texturing, retopologizing, or mesh detailing,) and I need to get back up to speed quickly. With 3D coat, my brain is able to dive into it and get working immediately.

It never seems to work that way when I try to use ZBrush for similar tasks; I feel like I have to spend a few hours relearning the program everytime I launch it...

erikals
02-12-2009, 02:40 PM
I just don't get the "pixologic" in zbrush! 3DC is just...logical in comparison!

...agree, ZB at times feels quite clumsy,...

about 3D coat,.. i hear 3D coat can't cope with lots of details, but isn't it just a matter of getting great CPU, GPU, Ram ?

wacom
02-12-2009, 08:52 PM
...agree, ZB at times feels quite clumsy,...

about 3D coat,.. i hear 3D coat can't cope with lots of details, but isn't it just a matter of getting great CPU, GPU, Ram ?

Well with 2.0 this is absolutely true to the extent that it's not really meant for such heavy mesh sub division and it's reliant on the resolution of your textures as well.

3DC 3.x is still in alpha and shows a lot of promise and is no where near being done in terms of optimization. 3DC 3, unlike zb, is going to be more video card heavy. So the better the card, the more likely you're see a bigger increase in speed and voxel painting resolutions.

I personally like this since it means you can buy a fairly inexpensive card and get results- no need to buy a whole new machine etc. People who have lavish 32 core systems and 32GB of system RAM get disappointed though by it. However voxels, from what I understand, are better to run though a GPC than a CPU do to the way they are processed. So it wasn't like Andrew just did this for arbitrary reasons.

In the end it's easy to compare them on a "get the job done level" but comparing them detail for detail is futile since they seem like such different takes on a similar problem. Let's not forget that 3DC is a paint program first- modeling app second!

OH, and the 3DC re-topology tools are easy to use and amazing. This feature alone is worth the price of admission.

zapper1998
02-12-2009, 09:35 PM
I wish 3D Coat was a 30 day trial....

wacom
02-13-2009, 12:51 AM
Ask Andrew- he'll most likely extend it for you- including for testing the alpha.


I wish 3D Coat was a 30 day trial....

RollerJesus
02-13-2009, 08:11 AM
I downloaded the 3dCoat Alpha last night, installed CUDA (8800 GT Card) and it was not disappointing! All the familiar sculpting tools from ZBrush are there and it's very responsive.

Quite enjoyable aside from the bugs that occasionally popped up. In the meantime, sculpting in Blender has come a long way too and will get me by until 3dCoat 3 is finalized.

cresshead
02-13-2009, 08:54 AM
Borg403:



You could slap a sphere down in zbrush and try to sculpt it into a character but you wouldn't get very far with it before you had to do some major reconstruction and smooth out the geometry in order to continue sculpting at higher detail levels. This is why people tend to build meshes outside of zbrush and import them in to sculpt on. I don't need to do this with 3dcoat. I can literally start with a sphere and get as complex as I want.

In order to get this far in zbrush:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/transpose2.jpg

I had to build this mesh in another application first:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/transpose1.jpg

You need to know a bit about polygons and subdivision and how to get the best distribution of them in order to take full advantage of sculpting in zbrush. In 3dcoat you don't. The default mesh you start with in voxel sculpting is a sphere. I can turn that sphere into anything, such as this:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/SwampTrollDetail.jpg

... and not have to worry about geometry at all. You can import different meshes and literally attach them seamlessly to another mesh like this:
https://dl.getdropbox.com/u/92176/3dcHand3/3dcHand3.html

You can't do that in zbrush due to the limitations of working with polygons. There is so much innovation happening just in this area of 3dcoat that I am amazed with almost every new build released at how fast it is all happening. Even if you don't go with 3dcoat I would recommend adding it to your toolset at some point down the road. It really is becoming a necessary part of my toolset these days.

zshperes?...i use them ALL the time...i dont' make a model in max, lw...just start in zbrush with zspheres...simple as that.

02-13-2009, 09:44 AM
I've used zspheres a LOT both in my personal work and in my games work. That zbrush ogre pose I posted started out as zspheres in fact. If I were to do it again I'd start it in 3dcoat with voxels. Zspheres are still too technical and 'fiddly'.

