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Hey everyone! My intention in creating this topic is to be able to contribute to the improvement of the Brushes, Alphas, Stencils and Textures system for 3D-Coat. Since @Andrew Shpagin commented that he was developing a new system of Brushes, then who knows, this topic could help in some way and at the same time you can comment, enrich and further strengthen this subject that is of the extrem importance for all of us who are users of 3D-Coat. I have sculpted a lot in 3D-Coat which is a fantastic program, especially in Surface mode and I can tell you all in all sincerity that I really missed a lot of important tools and functions during my work and I believe most of you too. Please do not misunderstand me, but on several occasions, I was a bit discouraged by the lack of tools and functions in 3D-Coat and thus making me take my work to other programs to be able to move on with my work. I know it's healthy to have a workflow that involves other programs, but honestly taking your work to ZBrush to be able to perform certain functions is very frustrating. In my head it does not make sense to have to get a ZBrush license just to complete my work that I do with a lot of affection inside 3D-Coat. So with this feeling, I would like to suggest and share some suggestions that could make a big difference in our work related to this area. Actually, it would be a lot of suggestions, but I'm going to get caught up in what seems to me to be the essential and really make a difference in our work. --------------------- So, shall we start? ----- 1) Alpha and Textures for 16 Bits: --> VERY IMPORTANT! I believe one of the major important steps for 3D-Coat would be the program to accept to work with alphas, stencils and textures with 16 bits. This will help greatly in the process of sculpting and painting taking the program to a level of excellence and would prevent the surface of the mesh from becoming strange through alphas and textures of 8 bits. Please see a quick comparison of the same Cube created in ZBrush with 500 thousand polygons and then this cube was imported to 3D-Coat for the application of the same alphas that were used in ZBrush. In this test, you can see that in all examples in 3D-Coat (located to the right), the surface of the mesh showed more noises, pixallated effect and generated some imperfections in the geometry of the mesh (bad geometry). The reason for this is because 3D-Coat only works with alphas and 8 bit textures that limits the program in the definition and quality when applied to the surface of the mesh, since 8-bit grayscale images which contain 256 gray levels. In ZBrush examples (located on the left) you can see that the surface of the mesh has a better quality, it has an excellent smoothing definition (not having the pixelated effect) and does not generate a geometry with problems on its surface, since 16- bit images which contain over 65,000 gray levels. In my opinion, 3D-Coat switching from 8-bit to 16-bit would give users an incredible and spectacular detailing power (whether in the area of sculpture or in the painting area) similar or even better than what we find in ZBrush. ----- 2) New Alpha Pallete: (These functions, if implemented, could be part of the Paint Room as well. ) I think 3D-Coat could improve a lot in the area of alphas. This suggestion for a new Alpha-related palette would bring the user important and useful functions as well as an instant preview for the user to observe the changes that would be made to the alpha being manipulated. -- Features and Functions: . Flip H: It would flips the alpha left-to-right, making it a mirror-image of itself. . Flip V: It would flips the alpha top-to-bottom, making it a mirror-image of itself. . Tiles H: The H Tiles would tile the selected alpha along the horizontal access. The H Tiles could have a different value then the V Tiles to would create unique tileable alphas. . Tiles V: The V Tiles would tile the selected alpha along the vertical access. The V Tiles could have a different value then the H Tiles to would create unique tileable alphas. . Offset H: The Offset H would offset the image horizontally. . Offset V: The Offset V would offset the image vertically. . Distort Image: The distort image would be the same found in the Preview Options of Stencils and Smart Material. This would works similar to liquify brush of photoshop. . MidValue: (Very IMPORTANT feature) - Mid Value would set the zero displacement value. If would set to 1, then white would be considered zero displacement and all sculpting would push in on the model. If would set to 0, then black would be considered zero displacement and all sculpting would push out of the model. Setting Mid Value between 0 and 1 could allows you to sculpting in and out at the same time. . Surface: (Very IMPORTANT feature) - The Surface button mode would automatically defines the best middle gray value for your alpha. It would allows you to add details from the alpha to your sculpt without destroying details already on the surface. . Filters: Curves, Levels, Dodge, Burn, Threshold, Invert, Gaussian Blur, Motion Blur, Unsharp Mask, Noise e etc... The idea of the filters would be to completely refine the Alpha. You could choose how many filters were needed and these filters would appear in the order you choose in the list on the side. The user through the Eye button icon could or could not see the Filter, thus the filter would become active or not. The user could delete, duplicate and change the order of the filters in the list. Just as you could save and load the list with the filters and their respective properties that were previously configured. The user could create a new alpha from the list that would appear in the Alphas palette. And best of all is that this filter would be non-destructive, all properties and values would be permanent and would be changed at the time users wanted. ----- 3) Alpha Capture from sculpt: Capture Depth information in 16 Bits to create Alphas with ease. To make life easier for the user and further improve the creation of alphas within 3D-Coat, this new tool through a function similar to that of programs that capture the computer screen by dragging a rectangle, would be able to capture the information of the Depth of the geometry surface and could efficiently generate a 16 Bit Alpha of that surface of the sculpted mesh. This generated Alpha would automatically