Mari Vs Quixel ?

Tomiajayi
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Tomiajayi triangle
Just curious what the consensus is out there?
Basically I'm thinking about upping my texturing ante in the future.
right now I simply make stuff in photoshop and map it in max. 
But it would be nice to paint in 3d.
HOWEVER I do not like trying to master new complex software again and again.
So i've decided against substance because I've heard it's much more intense than quixel.

Quixel seems perfect because it's already inside photoshop, and from what I hear is much more user friendly and dummyproof.
BUT what about Mari?  How does it stack up? That's my real question given what i've described about my likes/needs.

THANKS!

Replies

  • Ged
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    Ged polycounter lvl 10
    quixel/substance are probably more suited to game art. Not sure what you mean by substance being intense, I found painter to be quite straight forward compared to quixel which I found confusing as it is in photoshop but doesnt use most of photoshops features.
  • Daf57
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    Daf57 polycounter lvl 2
    Another vote for Substance Painter,  I would never have thought to describe it as "intense" at all. About the same with Mari IMO. Not sure about Quixel - like Ged, I bailed out of the trial because I found it clumsy within photoshop. 
  • SpaceRogue
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    SpaceRogue polycounter lvl 2
    Honestly once you 'get it' Substance Painter becomes a breeze. If the official tutorials don't work for you, Lydia has quite some good ones. 

    Tried Quixel, was a lagfest, nice big library of materials but I couldn't really paint in 3D. 
  • Jonas Ronnegard
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    Jonas Ronnegard Polycount Sponsor
    I had to use mari for some 16k textures and I found it lacking a lot that substance painter and quixel have, seems like they are getting a lot of new stuff in the future, but if you are staying in 8k or lower I wouldn't go mari
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    Quixel seems perfect because it's already inside photoshop, and from what I hear is much more user friendly and dummyproof.

    Quite the opposite. The Quixel suite has some nice features and comes with a solid material library, but the fact that it is running from within Photoshop is actually its weakest point since compatibility issues arise with each new Photoshop update/release. My recommendation would be Substance Painter as it is way more fluid to use. Substance Painter is not "intense" by any means - Substance Designer is the complex one.

    All that said, bear in mind than neither Quixel, Substance or Mari will allow you to really "paint in 3D". Quixel will let you paint black and white masks for layer and material blending ; Substance Painter will give you access to a slightly more robust brush system, but unlike what the name suggest this is not at all its main feature ; and Mari is all about stencil projection. If you want to "paint in 3D" like one would work on an oil painting, you need 3DCoat or DeepPaint3D, or Mudbox.

    Also :
    HOWEVER I do not like trying to master new complex software again and again.

    Unfortunately you won't have much choice there, but thankfully enough, all these programs are very well documented with official training material as well as third party tutorials. As a matter of fact, don't hesitate to take the time to precisely describe what you want to achieve so that people reading this thread can point you in the right direction. The software offering might be overwhelming, but as far as "painting in 3d" is concerned  the basics of 3DCoat per-pixel painting can be taught to a complete beginner in a manner of minutes.

  • Sk0LLiE
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    Sk0LLiE polycounter lvl 4
    Second alot that is said here. Substance may be a bit weird initially,I would Liken it to learning Zbrush, but once you get going it is super powerful, flexible and fun. Quixel just didnt do that for me, but I may be alone here.

    If you want to paint in 3d then 3d Coat is your bet from my point of view. Its like photoshop in 3d and you can get going with the basics in a day or less. Mari would be the same deal I guess, but it is less for games and more for film.
  • fdfxd2
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    fdfxd2 triangle
    Substance painter.
    Mari is more for movies.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    pior said:
    If you want to "paint in 3D" like one would work on an oil painting, you need 3DCoat or DeepPaint3D, or Mudbox.



    deep paint 3d, really? and does that by any chance run on anything newer than windows 2000? ;)

  • Synaesthesia
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    Synaesthesia polycounter lvl 5
    Hey Tomi!

    We offer an extensive tutorial library at Quixel.se/learn. This should help get you up to speed with NDO and DDO. Since you're familiar with Photoshop already, I think you'll really enjoy working with our toolset. Pior is correct in the sense that we don't support the depth of 3D painting that Mudbox does, but we do offer both mask-based 3D painting and color paint, in addition to all of the features of Photoshop which do work with the entire Quixel SUITE.

