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What do you use to model?


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What do you use for the hard surface and/or organic parts respectively?

I'm trying out some trials but they all look daunting to me so I guess I need to carve out couple of weeks for each to see what sticks. Blender and Zbrush, their UI, is it just me or does it look like something only MacGuyver or the A-Team can work with?

I'm thinking, if I can keep it up and stay 'on course' in terms of learning commitment, I might be able to make something decent in 12 months. Too ambitious, or even delusional? Or actually feasible?

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Well, couple of years ago I really wanted to get into 3D modeling. I tried out Blender and once I saw that interface I had strong urge to cry. After that day I never again tried to model.
However, recently, I got intrested in 3D modeling again and I searched for some programs that are easy to use and learn. I stumbled upon program called "Sculptris". It's free, easy to get hand on and interface is simple. Once I started, I was like "Well, now is time to screw things up, this will be hard" blah blah.. First attempt to make something wasn't successful, but I wanted to keep trying. Another attempt resulted in this: (I never modeled anything serious before)
So, yeah. I would suggest Sculptris

Spoiler

13198547_1756920437855499_39976560068069

13115986_1756920431188833_42366754223663

13217422_1756920317855511_53519375863522

 

Edited by Anavi_Ivy
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That's why they are called professional softwares, because you need training for them, because they are very specialized, and they actually dictate the workflow, as in you can't came with your personal logic and try to figure them out in a flash. And being for multi purpose use they have generic tools, as in you wont find a Make Hand button.

The good thing is that we are in 2016, and its full of free and useful tutorials out there, and if you have some general 3D graphics knowledge, you can achieve something in some amount of time.

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I use Zbrush for high poly, Topogun for retopo, Maya for UV unwrapping, IPackThat for UV packing (on hardsurface stuff anyway), Substance Painter for baking and most of my tint painting, Photoshop for touching things up if I need to, and a combo of xNormal/Knald for creating fast test textures. I also use Marmoset Toolbag to preview my final model with textures, as well as the TennoGen tool.

Zbrush is a bit steep but very very worth it... eventually it feels like second nature. I prefer Maya over Blender. Major packages like these are all pretty tough to start with, just start with baby steps and you'll be fine. :)

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There's even Mudbox for sculpting, Modo for modeling, 3DSMax ecc ecc. You should learn the basics on the easiest program you can find (most of the time is subjective especially because of the interface) and then you can move on with a more complex program once you've familiarized yourself with those basics so that you only have to learn the interface instead on how the actual sculpting and modeling works.

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1 hour ago, Syncrasis said:

I use Zbrush for high poly, Topogun for retopo, Maya for UV unwrapping, IPackThat for UV packing (on hardsurface stuff anyway), Substance Painter for baking and most of my tint painting, Photoshop for touching things up if I need to, and a combo of xNormal/Knald for creating fast test textures. I also use Marmoset Toolbag to preview my final model with textures, as well as the TennoGen tool.

Zbrush is a bit steep but very very worth it... eventually it feels like second nature. I prefer Maya over Blender. Major packages like these are all pretty tough to start with, just start with baby steps and you'll be fine. :)

Wow, that's an impressive list, sounds like you are a 3D creator full-time? Did you decide to use a specific program for that specific part of the flow, because it's the one you feel best for the job, or because you like to learn additional packages and become flexible for different projects, clients, agencies?

Substance over Quixel?

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15 minutes ago, HitsuSan said:

There's even Mudbox for sculpting, Modo for modeling, 3DSMax ecc ecc. You should learn the basics on the easiest program you can find (most of the time is subjective especially because of the interface) and then you can move on with a more complex program once you've familiarized yourself with those basics so that you only have to learn the interface instead on how the actual sculpting and modeling works.

Yup, spend two weeks researching and the more I found, the tougher it got to choose one to start with ;-)

I obviously stumbled upon those this vs that topics, so I had no other choice to download the trial of pretty much all of them, but the problem is, you can't really know which UI or which type of software logic fits best with you by only scratching the surface. To truly know you should go deep enough, almost to the point that you're actually learning the thing, so that didn't make my choice easier either lool. One exception, Blender, heard and saw amazing things, but the way it interact with me is just...like I need MacGuyver to use it.

In the end I just chose one big name for the total package, Maya, and one big name for the sculpting, ZB. I think if I focus on those two, and it connects with me and the way I think and solve problems, it should bring me in the right direction. I am happy that some little things are transferable from programs like Illustrator, for example Boolean operations. Turned out to be exactly the same, the object I select first, is the dominating object (the one that survives sort of speak).

