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3DCoat features you would like to see resolved

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To note, this thread is not going to be a place where people request entirely new features or tools, just the limitations currently seen in existing features that you would like to see removed.

I also think it may not be that productive to talk about some of the very obvious ones that we know exist, but will take a major undertaking to resolve.

 

And please remember to use our Online Vote System to +1 any feature request

 

Ty !

 

Ty Ace Dragon, im paraphrasing him.

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The topic is a bit more limited in scope then I was hoping for when mentioning it in the other thread, ie. the future of 3DCoat.

 

I'd like to talk about the goals Andrew has for it in the long term and what needs to change for it to achieve greater success then it has. For instance, does Andrew have any sort of business strategy for 3DC?

 

Also I think it's worth talking about the perception of 3DCoat outside these forums. I know it's probably taboo to bring this up around here, but:

 

"its really weird that on the "Download" page there is like a 10 page Dear Diary religious rant. It's cool dude if you are into that but IMO it shouldn't be on your product website." -user on the Polycount forums

 

Feature wise, everyone already knows that I really want changes to the paint room. Layer groups, transferable layer masks, and the removal of the 'feature' that deletes and makes it impossible to have paint outside UV shell borders, all being at the top of that list.

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Ok. Here we go.

 

Now that the autopo algorithm is corrected.

Where does it fit in the pipeline ?

 

1) At the end of the sculpt, you want a ready mesh quickly.

 

In that case it's only for static meshes right ? Because the topology is not animation friendly. (It's not the core of my argument btw, it's just a side thought, see below)

 

2)As an intermediary step during the sculpting phase

 

That's where I would say it could be useful, problem is: what's the point of having a somewhat proper poly flow if you don't use it in your software ?

I mean in zbrush you get quads, somewhat proper edge looping, you can divide, add details, reproject details from the "liveclay" mesh and you can step down for bigger change without completely destroying your topology. The transition between clean mesh and freeform mesh is painless.

In 3dcoat you can divide, add details, but everything else before is lost AND if you add details with liveclay/removestretching the entire benefit of retopology is lost. You can't even switch between the two at will because you'll lose your sculpt details everytime.

 

This is what makes me raise an eyebrow. It could, like in zbrush, be an helper during the sculpt process, but 3dcoat has tools much more advanced (dynamic tesselation) but no "real" subdivision engine. So at this point, you get a nice clean mesh, but you're stuck with a rigid "cage" unless you destroy it with liveclay brushes.

You see what I mean, it's a one way process, you lose everything before and you can't go back if you use the advanced tools. You're stuck with a mesh you can't "REALLY" change (surface brushes without removestretching are generating ugly shading and stepping down is only possible through a slow proxy mode).

Andrew needs to adress this, I mean with the freeform engines you can get your base shapes in no times, what's the point of retopology if when you "sanitize" your mesh you can't really alter it after that ?

If Andrew doesn't want to devote time for a full blown subdiv system (which I understand), he at least, needs to add a reproject system, to give the user the ability to switch between the two paradigm without losing all the work.

 

I want to add that this is the kind of thinking that imo is missing in 3dcoat: When Andrew adds something, he doesn't (or at least it looks like he doesn't) try to see where the new features could be integrated in the app to benefit the user workflow.

Trying to create new use for a tool you created to solve one problem always result in a more efficient and streamlined experience for the user, you don't have to create two tools, you have one, it's easier to remember and if you use it in one room for instance you expect to have somewhat "similar" action in another room.

This also start by opening the tool parameters (for instance I really miss a mask smoothing multiplier, on very high res meshes it takes forever to make smooth transitions with the pose tool), like you did with the preset system, Artman did a fantastic job with it.

That's something pixologic perfectly understand, for instance, remesh became dynamesh and dynamesh was used as the base of the new zremesher. They have many tools with the same functions under the hood, but they added tiny "macro" functions in the tools that makes them very valuable (even if it means you could achieve the same result with the older function and a macro yourself, it's still a more efficient workflow). Another example: "group masked and clear mask" in Zbrush 4R6, it's basically "group masked" and a simulated key press, still it merge two action the user would have done manualy in the past.

