How is Silos topology painter today?

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  07 July 2006
Cool How is Silos topology painter today?

I've tried out Silo a year back or so, and at that time I was so fascinated by the topology paint feature.
But it was quite unstable from what I can remember.

I wonder if it has become a bit better. Zbrush promised a while ago some feature like this one, but as everyone knows it has been quite silent since then.

My idea is to Zbrush shapes and correct the places that need remodeling, or even the whole mesh would need a complete remodeling.
Right now I am using Maya for that process, but I was hoping to find a functional topology-painting or topology-remodeling solution that works.

  07 July 2006
There were speed and accuracy improvements in Silo 1.4(2?), but I still have issues with it crashing/freezing on anything complicated. However, Silo 2 is a few weeks away from open beta, and there have been additional improvements in that, plus there will be displacement painting within silo (and the ability to edit the base mesh of a dispalced model with significant preservation of the painted displacement), so it should be pretty kicking.
  07 July 2006
Silo was a bit unstable for me at first, but not anymore. It rarely crashes anymore on my machine. It mainly crashed when I had too many vertices selected. Topology brush is supposed to be faster and improved in Silo2.
  07 July 2006
Oh, thats nice to hear.
Let us then hope, that the upcoming version does a perfect topology paint.

Silo could do something like Zbrush'es projection master. When you are inside projection master, you just paint without rotating the object.
So Silo could have a topology-paint mode to increase the stability.

I will look forward to the upcoming version, but hey. Who knows what Zbrush has to offer very soon. Siggraph will come very soon right?
  07 July 2006
Sorry, but how would a projection painting mode help? For me at least, silo's topology brush becomes unstable when the polygons are generated. It just freezes. Otherwise, I have no problems with it.
  07 July 2006
No, I wasnt talking about projection-painting. I was more referring to the projection-master-mode. In Zbrush, when you are in that mode, the mesh is locked. I am sure that it is because of stability reasons.

So if Silo had something like that while in toplology-paint-mode, that it locks the user in the current mode while rebuilding the topology, the whole thing might be more stable.

But hey, who knows - maybe a couple of other software developers are already working on that. I was just hoping that Silo was a bit more stable than last time I tried it. I guess it was one of the first downloadable versions available, so I am sure it was extremly unstable back then.
  07 July 2006
Still some miscommunication here.
My understanding of Zbrush's PM mode, is that the mesh becomes pixols, allowing you to use ZB's brushes. The camera is locked so that it can be compatible with the pixol method, and because of the processing time that it would take to rotate the camera, due to the polygon>pixol>polygon conversion.
Silo's instability for me has not been due to the painting portion of the process, and as Silo is not interactive while building the mesh, so I really don't see how locking the camera and mesh down would help.
  07 July 2006
Originally Posted by Goon: Sorry, but how would a projection painting mode help? For me at least, silo's topology brush becomes unstable when the polygons are generated. It just freezes. Otherwise, I have no problems with it.

I've heard some discussions about this that suggest that it may not have frozen up, but was actually creating the geometry. Someone said it took several hours to do one of their meshes. I believe someone suggested deleting the original mesh or something like that before doing it to help speed things. I can try to find the post on the silo forum.

In any case, from what they're saying, I think the topo brush in 2.0 (and everything else) will be significantly faster/better.
  07 July 2006
Originally Posted by ascent: In any case, from what they're saying, I think the topo brush in 2.0 (and everything else) will be significantly faster/better.

Lets all hold our thumbs for that. Amen.
  07 July 2006
Originally Posted by Haider: Lets all hold our thumbs for that. Amen.