There is one thing though that is me personally, I also need to get over the sense that Maya and ZB are puzzles, that I need to solve as a primary objective, instead of using them as a tool for the actual primary objective, which is creating my stuff. Not sure if this makes sense? :D 

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I would recommend you, since you just start diving into this, to stick to one software, 3Ds Max, Maya, ZBrush, Blender...they can all do the entire pipeline from high poly to retopology to UVing, texturing,(+Photoshop/Ghimp to pack the textures the way tennogen reads them) so you get a sense of how things work, and then when you got a handle of it, and you feel that something seems to fuzzy in they software you chosen take a look around and see how the other softwares are doing it, and if those seem to get you to the result faster, go for them.

Because it will get pretty messy in your head if you start with more softwares at once, because the all have different ways of doing things.

I remember i started on this path, and i was looking for "whats the best software to do x" and got me pretty much nowhere until i settled with one of them, because not knowing how one of them does something i had no way to really evaluate.

And once you settled on one of them, look at some tutorials, see how stuff is done, and try to adapt to the workflow that software implies, don't try to make it work as you would like, will help a lot in the long run.

Long story short, grab one of them, and try to make a simple object all the way, something very basic, like a rock, try to make the high poly version of it, then retopo it, then UV is, then make a texture, and research how every step is done in the software you chose, by the end of this you should get a general feel.

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3 hours ago, Quarinah said:

Long story short, grab one of them, and try to make a simple object all the way, something very basic, like a rock

It always amazes me that a lot of people thinks that rocks are easy to do... XD I'm just saying Quarinah, nothing against your thought and maybe it's just me but it's pretty F hard to make good rocks (they look al different, tons of details, complex textures and colors ecc). I always suggest to start from things like "a cardboard box" or "a small plain wood jewel chest", something very east on geometry with just two materials and one or two little details (like the chest joints or the little locker or a writing on the cardboard) so that you can focus on learning the programs and the steps instead of having to put a lot of brain power into the object itself ;)

16 hours ago, Ambiroa said:

Yup, spend two weeks researching and the more I found, the tougher it got to choose one to start with ;-)

I obviously stumbled upon those this vs that topics, so I had no other choice to download the trial of pretty much all of them, but the problem is, you can't really know which UI or which type of software logic fits best with you by only scratching the surface. To truly know you should go deep enough, almost to the point that you're actually learning the thing, so that didn't make my choice easier either lool. One exception, Blender, heard and saw amazing things, but the way it interact with me is just...like I need MacGuyver to use it.

In the end I just chose one big name for the total package, Maya, and one big name for the sculpting, ZB. I think if I focus on those two, and it connects with me and the way I think and solve problems, it should bring me in the right direction. I am happy that some little things are transferable from programs like Illustrator, for example Boolean operations. Turned out to be exactly the same, the object I select first, is the dominating object (the one that survives sort of speak).

There is one thing though that is me personally, I also need to get over the sense that Maya and ZB are puzzles, that I need to solve as a primary objective, instead of using them as a tool for the actual primary objective, which is creating my stuff. Not sure if this makes sense? :D 

It totally makes sense Ambiroa, and more than that you often don't need more than a couple of tools inside one program to start creating something. Also the interface really is a thing to consider, for instance i couldn't use Maya to save my life (i mean i can but you really have to give me a good reason why...), it just doesn't work the same way my brain logical path are so i find it much more tiring working with that program instead of 3dsmax. I perfectly know that you can do pretty much the same things but when you need your brain to think about what you're doing (your model) instead of how do you have to work to achieve what you're thinking about it's much better to work with a program that you find comfortable... hell i still know people that keep using Softimage cause they find it so easy to work with. And it really doesn't matter what you'll choose (well XD it matters for your wallet for sure though) cause nobody cares what are you using if your models are very good :)

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1 hour ago, HitsuSan said:

It always amazes me that a lot of people thinks that rocks are easy to do

ZBrush-drag from a sphere 3 times with Move Brush - TrimSmoothBorder Brush - Surface Noise Erosion - done, best rock ever made.

A rock was the first thing that came to mind lol, should have gone with a crate something, true.

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30 minutes ago, Quarinah said:

ZBrush-drag from a sphere 3 times with Move Brush - TrimSmoothBorder Brush - Surface Noise Erosion - done, best rock ever made.

A rock was the first thing that came to mind lol, should have gone with a crate something, true.

