3D Coat vs Zbrush

polycounter lvl 14
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oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
I'm giving 3DCoat a try. Other than really needing a super powerful computer to run at full bore. What are the minuses compared to Zbrush? Im already all over the bonuses.

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  • oglu
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    oglu interpolator
    why always vs..?
    combine both workflows... all those tools are working great together...
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
    More steps. They basically do much the same principle. Why buy two programs when you can use just one as well?
  • oglu
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    oglu interpolator
    but sometime you are faster with two tools...
    depends an what you need or have to do...
    learn both and us what fits best...
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
    I am tweaking around with 3DCoat, but I am not going to get overly involved with it if its not going to chosen. So far the keyboard layout is much easier and the brush falloff is great. But its like trying to sculpt with that foamy sculpt the sell in art stores... Not sure if I'm missing some of the workflow. Just the comparison would help give me a better idea where the strength/weaknesses are without having to dive in all the way. Its like this, would you want to spend your time learning tools? Or becoming a better artist working on your anatomy, color, etc.
  • pior
  • Calabi
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    Calabi polycounter lvl 8
    I'm sure philnolan will be along soon to convince you, I'm surprised he isnt here already but.

    I think Zbrush is more better for high frequency details, its more consistent and faster but more rigid in its work flow, its mostly unfathomable in its workflow.

    3DCoat is way more freeform and flowing and intuitive in its workflow(its ui at least) but its harder to get the really fastidious details. I like the modelling in it though, its like working with real clay, its a bit harder to get it where you want it, but its more satisfying in doing so.

    Like you I've been trying to look at tons of software to figure out which is the best, by asking people but the trouble is no can really tell you. The best way is to just try, find some tutorials follow the workflows, see how the results turn out weigh up the pros and cons and the relative costs. Personally I'm still undecided, but am sticking with 3DCoat for the time being.
  • Unleashed
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    Unleashed polycounter lvl 13
    I dont like the text buttons on voxel sculpting, nor not being able to save presets like in zbrush. I dont know if thats changed recently though. I found polygons much easier to work with but in some situations voxels have a large advantage. I wouldnt limit myself to just one or the other though, get well versed in both and then pick and use the program that is best for the task at hand
  • neigan
    The only thing i rly use 3dcoat for is retopo and fixing texture edges and together with Zbrush its the best!
    Would never change to only one of them(unless they update the parts that i dont like about them ALOT).
  • Malus
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    Malus polycounter lvl 13
    I like both but I prefer Zbrush for sculpting.

    If I had limited funds I'd just buy 3Dcoat over most other products as its really well priced for the huge feature list:

    - Solid sculpting tools - no Zbrush but on par with Mudbox for my tastes
    - VOXELS BABY!! - Great for making base sculpts
    - Decent 3D painting with ability to save .psd files
    - 64bit - Pixologic..Learn from this!!
    - Retopology tools which outclass those in Topogun and Zbrush
    - It even has UVunwrapping..

    Short of having the ability to do basic poly modelling the package is nearly a one stop shop.

    Just needs a little refinement with some of its tools and speed and its going to be a really good alternative.
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    yeah you asked for disadvantages so umm

    1. tools when voxel sculpting are a bit confusing, they dont work the way you expect and getting high frequency detail is almost impossible in voxels hence the surface mode now available but you loose your sculpted details if you manipulate(eg move) the models surface at all

    2.there are soooo many tools to try I dont even know what they are really for and Ive been using it a while! some tools are really powerful but hidden eg surface mode is opened by clicking the square next to your current voxel layer

    3.not easy to export a useful mesh from a voxel sculpt, quadrangulation works to some extent on simpler voxel objects but I often just export the rediculously highpoly voxels. Anyone got tips on exporting a basemesh etc Malus??

    4.painting textures is a little odd as the interface isnt always very informative and you can end up painting normal depth specular and colour on layers you really really didnt mean to and then its a bit of a mess.

    5.uv unwrapping is still a bit new no idea how the tools feel at the moment but it was a little too hands off for most people and didnt allow much manipulation of uvs.
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
    So is the workflow..