Yeah... I wouldn't be surprised for it to all run significantly better/faster than before. Having a background as a programmer myself, I know that when you're done with just about any project, you could go back and re-write it from scratch in half the time with code that's twice as good Obviously, that's not always the case, but usually you learn so much that if you have the luxury of going back and doing a ground-up rewrite (as you normally don't, but they've managed to pull off) -- things end up being much, much better all around. Cleaner code, faster execution, etc. So I won't be surprised at all if Silo 2 really blows away Silo in terms of just about everything. Hopefully it'll blow everybody else away, too.
  07 July 2006
Thumbs up

Ascent, its intresting that you're saying it that way. Somehow I get the feeling that I should go learn Silo today in case that it becomes a new hit.
It reminds me of Zbrush. I regret that I didnt learn it back at 98-99 when the first releases came out. If I did start back at that time, I know that I would have lots more of background knowledge and would focus on the artistic creation instead of straining my brain to learn all the technical features.

But at the same time there are so many other software out today where every one of them has its own speciality. Lets say that Maya or 3dsmax had the power of Zbrush to let the user sculpt heavy polygon meshes. In such a case, Zbrush wouldnt be as popular at it is today.
What I am going to say is that every one of the smaller programs use to have their own small but very cool features.
What I found very cool in Silo is with no doubt the topology painter. Is there anything else? If someone would say "workflow", then I guess it is not a deal itself, since so many users found their own special workflow in either Maya, 3dsmax or any other software.
  07 July 2006
Quote: many users found their own special workflow in either Maya, 3dsmax or any other software

Which brings up one of Silo's best features... UI cutomization. Everything...mouse, keyboard, GUI (icons and layout)... is customizable. So you if already have a prefered workflow in another app, you can duplicate it within Silo.

Check the Nevercenter forum section on "Customizations". There you will find users have duplicated the interface/look of several different apps within Silo including Max, Maya, Electric Image, Lightwave, and others.
  07 July 2006
For me, I bought it because the topo brush is extremely cool and useful (and haven't really seen anything like it), because of the workflow (there, I said it!) and because of the displacement painting stuff coming in 2.0...

the topo brush needs no further explanation I think it'll be improved a lot in the new version (which should be out by Siggy, hopefully -- the devs are doing daily updates on their website and polishing things up nicely)

the workflow really sold me... having already invested several thousand dollars into Cinema 4D, there were some things just worked much better, flowed much better, made a lot more sense, etc... some things that were drastically faster in silo... don't get me wrong, I spend most of my time in Cinema, and for fixing broken meshes (medical models, which is what I seem to spend a lot of time doing) Cinema rocks. But if you're starting with a blank slate... Silo is the way to go for me. Yes, people have adapted workflows in Max and Maya and everything else... but, honestly, the first time you fired up Maya... did it flow? I bet it didn't I checked out the demo of Silo, and the way it worked (along with the pricetag of $109 and the free upgrade to 2.0 when it comes out included in that $109) -- I was sold.

I don't have ZBrush.. but at this point, I'd rather have the stuff I've seen in silo 2. It's not just displacement painting, it's displacement painting on top of a model that you can go back and modify at any point, and continuing painting. Adding/moving/removing geometry isn't an issue, and doesn't break the existing painting. Being able to sculpt out a model and then modify it is a huge plus. In this thread on the Silo site, one of the beta testers of silo 2, after he modeled and sculpted, did a soft selection on the model and moved it around. They've also shown videos of adding geometry (extruding a face, etc) that keeps the displacement painting.

I know I sound like a huge fanboi... I'm not a big nevercenter cheerleader or anything, but I just think what they're doing is awesome. I think it's really gonna take people by storm. A lot of people have looked at Silo in the past, but I think when they release 2.0 and people see what it can do, there'll be a lot more fanboys in the house Everyone is saying there's no way it could compete with zb or mudbox, and in some aspects, it wasn't meant to, but in others, aside from the people on the beta or dev team, nobody really knows what it's capable of. But the videos and pictures I've seen show a *lot* of promise.

Also considering that the next update for ZB will come who knows when, and the company isn't saying anything about it... compare that to daily (literally) updates from the nevercenter folks, incorporating user suggestions, etc... it's just a better way to do things. I know it's not always practical, but I think their attitude and involvement with their users has helped their fanbase a lot.
  07 July 2006
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