Cube

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  1. No problem Colin, since we have no exact scale to work from, fine detail is totally subjective and everyone has their own expectations. ZBrush does have an advantage when you get to extremely high polycounts, but for everything else Voxels are an aweul lot more fun to work with! You should be able to match anything you can find on the Sensable site, i really think the hardware is their big selling point, the software appears to be about the same level as 3DCoat.
  2. Really nice model!
  3. Hey i'm glad that this thread at least has people talking but i just want to clarify that this thread IS NOT actually a feature request thread. It's just somewhere to discuss what might be possible in the next 6-12 months or so to bring surface detail on-par with ZBrush. I was hoping that Andrew might come in to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the current 'marching cubes' approach in the voxel room and maybe explain his point of view on what the options might be for greater efficiency. I'm not suggesting that 3DCoat is flawed or can only do medium frequency detail, it can actually produce some very good details, it's just that last 10% or so where it lags behind for now. Of course the program could stay exactly as it is, and eventually match what ZBrush can do when computer hardware is more powerful in a few years, but if there is the possibility of getting another subdivision level on current hardware with some changes to the rendering approach (or any other method) then i'd be really interested in that!
  4. Hey don't worry at all, you have made a very good purchase decision with 3DCoat, i've taken a look through the gallery images on the sensable site and 3DCoat can EASILY match that level of detail. I think we just have a different definition of high details. Just to be clear what i'm talking about in this thread is ULTRA-FINE detailing, the likes of which you can find if you go to the ZBrush website and look through their 'featured' gallery. I'm talking skin pore level of detail here. 3DCoat has really good mid-high detail, there is no issue there at all.
  5. Well done! I was really looking forward to seeing the finished model, i think you've done a great job - especially on the hair!
  6. I think i understand what you are talking about re: surface to volume, where certain forms will definately benefit voxels, but lets say for example modeling a humanoid figure (probably the most common modeling task in sculpting apps). It seems to me that using a polygonal modeling approach like ZBrush or Mudbox allows for much higher detail levels than we can get with the 'marching cubes' representation of voxels. Yes i understand that the actual voxel data set still needs to be rendered, i was assuming some kind of cube or spherical primitives for each individual voxel. If you go to the Wikipedia page on Voxels, there is an image on the left hand side of the page which shows what i'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voxel Does that type of representation require raycasting? I know that voxels and raycasting apparently work well together (at least much faster than using polygons) but maybe there are other methods that could be used? There's no problem with using a polygonal modeling app for the fine surface detailing (other than having to invest in more expensive software). That's what i was saying before, if that's the way the workflow has to be for the time being i totally understand, i'm just curious if 3DCoat could really become a one-stop-shop for modeling with some improvements to the voxel room Perhaps i have come across the wrong way in this thread, but i'd just like to repeat that i'm not attacking 3DCoat in any way - it's awesome software! I'm not accusing Andrews way of working with voxels of being inefficient, he clearly knows a hell of a lot more than i do about any of this! - i'm just wondering if there can be alterations made down the line that will allow for that extra level of final detailing within 3DCoat. One more thing, there is the possibility of game engines using super high detail voxel volumes for world assets etc.. within the next few years or so (proabably when the next console generation arrives). I know that you could do the lions share of the work in polygons then convert that mesh to a voxel volume (exactly as we can do now in 3DCoat) but there will still be the need to finish of the fine details in voxels before you export to whatever format the engines will be using (SVO seems to be the best bet from what i have read). If that kind of technology takes off then we'll have to get around this fine detail issue one way or another. I think polygonal modeling tools seem to be at the point of diminishing returns to some extent (ie: when you get to a certain level of detail, the work involved in going much higher does not pay off in terms of what the viewer would actually notice). Maybe it will just be a case of waiting for computer hardware to become powerful enough to allow us to work with larger voxel data sets, so we can match what is being done in ZBrush/Mudbox at the moment, i'd just like to know if there is any room for improvement before that time.
  7. So using voxels will always be vastly less efficient vs regular polygonal methods in terms of overall geometry achievable on current hardware? Like my suggestion of an option to remove the polygonal skin from the voxel room and work directly on the levelset (as i understand it there are several alternative methods of smoothing a voxel volume that don't use a polygonal skin), would this be more resource friendly and allow us to work at an additional subdivision level than is currently possible? This is exactly the stuff i am trying to find out, i realise voxels have many advantages but if we won't be able to get much finer control over surface details at some point i think it's important to know this in advance so people don't get their hopes up too much. If voxels will be limited to mid-high frequency details, with the final touches being done in Paint room or another application then i can live with that, i just want to know one way or the other what's going to be possible in near future with the voxel room. For me the idea of working on a model from start to finish (including painting when Andrew implements this) entirely in voxels is very exciting, but the overall geometry needed for fine detailing is just not possible at the moment.
  8. Cool model! I like the fine blood vessels at the bottom of his neck, the way they fade and overlap looks very realistic. Only thing i might suggest is to dirty the hat up, it looks too shiny and new.
