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Rygaard

Important: all about improvement of the Brushes, Alphas, Stencils and Textures system for 3D-Coat.

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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.
2114840114_alpha8bitsVSalpha16bits.thumb.jpg.58b2f31d6582ae81139ca5f301728ccc.jpg
 
----- 2) New Alpha Pallete: (These functions, if implemented, could be part of the Paint Room as well. )
alpha_pallete.JPG.f606aa7ec4da47cf7271a812642a4470.JPG
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.
image.png.970080d6de5110aaf35c9d5454172c2a.png
. Flip V: It would flips the alpha top-to-bottom, making it a mirror-image of itself.
image.png.d113d8909157f7163e3bea8e635447a7.png
. 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.
image.png.8932438ef26cdfaa5964a8072f386d91.png
. 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.
image.png.af93b6f3be6899063a1b3e954570ff37.png
. Offset H: The Offset H would offset the image horizontally.
image.png.8106a224a44f185da162c5330d71bdb4.png
. Offset V: The Offset V would offset the image vertically.
image.png.9ce6d498179390b264799d9d20303582.png
. 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.
image.png.fd8ed56a4635d3a74d0fc4f2f749ff0a.png
. 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.
image.png.e99856b098c7d9bdfbd19cf9de9904ec.pngimage.png.25676843c29f4c8b0e88f57c9a04afcc.png
. 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.
image.png.f57908d425e811269fd33c4fea9a47b2.png
. 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.
image.png.39c8e22773a458b40ebfeb1248d4fb40.png
image.png.0f90f3edaae33615003c294063a84c69.png
image.png.79ae2373dfa4830e8fe252e8d0b68413.png
image.png.84da2d45f42c8d44696c9c4da92f3c07.png
image.png.937d2922629be509acfeafed79217fc6.png
image.png.9f7391e8230a6842fec108554186845a.png
image.png.f3375a08e60f81448ccd15875fcfc573.png
image.png.9d4a8cc7e4637d9e821f1e80fef1d103.png
image.png.5e4fbad255940565d95b258ea0284f8d.png
image.png.280f3c451e9a6d2c44608e64155f7fd6.png
----- 3) Alpha Capture from sculpt:
Capture Depth information in 16 Bits to create Alphas with ease.
image.thumb.png.a68024b6c0ae216b97c43f29bf97c722.png
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:
image.png.c9e93fc903a68ba70a60d374b5894a1a.png
- 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:
image.png.5ddaef8f586365e9ca38344261867df2.png
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)
image.thumb.png.bbb28732a0457c6e10ff7307a536b54e.png
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:
image.png.cd611ecf059cf3cc87a13d1d8f07509d.png
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.
image.thumb.png.8f11299241bb1ee91237aad510ba228a.png
 
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
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I agree with almost all of the above, but innovations come to the program with the same probability as winning at a casino. Some things appear in just a week. Some are waiting for several years. 

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7 minutes ago, Sorda said:

I agree with almost all of the above, but innovations come to the program with the same probability as winning at a casino. Some things appear in just a week. Some are waiting for several years. 

I understand your feeling and your frustration, because I already felt that way. It will be almost a year ago that I created the topic "Users, @Andrew Shpagin and developers of 3D-Coat .... Being sincere ... What do you think?" and I created this topic shortly after seeing the release of the version of ZBrush 2018 when they implemented their Live Clay Brushes.

At the time I was extremely frustrated, sad and disillusioned every time I was only observing year after year the essential and important tools and functions that an artist needs to be released by ZBrush and did not see the same process being performed inside 3D-Coat (mainly in the area of sculpture). And I observed that many of these functions launched by ZBrush were similar to functions that already existed within 3D-Coat.

I understand that the ZBrush team was already in the market developing and specializing in the area of sculpture before 3D-Coat and that because they also have a lot of people developing within Pixologic.
Please do not understand that I am making excuses for the 3D-Coat team, I am not defending the developers of 3D-Coat, but we have to recognize that 3D-Coat is a complex program, which is actually several programs in 1 and has a smaller team of programmers than Pixologic in the development of the program.

Actually, this kind of subject is very delicate to be commented on, because we 3D-Coat users do not see things as they are and we would like to have important tools and functions for yesterday.

In my honest opinion, 3d-Coat developers could review all the functions and tools that the program already has in order to be able to improve and implement new important functions for each one while at the same time stabilizing each tool and function of the program.
I would not like to go into that, but the interface of the program and its related functions would also need to be reformulated.
And of course, without stopping to develop the important things that are currently being developed in the program as Sculpt Layers and etc.

I already left a little of the subject of the topic, but that's okay. Good opinions are always welcome to help improve the program.

@Andrew Shpagin , is developing the new system of Brushes, as well as Sculpt Layers and other important things. Therefore, I am quite excited to know that many good things are coming soon.
Even though Andrew and his team of developers are busy, I hope they do not mind caring about what I suggested in this thread because these suggestions are very important to the work of an artist who uses 3D-Coat for sculpt characters, objects, and scenarios.

I hope you help to strengthen the idea so that we can have in addition to these suggestions that I described in the topic, like several others.
Please, do not lose your hope of seeing good things only in several years!
Let us hope that good things will happen soon and not for several years afterwards.

 

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8 hours ago, Rygaard said:

I would not like to go into that, but the interface of the program and its related functions would also need to be reformulated.

In fact, the interface in the 3D coat is in any case more convenient and more understandable than in the zbrash, which was created by aliens for aliens.

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10 hours ago, Sorda said:

 

In fact, the interface in the 3D coat is in any case more convenient and more understandable than in the zbrash, which was created by aliens for aliens.

I think over time implementations will be made about the interface and its functions.
In my opinion, the most important at the moment, are the functions and tools that are essential and important to make a difference in our work.

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:42 PM, Rygaard said:

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.

I've been doing a lot of testing on alphas (textures) in 3D-Coat.
I'd like to explain better about the MidValue function. I think a function like MidValue would be very important and essential to control the influence of Alpha on the surface of the mesh and the appearance of the square border around the Alpha.
Through the image below, I try to explain how the influence of alpha (inflates in or out = 
Which is not a good thing ) or medium = Ideal Situation) on the surface of the mesh works and how it would be useful for 3D-Coat users to control how the alpha will behave in surface of the mesh.
midvalue_explanation.thumb.jpg.2f7db262d773f66fa70061cf611dc61e.jpg

I've created a topic related to my tests with Alphas for anyone who wants to see:

thank you

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On 1/24/2019 at 3:42 PM, Rygaard said:

----- 1) Alpha and Textures for 16 Bits: --> VERY IMPORTANT!

---> A very important suggestion would be for 3D-Coat to automatically convert any type of image from any format extension to a 16-bit image.
This would be a proper 16-bit 3D-Coat format.

In this way, we would have the quality increase in our works and this would avoid several problems and at the same time could somehow facilitate in the moment that the user wanted to Edit the Alpha in an external program.
I think for me and other users it's confusing to edit a 16-bit alpha currently.

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