View Full Version : What are the main differences between mudbox/zbrush


uphillcastle
01 January 2010, 02:37 PM
This has probably been asked before, but i couldnt find it searching around? I am learning maya at the moment and looking for a program like mudbox or zbrush. But what are the main differences? I think I am leaning towards mudbox because I like its style of navigation /maya based (i dont want to learn 3 or 4 programs on the go) - so it seems not too much a stretch.

I am going to download the z brush demo to see how it handles.

So if you are on a budget which one would you go for? Ideally i would get both but its beyond my budget...

oglu
01 January 2010, 04:01 PM
best is to try both and make your decision...

i see zbrush more as an desing/concept tool...
it has tons of great tools and is the industy standard sculpting tool...

mudbox is more the pipeline tool...
you can import export objects, cameras, blendshapes, textures...
its a easy to learn sculpting app and the last version is also great in texturing...
and the bridge to maya is getting better and better with every release...
the maya dev team are working in the same building as the mud team...

i recommend to use both...!

uphillcastle
01 January 2010, 04:22 PM
Is there any way to change the navigation in Zbrush? I think if it was in a Maya style it would be great...learning Maya on its own is enough to bamboozle me, let alone 2 programs at once...

oglu
01 January 2010, 04:33 PM
learn it the zbrush way... :D

musashidan
01 January 2010, 05:26 PM
I'd have to agree with Oglu. It really depends on what you want to do and what's your main area of interest. (illustration,concepting,cinematic animated characters,game characters,game environments, etc...) I jumped on the Mudbox bandwagon around the time AD bought Skymatter. And recently i've picked up ZB again(R3 is amazing) I still do alot of my work in my 3D app and still polymodel alot of stuff but lately i've been using the sculpting apps more and more. In an ideal world if your budget allows, Mud and ZB work great together and cover every eventuality you may have in your workflow.
Mudbox tools can be learned in a good afternoon. ZB requires a bit more time ;) Simply because it has alot more to it (which is not to say it's better)
ZB can be strange to get to grips with if you're used to your traditional 3D app. But as you're only learning Maya it might be a good time to learn ZB as it won't feel as alien to you as it does to guys who were raised on 3D apps.

uphillcastle
01 January 2010, 06:35 PM
Thanks guys,

PS Musashidan - do you play like him on the old guitar? Hes a bit of a musical note monster!

musashidan
01 January 2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks guys,

PS Musashidan - do you play like him on the old guitar? Hes a bit of a musical note monster!

Hehe! i do play Flamenco, and even if i play for another 50 years i''l not come close to Paco's abilities. :buttrock:

Turic
02 February 2010, 02:43 PM
also want to add, that in zbrush you can take more subdivisions of model at same configuration of the computer and create more details. mudbox is good for medium details, beginners can make firsts sculps more quick.

zbrush - all in one, you can model in it, make retopology, for retopo in mudbox you can take a topogun - simple and fast application. some principles of work in zbrush better...but now i use mubbox - simple, fast, good connection with my pipeline, such as 3dsmax, bodypaint, real-time work with light, textures, ao. later, i think, go to zbrush, its more powerfull, but more harder to learn.

oglu
02 February 2010, 03:08 PM
also want to add, that in zbrush you can take more subdivisions of model at same configuration of the computer and create more details. mudbox is good for medium details, beginners can make firsts sculps more quick.
you mean you can get a higher polycount with zbrush..?

Turic
02 February 2010, 03:16 PM
yes, sorry for my bad english.

maybe its looks like opinion, but in ZB scene with more subdivs and details work faster. for my 2core comp 4.5 million polys in MB is critical, 1 mln is not to good, but normal...

oglu
02 February 2010, 03:17 PM
the mudbox polycount depends only on your ram...
more ram more poly...

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:18 PM
you mean you can get a higher polycount with zbrush..?

I suppose this can only be answered in each case depending on hardware. And considering that a much more powerful rig is needed to run MB(and it being 64bit) i never feel this to be a fair comparison. And then of course, there's the whole issue of CPU Vs GPU................. hopefully ZB 4 will be 64bit.