If you are comparing the ease of use and flexibility of zspheres vs using voxels I'd have to respectfully disagree that they are 'simple as that'. They were great for SOME things for several years, right up until voxels eliminated their usefulness for me. The swamp troll initial sketch I did only took me 20 mins to do from a sphere and I'd say half of that was spent just mulling over what it was I was wanting to make from the sphere. I could have built it with zspheres, yep but it would have taken me longer because I'd be tweaking the spheres and their settings in order to get a decent adaptive mesh to work with. Anyone who builds multi-digit appendages with them like a hand will attest to the amount of fiddling you have to do with the zspheres to get something decent enough to want to sculpt on. Major joint areas like shoulders and pelvis can be problematic too. You actually can't even get a decent hand zsphere setup without adjusting some of the spinner values for subdivision and membrane settings of the adaptive skin. Just drawing out 5 fingers from the hand sphere will result you an awful mess of polygons when you toggle from spheres to skin. In 3dcoat you just sculpt what you want. Seems the more artist friendly approach to me.

The video link I posted also illustrates how powerful it can be to import body parts from a library of assets and apply them seamlessly. I have a collection of things like ears, hands and heads that I could import and paste onto a stick figure sculpt if I want - all seamlessly. Can't do that with zspheres yet - though I think it might be possible someday - it was certainly something I requested during beta testing for Zb3.

Anyway, yeah, zspheres are great and have pretty much been the only solution of their kind for quite awhile, but I was always looking forward to the day when something easier would come along. Voxel sculpting is that solution imo.

cresshead
02-13-2009, 09:49 AM
okay you've perked up my interest on voxels...so exactly 'what' do you save out from your voxel sculpt session to take over to lw, 3dsmax or maya for rendering...is there a 'low res' mesh beneth the voxels or do you have to retopologise your voxel sculpt into a low poly version on top then projects the displacement to that lo res cage?

02-13-2009, 09:57 AM
Oh you'll love this. =]
Well, first, if you have no plans to animate the mesh you are sculpting and just want something quick and dirty to use for baking your high rez into and texturing or whatever, just click a single button and 3dcoat will auto generate a polygon mesh for you from your voxel sculpt. It can even auto UV the mesh for you so you can start painting on it right away. =]

If you need more control over the low rez geometry the retopo tools are very nicely done. Combined with the fact that you can use them right on top of your high rez voxel sculpt, makes them the best option for retopo work in my opinion. I've always disliked having to export a lower rez version of my sculpts from zbrush back into Silo, or Nex, or Topogun to have to rebuild them, and zbrush's retopo tools have always been flaky at best.

Anyway, whichever you choose you should be able to get a decent mesh from it to export out to LW or wherever.

cresshead
02-13-2009, 10:02 AM
Oh you'll love this. =]
Well, first, if you have no plans to animate the mesh you are sculpting and just want something quick and dirty to use for baking your high rez into and texturing or whatever, just click a single button and 3dcoat will auto generate a polygon mesh for you from your voxel sculpt. It can even auto UV the mesh for you so you can start painting on it right away. =]

If you need more control over the low rez geometry the retopo tools are very nicely done. Combined with the fact that you can use them right on top of your high rez voxel sculpt, makes them the best option for retopo work in my opinion. I've always disliked having to export a lower rez version of my sculpts from zbrush back into Silo, or Nex, or Topogun to have to rebuild them, and zbrush's retopo tools have always been flaky at best.

Anyway, whichever you choose you should be able to get a decent mesh from it to export out to LW or wherever.

okay..intersting..

the 1st option..1 click how dense is the mesh and does that mesh have the displacement map assigned to it or is it just a VERY dense mesh that mimic's the voxel sculpt?

retop> does your retop version get the displacement f rom the voxel version?...to ask can you project the voxel sculpt onto the retop lo res.

thanks in advance btw!:thumbsup:

edit> i wish the website for 3dcoat had vids on this...their site lacks the 'gloss' and amazing models of zbrush/mudbox but what you write about sounds really cool.