    Voxels to get basic idea.
    Turn into Mesh and Retopology
    Sculpture further mesh (what is the sculpture tools for? I mean I understand it works with polyies. Cant figure out why they would include it if the focus in Voxels?
    UV/Paint/Bake.
    Export

    ???

    So far:
    Guess my first mistake was using a low polymesh as a voxel base versus starting from scratch. I didn't understand there isn't a division like structure where I can get to low and high frequency detail. Once you increase the voxels, there's no going back.

    And yes, the lack of precision on voxel is annoying.Going to try this surface mode you speak of. Also not easy to move parts of the voxel sculpt even with the brush enlarged. Want to indent the area versus move smoothly
  • Calabi
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    Calabi polycounter lvl 8
    There's no wrong way of doing it. Quite a few people do take a base mesh into 3DCoat.

    Scultpture room is just a remnant of a wide and random development.

    If you want to move, like arms and things its best to use the pose tool. I havent quite got the hang of it but it works better than move.
  • wailingmonkey
    rather than classifying it as 'wide and random', it's more a result of a
    change in focus in the dev. He got bit by voxels and pursued it over
    refining his painting/sculpting toolset. This happened when version
    2 went to version 3.

    the 'old' version 2 way was to bring in a lowpoly base via 'microverts'
    and select how large you wanted it to be sub-divided. so 4-6 million
    polys and a 4096 texture map was best for producing fine detailed
    displacements on your textures. If you had to move/sculpt your imported
    model to a larger degree, you used the 'sculpt' tools. They still work in
    a reasonable capacity, but not up to Zbrush standards (either in brush
    quality, or in pose-tool capability).

    by user demand, he incorporated per-pixel painting with the purpose
    of never really intending to deform your imported base...mainly for
    realtime normal and texture painting.

    so regarding your workflow question, it's kinda up to you (again).

    -You can import a base and use the non-voxel painting and sculpting tools.
    -You can import a base and keep to per-pixel and normals work.
    -You can start from scratch in voxels and retopo/UV and paint.
    -You can import a base into voxels and retopo/UV and paint.

    or you can mix-n-match as you see fit... :poly121:
  • James Edwards
    My workflow is like this:

    1. sculpt in voxels/surface mode, either from voxel primitives or a curve rig (like zspheres). I dont' do base meshes as much anymore and definitely don't model them first to bring into 3dc. The tools are more than adequate for blocking out stuff in voxels If I need a base for anything it happens with voxels and I just retopo over it, then send that to a polymodeler or zb.

    For high frequency I'll either send to zb and finish there or finish that in 3dc by painting into the normal map. It really depends on what the piece requires.

    2. Retopo and UV in 3dc

    3. Bake and paint in 3dc, unless I have to bake a proper AO map, then it goes over to zbrush first

    The biggest weakness for me right now is the fact that I can't bake a quality AO map yet. The current implementation does not produce adequate results. This defeats the purpose for doing high rez sculpting in 3dcoat since you can't use the high rez for anything other than a normal map and color bake. I have a feeling andrew will address this though as users are asking for it. His explanation to me when I asked him personally was that the current implementation allowed for faster baking, but I think most artists would rather run and grab a coffee while they get a good AO bake than getting something half-assed faster. Still, I've used the cavity/height masking in paint mode combined with a crappy 3dc AO bake to get ok results for a couple things as a work around.

    Another issue I have is when working with multiple objects each with their own texture maps. You can do this and it works fine, but you have to name each layer so that you know wtf you are painting on. 3dc doesn't support layer groups or give you any way to organize your image layers by object so all maps and layers for all objects show up in the same panel. Still, it works, just not ideal. I'm confident this will be addressed as well and probably quickly.

    Specular maps are handled differently too, in that you can't currently paint them the same way you can with color and normal maps. Pretty sure he will address this too. Just a matter of time.

    Other than that this tool is getting more use than zbrush or my poly modelers lately. Very impressed with what's there and the progress it has made in the last year.

    This is a block out piece done in 3dc... to be finished with polymodeling and maybe even some zb. Still working it out as a concept really, which is one reason I love working with voxels.

