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Mari - does anyone actually use it?

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greentooth
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marks greentooth
As OP - been looking into Mari for a little while now ... it seems like it's pretty damn good! Just wondering if anyone has used it and has any opinions on it vs photoshop for texturing, may be worth a discussion.

http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/mari/

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  • Dataday
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    Dataday polycounter lvl 8
    I have heard some foundry folk say that Mari is used in the game industry, though I have yet to see it. Maybe for outsourced cinematics or blizzard cinematics department... but its hard to imagine it being used for game textures due their price point.
  • gray
    mari was designed for painting large texture sets for film. ie 24x24=576k per character and higher. a good chunk of the feature set is useless for games and small texture sets, 32float painting etc. unless you need that functionality in a production environment i think its way over priced and over complicated.

    mudbox is a much better option. you can sculpt and paint on the same model, paint directly on textures. you can paint texture sets just as large as mari if you want with a better layer system. the brushes are true 3d and not projections. you also get fast accurate map extractions for all your maps, somthing mari lacks. ptex support. and a well thought out easy to use interface.

    its also worth a look at 3dcoat. the paint system is nice but it is not really designed for large texture sets. it does have lots of other tools that make it a good value. but its still a little rough around the edges. and the brush engine is not as good as mudbox or zbrush. but its still under development.

    the other option for 3d texture paint is maxon bodypaint. but like mari this is a texture painter only.
  • bugo
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    bugo polycounter lvl 12
    Mari is good, is just not easy to use and has a very complex workflow for some users. I rather use 3D-coat or just zbrush polypaint for game related assets.
  • marks
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    marks greentooth
    I've not really used it myself, but I've been told by others that Mari has a very good workflow and can be / has been used in some games pipelines. I know that the pricepoint is likely quite high (it's targetted at film VFX, and Nuke ain't exactly cheap...) but I'm just interested in the experiences of anyone who has used it in a professional pipeline/context, what they thought of it vs something like Photoshop/PolyPaint/Mudbox.
  • PolyHertz
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    PolyHertz ngon master
    artquest used it for the Sins of a Solar Empire game:
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=97344

    From the little I've used it it seems very powerful. Though it doesn't support non-square textures yet and eats about 1/3 of my cpu while idling, plus it seems to have some really nasty issues with Monoprice tablets while running multi-monitors (works fine if set to span all but the cursor flips out in Mari if the tablet is set to span only one). The fact that it's 2-4x the price of its competition (Bodypaint/Mudbox/3DCoat) doesn't help either.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    gray wrote: »
    mari was designed for painting large texture sets for film. ie 24x24=576k per character and higher. a good chunk of the feature set is useless for games and small texture sets, 32float painting etc. unless you need that functionality in a production environment i think its way over priced and over complicated.

    mudbox is a much better option. you can sculpt and paint on the same model, paint directly on textures. you can paint texture sets just as large as mari if you want with a better layer system. the brushes are true 3d and not projections. you also get fast accurate map extractions for all your maps, somthing mari lacks. ptex support. and a well thought out easy to use interface.

    its also worth a look at 3dcoat. the paint system is nice but it is not really designed for large texture sets. it does have lots of other tools that make it a good value. but its still a little rough around the edges. and the brush engine is not as good as mudbox or zbrush. but its still under development.

    the other option for 3d texture paint is maxon bodypaint. but like mari this is a texture painter only.


    Mari 2.0's layer system kicks the crap out of mudbox's layer system imo.

    Another thing to consider is that mari will let you hand paint accurate vector flow maps.

    [ame=" 2.0: Vector and Flowmaps - YouTube[/ame]

    I'm also not sure why gray said that there isn't a fast way to output your maps. In 2.0 it's very fast to export your maps.

    Another cool thing is that you can choose what shader model you use. So if you know your game uses Cook Torrance you can choose that as the specular model for mari to display while you paint.

    You can also instance layers so when you paint something into your diffuse it will automatically update in your specular channel as well.
  • gray
    @artquest

    i was referring to 'extract' not 'export'. ie create displacement, normal, ambient occlusion etc from your sculpt.

    the layer system is nicer now then it was with shader setup. but it's still more complicated then it has to be. all you need is a simple layer stack like photoshop. photoshop layers have not really changed in years, you just don't need to mess with it.

    as a dedicated texture paint app its great. mari and mudbox are the only two apps i would consider at this point. and for a production with a dedicated texture department it's the best choice. but if im going to sculpt and texture something i like the workflow better in mudbox. i'm not sure if the workflow of a dedicated texture paint app makes much sense anymore in most situations where you have a single artist that is responsible for sculpting all the way through to the finished textured model.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    gray wrote: »
    @artquest

    i was referring to 'extract' not 'export'. ie create displacement, normal, ambient occlusion etc from your sculpt.

    the layer system is nicer now then it was with shader setup. but it's still more complicated then it has to be. all you need is a simple layer stack like photoshop. photoshop layers have not really changed in years, you just don't need to mess with it.

    as a dedicated texture paint app its great. mari and mudbox are the only two apps i would consider at this point. and for a production with a dedicated texture department it's the best choice. but if im going to sculpt and texture something i like the workflow better in mudbox. i'm not sure if the workflow of a dedicated texture paint app makes much sense anymore in most situations where you have a single artist that is responsible for sculpting all the way through to the finished textured model.

    Ah gotcha, I guess as a texturing only app they are expecting you to already have the normals/displacements generated. I haven't compared the ao bake of mari to mud box but it seems to be reasonably fast in mari.

    But I agree it would be nice to be able to extract some data from the hp mesh in mari.

    I too am somewhat annoyed with jumping between software.. But in some cases the tradeoff is worth it. Would be nice to have a sweet powerhouse app that you never had to leave though.

    I'm curious what about the layer system you find complicated. On the surface it's just like photoshop but if you want to go the extra mile it's extra features are amazing and very useful.


    Also it's important to note that I'm a zbrush user so I'd have to switch apps anyway. So if you sculpt in mud box I can see how texturing in it would have the upper hand over mari.
  • maze
    Hi, I work doing lookDev for film (textures, surfacing) I recently switched completely to Mari for the texturing workflow and honestly I am amazed as how could I ve been doing textures only with photoshop. Mari is a real game changer for me, I approach things a lot more procedural and less photosourced, because mari has really strong procedural modules for fractals, ao, triplanar projections etc... and with the recent addition of layers... is just a killer.
    Seriouly at this point I am using photoshop only to color grade texture sources, but for actually texturing is thing of the past. I reccommend it to those who have not use it yet.
    I was kinda daunted at the begininng but seriously it is an easy transition for people well used with photoshop.
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    I use mari at work and love it. It's amazing to be able to paint on a highpoly model with a high res texture and it be fluid enough to actually paint.

