Is Mudbox enough good ?

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Old 05 May 2012   #1
Is Mudbox enough good ?


No troll topic, i'm just interested to learn mudbox thank to the PLE edition, but i was wondering myself if for movie/tv, mudbox is enough good to create REALISTIC characters (like Paul the alien of the eponym movie, iron man, hulk etc.) to then animate and rig in maya ? (not interested by art, demonstration etc. just a "create a character to integrate in a movie" purpose)

When i say "enough" i mean that people and CGI/VFX studios seem to swear majoritaraly by zbrush, telling it's more complete, more efficient, more realistic look and the only pro i always read for mudbox is the easy of use, which is by the way, in my opinion very important (especially that, after trying zbrush demo, it seems so complicated and a real mess)

Of course you gonna tell me: weta digital has used mudbox for king kong and LOTR, they obviously did...they created the software, so....
Even weta seem to have used zbrush for avatar.

Which studio used mudbox for creating realistic character for movies? What movie characters have been created with (except in king kong)?

Old 05 May 2012   #2
the artist have to be that good to create really good stuff, not the software...
mud or zbrush there is not much difference for "organic" sculpting...
its more an personal preference... there are some studios out there they use zbrush for sculpting and mudbox for the final details and baking... also a lot for texture painting in combination with mari...

a lot stuff for thor is done with mud...
here at min 23....

also on tron...

tippet is using also mud...

and cinesite..


and in all those studios are also using zbrush...
use what ever tool you need to get the job done...
if you have the skill to do great charcter you will be able to do that in all sculpting apps...
Old 05 May 2012   #3
Quote: Even weta seem to have used zbrush for avatar.

Actually Weta primarily used Mudbox on Avatar.

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Old 05 May 2012   #4
weird, as i've read that avatar characters were made in ZBrush
Old 05 May 2012   #5
The artist in that thread made some of the character design artwork for Avatar at Stan Winston Studio.
Old 05 May 2012   #6
Ah ok. So it seems that mudbox can achieve amazing results too then
Old 05 May 2012   #7
Mudbox is good, no doubt, and its more intuitive. It seems to work in a way that is more reminiscent of the traditional 3d package environment and its colour work, texturing/materials are arguably better than zbrush, but it is buggy, it has one very very nasty bug (at least it did on the version I used a while ago) where changes you make on lower levels of subdivision don't propagate to higher levels which can and does result in hours/days of lost work.

Zbrush is by far the better product over all. Its more difficult to learn and there is significantly more to learn but that is largely due to the fact that it's a much more complete tool. It's hard surface stuff leaves mudbox standing. It's faster and has its own render.

If you're working on something which is within the toolset of both products then you'll be happy with either. But once you go beyond naked characters and want to work with hardsurfaces or clothing then you'll find that mudbox just can't really do it.
Showreel 2011
Old 05 May 2012   #8
Originally Posted by tmcthree: it has one very very nasty bug

I'm pretty sure that bug has been fixed for a while now. In any case, I've "lost work" with just about every software on the market. Everyone ships with bugs from time to time, unfortunately.

Originally Posted by tmcthree: once you ... want to work with hardsurfaces or clothing then you'll find that mudbox just can't really do it.

Try using VDM stamps in Mudbox; they are *awesome* for clothing and hard surface. Different tools require different techniques.
Old 05 May 2012   #9
Well I'm glad to hear that bug has been sorted and yes its very true that all software has bugs, including zbrush.

But I couldn't disagree with you more regarding hard surface stuff. With the clip brushes, extractions shadow box, loop adding, and loads more, honestly, mudbox isn't in the same league, in fact to be fair it isn't even playing the same game.
Showreel 2011
Old 05 May 2012   #10
I forgot to mention to the OP.
This may or not be a concern to you but you also don't need much of a machine to run zbrush. To do anything interesting in mudbox you'll need a reasonable machine; equivalent to the sort of machine you'd need to work with a comparable scene in Max or maya. Whereas I've seen zbrush run well on a netbook.
Showreel 2011
Old 05 May 2012   #11
Originally Posted by tmcthree: I couldn't disagree with you more ...

Terence, what is there to disagree with? I haven't said anything about any other software. VDM brush stamps, such as the ones that ship with Mudbox, are awesome for hard surface and clothing. Applying a VDM to a brush tip is effectively like sculpting the tip of your brush, which enables you to easily produce the undercuts, overhangs, tight corners, hard edges, etc. that are so important for clothing and hard surface (as well as organic).

Originally Posted by tmcthree: mudbox you'll need a reasonable machine

Yeah, the key is a decent graphics card. Any modern geforce should do the trick.
Old 05 May 2012   #12
Sorry atac, I hope I'm not coming across as argumentative, I don't mean to be.

I just thought that you were implying that the vdm brushes would put mudbox on par with zbrush for hard surface. To be honest I haven't used them but I am aware of the technology, so I can imagine (roughly) how they would work and I'm sure they work really well, but they;re competing with a lot of dedicated tools within zbrush so it's tough, but anyway, you know horses for courses.

OP The most important piece of equipment is the bit between your ears so whatever solution you choose, if you like working with it, you won't go far wrong with either. Both are very good and of course for hard surface work you are likely to have other software you can turn to, such as your primary rendering package, but for my time and money...well you know

This might be a bit off topic but there are other sculpting solutions out there. I have a warm fuzzy feeling for blender which has a quite a complete sculpting module integrated into it. No hard surface stuff to speak of but quite a complete set of brushes and effects. It does struggle with very high resolution models but on the other hand, it is integrated into package so no need (necessarily) for any displacement shenanigans and a big plus is it's free!
Showreel 2011
Old 05 May 2012   #13
Zbrush has been around for a lot longer and does seem to have the edge in modelling but what about texturing? Mudbox is great for painting and projecting textures at full resolution. Outside of Mari it looks like a great option for texture painting. Not sure if it's still the case (or ever was) but I thought Zbrush's texture painting was limited by screen resolution or polygon resolution.

Last edited by R32 : 05 May 2012 at 01:44 AM.
Old 07 July 2012   #14
new article about spiderman...
Old 07 July 2012   #15
If you're just sculpting fine details onto an already fairly detailed model, the differences between ZBrush and Mudbox are pretty much insignificant. Where ZBrush shines and Mudbox struggles is building a complex character from scratch or from a very simple base mesh.
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