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:20 PM
the mudbox polycount depends only on your ram...
more ram more poly...

How're the FPS rates on that Oglu? :D

Turic
02 February 2010, 03:20 PM
oglu, (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?find=lastposter&t=846019)thanks for the information, but how many ram you have?

i have 4gb...its not good?

oglu
02 February 2010, 03:26 PM
rotating not so bad.. about 3-5 frames on a 8800GTX...
zooming a bit slower... it took about 12min to bake the normalmap...

and i have 24gigs of ram in my rig and a dual xeon...
but ram usage on these 100mio was baout 10gig....

Turic
02 February 2010, 03:32 PM
hm..imposible for me...and interesting - how many polys work at this configuration in ZB?

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:33 PM
and i have 24gigs of ram in my rig and a dual xeon...
but ram usage on these 100mio was baout 10gig....

See my post above about powerful rigs. ;)

oglu
02 February 2010, 03:34 PM
as far as i know is zbrush still not using more than 4gig ram...

musashidan
02 February 2010, 03:59 PM
Yeah that's the case alright as it's still 32bit. Hopefully, ZB4 will address that

AdanVC
02 February 2010, 08:12 PM
and i have 24gigs of ram in my rig and a dual xeon...
but ram usage on these 100mio was baout 10gig....

24 gigs of ram! i wanna cry haha i only have 4 gigs... but 4 gigs, it's ok, for students or people that just begins with cg, but for production purposes, defenitely at least 8, but well, im using zbrush, for one year now, and then i downloaded the mudbox trial for try and see if the sculpting process is better than ZB, and defenitely NO, at least for me, in ZB, the sculpting process it feels more traditional, like real clay, also including all the tools that ZB have an Mudbox dont, it's true that, in the beginning, ZB is a little difficult to get used to the navigation and the interface. but in a week just messing around with all the tools and the interface, becomes the most friendly program to you.

Plus, ZBrush has ten times more tutorials and training kits on the internet than Mudbox, this is the way im learning ZB.

my two cents :).

musashidan
02 February 2010, 11:49 PM
im using zbrush, for one year now, and then i downloaded the mudbox trial for try and see if the sculpting process is better than ZB, and defenitely NO, at least for me, in ZB, the sculpting process it feels more traditional, like real clay, also including all the tools that ZB have an Mudbox dont, it's true that, in the beginning, ZB is a little difficult to get used to the navigation and the interface. but in a week just messing around with all the tools and the interface, becomes the most friendly program to you.

Plus, ZBrush has ten times more tutorials and training kits on the internet than Mudbox, this is the way im learning ZB.

my two cents :).

I have to agree with all of this. I have recently returned to ZB after using Mud for about a year. ZB might seem odd at first but it really isn't once you get down to brass tacks. As mentioned, there are literally hundreds of quality training vids on ZB. I find Mud to be very limited and i find ZB to be WAY more natural as a sculpting toolkit. And as for texturing: it may not have true texture resolution painting like Mud or diffuse/bump/spec/etc layers but it absolutely blows Mud's really limited painting kit out of the water with it's sheer number of tools and many different workflows.imo.

Although i still do use Mud, it's recently taking more and more of a backseat since ZB3.5 R3 and ZB4 imminent. I truely feel that Autodesk may have ruined Mudbox as an app with their pathetic drip feeding updates. Even 3D coat which is practically programmed by one guy leaves Mud standing still with it's features list.

oglu
02 February 2010, 08:59 AM
its more a personal preference... i prefer the mud sculpting tools cause im a long term mud user...
but im also working with z but its feels different... its like water based clay and chavant...

and for the other stuff wait some weeks/month... :D

musashidan
02 February 2010, 09:55 AM
its more a personal preference...

:D

agreed on this. :)


and for the other stuff wait some weeks/month... :D

Do you really believe that Autodesk will upgrade MB significantly in terms of new features/tools/workflows? I have my doubts.........

uphillcastle
02 February 2010, 10:48 AM
I have tried getting into mudbox....But for some reason I can just sit down and model in zbrush and have alot of fun which is half the battle....

