Using ZBrush w/C4d

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  1 Week Ago
Using ZBrush w/C4d

This is for the ongoing dialog on this topic that started to distract the R20 thread. Post away! :-)
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C4D R19 Studio, MODO 902, VRAY, Octane, Cycles. PC/Mac.
 
  1 Week Ago
Stuart’s Video on ZBrush:
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Last edited by IceCaveMan : 1 Week Ago at 10:29 PM.
 
  1 Week Ago
Stuart,

ZBrush looks Uber cool.

I almost purchased it 4 years ago. I decided to go w/3DCoat...as it not only provided me a sculpting program but also powerful UV and retopo tools. 

Mad props on your skills! 
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C4D R19 Studio, MODO 902, VRAY, Octane, Cycles. PC/Mac.

Last edited by IceCaveMan : 1 Week Ago at 10:35 PM.
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by IceCaveMan: Stuart’s Video on ZBrush:

Pretty awesome video, congrats! I'd love to watch a slower, real-time version of this with you explaining the process. 
 
  1 Week Ago
Thanks for looking.

Obviously that model lands you with a pretty hefty 800k poly mesh that you can't easily UV, can't easily retopologize, and it won't win you any friends in a production environment. On a plus side though, this type of model does have lots of polygroups (individual pieces) which import  into C4D without issue. If I rely on material stacking/layers in VRay, I can get pretty close to a substance painter style level of detail without the headaches of UV mapping and that whole workflow. And finally if you have the machine for it, you can easily populate a scene with 100 more beefy items until you have a high density 50 million poly model that will win you points in the hard surface modeling world. 

In my line of work for Adobe, I've been put in the position to really think about what I'm designing before I just go ape with all of ZBrush's features. I'm following a more conventional route and adhering to the game worlds standards for models. That being said, while I have to work with low poly base models with carefully made UV's etc, I can still use booleans to cut into the model, can still add surface kit bashing details, can use the panel workflow (panel loops) and in the end Substance painter will beautifully capture all of these details in it's normal map baking process. Which not to ramble, is not dependent on the high res projection model having UV's at all (something I learned weeks later). So you can have a 10k low poly model and a 10 million poly projection with all kinds of details, without every having to manually paint a single normal stroke.

All of these piece use models that took maybe 20 minutes to create and maybe a few hours to texture.
https://www.behance.net/gallery/677...bstance-Painter
The circles and lines you're seeing, are panel loops saved as color ID maps. And then its a simple case of dragging and assigning unique color patterns to each ID.

For me, ZModeler is a great familiar starting point and is incredibly fast for working with traditional box modelling. You can quickly separate surfaces, repeat previous actions, join segments, bridge segments; The list is long. And when you're done, you can either think small for low poly work, or you can just go crazy and really start conceptualizing with the abundance of hardsurface tools in ZBrush.

I think that everybody who uses C4D and has considered an external sculpting/hard surface app, should put their hesitance aside (and gripes with the UI) and just jump right in with the simplest available tutorials. I love C4D, but nothing has changed my creative process like ZBrush has.
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Last edited by ThePriest : 1 Week Ago at 11:22 PM.
 
  1 Week Ago
One of the things I didn't see and respond to yesterday was Luis' comment that I was thinking in terms of 3D and that there is "no UI convention" for sculpting. Actually what I was referring to has nothing to do with 2D vs. 3D, audio vs. video apps or anything like that. The conventions I was referring to are long-standing (and very important) Mac and Windows conventions. Things that ensure no matter what kind of app you're building, it's going to provide a basic level of familiarity and scanability (for lack of a better word) to every user and not frustrate them at the most basic levels of discovery. It's these which Zbrush completely ignores (and which for example Mudbox and even Substance Painter — which I've been using / learning in recent months) do not ignore. It matters (at least to me) but again might just be my way of learning vs. someone else's. [edit] 

I do see looking at one of their videos that there is a high degree of customizability if you put the time in, so I'll go back and see if I can make it look like something approaching "normal" (at least for me). While it is a complete cluster in its default state maybe I can set up a few custom toolbars and palettes, hiding the rest in the process and make it workable.

