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  1. Here's an example of a surface that won't project cleanly on 3Dc. Is there a way to fix that kind of problem automatically without having to relax all the islands? Also, a way to 'highlight' that kind of problem would be great, something that you can clearly see even when the surface is very small. Blender looks a lot like LSCM, I guess it's using a variant of it, or perhaps just LSCM with intersection checking and auto-relaxing until they go away... whatever Blender does, it's not as good as GU, but it's reliable as hell. It never ever failed to do a 'clean' projection on me, even with lots of distortions, and for me reliability is more important than average quality because game arts needs to be done quickly. Here's the mesh, it's not the bestest topology around, but it works just fine in Blender (it's game art).
  2. Thanks for your replies. By 'real materials' I mean not actually 'rasterizing' the materials into the layers, but just having materials 'mapped' over it, so you can change them without having to re-paint them into the layers. Something like a 'fill layer' with a material and a mask, just like the other conventional 3d apps, but instead of applying materials to objects/polys, it's applied to the textures. Yes, I know you can have multiple layers on the smart materials (I said that in the OP), but it's additive when it overlaps. So if you have an area that is both non-convex and lit at the same time, you end up with double the opacity/bump/etc. Never knew you could use groups as masks. Still a bit of a pain but that should help a little. Also, I've been trying UV mapping, and so far I'm impressed with how easy it is to create islands, and the visual feedback is really great ti know where the seams will end up, the GU algorithm is the best I've seen so far, but I'm having some problems (with all algorithms), sometimes the UV maps they 'intersect'... it's not that the islands overlay each other, packing is perfect, but projection seems not very reliable, even with automatic unwrapping sometimes some polys they got inverted and intersect themselves, it's only a few but the problem is I couldn't find a way to 'see' them easily. Is there a mode or something that highlights intersecting areas in the UV map? I never UV mapped in any program other than Blender, and I've been doing that for more than a decade, and even in ancient times I've never seen Blender fail on me provided I have "sane" seams marked on the mesh, so I'm a bit surprised that 3Dc which is well known for its UV mapping features fails to make clean projections. It's not a big deal to fix them manually if you can detect the intersecting maps somehow. And overall I'm extremely impressed with the UV capabilities, extra kudos for that GU algorithm (which I've never heard of before, and apparently it's proprietary stuff according to the tooltips. As long as it's not black magic I'm fine with it ).
  3. Hi, thanks for your reply. I'm using the latest one available (7900.4.5.40). Yeah, ALT+LMB does hide the other layers, but it doesn't work for the lock. I know you can set the depth of the layers, but perhaps I wasn't very clear... that's not what I mean, I want the top layers to 'mask' the depth of the bottom ones. I wasn't comparing 3Dc to other programs in a bad way... we must be realistic though and admit it has some caveats, but overall it's an amazingly great product. Yeah, the App-Links are really handy. As I said, I'm using 3Dc mostly for texturing, and it does a really great job. The "smart materials" in 3Dc are better than anything else I've tried, including SP, however, due the fact it has a destructive workflow, and it doesn't work with real 'materials', some problems arise. Perhaps I'm being delusional, but I hope someday 3Dc provide more orthodox masking functionality, so you could have a material 'fill' layer that is fully dynamic, and is controlled by a mask, and you set the conditions (like concave/occluded/etc) on the mask, and in a way you can have more than one condition. It sounds something very doable from a technical standpoint. I'm very happy with my experience with smart materials so far. I must say that the first day was kinda frustrating because of the issues on the OP, but now I'm getting used to simple things like always selecting the bucked when I'm gonna fill a layer with a material, and using inverted masks on bottom layers, so these simple things made my life much easier, and it's just a matter of getting used to them. Still, I don't know how to make a mask from multiple layers in an easy and automatically updating way. Also, do you guys know if 3Dc is gonna be on sale anytime soon? I see the current version (.45) has like an year, and I wonder if you have any idea, even if only from guts, on when approximately a newer version is gonna be released... but are the newly released versions cheaper? Or do they get cheaper after a while?
