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johnnycore

Selling my 3DCoat license $225!

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Hi guys,

Im sad to announce that I will be leaving this community by selling my 3DCoat license..

I've enjoyed my time with 3DCoat for the past year, learned alot but sadly I have not been able to use it properly in my production workflow due to performance issues mostly.

I will be using ZBrush and Mari from now on; I might return somewhere in the future, I will be keeping an eye on 3DCoat development and might pick it up again.

I will mostly miss this community and the support team, all of you were great!

I will be selling my license for $225.

First come, first served!

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Hi guys,

Im sad to announce that I will be leaving this community by selling my 3DCoat license..

I've enjoyed my time with 3DCoat for the past year, learned alot but sadly I have not been able to use it properly in my production workflow due to performance issues mostly.

I will be using ZBrush and Mari from now on; I might return somewhere in the future, I will be keeping an eye on 3DCoat development and might pick it up again.

I will mostly miss this community and the support team, all of you were great!

I will be selling my license for $225.

First come, first served!

Sorry to hear that. Could you elaborate on the phrase "Performance Issues?" I've been trying to emphasize how important it is to address some of the current bottlenecks, for a few years. But it's fallen on deaf ears, in favor of more and more small-scale features (low-haning fruit).

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Sorry to hear that. Could you elaborate on the phrase "Performance Issues?" I've been trying to emphasize how important it is to address some of the current bottlenecks, for a few years. But it's fallen on deaf ears, in favor of more and more small-scale features (low-haning fruit).

First I tell you something about my work:

I mostly create architectural assets for dutch museums, I visualize old castles, how they looked like back then and I port them to a game engine and they are being displayed on a big touchscreen.

At first I used all areas in 3D-Coat voxels, surface, retopo, uv's, ptex, painting

But one by one everything seems to fail for me lately, I used to be able to work with all tools with no problems I found problems and tought of workarounds for them.

- voxel room is not powerfull enough, I cant take most of my models high enough to get the detail I want, in the voxel room I can get up to 30 mil voxels which will give me some slowdowns which I dont like to work with

- thats why I use surface mode, but still its not powerfull enough, LiveClay allows me to get insane details but lately it has been creating holes after a few hours of intesnsive sculpting so I cant really rely on it anymore, I've got a few corrupt scenes I cant even open anymore

- retopo room is great but it is not good enough for architectural stuff, or hardsuface models, it is really really hard to get nice/ tight geometry for this, I usually end up getting a quite organic shape. Organic shapes not too bad when I use displacement maps, but for game engine's I cant really use proper displacement maps (unity), the retopo room also create small errors which are not able to fix in 3d coat, I have to go into my main 3d application for that for example some triangles some unmerged verticies

- paint room is also really great but it is really slow, especially when using bigger brushes and/or big texture sizes, I really wish to see some raw power in there in the near future, same for the voxel room

- I dont really have anything to say about the UV room, it has become the most reliable room for me now, what I dont like about it are the colors. Sometimes its really hard to see the seams

Some general stuff thats been bugging me:

- In any room: the depth range is really odd, I usually use between 0% to 3%, I think it would be better if these values would be remapped from 0% - 10% to 0% - 100%, I think it would give more control

- I dont really like the lighting in the viewport, ambient light, primary light, I usually end up with different shades of textures because of that, this is something I had to keep in mind. Still not sure what settings are optimal

- Sometimes the camera is really hard to navigate, when creating retopology in small areas or creating uv's, not sure how one would solve that

- but the main kicker for me would be the performance in voxel/paint room, I have a desktop which has at least 4 times more power than my laptop but I get the identical performance, I'd expected it to be a big difference

Sorry to all you guys for reading all of this, there are actually more stuff but I cant remember them at this moment I really hope for some raw power improvements and more refinement

Every once in a while I will be checking to see how its going, I think 3DCoat has some great potential.. :)

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First I tell you something about my work:

I mostly create architectural assets for dutch museums, I visualize old castles, how they looked like back then and I port them to a game engine and they are being displayed on a big touchscreen.

