3D Workflow Help! Important!

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  07 July 2013
3D Workflow Help! Important!

I would very much appreciate all of yous help that have a lot more knowledge on this field than I have, here is my story and problem, and I need a solution:

I have gone to school to learn Maya 2014, and Mudbox 2014. I use a 14 macbook with the latest OSX installed so both programs would run relatively okay, Mudbox would freak out if I sub-divided past level 6. Anyways, both programs recently crashed hard on my computer and I had to reinstall them several times and they still don't open up. This has led me to rethink learning the Maya Mudbox workflow.

Maya's Software is far to massive for the type of work that I am interested in doing. I dont want to do any type of animation. Just modeling and creating 3D environments and characters, giving them texture and painting them, then final touches in photoshop, so all in all my stuff will end up back in a 2D image.

I am interested in a Modo, Zbrush workflow, its cheaper than Maya. But I am curious of other peoples workflow for similar projects such as mine. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank You!
  08 August 2013
Im not familiar with the mac so I dont know how it is supposed to handle the two apps you mentioned. Mudbox is by nature heavy due to how it works. Zbrush is way quicker. Maya should really run well on a mac so maybe your drive is full of music and games, defragmented or has had conflicting software installed recently. I have been using Autodesk for more than 10 years and have never had to reinstall any of their software, the problems I have had with the software was always fixed with service packs. Here are some tips : http://www.art-werx.com/computer-tips-for-3d The info is very basic and you probably already know it but hey, you never know for sure

If you are looking for a light and economical alternative to MayaBox then Blender will cater to your every modeling need and zbrush for sculpting. The first is free the second is low priced (dirt cheap).
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  08 August 2013

Would be helpful to have the specs on your system so as to allow seasoned CG Society users to provide you with guidance as to what may be happening with Maya and/or Mudbox.

Both of these products are system resource intensive, sufficient RAM and free disk space are most certainly the first place to start troubleshooting. Heavy HDD fragmentation will degrade system performance; if you're in need of defragmentation, you could look at this product (I use it on my spouse's Mac) - there are likely others out there.


  08 August 2013
Ahh thank you guys so much, Kanga and hgagne. It feels great to get a response so quickly. Thanks for the link Kanga, Ill check that out.

My computer recovered from the intense crash. Its good to know that Mudbox is a heavy program, and that I need to clean up some stuff on my hard drive and free up some disk space. I wish I was more tech savvy, how would I go about checking the specs on the computer? or are you talking about just my processor and memory size? I know what those are at least: 2.3 Ghz intel Core i5 4G 1333 Mhz DDR3, an intel HD graphics 3000 384 mb, software is OSX 10.8.

I am on my way to purchasing Zbrush, really excited about that. I do have the whole adobe creative suite which is a heavy load on my computer, thinking about clearing that up.

Would either of you recommend me upgrading my mac in anyway? such as the graphic card or anything?

I am a photographer learning 3D so I can integrate it with my photography. So everything will end up back in a 2D form. Maya is a massive software, and I definitely dont need the whole thing, I have been thinking about smaller, easier softwares such as Modo, any recommendations there?

Thanks a lot again for your help!

  08 August 2013
The intel graphic card is likely your main problem, particularly with mudbox.

Maya is no more no less resource hungry than modo (and both would greatly benefit from a videocard that doesn't suck), but if all you want to do is model then there's no reason to spend the additional cash on Maya when Modo is a perfectly good platform to model, UV, surface and render in that costs less money and has, arguably, a superior (when ease of use is considered) rendering engine than MRay (which is all you get with Maya, since the SW rendered is severely dated and alternatives cost a fair chunk of change).

ZBrush is currently CPU tied (doesn't care about the videocard), and 32 bit (doesn't use more than 4GB of RAM), and it's likely a better choice in the long run for illustration/sculpting work.

For what you say you want to do, yes, it's very likely that modo + zb would be better bang for buck, and you would be able to take it for a good spin before you bother upgrading the hardware (and if and when you do make sure you get something with a decent videocard ).

Memory is also likely to give up on you if you start rendering intensely and at print size.

The notion that mudbox would, by nature, be heavier than ZBrush however I'm not sure where it comes from. What's the definition of heavier anyway?
Likely, it's not, mudbox is actually a relatively lean and well polished product, but it's heavily GPU reliant, ZBrush isn't, as it renders everything on the CPU.
Come, Join the Cult http://www.cultofrig.com - Rigging from First Principles

Last edited by ThE_JacO : 08 August 2013 at 02:56 AM.
  08 August 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: The notion that mudbox would, by nature, be heavier than ZBrush however I'm not sure where it comes from. What's the definition of heavier anyway?

Slow. If you have a middle range machine mudbox is slow and zb fast. If you have a top machine you may not notice it. I have always had middle range computers and try mudbox every couple of years and the first things I test are hoping between sub division levels, masking, hiding parts of the mesh, really basic stuff. I have never been able to get mb to work. I have seen great things made with mb so I am sure it is a great app but just not for me.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  08 August 2013
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