Last edited by Blinny : 1 Week Ago at 11:42 PM.
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by ThePriest: Thanks for looking.

...I think that everybody who uses C4D and has considered an external sculpting/hard surface app, should put their hesitance aside (and gripes with the UI) and just jump right in with the simplest available tutorials. I love C4D, but nothing has changed my creative process like ZBrush has.

I could not hold the endorsement with higher regard. I see why ZB is in your creative wheelhouse based on the work you post. Positively brilliant. Here’s the thing: my work is more Mograph, tech, industrial, training...and for my type of work (and my skill-set) ZB wouldn’t be as compelling a match.
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  1 Week Ago
Oh ok.. I understand that.. as soon as I could I changed my zbrush UI. I redocked everything a the top / bottom so I could work with a wide monitor.  All the brushes I use are below, and the selection types as well, on the top the mirror commands... Im sorry if the image its a little cropped. Also I use zscenemanager plugin (very cheap).


edit... the robot was modeled entirely on Zbrush, part by part using Live Boolean and Dynamesh. The subtools menu that is a little confusing at the start is sorta like photoshop layers... The layer menu in Zbrush.. I dont know what is that for. I probably only know 10 to 15% of Zbrush.

edit 2 .. my signature has the project completed.. texturing / rendering / lightning / FX were done in Cinema 4D
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Close, open-relationship: C4D / Zbrush
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Former gf: XSI

Last edited by luisRiera : 1 Week Ago at 12:33 AM.
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by Blinny: One of the things I didn't see and respond to yesterday was Luis' comment that I was thinking in terms of 3D and that there is "no UI convention" for sculpting. Actually what I was referring to has nothing to do with 2D vs. 3D, audio vs. video apps or anything like that. The conventions I was referring to are long-standing (and very important) Mac and Windows conventions. Things that ensure no matter what kind of app you're building, it's going to provide a basic level of familiarity and scanability (for lack of a better word) to every user and not frustrate them at the most basic levels of discovery. It's these which Zbrush completely ignores (and which for example Mudbox and even Substance Painter — which I've been using / learning in recent months) do not ignore. It matters (at least to me) but again might just be my way of learning vs. someone else's. [edit] 

I do see looking at one of their videos that there is a high degree of customizability if you put the time in, so I'll go back and see if I can make it look like something approaching "normal" (at least for me).

ZBrush has great tools, but it's GUI is so long in the tooth and in need of some serious modernising to allow for better configurability, because it can slow you down in some ways ( retaining it's legacy ), in constantly opening and closing palettes. Yes you can configure and move things around, change colours and select different layouts on the fly, even substitute the main menu for .png text objects, but the level of customisability is deceptively lower than one might think and a far cry to what you can do and are use to in Cinema 4D. It's object hierarchy tree system is a nightmare because of the inherent problem of the antiquated GUI....You can try and get around it, but it's quite futile....you can't have more than one hierarchy listing of objects for example to relocate.

The nested palettes of options can be a benefit to keep things tidy but perhaps more of a general curse that you have to get use to. Objects, are referenced as Subtools, in the object hierarchy... and there's different techniques to create objects, add them to a scene and get them back out.. Adding objects isn't a drag and drop process like traditional 3D apps, different terminology such as 'Append' simply means adding a 3D Mesh a 'Primative'... which is categorised as a Sub Tool and listed in the object hierarchy, and these can be saved and reloaded, so the terminology can throw you, if you are new to it. 

If you are simply transferring and saving be that through object import or directly through the simplicity of GOZ and not using ZBrush's different saving techniques then, you can do that. But it's important to know the differences between saving a Document, saving a File and that of saving Subtools if you're staying in ZBrush... and even initiating a complete new project from scratch rather than following on from what you might have created previously so one doesn't get frustrated. And how does one create a complete new project ? By going to the Preferences in the top menu and selecting 'Init Zbrush'... so pretty much unconventional from how one may have been use to.

