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Old 03-21-2010, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blender VS ????

The long stall/fight is over. I have to learn a sculpty program.

Blender looks like the best choice, but I want to make sure I can texture in it as well. I haven't seen much on this subject, so now is question time.

I've just had it with buying full perm sculpt packs that are impossible to texture without a shade map -- and so few sculptors provide shade maps.

I'd also like to be able to export existing sculpt maps and texture them where I can use lighting effects, etc.

What is the best tool for what I want to do? (Maya and the like are not an option.)

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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While Blender does have a texture paint mode, i would not really recommend that you rely upon it to texture things. It's very primitive and you could probably get more control using it in conjunction with something like GIMP or Photoshop.

My process involves:
- sculpting, exporting the sculpt map, baking ambient occlusion to a small texture to see the general landmarks for my sculpt.
- in-world, apply that ambient occlusion (AO) texture to the sculpt, alongside a copy of the sculpt that has a grid texture on it.
- I then use Photoshop to develop a flat texture (sometimes with a little bit of shadow painted in, but usually no lighting) according to the grid layout as seen on the sculptie.
- I then apply that flat texture to the model in Blender as part of a material and bake in diffuse and/or diffuse shading, making tweaks here and there afterward, once again in Photoshop.

The other thing that's been a huge boon to me lately has been Blender's .obj export and Photoshop CS4's ability to handle .objs and their attached materials. Using this combination of things, I have been able to essentially draw directly on the exported model far easier than I could using only Blender.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Look up sculptypaint: Sculptypaint : Built with Processing

I don't know if it can use lighting effects, but it's a decent sculpty creator and editor.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Scultypaint's baked lighting system leaves a lot to be desired. As far as I can recall, SculptyPaint also can't deal with oblong sculpts. Blender is really the "free tool of choice" out there.

If you want to know my advice, get something called "Rokuro" and "Tokoroten" and "SculptyPaint" and try those for a while to get a feel for making some basic sculpts.. then when you're ready, get "Blender" with the "Primstar" plugins.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks. Free is not a requirement, but something along the lines of Maya is not an option for something I consider to be a hobby. I'd just like one product that will handle object creation AND texturing.

I have played around already with sculpty paint when it first came out, but there weren't many tutorials and my initial results were...tragic. I'm frustrated enough now to get serious and do this right, I just want a good tool that will deliver a solid result and texture well. The prospect of creating in Blender and then having to import into Photoshop for texturing underwhelms me.
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Old 03-21-2010, 03:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isablan Neva View Post
Thanks. Free is not a requirement, but something along the lines of Maya is not an option for something I consider to be a hobby. I'd just like one product that will handle object creation AND texturing.

I have played around already with sculpty paint when it first came out, but there weren't many tutorials and my initial results were...tragic. I'm frustrated enough now to get serious and do this right, I just want a good tool that will deliver a solid result and texture well. The prospect of creating in Blender and then having to import into Photoshop for texturing underwhelms me.
ZBrush is a really nice for-pay option, and as I recall, they may have a demo version. Blender still rules for precision work though.

P.S. there are some pretty good tutorials on youtube nowadays for dealing with Sculpty Paint.. but the one I'm thinking for is for 0.92, not 0.93 (which is current). Most of the stuff carries over tho.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Zbrush is very good for organic type sculpts.. but fails pretty much when you want to create something sharp and even mechanical.

It does handle oblong sculpts (the new plugins are good with that)

as for texturing.. well its great and not so great... its great for projecting a texture straight onto the polys.. so either you have a texture you have made or use a photo reference.. it is also not that marvelous with baking.. its usable .. but not marvelous..

Zapplink works great for texturing.. as well as polypaint.. where you can paint directly on the polygons.. which is .. well not as advanced as it seems but ..

recently messing with blender .. and realising the baking is far easier.. (after lots of wandering about in the dark)

theres also 3D-Coat - Voxel sculpting, Retopology, UV-mapping, Texture painting which i am giving a try atm... this looks very promising to me .. but like all proggies.. i wont know until i have more or less mastered the UI and found out about all the ways i can use it... personally i would see this as an addition to Zbrush.

I also have AC3d.. which i bought for making sharper sculpts.. but i dont really like it much.. its functional .. but .. i would say that Blender (once you overcome the crazy ass UI) is way superior in functionality ..

the thing is .. i dont think there is ONE proggie to do all... you will still end up with several in your pipeline..

i have seen ppl make extraordinary things using Sculpt Studio inworld.. i have seen ppl make abismal things using 3ds max and maya and Zbrush .. and visa versa..

its a matter of finding a proggie you like .. learning it.. and then finding the supporting proggies for your pipeline...
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What about Wings 3D?
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Old 03-21-2010, 10:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliselia Aeon View Post
What about Wings 3D?
Wings3d is a good program for modelling however it lacks any baking capabilities. Many early sculpty makers swear by wings3d as it was easy to learn and creates decent sculpts.

