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DoctorMonkeyFist
07-26-2005, 01:02 AM
I'm an aspiring 3d modeler and I don't yet know zbrush but I hope to soon...But I was wondering if it would be cool to put zbush models on a demo reel...It seems like you could do some really impressive models but if you showed your topology it would be a way low poly mesh....and wouldn't really be indicative of the way you model.I apologize if there's already a thread on this.

Headless
07-26-2005, 01:46 AM
If you're making your zbrush result into a normal map then if you're rendering the normal map applied to the low poly model, showing the wire of the low poly model, and noting your normal map dimensions, then that's more than fair.

If you're creating something in zbrush and rendering out the high poly object in zbrush, then showing your low poly wire and saying that it's the same object, then that's not fair, it's lying.

Just to be clear, as you may be misunderstanding: when you sculpt a model in zbush you are still dealing with geometry, so all those little bumps that you're adding are still made of of lot and lots of polygons. As such, if you were to render out the actual wireframe from a highly detailed zbrush model, it wouldn't be low poly at all but very very high poly. You may be getting confused here because zbrush is used so often for generating normal and displacement maps, which are applied to low polygon versions of objects. It's in those examples where you'll see seemingly high poly objects with low poly wire renders, yet the actual zbrush model from which the displacement or normal maps were derived, will still be high poly.

Psylife
07-27-2005, 12:08 AM
I may not be the best person the reply to your thread, but I think that showing zbrush models is a good way to show off to your employer that you are more of an artist than a so called "button pusher". By that I am emphasizing the artistic approach that zbrush has with modeling characters. If you can sculpt it, that means that you can "Zbrush it"...and if you can "zbrush it", that means that you are more likely to be able to sculpt it. That is not necessarlily true when talking about software like Max or Maya.



Hope that helps

Headless
07-27-2005, 01:41 AM
What does it matter whether you are an "artist" or a "button pusher" if you can produce the same results either way?

Augh
07-27-2005, 06:18 AM
What does it matter whether you are an "artist" or a "button pusher" if you can produce the same results either way?

Hear hear.

I'd be more concerned frankly with making sure to also include some NON displaced work if you do decide to include Z-brushed meshes. If you're pondering is it "fair" or not, then you probably get what I'm meaning about the other stuff. Z-brush meshes look awesome, but they also look very Z-brushed, and don't indicate much about modeling in their surface mappings etc, I always wonder how much actual modeling is in there. Not that I'd like to jump into that entire can of worms, but, well, you didn't specify it was something other than a MODELING reel ;)

At least imo...

Best of luck with the reel whatever you decide about the contents heheh ^_^

Squash-n-Stretch
07-27-2005, 10:17 AM
Z-Brush is fair...sure. It's an extra skill. Now...Poser...;)

chadtheartist
07-27-2005, 09:07 PM
Zbrush doesn't make poor modelers better. So in that respect I think it's plenty "fair". I've seen some highly detailed, poorly executed models done by quite a few people. Just because you can push millions of creases and bumps on a model won't make it better if your foundation, i.e. the weight and volume of the model isn't there.

However, I think it's very important to show that you can do traditional edgecrafting too. Because most models are going to need to be animated, or posed at one time or another. Plus knowing good edgecraft skills will allow you to optimize your scenes much better than just using Zbrush exclusively.

Personally I love Zbrush, and would never dream of modeling like I use too. But I'm glad I learned the "old" way of modeling (edgecraft modeling), as that is still important to making a final mesh.

PBlades
07-27-2005, 11:15 PM
Face it Chad, we're nothing without Zbrush :)

chadtheartist
07-28-2005, 02:58 AM
Ah... dangit! Why'd you go and admit the truth! Now everyone will know!

pencil-head
07-28-2005, 03:23 AM
Hey Chad love your new avatar.
Post it in the WIP so i can have a look at it.:D

chadtheartist
07-28-2005, 04:01 AM
Also, one thing to note. The way I did my demo reel was take the low-poly mesh, and add displacement maps to them, and rendered them that way in my reel. The only issue you're going to have with this is trying to figure out how to "add" other things like clothes, eyes, etc... to your model that you are going to displace.