The progress in making ZBrush much more approachable has improved a lot by adopting many of the common techniques that a Cinema 4D user might be use to such as the 3D Gizmo ( or Axis Tool ), a much more powerful take on the one we are use to.  I purchased it, have been using it since 2011.. It's definitely a best to learn how to walk before you can run type of application.  
 
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Last edited by -/\-Scott-M-C4D-/\- : 1 Week Ago at 01:21 AM.
 
  1 Week Ago
Yeah everything from the ordering and contents of the menus, to the concept of tools vs. brushes, to where and how things can be customized and grouped  (it seems so far) are more or less one of a kind. Pixologic clearly threw out every UI convention and HUI guideline ever established (other than using a handful of common names and icon types) and just did their own thing. I'm sure it's brilliant in their own mind or they wouldn't have done it but damn. Even spending 10-15 mintues trying to customize the thing is painful. 

This is why conventions are important: because if done properly users gain an immediate understanding of what certain things are for, where they are, and how they might be applied in the viewport just by looking at them. Prior experience in other, similar environments is immediately leveraged and experimentation and learning the new stuff can begin right away.
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by -/\-Scott-M-C4D-/\-: ZBrush has great tools, but it's GUI is so long in the tooth and in need of some serious modernising to allow for better configurability, because it can slow you down in some ways ( retaining it's legacy ), in constantly opening and closing palettes. Yes you can configure and move things around, change colours and select different layouts on the fly, but the level of customisability is deceptively lower than one might think and a far cry to what you can do and are use to in Cinema 4D. It's object hierarchy tree system is a nightmare because of the inherent problem of the antiquated GUI....You can try and get around it, but it's quite futile....you can't have more than one hierarchy listing of objects for example to relocate.

The nested palettes of options can be a benefit to keep things tidy but perhaps more of a general curse that you have to get use to. Objects, are referenced as Subtools, in the object hierarchy... and there's different techniques to create objects, add them to a scene and get them back out.. Adding objects isn't a drag and drop process like traditional 3D apps, different terminology such as 'Appending' simply means adding a 3D Mesh a 'Primative'... which is categorised as a Sub Tool and listed in the object hierarchy, and these can be saved and reloaded, so the terminology can throw you, if you are new to it. 

If you are simply transferring and saving be that through object import or directly through the simplicity of GOZ and not using ZBrush's different saving techniques then, you can do that. But it's important to know the differences between saving a Document, saving a File and that of saving Subtools if you're staying in ZBrush... and even initiating a complete new project from scratch rather than following on from what you might have created previously so one doesn't get frustrated. And how does one create a complete new project ? By going to the Preferences in the top menu and selecting 'Init Zbrush'... so pretty much unconventional from how one may have been use to.

The progress in making ZBrush much more approachable has improved a lot by adopting many of the common techniques that a Cinema 4D user might be use to such as the 3D Gizmo ( or Axis Tool ), a much more powerful take on the one we are use to.  I purchased it, have been using it since 2011.. It's definitely a best to learn how to walk before you can run type of application.  
 
It maybe look unconventional, but is not. Is very logical.  It wont make sense in theory unless you work everyday with it, and trust me,  it works very well and I wouldn't change the worflow for nothing in this world.

Think of the Project (saved with Ctrl+S) as a collection of tools, and think of the subtools as the parts of the tool. From my experience modeling a mecha robot > The project contains different tools (a plasma rifle, a shield , a helmet, body). The plasma rifle subtool contain (in a layered order) the magazine, the scopesight, the trigger, etc), and I can duplicate it to have more than one version of the rifle. Thats why you can save each subtool and project separately. Makes sense. right? Saving the Document will only save the canvas... why? because you can use the canvas as a reference for another project. If I need to create an aditional tool (a giant metal sword), I use New document, so I dont loose my other tools, or I can simply use a new tool (like a sphere), and start reshaping it. If I want a clean start.. I use preference > init zbrush, or I could simply delete all the tools I have.

The object hierarchy tree system (I guess thats the subtools) are quite powerful for Live Boolean. You can use substract, intersect or union from it, as well as standard hide / show options.

