Mudbox or zbrush?

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  03 March 2014
Just started using Sculptris after trying out Zbrush and 3D Coat. Haven't given Mudbox a proper go of it yet. I am enjoying how simple Sculptris is. Less tools means you just get in and start sculpting. And if you need image reference to overlay, like I do, look up "Ghost-it". Good luck and happy sculpting!
Level 34 Human 3D Artist
  03 March 2014
When starting out sculpting, a fantastic resource is the Classical sculpting: human anatomy DVD on Eat3D .
I could watch it 100 times. Really great. Recorded with Mudbox but the techniques are 100% transferrable to Zbrush.

Digital tutors also have some pretty good mini-tutorials - how to model an ear - for example.

You can watch these and then put in hours of practice. You could make some decent sculpts in 1-2 months for sure.

Finally, (or even firstly) check out Wayne Robson. His 'Mudbox Live' website has 45hours+ of free mudbox and sculpting tutorials.
Michael Wentworth-Bell | 3D Artist & VR Designer | Melbourne, Australia

Espire 1: My VR Stealth game - CGTalk thread
  03 March 2014
My 2 cents concerning app vs app:

I tried both Mudbox and Zbrush and chose Zbrush.

Zbrush is a complete toolkit for concepting right through to rendering. It's updates are free (so far) and are always substantial. Often groundbreaking! Zbrush is way cheaper and way better value for money.

Mudbox is a companion tool. It has quite decent texture painting tools and decent sculpting tools, but Mari and Zbrush are better at it in both respective areas. Mudbox is dead easy to learn and works better in a pipeline with existing DCC apps. Especially the import/export of objects and Normal maps, displacement, etc. But It's barely updated these days and I strongly doubt any more serious development will continue with it!

It takes a while to get used to the 'interface' of Zbrush but almost no time at all to get used to the mudbox interface. The actual sculpting techniques are entirely transferable though.

I highly recommend sticking it out with Zbrush!

Edit: I don't believe Zbrush has a demo version available though.
Michael Wentworth-Bell | 3D Artist & VR Designer | Melbourne, Australia

Espire 1: My VR Stealth game - CGTalk thread
  03 March 2014
As someone who had developed considerable experience in MudBox, and disliked ZBrush until some (relatively) recent overhauls, if what you want to do is actual sculpting and modelling go with ZBrush, end of story.

Even if ZBrush wasn't a lot smoother on inferior hardware, and it is, even if it wasn't cheaper, and it is, even if it wasn't produced by a company that happens to give more than half a damn about its userbase, and it is, Autodesk has been making such a mockery of Mudbox development when it comes to sculpting that that's reason enough to not pick it up if you're new to sculpting.

Mudbox has a considerable edge in texture painting, and is more familiar for those used to 3D apps, but the upside end there.
ZBrush has come leaps and bounds in all the 4rX cycles and looks like it'll keep improving. Mudbox has been stagnant and overpriced for years now.

3DCoat might also be worth a look at, but if you plan on being an employee one day, then experience matured in ZBrush is likely to go a longer way. If you plan on being on your own then I'd say the toss up is between ZB and 3DC for sculpting, certainly not between ZB and Mudbox anymore and hasn't been for a while.
Come, Join the Cult - Rigging from First Principles
  03 March 2014
Fully agree with the preceding two posts. Having used both Mud and ZB, I went with ZB a long time ago. I won't reiterate all the points above, but with the staggering amount of learning resources available for ZB these days there is absolutely no reason why the 'alien UI/workflow' is even an issue. It was a toss up between Mud/ZB some years back, but those days are long gone. Zbrush far surpasses Mudbox in its development and I for one cannot wait to see what Pixologic have in store when ZB 5 is released........
  03 March 2014
Zbrush seems to have surpassed some kind of critical mass point.
  03 March 2014
zbrush clearly winns the race... there are only a view areas left where mubox is in front...

if you do shot based sculpting or need a real matching 3D camera...
if you need working vector displacement...
if you need ptex...
if you need layer based texture painting...
if you need hundred millions of poly on a single mesh...

but most studios that need those features are using both...

mudbox isnt dead as you can see on the work weta did with smaug..

Last edited by oglu : 03 March 2014 at 07:25 AM.
  03 March 2014
Just chiming in to agree with pretty much everyone else. I use ZBrush predominantly for organic modelling because the tools/brushes feel intuitive and it would probably run smoothly on my phone if Pixologic ported it across.