    If you ever have questions or want some assistance, don't hesitate to let me know! :)
  • AtticusMars
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    AtticusMars greentooth
    thomasp said:
    pior said:
    If you want to "paint in 3D" like one would work on an oil painting, you need 3DCoat or DeepPaint3D, or Mudbox.



    deep paint 3d, really? and does that by any chance run on anything newer than windows 2000? ;)


    They recommend Windows XP!

    Whenever I've seen people use DeepPaint3D none of them were actually painting in it, they used it almost exclusively to do projection texturing while doing the real painting in photoshop. Not to go off on a tangent here but I've been curious about this too, is there anything more modern that is still suitable for projection texturing? I know ZBrush can do it, but ZBrush's viewport preview is ass...

  • Dudestein
    Substance is quickly becoming the industry standard from what I'm seeing. It's replacing Photoshop, and good riddance. Photoshop has never been the ideal tool for what we do. Lots of individuals use Quixel, but Substance is becoming an integrated part of pipelines, and that's why it's worth learning. I'm sure someone will contradict me on that but, again, this is based on my observations of our clients where I work.

    If you're going to survive (let alone thrive) in game development, I recommend adjusting your attitude regarding learning new tools. You're currently taking a "path of least resistance" approach, where you want to stick with what is comfortable or easiest to learn, because you either doubt your ability to learn complex tools, or you simply don't want to. If anything, you want to be the person that dives into the complex stuff before everyone else. Then you're in the position to teach others, which is valuable to teams.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp interpolator
    thomasp said:
    pior said:
    If you want to "paint in 3D" like one would work on an oil painting, you need 3DCoat or DeepPaint3D, or Mudbox.



    deep paint 3d, really? and does that by any chance run on anything newer than windows 2000? ;)


    They recommend Windows XP!

    Whenever I've seen people use DeepPaint3D none of them were actually painting in it, they used it almost exclusively to do projection texturing while doing the real painting in photoshop. Not to go off on a tangent here but I've been curious about this too, is there anything more modern that is still suitable for projection texturing? I know ZBrush can do it, but ZBrush's viewport preview is ass...


    i didn't realize the app was still going with the times like that! ;)

    anyway same here, that's all i remember deep paint for really - a way to get into photoshop and back into 3D to see the result.

    i use mudbox for painting. interface is simples, it can deal with UDIMs, you can paint in 3D to a decent standard on layers and channels with stencils, masks and stamps and photoshop blendmodes, it comes with lazy-mouse functionality and you can create curves in the viewport and snap the paintbrush to them. projection painting and transfer to photoshop and back is in there as well. you can paint across mesh chunks and materials, too.
    if you use mikkt tangentspace then the builtin shaders can deal with that in acceptable but not perfect fashion (i believe it tries to sync with maya which i don't use).

    best combo of simplicity and actual paint functionality i've found so far. no fancy functionality like PBR preview or painting to multiple channels at once and it is somewhat finicky with mirrored UV's though.
  • MagicSugar
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    MagicSugar polycounter lvl 9
    I think Mari would be more compatible with photogrammetry techniques.

    Only factors for me, a freelancer, that make it at a disadvantage compared to Substance tools would be the the price (although there's a massive 40% sale coming up next week for the full version) , massive data file handling considerations, and need for high hardware specs to use it as it's designed to be used.  The freebie and indie versions are great for learning and vfx portfolio building use but for freelance commercial work I'm not as confident to use it as opposed to working for a studio that handles all the license purchasing, maintenance, and hardware provisions.

    Re: Quixel.  Lots of studios use it.  Best approach to decide in my opinion is line up the studios that support and heavily use Quixel tools and see if these are the companies you'd want to work for and submit your portfolio.  If you plan to apply entry level at vfx companies, pick up free Mari and Nuke (even if in reality you'll start off doing boring greenscreen cleanup or roto work).
  • pior
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    pior ngon master
    Haaaa sorry, I meant to say BodyPaint3d (the one that comes with C4D, which I believe is still maintained to this day), not DeepPaint3D (the Photoshop-linked one that was indeed mostly used for projection painting, which was fantastic back then but kinda disappeared into oblivion at some point) !

    All that said ... the point still stand that it would be best to know precisely what kind of art the OP actually wants to create.

    - - - - -

    Whenever I've seen people use DeepPaint3D none of them were actually painting in it, they used it almost exclusively to do projection texturing while doing the real painting in photoshop. Not to go off on a tangent here but I've been curious about this too, is there anything more modern that is still suitable for projection texturing?

