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Thread: Zbrush vs Maya

  1. #1
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    Zbrush vs Maya

    I've seen the stuff people have made with Zbrush and it's simply amazing. And it looks so easy too.

    That made me wonder if Maya is better than Zbrush on any aspect when it comes to modelling. Do people use Maya to get the general shape of the model, and then do all the detailing with zbrush? Or can it all be done in zbrush?

  2. #2
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    Comparing ZBrush and Maya is in a way comapring apples and oranges. ZBrush is mostly a pipeline app, meaning it is used in conjuction with other packages, like for example maya. You model the base mesh in Maya, detail in ZBrush, render in Maya. Maya can do everything, whilst ZBrush is very good at a few things (Detailing, texturing) and it has no animation capabilities. But of course, that being said it is possible to model a model entirely in ZBrush but it would be a model with an insane polycount so you pretty much would be constrained to ZBrush. Besides ZBrush is 2.5D and not 3D. Once you drop the tool (wich is the model for example) you cannot edit it anymore, then it becomes 2D.

    Besides how easy it is depends on your artistic ability, the UI takes a few hours to learn, and if you then have the artistic skill you can pull of some amazing stuff.

  3. #3
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    Ya, I know that Zbrush is only used for modeling. That's why I put the thread under the modeling-topic.

    Anyway, thanks for the answer. Just one more thing...how important is it to use one of those tablets or touch screens when working with Zbrush?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyLee View Post
    Ya, I know that Zbrush is only used for modeling. That's why I put the thread under the modeling-topic.

    Anyway, thanks for the answer. Just one more thing...how important is it to use one of those tablets or touch screens when working with Zbrush?
    I would say vital; I wouldnt use ZBrush without a tablet.

  5. #5
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    A tablet for Mudbox or ZBrush is very helpful.

    Onto the main topic. Either one is excellent. But from I have read if you want to model something, like a character, you are far better off modeling in a 3D app like Maya or Max and detail it in ZBrush or MudBox. From what I understand ZBrush does not make very good deformable topology.

    As mentioned before it is usually used as a pipeline app. Just part of the tool kit to get things done.
    I have figured out what the internet is. You know what they say about an infinite number of monkeys hitting keys at random on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time? Well the internet is like that. There is some big cosmic alien running that experiment here in order to find the answer to some big question or to create the greatest piece of literature known to the universe. From what I have seen so far I am sorry to say they are going to be greatly disappointed.

  6. #6
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    I highly agree with the pipeline point.

    I however recently stopped using Zbrush. Ive found Mudbox to be more to my liking.

    Mainly because of the Zbrush 2.5 point and the fact that Im sick of the ZBrush UI.

    To me Mudbox is primary a pipeline thats it no modeling and thats all I need it for. Plus Mudbox has made it very easy to bring both the Normal/Displacment maps into Maya.

    But yes ZBrush can make Great 2D pictures if thats all your going for.

    However Zbrush cant make NURBS and thats where it loses. Also, ZBrush cant make polys for Video games. But it makes great Normal/Displacment maps.

    So once again this discussion goes where all the app vs app discussions go.

    There both great it just depends on what your using it for.
    I'm against Picketing but I don't know how to show it.

  7. #7
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    I don't mean any offense by this, but the posters prior to me seem to be referring to Zbrush 2, not Zbrush 3 which was recently released. Zbrush 3 has a topology tool (I haven't played with it at all yet, so not sure how easy it is to work but I have heard good things) which removes the necessity to model a base mesh in a different application. You can model in Zbrush, then use the topology tool to create your own better topology for rigging or animation, or whatever. Zbrush 3 is also a lot easier to just "jump into", and start using than Zbrush 2 was. I personally think it has made Mudbox obsolete for now (I don't mean that to say Mudbox sucks... just its primary advantages over Zbrush are pretty much gone with Zbrush 3), as it is quite easy to use now, and has a lot more capability overall (the most obvious being texture painting, but there are a ton of other things). In fact, they added a special user interface called "Rapid UI" that makes the interface a lot more intuitive than the standard interface, and removes some of the unintuitive things like apresthus mentioned with dropping tools. Actually, Zbrush 3 removed that to a certain degrees with perspective cameras (making it more like real 3d), and subtools, allowing you to work on multiple "tools" or different objects at the same time.

    The disadvantage to Zbrush when comparing it to an app like Maya for modeling is that it does organic stuff great, but more rigid structures are not really its strength. I'm far from a Zbrush expert, and there may be tools to do something like modeling a car, but I think you would be better off doing stuff like that in Maya.

    At any rate, they really are two very different apps, with different philosophies towards modeling. Maya and just about every other app out there with modeling features does it through creating and moving around polygons (or nurbs surfaces...whatever you are working on). You do thing like extrude a polygon, and make shapes with that. Zbrush/Mudbox are different in that they have all sorts of optimizations that allow them to support millions of polygons at once. So you end up with these amazingly dense meshes that you can effectively "sculpt", and move around like you had clay.
    Last edited by BlueHyrax; 06-03-2007 at 02:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    I did not say you could not model something from start to finish in ZBrush, you can. However what i did say is that its strength in my opinion lies in it being an excellent pipeline app. If you create a base mssh in Maya and then sculpt detail in ZBrush and export that as a normal map for example, you can animate easier with the low poly mesh in maya, and it will look very pretty once you render out.

    Now, i haven't tried this but i think it would be a pain to animate a strictly ZBrush model in maya. One point being that it is normal for ZBrush models to have well over 1 million poly's the other that the way i have seen ZBrush 2 and 3 laying out topology does not seem very "deforming friendly". Now i haven't tried so i can't say for sure wether this new tool you speak of would make things better, and i doubt i will ever try. I am quite happy using it is a pipeline app. As for the UI being frustrating, somehow, I found the ZBrush 3 UI to be a lot easier than ZBrush 2 and it didn't take me a long time to get into the swing of things so to speak.
    Last edited by apresthus; 06-03-2007 at 08:42 AM.

  9. #9
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    Oops my bad. When I was making my post I was thinking of just that and meant to put in a paragraph that I was talking about Zbrush 2 and things may have changed for Zbrush 3.

    So thanks for pointing that out.
    I have figured out what the internet is. You know what they say about an infinite number of monkeys hitting keys at random on an infinite number of typewriters for an infinite amount of time? Well the internet is like that. There is some big cosmic alien running that experiment here in order to find the answer to some big question or to create the greatest piece of literature known to the universe. From what I have seen so far I am sorry to say they are going to be greatly disappointed.

  10. #10
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    I didnt buy Mudbox until after I bought ZBrush 3.

    Dont get me wrong its a great app but, the controls a still very weird, they were supposed to put a hotkey set in that would let you change to QWERTY tools and they didnt.

    And someone mentioned earlier just try rendering an animation with a lvl 6 subdivision from ZBrush it will take for ever. A nice displacement/Normal map on a low poly model will look almost as good and will render much faster.

    I used ZBrush for Normal and Displacement maps only, in that respect Mudbox does that job for ME alot easier and thats what made it worth the purchase.
    I'm against Picketing but I don't know how to show it.

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