appear in the alphas palette. ---> Important New features for better Brushes control: ----- 4) Imbed and Gravity: - Imbed: (very IMPORTANT feature) The Brush Imbed would control the embed of selected brush. Brush Imbed would gives a brush a definite control on how a brush would interact with a surface. This would allow a slight deformation on the surface or a more extreme deformation on the surface. - Gravity: It would allows you to add gravity to your brush strokes, giving it a draping effect. Through an Orientation function, gravity could be oriented to the Z axis and thus change the direction of gravity. ----- 5) Topological area of influence function for the Move Tool and Pose Tool: (Very Important feature) When the user activates this option, the surface of the mesh would have a restricted degree of influence to perform the deformation of the mesh surface. Example: Close or open the eyelids (when moving the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid would not be moved) or the mouth (when moving the lower lip, the upper lip would not be moved) according to the area of influence of the brush configured through properties that would aid in the refinement of this function. Since 3D-Coat is not attached to a topology, I had thought the following solution to this problem would be the possibility of 3D-Coat using the Calculation of Curvature used in the Smart material system to be able to identify the surface of the model and thus 3D-Coat could have concrete information on how the program could restrict an area, even if that area is in contact with another area. ----- 6) Changes made to Proxy Slider could have compatibility in Sculpt Layers: At the moment, when the user works with models at any resolution in the Proxy Slider and returns to the normal model, all layers in the Sculpt Layers are lost. ----- 7) Clip Mask Layers on Sculpt Layers. (Very Important feature) This would be really important for detail control on the surface of the mesh in a non-destructive way. ----- 8. The Snake, Spike, ToothPaste and Muscles objects could have better compatibility in Surface Mode (so there are no problems stopping the program or at times not accepting the operation) and a very important thing, they could be compatible with Sculpt Layers. I've already emailed @Andrew Shpagin about all of these suggestions. There are many other functions and tools I could list here, but in my opinion, these suggestions explained above, would already give all artists who use 3D-Coat a huge improvement in the work. What do you think? Please help make it happen! Thank you
RabenWulf posted a topic in General 3DCoatAfter using a variety of software and looking at the 3D Coat interface a bit... I wanted to go ahead and start a new or current UI update thread. More specifically these are my personal recommendations and or solutions to polishing up the Interface. One of the first things I noticed with 3D Coat is that it suffers the same problem Mari does, in other words... its filled with micromanaging panels and wasted screen real-estate. If Andrew is going to keep adding functionality and features to 3D Coat, refining the Interface and freeing up some space will be a huge benefit. For example, layer masks in the layer stack will probably require a beefier layer stack panel. Starting off this thread, I want to bring some attention to the Brush Panel and through it the Alpha, Strips, Stencil and Material Panels. Together, they simply take up too much space and much of their interactions require what is happening with the Brush itself. From this perspective, we can see a lot of space can be saved if these panels were simply not there.... yet we need to interact with them. They currently take up way too much space, and also offer very little organized interaction. Some users start to become overloaded with custom materials, alphas, strips and stencils... What if all of this can be consolidated within the Brush Panel itself? This solution can streamline the interface and remove the panel micromanagement. Like many other 3D packages, it creates input fields in one location, rather than toggling on and off various alphas and materials spread out across many open panels. Above: Clicking on input boxes within the Brush Options panel will cause a pop up panel to appear. Within are the actual alphas and materials that can be used for that input. Instead of layers upon layers of tabs for categories, they can be placed alphabetically in a pulldown menu. Alternatively, some other method can be used, but the stacks of tabs we have now is not ideal in the long term. What you also see is the ability to save presets (ala Photoshop and Substance Painter). Whatever material, alpha, strip, brush setting can be saved as a brush preset, much like with sculpting it can now apply to painting as well. This will open up the door later down the line for photoshop like brush selection and user created brushes (painting)... especially if the brush system continues to add more types of behavior. Since the Brush settings are not always going to be accessed, especially with presets, it should be able to be collapsed under a "settings" header. In addition to migrating the panels over as input areas within the Brush panel, the actual Brush Operations panel can also exist within the Brush Options panel. This organizes and keeps brush related functions within the same UI space, which will not only make it easier to interact with but also adds a bit of convention to the UI. The Brush Panel should, in my opinion, try to be the central attribute editor for almost everything that interacts with it and can require some form of input. While these graphics are mainly focused around the painting room, I believe the same can work with the sculpting room as well, maybe minus the Smart Material input field (or included if the option for painting and sculpting are combined in some fashion similar to zbrush). I also wonder if the Brush Panel can have an option to be context sensitive so that it transitions to tool options based on the tool selected. For example, the fill tool (brush) which gives the options to fill a surface or mask it out. A lot of the inputs found above the viewport can actually be consolidated into these context sensitive panels... such as the "more on convex, less on convext" list. Feel free to contribute with your own solutions or changes, since its better to keep this kind of subject all in one place.