  4. Hey guys, I'm a Blender user and I know 3D coat from long ago, I used version 3 in the past (along with Max when I worked in a studio) I'm doing game arts, although I'm not primarily an artist these days, and I've been evaluating some options for quickly texturing my models. For anything "quick" the so called "smart materials" are a must, and I should say that 3D coat, although less complex than Substance Painter for example (which have 'thickness' and some cool generators like edge scratches) it actually does a much better job at determining curvature (actually, for my needs it's better than xNormal) and applying the actual smart "masks" What I like better in SP is the non-destructive workflow, and more standardized masking style. Resizing the texture without losing quality also is (would be) something invaluable, but from my tests it doesn't really work as I was expecting. The caveats are huge though. It generates lots of discontinuity on the seams, what makes them very visible, especially when you use something like the curvature mask in a generator, and "tri-planar" projection doesn't help in that case, also, it's very slow. My machine isn't very modern so I can understand some slowness here and there, but I was literally waiting minutes (with all cores @ 100%) only to change the brush material. It's also a pain to work with multiple 'objects' in substance. 3D coat is also not very stable, but it's light years ahead of SP in terms of performance, and I've tried DDO too but I was not even a bit impressed So far 3D coat has been a joy to use. Texturing is only one of the many great functions it has, and stuff like Ptex support may come handy someday, retopo is something that I'm sure I'll use on a regular basis, especially for quick yet decent looking LOD models That being said, I'm a struggling with the total lack of information for some functions... the interface is really well-made and makes sense most of the time, but I wonder if I'm overlooking something or if I'm really supposed to /guess/ most things and learn by trial and error based on guesswork The first thing that really annoyed me is the lack of real 'materials'. The materials are just diff+spec+gloss+bump maps that are applied to the layers. Once it's applied you can't change it. I don't have much of a problem with that, except the fact that they don't stack very well and are not easy to mask. If you want to apply a material to the 'non-convex' areas AND the occluded areas (btw, imho the lit/shadow should be renamed to 'occluded') you need the two "masks/conditions", one for "less on convex" and other for "more on lit", but you can't have more than one condition, so you need a smart material layer (not paint layer) for each of them, and the bumps will affect each other when they overlap. While we are still on the materials subject, I also don't understand how or why the current tool depth/opacity settings affect the material you have selected... shouldn't it be the other way around? Anyway, it seems the current tool depth/opacity is a multiplier for the material settings (guesswork), but the roughness/metalness doesn't seem to affect them. That is inconsistent and counter-intuitive, but the worst part is the total lack of information on that. At very least I don't what the current tool settings affecting the materials when I right-click them and select "fill layer" Bump is also a bit of a pain... I fully understand it's additive (I know you can disable for the tools), and there's no way afaik to set a layer to override the bump on a layer below it, so you have to use the top layer as a clipping layer, what actually works really well, but you're limited to one clipping layer, what's not very suitable for most stuff. I'm talking mostly about really simple stuff here, for example, you have a base layer of a metal material that's rough, and on top of that you want a paint layer that's smooth, and perhaps on top of that some grunges with yet another surface bumpiness, but you don't want it to inherit the bumpiness of the bottom layers... how would you do that in a sane way Something that I don't know if it's possible, is to use the paint bucket to paint individual "surface materials", not whole connected meshes, in a "click-over" fashion. I know there are buttons which displays a dialog in which you can choose which "surface material" or "paint object" to paint, but I would like something like the normal bucket except not propagating the paint to adjacent materials Another smaller complaint I have is the price. The price is a steal for a studio, but for indies it's not a very accessible product. These days some software have "indie" versions with income limitations, and I humbly suggest that 3D coat provide some "indie-friendly" licensing, especially if a price increase for the pro version is planned. It's still worth every cent of the current price, even for indies, but it may simply not be an option for some people. I feel that the pricing is in a mid-ground that is cheap for studios, and expensive for individuals, especially considering the cornucopia of competitors these days (not in a single package) that do have indie-friendly licensing I also miss some UI interactions, for example, an easy way to reset values to the default. On Blender you can right-click any widget to reset its value, on 3D coat right-clicking most UI widgets yields no effect whatsoever. Also, I'm used to Blender's middle-click-drag scrolling and I really love it. I was very impressed that 3d coat also has that, however, Blender is much better in a sense because it's "infinite", when you reach the boundary of the scrolling area the cursor will wrap around it, so you can scroll really large areas without having to release the middle button, in 3D coat if you leave the window while middle-drag scrolling, it glitches and you gotta middle click again to 'fix' that. Also, if you middle-drag on a dialog that's over the 3D view, it will interact simultaneously with the UI and the 3D view. And I also really miss the ability of ALT-clicking a layer visibility/lock to affect all other layers, like on Photoshop. When you have lots of layers and want to lock them all but one, it's a royal pain in the rear to go clicking them all individually. I hope there's some shortcut of kinds I'm missing I know that the UI is designed also (if not mostly) for tablets, I have a tablet here but I can't get much used to it, plus I plan to use 3D coat for quick texturing at the moment, not actual detail painting Please don't get me wrong, I really love 3D coat, and although it's arguable whether it's as powerful as other specialized tools, I really like the idea of a single program with many functions, so you don't have to keep switching interfaces too much. Only Blender+3D coat+Photoshop+Unity is already very painful, let alone include ZBrush, Substance Painter, Topogun, etc in the mix. It's gonna cause madness probably. I also think 3D coat would be a very good complement for many other 3D packages out there like Modo/LW for example If anything I said is wrong or has a workaround, I'd appreciate if someone could point that out. Thanks