I'm currently taking Meats' class at Gnomon (hey Meats!) and have run into a few things that are seemingly not in the package. I'm wondering if there are any plans to add them in an upcoming release. I realize zBrush largely targets modelers, but I am a texture painter and am coming at it from that perspective. For 3D paint apps, texture painters are largely limited to either Deep Paint or Bodypaint. Deep Paint works decent, but is not great in a number of ways, not the least of which is it's buggy behaviour, crashes, heavily aliased brushes and it's not 16 bit. The shops I've worked at use Deep Paint, so I've grown very comfortable with it. I have nto properly explored BodyPaint, but really do not like the interface. So, I was hoping to use zBrush more, and possibly to get some shops to start using it. But, there are a few things that need to be addressed before this package could be used to replace Deep Paint. I much prefer zBrush, just would like to see a few things more targetted to us texture painters.
1. The biggest annoyance I have is with the seeming inability to save color palettes. I've only managed to find the system palette, which does not have any means of saving it. So, if I crash or otherwise have to restart, I have to open a texture where I have painted my colors and sample them into the system palette. THis is extremely, extremely annoying and seems like a very simple thing to have. Afterall, these color palettes are the best in ANY package. There's a wide array of choices for choosing colors. But then I cannot save them. Ack! Nice palettes, though. Wish I could have these in Photoshop!
2. It'd be really great to be able to use layers while painting textures onto a model. Again, this is a pretty basic thing that the package should already have, in my opinion.
3. Better paint application with brushes. The paint brushes apply paint in a less than desirable way. In other packages, if you are painting using an image file, the paint does not repeat until you reach the end of the image. If you were to paint repeatedly over an area without lifting the brush, then it would not repaint it, it would just increase it's opacity. In zBrush, if you stroke back and forth over the same area, it repeatedly applies new paint each time, which makes the result all smeary and smudgy. This is a very very bad way to apply color. The workaround I have been using is to use the clone brush instead. I use projection master, then open a plane with the texture I wanna use next to my model, then clone straight from there. The brush works much better this way. Still, it'd be better to be able to jsut assign the texture and paint with it.
4. Use of jitter for various controls. It would be great to be able to have some of the jitter controls in the brush engine for photoshop. Rotational jitter especially would be cool, so the brush would randomly (or controlably) rotate during a stroke based on pressure, tilt or whatever. Color jitter too, so that the brush would jitter between foreground and background colors during a stroke.
5. The ability to use larger than 4k images would be great.
Now, I am not an expert yet, so perhaps there are some ways to address some of these things. If so, any and all help or comments are welcome. Don't get me wrong. I love the software. It just seems that a few of the basic texturing things were not paid attention to because this was meant for modeling a little more. Thing is, if I were a guy who owned a shop, I'd much rather pay the $500 for a dual use package that I could use effectively for both texture and modeling than pay $900 for Deep Paint and however much for whatever modeling package.
A great feature in Deep Paint that would be insane in zBrush, is the ability to transfer the file straight over to photoshop. So, for instance, in Deep Paint, you can lock your model in projection mode and hit a button. Then the file is transferred to photoshop IN projection mode with a layer added for the projection. You can then paint in photoshop in projection mode and when done, press a button and the whole thing transfers back to Deep Paint. This is pretty great. For modeling, perhaps not that useful, but for texturing it's invaluable, because truthfully the photoshop brush engine is really great. CS is 16 bit too, so how cool would that be?
Anyway, still digging the software. And the class. I can't recommend Meats' class enough, it's really great. If you live locally, it's well worth the $1600.
Working on a few models and will post something soon. Swamp Thing and Hellboy stuff, harkening back to my comics days.