So for my reel I ended up having a lot of geometry floating above the model, jutting through the model, etc... I didn't have an option to render out normal maps at the time, so I had to do it the way I did.

So far I haven't heard any negative feedback from potential employers about the way I did my reel. So if it's any consolation I thought this might give you a good starting point.

However, if I had it to do all over again, I would have made my base cages more true to the silhoette of the hi-res mesh. That would have prevented a lot of the guess work in trying to get eyes, clothes, etc... to line up.

Hey Chad love your new avatar.
Post it in the WIP so i can have a look at it.:D

I did it for an art test, and it will be up on my site soon. Hopefully in a day or so. :D

1stbrother
07-28-2005, 04:34 AM
i'm kinda new to the zbrush/maya/animation thing as a whole so please bear with me.

are the high polygon meshes created in zbrush too much to handle in maya when it comes time to animate?

and, if you're feeling generous...

i've sculpted in zbrush and imported back to maya with no displacement map or any extra step (although the poly count was through the roof) and had no problems. am i missing something?

merci.

chadtheartist
07-28-2005, 01:20 PM
are the high polygon meshes created in zbrush too much to handle in maya when it comes time to animate?

I would assume so. You may be able to get a 2-3 million polygon mesh into Maya, but you're not going to have a lot of response when it comes to rigging, painting weights, animating, etc...

i've sculpted in zbrush and imported back to maya with no displacement map or any extra step (although the poly count was through the roof) and had no problems. am i missing something?

Yup, I think you're missing something. :D Maya can handle some pretty high polygon counts, but it will kill your render times. Using displacement maps not only helps with animation, it also helps with rendering, and RAM usage.

1stbrother
07-28-2005, 03:59 PM
thank you.

Pent
07-29-2005, 12:31 AM
even button pushing requires skill like art, and both are learnt and practiced.

K_Digital
07-29-2005, 02:51 AM
i think zbrush is cheezy, you don't have to understand proper topology in zbrush

-Vormav-
07-29-2005, 03:01 AM
i think zbrush is cheezy, you don't have to understand proper topology in zbrush
Not if you're planning on rigging or animating your character. Then you still have to build the model up with good topology (a strong base model to subdivide with).
Personally, I've always looked at ZBrush as an excellent aid for subd modeling, not a replacement. :shrug:

marc001
07-29-2005, 03:10 AM
I'm an aspiring 3d modeler and I don't yet know zbrush but I hope to soon...But I was wondering if it would be cool to put zbush models on a demo reel...It seems like you could do some really impressive models but if you showed your topology it would be a way low poly mesh....and wouldn't really be indicative of the way you model.I apologize if there's already a thread on this.

Recently the job postings for character artists are asking for experts in Zbrush. So definately put Zbrushed models on your demo reel.

About the lowpoly mesh. It shouldn't be a problem.

JaMo
07-29-2005, 07:15 AM
i think people should look at zbrush as just another tool to get the work done with. i personaly dont know how to use z brush but from what ive seen of it id like to use it to apply bump/normal/dipslacement maps to my models for the fine detail it allows.

btw anyone have a tutorial on how to take a model in to zbrush and paint the details in to get your maps?

Jonnydigitall
07-29-2005, 01:42 PM
Why does everyone clown poser so much. Poser rawks your world!! The entirety of the FX in Episode 3 were done in Poser!!