Oh yeah, i always advise to learn how to do things manually (with a slash tool maybe) before learning the automatic tools otherwise it's just magic instead of a tool that you can use when you need it and you know how to control it. Basics are way more important and way more portable between softwares, that's all i'm saying really ^^ if you don't depend from specific tools that much you become way more adaptable and you can still perform good on a new software environment if you want to switch or you're forced to for whatever reason. If you're working on a team and the tl gives you the task to make a realistic rock formation for a specific environment that's only found on that region and you only know how to make the generic rocklike object... you basically have no idea how to make that rock if you know what i mean ^^ If you want to reach a top tier pro level all this things will count (i'm talking about Uncharted4 type of fidelity though)

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Im personally preffering blender. For a free tool its suprisingly powerfull. Since i learned dynamic topology sculpting and cycles material setups it got from nice to awesome. Adding to that HDRIs, a lot of addons, modifiers and customizablility makes it a tool thats fun to work with, but learning it all is another story.

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46 minutes ago, HitsuSan said:

Oh yeah, i always advise to learn how to do things manually (with a slash tool maybe) before learning the automatic tools otherwise it's just magic instead of a tool that you can use when you need it and you know how to control it. Basics are way more important and way more portable between softwares, that's all i'm saying really ^^ if you don't depend from specific tools that much you become way more adaptable and you can still perform good on a new software environment if you want to switch or you're forced to for whatever reason. If you're working on a team and the tl gives you the task to make a realistic rock formation for a specific environment that's only found on that region and you only know how to make the generic rocklike object... you basically have no idea how to make that rock if you know what i mean ^^ If you want to reach a top tier pro level all this things will count (i'm talking about Uncharted4 type of fidelity though)

I totally understand this. The course I'm doing will have me model a scifi grenade, but at the moment the instructor is teaching me hotkeys and several most used actions and tools on simple stuff like cubes and spheres, just so I understand what the tool does and how I can use it. It's a prep for when we actually going into that grenade thing.

Are you a hobbyist/semi-pro, or do you this full-time as a career?

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Personally I use Zbrush (hi-poly), 3D coat (retopology and UV's), Maya (lo-poly, cleaning retopo, cleaning mirrored UV's or lightmaps, creating cages for bakes), then substance designer/photoshop depending on the project.

Quixel never sat well with me. don't know why just never felt like I liked the control it gave me and always felt like I need photoshop afterwords to finish texturing. The only time I use photoshop on my warframe stuff is to clean up baking errors and to add the alpha channel to my TintMask.png.

Over the years i've used both Maya and Max and I'm currently using Maya because of the studio I work at. Both do the job, personally I think that Max is more architecturally minded while Maya is better at organics. Both programs have big faults and strengths.

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18 minutes ago, tommor said:

but learning it all is another story

What made you choose Blender? The price, or because it's working out for you after comparing it with other packages? A friend of mine is totally into Blender, but when I open it, I spend more time searching for the action or tool I need, than using the tool after finally finding it...lool.

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1 minute ago, Ambiroa said:

What made you choose Blender? The price, or because it's working out for you after comparing it with other packages? A friend of mine is totally into Blender, but when I open it, I spend more time searching for the action or tool I need, than using the tool after finally finding it...lool.

Im using blender mainly because we needed to learn it in college, but after you get used to it blender isnt that hard to use or learn new stuff. It has a huge community with tutorials on anything that's possible.

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Just now, Ambiroa said:

I totally understand this. The course I'm doing will have me model a scifi grenade, but at the moment the instructor is teaching me hotkeys and several most used actions and tools on simple stuff like cubes and spheres, just so I understand what the tool does and how I can use it. It's a prep for when we actually going into that grenade thing.

Are you a hobbyist/semi-pro, or do you this full-time as a career?

It's one of my fulltime jobs ^^ i also do concept art, some programming (and shading for fun) for myself and i've done animations contracts in the past.

 

3 minutes ago, Ambiroa said:

A friend of mine is totally into Blender, but when I open it, I spend more time searching for the action or tool I need, than using the tool after finally finding it...lool.

Same, Modo is very similar too.

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21 hours ago, Ambiroa said:

Wow, that's an impressive list, sounds like you are a 3D creator full-time? Did you decide to use a specific program for that specific part of the flow, because it's the one you feel best for the job, or because you like to learn additional packages and become flexible for different projects, clients, agencies?

Substance over Quixel?

Ahh yeah, I do 3D fulltime! I'm also entirely self-taught (my degree is in traditional illustration, not modeling). 

I started out using Maya and Photoshop, doing low poly with hand-painted diffuse-only textures. It was a natural step from illustration into the 3D world for me. I actually resisted learning Zbrush for 4 years before I finally gave in 2 years ago and really, REALLY jumped in. It was extremely difficult for me to grasp, coming from Maya, but once I did I wished I had done it sooner.

When I got familiar enough with Zbrush, I grabbed xNormal and Topogun to start adding sculpted normal maps to my handpainted work. Eventually I broke down and started streamlining workflow in a way that involved as little hand-painting as possible, and moved on to PBR stuff. 

