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Old 08-11-2008, 08:44 AM   #1
magusat999
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Bruce Baxter
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Question Should I be Silo-ing?

I have been trying to decide between different paths with different modelers - Silo, Hexagon, Zbrush, Mudbox, Modo, Silo - or even just skip the dedicated ones and go straight to Max or Maya (I'm basically open to any of the major Windows platforms) or another "big fish". So I thought SIlo would be a good place to start... about three weeks ago. I'm not having a problem learning it - it's the problems I keep running into that are not documented or covered in tutorials that I am using, for instance. Like sometimes two points get created in an extrusion (in the same place). The model goes all "spikey" when you check the subdivision - but I had a heck of a time finding out that errant points were the culprit!

What bothers me is that even Sketchup doesn't choke on something as trivial as an extra point (vertex). Why is Silo so dang sensitive??? I've been working on the same head (with a tutorial) for the last few weeks - and I'm starting to feel like I'm wasting my time.

I'm not looking for someone to give me a reason to continue to strive with Silo - from what I've been reading I may have made a poor choice in picking it. I got to play around with Hexagon 2.5, and it performed great - I was able to create a head and export it in less than an hour of my first time touching it (a crude head). I have used Zbrush in the past so know what it's all about; Mudbox is getting all these kudos - but it looks a little sparse to me. Theres this interface, and a few brushes - but people keep saying it has more tools and is more advanced than Silo. Maybe I need to take a closer look?

My point being - I need some of you geniuses to help direct me to the tool - or set of tools - that a person can do all the modeling they can do on. I don't really care about the PRICE - I need FUNCTION. Even if it's a plugin for "Stick Modeller 3D" - as long as I can do everything with it, at the highest levels, I'd like to know about it. I have scoured the internet and keep coming up with old articles (for instance, I haven't seen any comparisons of Silo and Hexagon 2.5.05 - the current version). I need the current landscape of software. Also consider industry acceptance - I'm trying to attain skills to do some work here, not "hobby model". (Does ANY major studio or game developer use Silo - or the software your getting ready to tell me about???)

Can anybody give some wise counsel? Thanks in advance.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 10:53 AM   #2
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Learn to model first in whatever app suits you best, once you're comfortable your skill set is easily transferable between apps. Every app has its issues and they can change from one release to another. There are still many in the industry who use Wings 3d for its minimalistic speedy workflow.
You also need to consider hardsurface Vs organic modeling, some apps are better than others at giving you the choice of the two workflows.
Sculpting is a different ball game alltogether and you will need a dedicated app for that task if you want the massive poly counts.
Silo's a good choice to get you up and running, it's lean, fast and getting less buggy by the day due to the open beta approach that Nevercenter have adopted.
There is no definitive answer to your question, just go with what suits you best, but what i will say is make sure to pick an app that is being constantly developed.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
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Hmmm. Well, its nice to have a pick of whatever software you fancy. The best possible combos you could go for(taking industry standards into account etc) would be...

1) Modo + Zbrush

2) Mudbox + ZBrush

3) 3dsMax + ZBrush

...take your pick. My personal choice out of that list for polygon modeller would be 3dsMax.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:33 PM   #4
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The more things change the more they stay the same...

I may be the only one, but personally I think it's better to start to learn modeling using NURBS patching in Maya. Working this way, in my experience, yields cleaner more accurate results more quickly once you know what you're doing. Also with the ability to convert NURBS patches to Polygonal patches one can get a good grasp of edgeloop structure that goes far beyond edge/faces spinning and constant re-wiring of a polygonal mesh. Once you master that (patching) box modeling, when you want to use it, makes a lot more sense.
 
Old 08-16-2008, 01:36 AM   #5
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I appreciate all of your comments thus far. I am just trying to avoid putting a massive amount of time somewhere, only to have to start someplace else all over again later. I find it amazing that there is scarce information on the comparisons of recent products. I can find all kinds of "vs." discussions, but they are all based on old software versions. I'd like to be able to plot my course in advance, instead of just taking what I can get and being disappointed later.