    FWIW I've used it to paint on low poly meshes that have already been processed, as well as paint on high polygon models then baking the texture down to the low poly.
  • gray
    artquest wrote: »
    I'm curious what about the layer system you find complicated.

    its not bad. but you have to set up a shader, connect your maps etc. its like setting up a render shader. where as in mudbox you don't really need to deal with a shader unless you want to. you can just right click in the layer bar pick your channel and it works. i find its more like photoshop in that i can quickly throw down layers, paint, adjust levels, collapse etc. the flow is a little more painterly imo.

    if your sculpting in zbrush then you need a second app anyways as you noted so in that case mari is a reasonable choice.

    if your sculpting in mudbox then you can do the whole thing in one spot. thats how i want to work. sculpt, map extraction, and texture work all in one spot. there is very little headaches involved. you only need one file for the whole thing.
  • Farfarer
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    Farfarer Polycount Sponsor
    I think Mari 2's layer system is more complex because you can instance/reference layers and groups, which is pretty neat.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    i love it, i used it on Jean Grey quite extensively.
  • Bellsey
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    Bellsey polycounter lvl 5
    Interesting discussion and views.

    I'll let Andrew explain some things.....

    What is the difference between Mudbox, Zbrush or Mari?
  • JordanW
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    JordanW sublime tool
    It's interesting the video cites true 3d brushes that paint on the surface as a plus, but I've found projection painting is what makes Mari so much better to paint with. For those who don't know, in Mari when you're painting, you're painting on the "screen" first then hitting a button to quickly bake to the model. This means it's incredibly responsive, since it's not doing the baking to UV space as you move your brush. I've found that painting an 8k map has just as fast brush responsiveness as a 1k map. It also means polygons aren't as much of a limitation. This also opened up some interesting workflow, like painting some stuff on the screen then being able to erase parts away before baking to the texture. It also has tools for say painting parts of a face or something to the screen, then creating a control grid to warp that to your model, it makes painting faces incredibly easy.
  • gray
    haha, studio paint. most people don't know anything about studio paint and why mari was created in the first place. its a story not worth telling but true 3D painting directly on the highres sculpt is the way forward imo.

    edit:
    @jordanW

    3D painting is as fast as projections. you need a reasonable system with enough ram and good graphics in both cases. there is dynamic loading, tile management and other stuff that is done automatically that the artist never notices.

    projection is useful in a scenario where you have a source image and you want to warp and transfer to the model. mudbox/3dcost/mari all have that ability.

    but for bursh based painting, stamps projections and other tools you get far more distortion with projections then you do with a 3D brush that tracks the surface.

    so for instance lets say you have a sphere and a stamp. you want to paint the stamp from the left side to the right side of the sphere. with a projection the only point on the sphere that does not get some sort of distortion is the centre of the sphere that is perpendicular to the camera ray. the farther you go to the left and right the more distortion you get. where as with 3D painting the projection plane of the brush is updated at each projection to align with the normal of the surface of the object. so you can literally do a brush stroke from the left side of the sphere to the right side with no distortion at any point on the stroke.

    now if you start to think about how much curvature there is on a real model the difference in the amount of distortion between the two methods is significant.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    i tried out 3d painting in mudbox 2013, i'm willing to give them another go in the 2014 trial, but i really didn't like them. i've always found the material and lighting system to be really over complicated, why can't you just create materials the same way you do in max? where are the custom shader options? for a software that boasts being streamlined with max/maya in your pipeline, and telling you that what matters is the final look that the audience sees, it really seems to go out of its way to provide the opposite. if i'm doing any kind of 3d/projection painting, i want to do it with a shader and lighting model that's as close to my target engine as it can possibly be, something i haven't been able to do with mudbox (unless that's different in 2014).

    and don't tell me litspheres will do it, it won't.

    on top of that i always had some strange bugs around seams in mudbox, especially on meshes where the UV's are mirrored. around the seams i always get these triangular differences in hue/sat values. those triangles are, conveniently enough, based around the triangulation of the mesh.

    the entire purpose of 3d/projection painting for me, is to create a fast and effective workflow that helps you avoid the issue of texture seams, and mudbox doesn't do that for me.

    Bellsey, i'm sorry man but every post you make about how autodesk products are the right choice, whether you are blunt or subtle about it, just really irks me. come find me some unbiased comparison sources, and i'd be more inclined to listen to you. but based on everything autodesk say they aim and stand for, and then the shit they pump out every year... i just can't stand it man. you're like the apple of the 3d industry. you don't put out fantastic products, you put out average ones with fantastic marketing.
  • gray
    the thing to keep in mind is that its an uneven comparison between a sculpting/map extraction/resurface/texture paint' app and dedicated texture paint app. so when you talk about integration with maya etc your talking about a much broader set of issues.

    for instance from maya i can transfer shaders with texture assignments, models with hard edges, full character fk with weighting. a full blend shape stack. lights camera etc.

    so its not just painting, its integration of all the other stuff, sculpting etc that makes the system robust.

    it would be nice if there was a system where you had a renderer profile that you could apply to your shaders and get one to one viewport parity. but you would have to render using the actual engine / renderer. there is to much variation between all the systems and shaders to accurately mimic everything. and if your output is vray or another off line renderer then its impossible as those systems have far more going on under the hood then any realtime system. even if you have a few more shader parameters to tweak your still just eye-balling it. and you will have to tweak everything by hand anyways back in the engine / renderer. so in the end there is no substitute for testing and tweaking in you output renderer. you also run into the same problems that you get with zbrush. ie, you start to tweak everything to look good in zbrush but there shader system and lighting is totally different then anything else. so you get thrown off track because everything may look great in zbrush but look like crap when you render it. so i try to keep it simple and not rely on anything to fancy for rendering as a baseline. then when you transfer everything over there is no big surprises.

    haveing said that i like that mari has a few different shading models but i'm still hesitant to rely on that unless you can determine that the shader algorithm is the same as your render output.


    edit:
    as far as autodesk goes its totally pointless to get hot and bothered by them because the entire dev team for maya, max and softimage work for them. along with motion builder, mudbox, mentalray and many others. they also have some of the leading computer graphic researchers in the world working for them such as Jos Stam. and relationships with r&d in most of the major studios. the foundry is nice but its tiny and even less responsive to game artists and small studios then autodesk. with much higher prices. and they have the same business model as autodesk does where they buy out small developers and integrate there products into there umbrella branding.

    nuke=digital domain
    mari=weta
    katana=spi
    etc.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    gray wrote: »
    haveing said that i like that mari has a few different shading models but i'm still hesitant to rely on that unless you can determine that the shader algorithm is the same as your render output.