 

"The devil is in the details" :)

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I mean in zbrush you get quads, somewhat proper edge looping, you can divide, add details, reproject details from the "liveclay" mesh and you can step down for bigger change without completely destroying your topology. The transition between clean mesh and freeform mesh is painless.

In 3dcoat you can divide, add details, but everything else before is lost AND if you add details with liveclay/removestretching the entire benefit of retopology is lost. You can't even switch between the two at will because you'll lose your sculpt details everytime.

 

This is what makes me raise an eyebrow. It could, like in zbrush, be an helper during the sculpt process, but 3dcoat has tools much more advanced (dynamic tesselation) but no "real" subdivision engine. So at this point, you get a nice clean mesh, but you're stuck with a rigid "cage" unless you destroy it with liveclay brushes.

You see what I mean, it's a one way process, you lose everything before and you can't go back if you use the advanced tools.

 

The workflow is too one way indeed.

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A more nondestructive workflow would be ideal...one in which there is a more meaningful connection between the highpoly sculpt and whatever has been imported, or whatever is being exported.

 

I often find that anything I do in 3D Coat for previs or design purposes has to be redone by the modelers because they don't use triangle meshes and the polycounts are way to high for rendering purposes.  It's most apparent when I create something in a modeling app like Blender, Maya or Nvil, then merge to 3D coat as a voxel merge item.  Once I sculpt on it, there's no going back, unless I retopo it, which defeats the purpose of me trying to do some quick 3D previs work.

 

So often times I end up getting designs approved based on a cool 3D sculpt that I made, and then knowing that the modelers will only be able to use it as a retopo mesh if they want to continue working on it or try to remake it from scratch in Maya.  It causes me to avoid 3D Coat altogether, often just modeling stuff with subD's in Blender, which I know will save the modelers a ton of time afterwards.

 

Not sure how this could be addressed, but if I come up with ideas, I will share them here.

 

-G

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This just means that as groundbreaking  as voxel/surface/liveclay sculpting is for freeform and carefree sculpting, in real production environments the traditional multi res sculpting of zbrush is still the most important factor when choosing a scultping app. 3dcoat is great for creating the base roughs for sculpting but when you get to details and revisions its not so straightforward to manage.

It would be great if the sculpting room was developed like a zbrush sculpting room. Too much focus on voxels/surface/liveclay imho.

Edited by geo_n

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I disagree where this is going since both Mudbox and Zbrush have now implemented imitation retopo systems that copy 3d Coat, so obviously Andrew is onto something. What needs to be resolved is how retopo's problems work out in the end. It's an ongoing work and sometimes that can be a  messy and frustrating process. I think he's onto the correct workflow myself.

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In voxel sculpt room:

 

Move tool - depth setting has no effect. There's no way to make 'gentle' movements. This feature is in both zbrush and mudbox, and is incredibly useful.

 

Draw contour - no smoothing/steady stroke. Without any smoothing option the shapes always have a jittery edge from the raw tablet input.

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Lack of dual monitor support is something I'd like to see addressed, even if it just means allowing windows to be positioned outside the main window instead of always being child windows.

 

I think it would be tremendously useful if users were able to provide their own variation of fx/cg shader used by the paint room with a toggle to switch between the standard and custom shader. This would allow us to paint models that rendered the final texture data (color,specular,emissive,normal) in custom ways as needed by game development. This would mainly be useful for animated effects.

 

The current architecture of supporting only color, specular, emissive and normal channels is a pretty big limitation as compared to Mudbox's more flexible channel support. It would be very helpful if we were able to define the texture channels we want, assign them to a UV set, and bind them to inputs of the display shader which would be customizable per scene (with a default setup that behaves as it does now).