At first I used all areas in 3D-Coat voxels, surface, retopo, uv's, ptex, painting

But one by one everything seems to fail for me lately, I used to be able to work with all tools with no problems I found problems and tought of workarounds for them.

- voxel room is not powerfull enough, I cant take most of my models high enough to get the detail I want, in the voxel room I can get up to 30 mil voxels which will give me some slowdowns which I dont like to work with

- thats why I use surface mode, but still its not powerfull enough, LiveClay allows me to get insane details but lately it has been creating holes after a few hours of intesnsive sculpting so I cant really rely on it anymore, I've got a few corrupt scenes I cant even open anymore

- retopo room is great but it is not good enough for architectural stuff, or hardsuface models, it is really really hard to get nice/ tight geometry for this, I usually end up getting a quite organic shape. Organic shapes not too bad when I use displacement maps, but for game engine's I cant really use proper displacement maps (unity), the retopo room also create small errors which are not able to fix in 3d coat, I have to go into my main 3d application for that for example some triangles some unmerged verticies

- paint room is also really great but it is really slow, especially when using bigger brushes and/or big texture sizes, I really wish to see some raw power in there in the near future, same for the voxel room

- I dont really have anything to say about the UV room, it has become the most reliable room for me now, what I dont like about it are the colors. Sometimes its really hard to see the seams

Some general stuff thats been bugging me:

- In any room: the depth range is really odd, I usually use between 0% to 3%, I think it would be better if these values would be remapped from 0% - 10% to 0% - 100%, I think it would give more control

- I dont really like the lighting in the viewport, ambient light, primary light, I usually end up with different shades of textures because of that, this is something I had to keep in mind. Still not sure what settings are optimal

- Sometimes the camera is really hard to navigate, when creating retopology in small areas or creating uv's, not sure how one would solve that

- but the main kicker for me would be the performance in voxel/paint room, I have a desktop which has at least 4 times more power than my laptop but I get the identical performance, I'd expected it to be a big difference

Sorry to all you guys for reading all of this, there are actually more stuff but I cant remember them at this moment I really hope for some raw power improvements and more refinement

Every once in a while I will be checking to see how its going, I think 3DCoat has some great potential.. :)

I hope you will add your vote (+1) to this request...so Andrew doesn't think I am the only one harping about the performance issues you just mentioned. Been trying for over 2yrs now

http://3d-coat.com/m...view.php?id=772

Also, it might help to send Andrew and email (support@3d-coat.com), and paste the content of your post. Not enough people are sounding off about this, and things WILL NOT change until they do. Addressing performance shortcomings require a great effort from any developer. This is why it's been ignored all this time, in favor of picking the low-hanging fruit...of adding features that are much easier to code. Andrew did try to address it a few years ago with the CPU multi-threading work, but it would have been more effective to invest that time in offloading the heavy work on the GPU. The performance issues aren't that apparent until you start to push the application. That's because the CPU has it's limits. This is why Mudbox went from CPU driven to GPU driven, with the release of 2009. With that move they stole the performance crown overnight.

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Wow, I agree with a lot of what Johnnycore said. I have experienced those very same problems as well.

On the other hand I don't want to sell my 3D-Coat license!

I use 3D-Coat together with Zbrush, Maya, and several other applications. When 3D-Coat starts to let me down I usually just switch over to something else to get the work done, but then I often come right back to 3D-Coat. Yes, it is buggy and lets me down a lot, but I still like to use it very much. There are many aspects of 3D-Coat which are much much better than other apps.

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We need more people like him, everything (really) he said I encountered and keep encountering. Those are VALID points. The other day someone told me I was "nice" with my voxel room what doesn't feel right. The fact is: there's so much to change I just tried to be progressive, there's so much more in store but I don't want to scare the devs... and yet most of the crits are still valid in that post.