    At the launch event for mari 2.0 they said they were working on a system to integrate custom shaders. If I understood them correctly any dx11 shader will be able to be displayed in the view port as you paint.


    EDIT: @ Gray: I hear ya, that business model may be annoying on many levels. But I don't care what the business models are for these companies, I just want to see some good competition. No matter what software you pick, you benefit from each company trying to out-do the others. I feel like autodesk isn't putting out the same quality of applications lately, maya 8.5 was stable as a rock. maya 2014 crashes regularly even when using basic tools like split polygon. I just hope someone scares the shit out of autodesk soon with some amazing software so that they get their butts in gear and make good software again. Even the new modeling toolkit is just sooo tacked on. I want integrated, smooth as butter tools that flow nicely as I work. /end rant.
  • gray
    artquest wrote: »
    At the launch event for mari 2.0 they said they were working on a system to integrate custom shaders. If I understood them correctly any dx11 shader will be able to be displayed in the view port as you paint.

    thats sounds great. if you have any links to that then id love to check it out and look at the details. you can already do that with glsl shaders in mudbox but it would obviously be an improvement for games if they had dx shaders. that might be in the cards seeing that maya has dx11 support now.

    the only problem is that you still probably need some skills to write / edit shaders in a text editor which is beyond the skills of most artists. if they can make it automatic that would be a nice feature. the other problem i can see is that some of the more complex shaders and shader networks may take advantage of engine specific code that you can not simply transfer over in a simple shader. so even if you do get dx11 shaders it may be a limited subset of what your shaders do in the renderer. its still useful but probably requires manual tweaking and setup.


    edit:
    competition is my only real issue also. more competition would make better more innovative software. but i think a lot of people do not realize that at the time that maya. max and soft were bought. all three were doing very poorly and it was predicted that one or even two of them would have gone out of business as they were pushing there prices down in a fight for the same user base.

    edit2:
    bellsey knows his shit. i much prefer some information from the developers as apposed to only ever getting endless ranting from artists :). you obviously have to take into account there is some bias. but everyone has bias that you have to take into account no matter who it is or what there opinion is.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    gray wrote: »
    thats sounds great. if you have any links to that then id love to check it out and look at the details. you can already do that with glsl shaders in mudbox but it would obviously be an improvement for games if they had dx shaders. that might be in the cards seeing that maya has dx11 support now.

    the only problem is that you still probably need some skills to write / edit shaders in a text editor which is beyond the skills of most artists. if they can make it automatic that would be a nice feature. the other problem i can see is that some of the more complex shaders and shader networks may take advantage of engine specific code that you can not simply transfer over in a simple shader. so even if you do get dx11 shaders it may be a limited subset of what your shaders do in the renderer. its still useful but probably requires manual tweaking and setup.


    edit:
    competition is my only real issue also. more competition would make better more innovative software. but i think a lot of people do not realize that at the time that maya. max and soft were bought. all three were doing very poorly and it was predicted that one or even two of them would have gone out of business as they were pushing there prices down in a fight for the same user base.

    edit2:
    bellsey knows his shit. i much prefer some information from the developers as apposed to only ever getting endless ranting from artists :). you obviously have to take into account there is some bias. but everyone has bias that you have to take into account no matter who it is or what there opinion is.

    I'll see if I can find the launch event link. It was on their site awhile back.

    As game artists we've always run into the problem of our creation tools not matching the end result in engine, but I think this is going to start shifting soon. In the talk about the new PBR engine for killzone they talked about how you texture clean assets and then paint things like rust or damage onto the object inside the engine using masks. Of course thats only if you work at a big studio who can afford to setup a nice engine. But the more we do inside the engine the better imo!

    Of course the dream is to work in your app of choice while displaying the final ingame shaders. But like you said this can be difficult as some custom shaders do not easily translate to outside tools.


    As for maya and max, back then I could see that happening for sure. I imagine there weren't as many people needing licenses for 3d software as today. Dev teams numbers have grown quite a bit!
  • jgreasley
    Hi

    I'm Jack Greasley, the original author and current product manager for Mari. I'm really happy to answer any questions you guys might have.

    https://vimeo.com/65408722

    Some more discussion about this can be found here....

    http://paintmore.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=991

    This is a fun little video showing the work one games company have done integrating their material and shader system with Mari. All of the Mari shading system can be easily updated and replaced with facility specific shaders.

    We are really interested in talking to games artists to find out what we can do to make Mari better.

    The projection vs "real 3d" is an interesting one. It comes up occasionally from people who don't use Mari but is pretty far down the list of requested features from people who use Mari.

    Please fire away with the questions.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    I think a good way to start the discussion about game content creation would be to look at the most basic game texturing needs first.

    That is to say : in Mari, how straightforward is it to just load an OBJ and start painting straight away ? I am not even talking about complex materials with bump and specular, or advanced realtime shaders - just plain old diffuse painting.

    The process should be as simple as : load OBJ, import existing texture or set the texture size of the new texture to be created from scratch, and then start painting in fullbright mode right away.

    I know that it might sound very simplistic and a bit of an insult to the powerful Mari toolset, but that's definitely something to think about when catering to game artists :)

    Thanks for posting by the way ! That's definitely a great way to gather constructive feedback. Can't wait to see more !
  • jgreasley
    pior wrote: »

    That is to say : in Mari, how straightforward is it to just load an OBJ and start painting straight away ? I am not even talking about complex materials with bump and specular, or advanced realtime shaders - just plain old diffuse painting.

    The process should be as simple as : load OBJ, import existing texture or set the texture size of the new texture to be created from scratch, and then start painting in fullbright mode right away.

    That's exactly the way Mari works .