I actually bought both Quixel and Subtance, thinking I'd adapt faster to Quixel, but when I saw Substance was being used for DE stuff I buckled down and learned Substance instead. It ends up being better for me anyway... I think Substance has a speed advantage over Quixel, and more control, being a standalone program rather than a plugin. Both are still very comparable though. Substance does lack some quality of life stuff like the ability to grab a mask selection to fill in another layer, which I SORELY miss, and the fact that it does not auto-update files. I think it will eventually grow though, so I'm sticking with it!

All the other programs I've picked up because each one makes one step of my workflow faster. They're small and easy to inject into my workflow. Always trying to get faster and more flexible. I am starting to really enjoy learning new tools, so that list of programs is going to just keep getting bigger...

Oh, another point I want to make is: For me at least, the high poly sculpting takes up, by far, most of the total work time. Once the high poly is done, doing all these steps to set up the rest of it goes by in 1-3 days (depending on the object). I like to take my time in the artistry part of hand sculpting my work, and then BAM just bang out the finished piece. Very satisfying.

Edited by Syncrasis
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Blender for hardsurface highpoly/prepping models/low poly
zbrush for sculpting highpoly

Knald for baking

Substance painter for texturing. Just because of DE use it, I very much prefer quixel. Substance painter isn't all that without proper backing of substance designer since the materials in substance painter are pretty weak compared to quixel.

like syncrasis and others I spend 80% of the time on the highpoly sculpt. making sure evrything is polypainted etc so I can generate my vertex ID from that. 
I'm not painting masks in substance painter again if I can avoid it, it's a mess when you need to update things.



I can also recomend spending a week or 2 just doing materials that work for warframe, Having a good material library is a massive time saver.

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3 hours ago, fredaven said:

like syncrasis and others I spend 80% of the time on the highpoly sculpt. making sure evrything is polypainted etc so I can generate my vertex ID from that. 

So let's say you have a character reptile ninja, with a lizard body and hightech armor, do you sculpt both the body and the armor in ZB, or only the body and model the armor in Blender?

I just started with my ZB course, very awesome for organic/clay sculpting, but I am just in awe seeing things like armor, weapons, and even cloth made in there as well. Parallel to ZB, I'm following Maya class, and why not model everything hard surface in there? (or max, or blender, etc)

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3 hours ago, fredaven said:

Blender for hardsurface highpoly/prepping models/low poly
zbrush for sculpting highpoly

Knald for baking

Substance painter for texturing. Just because of DE use it, I very much prefer quixel. Substance painter isn't all that without proper backing of substance designer since the materials in substance painter are pretty weak compared to quixel.

like syncrasis and others I spend 80% of the time on the highpoly sculpt. making sure evrything is polypainted etc so I can generate my vertex ID from that. 
I'm not painting masks in substance painter again if I can avoid it, it's a mess when you need to update things.



I can also recomend spending a week or 2 just doing materials that work for warframe, Having a good material library is a massive time saver.

You can do high poly sculpts in blender (and no, im not talking about subdividing and scultping). Thats what dynamic topology is for. It works somewhat like ZBrush, its worse performance wise but you'll have similar effects from a free app. It works by dividing/collapsing edges depending on settings. The good thing about it is you can just duplicate low polly object, sculpt on it (while keeping it on same coordinates) and then project it on low poly object and bake it as normal map. You just need to UV unwrap the low poly object, the high poly gets projected automatically on the UV.

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On 7/21/2016 at 6:11 PM, fredaven said:

I can also recomend spending a week or 2 just doing materials that work for warframe, Having a good material library is a massive time saver.

Do you mean, creating several texture sets where you only need to tweak settings, sketch a different alpha, change a color, etc?

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5 minutes ago, Ambiroa said:

Do you mean, creating several texture sets where you only need to tweak settings, sketch a different alpha, change a color, etc?

depends on the software, but in substance painter for example I spent a long time setting up my procedural textures for painted metal, exposed metal. rubber, leather etc.

So when my high sculpt and bake is done its minimal amount of texture work

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6 minutes ago, fredaven said:

depends on the software, but in substance painter for example I spent a long time setting up my procedural textures for painted metal, exposed metal. rubber, leather etc.

So when my high sculpt and bake is done its minimal amount of texture work

Ahhh oke yes, I get it. Basically, not wait with creating materials until you need it, but just building up a library. Yeah good advice, thanks, would definitely help with getting comfy and confidence in the tool. I am comparing substance with quixel at the moment.

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I use Sculptris and Blender, both are free and both are enough to get you going. If you need to make human models for something use MakeHuman, it's free and does a great job eliminating that whole long process.

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