@AbnRanger

"This is why Mudbox went from CPU driven to GPU driven, with the release of 2009. With that move they stole the performance crown overnight."

Yes, and there'll be another challenger (dare I say "THE" ? ) in a few short years...

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We need more people like him, everything (really) he said I encountered and keep encountering. Those are VALID points. The other day someone told me I was "nice" with my voxel room what doesn't feel right. The fact is: there's so much to change I just tried to be progressive, there's so much more in store but I don't want to scare the devs... and yet most of the crits are still valid in that post.

@AbnRanger

Yes, and there'll be another challenger (dare I say "THE" ? ) in a few short years...

Beat...with all due respect, I feel like you are trying to make 3D Coat look like Zbrush. I don't want that. Sure, you may like things the way they work there and the layout....but frankly, I don't see nearly as much wrong with the UI as you do. There are some quirky things here and there, sure. But again, I'm more concerned with raw performance and stability. Much less about the UI. It is fine as it is, in my opinion. Leagues better than ZBrush. If the app is fast and stable, then let's focus on what can be refined in the UI and all.

The point I have been trying to drive home, to Andrew and Raul, is that Performance and Stability are absolutely essential...not secondary. Andrew says CUDA is buggy and that updating/expanding it will be time consuming and for little gain. My response is this...when it hasn't been recompiled for the recent versions (installed with recent drivers), how can you not expect there to be some conflicts? Secondly, after hearing a lot of complaints about the slowness of the Smoothing in 3D Coat, Andrew coded CUDA Smooth Boost. It makes a BIG difference! How then could using CUDA more widely throughout the application (All of the brushing and deformation tools) only yield minimal improvements? If it's time-consuming, then can another programmer not be contracted temporarily, to help? If this application is going to get more traction in the industry, these two areas have to be addressed.

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I think theres still improvement to be found in CPU rather than GPU.

If you look at this video:

Clarisse is fully CPU based, however this is not even close to being a sculping software.

I just wanted to point out that CPU is still being underestimated.

Dont get me wrong I LOVE CUDA but I think it might be a big pain in the ass to program all of this, I know a few CUDA developers they all say its really hard to program CUDA stuff because you have to streamline every processes if one processes is slowing down, they all do.

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Beat...with all due respect, I feel like you are trying to make 3D Coat look like Zbrush. I don't want that. Sure, you may like things the way they work there and the layout....but frankly, I don't see nearly as much wrong with the UI as you do. There are some quirky things here and there, sure. But again, I'm more concerned with raw performance and stability. Much less about the UI. It is fine as it is, in my opinion. Leagues better than ZBrush. If the app is fast and stable, then let's focus on what can be refined in the UI and all.

NOT...EVEN...REMOTELY ;)

This shows just how much there's a need to communicate about potential changes with the community, obviously small commitee didn't work because it didn't have enough voices to be convincing.

Now I just want to clarify a few things with you: I completely agree with you, even with all the pitfall and wrong choices in the ui workings, I still think 3dc is still better than zbrush because it's STANDARD.

I don't want to turn it into another alien paradigm like zbrush did.

I just want things to make sense in an industry kind of way, you don't rename things or change their visual meaning when using ui item that have been "standardized" by giants like adobe or even zbrush (sic).

Why reinvent the wheel when you can build over years of standardization and improve on that. We have the windows which everyone know, we have the panels that everyone know, we can dock, we have icons, tickboxes, dropdown etc Everything is standard.

All that is needed is logical reordering of the ui item and grouping some of those into cohesive sections. Not to have to wander into separate panels for thing that should be considered to be tools of the same area of the app (why use stroke color options in options panel and have the color picker in another panel for instance ? Why separating the color picker and color swatches when we could have collapsable sections to show one or both in the same panel ?)