I use Mudbox purely for texturing, which it's very solid for, and exporting displacement maps which it tends to do more reliably that Zbrush.
  03 March 2014
As others have said, first step (and arguably the most important) is to get your hands on both of them and play with them for a while, at least several days each.

If other people's opinions interests you (which would be sensible to assume since you asked), here's mine:

Zbrush - if you want to do modeling and concepting (new word alert, meaning doodling in 3d)
Its modeling tool-set is suited for both organic and mechanical needs.

Mudbox - if you want to texture as well, but don't mind building your base meshes in other 3d apps. It's also very good for adding very high details on tens of millions of polygons a thing rather impossible to do in Zbrush as it's a 32bit application as of now and around 20mil poly it starts to crawl regardless of how good your hardware is.

For a pure modeler, Zbrush wins by a huge margin.
  03 March 2014
ZB also has a HD modeling mode if you want super eeny teeny details. For handling a lot of polys zb goes up and down in subs very quickly which is what the bulk of your work will involve. Up and down in MB is like, well, mud.
The terminal velocity of individual particles is directly related to pink rabbits on a bank holiday.
Characters, Games, Toys
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by Kanga: ZB also has a HD modeling mode if you want super eeny teeny details. For handling a lot of polys zb goes up and down in subs very quickly which is what the bulk of your work will involve. Up and down in MB is like, well, mud.

Well, HDgeo is kinda hit and miss.
I mean yes, you do get to add the tiny detail, but it quickly paints you in a corner and becomes a render-only attribute that you can only get in exports.

It is true that MudBox on a decent videocard allows you to get a ridiculous count and will deal with it transparently. While ZB due to the memory limits still has to take some odd paths around its limitations, some more successfully than others, one of the things making MudBox more straightforward, on top of it being more familiar for 3D users, is the fact that it's... well, straight forward in these things (and others such as layers, subdivision level management, scene management and so on).

All that said, ZB simply feels more tactile and smoother, has a vast array of brushes, and with dynamesh + well behaved reprojection + ZRemesher (or even the older QRemesher) it now doesn't suffer from the deal breaking issues it had before with topo, so you tend to get more bang per poly from it detail wise.

For Sculpting it wins on those accounts alone IMO.
I really hope v5 with a proper 64bit architecture and a more scene like approach subtools is going to be the next version, that would simply mop the floor at that point. Even texture work with that kind of resolution and management to the meshes might become somewhat viable, at least to mudbox levels, though unlikely to be a patch on Mari's.
Come, Join the Cult - Rigging from First Principles
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by chris0320: Im just curious, because it looks easy enough to learn it in a month (and i need some game-ready characters in two months).

Unless you already have a LOT of experience with 3D characters you´re setting yourself up for failure here.

There´s a bit more to game ready characters than "just" sculpting them.
Try to take at least one personal project from start to finish before planning real production.
You need to go through all the pitfalls.

As to your original question, yeah, what Leigh said.

For me the main problem with ZB are its navigation/selection/masking shortcuts.
They´re actually very simple, but unique enough to throw me off whenever I come in from Modo or Maya. Doesn´t happen with Mudbox.

But ZB is without question more complete than MB, but if you really just use the sculpting aspect and do all the rest in a "regular" 3d app MB would be my recommendation for its simplicity.

But if you feel comfortable with a purely sulptural approach and are prepared to take advantage of its rather complete toolset you might feel at home in ZB.

Then there are other considerations like AD´s licensing (meh) and ZB´s update policies (yummy) which might be decisive for you.
  03 March 2014
Have used both and I'll say Zbrush all the way. There are a lot of reasons why, the main one for me being the feeling of the brush when i'm sculpting/painting.
  03 March 2014
Originally Posted by leigh: So you're planning to spend hundreds (or, in your case, thousands of forint) on some software just because some people on a forum tell you to use it?

Here's what you do: you get the demo versions of both pieces of software and give them both a thorough workout. Decide which one suits your style of working and your needs better, and choose that.

Sadly, ZBrush no longer have a demo.
  03 March 2014
AFAIK still there is no trial for Zbrush.

It is going to be a longer learning curve to learn. I spent a good deal of time with it.

If I was going to own one or the other (I own and use both) it would be Zbrush hands down until Mudbox gets better sculpting tools.

Performance is much better in Zbrush, it has better tools, dyanmesh for sketching out sculpts, remesh tools in Mudbox are not the same. I'd say do what the majority of people do and jump into Zbrush. In the long run it will pay off.

If there were trials on both I'd say do that. But you can download lots of videos on Zbrush and compare that to what you can do with the trial version of Mudbox.
Richard Culver
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