The navigation was strange at first but I got used to it a little now...and I have a intuos tablet coming in the post so it should get even more intuitive hopefully...

But muds texturing abilities are cool...so its something I wouldnt abandon completely...(and I will be hopefully using later down the line)

Its just zbrush feels more natural to me I dont know why....strange because the UI is completely mad..

oglu
02 February 2010, 10:54 AM
Do you really believe that Autodesk will upgrade MB significantly in terms of new features/tools/workflows? I have my doubts.........


ooh yes... ;)

robinb
02 February 2010, 01:16 PM
Just as a matter of interest I did a little test to see if there's a significant difference in the levels of detail I can get out of either. Nope, I can take the same 2.5k model to about 9 million polys in both programs before running out of memory on a 32bit system. Now Zbrush is far more memory efficient for dealing with files and multiple objects, so it's much easier to work on larger scenes than Mud on this system so there's plenty of work for Autodesk to do there.

However, the Z interface is still a pain for me to use. Nothing's where I expect to find it and many things work in counter intuitive ways (there's no reason on earth why textures have to be stored and exported upside down for instance). The lack of proper perspective was a real hassle last week too when trying to work on a piece of environment. Perspective distortion simply did nothing on a large scene.

But there's plenty of handy tools in Z that aren't in Mud and vice versa (no texture layers in Z makes it fairly limited to me), so when I manage to save up a bit I'm getting myself a copy to go along with my Mud license.

I sincerely hope AD does make a significant improvement to Mud this year as I just coughed up for my subscription. That ain't cheap.

DarthWayne
02 February 2010, 11:32 PM
Do you really believe that Autodesk will upgrade MB significantly in terms of new features/tools/workflows? I have my doubts.........


;) wait and see ;)

lets just say they have not been sitting on their backsides....

Wayne.....

Turic
02 February 2010, 10:08 AM
yesterday try a MB at home system, 4.5mln polys work at 20fps and it only at 2gb of ram. only new clean windows and 8800gts. not far to 9mln polys.

i think, that interface - is main difference in this two tools :) MB is more friendly, all main functions at screen, nothing else. in zb ALL functions see at once, very bad...

and i think, that as ZB, that and MB will improove at time.

what about 3d coat - it made by Ukrane programmers or Russian, and improve very fast, maybe, at time, will better then other sculping progs.

p.s. MB is too simple for user, that he dont need any materials to learn :) one-two click and all is do, ZB is much stronger :D

Jettatore
02 February 2010, 09:26 PM
I'd say Mudbox and ZBrush are basically redundant for the most part. ZBrush has more tools, and is much more convoluted to work with than Mudbox. Mudbox is simpler, but has it where it counts. ZBrush has a lot of stuff you simply do not need if you use a base 3D modeling application. I prefer ZBrush's canvas navigation to that of Mudbox, because it it more friendly for working with a pressure sensitive Wacom Tablet, (which is essential btw). You only need to use the pen itself and any other clicks are done on the keyboard to change between pan, rotate zoom. Where as in Mudbox, Maya's 3 button navigation which it clones is a pain at first using a stylus, but I have gotten used to it and you can remap the keys if you like. The camera itself however, is much nicer in mudbox, and functions more like a camera in a base 3D modeling application.

Mudbox has better previewing options, especially if our outputting for games, to get a feel what the model will look like in engine prior to output. ZBrush has a lot more brushes by default, most of them however can be re-created in Mudbox if you know how to work with your brush settings.

Mudbox is more reliant on your video card, ZBrush is more reliant on your RAM. Thusfar, every new version of ZBrush has been a free upgrade to previous owners all the way back to v1.0.

There is likely nothing, if you have a base 3D app in the equation here, that you can do in one but not the other. So it will come down to preference. And as someone mentioned earlier. Mudbox is 1000x easier to learn, and it's new features tend to be easier to absorb. Mudbox is also friendlier with dual monitor setups as it allows for floating windows and pallets that you can put on the second screen.