    This is a really important question. We made it as simple as possible to start painting because that's why you're in Mari after all. From desktop to painting the Basic process is

    Start Mari
    Hit new project
    Select an obj
    Hit ok
    Start painting

    This will create a singe Color channel for you to paint on. From then on, you can create as many channels as you need, import multiple textures with a single click and export likewise.
  • Bellsey
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    Bellsey polycounter lvl 5
    Bellsey, i'm sorry man but every post you make about how autodesk products are the right choice, whether you are blunt or subtle about it, just really irks me. come find me some unbiased comparison sources, and i'd be more inclined to listen to you. but based on everything autodesk say they aim and stand for, and then the shit they pump out every year... i just can't stand it man. you're like the apple of the 3d industry. you don't put out fantastic products, you put out average ones with fantastic marketing.

    I'm sorry you feel that way and whether I post here or on other forums, I always try and be as fair as I can. I try and avoid trying to really go OTT on pushing Autodesk being better than anything else, and instead focus on presenting (if I can)facts and clarifying some things if/when people get their facts wrong, wires crossed or drawn into wild assumptions.

    And that was what I did with the post here. I wasn't saying Mudbox was actually better than the other products mentioned, but the comparison question is something that gets asked alot, and in our recent Unfold event, Andrew had (imho) a good and interesting response to that.

    But (imo) our products are not average, they're very good and there's plenty of competition out there for Autodesk and other vendors, that keeps everyone on their toes.

    Also, in response to a couple things mentioned here - the new Maya modelling toolkit wasn't just tacked on at the last minute. People may or may not want to believe that, but the feature was added to the Beta over some time, with many people using it and providing feedback on how we could improve things.

    On the point about Max, Maya and Softimage doing badly when acquistions were made is something I can't comment on fully. But what I can say Softimage was not sold because it was doing badly. Softimage was a well run business for Avid. Though it shared alot with Avid, Softimage ran autonomously with its own sales, PR and marketing people.
    Avid had decided to sell because they were restructuring their business and Softimage wasn't really going to be part of Avid's core business and future strategy.
  • almighty_gir
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    almighty_gir ngon master
    Sorry Bellsey, i didn't mean to come off as aggressively as i did. all i meant to say is that i saw your post as the following:

    "hi i'm bellsey i work for autodesk, this conversation is interesting, let me link you to what another autodesk employee has to say on the matter" - link

    "hi i'm andrew, i've used all of these products but you should definitely buy mudbox because it's the best one of the three, this review is not at all impartial based on my employment".

    i would LOVE to see you guys talk about the actual flaws in your products and what you're going to do to fix them, instead of only highlighting features or potential future features. it's far more important to me, as a customer, to know that you're interested in making a good product instead of just selling A product.

    whether or not your products are "very good" or not is entirely subjective, of course. and there will be other members here who both agree and disagree with me in my opinion. but i still stand by it, there are products out there which continually improve BASIC functionality, things like quad chamfer being standard instead of a third party modifier. awesome retopo tools that have been around 3+ years before they appeared in the autodesk equivalents etc.

    i mean for gods sake, there's a free piece of software that was developed by a polycounter, who gathered and incorporated feedback from other polycounters into a product that does everything a games artist needs to do, in less than 2 years. if one guy can do that, and have a product that other artists enjoy using, and spread the word about etc. how hard would it REALLY be for autodesk to do the same? how hard would it REALLY be for you to come up with a new, fresh product that is both viable and bloat free, designed for games artists/studios, that has everything they need and nothing they don't?

    i guess it's just so frustrating to hear from community representatives of big companies, that they have you in mind, that they value your feedback, and yet year after year their products seemingly bloat more and become less viable. sustained only by market share and their existing integration into pipelines.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    Bellsey wrote: »
    I'm sorry you feel that way and whether I post here or on other forums, I always try and be as fair as I can. I try and avoid trying to really go OTT on pushing Autodesk being better than anything else, and instead focus on presenting (if I can)facts and clarifying some things if/when people get their facts wrong, wires crossed or drawn into wild assumptions.

    And that was what I did with the post here. I wasn't saying Mudbox was actually better than the other products mentioned, but the comparison question is something that gets asked alot, and in our recent Unfold event, Andrew had (imho) a good and interesting response to that.

    But (imo) our products are not average, they're very good and there's plenty of competition out there for Autodesk and other vendors, that keeps everyone on their toes.

    Also, in response to a couple things mentioned here - the new Maya modelling toolkit wasn't just tacked on at the last minute. People may or may not want to believe that, but the feature was added to the Beta over some time, with many people using it and providing feedback on how we could improve things.

    On the point about Max, Maya and Softimage doing badly when acquistions were made is something I can't comment on fully. But what I can say Softimage was not sold because it was doing badly. Softimage was a well run business for Avid. Though it shared alot with Avid, Softimage ran autonomously with its own sales, PR and marketing people.
    Avid had decided to sell because they were restructuring their business and Softimage wasn't really going to be part of Avid's core business and future strategy.

    I realize that may not have been the case with the new toolkit, but in all honesty something needs to change. Because the functionality is still that of something added instead of a core tight-nit system. The features are great, I wont deny that. We don't need more features, we need a solution that gets out of the way and lets us do what we want to do instead of make us jump through hoops.

    Just yesterday I mentioned to my co-worker that I can't believe I have to be creative just to get maya not to crash on me. (2014 crashes instantly everytime I combine instanced objects into a single new mesh, despite working perfectly fine in 2012 and 2013.)Now I understand finding workarounds is always going to be a part of 3d software. But there is a thresh-hold for these kind of shenanigans. It's happening too much with newer autodesk products.

    I don't want to get too far off topic but I would love to discuss this subject further, perhaps we can take it to the maya 2014 thread? I hope to see you there.


    Now back to Mari:

    First off, that video is great! Thanks for posting it. I love to see more integration of the final shaders into artists tools.
    jgreasley wrote: »
    The projection vs "real 3d" is an interesting one. It comes up occasionally from people who don't use Mari but is pretty far down the list of requested features from people who use Mari.

    I think true 3d painting is going to become a real need in the near future for game artists, and I really hope it gets in mari soon. Let me tell you why I believe this is the case.

    Mirroring in mari is one thing so far that I find quite lacking. Simply because of the nature of 2d projection painting, you can mirror the paint buffer, but this doesn't work for very many situations. If I'm painting the side of a character then it's still only mirroring in my paint buffer, not in world space.Now for current gen games this isn't an issue because I usually pre set-up my uvs as overlapping in order to save time.

