PDA

View Full Version : Zbrush and Lightwave


-JT-
12-09-2003, 07:29 AM
I just saw this on the zbrush forum : http://www.pixolator.com/zbc-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=012825

i love the result he got, have some of you experienced Zbrush ? is it easier than Lightwave for texturing ? (i'm not too found of texturing in Lightwave, not very intuitive).

Facial Deluxe
12-09-2003, 07:33 AM
Never tried Zbrush, but JS is back, and you gonna love his last work :
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&postid=995790#post995790

private
12-09-2003, 08:06 AM
I've played with it for a while, however, I could not get past the absolute HORRID interface. The people that do and produce marvelous work are mindboggling. I can't get past the HORRID interface. It's really that bad. From what I've read, they are going to change it in the new version, so at that time, I will look again at it. For now, I will admire from a distance. :)

leigh
12-09-2003, 12:30 PM
I've got ZBrush but I also hate the interface and so I rarely use it. I'm waiting for the new release so that I can upgrade, because apparently they are changing the interface.

It's a fantastic tool though - I've played around with it before for adding detail to my LW models. The most incredible thing is the ease with which it handles models with REALLY high poly counts.

The texturing tools are cool too, although I'm not majorly fond of painting in 3D unless I have to (I have Deep Paint 3D and Body Paint as well - both fantastic programs but I rarely use them).

At any rate I'm looking forward to seeing the new ZBrush.

Kvaalen
12-09-2003, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by -JT-
i love the result he got, have some of you experienced Zbrush ? is it easier than Lightwave for texturing ?

In a way you could say it is easier, but you can't really compare the two. In LightWave you can set the UVs and apply the texture but the painting itself gets done in another program, where as with ZBrush, you usually do the painting in the program. It has its cons too. I just played a bit with the demo so I'm no expert, but It's quite different from LightWave and takes some time getting used to and to know what to do.

It also comes with Zscripts that can really help out, sort of like tutorials.

Roger Eberhart
12-09-2003, 03:06 PM
From what I've seen, Ken Brilliant usually does his UV mapping in another program (probably Lightwave), then paints his model in ZBrush. His reason for doing this is because ZBrush's native UV mapping is similar to Atlas mapping, it basically spreads yours polys all over the place. If you look at a native UV map from ZBrush you can't really tell what is what. Which is fine if you're only going to paint in 3d, but if you want to touch up your texture in Photoshop you're in trouble.

hrgiger
12-09-2003, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Leigh
(I have Deep Paint 3D and Body Paint as well - both fantastic programs but I rarely use them).



Have you thought of selling either of them?

I remember you saying you didn't have sasquatch...Interested in a trade in any way?

leigh
12-09-2003, 05:44 PM
Hrgiger - I can't sell them because they are both NFR licenses (they were sent to me by the developers for free so I cannot sell them) :)

I do have Sasquatch now by the way - why do you want to get rid of yours? I use mine all the time! Characters suck without hair, hehe :)

Perhaps next year when I have more time for playing around and experimenting with things I'll get more into them (especially BodyPaint), but right now I'm sticking to what I use best (Photoshop) because of time constraints :)

Btw check your PM's if you haven't already.

hrgiger
12-09-2003, 05:58 PM
Leigh,

I actually don't want to get rid of Sasquatch but I've been looking to sell it lately just because I need the money. Buyers have been slow so far so I thought I might trade for a 3D paint app which I really want. You're right, characters suck without hair a lot of the time but there are other ways to do hair if you have to but not so many easy way to paint across seams in your UV's. Just my thought process.
Got your PM:thumbsup: Thanks.

Steve-o

roguenroll
12-09-2003, 06:00 PM
Im very interested in Zbrush for another technique to add to the toolkit. I hear the next version will have better texturing with reference to the normal mapping.

Good thing to hear about the interface, it is pretty bad.

ravioli_rancher
12-09-2003, 07:38 PM
JT,

I've owned ZBrush and lightwave for about one year now, and use it to paint simple 3d models (like screws, and bottles). Any thing too complex (multi limbed organisms), or textures as high as 4096 by 4096, and the bugger will crash, every, single, time.