Now that said: I agree the top priority should be on stabilization and performances. I absolutely agree, but I still keep in a corner of my mind that 3dc v4 is due soon, and if I don't voice my concern about those issues too, they'll just be ignored and I'll just have to go back to where I was about a year before, waiting to have predictable/ergonomic tools. The thing that Andrew promised for v4.

In a few short words: If I don't speak now, it's probably never, cause I won't buy v4 if it doesn't have both stability and tools that actually work in a logical environment !

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I think theres still improvement to be found in CPU rather than GPU.

If you look at this video:

Clarisse is fully CPU based, however this is not even close to being a sculping software.

I just wanted to point out that CPU is still being underestimated.

Dont get me wrong I LOVE CUDA but I think it might be a big pain in the ass to program all of this, I know a few CUDA developers they all say its really hard to program CUDA stuff because you have to streamline every processes if one processes is slowing down, they all do.

If you know of a few CUDA developers then point them out to Andrew....maybe he can contract one of them to help in this area. As for difficulty...well, I think that is where a lot of development has gone into librabries (for developers to drop in) and the Visual Profiler, which searches for these inefficiencies/performance bottlenecks, and provides solutions to them.

I think OpenACC might be the best way, going forward. It is much, much easier for developers. They generally can keep all of their current code (including CUDA) and simply insert directives (hints) that offload the task to the GPU instead of the CPU. This would be hardware agnostic, so anyone can use it. When you look at smoothing alone...CUDA Smooth Boost makes a big difference over the CPU....so it's not about tweaking the CPU some more. The gpu is just much better at this sort of task.

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Lot of dev told me that GPU is not the futur cause of many issues (rasterisation,RAM).

Xeon phi is something that many of them are waiting for.

RAM is much less of a concern now. You can find 3-4GB consumer cards rather easily.

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RAM is much less of a concern now. You can find 3-4GB consumer cards rather easily.

It's far from being good enough , and the bus limitation is about 8 GB.

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My use of 3D-Coat is currently pretty limited, so I can't comment about most of the issues you raise. I use LightWave Modeler for hard surface modeling, and its UV tools pretty much suck, so I use 3D-Coat for initial UV map generation/unwrapping, and Maya where good lower level UV tools are needed. Maya's hard surface model UV tools are pretty good, and organic/unwrap tools also decent, but 3DC's are faster in terms of getting the UV islands initially defined and uniformly parameterized. Anyway, I do have a few comments based own 20+ years now in software dev. johnnycore's list of stability or performance issues is so long that most developers I know, if confronted with it, would just let it "fall on the floor" (too much information).

My thought on what work I would think it best for Andrew to work on in a drive up to release of v4, based on my own , are:

* stability -- because there can still be things that are awkward, or features not yet there, or performance not being great in some areas, but if the user experience is frequently punctuated by crashes, most users will reluctantly move on. And a reputation for instability can ultimately sink an app and be hard to dispel once it gets that reputation.

* UI freeze -- Adoption of a new app is so heavily dependent on user documentation and videos/tutorials. Even if there are some inconsistencies or rough patches in workflow, those videos especially can explain those things. However, both of these things can quickly become either confusing or invalid if the user interface keeps changing. Those quality and scope of those (YouTube) videos is, I think, critical to bring new users in. This also implies temporarily putting a moratorium on feature additions.

* performance -- I would caution against significant architectural changes to try to achieve better performance this late in the v3 cycle. I think the key for driving toward the v4 release would be to try to identify the places where (inadequate) performance is going to have the greatest impact on the general professional user experience and which also would not require major re-writes (which WILL introduce additional bugs and probably new instabilities and lengthen the v3 dev cycle). The best time in a development cycle to do architectural changes is at the beginning of a product version cycle so the impact of these changes can have a long bake time (beta user testing).

* Make sure those app-links are working with the current versions of the software they link with. I think it's great that folks outside of 3DC have contributed these, but they have to work well for the key link apps or 3DC will look bad regardless of who initially developed them.

