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About JamesE

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  1. Same, I'll often send a mesh over to silo and just eyeball some things and essentially use the stuff I imported from 3dcoat as reference for putting down mesh primitives etc. There's definitely a case for modeling tools alongside the retopo tools in 3dc moreso when things like manipulators and primitives already exist in the other rooms.
  2. I've used goz with modo a few times and it did what I needed, but I haven't had any major need for it in my workflow as it is. I generally don't do a lot of tweaking that requires an applink. I either build for what I need in the sculpt - which is why I love voxels, or I make changes at the end when I'm retopologizing or doing UV work. At this point it really isn't a big deal to just use obj as a go-between format to whatever package I happen to be using. Same thing if I just need a custom shape imported into 3dcoat. The time savings of an applink isn't going to make much difference for me. I still think it's cool to see 3dcoat getting them though.
  3. I disagree with merging sculpting and retopo - and texturing and rendering for that matter. I don't use 3dcoat's poly sculpting room at all as it is so it's nice that I can completely ignore that section and not have to wade through tools I don't need when I'm doing retopology. Same with rendering. I don't use this room very much at all so again, it's nice to not have to deal with it if I don't want to. The current configuration is just fine as it is. Not everyone uses all aspects of 3dcoat. Forcing exposure to the things they don't want or need will only increase negative perception of the app in terms of ease of use. The contextual nature of tool palettes and menus based on the room you are in is more than adequate at keeping things clean and simple. Where I would like to see more versatility is in the retopo room. I'd love for this to just be a real modeling area complete with polygon editing, transform tools and primitives. Retopologizing primitives like cylinders and flat surfaces is more painful than just slapping down an optimized primitive that represents the shapes you don't want to retopologize. I think this would bring 3dcoat much closer to being an all in one app, as right now I still spend a significant amount of time using a modeling package for certain things. It would be way easier to bounce between different rooms in 3dcoat rather than between completely different apps, just to handle specific modeling cases. I think it would be cool to have a surface snap toggle in the retopo layers palette beside each layer too - that way I could retopo and model at the same time, only using surface snapping for the pieces that need it. It would also be great to be able to model specific objects that you want to use for booleans, custom spline shapes, or anything else that voxel primitives can't handle as easily, instead of having to make them in an external app.
  4. Thanks for the shift snapping Andrew! Been wanting that one for such a looooong time!
  5. Awesome! Just tried it and it works just the way you'd expect. This will improve the flow for me a lot and save bouncing in and out of orthos. That's why it's necessary. The fewer interuptions while sculpting/painting the better.
  6. Yeah I'm not saying I like the way it worked out, just that I can kinda see why it happened that way. I could honestly care less myself if the forums live or die, as I don't buy into an app for its community nor to have a relationship with the developers. If the tool works I use it. Nothing else matters.
  7. I think the users kinda brought that on themselves to be honest. Being in the silo forums from the start, way back in 2004 (I think) I watched them devolve long before nevercenter stopped communicating with them. I really can't say I'd blame them or react any differently if I were in their shoes. Communicating with ungrateful, demanding, and unreasonably hostile people over something like a piece of software that costs less than some people spend on a night out isn't how I'd want to spend my time if I were a developer. I often wonder how long it will be before Andrew slows his pace and people start jumping on his back too. Things have been pretty heated here already in the past, even with the amount of effort he puts towards updates. It really is a no-win situation for the dev. I think NC just realized that people are going to continue to use the software or not, regardless of what they do so they took the option that worked best for them. So long as they continue updating at whatever pace they feel comfortable with, I'm ok with that, and can't say I blame them. The software has worked great for many years for me on many different systems. If something better comes along someday, I'm sure I'll use it, same as I always do. Picking up new ones and dropping the ones that I don't need anymore is just part of being a 3d artist.
  8. Considering how cheap the program is in the first place, your statement makes little sense. 3 updates in less than a year hardly constitutes abandonment either. Small or not they made a difference and silo continues to be amazing value for what you pay. You make a huge assumption that bmesh will be awesome at birth when it finally gets added to the public blender builds. This is naive. In its current 'beta' state it doesn't come close to making blender a viable alternative to Silo or any other polygon modeler, unless you care more about 'free' than actually getting work done. Considering how long it has been in development also makes me wonder how long it will take to actually become a silo replacement after it's been added to the public blender builds. I'm looking forward to bmesh like anyone else - I'm always on the lookout for new tools, but I'd say it's a safer bet to place on it being quite awhile before it attracts more people to blender for modeling. I thought modo might replace Silo in my toolkit at some point, but coming on 5 full upgrades later, I'm still spending hundreds of dollars for disappointment, and all the communication in the world from luxology doesn't make me feel any better about that. Slow development or not, silo is still the strongest tool in my kit for poly modeling, both on mac and pc.
  9. Especially for auto retopology. Just click the button and see what happens ;] 3dcoat is probably one of the last apps I'd ever consider purchasing training material for (not that you'd need it when the tools are so easy to learn on their own). Development moves so fast that anything you buy will more than likely already be out of date.
  10. Still prefer zb on my mac to be honest. Performance wise it kills 3dc even on my modbook, which I absolutely love being able to sculpt with. Can't really use 3dc on that machine due to the graphics card limitation. I don't think 3dc will compete with zb in performance anyway even with a 64 bit mac version because it's still largely going to depend on video hardware - something zb doesn't require. The latest ZB update really does a good job at competing with voxels and their freeform capabilities. I feel perfectly fine doing a block out sculpt in it now with a sphere or some sketch spheres, or even shadowbox and then just hitting the "Re-mesh" and "Reproject" buttons and continuing on with my sculpt. Functionally this is no different than sculpting out in voxels for me, only I have the added benefit of using the best sculpting and refining brushes, transform/pose tools, masking and selection/visiblility tools on the market. 3dc is weak in all these areas by comparison. I never feel the need to build a base mesh for zb anymore - a big reason why I moved over to voxels in the first place. I never need to retopologize a mesh or worry about tearing or corruption of a voxel mesh when using pose tools or switching between surface mode - which I find to be a clunky, frustrating solution - which actually caused me to continue to use 3dc only for voxel blockouts, and then send them to zb anyway for finishing. I think in sculpting 3dc has the lead with its pen options, especially with curves, and its boolean capabilities. I think for hard surface stuff this is much more suitable than using shadowbox, but again, zbrush's brushes close the gap in this area. Overall I've found myself gravitating back towards zbrush for more sculpting and not just detailing. Not really saying all this to be inflammatory, more out of observation of my own habits and use patterns with my tools. One of the advantages of using multiple tools with overlapping functionality is that I can jump from one to the other as they leap frog each other in features and functionality and take advantage of the best they have to offer. Maybe Andrew can benefit from observations like this. Right now, my biggest use case for 3dc remains in the paint room, and for retopology. Those are things zbrush either can't do well, or does them differently enough that I can't use them as effectively for my work - largely game content creation. That's not to say I haven't been able to pull some nice sculpts out of the voxel room - I have. Unfortunately it's stuff I can't show at the moment, but as of right now, with ZB4 I just find I have less restrictions and jumping through hoops to deal with than previous versions, making me want to spend more time with it.
  11. JamesE