Just like the instability problems which seem to be posted with regularity on the Newtek forums, Pixologic says they are "working on it." However, judging from the extraordinary progess Pixolator and Co. have shown from 1.23 to 1.55b, I'd say they, at least, are sincere.

As far as the interface goes, I wonder why users here feel its horrid. Other than the tiny text, its fairly customizeable. You can drag just the functions you need from each pallette, into your own pop-up type menu, and close off the side pallettes all together. Plus, to get new users started, you only need to press <ctrl> while hovering your mouse over a tool to get a detailed description of what it does and how to use it.

Lightwave, on the other hand, requires 800 lbs of manual, and $1200 additional investment in video tutorials to learn how to model humans and texture frogs. Blech.

Check out the "Quicklinks" on pixolator.com. You'll find one of the most extensive tutorial sites for any piece of software anywhere, for free.

Like with any program, the longer you use it, the easier, and more sensible it feels.

Though nobody cares, I say ZBrush is the most enjoyable 3d program available today. You can truly have an unlimited number of polygons in any scene on basically an prehistoric rig. (I'm running a 1Ghz PIII and can 'snapshot' millions polys into one scene. Though once snapped onto the canavas the 3d models become 2.5D pixols. Since I'm only into creating stills, and absolutely hate the animation process, it doesn't much matter.

Summary:

ZBrush is an excetional stand alone program, and works well with simple geometry from other horrid apps. But, its "texture master" 3d paint process feels too premature and unstable for any in depth, photorealistic-style texuring.

Then again, 3d texturing was never what this program was meant to be. ZBrush is about idea generation, and intricate concept art / 3d illustration and having fun.

At least for an anti-animator like me.

Right now, if you're looking for a 3d paint app only, perhaps Bodypaint 2 will be more to your liking.

Good luck with your decision.



hrgiger,

How much u want for yeer fur? Sasquatch that is.

lwwiz
12-09-2003, 10:54 PM
I got the zbrush demo and have in the past hour built 3 incredible cool underwater creatures but since I am no good at texturing its hard to make them look that much better.

TVeyes
12-10-2003, 12:42 AM
Ravioli_rancher: You have to follow some guidelines if texturing zsphere objects (multi limbed organisms). If you don't follow them, yes it will crash every single time. Check the troubleshooting section of ZbrushCentral.com. Also set the Preferences::Compact Memory to something close to your free system memory.

I've been using ZB 1.55b pretty intensely this last year or so and have only had a single crash. Version 1.5 was a different story though.

I had issues with the UI to begin with, but what they were I cannot remember. It feels so natural now. However if you use the UI as it is straight out of the box, it is not very friendly. Customize it, change the layout, Ctrl+click+drag the functions you use, hide the rest, expand all the palettes from the outset... well you get it, put a little effort in and it might be more comfortable for you. Horrid UI? Hmm, personal taste I guess.

Jonathan
12-10-2003, 01:00 AM
I've got the Zbrush demo myself. OMG the interface is terrible. I tried following the tutorials but I can't perform half of the steps because something is grayed out. That was also highly frustrating. I do see myself using zbrush in the future, strictly for it's displacement ability but right now, I can't get into it.

-JT-
12-10-2003, 05:47 AM
Thanks for the answers, does anyone know when the new version is out ? (with the new ui)

CIM
12-10-2003, 06:13 AM
Originally posted by -JT-
Thanks for the answers, does anyone know when the new version is out ? (with the new ui)

Last I've heard: spring '04.

leigh
12-10-2003, 12:11 PM
Hahahaha CIM, I LOVE the new avatar :D

MitchVFX
12-10-2003, 04:09 PM
I downloaded the demo as well, but haven't had too much time to mess with it yet.

Am I correct in assuming that the big feature in the next version is that instead of exporting a dense mesh with the "painted" detail, you can export a map that can be used to displace a subpatched object?

If so, that would be really cool.

lwwiz
12-10-2003, 04:19 PM
I dont see why you guys dont like the interface of it. it just like a more complex photoshop.