Here I am, sitting in Lucas Arts Human Resources with my fantastic portfolio / demo reel / whatever they want - and the interviewer says "These are great - what software did you use?" I reply "Silo". She says "Si - who?" "We don't use Si-whatever here - do you know how to use Whammo-3D?"

"Wham-who?"

"I'm sorry sir, you a talented artist - but your just not what we are looking for right now."

That's what I'm trying to avoid...
 
Old 08-16-2008, 04:38 AM   #6
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It doesn't work like that. If you're a gifted artist and skilled in a certain software, it will be fairly easy for you to move to another software as the basic principles are the same. Use your favorite software but get your feet wet every now and then in various software, trial versions and learning editions, just to get a grip on how they approach the same principles. The more you learn, the less differences you will see.
 
Old 08-16-2008, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magusat999
I appreciate all of your comments thus far. I am just trying to avoid putting a massive amount of time somewhere, only to have to start someplace else all over again later. I find it amazing that there is scarce information on the comparisons of recent products. I can find all kinds of "vs." discussions, but they are all based on old software versions. I'd like to be able to plot my course in advance, instead of just taking what I can get and being disappointed later.

Here I am, sitting in Lucas Arts Human Resources with my fantastic portfolio / demo reel / whatever they want - and the interviewer says "These are great - what software did you use?" I reply "Silo". She says "Si - who?" "We don't use Si-whatever here - do you know how to use Whammo-3D?"

"Wham-who?"

"I'm sorry sir, you a talented artist - but your just not what we are looking for right now."

That's what I'm trying to avoid...


If thats the case(though I dont really see that example happening in the real world) I would play it safe and go for Max and ZBrush.
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Old 08-16-2008, 11:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirebird
It doesn't work like that. If you're a gifted artist and skilled in a certain software, it will be fairly easy for you to move to another software as the basic principles are the same. Use your favorite software but get your feet wet every now and then in various software, trial versions and learning editions, just to get a grip on how they approach the same principles. The more you learn, the less differences you will see.

Quoted for agreement.
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imhotep397
The more things change the more they stay the same...

I may be the only one, but personally I think it's better to start to learn modeling using NURBS patching in Maya. Working this way, in my experience, yields cleaner more accurate results more quickly once you know what you're doing. Also with the ability to convert NURBS patches to Polygonal patches one can get a good grasp of edgeloop structure that goes far beyond edge/faces spinning and constant re-wiring of a polygonal mesh. Once you master that (patching) box modeling, when you want to use it, makes a lot more sense.


That's interesting: Nurbs modeling will make you a better (poly) box modeler.

I never thought about that.

Can you elaborate a bit more on that?
 
Old 08-19-2008, 08:38 PM   #10
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Smaller studios will care what you use. They will care if you can learn quickly or not. If the smaller studios like your reel, they will probably test you on their software and observe you to see how well you perform in another application, how quickly you learn it, etc. It's a give and take sort of thing. The better your reel the more likely a company is willing to invest time in training you in some software. But if your real is mediocre and they don't like how you perform in their choice software. They'll let you go. This is actually a problem for students who've just graduated from some school trying to get a job somewhere. I've seen a lot of students who don't know how to learn the software on their own. They look like a deer in headlights when using unfamiliar software. After you've learned some software on your own. You gain a logical approach to learning the software. But the first few times will be rough. But it gets easier every time.

Last edited by Bucket : 08-19-2008 at 08:41 PM.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 01:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magusat999
My point being - I need some of you geniuses to help direct me to the tool - or set of tools - that a person can do all the modeling they can do on. I don't really care about the PRICE - I need FUNCTION.


To be honest if you can't deal with small things like errant vertex's than not even the most expensive software in the world will be of use. Now some software's attempt to prevent such issues, but they still come about in various ways.

I'd suggest either buying/renting some Gnome DVD's or taking several courses in college/university. Right now you need to learn that the software isn't going to how your hand, preventing mistakes and errors from coming up due to your not following proper workflows that they themselves prevent such errors, and your bosses won't put up with hundreds or thousands of "trivial" vertex's more often then not.