02-13-2009, 10:23 AM
I am not sure on the displacement part as I don't do rendered output for anything so I never use displacement maps. It works for normal maps though. Mesh density can vary... there are a couple of settings you can tweak before it generates the mesh. I think you can only work within a certain range though so you can't go really high or really low with density. One test I tried was to go with the default settings, then use the subdivision option in the retopo menu on that mesh so that it would subdivide but stay conformed to the voxel mesh. This way I could export out varying levels of density and detail to zbrush for further detailing.

I don't imagine this app will get widespread attention until 3.0 goes live. There's still a lot of work to do for and I don't see many people talking about it openly in forums all that much yet. Some nice art would definitely help sell it more I agree.

JGary
02-13-2009, 12:28 PM
This thread has peaked my interest in 3d Coat, so I installed the demo and alpha build to try it out. So far, I like the interface/workflow much better than Zbrush.

Couple of questions:

1. How does 3d Coat handle UV seams? I tried painting on a .obj that has AUV tiles from Zbrush...pretty much the worse case scenerio for UV map seams. As expected, 3d Coat had trouble painting across the UV borders...is there a feature in the program similar to projection master?

2. Are there any sculpting brushes in 3d Coat that help with the task of creating creases? I guess I'm thinking of something similar to the pinch tool in Zbrush.

cresshead
02-13-2009, 10:27 PM
3d coat looks interesting..was playing around in zbrush tonight seeing how to make zsphere hands...example here>

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/attachment.php?attachmentid=128290

wesleycorgi
02-14-2009, 10:33 PM
This weekend: http://www.mupromo.com/

cresshead
02-15-2009, 09:15 AM
This weekend: http://www.mupromo.com/

drat drat and double drat!...my mac mini g4 is on 10.3 so 3dcoat won't install....:cry:

is there a windows offer anywhere like this for my windows based pc's?

wacom
02-15-2009, 06:35 PM
Are you sure that's legit? I doubt that link is- and I doubt you'll get any special upgrade pricing or upgradability if you get it. I'll check with Andrew to make sure though.

bhughes3D
02-15-2009, 09:24 PM
Are you sure that's legit? I doubt that link is- and I doubt you'll get any special upgrade pricing or upgradability if you get it. I'll check with Andrew to make sure though.

I'm pretty sure it's legit; it's hosted through MacUpdate.com. MacUpdate.com runs a site for updates for a lot of Mac software developers. They wouldn't offer a deep discount on a developer's product without consent of the author.

I bought 3D-Coat through the site and had no problem registering it. It's a good deal, buy it now and upgrade to v3 for $60; a good deal as v3 will retail for $200. There are still 35 minutes to buy at that price.

wacom
02-15-2009, 11:37 PM
I checked with Andrew of 3DC, and yes it was/is legit. I'm sorry if it dissuaded anyone from purchasing it since it really was a good deal. Luckily it's still a good deal even without the discount!

Borg403
02-16-2009, 09:04 AM
I did what you folks said and downloaded the demo, I created a rough draft of a dinosaur and used the 3D coat just to see how it works. It was so easy. I'm probably going to invest, especially with the price of 3D coat.

realgray
02-16-2009, 10:42 AM
I too feel like I will try 3d coat at some point. But work like this from Zbrush just blows my mind...

Gears of War 2
http://www.zbrush.com/interview/epic/1/

cresshead
02-16-2009, 10:54 AM
I too feel like I will try 3d coat at some point. But work like this from Zbrush just blows my mind...

Gears of War 2
http://www.zbrush.com/interview/epic/1/

zbrush has a much larger userbase to pool good models from to showcase the app, also zbrush has been around for years and installed in studios for tv, film and games

3d coat is a new app and it's def moved fast in the development of the app over the last year or so..once 3dcoat has some top artists try it out i'm sure you'll also see some great models from it.

whatever you choose > 3dcoat , zbrush or mudbox, they're all really cheap apps compared to say houdini, 3dsmax and maya's pricepoint.

jasonwestmas
02-16-2009, 12:09 PM
I too feel like I will try 3d coat at some point. But work like this from Zbrush just blows my mind...