Mike Pauza
12-10-2003, 04:41 PM
ZBrush with Photoshop tools/interface...that would be nice!

Ive tried the demo as well. For me it's a must have IF they turn it into a real tool 3D sculpting/painting tool, and not just have those features as an afterthought. Very promising though.

-Mike Pauza (3DPhysicist)

ub52
12-10-2003, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Mike Pauza
...For me it's a must have IF they turn it into a real tool 3D sculpting/painting tool, and not just have those features as an afterthought. Very promising though...

Ah, but it already is. Since version 1.23 it's had the capability to load and edit .obj files comlete with UV maps. It has only matured more since then. I'll admit the interface is a lot to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, you can edit your 3D mesh down to the point level and with symetry.

One of features I haven't had enough time to fully explore, but looks very promising is a new UV mapping method they call AUV_Tiles. I think it's short for Adaptive UV Tiling. What this does is take every polygon in your object and map it into UV space so that each one is the same size. Within ZBrush this virtually eliminates any streching during painting. Not sure how well it translates to LW. I do know Glen Southern has used this with success, just not sure how much trouble it is. Also the images created for this type of UV mapping are impossible to modify intelligently in anything other than ZBrush.

- ub52

Jonathan
12-10-2003, 11:16 PM
OKAY I'm about to fire up this demo and gain and try it, frustration aside. But on the machine next to me I have the XSI demo running for back-up. heh!

roguenroll
12-10-2003, 11:55 PM
what do you think of XSI, I have my habds full with LW, and Maya.
But I've heard mention of it more these days.

I guess you said you have the demo, maybe I should find out myself too??

R

Jonathan
12-11-2003, 02:47 AM
I love it. I never liked right clicking to get to things though and you have to do that in XSI. You can't customize the UI for the demo either but it functions well.

I actually came across it by accident. I was on the train to London and decided to stop in shop to get a stick of gum and happen to look at the newstand and there it was. Arts magazine XSI demo on CD. So I quickly snuffed it up, rushed my business in london and came home and jamped into it.

jmcalpin
12-11-2003, 05:58 AM
Originally posted by Roger Eberhart
From what I've seen, Ken Brilliant usually does his UV mapping in another program (probably Lightwave), then paints his model in ZBrush. His reason for doing this is because ZBrush's native UV mapping is similar to Atlas mapping, it basically spreads yours polys all over the place. If you look at a native UV map from ZBrush you can't really tell what is what. Which is fine if you're only going to paint in 3d, but if you want to touch up your texture in Photoshop you're in trouble.

It's worse... it just makes a evenly spread out cloud of polys. you have absolutely no hope of figuring it out.

Try unwelding your model then running atlas you get the same effect.

Can anyone who has modified their interface in Zbrush post some screencaptures? I'll even host them if you don't have a site to do it from. PM me if you need the space, but I'd love to see what is possible.


I'm also trying to figure out if I want to get zbrush or bodypaint. Zbrush has teh added advantage of making normal maps .... well I should day I can bake the detail in then make a normal map which is really interesting to me. I've been using photoshop so I am sure that if I paint the rough outlines in zBrush I could forgo bodypaint.

southern
12-11-2003, 10:52 PM
I use Lightwave and Zbrush as my two main graphic programs of choice. To say `is ZB easier than Lightwave` is a very hard question to answer as the two package are very different in many ways but I do find that they compliment each other in a number of ways.

A good example of how I use them both can be found here (http://www.southerngfx.co.uk/graphics/gfx3/gfx-lightwave/lightwave17/gfx-lightwave.htm). The texturing in that project was all done in ZBrush, including setting up the UV's using AUV tiling in ZBrush.

Although I'm a beta tester for the unreleased version I rate the current release 1.55b very highly and I think some people may need to explore it more depth. The rest of this post relates to 1.55b NOT the beta!

First off, there are the usual types of UVmapping available in ZBrush in the TOOL>MODIFIERS>TEXURE panel (see image below). So it is possible to bring in a Polygonal model from Lightwave and assign Cylindrical, Planar, Spherical, Tile and the one mentioned in the thread, AUV or ADAPTIVE UV tiling.

