I came across Zbrush, and found some impressive work. It seems like painting a depth map onto an texture (an atlas) could be easily done with this. Anyone got any pointers? Or does anyone here use ZBrush?
Joined: 24 Jan 2006, 21:12 Location: There is no god - and reality is his prophetess
Valve used it. Its famous for beeing (in the hand of a exp artist) very fast. They were considering giving up bump and normal mapping for hl2 and then this guy of zeta workshop introduced them to z-brush. 25 mins for a antlion to be awesome. It doesent get much better.
Progs who extrapolate the normal map from the textures usually screw up if it isnt some sort of stone..
Joined: 11 Mar 2010, 09:05 Location: The land of polies.
Now that Mudbox 2012 has better posing, vector displacement mapping, a huge supply of rendering features, integration with other autodesk applications, better baking flexibility, layers, and best of all, Ptex (so damn sexy), I still maintain that its the better app for sculpting. 5 years ago this wasn't true, but now it's basically surpassed Zbrush in all of the major areas.
But, if you insist on using Zbrush, you have to keep in mind the general sculpting rule. That is: tessellate slowly and sculpt appropriately for each level. Start with a simple mesh with the basic shape you need, increase the poly count and sculpt to the next level of the shape you need, and repeat. Never increase the poly count unless if looks exactly like it needs to on the level you are CURRENTLY on. I hate seeing artists who think they can start with a sphere and go to 15 million polies and expect to model something complex like a bipedal creature. It's silly. The basic shape, infact, should be modeled in a separate program, then imported into the sculpting program to be fiddled with progressively.
The idea (for game sculpting) is to start with the model that will be the end product. For instance, if I want to make big creature for my game, I'll model the base model in something like 3ds max. Then, I'll import it into mudbox and sculpt on each tessellated layer. Once I get to a few million polies, and I can't distinguish each poly, I'll bake a normal map FOR the base model. The base model is still going to be used.
Even if you are doing something like a terrain model, the rule still applies. Sculpt progressively; starting at lower poly counts. Shit doesn't happen when you jump to the highest level right out of the gate.
Bob, do you find the mudbox interface to be better than zbrush? Im having serious trouble grasping the zbrush interface. I paint the depths, but when I adjust lighting to see what it did, nothing happens. The depth brushes arent smooth, when dragged they get all staggered. I maybe am doing this all wrong, and might be better off just painting them in wings3d
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