DoctorMonkeyFist
07-30-2005, 02:37 AM
Well, I'm planning on starting to use zbrush in my models but any model in zbrush will probably be more impressive than anything I can model in maya and it will be all displacements because if I put a 2 million polygon mesh into maya, my computer would probably explode.So it would most likely be a low poly mesh and a crazy detailed displacement map. But that wouldn't really show much of my treatment of topology.It seems like the consensus is that it's cool to show a few zbrush models, but not all zbrush models, unless i was applying to be a zbrush expert.

rakmaya
07-30-2005, 03:38 AM
It is not about the tools, it is about the final product. If you are looking for Animation, Modeling or any other art division, they want to see specific skills in your demo reel. For modeling, if you are applying for game related development, then you should be working on both low poly and zbrush for the details. Unfortunately, zbrush can't animate. So you have to take the details back into other apps and this means skills on other end does count. And zbrush defenitly isn't cheezy. It is a skill that industry needs. To add that much detail on a character where necessary, it would take many hours and is not something neighter film and games want to spend on. So zbrush is used everywhere.

amylee
03-19-2006, 04:24 AM
So... obviously i've been checking out your posts - this one definately caught my attention because i've been wondering the same thing. It seems like everyone is learning Zbrush and most teachers are saying its a skill employers are looking for - so i read people's responses but am wondering what you actually ended up doing. It was a while ago, so did you finish your reel - if you did add zbrush models were they low or high poly? are you now a zbrush expert? Im really interested in learning it so im also interested in your answer. Thanks!! Bye

LucentDreams
03-19-2006, 07:54 AM
ZBrush does allow detailing without the worry of topology, but anyone working in aniamtion still ahs to worry about it for their base. Beyond that the biggest flaw I see in how a lot of people work, is getting carried away with how low they can get. A prime example woudl be the Famous base mesh Taron has used for several most impressive examples. I think he's pushed that base mesh far beyond what most people could, but I also think he's shown the limits of a mesh thats too low res.

If you watch Taron's Displacement morph examples, or his Short film, you can see areas such as the ears where the design of the base mesh limited just what how much he coudl do with his ears, sot hey all have this very odd straight horizontal edge at the top rather then it protruding out at an angle like a real ear. this is because there simply wasn't enough detail.

Now thats not to say Taron did a horrible job or anything, he did a fantastic job with those models and they look great. I do however feel that early examples such as his set a bad example for a lot of artists to use base meshes with too few polygons.

I've seen a few discussions about people not being able to get quite enough detail into their model simply because they can't subdivide one more level due to limitations of their system. If they plan out their base mesh caefully, they'd be able to get far more detail without ever going an actual level higher in subdivisions.

here is a simple example.

You have a base object of 2000 polygons, 500 of which belong to the head. Set to 5 subdivisions, that character mesh will be 2 048 000 polygons. one more subdivisions will set that entire character to 8 192 000 polygons, which many systems simply couldn't handle.

the Head alone would have 512 000 polygons at 5 subdivisions, 2 048 000 at 6 subdivisions.

If 5 subdivisions isn't enough for the detail you need on the head, but you can't reach the total 8+ million, how do you get that extra detail? Simply add mroe detail where you want it, perhaps simply adding a few more loops and such. Lets say you add four polygons loops in key areas aroudn the mouth and eyes. That could add perhaps and extra 120 polygons on the base mesh of the head. Believe it or not, Simply adding those loops will increase your heads polygon count by 122 880 polygons at 5 subdivisions levels. Every single polygon you add in the base mesh, will add another 4096 polygons to the five level subdivision. Heck imagin you doubled the detial in the head, from 500 to 1000, your head now has more then one million polygons.

A good number to know, is that 977 polygons will reach the million poly mark at 5 subdivisons.

So now for a realy good and optimal modeler, your goal is to use fewer polygons if possible, maintain good form and clean topology for deformation, and make sure you ahve adequate detail for areas that will need it at the higher resolutions.

It can be a cheat and make a modelers life much easier, particularily for modelers simply doing stills and illustration, but for those still working in aniamtion pipelines, while it makes getting highfidelity detail easier, it can actually add a bit more challenge in the original detialing then it used to for many.

