zbrush I just don't get it

polycounter lvl 2
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Klunk polycounter lvl 2
been working with 3d software since max 1.2, and used, coded for a multitude of different platforms since then, max, maya, lightwave, softimage etc  ..... I generally pick up stuff really quickly but I just don't get zbrush and the more I try the less I like it and the more frustrating it becomes, even when I think yeah that's how it works then nope think again ! so in the bin, recently just watched a few demo vids and I'm not convinced some of the more experienced users actually know what they are doing, repeating steps, having to go back  because they forgot a step, followed by reload reload reload ad infinitum. I understand the technology doesn't equate well to "typical" 3d packaging methods, but geez does it have to so bloody painful. An example was the weapon creation pipeline vid I mean these are guys who had been using the package in production  I presume for years (and being presented by the makers of zbrush as a sales pitch) and it's full of to, paraphrase ,"oh yeah sorry I forgot a step" stuff, I mean he moves the cylinder around likes he's never created one before! it's painful watch (and reminds me why I struggle, so much so I feel sick) and he's an experienced user !!! It's obviously incredibly powerful software and in the hands of a true expert produces absolutely stunning results but for me I find it less painful correcting ******* up mesh smooth in max before resorting to zeebrush. Am I alone in this ? is there solution, I've worked through loads of tutorials and am, quite frankly none the wiser. :s  sorry not much of RANT I know. :#


  • EarthQuake
    Zbrush is one of those apps that is totally from the moon in terms of UI and design, but is just so much more powerful and useful than anything on the market, so people live with it.

    If you want something more straight forward to use, try Mudbox, which unfortunately hasn't really been developed in quite a few years.
  • skankerzero
    I absolutely hate the UI. That's why I've always used mudbox over zbrush. As earthquake said, mudbox hasn't been worked on in quite a bit which could be a blessing in disguise given Autodesk's track record with updates.

    You're not alone in your feelings. Most zbrush users hate the software too but put up with it's faults and crashes because there really isn't any better choices out there.
  • defragger
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    defragger greentooth
    I´m used to 3ds max and working with ZBrush for two years now. It´s still a pain in the butt so I do as much as possible within Max. I use ZBrush for surface details like welds, folds (cloth) on an otherwise finished highpoly basemesh from Max.
  • Klunk
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    Klunk polycounter lvl 2
    nice to know i'm not alone, i feel a lot less inadequate ;)
  • cryrid
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    cryrid polycounter lvl 8
    I like to think I had a pretty decent grasp of the UI within the first week or so. I found that it all started to click after I understood the document-tool relationship and what I was truly looking at whenever I opened up a project. With that out of the way it was just a matter of playing around to see what features are offered for creating the shape I was looking for and then putting it all together to figure out the difference between if I can do something in zbrush, and if I should. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for creating everything, regardless if it ultimately can. For every object it excels at making there is another that will require you to intuitively navigate some pretty creative hoops. If you don't have that comfort level and you pick the wrong project, then it will be the difference between having fun in zbrush and wondering wtf is going on. 
  • Eleszar1
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    Eleszar1 polycounter lvl 5
    you need patience to learn the UI of zbrush
  • nyx702
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    nyx702 Polycount Sponsor
    I guess I'm an odd ball because Zbrush has always clicked with me. When people say they hate the UI and don't get Zbrush I don't really get it. I understand _why_ people don't like it but I guess it just never bothered me. 

    When I have helped people learn ZB I think the biggest thing they get hung up on is how many options there are to do one thing. It can also be a very destructive workflow which scares people. So typically I feel in Zbrush it can take a little pre-thinking before each step to figure out the best approach. This is hard for people that have used the same software for years and just instinctively jump to the exact tool they need. Also I have noticed people feel like they need to learn ALL the possible options before moving forward. I think you learn ZB much easier if you just pick one process or tool and learn that then move on and try something else later. I think you need more of a yolo, jump first ask questions later, approach and just do something. You'll eventually see the patterns. 
  • Mark Dygert
    I feel ya buddy, it bugs me too. At first it's like hugging a porcupine, then over time it turns into an angry junk yard dog and finally into a yapping Pomeranian.

    You'll get there, it will never stop being annoying, but it will do what you want, with a lot of sass, but at least you won't be walking away with a punctured lung or missing pants.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp polycounter
    a typical oldschooler-complaint. ;)
    zbrush has it's place but some of the material coming out of the community make it seem like the one stop app for every task. sanity is restored once you don't try to build and pose  and render entire assets in there, from my experience anyway.

    my issue with the interface is mostly that it's a bit too small, noticeably so on a high res screen. you also have to turn off that palette auto-collapse preference and perhaps clean up the interface some. i have a traditional menu bar for example, none of this sorted-by-alphabet stuff. they would do good to give us a more useful subtool palette, too, photoshop-style with groups and always visible in it's own pane. one can dream... ;)

  • Fuiosg
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    Fuiosg polycounter lvl 5
    Try using it while drunk, when your logical faculties aren't so prominent.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner!

  • Mehran Khan
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    Mehran Khan polycounter lvl 4
    Or use 3d coat. it 's less convoluted.
  • Bek
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    Bek greentooth
    thomasp said:
    you also have to turn off that palette auto-collapse preference
    That or use shift+LMB to open a palette without auto-collapsing others. Perhaps it'd be more useful if it behaved in the opposite way, so you shift+click to open a temporary palette though...
  • Treece
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    Treece polycounter lvl 3
    If you're going to persevere with Zbrush, I recommend customizing your UI.  It makes it a hell of a lot easier.  I've got a feeling that's probably why the guys who did the summit (weapon creation pipeline) didn't show their true skill in the program.  Having an audience probably adds to the pressure also. I mean, if I had to use the default Zbrush interface on a system that's not my own, I too would have problems (likewise with all the other packages I use - Max, Modo, 3dCoat etc). 

    Sounds like you've already given up on Zbrush, which is a shame.  But anyway there are alternatives.  At the end of the day, we're using these packages to make art.  Who gives a crap how or what you use to get to 'your' end result and if you don't enjoy it, why do it or use it??  I love what Scott Robertson says at 3.40 into this video.  

  • Klunk
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    Klunk polycounter lvl 2
    a typical oldschooler-complaint.

    who you calling schooled ! ;)

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