 

 

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Lack of dual monitor support is something I'd like to see addressed, even if it just means allowing windows to be positioned outside the main window instead of always being child windows.

 

I think it would be tremendously useful if users were able to provide their own variation of fx/cg shader used by the paint room with a toggle to switch between the standard and custom shader. This would allow us to paint models that rendered the final texture data (color,specular,emissive,normal) in custom ways as needed by game development. This would mainly be useful for animated effects.

 

The current architecture of supporting only color, specular, emissive and normal channels is a pretty big limitation as compared to Mudbox's more flexible channel support. It would be very helpful if we were able to define the texture channels we want, assign them to a UV set, and bind them to inputs of the display shader which would be customizable per scene (with a default setup that behaves as it does now).

 

It would definitely be nice to have the attribute editors in a side monitor with the main  monitor devoted to full screen sculpting and painting.

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The workflow is too one way indeed.

 

 

This just means that as groundbreaking  as voxel/surface/liveclay sculpting is for freeform and carefree sculpting, in real production environments the traditional multi res sculpting of zbrush is still the most important factor when choosing a scultping app. 3dcoat is great for creating the base roughs for sculpting but when you get to details and revisions its not so straightforward to manage.

It would be great if the sculpting room was developed like a zbrush sculpting room. Too much focus on voxels/surface/liveclay imho.

 

I totally disagree with this. Quad-based subdivision has it's own share of drawbacks, and because of this ZBrush has NO CHANCE to ever have dynamic/local subdivision....which is the future of digital sculpting. THEY are clinging to old technology, and it's so old that the only thing they can do is try and copy what they can from 3D Coat. 80% of the ZBrush R4 cycle is a direct pilfering attempt from 3D Coat's toolbox. Why then, should Andrew try to switch to what they are doing? If I thought that ZBrush and Mudbox's sculpting paradigm was superior, I'd be using them instead. I have a seat of Mudbox, and I CHOOSE not to use it. Every time I think about using it to do some sculpting, I'm reminded of what I'd be giving up to do so.

 

You have different levels of subdivision in 3D Coat, and you can get as crazy as you want with detail in 3D Coat, so I don't understand the angst against Andrew's work. The ONLY thing it lacks is Sculpt layers IN THE VOXEL ROOM. However, you do have sculpt layers in the Paint Room, and it's much more efficient than working with geometry. But Andrew said he would try to bring Sculpt layers into the Voxel Room after V4 was officially released.

Edited by AbnRanger

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I totally disagree with this. Quad-based subdivision has it's own share of drawbacks, and because of this ZBrush has NO CHANCE to ever have dynamic/local subdivision....which is the future of digital sculpting. THEY are clinging to old technology, and it's so old that the only thing they can do is try and copy what they can from 3D Coat. 80% of the ZBrush R4 cycle is a direct pilfering attempt from 3D Coat's toolbox. Why then, should Andrew try to switch to what they are doing? If I thought that ZBrush and Mudbox's sculpting paradigm was superior, I'd be using them instead. I have a seat of Mudbox, and I CHOOSE not to use it. Every time I think about using it to do some sculpting, I'm reminded of what I'd be giving up to do so.

 

You have different levels of subdivision in 3D Coat, and you can get as crazy as you want with detail in 3D Coat, so I don't understand the angst against Andrew's work. The ONLY thing it lacks is Sculpt layers IN THE VOXEL ROOM. However, you do have sculpt layers in the Paint Room, and it's much more efficient than working with geometry. But Andrew said he would try to bring Sculpt layers into the Voxel Room after V4 was officially released.

:D

Now yer talkin'

 

But I haven't teh foggiest idea of what you mean by sculpt layers in the paint room...

Edited by L'Ancien Regime

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:D

Now yer talkin'

 

But I haven't teh foggiest idea of what you mean by sculpt layers in the paint room...