    I've been lucky enough to bump into and talk with some amazing graphics guys in the industry lately. Here's what I've learned: As Forward plus rendering is developed we're going to go through some major changes.

    Every triangle per asset will require a unique uv location in the new system and the days of overlapping uvs for mirroring will be over.
    I've been told the new flexibility it will bring is going to be amazing (Thousands of point lights in real time is just one of those new features.) But I don't have the time to paint each side of my asset individually in most cases. (probably only on hero assets.)

    Painting in true 3d and having the ability to mirror in world space is going to be a life saver in many cases. Since in games we don't use a patch system (everything must be in the 0-1 space) we wont have the ability to copy one arm patch and paste it to the second arm patch like they do in films either. We're going to need a quick solution for painting the left and the right arm on a character at the same time and if we want to break the symmetry at the end with a tattoo or something then just turn symmetry off.


    Also, lately I've been daydreaming of a system in mari that lets me click a point on the surface of the model and at that point it places the selected image on the model (already conforming it to the surface of the mesh, imagine functionality similar to a subdivided quad with the image applied following the contour of the model, perhaps using the surface normal?) and being able to use the slurp, pin and warp functions all while continuing to stay on the surface of the mesh instead of in the paint-buffer. In my dreams I could also select the center point and drag/slide it around the surface of the mesh in real-time.

    sigh.. one can dream right?

    I do enjoy projection painting in mari, but if I could have the performance of mari stay the same while adding 3d painting I would do it in a heartbeat. I would use both systems as both have strengths and weaknesses.

    EDIT: Sorry I ended up writing a book! I do hope it sparks some interesting conversation though.
  • jgreasley
    Thanks for the feedback art quest! This is just the sort of thing we need to hear. It is actually possible for us to combine projection and true mirroring. I think you're completely correct that we need better mirroring and I'm hoping to address this in a future release.

    I'll have a think about your image placement idea. There might be something we can do.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    jgreasley wrote: »
    Thanks for the feedback art quest! This is just the sort of thing we need to hear. It is actually possible for us to combine projection and true mirroring. I think you're completely correct that we need better mirroring and I'm hoping to address this in a future release.

    I'll have a think about your image placement idea. There might be something we can do.

    Thanks, I'm glad I could be helpful. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with for true mirroring.

    I just thought of something else too:

    Another thing yet to be discussed is the ability to save out texture formats for games such as BC7 or even dds. I dont like exporting and having to take the images into Photoshop just to get them in the right format for the game. When it comes to creating textures for 3d models, the more I can phase out photoshop the better.

    While we're on the subject of game textures, it would be very useful to have some sort of checkbox to turn on mip maps and texture filtering inside of mari to be able to preview the output. Film guys work with much higher resolutions but for games its a bit difficult to get a read on say a 1024x1024 texture that has absolutely no filtering in the view port. (As long as the filtering isn't linear, that would probably murder the texture too much.:poly127:) 3d coat has this checkbox system in place and I find it very useful for painting game resolution stylized textures.
  • Bellsey
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    Bellsey polycounter lvl 5
    I'll try and keep this short and my final post here so not to derail the thread any further...

    @almighty_gir - Business rules and Autodesk's public listing status make it very tough for us to talk about future releases, features and roadmaps. We dp try and be as open as we can be, the link I provided also has some of our other product guys talking about their products and answering some common FAQs.
    I know that this isn't enough for many people, but it's the best we can do and I liked that we did that type of event because it helped put some faces to names which many people may not of been aware of.

    We do spend alot of time in front of our customers, trying to collect feedback about what they want. The more data we have then the better the product guys can scope out the product and determine features to work on.


    @artquest - we haven't just dropped Nex into Maya and left it, we've actually built upon on it, so it can work better. and we can colaborate to make improvements. Over the last few versions of Maya there has been some improvements to modeling (nips & tucks), and this is all part of an ongoing revamp of modeling and other usability projects for Maya.

    As for crashes, well its hard to stop them all and eliminate every bug, but we're always trying to improve things with every release. If you are getting regular crashes in certain areas, then please please log the bug with us. If the Customer Error Report appears on a crash, don't close it, send us the report, it does go somewhere and not into some bottomless Autodesk hole.

    Of course you are more than welcome to message privately if you want to discuss things further.
  • pior
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    pior veteran polycounter
    We do spend alot of time in front of our customers, trying to collect feedback about what they want. The more data we have then the better the product guys can scope out the product and determine features to work on.

    This subject has been brought up a few times here on Polycount, so I thought I'd mention it - While gathering feedback about next features to work on is great and necessary, sometimes what's really needed is a clear vision of where the app is supposed to go as whole.

    Now excuse me for using the Mudbox example in a thread about Mari, but I think it is quite relevant. Back in the days, Mudbox 1.0.7 was very clear about what it was set out to do and why : It was made to allow straightforward sculpting on top of existing movie basemeshes. There was barely any mesh creation tool in Mudbox back then, but that was fine since it wasn't really part of the scope of the program at all to begin with.

    Fast forward a few years, Mud2014 now has a lot of great features, some of wich are actually related to mesh editing (including some early manual and automatic retopology tools, face duplication features, and so on) ... but still, no way to combine objects or merge vertices. That's really what I mean by overall vision VS feature creep : while Mudbox is great and has a lot of powerful features, it's starting to feel like whole bunch of random user-requested features slapped together without much direction behind them.

    Now back to Mari : in order to frame and embrace a vision of Mari being competitive in the field of game asset texturing, maybe we could try to be as practical as possible - by providing example meshes and textures packs for the Foundry guys to play with ? That could be one way to make the discussion goal oriented as opposed to feature oriented.

    Hope this helps !!
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    pior wrote: »
    This subject has been brought up a few times here on Polycount, so I thought I'd mention it - While gathering feedback about next features to work on is great and necessary, sometimes what's really needed is a clear vision of where the app is supposed to go as whole.

    Now excuse me for using the Mudbox example in a thread about Mari, but I think it is quite relevant. Back in the days, Mudbox 1.0.7 was very clear about what it was set out to do and why : It was made to allow straightforward sculpting on top of existing movie basemeshes. There was barely any mesh creation tool in Mudbox back then, but that was fine since it wasn't really part of the scope of the program at all to begin with.