  9. Good idea for a thread! I won't hazard a guess yet - nice start though whoever it is I'm useless at human anatomy.
  10. Aye that's a good point about ZBrush using quads. So differences in technology aside ZBrush probably has an effective geometry advantage of something like 4:1 over 3DC in super fine details at the moment (that's best case scenario, obviously it depends on topology). That's just going by what is possible on my machine, 20 million triangles and above is unusable for me in 3DC, and about 30-40 million quads is as high as i can go in ZBrush. Like i said in my first post this is not in any way meant as an attack on 3DCoat, i think the app is simply amazing to use and the very high surface details are literally my only 'problem' with it. I'm just interested in how much room for improvement there is in this one area down the line and thought it might be interesting to have a thread where we could get Andrews opinion as he has the perspective of someone with huge knowledge about this stuff. If voxels and super high geometry just don't go together on the hardware we have available today then that's fine - i'm just curious about what is possible I'm certainly looking forward to Multi-Res in surface mode if this will go some way to helping!
  11. I used the standard brush in ZBrush and the Clay brush in 3D-Coat with the solid circular alpha. I can't see how that would make any difference when clearly once you go to a small brush size in 3D-Coat you are at or below the size of an individual voxel. It seems to me that for every voxel in 3D-Coat, ZBrush has about 4 polygons (this is to be expected since a huge number of polygons in 3D-Coat are used up around the edges of each voxel for smoothing - so the voxel 'grid' is much less dense compared to the polygon 'grid' in ZBrush), so i think you would need another subdivision in 3D-Coat to get the same detail. That would mean approximately 100m poly's. This is why i'm wondering if a pure voxel rendering approach could be made efficient enough to allow for another subdivision level or two than is possible at the moment. That way we mght be able to have the best of both worlds, total freedom from topology concerns and super high detail surfaces as well.
  12. Hmm, i can't see how that's possible. In my test 3D-Coat simply failed to even create the detail at smaller brush sizes, the resolution is just not there. Surely to get the same detail as the ZBrush model, you would have to double the poly count or more to compensate for the (relatively) inefficient use of tri's on the Voxel 'skin'. I'm sure shading would make a difference, but you'd still need the geometry there to pick up the details in the first place.
  13. Sorry maybe i should have been clearer in my post, i'm aware of the differences between voxels and polygons (but dont forget 3D-Coat uses a polygonal skin to display the volume, so poly count directly affects performance). The only reason i used a sphere for the example is because i could quickly and easily allign one quad to the screen size, so that i knew i was looking at the same small surface area (realtively) between the 2 apps. I don't see how the overall shape of the object has any bearing in a test like this that's purely for looking at fine surface detail though. Because 3D-Coat essentially becomes unusable beyond ~20 million poly's for most people, that's as far as i took it (ZBrush still runs very smooth at this res). I wasn't intending to say that polygons are the same in both apps, this is just as close to an accurate comparison of surface detailing that i can make. My question is whether we will ever be able to get the same level of detail on surfaces in 3D-Coat that are possiple is ZBrush. Whether that be by optimizing the current polygonal skin method to allow for much higher resolution, or using true voxel rendering at a super high density or whatever. If it's not possible that's fine, but i'd still like to hear what Andrew might be able do to increase efficiency down the line. I fully understand the benefits of using voxels, but i just want to know if we will be able to get the same resolution for fine detail work eventually that other apps have. Does that make sense?
  14. That's a fair point, i guess it's just a question of prefered workflow. Personally i just like to work on the high res ala ZBrush, painting doesn't seem to have the same feel (maybe more a psychological thing).
  15. Hi Andrew, i sent you an e-mail a while back about the possibility of changing the rendering method in the Voxel room to improve fine details. Obviously you know a lot more about this stuff than i do, but i wondered if you can clear up some questions for me and perhaps we might be able to discuss some future options to improve things. Everyone else is welcome to add their own ideas/opinions of course! Firstly i want to illustrate the current situation, and i tried to set up a test to directly compare the fine surface detailing abilities between 3D-Coat and ZBrush (since i have the trials of both software installed). Here is the 'control' object. A very basic sphere mesh: Next i scaled the object until one segment filled the viewport (i never moved the camera after this): Next i subdivided the mesh to ~25,000,000 polygons and made a few marks at very small brush sizes: Next i opened up 3D-Coat and loaded the same mesh (merge>select mesh) and once again scaled it so one face filled most of the view (again i never moved the camera after this): Then i subdivided the mesh 4-5 times until the faces were no longer visible to give a closer approximation to the subdivided ZBrush sphere. (poly count reduced slightly due to the volume change): After the volume had completed the merge operation i tried to make a few marks with increasingly smaller brush sizes: Now we can see immediately that the difference in surface detail between the two approaches is huge. I know that this is not a direct comparison because of the way polygons are being used is fundamentally different in the two applications, but i think it's still something worth discussing since total usable geometry seems to be what is holding 3DCoat back. Here are my Questions for you: 1: Would switching to a pure voxel render solution be more efficient (in terms of performance) and allow us to scale object density up further than the current polygon skin render? I know this would result in discrete 'steps' between each voxel, but if we could get the density high enough i think it could work very well. 2: If voxel rendering is not a valid option could the existing 'polygon skin' method be optimized to allow us to work on 60-80m+ poly objects to achieve the same detail level as ZBrush does at ~25m? Please don't take this thread as an attack on 3D-Coat, i think the program is incredible! I prefer 3D-Coat to ZBrush in every respect except for this issue of very fine details. I'd just be really interested to hear your thoughts on these questions - and possible ideas you might have for improving the fine detailing in 3D-Coat in the future. Thanks very much for your time!