    Yes ! The best solution for this at the moment would be 3DCoat. It has good "real 3d" brushes allowing to paint on the model, but also a rock solid mode for sending a screenshot of the model to Photoshop for painting and reprojecting. This is a must-have for any old school diffuse painting project, and it works almost as well at it as ... the now discontinued Deep Paint 3D plugin. It does have trouble handling seems and blending projected painting over the symmetry line of a model though.

    Mudbox can also do projection painting to an extent but it is not as reliable as 3DCoat ; Zbrush can sortof do it too through Spotlight but that is convoluted ; and lastly I think Substance Painter can do it too by being creative with stencils. The consensus is definitely 3DCoat, very widely used in the Dota2 community for handpainted texturing.
  • blankslatejoe
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    blankslatejoe polycounter lvl 12
    I've adopted a workflow that uses BOTH Quixel and Substance Painter. I'm doing a lot of texture-first, or tiling texture, hard-surface environment work. Neither tool makes that "easy"...but Quixel's nDo is about as straightforward as it gets for normal map generation--it's incredible easy and versatile...doing similar tasks in Substance is unwieldy, if not, impossible.

    On the other hand, I use Substance P's for it's ease when it comes to orchestrating interactions between roughness, metalness, base, normal and support maps. I feel much more comfortable in SubstanceP's longevity in my pipeline. Whether it's the actual tool stability, or the standalone app aspect of Substance P, or fact that there's a more obvious container file for all my maps/masks/settings, or the fact that the tool is not beholden to Adobe's version whims....there's definitely something about SubstanceP that feels "sturdier".

    I can have a 2gb file up for 2 weeks in Substance, and never have to worry about a crash or memory leak. I'd feel lucky if I made it a full workday with Quixel not crashing. (disclaimer, haven't tried dDO in a few months now. Both nDo and 3Do have grown incredibly stable though, so maybe it's time to give dDO a third try).

    Anyway, I like the resolution independent nature of Substance P, I find it to be far more performance friendly than Quixel/dDo, and in general find the workflow to be more logical than Quixel's (as in, most of the functionality is not hidden behind hotkeys). I also find the actual tools to be much more extensive. While Quixel has been chasing stability fixes, Substance has been adding tools and features...and I worry there's only so stable/optimized Quixel can get before they, unfortunately, hit the limits of what the Pshop shell will let them get away with.

    On the other hand, I find Quixel's final results to look much richer, sharper, and cleaner. I find the base material samples to feel MUCH higher quality. I feel like the Quixel team has their shit together when it comes to photogrammetry, scanning materials, and giving artists a high quality start.  However, clean results can only woo me so far....and having a clean pipeline just outweighs it for me.



  • Synaesthesia
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    Synaesthesia polycounter lvl 5
    We should sit down sometime and talk shop, @blankslatejoe - I'd like to hear your thoughts on this matter!
  • kanga
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    kanga polycounter lvl 10
    I tried 3DO,DDO and NDO and they work really well. PBR maps look amazing in both Unity and Unreal. It was the first time ever that I got a convincing metal texture in both engines, and that with peeling paint and painting in texture and normal maps. Quixel has its quirks like every other app I have ever had the pleasure to work with. You had to save everything to a folder on the C drive for instance, something that Flash also has. Nonetheless I am pretty sure Quixel can give you everything you need for game textures, and then some.

    I am just playing with Substance and its also amazing. Right away though I failed to create a custom material without Substance designer. I read it was possible but the options were not there when I searched for them. Also it seems that you also need Material2Bitmap to get things up and running fast. So that is three apps :) I am on a gamming notebook here and Substance runs on it no worries. I am about to do my fist bake and am very curious how that will turn out. For now though the ability to paint directly in a 3d viewer looks like a great advantage.


    I have no idea about Mari.
  • Kel-Shaded
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    Kel-Shaded polycounter lvl 4
    When I started using quixel I found it very useful for throwing up base textures, and then being a 3D viewer for my normal photoshop workflow,
    I found the 3D painting awkward, and as I learned more about it, found it actually was just awkward.
    But its refined alot in recent versions, and most of the criticisms in the thread are legacy. And its now my preferred texturing software.
    3Do animator makes for a more complete presentation package than marmoset, and as my studio is unity based a unity viewer helps.
    NDo painter is very good and very helpful... though not intuitive, which I suppose makes sense, normal mapping in general isn't something you just understand straight off.

