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Old 11-15-2012, 02:00 AM   #1
Vanward
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Skill vs Program (Mudbox,Zbrush) help?

Not too sure how to word this question....please let me know if I am not clear.

So I took the sculpting class offered through this site, and really enjoyed it. However, the class was Zbrush specific and I only own Mudbox, which means much of the course was spent with me trying to figure out how to apply the knowledge myself. I still learned a lot, and greatly enjoyed the course, but it leads me to this question.

I was using Mudbox 2010, and I found that my results, compared to everyone else in the class, were much "messier" and "pudgy" then others. The people using Zbrush had much sharper geometry and form, and I could never seem to achieve that. Through research, it seems part of the problem is that Mudbox didn't have a lot of good features until 2011+ and as I said I have 2010. Still, I fully accept that much of the problem was probably just it was my first time sculpting, and I need practice.

Still, I was wondering if anyone more knowledgeable then I could share their opinions on Mudbox 2010, and if it would be worth me paying to upgrade to either a newer Mudbox or even Zbrush. If Mudbox 2010 is capable of making just as good of models as newer versions/Zbrush, i'd rather not waste the money just for the sake of having a "newer" version (same reason I still only own CS4, and before that PS7), but seeing as I really enjoyed sculpting, I dont want to be limiting myself either by outdated software.

Sorry if that was wordy, let me know if I need to explain better. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
 
Old 11-19-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
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Kevin Baker
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ZBrush, without a doubt, has more robust sculpting tools then Mudbox. It's certainly possible to get the same results out of Mudbox as you would with ZBrush (excepting things Mudbox simply doesn't do, like base-mesh generation), but it'll take you more time, sometimes a lot more time, to do so.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:22 AM   #3
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Although I personally switched from Mud to ZB, when it comes to sculpting: technique and many, many hours of practice are 100% more important than program features. Many pros still only use a couple of brushes. And some amazing work has been created in Mud beta long before Adesk aquired it. It is pretty stagnant though and I feel ZB is now light years ahead and I cannot wait to see what Pixologic produce(always for free after initial purchase) in Zbrush 5.
 
Old 11-19-2012, 03:24 PM   #4
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One thing to keep in mind is that "pudgy or wobbly" sculpts usually result from poorly sculpted lower levels. Push the forms and details as much as you can on each levels, but especially at the start. That means using the smooth/flatten brush a lot to keep your surface planar and not wobbly, the same thing can be applied in real life when sculpting clay. More levels/polygons is unecessary until you need surface details, when sculpting one should work in stages, such as establishing rough shapes first , refining the forms and then details.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 AM   #5
Vanward
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Thank you so much for the replies everyone.

I certainly understand what you mean about working at the lower levels first, it's something I'm still trying to improve on. I've been practicing more with the lower levels and I do see an improvement in that messy feeling I was talking about.

Still contemplating Zbrush though, especially from the comments in this topic, seems to be currently superior, especially with the Zspheres and such. I'll have to keep looking into it.

Thanks again everyone!
 
Old 11-21-2012, 08:53 PM   #6
Vanward
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Thank you everyone for the replies. I will keep that tip about the levels and the smooth brushes in mind and keep trying to work with mudbox while I decide about getting Zbrush.

Thanks again!
 
Old 11-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #7
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Seeing as you did the ZBrush course and currently have Mudbox, I would suggest buying ZBrush instead of upgrading Mud. You will then have both programs.
Upgrades for ZBrush are always free and very regular because of what seems like always ongoing development, so a one time $699 gets you an always current program with the latest advancements. ZBrush is the buzz around the colleges (at least where I live) and everyone wants it in addition to learning a traditional modelling program. Most ZBrush updates have a major addition, recent examples being fibremesh and dynamesh.

I used to think that ZBrush giving free upgrades was a dumb business model that only absolute gombeens would implement, but not any longer. Having a one off reasonable payment that won't cost a leg or an arm for most people means more people will buy it, and not just studios. As an example, I know at least 40 students studying Maya or Max, and also ZBrush. None of them own Maya or Max because of the cost, but 15 of them own ZBrush. And I don't mean pirate or hacked versions, but full legit $699 versions that we arm twisted our parents into paying for. We all see it as a solid long term investment and look forward to the updates a couple of times a year.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:34 PM   #8
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I also would like to throw in on Zbrush > Mudbox. After looking over the tools that both offered I made the jump for Zbrush on my own when I learned about it on the next and was studding in college (They did not even teach Zbrush in school sadly) sense then the free upgrades have made the program put way ahead of Mudbox and something new is always on the horizon.

As mentioned in both programs your lvls needs to be pressed as hard as possible before even touching another lvl of geometry form is dictated before details can develop. And always Skill> tool you use. No program will make you amazing if you don't understand the craft it self.
 
Old 11-29-2012, 01:56 AM   #9
Vanward
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I actually went ahead and decided to purchase Zbrush, and I have to agree, it's really a great program. The interface is taking some getting used to, but the tutorials and references on this site have been great to get started with it.

Thanks again everyone! And feel free to keep posting opinions on the program and the whole "skill vs program" aspect, I find it all very interesting. I'll keep working with Zbrush for now, and see what I can come up with.
 
Old 11-29-2012, 01:56 AM   #10
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