One common workflow method for me is:

-model in LW ( a `head` for example).
-Export it as an OBJ with out assigning any UV's
-import it into ZB
-Give it Cylindrical UV co-ords
-Use the Texture Master ZScript to Texture it (you can specify how large you want the texture map upto 4096x4096).
-Export the head and Texture and reload into LW for further editing.

//www.southerngfx.co.uk/uploads/2dimg178.jpg

Example 2, (http://www.southerngfx.co.uk/uploads/2dimg177.jpg)
Example 3, (http://www.southerngfx.co.uk/uploads/2dimg176.jpg)

Of course, as with most UV mapping, I usualy tweak or FIX the UVs by hand in LW. This bit is time consuming I admit.

//www.southerngfx.co.uk/uploads/2dimg267.jpg

Another common method I use is to model the head in ZBrush, give it a texture in house, so to speak. If you choose the right method of mapping you can then take the texture out into Photoshop and do what ever you want with it (see below).

//www.southerngfx.co.uk/uploads/2dimg268.jpg

It is mentioned in this thread that you can't do this with AUV (adaptive) and of course that is correct. AUV mappping gives little squares of texture map a UV reference to a little chunk of Polygons and is dotted all over the show. That, however, is fine if you are going to texture with Texturemaster and not exit ZBrush.

An example of an AUV Texture (http://www.southerngfx.co.uk/graphics/gfx3/gfx-lightwave/lightwave17/img13.htm)

and on ot some commment:

-Ken B was the person that lead me from ZB to LW and it his his methods that made experimant more and more with ZB texturing modes.

-I like the interface in 1.55b and as you may have gathered there are changes to come in the new release. One massive bonus already in place is the ability to add your own ZScripts that can include interface items or common utilites in a manner that best suits your workflow. I am not a coder and I find it easy to keep adding to my own Default ZScript interface as the need arises.

-As a side note, to help qualify my answers above, I have both DeepPaint and Body paint (with C4DR8) and I prefer ZBrush for my texturing. But, hey, were all different!. One point, ZB 1.55b can't handle more than one map per model and this can be an issue with imported models I find.

-Ravioli mentioned he had crashes. My machines are all stable with ZBrush and always have been. More RAM helps when you get into big polycounts and my slower chips don't perform anywhere as well as my 2.4 athlon but thats pretty much the same with all my other software. Lightwave rarely crashes either.

Anyhoo, better go as Pam is having contractions :) and I don't wan't little Southern popping out while I'm writing this.


Glen

-

roguenroll
12-11-2003, 11:49 PM
great stuff, It was your artwork with LW/ZB that got me interested. I think the next version of ZB will be even better.

I hope theres more LW compatability, maybe import lwo.

and the normal texture mapping is killer.

R

Finkster
12-12-2003, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the info.
I wonder if one can import the mesh from LW with the UV already made, paint, then export again using the same UVs. It. seems a little backwards to paint first, then tweak the UV map.

TVeyes
12-12-2003, 02:22 AM
Finkster: Sure, as long as your application of choice exports .OBJ's with the UVs intact Zbrush will import and export those same UV's. With LightWave there is no problem at all. Though you might have to flip the texture verticaly in your application.

I was going to post a whole series of screenshots showing my workspace and UI changes in Zbrush, but I decided against it.

1: because the next version is out Soon (I swear they have invented a whole new meaning for the freaking word soon:) ), and the UI will have changed, I do not want to add to the "confusion".

2: I have a couple of layouts and most of them are concerned with building a still image within Zbrush. 80-90% of the people reading this will only be interested in how they can import their model, do their detail and get the hell out of Zbrush.