Gears of War 2
http://www.zbrush.com/interview/epic/1/

The sculpting is really nice in ZB which is why I still use it. I use the poly paint, and projection master stuff too, it's a more goofy work flow to make rgb maps in ZB but it still works.

wacom
02-16-2009, 02:05 PM
By the way- 3DC has even more "hooks" that let you work in an external application (PS- Painter etc.) than zb!

While there can be arguments for zb in terms of sculpting vs. 3DC, there really is no argument that 3DC is far superior to zb when it comes to the texturing tool set.

As far as those epic screen shots: Rule #1 when assessing a piece of software is NEVER go by the eyecandy. If you went to the Colors! gallery and just looked at the best work, you could be easily mistaken that the program allowed all these great artists to do great things- when in fact it was more what was the tool set between the ears.

I'm not saying the work by epic for gears of war isn't impressive- but that most of the vision for those pieces didn't happen in zb- it was 2D done in PS and painter when they did the conceptual work.

I agree with Cresshead- it's all about user experience levels and familiarity with the application. I've seen a number of things on the 3DC forum that look quite a bit better than the stuff on the main site.

Pilgway is a team of four- with one person being the developer!

jasonwestmas
02-16-2009, 02:19 PM
By the way- 3DC has even more "hooks" that let you work in an external application (PS- Painter etc.) than zb!

While there can be arguments for zb in terms of sculpting vs. 3DC, there really is no argument that 3DC is far superior to zb when it comes to the texturing tool set.

As far as those epic screen shots: Rule #1 when assessing a piece of software is NEVER go by the eyecandy. If you went to the Colors! gallery and just looked at the best work, you could be easily mistaken that the program allowed all these great artists to do great things- when in fact it was more what was the tool set between the ears.

I'm not saying the work by epic for gears of war isn't impressive- but that most of the vision for those pieces didn't happen in zb- it was 2D done in PS and painter when they did the conceptual work.

I agree with Cresshead- it's all about user experience levels and familiarity with the application. I've seen a number of things on the 3DC forum that look quite a bit better than the stuff on the main site.

Pilgway is a team of four- with one person being the developer!


Yeah, that's true. Conceptually guided work is always the best imo.

realgray
02-16-2009, 02:23 PM
Going by the eye candy is only part of how I assess software. The other part is seeing who is creating the eye candy and how that reflects upon the value of knowing that software in the overall job market. But it all depends on what your goals are.

Philbert
03-05-2009, 04:32 PM
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I just thought I'd share a preview of what may be 3DC's new interface. Andrew had hired a guy a while back to design a new interface but he kinda disappeared, so other people were coming up with ideas and this seems to be the one everyone (including Andrew) likes. It was posted on the Russian part of the forum by a guy going by the name Shadow. It's just a mock up of course but it looks like Andrew is going to try to match this pretty closely, after some little tweaks.

http://pic.ipicture.ru/uploads/090226/4nemsic4vX.jpg

Sande
03-05-2009, 05:05 PM
I recently tried the demo of 3D Coat, but unfortunately there seemed to be (at least for me) couple of big issues that I then had no time to solve - I know 3D Coat's own forums might be a better place to ask, but since I'm already here and someone else might have similar issues, so... :)

First issue for me was the rotation of objects - I didn't know (I still don't) how to set the rotation to object's center, so it was highly annoying trying to rotate the objects while trying to sculpt... The objects just slowly crawled away from my view and I had to move them constantly because of that. Is there an option to center the object's rotation (and the object), some shortcut, anything? Is there similar normal and local mode for rotation like in ZBrush?

Second was when trying to do retopology - the reference geometry overlapped the new lowpoly geometry and I couldn't set any transparency to the meshes so it made it very difficult to see the actual topology, edges etc. How can I do retopology if I can't see what I'm doing? I'm pretty sure I missed something here... :)

Philbert
03-05-2009, 05:23 PM
The rotation thing has always bugged me too, I don't like it, but did get used to it. The center of rotation is based on the last place you clicked.

