View Full Version : Zbrush or Mudbox

10 October 2009, 04:22 PM
I am a Zbrush user and i just saw a demo of Mudbox 3d painting on multiple layers, in real time and i must say, i am impressed.
What's the pros and cons of each software?
Is it worth switching to Mudbox (the clear interface is so inviting...)?

10 October 2009, 06:43 PM
Download the demo, use it for the 30 days and see which you prefer. Only you can really decide this by using them.


10 October 2009, 06:56 PM
I've been back and forth between the two. My experience went like this: I picked up ZBrush 3 for the Mac and loathed (LOATHED) the interface and the retarded workflows. It took weeks to get past all its stupid ways of doing things and I just gave up on texturing in ZBrush since it was so clumsy compared to Bodypaint. When Mudbox came out for the Mac, I jumped ship since the painting and workflows overall are just easier and make sense. But then I got an Nvidia card and the drivers are so shit for the Mac and Mudbox (they are better than the Radeon card for Maya) that it was less able to do what I did in ZBrush for easy high res sculpting (ZBrush is crazy fast on an 8-core Nehalem machine). And then GoZ came out and it was awesome. So I went back to ZBrush for my sculpting and Maya work since it was really seamless and fast and I use Mudbox for texture painting. ZBrush's sculpting tools are still much more mature - the stuff like gravity brush modifiers and things make certain effects really really easy and the Decimation Master is far better and faster than Maya's triangulation reduction. I also find the GPU-filtered look of Mudbox's sculpting to be a problem - you have to use twice the mesh resolution to get sharp edges, but this is less of an issue on Windows since the graphics drivers don't suck and there is already a 64-bit version of Mudbox. This is coming for the Mac.

Anyway, my feeling is that Mudbox is dead easy to pick up and won't leave much to desire but ZBrush is the better sculptor/make it from scratch and I can't wait to get my hands on ZSpheres2. This just can't be done in MB since it lacks ZSpheres or voxel type things. It's just a shame that ZBrush is stupidly arranged and it doesn't so much have a learning curve as it does a "learning what the hell they call meshes/AO and what stupid sequence of buttons to click" curve.

10 October 2009, 08:15 PM
but seriously, the texturing and overlay "workflow" is so ass-backwards and stupid in ZBrush that if you plan on doing any texture painting, I can't recommend it.

10 October 2009, 10:09 PM
I just read the review of ZBrush 3.5 in 3D World and it's got me really excited. I come from a fine arts background and the new noise and clay brushes sound really great. There are a ton of other new features that sound great it's just a shame that texture painting is such a terrible experience in ZB. If Mudbox is a 7/10 for painting and texturing, ZB is a 3. If I know that a model will be more about cloning and texturing, then I'll avoid ZBrush entirely and use Mudbox. There really isn't a clear winner, especially since there are no posing tools in MB.

And want to see what a stupid ZBrush workflow looks like? Google ZBrush retopo. You might as well use Topogun or 3D Coat, it's so stupidly confusing.

10 October 2009, 11:04 PM
but seriously, the texturing and overlay "workflow" is so ass-backwards and stupid in ZBrush that if you plan on doing any texture painting, I can't recommend it.

**does it help to paint textures on a hi res model in zbrush? I remember trying polypainting and the res of the texture was bad. I hvent tried it since but someone said the res improves in the texture if you work on a higher subdivision level(but does the texture return to low res after you export it?)

I have some textures that need to be worked with a rotating model but I think projection master in zbrush is all I can use).

10 October 2009, 11:43 PM
ya, that's one of the factors of polypainting - it's not a traditional UV/texture workflow so it has all these stupid limitations. Pixologic's different approach has had some real winners (the fast GPU-agnostic viewport, ZSpheres, etc) but this is one that's just a pain in the ass. Mudbox is basically a limited version of Photoshop and very intuitive if ZBrush had Mudbox's painting tools, it would be a no contest win for ZBrush, especially with the stuff in ZB 3.5.

11 November 2009, 07:50 PM
I can't say too much about Mudbox since I haven't used it very much at all.

I started messing with Zbrush very early on, after one of my instructors showed me basic commands and a few interface tricks. While learning and getting used to the interface was relatively easy for me, it was probably due to the fact that I hadn't learned the standard 3d apps completely as well, so it was a little easier to grasp than long time users of Maya, etc.

While painting may be better in Mudbox, quite a few people I know use Zbrush to block in basic textured areas, and then refine the textures in Photoshop without needing to divide their meshes to ridiculous levels.

If you're comparing Zbrush 3.5 to the current version of Mudbox, I'd personally say go for Zbrush, hands down.
Then again, it all depends on your needs. Zbrush is nearly a complete standalone character creation package, and once you've gotten the hang of the retopology workflow and Zspheres, character modeling will be a lot faster than your standard workflow. Additionally, if you're very artistically inclined, I'm pretty sure you'd find the new Zsketch feature absolutely brilliant.
While I haven't tried it out myself yet, I've heard really good things from people about it.

If you're not looking to radically change your workflow, and are just looking for a sculpting and texturing app that is basically down-to-earth in terms of UI and tools, go with Mudbox.

Neither is a bad choice, but like someone suggested, check out the trial versions and then buy.
I'd also recommend waiting till you can try out Zbrush 3.5 before buying.

11 November 2009, 10:14 PM
Maybe you should take guidance from a robot.


11 November 2009, 09:49 PM
With zbrush 3.5 the texturing is much better and you can paint with HD geometry and export the polypaint out so the resolution is nice. You could also give 3d coat a try, i think that its one of the best texturning tools out there (sorry bodypaint, i never liked you and you were too expensive)

11 November 2009, 11:38 PM
I just can't get past 3D-Coat's interface. It's so gross. I feel like I'm running OS/2 or something and I avoid it if I can.

I'll just stick to using Mudbox for texturing and ZBrush for really detailed models. I am lucky enough to own both.

11 November 2009, 01:50 AM
I totally understand what you mean. It's a really clunky and badly designed interface (although i have to say that v3 is better than what it used to be.) I remember the programer was showing a few screens of a brand new interface he was working on for 3.0 and it looked actually very nice with a ribbon type of interface that unlike Autodesk's products felt like it could be very useful (it looks like marking menus, but on pure sexy crack ;) )

Anyway, yeah, mudbox with its layers is a definite winner, although i'm loving the high poly polypainting that zbrush's got. Now only if you could have color layers too!

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