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Thread: Is ZbrushCORE worth looking into?

  1. #1

    Is ZbrushCORE worth looking into?

    I just noticed ZbrushCORE and it's around $150. Does it include retopology tools? I noticed it doesn't have FBX import/export, but does have obj. Not too concerned about ZBrush painting tools since I own Substance Painter 2. Just wondering if Core is worth investment to to bring in LW models or import into LW for animation/ rigging.

  2. #2
    You can see the comparison chart here. http://zbrushcore.com/features Zbrush Core does not include the auto retopology tools. It has Zspheres but I don't know if that includes zsphere retopology.

  3. #3
    Not sure what zpshere retopology is. I've only use retopology tools in Mudbox.

  4. #4
    Zsphere retopology is essentially the manual form of retopology inside of zbrush. Essentially it works in zbrush by appending a sphere to your current tool, enabling topology and then drawing out your new topology over top of the subtool in a background layer.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by hrgiger View Post
    Zsphere retopology is essentially the manual form of retopology inside of zbrush. Essentially it works in zbrush by appending a sphere to your current tool, enabling topology and then drawing out your new topology over top of the subtool in a background layer.
    Ah okay. I remember my instructor going over the "drawing over" with polys bit in Maya. However, I ended up just using the reto tool in Mudbox for one of my models by drawing lines / circles , etc

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jperk View Post
    Ah okay. I remember my instructor going over the "drawing over" with polys bit in Maya. However, I ended up just using the reto tool in Mudbox for one of my models by drawing lines / circles , etc
    I find Zbrush's retopo tediuos and painful. It behaves in a crippled manner, it puts vertices where you did not intend to and creates degenerate polygons and hidden overlapping errors. Unless you really have to use it but as you say
    Maya offers hands down better retopo toolset.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by bazsa73 View Post
    I find Zbrush's retopo tediuos and painful. It behaves in a crippled manner, it puts vertices where you did not intend to and creates degenerate polygons and hidden overlapping errors. Unless you really have to use it but as you say
    Maya offers hands down better retopo toolset.
    Honestly, I had problems with retopo tools in Mudbox as well. I actually had to bring the model into Maya to make some further adjustments. Especially in the face (nose, eyes and lips) and hair.

    Here is the before and after (Mudbox on left and Maya on right)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jperk; 07-12-2017 at 04:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Super Member samurai_x's Avatar
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    Buy it with 3dcoat student ed. You'll be all set.
    The only thing you really need in zbrush is sculpting which is what it does best.
    3dcoat can handle the retopo, uvmapping, painting.

  9. #9
    Super Member OlaHaldor's Avatar
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    Note though: you can't use brushes made in Zbrush with Zbrush Core. So if you'd like to get some brushes to create scratches, dents, rocks, whatever - it will be hard to find.
    I've never seen a pack of brushes for Zbrush Core on Gumroad actually.


    Zremesher, while not being mentioned at all on the comparison chart, I've googled a little, and it seems it's not in Zbrush Core. It's a crucial part of the workflow for a lot of artists. What it does is take, say, a 2 million poly sculpt, and reduce it to 700K polys. Quads, as much as possible. That's quite handy.

    Nor can you project in Zbrush Core or make UV maps, which also is part of a very common workflow.
    While UV maps can be created in different software, some times you just don't need that amount of control if it's a rock or a cliff etc.


    - Sculpt high res
    - Duplicate the sculpt
    - Zremesh the copy (to make a 'low poly')
    - UV map
    - Subdivide and project the 'low poly' to the high res sculpt
    - bake ao, normal, displacement etc to image maps

    The steps above must be done in different software if you go with Core.
    I usually do retopo in Modo or 3D Coat, then bring back to Zbrush.
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  10. #10
    Super Member samurai_x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlaHaldor View Post
    Nor can you project in Zbrush Core or make UV maps, which also is part of a very common workflow.
    While UV maps can be created in different software, some times you just don't need that amount of control if it's a rock or a cliff etc.


    - Sculpt high res
    - Duplicate the sculpt
    - Zremesh the copy (to make a 'low poly')
    - UV map
    - Subdivide and project the 'low poly' to the high res sculpt
    - bake ao, normal, displacement etc to image maps

    The steps above must be done in different software if you go with Core.
    I usually do retopo in Modo or 3D Coat, then bring back to Zbrush.

    Jperk is a student and probably trying to save money.

    - Sculpt high res in zbrush(optional - paint with polypaint)
    - Export the sculpt with vertex colors
    - Make low poly uvmapped model in 3dcoat, etc
    - Bake high poly to low poly with necessary image maps using 3dcoat, lightwave, xnormal, etc.

  11. #11
    If cost is an issue, he would be better off by sticking with 3DCoat instead of trying to wrap his head around two different applications with fairly steep learning curves. Or even give Blender a shot for free, although I don't know how good its sculpting tools are. I have both ZB and 3DCoat but I prefer ZB but its more expensive today then it was when I bought it. Based on a few friends who own it, I wouldn't recommend Zbrush Core, its so limited compared to the full version, I think you would hit walls with it fairly quickly.

  12. #12
    3Dcoat is $300 I think. Not that bad. The student version is even cheaper, but does not allow for commercial usage. I wonder if there is a good upgrade path to commercial.

  13. #13
    Big Kahuna
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    Quote Originally Posted by jperk View Post
    3Dcoat is $300 I think. Not that bad. The student version is even cheaper, but does not allow for commercial usage. I wonder if there is a good upgrade path to commercial.
    r u still a student? if so, take advantage of the student discounts on full version apps while u can. worry about upgrading to commercial licenses later once you've got a nice portfolio of work and land some gigs. when the coin flows in, then invest in migrating to commercial licenses. as long as the student versions are full, unlocked and functioning apps, then milk 'em for all their worth.

  14. #14
    Super Member OlaHaldor's Avatar
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    What he said!
    Still can't believe I got Foundry's Production Collective for about $7900 off as a student.
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  15. #15
    Robert Ireland bobakabob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jperk View Post
    I just noticed ZbrushCORE and it's around $150. Does it include retopology tools? I noticed it doesn't have FBX import/export, but does have obj. Not too concerned about ZBrush painting tools since I own Substance Painter 2. Just wondering if Core is worth investment to to bring in LW models or import into LW for animation/ rigging.
    Zbrush core is really an expensive demo but if it allows you to upgrade to the full app is not so bad.You can learn the sculpting fundamentals but it's not much use in a pipeline. You'd be better off using sculptris and combine with 3D Coat. A shame, ZBrush is so costly to
    Newcomers as it really is so powerful particularly dynamesh sculpting texturing, remeshing and import export functions. I haven't experienced the frustrations with manual
    Retopo as others have and quite like it - quirky and odd workflow involving creating a zsphere. Agree Maya is really good for drawing polys directly over a sculpted mesh. Just simple and fast.
    Last edited by bobakabob; 07-15-2017 at 02:00 AM.
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