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Help find the right program for a Newbie

Hello everyone, I'm a concept artist and I'm quite new to 3D world.

I need a program to sculpt and model assets. I felt in love with the workflow of 3dCoat, is so intuite to add and substract solids instead of using vertices and so on. I strongly prefer voxel based tools, unfortunately 3d Coat runs extremely slow on my pc (1 tb ssd nvme, ryzen 2600, 32gb ram, 3060ti). It freeze and crashes for no reason apparently.

Can you help me find a good substitute? Or to optimize it maybe ?

Maybe Vr sculpting ?

I already tried Blender with Kitops/Fluent but found it overcomplicated.

Any help? Thanks a lot !

Replies

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    I thought zbrush was the gold standard for that sort of work?

    Free, light version here you might try:

    ZBrushCoreMini :: 3D For All ZBrushCoreMini :: Free Your Creativity

  • killnpc
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    killnpc interpolator

    as far as i'm aware, 3d Coat is your best bet for high density voxel sculpting, i haven't used it but from what i've seen it's on the frontier here. even though you're setup with a decent rig, you'll likely have to dig into optimizing program settings and work around or all out avoid intensive operations at high counts until its improved. i think there may be an opportunity for the software to shine ahead of ZBrush depending on how it is managed after the recent acquisition by Maxon although its creator Ofer Alon is still part of the team. ZBrush is still extremely powerful and utilizes very nice Boolean processes, but as far as i know only outputs to the standard polygon pipeline used for the overwhelming majority of game engines.

  • Roash

    I got your point: avoid heavy operations on 3d coat an try to optimize it (sadly has nearly 0 options to optimize performance).

    Do you think Zbrush is a valid alternative? It worth learning it?

    what are your thoughts about Vr sculpting?

  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter

    "unfortunately 3d Coat runs extremely slow on my pc (1 tb ssd nvme, ryzen 2600, 32gb ram, 3060ti)"

    This doesn't add up. Outside of the annoying and frustrating UI oddities that have never been addressed, voxel workflows in 3DCoat have been really quite fluid (in terms of framerate and brush behavior) for years and years. You are either using absurdly high voxel densities without realizing it, or perhaps enabling some weird rendering or material effect. Now it could also be possible that recent versions of 3DC run worse than previous ones, but I doubt that it would be to the extent of making the software straight up unusable.

    Sure enough your computer is comparable or more more powerful than what was used to record this tutorial from 7 years ago ...

    https://www.artstation.com/marketplace/p/BV8AM/sculpting-helmet-with-3d-coat

    Now if it turns out that current versions of the software really run that bad, then why not grab an old one instead ? Something around 4.7 or so.

  • Roash

    My latest project has 50 77200 triangles. Are maybe they too much ? I tend to increase density to have details similar to other sculpting project, I'm judging this by eye confronting with my references, maybe I'm doing something wrong.


  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter

    Well, it's up to you to keep your project in a state that behaves well at a smooth 60+fps at all times for proper interaction. That's true with any software - be it painting or sculpting or word processing.

  • Roash

    Downgrading the rounded elements in the screeshots from 2000000 to 500000 result in this artifacts.

  • Roash

    I'd love to, I see people online sculpting high detailed mesh with 3d Coat, Idk why mine seems to be incapable to support it. I'm quite new to 3d world, so I'm testing different things and maybe I'm missing sometimes crucial.

    Anyway I'll try to revert 3dcoat back to older version to see if they run smoother.

    Thanks in any case :)

  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter

    I don't understand. If you feel like your scene is too heavy for your machine (or that your machine is too weak to handle a scene that you consider to be average), then why don't you share that scene here or even better on the 3DCoat forums so that others can benchmark it for you ? Without a point of reference you'll just run around in circles operating on assumptions or even wasting your time looking at irrelevant alternatives.

  • killnpc
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    killnpc interpolator

    "Do you think Zbrush is a valid alternative? It worth learning it?"

    absolutely. it's an extremely powerful art tool and industry standard that has a very large community supporting it.

    "what are your thoughts about Vr sculpting?"

    i think it's hot. from my perspective, when a software enables a clear advantage over old trends, learning the latest-greatest will always give those that invest in it a leg up. i believe observing a sculpted form in VR using intuitive head movements would absolutely improve results. it's my belief that game art for VR will be much more scrutinized since its simulated viewpoint creates a higher demand, it's essentially a digital magnifying glass, and from it less and less can be hidden with fog in the valley.

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    is that 50 million triangles though?

    If so, that's extreme by like, any metric isn't it?

  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage

    Not an issue for Zbrush. If you got the memory, that is. But then that one doesn't support voxels.