If I follow correctly about the retopo, try adjusting the Z-Bias slider.

cresshead
03-05-2009, 09:51 PM
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I just thought I'd share a preview of what may be 3DC's new interface. Andrew had hired a guy a while back to design a new interface but he kinda disappeared, so other people were coming up with ideas and this seems to be the one everyone (including Andrew) likes. It was posted on the Russian part of the forum by a guy going by the name Shadow. It's just a mock up of course but it looks like Andrew is going to try to match this pretty closely, after some little tweaks.

http://pic.ipicture.ru/uploads/090226/4nemsic4vX.jpg

that's looking much better:thumbsup:
i'll give it another demo once version 3 is out or when this u.i. is in place

Sande
03-06-2009, 03:09 AM
The rotation thing has always bugged me too, I don't like it, but did get used to it. The center of rotation is based on the last place you clicked.
Unbelievable. :bangwall:
That pretty much ruins the app! The ability to quickly rotate and tumble around the model while working is an absolute must in any sculpting app.

Is there at least a shortcut which would center the object to view, so that I don't always have to move the object because of that, IMHO, retarded rotation...?


If I follow correctly about the retopo, try adjusting the Z-Bias slider.
Ahh, thank you! That may very well be what I'm after, I've to try it later. :)

Sculpting in 3D Coat didn't feel anywhere near as good as in ZBrush (especially because of that rotation issue - I loved the easy way of adjusting the intensity and radius of the brush though), but I could really consider buying 3D Coat because of those topology tools alone - retopology is an awful hack in ZB...

Philbert
03-06-2009, 03:58 AM
Like I said I hated the rotation too, but I have gotten used to it pretty quickly and it's not that bad. Here's a quick little video showing that it's quite easy to move around. I used my Wacom tablet with one stylus button set to left click and the other set to middle click.
http://screencast.com/t/zq09kNjO

Sande
03-06-2009, 05:08 AM
Like I said I hated the rotation too, but I have gotten used to it pretty quickly and it's not that bad. Here's a quick little video showing that it's quite easy to move around. I used my Wacom tablet with one stylus button set to left click and the other set to middle click.
http://screencast.com/t/zq09kNjO

Thanks for the video. It looks familiar though - constantly adjusting the objects position to overcome cumbersome rotations... :)
I also used 3D Coat with Wacom and while it otherwise felt logical and easy to use, I'm just not sure I would ever really get comfortable with that rotation scheme - or would I even want to. It is not as bad as the old ZBrush's drop-to-canvas-workflow-killer, but it's cumbersome and, well, in my opinion just a wrong way to implement rotation... :foreheads

I will have to check that Z-Bias though - I guess I could manage if I'd just do some retopology every once in a while with it... :)

Philbert
03-06-2009, 05:32 AM
Is there at least a shortcut which would center the object to view, so that I don't always have to move the object because of that, IMHO, retarded rotation...?


Sorry I missed this question. Unfortunately there is not, at least not the way it is in LightWave. There is an icon in the upper right of the prog. that looks like a cross hair. Clicking that will bring you back to the default camera location, which would center your object, assuming you modeled it at the world center, but it will also change the rotation back to the default. I've never done it, but you can also record your own camera position shortcuts. Not sure if that would help at all.

Actually I have found this method of rotation better in some ways. Suppose you are working on a character's finger. Now you want to rotate around to the other side of the finger. If the center is the center of the object, rotating will completely move the finger away from your view. The option I think is best is Modeler's way where the center is the center of the viewport.

Sande
03-06-2009, 06:22 AM
Actually I have found this method of rotation better in some ways. Suppose you are working on a character's finger. Now you want to rotate around to the other side of the finger. If the center is the center of the object, rotating will completely move the finger away from your view. The option I think is best is Modeler's way where the center is the center of the viewport.

Yep, I also like the modeler's way of rotation, which is pretty much the same as in Mudbox, if I recall correctly...

It would be nice if Andrew could look at ZBrush's way of rotating objects - there you can also enable so called "local-mode", where you can easily rotate around the last point you sculpted - meant for situations just like that finger example.

Eugeny
03-06-2009, 07:03 AM
On the same russian forum Andrew maintained that he think about making left side (tool bar) of 3DC like in LW -with text buttons, so another user (PalSan) did this mocap :

http://pic.ipicture.ru/uploads/090301/ixJr298nY5.jpg

I'm more like the first CS4 P-shop like, but this one is also interesting.

