Zbrush 4R5 or Mudbox 2014 for my needs?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  05 May 2013
Zbrush 4R5 or Mudbox 2014 for my needs?

Hello guys,

I would like to ask you about those two packages and what are the strength and weaknesses of them so I can decide which one to go for.
My main job is in animation but I would like to learn how to sculpt just as a hobby. Eventually I would like to design my 3 characters for my short movie and thought that I would do it in either of those 2 and then take it to Maya and animate there.

I like that Mudbox has similar UI as Maya so its immediately "intuitive" to use. On the other hand I think Zbrush has more to offer and I especially like the zspheres etc.

I don't mind learning the different UI of Zbrush as long as it will be powerful in the end.

So, if there was a person like me that wants to design characters that will later be used for animation which one would you advice is stronger? I used to do modelling in Maya but hated the topology thing so that is something one doesn't has to worry about much in Zbrush as it keeps it clean for you, right?

Could you please tell me what each is strong at so that can take my decision easier, please? I have mudbox trial I am testing now and I also have Zbrush at work to play with.
My impression is that Zbrush has tons and tons of stuff and hence is better but i could be totally wrong.

Could you please keep it nice and polite and help me out? It would be very nice of you.
Also, what are the downfalls of each program to my potential needs for the short movie, please?
Thank you
  05 May 2013
Something u have answered yourself. No doubt Zbrush is incredible but harder than Mudbox. Zbrush is for serious sculpting and the UI is exceptional. If it is ur just a hobby and want to do some modelling work and not willing to spend more time learning Mudbox fits u. All the time the decition is your's.
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by Gloor: I used to do modelling in Maya but hated the topology thing so that is something one doesn't has to worry about much in Zbrush as it keeps it clean for you, right?

This is incorrect. Sculpting apps like ZBrush can push huge poly counts around and with features like Dynamesh you can remesh the model as you work to make it more optimal for sculpting. ZBrush also has some auto-retopology tools (Qremesher), as does Mudbox I believe, but those tools are only focused on providing a quad mesh, they definitely don't keep the mesh clean from a rigging point of view. While you can guide them a certain amount, if you want an animation-ready model you still need to do a good bit of manual retopology.

Personally I use Topogun as it's specifically designed for that task and I like the workflow. So I make a hires sculpt in ZBrush first, not worrying about the topology at all, then I export the hires mesh to Topogun and build the animation-ready version. Then I use either ZBrush or Topogun to make displacement maps that fake the difference in detail. That means I can rig and animate the low poly optimized mesh but when rendered the displacement/normal/bump maps make it look more like the hires version.

There's no getting away from retopology if you intend to animate a mesh unfortunately.


Last edited by Horganovski : 05 May 2013 at 08:31 PM.
  05 May 2013
Thank you guys for input so far.

Brian, if you go for animation later, do you use zsphere to begin with? I'm starting with the tutorials on pixologic site but seeing that you may do similar stuff you might want to direct me in the right path if you don't mind, please.
  05 May 2013
In my opinion you can use whatever suits the model really. For more organic stuff I tend to just start with a sphere, make it a dynamesh and start pulling it around to make the shapes I want. For limbs like hands or long parts like tails, tentacles etc I think ZSpheres are great as you can draw out the general forms, make them into a mesh and then add detail/tweak from there. Really there aren't any rules about it, different people work differently.
ZSpheres don't give paticularly clean meshes though as there is often some funky topology where they branch off in different directions, so I still think you need to retopo for rigging/animation.

  05 May 2013
I use ZBrush for sculpting and Mudbox for texture painting. I hate Mudbox for sculpting.
  05 May 2013
Hahahha, Dave has solved it. )) Using both )

Well, I think I'll give Zbrush a go and hope it was the right choice. Will start slowly and see how I like it
  05 May 2013
just a note that you will likely hate the way ZBrush works when you first use it. The workflows can be awkward and counter-intuitive so follow along with some tutorials to get tyhe most out of it. ZBrush's workflows are what push people to Mudbox but it's worth sticking it out because it has so many amazing tools for sculpting and modelling.

And my scenario of using both is actually pretty common. ZBrush for sculpting and Mudbox or Mari for painting.

Last edited by cgbeige : 05 May 2013 at 02:05 PM.
  05 May 2013
^ +1

Definitely do some tutorials. I spent the first couple of days with ZBrush swearing like a sailor. The navigation and UI in paticular are nothing like most other 3D apps and take some getting used to. Once you get past that though it all clicks and starts to make sense. Now I can't imagine life without it. There's simply nothing else that offers the kind of freedom ZBrush does to let you concept things on the fly.

  06 June 2013
Sculpting as a hobby - Both application will do just fine if that's the case. My personal choice would be Zbrush as it can do much, much more. I also found Zbrush navigation to be very efficient and easy to use.

Another less-known way to navigate in Zbrush is the right click navigation. I really like it as it prevent me from accidentally alter my mesh. Right click to rotate, Alt+right click to pan, Ctrl+right click to zoom. Much easier to understand that the standard press alt hold mouse release alt way (which isn't too bad once you're used to it actually.)

Last edited by Panupat : 06 June 2013 at 02:17 AM.
  06 June 2013
The sculpting so far seems quite nice but I think my biggest problem will be how to bring it back to maya successfully and how to render it correctly etc. I think that is where my fear lies at the moment. I'm doing the zbrush classroom so I hope they will cover it in depth

Btw, what are those joints that show with zspheres? Are those actual joints? (so i'm rigging it at the same time?)
  06 June 2013
If you have account on DigitalTutors this tut about Maya/ZBrush integration might help a bit: http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutori...ration-Concepts
  06 June 2013
You can send your model back-and-forth using GoZ plug-in. It's super easy.

even in worst case scenario, you can always use obj.
  06 June 2013
Originally Posted by Panupat: You can send your model back-and-forth using GoZ plug-in. It's super easy.

even in worst case scenario, you can always use obj.

yep, saw that one and looked nice. I just hope that I'll find it easy to component it with rigging and animation so it will all work. Also, I can do blendshapes in zbrush too, right?
Well, this learning will be fun
  06 June 2013
also, make sure to use tutorials that use new versions of ZBrush. The workflows have changed quite a bit since ZBrush 4 - you no longer have to export a ztool, for example, since the default project format now contains 3D data. The multi-map exporter replaces all other map exporting workflows as well.
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:02 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.