    Fast forward a few years, Mud2014 now has a lot of great features, some of wich are actually related to mesh editing (including some early manual and automatic retopology tools, face duplication features, and so on) ... but still, no way to combine objects or merge vertices. That's really what I mean by overall vision VS feature creep : while Mudbox is great and has a lot of powerful features, it's starting to feel like whole bunch of random user-requested features slapped together without much direction behind them.

    Now back to Mari : in order to frame and embrace a vision of Mari being competitive in the field of game asset texturing, maybe we could try to be as practical as possible - by providing example meshes and textures packs for the Foundry guys to play with ? That could be one way to make the discussion goal oriented as opposed to feature oriented.

    Hope this helps !!

    I think this is a great idea. I agree with you, avoiding feature creep is important. To be clear about 3d painting, I don't really care if it is truly 3d or not. I think that something slightly more interactive with the model being painted on could really increase productivity.

    For instance: On several occasions (Even with edge masking turned on) I find something that is stretched due to the projection that I have to go back and paint over, even though sometimes I really liked the way it looked(from the original angle).

    In games we tend to end up painting details into the texture that in film are normally done with geometry. In some cases we're even hand painting shapes to convert into normal maps later. I think this is why I end up fighting the paint buffer a bit more often then people doing vfx. (In fact, now that I think about it I've never had to really fight the paint buffer when creating textures for vfx assets.) Things like bolts and rivets that repeat along a curved panel for games would be purely in the texture. That's where stretching from the paintbuffer gets tricky and I usually have to go to the 2d view.

    The other thing about projection painting is that the paintbuffer is a fixed size so if I want to paint with the highest resolution then I need to be a certain distance from the surface of the mesh. I would love to be able to not worry about this and get the optimal resolution projection even while looking at say the entire mesh to get a good read on how my latest strokes fit into the overall composition of the model.

    There isn't much I would change about the overall workflow though. The process of painting in mari is really quite nice. I'm purely being spoiled when I talk about wanting less distortion. I think it would save time to not have to deal with it as much. But mari already saves so much time compared to texturing in photoshop so even if it stays the same it's already amazing.
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    I want to use Mari 2.0 in my workflow as soon as possible, just haven't got around to it since it lacks tutorials so far. Love that you can just import PS brushes, custom brushes to Mudbox feels overly complicated and time consuming.
  • HAWK12HT
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    HAWK12HT polycounter lvl 9
    umm why use it when it expensive and you can get away with super pro stuff with NDO2 and DDO :D.
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    Because not everyone does game art.
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 9
    Love that you can just import PS brushes, custom brushes to Mudbox feels overly complicated and time consuming.


    Yeah, it's a pain in the ass in Mudbox, and that's a a feature I didn't know Mari had!
  • marks
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    marks greentooth
    HAWK12HT wrote: »
    umm why use it when it expensive and you can get away with super pro stuff with NDO2 and DDO :D.

    With that mindset, why even bother with Photoshop? Microsoft Paint is cheaper...
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    I want to use Mari 2.0 in my workflow as soon as possible, just haven't got around to it since it lacks tutorials so far. Love that you can just import PS brushes, custom brushes to Mudbox feels overly complicated and time consuming.

    Feel free to ping me anytime when you want to start learning it. I'd be happy to share what I've learned so far while using it. I also know of a few good video tutorials for it. But you're right there aren't many yet, and even fewer for 2.0.

    http://vimeo.com/channels/themarichannel

    If you can spare some cash the painting realistic skin in Mari 2.0 dvd by justin holt from gnomon is quite awesome. It focuses on painting skin but the first few chapters are an introduction to mari 2.0.
  • jgreasley
    http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/training.php?pid=1148&inf_contact_key=fbf1d0d72d097e727bb83cf3692e5620ba7d1ea5a59a30d2dcc295a595015dd0

    Digital Tutors do a good gob with wide coverage tutorials for Mari. Their 2.0 training comes in at about 4 hours.
  • jgreasley
    marks wrote: »
    With that mindset, why even bother with Photoshop? Microsoft Paint is cheaper...

    This is pretty much the way I see things.

    A good artist will get the job done well with whatever tools they have. the question is how long will it take them.

    Mari is designed to get the job done as fast as possibles no matter how complicated the task is.

    We have seen speed ups from very experienced artists between 30% and 200% , including the time taken to learn Mari. Comments like "I'd have scheduled a week on this asset, but I've got it done in 2 days and the first day of that was learning Mari" are nice to hear. :)
  • Brygelsmack
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    Brygelsmack polycounter lvl 8
    artquest wrote: »
    Feel free to ping me anytime when you want to start learning it. I'd be happy to share what I've learned so far while using it. I also know of a few good video tutorials for it. But you're right there aren't many yet, and even fewer for 2.0.

    http://vimeo.com/channels/themarichannel

    If you can spare some cash the painting realistic skin in Mari 2.0 dvd by justin holt from gnomon is quite awesome. It focuses on painting skin but the first few chapters are an introduction to mari 2.0.
    Thanks! I might do that. My teacher is already very accustomed to Mari 1 and 2, so I guess I'm fairly covered. But we'll see, I appreciate it. And nice link. (:

    Personally I'm don't think I'm going to bother with Mari 1.0 since 2.0 introduced a new workflow and other features I'd like to use right from the start. Hopefully some more 2.0 tutorials will emerge in due time.

    @ jgreasley: Wow, sweet. Not sure how I missed that. Thanks!
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 14
    jgreasley wrote: »
    This is pretty much the way I see things.

    A good artist will get the job done well with whatever tools they have. the question is how long will it take them.

    Mari is designed to get the job done as fast as possibles no matter how complicated the task is.

    We have seen speed ups from very experienced artists between 30% and 200% , including the time taken to learn Mari. Comments like "I'd have scheduled a week on this asset, but I've got it done in 2 days and the first day of that was learning Mari" are nice to hear. :)

    that's interesting!

    i had the opposite experience with Mari so far.

    i been using Photoshop for well over a decade now and frankly haven't found any other tools that lets me create higher quality game textures (even at 8K resolution) in less time.

    if someone is slow or inexperienced at Photoshop, then i can see them looking for other tools.

    however, if there is true 3d painting in Mari at some point then i might give it a second chance.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    MM wrote: »
    that's interesting!

    i had the opposite experience with Mari so far.

    i been using Photoshop for well over a decade now and frankly haven't found any other tools that lets me create higher quality game textures (even at 8K resolution) in less time.

    if someone is slow or inexperienced at Photoshop, then i can see them looking for other tools.

    however, if there is true 3d painting in Mari at some point then i might give it a second chance.