JeffrySG
03-06-2009, 07:33 AM
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I just thought I'd share a preview of what may be 3DC's new interface. Andrew had hired a guy a while back to design a new interface but he kinda disappeared, so other people were coming up with ideas and this seems to be the one everyone (including Andrew) likes. It was posted on the Russian part of the forum by a guy going by the name Shadow. It's just a mock up of course but it looks like Andrew is going to try to match this pretty closely, after some little tweaks.

http://pic.ipicture.ru/uploads/090226/4nemsic4vX.jpg

That looks a thousand times better than what they have now. It would be great if they went with something like that. Might even make me purchase it!

IMI
03-06-2009, 07:36 AM
Those new interface designs look hot. Much better than the current version. :)

IMI
03-06-2009, 07:38 AM
That looks a thousand times better than what they have now. It would be great if they went with something like that. Might even make me purchase it!

Yeah, I agree too. I like the one Eugeny posted better though. Looks kinda familiar, but I just can't place it. ;)

I also like that "64 bit" I see at the top of the interface.

Philbert
03-06-2009, 08:02 AM
I also like that "64 bit" I see at the top of the interface.

Version 3.0 has been 64 bit almost since the alpha started back in Sept. BTW Andrew also has said that the next release will be soon, hopefully this week, and it will be the first beta version.

cresshead
03-06-2009, 10:37 AM
if 3dcoat is putting a hotbox type idea in someone please let him know it's patented i believe so be careful....autocash dark suits may come a knocking!

adamredwoods
03-06-2009, 11:39 AM
That is great to see these beautiful screenshots.
I'll upgrade my 3d-coat for these.

BTW-- Isn't the current 3d-coat skinable? I should make a new theme for it.

IMI
03-06-2009, 11:48 AM
if 3dcoat is putting a hotbox type idea in someone please let him know it's patented i believe so be careful....autocash dark suits may come a knocking!

How could Autocash patent such a thing? Is it just the shape or something? I thought you couldn't patent an idea, just specifics such as in this case, the code?
Modo has something similar, but it's called the pie menu and it's completely customizable in that you can put practically anything in there for quick access - space+ctrl by default.

Philbert
03-06-2009, 12:06 PM
That is great to see these beautiful screenshots.
I'll upgrade my 3d-coat for these.

BTW-- Isn't the current 3d-coat skinable? I should make a new theme for it.

Nope, not skinable. The option is a light or dark version. Well, unless you went digging through the installed files and found something, but I don't think so.

cresshead
03-06-2009, 12:07 PM
hotbox is patented the only apps using such a concept are maya and sketchbook pro

the pie menu in modo is not a hotbox and is more similar to 3dsmax's quad menu

3dsmax had to remove it's tab shelves from max after max 4 due to patents from maya's shelf system also..

the patent re hot box also covers the marking menu system

note the hotbox in maya give you access to all of the maya u.i. without having to have the u.i. buttons up at all.

cresshead
03-06-2009, 12:09 PM
How could Autocash patent such a thing? Is it just the shape or something? I thought you couldn't patent an idea, just specifics such as in this case, the code?
Modo has something similar, but it's called the pie menu and it's completely customizable in that you can put practically anything in there for quick access - space+ctrl by default.

'autocash' didn't, alias did or more specifically it's parent company silicon graphics did.

also luxology may have paid to use such a feature.

IMI
03-06-2009, 12:17 PM
OK I get it, thanks cress.
Modo's version doesn't make the whole UI available, it's only limited to 8 slots, far as I know.

geothefaust
03-06-2009, 12:29 PM
The new UI ideas for 3DC is pretty exciting and fresh. It's familiar to most people so it should be easy to jump in and get to work right away. :thumbsup:

On the topic of rotation, for those that have trouble with it, I have one piece of advice: Get yourself a 3D Connexion mouse!! It's MUCH better. You can also avoid the annoying rotation of your brush using one of those. On a similar note, Andrew said he would "fix" the problem of rotating your brush.