dirtrobot

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About dirtrobot

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  1. 3DC literally prevents me from sketching as I can in zbrush. What happens is one/some/all of the following results: the speed of the stroke is too much for the software, the brush stutters randomly, leaving those awful circular artifacts, the results are COMPLETELY surprising because I changed the brush size and/or height slightly (and then I have to undo), or 3DC won't 'let go' of the stroke and it hangs and suddenly a huge streak of something awful appears. I will admit LC is more manageable for me, but even then I still can't get consistent results and I lose my artistic excitement quickly.
  2. Just think of how exciting it will be when Andrew finally gets the basic functionality working properly and you won't have to see these 'tainted' threads anymore!
  3. I thought it was a valid point because a software developer who develops on feature A usually has a long term plan as to why time was spent developing feature A. Well Silo and Hexagon were modelers (I own them both), yes there were forays into displacement brushes, but I don't think zbrush was ever their primary competition. It's funny you say that because for a time when 3dcoat's voxels were being implemented and improved 3dcoat had a leg up on zbrush. Then dynamesh came out and we got LiveClay, which is pretty sweet and as of right now is (in some ways) better than dynamesh. But the writing on the wall is zbrush 5, which will more than likely be the full sculptris merge or possibly their own voxel implementation. I'm just waiting for the interface and feel overhaul - which will not happen for a while because it won't attract new users. I'd put a lot of money down that we'll see hair/fur implementation before polished brushes and better voxels/subcell. But I'm ready and willing to be surprised
  4. Whoa - where did you find this out about Silo?! So I'm a long time 3d modeler, pro and lately not pro (I work fulltime in the game industry as a designer right now) - I've literally used every modeling product since 3dstudio r4 (except blender, yuck) and photoshop since version 2. Just an observation about this thread - this improving the brushes stuff has been literally talked about since 2 years ago. Granted, the optimizations have helped a lot. I can get more detail out of a lower resolution mesh and the brushes are a lot more responsive. But I can't get consistent results using ANY of the toolset. I just find myself flipping through the brush types, tweaking settings and hitting undo a lot trying to do things that are no-brainers in zbrush. Nevermind the bazillion usability issues, most of them small, but they add up and when I get inevitably frustrated I usually head back to zbrush and dynamesh and suck up the weird interface paradigm. I would still never be able to finish a sculpt in 3dcoat, the voxel resolution demands and the brushes would literally drive me insane to attain the zbrush 'crispness' and LoD needed. 3dcoat needs serious battle-testing and a group of pro/semi-pro users dedicated to creating projects in 3dcoat who can help Andrew create a roadmap and drill down on what's essential to get 3dcoat to the next level of USABILITY. Listening to the squeaky wheels in the forums will only confuse the long-term direction and architecture of this product. Like what was the last major update? Painting on voxels? Gah! As a long-time silo user, it's heartbreaking because the parallels between the two are staggering. Both products have/had so much potential to beat out the current industry 'giants' but both seem to have focused on short-term sales goals instead of a proper product architecture. Bless Andrew and his herculean work ethic - he's trying to support a product that has a feature list a mile long. But he needs to focus and FINISH one area, get it usable by actual artists, then move on to the next area of the product. There's still hope, I think. At least the finished work gallery submissions are showing potential.
  5. I think anyone discussing 3dcoat's direction recognizes its enormous potential and might feel frustrated as there is much refinement needed. I refer to the new features as 'toys' because they're neat to play with but don't stand up to rigorous practical application (like a tool would, compared to a toy). I also recognize some users have managed to untangle the workflow and create on a regular basis and as such 3dcoat is a tool. It might seem like Andrew is trying to milk the practical extensible limits of the current codebase to be able to maintain a stream of viewers to his product. That's what initially pulled me in was the enormous growth it was experiencing (ie: the retopo era). At some point he's going to have to 'go dark' and rewrite or hopefully someone else is currently doing the rewrite in the background. I don't envy him, it's tough to generate attention when your product has ceased updating for a year or so while it gets reworked. The future is always interesting
  6. I got into 3dcoat when it was on the leading edge and looking to beat zbrush/mudbox at their own game. Then it quickly became apparent, as updates piled up, that somehow it managed to be even more obtuse than zbrush, with performance well behind and the workflow in a very messy state. I have recently played with zbrush4 r2 and I have no idea how 3dcoat is going to compete now that the dynamesh stuff is filtering in from sculptris. In my most humble opinion, 3dcoat needs a handful of professional artists to act as an advisory council on the direction 3dcoat should go and how the workflows should be reformed. At the very least it needs to be RESPONSIVE on above average computers - at least on par with zbrush. I can't handle using 3dcoat anymore, there are too many 'gotchas' and pitfalls in the workflow (it's worse than maya!). I check back from time to time to see if the rewrite has started or the workflow is being reformed but I just see a new toy (that probably barely works) added to a random pile of toys that all barely work.
  7. Thanks for the link, I missed that somehow!
  8. Yeah ram's the key, I can't make the jump past 4mil to 16. But as far as my own workflow, that's fine - I can rough out to my heart's desire with no issues.