Theres is append and there is insert.. one puts objets at the bottom of the subtool list, and the other between subtools.

The 3D gizmo is nothing like any 3D software, It can move objects but is also a containter of primitives and deformers, nothing like C4D at all.
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Close, open-relationship: C4D / Zbrush
Hate / love: Maya / Houdini
Former gf: XSI
 
  1 Week Ago
A piece of advise.. don't fight the software, also, dont try to understand it before working with it... let the artist in you flow.. it sound corny as hell.. but all the weird UI elemnts in zbrush truly shine when you are creating something. Start with a sphere, and tweak it to look like a dog, bird, dragon or whatever you imagine. You will soon realize why it doesnt use alt for navigation, or why the way zbrush rotates and zooms is truly amazing.
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artstation
Close, open-relationship: C4D / Zbrush
Hate / love: Maya / Houdini
Former gf: XSI
 
  1 Week Ago
Originally Posted by luisRiera: It maybe look unconventional, but is not. Is very logical.  It wont make sense in theory unless you work everyday with it, and trust me,  it works very well and I wouldn't change the worflow for nothing in this world.

I've been using it for years, so have a pretty good grasp of it, although it's a tool I only take out the cupboard every once in a while for specific projects every couple of months or longer than that. I snipped the good info to help one get their head around Zbrush's ideology from your post to shorten this one.

I think that even the developers know that ZBrush itself can be a pretty intimidating application..just that they are going to have a hell of a task trying to change it at it's core. From a user interactive perspective, the learning curve is one of the most important aspects of any GUI which is designed for a user to use... , I have a university degree in interface development and have been designing interfaces, both simple and incredibly complex one's regularly for the past 10 years... so I understand the two sides of the coin...from user and developer stand points. I'm not saying ZBrush isn't logical, it is, but it is inherently un-logical in terms of other established GUI conventions that most people are use to... and that there lays the problem... ( but it is getting better and more accessible )....  I'll bow out now because GUI development a big passion of mine.... and I could type forever on it...

Maybe you can argue with these guys....   https://www.reddit.com/r/ZBrush/com...is_ridiculous/ 
      
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Last edited by -/\-Scott-M-C4D-/\- : 1 Week Ago at 02:51 AM.
 
  1 Week Ago
I think your right, I spent so many years in Zbrush, is second nature to me.. maybe thats why I found it so easy to understand.

It wasnt always like that for me. I used to hate it.. didnt understand why when I was trying to sculpt it acted like a painting app, but as soon as we start understanding each other. there was a feeling that the UI was designed for a real world artist instead of a 3D animator.

edit.. Im not saying 3d animators arent artists... I dont want to sound like a jackas.. you know what I meant right?
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artstation
Close, open-relationship: C4D / Zbrush
Hate / love: Maya / Houdini
Former gf: XSI
 
  6 Days Ago
Originally Posted by Blinny: Yeah everything from the ordering and contents of the menus, to the concept of tools vs. brushes, to where and how things can be customized and grouped  (it seems so far) are more or less one of a kind. Pixologic clearly threw out every UI convention and HUI guideline ever established (other than using a handful of common names and icon types) and just did their own thing. I'm sure it's brilliant in their own mind or they wouldn't have done it but damn. Even spending 10-15 mintues trying to customize the thing is painful. 

This is why conventions are important: because if done properly users gain an immediate understanding of what certain things are for, where they are, and how they might be applied in the viewport just by looking at them. Prior experience in other, similar environments is immediately leveraged and experimentation and learning the new stuff can begin right away.

Agree totally. Since I don't use ZBrush very often, every time I open the program I get so frustrated. Not following convention, makes everything feel so foreign and greatly slows the learning process. I'm always doing a refresher tutorial of some kind before I can do anything useful.  

UI convention is important, most apps and websites that don't follow them fail. ZBrush is an exception to this rule. Much of the success of Apple and their iPhone is due to the App Store requiring developers to follow the HIG or get their application rejected. This quickly made apps immediately useful for their users.

Wasn't the ZBrush UI supposed to get a major overhaul?
 
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