    setting up my own keys

    Central hotkey AND mouse/tablet input editor. =] Also, allow it to store contextually so that we can reuse hotkeys in different rooms. I'd love to be able to customize my mouse and hotkeys for the most optimal workflow in voxels, and do the same in the retopo and paint rooms.
  12. Phil: you mean you are using ptex generated UVs for a game asset? I think all adam is wanting is to be able to bake his ptex work onto a properly UV'd mesh within 3dcoat, same as he would bake his normals and other maps from voxels etc., since there's no way you'd want to use ptex uvs in a game. That many individual uv verts would add immensely to the vertex count on export to the engine. Baking externally kinda defeats the purpose of using 3dc in the first place too - kinda like with the AO situation, which is pretty much not useable. I haven't used ptex much lately because it was too unstable so if anything's changed it would be great. I just haven't had time for testing, and have to focus on the known, working tools right now, but I think my ideal workflow for using ptex (for games specifically) would be to send an autoquadrangulated mesh directly from the voxel room for final detailing and color work, then doing a proper retopo over the voxel mesh with good uvs, and then baking the ptex results to that hand retopo'd version. This is just me speculating on how I'd use it. If it works that way now then great!
  13. Glad to see you finally got over that issue. =] You will never catch me sculpting with a mouse. =]
  14. Agree with the nav and shortcuts issues you have too. I don't understand why he wouldn't set up common behavior as seen in all the other sculpting apps. Shift = smooth, ctrl = invert, and alt = nav. It would be so easy to accomodate this by moving the alt brush edit popup over to spacebar and then rearranging the other stuff I just mentioned to match the other sculpting apps. Having a completely separate key bind for smooth is maddening when trying to use it fluidly, and using alt for anything other than nav is just... wrong. I'm surprised SonK isn't bitching up a storm about that, since it's even more bizarre than zbrush's nav. =] Performance wise it feels pretty good on my crappy work machine, and the feel of the brushes is definitely better than in 3dcoat. Wish he had a mac version though.
  15. JamesE

    Mudbox 2011

    I generally don't do a second retopo. Usually the first is good enough to make a few tweaks and use for final. Recently using GoZ with modo has made this a pretty easy process. Only if I used quadrangulate for the original mesh would I consider doing a full retopo, but then that's still only doing one round of retopo, technically. =]