  9. I have nothing to prove. I'm not attacking 3dcoat, I'm just telling you from the perspective of a somewhat-intermediate level 3dcoat user who has done a decent amount of reading/research on using 3dcoat - this is what I perceive. It just seems that 3dcoat requires 4x the resolution to look as crisp and smooth as mudbox and zbrush. Which literally puts it out of my machine's reach with my 4gigs of ram. So I can't really test 32x detailing. One super kick in the pants is that 3dcoat's smooth brush doesn't preserve volume at all. So every time I try to fix those chunky peanut butter lumps that come up, it's so hard not to destroy what I've just spent time pinching/flattening/whatever. Finally, maybe this all comes down to a lack of a zbrush central/classroom type of resource for 3dcoat. I think new users have a tough ride getting into 3dcoat. I think more so if the new user has experience with other sculpting apps. 3dcoat and zbrush share the prize for the amount of web research required to understand true workflow functionality.
  10. Seriously, no attempt to flame, just want to point out that his model has what I call the inherent voxel 'lumpiness' and he uses surface mode, which I understand is a polygonal proxy for his detail. I was hoping he'd show the conversion back to voxels to see how the detail holds up. I'd guess that based on his index finger, it doesn't hold up quite to the level he's using as a demonstration (but is still good). I'd have to agree with Phil's workflow suggestion of painting that detail in as a normal map. I don't really think voxels need to be proven as a high frequency detail solution - I think the advantages (and drawbacks) vs. polygons are clear and the toolset should reflect this to enhance things like non-destructive posing, being able to use HUGE brushes to quickly rough things out, the awesome boolean capabilities etc. A quick mask option is sorely needed, hiding voxels is so unpredictable. Once the rough form is done, time to sculpt the polys and UV and paint. This should be how 3dcoat is laid out, to guide the user through this process. If 3dcoat could adapt sculptris' poly-voxel hybrid system (if that's how the computer magic works) into the sculpt room, like OMG. (Which actually makes me wonder if there isn't a way to export the surface mode mesh to use as the highres projection mesh in xnormal for normal mapping?) I guess personally I feel that when I spend 10 minutes in surface mode tightening things up only to lose 30% when I convert, makes me want to fire up zbrush.
  11. Haha, I think you've got some good points! Might just be a case of old dog/new tricks. Maybe part of it is to develop a mindset that the normal painting is strictly for finer detail. How do you find combining a baked normal map (for the more broad shape differences) and a painted map (for details)? Assuming this is how you approach it...
  12. This thread is a bit old, but I wanted to echo the sentiments that voxels are simply not meant for fine detail, at least not in 3d coat's current implementation. The surface stuff helps, and the sculpting room is definitely oddly equipped (or under equipped). I would also echo that I find it odd to paint normal maps, I would prefer to have a real geo base so I have the flexibility to do what I wish with it, and not get locked into my UVs once I decide to paint normal map detail. Interestingly, mudbox 2011 handles twice the polys that zbrush does on my machine, but that may have to do with the fact that zbrush seems almost independent of the graphics card. Once I hit 4mil+ on zbrush, I get constant crashes. But I can go 8mil+ in mudbox and after a few hiccups it smooths itself out and paints like a dream. Also the vector displacement stuff is super cool, esp. with the new plugin to render it in mental ray. My wish for 3dcoat is that it gets stress beta tested before version 4. After being in games for 10 years, I've come to realize one of the more valuable (And unfortunately underpaid) team members are QA testers. 3DCoat behaves like it has one key beta tester (Andrew), I keep finding random and frustrating bugs that clearly derive from lack of iterative testing on various workflows. Even things like how I find the brushes either too responsive, not responsive enough or too slow. Odd things like painting along curves is insanely slow compared to using the same brush/size/etc and doing it manually. Zbrush and mudbox kill 3dcoat for sculpting mainly because you can tell they've polished the workflow and brush behaviour. I admit I get frustrated when I see the new features coming in, and the backlog of bugs grows. I don't show 3dcoat to other artists anymore because it doesn't sell itself, no matter how well I understand and can demonstrate the workflow - I get funny looks and mutters of 'Guess I'll stick to zbrush' or 'Let me know when they iron out that weirdness'. Voxels to me is still the dream medium, but oddly similar to the case of when voxels were implemented in games a decade ago, it seems hardware still hasn't caught up.
  13. No, although I think I figured out part of it. If I don't 'close' the reference image popup, after pressing sketch, I can't go back to painting normally. However, I cannot reproduce the bizarre 'invisible object' that seems to be displacing the brush in Surface mode. Perhaps I created something while the reference image popup was still there before going to surface mode in that instance.
  14. Thanks to both of you! I pm'd Andrew with the topic url as well.
  15. I was sculpting away and then I accidentally hit Sketch (I think), I went back to Muscle brush and no voxels respond to my input. I switch to surface mode and the brushes behave like there's some crazy invisible object they're trying to align to. See this quick vid: Bizarro brush behaviour Any insight would be awesome...thanks!