    What was it you found that got in your way in Mari? I'm curious because in some cases I had to pull some pretty nutty work a-rounds with mari when I first started using it for games. It has come a long way since then.
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 14
    here are few things i can think of right away.
    i haven't tried 2.0 yet so let me know how many of these or if all of these have been addressed now.

    * projection painting
    most of the game textures i make has at least 50-80% hand painted details like lights/shadows, dirt/grime, surface wear and scratches, fabric seams, stitches, painted hair, painted skin pore details and in general lot of hand painted coloring and shading.
    doing all of these in projection painting is a big hassle and quite slow compared to Photoshop. in Photoshop i paint all over the UV sheet in 50+ layers with ease. in Mari, i constantly have to zoom/rotate in to areas i want to paint in since resolution is based on screen buffer.
    in almost of the works that i have seen coming out of Mari, the textures look VERY FLAT for game purpose mostly because there arent that much hand painted details. film/vfx texture are mostly reliant on offline shaders that make the final asset look pretty. in game, that level of polish has to come from the texture itself and not shader, until we totally switch to physically correct game art. for PBL workflows i can see Mari be more appropriate.
    now i know there are LOT of good sides to projection painting, and i would use it too in lot of cases, but it wont be my main method of painting YET.

    for example, thinking of painting this entire mech in Mari gives me a headache:
    http://www.fx81.com/temp3/hawken/Hawken_M1ProskPat_LP02.jpg

    * no paint mirroring
    painting on 3d objects for games often requires lot of mirroring for various reasons.
    even if the UVs are note mirrored, mirrored painting is required.

    * layer effects
    i use layer effects quite a bit to achieve a wide variety of results.
    may be Mari has all these layer effects in its filters, but last time i tried it didn't.

    * lasso/marquee select + cut copy paste + manipulation = super fast
    cut/copy/paste pixels inside a layer or between layers, move them around, transform them, etc. this is super fast in Photoshop and i know some of this is possible in Mari but doesn't feel as fast or intuitive as Photoshop. also i think that Mari lacks polygonal lasso tool.

    * preset management for brushes, layer styles, patterns etc. this is specially helpful in managing personal presets between workstations and while upgrading software. may be Mari has this as well but i didn't see it.

    * vector shape tools
    didn't see this either in the trial. may be they are there ?
    this is very important as well for various reason.

    * text typing with all fonts(truetype, opentype and even custom fonts) support and extensive typography features.
    very important, nothing else i can say about it.

    * smudge tool
    didn't see this either in Mari 1.5 trial. has this been added in 2.0 ?

    * navigation in Mari
    moving/rotating camera felt very awkward. i often could not get the model to rotate the way i want. navigation should not need customization. it should be standardized like it is in max/maya/mudbox/topogun and even zbrush to some extent.

    these are just SOME of the issues, and i am sure there are lots more i could think of if i wanted to.

    now, all this being said i think Mari is a great tool and perfect for many artists in the film/vfx industry but so far the unique features that Mari offers does not compensate for the ones it doesn't. at least for me as a game artists i don't see myself switching any time soon. but like i said, if Mari added true 3d painting then it would be a huge + for me to rethink my workflow.
  • Jedi
    Mari is great. 3d painting is not needed IMO. There was a time where I thought i needed vector displacement mapping support in it, but i found that type of situation wasnt needed because you cant rig vdm anyways.

    Mari is leaps and bounds better than zbrush polypainting. I use it in conjunction with Photoshop.
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 14
    @Jedi - do you have any personal work samples that you can show where you used Mari ?

    if so, can you elaborate what percentage you used Mari and for what features ?

    the only times i had to leave Photoshop for texturing were to fix UV seams and occationally painting decals and Mudbox is pretty efficient for that.

    If i end up using Photoshop for majority of the texture work then i cant justify shelling out $2000 for Mari which i will barely use.
  • maze
    @Brygeksmack, Mari does come with a lot of high quality brushes by default, I originally also thought that it was going to be a hassle to recreate a lot of the photoshop brushes I did overtime and the ones I found. But honestly, mari is packed with strong procedural brushes, at a point that I could get along only with the default brushes it comes... the organic brushes are just great.

    Once you get to the workflow of using group masks, triplanar projections and all of the fractals goodness you start realizing how to approach things differently and faster.

    I ve been doing lately a lot of organic assets from plants, flowers... and wood and using mari procedurals have save me lots of time. I start doing generic fractals for most stuff as a color base and try to shape low/mid and high freq texture detail with different settings and fractal types, then if I am missing still some details I want, I start to incorporate images and do hand painting. This saves me time trying to find the right images, having to grade them etc...

    Also being able to work in 32 bit channel for disp and switching to 8/16 for albedo / reflection channel on a snap is quite great. Having access to brightness look up (similar to photoshop curves) and color lookup, as well as blur and the warp tool is priceless.


    I tend to work in the uv view splittet with the ortographic, because some times I find it easier to paint straightly to the uvs.

    At this point I am hoping more on some decent integration/feedback with render engines. I wish I could use the shader module to preview textures in mari, but the result being so distant from my renderer destination (I use arnold to work) makes me only use pure albedo mode most of the time.


    Also I do agree that the model "framing" is a bit ackward, I will like better control of the model in the viewport.

    But well I am more than happy overall !
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    MM wrote: »
    here are few things i can think of right away.
    i haven't tried 2.0 yet so let me know how many of these or if all of these have been addressed now.

    * projection painting
    most of the game textures i make has at least 50-80% hand painted details like lights/shadows, dirt/grime, surface wear and scratches, fabric seams, stitches, painted hair, painted skin pore details and in general lot of hand painted coloring and shading.
    doing all of these in projection painting is a big hassle and quite slow compared to Photoshop. in Photoshop i paint all over the UV sheet in 50+ layers with ease. in Mari, i constantly have to zoom/rotate in to areas i want to paint in since resolution is based on screen buffer.
    in almost of the works that i have seen coming out of Mari, the textures look VERY FLAT for game purpose mostly because there arent that much hand painted details. film/vfx texture are mostly reliant on offline shaders that make the final asset look pretty. in game, that level of polish has to come from the texture itself and not shader, until we totally switch to physically correct game art. for PBL workflows i can see Mari be more appropriate.
    now i know there are LOT of good sides to projection painting, and i would use it too in lot of cases, but it wont be my main method of painting YET.

    for example, thinking of painting this entire mech in Mari gives me a headache:
    http://www.fx81.com/temp3/hawken/Hawken_M1ProskPat_LP02.jpg

    * no paint mirroring
    painting on 3d objects for games often requires lot of mirroring for various reasons.
    even if the UVs are note mirrored, mirrored painting is required.