DoctorMonkeyFist
03-20-2006, 06:18 AM
So... obviously i've been checking out your posts - this one definately caught my attention because i've been wondering the same thing. It seems like everyone is learning Zbrush and most teachers are saying its a skill employers are looking for - so i read people's responses but am wondering what you actually ended up doing. It was a while ago, so did you finish your reel - if you did add zbrush models were they low or high poly? are you now a zbrush expert? Im really interested in learning it so im also interested in your answer. Thanks!! Bye
Wow! I can't believe this thread is back from the dead! Well, i've learned a lot about zbrush since I started this thread. I really love it and can't say enough great things about it and I can't really see living without it. I haven't finished my reel(I have about another year of school) but all my models will definitely be zbrushed to some extent. I can't help it. It let's me refine things to a much higher level and in turn makes my stuff look much nicer. Plus, zbrush is so cheap and fast and amazing, I can't see any reason it wouldn't be in any relevent studios pipeline. But I still try to make my models able to stand alone before I bring them into zbrush with all the topology and forms in place. But, if you're just starting, out you'd be better off learning anatomy and topology before starting zbrush. But I think any character modeler, particularly highres, is putting themself at a disadvantage if they don't learn zbrush. Hope I could help. Goodluck!

metamesh
03-20-2006, 10:13 AM
it is very important that you learn how to model in the "old" way doing nice and clean topology, but also to these people claiming that for using zbrush u are worse because it's easy to sculpt with it: come on guys open ur eyes, there is plenty of rubbish done with zbrush in the same way that there is plenty of rubbish done in the traditional way. Mass, proportions, anatomy, weight and personality is something that is not in the software that u use, but in ur head. just the fact of being able to make a 1million polygons model doesn't make u a good modeller in fact zbrush is dangeorous cos people tend not to focus on the overall model but in the stupid "microporus skin detail" bullshit...of course is cool to add all this detail, but just at the end, as an add-on to a model that is already good and finished...so if you want to add zbrush models to ur reel feel free to do it, as long as they are good models, not a mass of polygons without any sense...u can make gorgeous models with normal polygnos, but u can make them also in zbrush, but not for using zbrush ur models will look awesome instantly...

LordMcGoat
03-20-2006, 10:22 AM
*Words of wisdom*


Yup I totally agree, after using Zbrush for quite a few models I started doing exactly the same thing.

Ultimately, for an animatable mesh, it's not going to lessen your workload because as LD pointed out you still need to have a clean topology, and on top of that you have to make it as poly-efficient as possible. I'd also add that you'll want the base mesh to be close to 100% quads for hassle-free Zbrush modelling.

I'm amazed that people still see Zbrush as "cheating" somehow. Sure, there is a Zbrush look in as much as people often find it difficult to get rid the overall bumpyness of the mesh, or deliberately bump it to give the illusion of detail, but that's just a lack of practice/skill.

I think that by now people can see through this - gone are the days of a horribly bumpy fish getting a bunch of stars becaused it's so "detailed". A good Zbrushed model should just look like whatever it's supposed to look like.

One more thing before I shut up about Zbrush (I love it), just because a load of people use it for fine details, doesn't mean that's its only purpose. I happen to much prefer to model that way rather than pulling vertices about, and I make the topology in maya, but only with a very loose shape of my model - the actual form and shape of the model is all zbrushed without going up any subdivisions at all.

Oh and with Zapplink, it's a great texturing tool too.

LucentDreams
03-20-2006, 10:33 AM
good example McGoat, some of my favourite models I see over at ZC are the ones where my intial reaction is what exactly did they do in ZBrush. then I see the diferenc ebetweenbase mesh and ZBrush mesh and see it wasn't about jsut the highfidelity, but simply refining the low fidelity in what I too consider to often be the more artistically liberating way, through sculpting.

Block out the base shape and initial volumes, then focus on where you want detail, all the while keeping track of topology and how areas deform, without leting the little detials dominate your thinking, like getting each muscles indivisual voulme shaped jsut right, just makingsoure you have the muscle eams where you want them and the right amount of detail in them, that way you can easily brusht hem in Zbrush to the right shapes and volumes.

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