With each layer having a DEPTH channel, you effectively have a SCULPT layer...where you can mask part of the layer or dial up/down the amount of the layer. It's even more versatile because in the Paint Room, you also have the magnification tool, where you can paint changes in depth

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but... depth channel is for normals... isnt it ? :huh:

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If I thought that ZBrush and Mudbox's sculpting paradigm was superior, I'd be using them instead. I have a seat of Mudbox, and I CHOOSE not to use it. Every time I think about using it to do some sculpting, I'm reminded of what I'd be giving up to do so.

Then you are correct zbrush and mudbox are inferior. The hundreds of thousands of people who CHOOSE to use them are wrong and using inferior software. :D

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Then you are correct zbrush and mudbox are inferior. The hundreds of thousands of people who CHOOSE to use them are wrong and using inferior software. :D

Thousands of people use them cause that's all they've known for years. Just because a software has been on the market longer, it doesn't make it better. Mudbox is a really good example. It has some strengths, for sure....but it doesn't even touch 3D Coat in many different areas. No UV editing tools. No Retopo tools until they copied 3D Coatin MB2014. Same with Ptex.. No modeling tools. No Dynamic tessellation. No simultaneous painting of color spec and depth. No live normal map sculpting. No 2D and 3D side by side. I could go on. What bothers me the most is Andrew bends over backwards to accommodate many/most of our requests, to make the brushes feel/behave more like ZB or MB, and when he pulls it off, people...some of the same ones....continue to just bad mouth the software and Andrew's work.

 

If those apps are indeed so superior, then explain why they feel the need to be stealing pages from 3D Coat's playbook? Hmmmm? I'm not going to use those simply to follow the crowd.

Edited by AbnRanger
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You're confusing paradigm and innovations. Some paradigm may be older but with a few addition (copy ?) they still stand superior.

But that's true for both side here... 3dcoat doesn't allow switching between them, zbrush does (sculptris<>zbrush goz + zremesher and finally project all).

And so far in some areas the quad paradigm has been the chosen one, you can't expect to shake a few things if you don't give a bridge somehow (projection would be one).

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You're confusing paradigm and innovations. Some paradigm may be older but with a few addition (copy ?) they still stand superior.

But that's true for both side here... 3dcoat doesn't allow switching between them, zbrush does.

And so far in some areas the quad paradigm has been the chosen one, you can't expect to shake a few things if you don't give a bridge somehow (projection would be one).

I have to disagree on that. When I would try to sculpt in Mudbox, the quads would make it hard to avoid nasty stretching or trying to sculpt across the edgeflow, even after you subdivide a few times. I'm just not a fan of quad-based sculpting, and dynamesh is again, Pixologic's attempt to copy Voxels from 3D Coat. Plus, you STILL have no means of dynamic subdivision in either ZB or MB, and that is where the future of digital sculpting lies

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I think you're missing a few things, I'm not going for the pissing contest, but dynamesh is the extension of remesh which came way before andrew added liveclay.

Now, I honestly don't give a <swear word> who made what first, the result matters.

 

I'm defending the best, may it be a single guy doing awesome things or a multinational corporation with hundred of devs, and curiously it's not always about workforce and money, Dr.Petters was a game changer with a very simple very userfriendly app.

 

Now: quad based sculpting has limits I agree, zbrush is stuck (for now, but that'll change) with it and use the reprojection routine + autoretopo feature to cut the chase but you can still use sculptris (if you desire so, not my cup of tea but the possibility is here) to have dynamic tesselation over your mesh and get those changes back in zbrush either as tesselated result or reprojected quad based changes.

3dcoat ?:

 

Use full quads and use a limited proxy mode to step down (not a big problem but still less user friendly regarding speed) but that's not my point really.

My point is once you used liveclay/removestretching, if you want to go back to your broader/simpler shapes (for whatever reason an art director could shoot at you for instance) you use a destructive way: decimation/reduction, you alter your underlying shape.