    Substance painter i find frustratingly slower to use, however it does have a couple of features quixel doesn't have yet, triplanar mapping, baking all off its maps, and the baked lighting function would speed up a step for some parts of my workflow too, and alot of the stuff I could and should do in NDo painter I do in substance , then rebake normal and AO in substance then send to quixel to texture.

    I can't speak for Mari or substance designer though sorry dude, but give a trial of them all and see what suits.
  • Carlosan
  • Biomag
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    Biomag polycounter lvl 2
    I've been using Quixel for about 2 years so far, also introduced it at work. I must say I never used its 3d viewer because it was often buggy for me (as well as at work) and roughness looked a lot different to Marmoset and Unity. Still it is a fast way to get the base textures and then finish them up using Photoshop, thus I don't see the downside (besides costs and additional bugs) that it is just a plugin. Photoshop is still a great tool for itself and it really adds to what you can do. Biggest downside is just that you can't paint in 3d the way you can with Substance.

    Substance Painter is something I started using now because a lot of studios require it. It is weird for starters and I am not happy with some of the base textures for the materials, but painting in 3d is really good. Also their triplanar mapping is great. For me the programm is a little laggy sometimes, but nothing too extreme. It also has some odd things like not being able to re-name materials that are imported from Maya. Overall it is a great tool, but needs some time to get used to.

    In my latest project I did the base textures with Quixel, as I prefered their scan data, and moved to Substance for detailing. I must say Substance also gets by far better results out of the box when it comes to skin.
  • kolayamit
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    kolayamit polycounter lvl 8
    For Movies only Mari, there is no competition. No other software can handle 40 patches of 8K textures. I work at MPC Film Division and our LOD A characters are about 30-40 patches of 8K textures. For LOD A+ assets like vehicles and trees have 100 or more 8K patches. Mari is the best software for multiple UV assets.
  • Tomiajayi
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    Tomiajayi triangle
    Hey Tomi!

    We offer an extensive tutorial library at Quixel.se/learn. This should help get you up to speed with NDO and DDO. Since you're familiar with Photoshop already, I think you'll really enjoy working with our toolset. Pior is correct in the sense that we don't support the depth of 3D painting that Mudbox does, but we do offer both mask-based 3D painting and color paint, in addition to all of the features of Photoshop which do work with the entire Quixel SUITE.

    If you ever have questions or want some assistance, don't hesitate to let me know! :)

    Thanks Synaesthesia, I suppose it's worth giving quixel trial a try. HOWEVER I'm encouraged by opinions about substance and its ease of use. And though I think quixel would win this,  it seems substance is free for learners at the moment which is impossible to pass up. 

    Sounds like Mari is more for highres texture work, which I don't worry about.
    I came from a game dev background starting in the ps2 era, so i'm still excited to work with 2k textures, haha.


  • Synaesthesia
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    Synaesthesia polycounter lvl 5
    Feel free to reach out to me at jonathan @ quixel . se - if you have any questions, that is, or if you just want to chat. I'll help you through the SUITE workflow if you'd like to learn it. :)
  • Tomiajayi
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    Tomiajayi triangle
    Thanks! that's just great.
  • NAIMA
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    NAIMA polycounter lvl 7
    I found that Quixel has problems with 8 k maps ,the renderer creates weird gray stripings when visualizing at too high res high poly models, so its better to use with low poly modeling . Also its not possible to load multitiled uvs , as well has a problem in creating the curvature maps in high res textures like 8 k , hopefully will be improved in future versions .
    I have no experience in substance or Mari , but the second sems interesting .
  • Tomiajayi
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    Tomiajayi triangle
    seems others said mari is the only one for 8k+ maps so that's not surprising.
  • Synaesthesia
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    Synaesthesia polycounter lvl 5
    In fairness, the issue experienced by NAIMA is due to an incredibly high-res mesh. It's something we'll look into fixing in a future patch.

    I haven't heard of anyone else encountering that issue yet. Just about all artists I know (including myself) work in 8k using NDO and DDO fluidly. :)
  • Tomiajayi
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    Tomiajayi triangle
    Good to know!
  • Bumblebee
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    Bumblebee vertex
    My vote goes to quixel.
  • Tomiajayi
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    Tomiajayi triangle
    Hmmm maybe a poll is in order :p
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