    * layer effects
    i use layer effects quite a bit to achieve a wide variety of results.
    may be Mari has all these layer effects in its filters, but last time i tried it didn't.

    * lasso/marquee select + cut copy paste + manipulation = super fast
    cut/copy/paste pixels inside a layer or between layers, move them around, transform them, etc. this is super fast in Photoshop and i know some of this is possible in Mari but doesn't feel as fast or intuitive as Photoshop. also i think that Mari lacks polygonal lasso tool.

    * preset management for brushes, layer styles, patterns etc. this is specially helpful in managing personal presets between workstations and while upgrading software. may be Mari has this as well but i didn't see it.

    * vector shape tools
    didn't see this either in the trial. may be they are there ?
    this is very important as well for various reason.

    * text typing with all fonts(truetype, opentype and even custom fonts) support and extensive typography features.
    very important, nothing else i can say about it.

    * smudge tool
    didn't see this either in Mari 1.5 trial. has this been added in 2.0 ?

    * navigation in Mari
    moving/rotating camera felt very awkward. i often could not get the model to rotate the way i want. navigation should not need customization. it should be standardized like it is in max/maya/mudbox/topogun and even zbrush to some extent.

    these are just SOME of the issues, and i am sure there are lots more i could think of if i wanted to.

    now, all this being said i think Mari is a great tool and perfect for many artists in the film/vfx industry but so far the unique features that Mari offers does not compensate for the ones it doesn't. at least for me as a game artists i don't see myself switching any time soon. but like i said, if Mari added true 3d painting then it would be a huge + for me to rethink my workflow.

    * I can understand what you mean about the some of the inherent projection painting things that need to be kept track of. (paint buffer resolution and so forth.)

    * There still isn't a good mirroring setup in Mari but they're working on it.

    * Mari has all the layer effects one could ever ask for nowadays and they are completely non-destructive. You can also limit adjustment layers to only effect a single layer if you wish instead of all the layers under it.
    you can also instance adjustment layers and normal layers.

    * Check out the tow brush: [ame=" brush[/ame]! I think they did add the polygonal lasso but I'm not 100% sure

    * ditto

    * I haven't had the need to add text to things yet, mostly alien symbols and things of that nature but I absolutely agree with you on this one. I'll look into it but chances are I'd have to create my text stamps in photoshop before I projected them in mari onto the model.

    * I don't think there's a smudge tool but I could be wrong about that, I'll have to check tomorrow when I get in to work.

    * I think it took a little bit to get used to the navigation, from what I remember it's pretty close to maya though. It's kinda second nature to me now though.
  • MM
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    MM polycounter lvl 14
    artquest wrote: »

    * Mari has all the layer effects one could ever ask for nowadays and they are completely non-destructive. You can also limit adjustment layers to only effect a single layer if you wish instead of all the layers under it.
    you can also instance adjustment layers and normal layers.

    * Check out the tow brush:

    where are these layer effects ?

    i dont see them mentioned in Mari2.0 documentations. just to be clear, i am not talking about adjustment layers. i am talking about layer effects:

    http://www.jnack.com/adobe/cs5/sticky_layer_styles.gif

    as for tow brush, yea i know about that but as i said it is not efficient to use that in 3d view. it is far better in 2d/UV view and if i am going to use UV view in Mari i might as well stick to Photoshop. i just dont see the need to use Mari.

    i am just objectively judging the need to use Mari as opposed to rationalizing its use by finding work-arounds to missing features if at the end it doesnt change the bottom line for me which is quality and speed.

    but like i said before, i would rethink all the lackings if only the painting had an option of real 3d paint. i am not saying we need to remove projection painting but just add 3d painting.
  • artquest
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    artquest polycounter lvl 10
    MM wrote: »
    where are these layer effects ?

    i dont see them mentioned in Mari2.0 documentations. just to be clear, i am not talking about adjustment layers. i am talking about layer effects:

    http://www.jnack.com/adobe/cs5/sticky_layer_styles.gif

    as for tow brush, yea i know about that but as i said it is not efficient to use that in 3d view. it is far better in 2d/UV view and if i am going to use UV view in Mari i might as well stick to Photoshop. i just dont see the need to use Mari.

    i am just objectively judging the need to use Mari as opposed to rationalizing its use by finding work-arounds to missing features if at the end it doesnt change the bottom line for me which is quality and speed.

    but like i said before, i would rethink all the lackings if only the painting had an option of real 3d paint. i am not saying we need to remove projection painting but just add 3d painting.

    To be honest I haven't used the tow brush that much in my workflow so I can't comment on it much. usually anytime I want to repeat a detail I just set the paint buffer to manual bake and move my current painting around the model stamping it down where I need it.

    As for judging the software, we need people to do esactly that :D So keep at it. I tend to be an early adopter because I believe that someday we'll all be painting 3d assets in 3d and it'll be better then what we do now. But we need both sides to move forward, the early adopters and the skeptics imho.


    You asked jedi earlier for examples of game assets textured in mari:
    I wont pretend to be a great texture artist but here's what I was able to acomplish with mari. Ironically google is failing to produce an actual screenshot of the asset ingame at a decent rez so a pre render and a screen grab will have to do.

    PhaseRebelStill.jpg

    PhaseRebelViewport1.jpg

    I created this texture entirely in mari. Except for the lights which are done in photoshop, which at the time shaders in mari had no self illumination option.

    To be fair I agree with most of your observations about Mari, depending on the type of work you're doing it can be faster than PS or slower.

    I also think the foundry knows this which is why there is such a tight integration with PS. You can very easily bounce back and forth.

    I hope to see less and less need for that in the future though.

    As for the layer styles, I misunderstood. I dont think that mari has any of those added in yet. We game artists rely a lot on them but I can't see the vfx film guys having much need for them. I think I mentioned something about that in an earlier post too.
    Our needs are quite different from the vfx guys. But I wonder if that is about to change with PBR around the corner.
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