Work layout in Zbrush (for imported mesh) (http://www.markoshea.dk/uploads/work_layout.jpg)

The above head was modeled in the same UI environment. A couple of shortcuts are stored in the currently running Zscript (which is hidden). But otherwise it is all standard Zbrush shortcuts.

t to enter edit mode
s to change draw size
X,Y,Z for symmetry on/off
alt+X,Y,Z for Edit axis constraint on/off (custom)
i,o,p for inversing, clearing or masking the whole object (custom)
q,w,e,r to enter the various edit mode transformations
ctrl+d Divide object (custom)

Things like Deformation::Smooth, Inflate or Size are stored in the Zscript I am running, just a 'h' key press away (hide/show Zscript).

So basically I only see the normal interface while I load my object(still need to add a ctrl+l to import an .obj). This seems pretty simple to me, and it does what I want. Hope that helps jmcalpin, sorry for not showing anything else.

jmcalpin
12-12-2003, 03:40 AM
Yeah, thanks.

hmm... bodypaint or zbrush, I guess it's like any software. You have to dedicate yourself to it to make it really fly so I just have to pick the one that is more my style. I'll have to download both to play with and see. Anyone know if multiple UV maps will be in the next version of zbrush, hell any of the new features. I remember threads for them ages ago but can't find what form they were in now?

Fink: I think Southern was just talking about his workflow. You could do it either way, inside LW or zbrush.

Jay

-JT-
12-12-2003, 05:30 AM
Thanks a lot Southern, that's really clear :beer:

kretin
12-12-2003, 08:25 AM
I'm with Glen, actually it was him that put me onto it. ZBrush rocks. The interface is just like any new package, it takes a few days to get used to, but once you get it it's fine. Also the way ZBrush works is very different to other 3D packages, so it took me a couple of weeks off and on to break through the conceptual barrier of "oh that's how it works". Now, even though I haven't had much time on it, and only use a fraction of it's power, I feel very comfortable with using it for the areas that I know and constantly look forward to pushing my learning further to experiment with even more areas.

For the most part it integrates with LW very easily and going back and forth between packages (with the same model) is no problem. I think it rocks for 3D painting/texturing and recommend it highly just for this aspect, let alone all the other amazingly cool things it can do.

Tripdragon
01-10-2004, 12:12 AM
Originally posted by jmcalpin
Yeah, thanks.

hmm... bodypaint or zbrush, I guess it's like any software. You have to dedicate yourself to it to make it really fly so I just have to pick the one that is more my style. I'll have to download both to play with and see. Anyone know if multiple UV maps will be in the next version of zbrush, hell any of the new features. I remember threads for them ages ago but can't find what form they were in now?

Fink: I think Southern was just talking about his workflow. You could do it either way, inside LW or zbrush.

Jay


I have to interject here. I do not have the new beta so I do not know what fangled new fixxes are coming. But I do have to give truth.
Texture m 'does not' work like Body Paint. It freezes the model while you paint, so you cannot rotate the model while painting. This I find is very bad. And making textures wrap around the mesh this way is WAY to much work. :cry:
I so hope that the new version fixes this common feature. It would be nice if a beta user would comment on if this Texture feature is working really nice now, as thus far I refuse to anylonger call it a master of texture painting.

:D Please say it is better

jmcalpin
01-10-2004, 12:27 AM
but i've watched pain tutorials of the head moving and have done it myself?

you sure you didn't collapse teh 3d object into the background to be part of a painting.

my hardest problem with zbrush that it has two modes and i can start up in the paint mode but not get into the 3d section to do things. one wrong turn and your 3d object could be turned into 2.5d paint, which is not good.

I'll try again soon and see if my experience is the same.

Jay

Tripdragon
01-10-2004, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by jmcalpin
but i've watched pain tutorials of the head moving and have done it myself?

you sure you didn't collapse teh 3d object into the background to be part of a painting.

my hardest problem with zbrush that it has two modes and i can start up in the paint mode but not get into the 3d section to do things. one wrong turn and your 3d object could be turned into 2.5d paint, which is not good.

I'll try again soon and see if my experience is the same.

Jay
The texture M script drops the model down as a 2.5 object so then you paint on a virtual plane that when you press pick it drops that plane of paint on to the mesh . So no you can not paint in 3d just 2,5d

CGTalk Moderation
01-16-2006, 10:00 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.