There's no REAL going back. With quad based you step down smooth a bit, step up, resmooth a bit, and in the end you keep your previous shapes intact and get rid of "details" without altering your general shapes too much.

Also, and you can argue all you want and that's where the weak point of dynamic tesselation is: you always have a hard time controling your shapes around tight creases/ridges. It gets better, true, but it's definitely not as precise as quad based sculpting in that regard, and those are the risks and reward with this tech.

 

Btw: sparse voxel octree tech could help,... tremendously, and I'm talking from experience here (yet off topic I know).

 

Now again: not asking for a full fledged quad subdiv system, but reprojection is a must have, it actually makes sense now that Andrew fixed the auto retopo algorithm as it can be used as a "cleanup" function during sculpt.

You can use liveclay, make the changes you like, throw an autoretopo, reproject, and continue that cycle at will till you're statisfied and your mesh matches your output of choice (may it be static meshes, game meshes, animation friendly meshes)

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The only 2 things I would like to see in terms of sculpting is Sculpt layers in the Voxel Room and something like ZBrushes procedural noise (forget what they call it) tool. Raul started down that road with the General brush (LiveClay), but there needs to be a lot more procedural patterns/noise types.I personally don't see a need for re-projection, or intermediate re-meshing. Can't think of a single instance where I'd want to use anything remotely similar while working in the Voxel Room. Voxels and Surface mode switching and the Multi-Res workflow works well for me.

Edited by AbnRanger

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Good post Beat.

Comparing the relative merrits and weaknesses of two applications can only make sense if one really knows both approaches really well - hands on.

In your case, things do make sense.

Edited by polyxo

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Good post Beat.

Comparing the relative merrits and weaknesses of two applications can only make sense if one really knows both approaches really well - hands on.

In your case, things do make sense.

I could go over to a Mudbox forum and espouse the need for resampling a layer (instead of it being locked to a certain SubD level) to any amount...at any time.....or espouse the virtues of working on a proxy in a Multi-Res workflow. But they wouldn't care one way or the other. It's not relevant to their workflow. Reprojection is as foreign to 3D Coat, as Proxy's are to Mudbox. They are different apps doing the same work....differently.

 

Not everyone here is a ZBrush user, so if you want to extol certain features, show a cogent example of why it could work better than what is already available. I don't see it. I do with other ZBrush features, as I mentioned before...but not this.

Edited by AbnRanger

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I NEVER mentioned mudbox... you're being stubborn here ! I don't even consider it a competitor to 3dcoat now...

 

 

But they wouldn't care one way or the other. It's not relevant to their workflow. Reprojection is as foreign to 3D Coat, as Proxy's are to Mudbox. 

 

Of course, mudbox doesn't need proxy mode, you can step up/down anytime quickly !

 

[Edit] Ah well. You don't want it, fine, let's do what you want. Let's stay in a rigid linear workflow, we don't ever need to take advantage of autopo advancements. It's much better to use this tool for one thing only.

It's surely is every studio's dream to use a tool that doesn't allow big changes on an asset after an art direction change. We don't even need layers on photoshop too, we could paint everything on the background, it's much more efficient !

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I NEVER mentioned mudbox... you're being stubborn here ! I don't even consider it a competitor to 3dcoat now...

 

 

 

 

Of course, mudbox doesn't need proxy mode, you can step up/down anytime quickly !

 

[Edit] Ah well. You don't want it, fine, let's do what you want. Let's stay in a rigid linear workflow, we don't ever need to take advantage of autopo advancements. It's much better to use this tool for one thing only.

It's surely is every studio's dream to use a tool that doesn't allow big changes on an asset after an art direction change. We don't even need layers on photoshop too, we could paint everything on the background, it's much more efficient !

I used it as an example of trying to compare different tools in one to accomplish the same task in the other. The Multi Res tools in 3D Coat work fine for a voxel or triangulated mesh, but wouldn't be of any use in a quad based app, like Mudbox.

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