My vote hands down goes to Mudbox but you honestly couldn't go too wrong by getting ZBrush instead, and Pixologic is a very nice and hard working company, as well as brilliantly creative and always listening to it's users needs and wishes.

slapnutz
02 February 2010, 04:18 AM
Sooo.... from what I've read so far if I was to make a complex mesh for animation...

Model Basemesh in Maya
Sculpt in Zbrush
Texture in Mudbox
...
Profit?



I'm guessing thats only one option, however is it nonetheless an efficient one?

Also, why would some people chose to do the basemesh in Maya/3ds? Is it because you have more control over the initial topology or something? Whats the "con" of starting the entire mesh in either MB/ZB and only using Maya for animation/rendering?

Btw, great to see everyone being sensible about this discussion.

oglu
02 February 2010, 09:08 AM
Btw, great to see everyone being sensible about this discussion.

thats fine, yes....

i would say it depends on what you need to do...
and were are you located in the pipeline... in studios never one man is doing everything...
its an different workflow for design sculpting, animation mesh sculpting including blendshapes, post animation blends, texturing or sculpting for displacement maps, still or animation....



in the design process you can do what ever you want... fake everything you can...
there i would use zbrush... cause you can do here anything modling, retopo, posing, polypainting...

if i had to do organic sculpting for displacement i would use mudbox...
cause of the real perspective (matching the maya cam) and my personal preference...

for hardsurface i would use zbrush cause it has the much better tools for...
the new hardsurface brushes and the polygroups are your best friend...

everything had to do with blendshapes or post blend i also would use mudbox...
cause i can import export blendshapes and maya/max can read it...
i also able to import an camera from maya to match my work with the final shot...

if i had to do a whole char with many parts for games...
i think i would use zbrush again...

for texturing i would use mudbox again cause of the real texture painting capabilities and the uv tile feature... and there are some really cool featuers in the next release...

-----------

and all these workflows are often overlapping in production...
so the conclusion is.... use both...!

Turic
02 February 2010, 09:09 AM
slapnutz, there are too many ways to reach the target. if you dont have a scetch of charecter, you may sculp from a box and at 3-4 subdivision level make a retopology and get a nice low-poly mesh for animation...if you know at start, what you want see at end - can make simple base at 3ds, work better and fast - dont have a superfluous polys at unnecessary part of model, maybe, can skip a retopology, that conserve a time.

texturing in MB - good way to do simple texture, you may take your low-poly model, apply to in normal-map and paint over it, also make specular texture and see in real-time, what you get in game...later, i use a bodypaint for this, but now in MB it simple and fast.

musashidan
02 February 2010, 11:31 AM
Sooo.... from what I've read so far if I was to make a complex mesh for animation...

Model Basemesh in Maya
Sculpt in Zbrush
Texture in Mudbox
...
Profit?



I'm guessing thats only one option, however is it nonetheless an efficient one?

Also, why would some people chose to do the basemesh in Maya/3ds? Is it because you have more control over the initial topology or something? Whats the "con" of starting the entire mesh in either MB/ZB and only using Maya for animation/rendering?

Btw, great to see everyone being sensible about this discussion.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference and workflow ease. Some folk are happy to do everything from start to finish in Zbrush. Concept artists might start a sculpt from Zspheres or a sphere or cube and take it right through to rendering for presentation. Others might be more comfortable doing 90% in their 3D app and maybe just use the sculpting apps for final touches.
Some may break out in cold sweats when they see the ZB interface, others embrace the UI simplicities of Mud.
And others might: create a basemesh in Max, sculpt in ZB, retopo in Topogun, UV in Headus, paint textures in Mud, bake maps in Xnormal, rig in Xsi, animate in Maya and come full circle back to Max for rendering....... Oh, and then over to Nuke for compositing.....:D

The main point i'm trying to make is that whatever gets you from A to B with desirable results and gets you there with as little technical barriers to inhibit your artistic nature as possible, that's what will drive your software decisions. And the only way to make those decisions is to get in there and get your hands dirty and streamline whatever workflow gets you over the line.

CGTalk Moderation
02 February 2010, 11:31 AM
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.


1