    3D-Coat_sCap001.jpg

    3D-Coat_sCap002.jpg

    This is a piece I did awhile back when the voxel tools were first implemented, which I'm now finishing up in zbrush. Exported the voxel mesh as an obj, then exported a retopo'd version and brought them both into zbrush so that I could project the detail from the high rez to the low rez and establish a subdivision history for further sculpting.

    swampTroll_sculpt.png
  • Ged
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    Ged interpolator
    cant see any pics james :P dunno why

    *edit I see them at work pc dont know why still tho

    thanks james
  • Calabi
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    Calabi polycounter lvl 8
    @James

    How do you get such sharp clear edges, the hard edged looking stuff? Retopo with planar brush?
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 14
    Thanks for the laydown James. The issue I see is your still going back to ZB at this time.. So its like buying two programs when you can use one though not as ideally as combining them both.

    And yes, how do you get such clear edges? Is that the Voxel armor?
  • James Edwards
    Oxy: yup, the only reason I see that I'm doing that though is performance. I'm not using crazy hardware, which 3dc takes pretty good avantage of if you have it. I have an imac at home with 4 gigs and a 256 meg laptop graphics card in it. 3dc takes more advantage of graphics hardware than zb, so if I just want to sculpt at high rez I'm better off doing it in ZB. Surface mode might allow for higher surface detail though, as t converts voxels to polygons and allows you to sculpt more like zb or mud. It's more efficient to render straight polygons than voxels, which require a polygon skin to be seen anyway so it's like the machine is doing twice the work for the same output - that's my understanding of it anyway.

    Calabi: that hard surface is all voxels still - no retopo yet. . I started out with a base human male sculpt as my reference and just used the copy brush to lift new chunks of voxel material off the body for all the major limb and torso components of the armor. From there I mostly used the build brush with sharper alphas to carve up the edges along with the smooth toggle. To keep performance high and avoid a lot of subdivision I break chunks off into their own components as I need to detail them. It's pretty old school hard surface sculpting, just like I would have done in zb before the polish brush and other flattening tools arrived. 3dc has the chisel brush now which is similar to polish, but I'm only just digging into that toolset as it requires jumping back and forth between surface and voxel mode.

    I think the focus is going to be on surface mode in the future as it will be able to give a closer feel to zbrush or mudbox than with voxels, as well as support subdivision history. Voxels will still be important though because they simply rock at making stuff out of nothing. I see more of a hybrid workflow evolving between the two.
  • Sage
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    Sage polycounter lvl 14
    At first I found 3d coat really annoying but I'm starting to like the bugger. Oxy just give it a chance I'm sure it will grow on you. :D
  • achillesian
    Malus wrote: »

    - Solid sculpting tools - no Zbrush but on par with Mudbox for my tastes
    - VOXELS BABY!! - Great for making base sculpts
    - Decent 3D painting with ability to save .psd files
    - 64bit - Pixologic..Learn from this!!
    - Retopology tools which outclass those in Topogun and Zbrush
    - It even has UVunwrapping..

    I would have to agree with most of these, i also prefer zbrush for higher detail sculpts, voxels can lag you a bit and dont seem to let you get as detailed, but they are great for abstracting/base sculpts, kind of zsketch but easier to control. The 3d painting is okay, i dont like how get you seams if you paint around whats visible, but hey, you can use layers which makes up for that.

    personally i feel the retopo in this program is the most useful part, it just blows everything else away in ease of use.

    definately own both

    buy zbrush for
    -high detail sculpting
    -zsphere rough sculpts
    -texturing

    buy 3d coat for

    -retopo tools
    -voxel rough sculpts
    -texturing (layers yay)
    -painting bump/spec maps on a low poly mesh (can be quite helpful)


    or pirate both.
  • Neox
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    Neox sublime tool
    james do you mind capturing a video of how you work on the hard surface stuff in 3dcoat?

    and btw i'm a bit dissappointed that its his hand and not a giant dong...
  • James Edwards
    Neox: Haha! I can fix that! =D

    I've been meaning to do some screen recordings, just haven't had much time lately. =\
  • achillesian
    Less dong, more phong (c) Polycount
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