The hard work for those of you who do use 3DC and really push it to its limits is to try to help Andrew to focus on say the top 1-3 areas which are of greatest concern -- especially ones which you believe truly limit wider adoption of the app when these constrains become known. If 3DC v4 initial release is stable, well documented, and has adequate performance (on a hardware platform at least up to some well documented minimum standard) for the majority of users, it should be well received (and bring in needed new-customer-purchase revenue), and then the developers can have the breathing room to review their architectural decisions and begin the long process of redesign. Maybe even add staff!

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I'm glad I found this post, I actually GAVE my license to a "real" artist, unlike myself, and after two days of using it and swearing she was never going back to zbrush.......she emailed me and said the following:

"Hey, I really love almost everything thing about this damn program!! But I do have a major concern that could be a deal breaker.....once you start pushing it a little bit, you can feel it slows down dramatically. I love it, I really do!!!, but you can have your license back because until the performance goes up (maybe more than 2 notches!!!) then we can talk money!!!"

And yes, this is a QUOTE.....She loves exclamation marks.

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I'm not nearly as experienced with 3DC as those above, but I can say that I haven't really had any huge performance impacts and I've created over a dozen different models from 3DC over the last month and a half. I built my computer, which may be part of this. Most of my specs are below in the signature line. The biggest performance issues I've seen are when you've got a bigger-sized brush going against too many voxels at once (higher resolution voxel mesh) and when I need the Retopo room to create a mesh from strokes, where the strokes clearly don't make sense. I have to go in and really think about how my stokes "play" against the deformations...but that is to be expected and helps you learn why and how you should go about retopology. It still does a better job of this than most packages out there, from my perspective.

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I'm not nearly as experienced with 3DC as those above, but I can say that I haven't really had any huge performance impacts and I've created over a dozen different models from 3DC over the last month and a half. I built my computer, which may be part of this. Most of my specs are below in the signature line. The biggest performance issues I've seen are when you've got a bigger-sized brush going against too many voxels at once (higher resolution voxel mesh) and when I need the Retopo room to create a mesh from strokes, where the strokes clearly don't make sense. I have to go in and really think about how my stokes "play" against the deformations...but that is to be expected and helps you learn why and how you should go about retopology. It still does a better job of this than most packages out there, from my perspective.

Yes, that is correct. It's large brush radius's on large assets. However, much has been done to steer around that limitation (Multi-Res works a treat...and the performance on the proxy's is usually amazing). LiveClay also focuses on optimizing the topology so one doesn't need an uber heavy subd level on the whole object.

After V4 is officially launched, I am going to keep reminding Andrew about the large brush limitation, and see if maybe he can't look into OpenACC...which should be card and OS agnostic, while also being quick and easier to implement than than lower level programming like CUDA or OpenCL. If he can give large brush performance in the Paint Room, a kick in the pants, it opens 3D Coat up to a whole new market. Film and Game Cinematics...who basically rely on Mari (which costs $2k + Maintenance fees). Pretty sure Mudbox is still limited to 4k per UV maps/tiles, and the painting toolset is no where near as extensive as 3D Coat's is.

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I've never been a fan of Mudbox, and the only thing going for it was spec maps for me. 3DC has that. Reflection maps, built-in, would put it over the top for me.

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I am am very very new to 3dcoat, I agree with the slow down issue but I can live with it (ish) what really spoils it for me are holes in my mesh when I bring in a Zbrush mesh for retopology.

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Ha I will have a look into that, but the mesh is fine in Zbrush and other packages, its just when it hits 3Dcoat the mesh falls to peices. There is a lot I still have to learn ..

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The only thing I can say is that Voxels don't handle thin meshes well...if you have a sheet, then it will rip it apart the smoother you try to go. ZBrush does the same thing, but there are ways around it.

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Have you tried to merge into the voxel room and checked "merge without voxelizing"...? Can you show a screen grab of this happening (simply click ALT + SHIFT + S)? Seeing what the settings are, will help.

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