    But yeah, chances are that's way too high for 3D Coat to properly function. 😄

  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G ngon master

    If it's for concept art, do you overpaint renders in an image editor? In that case, I would focus on bigger shapes, composition and lighting and add details either as textures or in paint over. One could add some break up elements here and there to break up silhouette. I doubt the artefacts will be apparent if the camera is at some distance.

    Long-term probably wouldn't hurt to learn ue5 for more complex scenes and lighting, free use of Megascans.

    Well I hope you find a satisfying solution!

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J godlike master sticky

    I haven't opened zbrush since my older machine that had 16gb ram and 1060 card. IIRC, anything over a couple million triangles in zbrush would get pretty laggy.

    Just as some point of reference.

    But usually for any sort of details that need such high resolution, I found it generally better to apply them at texture level in something like substance painter.

  • Neox
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    Neox high dynamic range

    the bottleneck would be the ram and your cpu, the gpou has zero effect on zbrush.

    but really 50 million is not crazy high by any metric certainly not when you have multiple objects in a scene


    just checked a bunch of the characters i am on right now, they all end up around 50m, stylized characters.

    in hyperrealism with details made in zbrush i would expect a fair bit more, even tho i agree fine detailling is part of texturing, not sculpting. Doing Pores or facial hair in sculpt in zbrush might be cool to look at in zbrush, but i feel like such details are far more flexible in texturing.

  • Roash

    I'd like to sculpt my own concepts and add it to my portfolio. I think it would be valuable for the companies to have this skillset.

    And I wouldn't dislike to work also as 3d artist, I found lot more request than concept art for freelance work.

  • Neox
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    Neox high dynamic range

    tbh if this is for concepts, why do you get locked up in such fine details? could you show what a final asset looks like for you? this super zoomed in piece full of errors might not be an issue after all when looked at in a grand scheme

  • Roash

    This is from a tutorial I'm following. It's roughly 57000000 triangles. In the video he runs smooth even for operations that kills my pc like 2d paint. Idk maybe he has a Nasa computer but he don't mention it, and I think I have a quite decent rig.

    Regarding details, in some way I feel more comfortable to detail object in 3d instead of 2d especially speaking to hard surface props and architectural design. Maybe I'm lost in what's important, I think a concept must be easy to understand for who's looking, and details are not the most important thing, but online I see ultra-detailed concept that are both clear and beautiful too see.

    In any case, thanks everyone for guiding me and sorry if I went I little off topic here.

  • pior
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    pior grand marshal polycounter

    " Idk maybe he has a Nasa computer"

    Well as said above, you can either run around in circles wondering about that and not really getting anywhere, or, be proactive and share your file here or on the 3DCoat forums to get a feel of how it runs on other people's machines, get to know if it is organized in a sensible manner, and so on.

    A link to the Nasa-powered tutorial would be handy too !

    BTW as a concept artist you will never be asked to produce this kind of highly detailled 3D pieces, ever ... simply because it is very ineficient in terms of time and ressource management. Your client/art director will always favor a collage of quickly done variations on a given prompt rather than highly detailled 3d pieces that would need to be remodeled from scratch later down the pipeline anyways. And as a modeler, you would never be asked to improvise/design such pieces on the fly, because designing them is the job of the concept design team anyway.

    There are exceptions to this of course but they are rare. "3d concept art" is almost never needed in production (outside of useful blockouts to use as a base for painting over as mentionned above by others) and is really mostly a fantasy birthed by youtube tutorials with one person covering a bit of everything.

  • Roash

    I think I skipped you first answer, sorry for that.

    Here's my file: https://we.tl/t-PIJWHltX5r as you will see is not directly related to the tutorial, I'm just experimenting with architectural design. Don't expect nothing special, just practicing.

    Here's the tutorial: https://www.artstation.com/marketplace/p/dNVqg/foundation-art-group-concepting-architecture-in-3dcoat-part-1-with-norris-lin?utm_source=artstation&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=homepage&utm_term=marketplace|

    This file runs very slow but, others works at least usable. So maybe I did something wrong here Idk. 3d Coat results still fragile, freeze and blocks during operations, but maybe if I try to keep lower as possible the density and use surface mode for details it may be viable, at least for blockin up. I can add details in Blender or Zbrush.

    Speaking about concept art role; I've seen a lot of professionals making videos where they block out and often detail quite well: https://www.artstation.com/josevega for example. Do you think is not the most useful pipeline to focus on? (environment or props related)

    About 3d sculpting; I'm really new to this world so and know even less about the industry standards, I found very fun to model my own assets, and I would not dislike to freelance work in too. The question may be, what are the standards? What is a good model other than appearance ?

    Thanks a lot for the tips!

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