Getting and them calling the errors you've gotten in Silo "spikey" is a great example of your not understanding the basic concepts involved in the subdivision work flow and probably other types of work flows as well!
 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lake
To be honest if you can't deal with small things like errant vertex's than not even the most expensive software in the world will be of use. Now some software's attempt to prevent such issues, but they still come about in various ways.

I'd suggest either buying/renting some Gnome DVD's or taking several courses in college/university. Right now you need to learn that the software isn't going to how your hand, preventing mistakes and errors from coming up due to your not following proper workflows that they themselves prevent such errors, and your bosses won't put up with hundreds or thousands of "trivial" vertex's more often then not.

Getting and them calling the errors you've gotten in Silo "spikey" is a great example of your not understanding the basic concepts involved in the subdivision work flow and probably other types of work flows as well!


Maybe I didn't state it - but it's probably obvious that I am relatively new to (serious) 3d modelling. I have dipped and dabbled, but i never had the time in my life to devote to actually learing it in a tecnical, comprehensive manner as i do now. But that doesn't mean I want to start spinning my wheels and wasting time learning things that will either be of no use to me later (or minimal at best), or having to re / un-learn bad habits or workflows. I am not a kid starting out - I don't have time to play around. Ever see that new ad for the 10 minute abs? I'm looking for a learning flow like that - it hits many areas at once (supposedly more effectively).

So no - I don't have that great an understanding of Subdivision - or any type of modeling, but that doesn't mean I want to just start learning "anything" and "any way". I am LEARNING, and that's why I am here with the folks who know all this stuff! Am I the only one? And just to be clear - I am not unfamiliar with the different 3D packages - I can open up just about anything and not have to sit there and wonder what the heck is going on. I just don't know modeling workflows and conventions - yet. I don't think I have to wait until i understand what the technical term for what I described as "spikey" or "errant vectors" is to ask whether I should be looking into a more rewarding application, either. I'd rather deal with "errant vectors" in a program that I know is going to eventually take me somewhere (professionally) than one that will be a waste of my time.

BTW - I think you missed the part where I said I had a "heck of a time with the errant vectors". That means that I had to figure it out - but I did. That's part of a learning process. i didn't say "I give up because of the errant vectors...". And I didn't know Gnome made training videos for Silo - i have the three almost useless Kurv videos, where your learn in spite of the fact that they mumble to themselves, fiddle around aimlessly, and skip important things like hand and ear modeling ["I already know how to model a hand - so instead of teaching you how to do it, I'm just going to pull one up, already made, and stick it on.."]. Thank goodness for Youtube on that one. Anyway, it's not the program's functions that I'm concerned about as much as it is the programs widespread acceptance in the marketplace / industry.

So instead of brow-beating me - can you help me? Explain it to me like I'm a 5 year old...

Last edited by magusat999 : 08-20-2008 at 08:15 AM.
 
Old 08-20-2008, 08:51 PM   #13
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After reading your latest posts, Bruce, I am going to suggest the following: Get 3dsMax(if price is no object) and leap into this site's HMCs. At the moment you are wasting time wondering about which app to use when you should be focusing on developing your skills as an artist. This will be the easy way out of your dilema.

On the HMCs you will find the majority use 3dsMax and/or Zbrush. You are in the deep end with a deadline and your only hope to improve is to listen to the other artists feedback and advice. With the HMCs its possibly the best learning experience you can hope for(without spending money).

I was practically the worst modeller in the world but after mixing it with all the pros(including one from LucasArts ) on the HMCs I was creating stuff I really didnt think I would ever do. After three HMCs as a Max user I have come to the conclusion that the technical side of modelling is simply any half-decent modeller and Zbrush for sculpting. The majority is your actual artist skill. Infact when you are using Max and find yourself overtaken by some Blender gangsta or Silo Pimp you suddenly see the light.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:51 PM   #14
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