The one thing programs like Wings3d, Blender, AC3D, Maya, Max, Hexagon, Silo etc have that makes them a good general modeller is the ability to manipulate edge loops which really gives you your crisp clean edges. Zbrush can do this to an extent, but not without some major fiddling around.

There is no one program at the moment that will do everything we as creators ask of it ie: organic sculpting, hard edge, baking, decent on the model painting, output to sculpty etc...although I'm certain Hypatia (believe it was her) would disagree as Luxology Modo seems to do it all for her, and I have to admit it's darn close

More than likely a combination of a couple of programs will get the job done. On the low end of things, Blender in combination with the free "on model" painting of BlackSmith3d in conjunction with a decent 2d paint program like Gimp, Photoshop etc, will produce work as good as anyone's once you learn the workflow and become proficient with the programs. Model and bake the AO in blender, then overlay and detail it in your paint program, and output the sculpt map and texture map. Use the LSL export function of the PrimStar script in Blender so everything is sized properly inworld.

My own workflow is Blender and Cinema4D for most modelling including hard edge, (I also bake everything in Cinema4D), for organic, I've started to switch from Zbrush and moving more towards 3Dcoat. The reason being, that with Zbrush when I paint, I have to stop and change program states to rotate the object before painting again, whereas with 3Dcoat it's a simple drag and rotate in any blank area of the canvas to move the object without having to switch out of paint mode or anything. The voxel sculpting is a bit more intuitive as well and there's an established pipeline to bake and export to SL all within the program.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm a bit biased here, mainly because Blender is the only one I've really given a lot of time to. It's not easy, but if you learned to build in sl, you can learn Blender. Texture baking is easy in Blender..once you learn how. The lighting effects work great too. There's a great set of youtube tutorials (walks you through script installation to texture baking):

YouTube - BlenderSL's Channel

I'd like to add that there's some great inworld tools I'm sure you all know about. Blender bonus: you can import those maps you make inworld and fine tune them. Also sculpt packs with full permission sculpt maps, providing the creator allows it. Comes in very handy.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I am just starting out on Blender. I picked it up over the past 2 days and have made some sculpts, baked textures, and modified them in Photoshop. If you watch the tutorial videos by 'machinamatrix'' on her blog, you can get into it right away, but yeah, the UI is like looking into the cockpit of a 747.

I was actually about to start a similar thread about what would be the best program for making sculpts and 3D texturing. Seems to be a toss-up between Blender and Zbrush. My question is that since I have access to Maya through work, would I be best off investing my time in that program? I am just curious if I don't hear people talking about it because of it's cost, which is understandable.

Learning curves, price, and familiarity aside, any advice on which direction I should take?
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I tend to use Zbrush for most of my work, but I also use Blender and Maya for more precise sculpties and shading etc.

In my opinion Zbrush with Zaplink is by far the best method of texturing a sculpt and tend to use that 90% of the time.

A few months ago I put together a basic Zbrush tutorial for the creation of the slapt.me penguin Slappy which can be found in full on the slapt.me forum in full with tons of scripting etc.
You can also find a trimmed down version on ZBrushCentral and also on my Pleasure Islands Web site.
I never got around to doing a texturing tute using Zaplink but it does show the basics of creating sculpts for SL.

It really does depend on what you want to sculpt and how much money and time you have to get through each of the learning curves for each program.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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also i think its a very personal choice ..
its about the same as the win vs mac thing.. in the end ...what works for you .. works for you...
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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@Rochambeau : It's still up to you which direction you take program wise considering some of the factors. If your sole purpose to learning these is to create content for SL (sculpties), continue with Blender as it's modelling capabilities and texture baking are on par with Maya. Granted, Maya has soooo much more in the way of rendering textures, but the learning curve is a bit steep for modelling/texturing/rendering.

I guess next we'd come to the choice of Blender vs Zbrush, again, that depends on what you want to do. If you're going to solely model organics, then by all means go with Zbrush, but if you need to do some hard edge modelling, or a combination of hard edge and organic, Blender again will be your best bet.

Everyone has been mentioning texture baking and ambient occlusion, while these are nice, they can also be reasonably faked in a 2d program like Gimp or Photoshop, which brings me to another point, you still need to be proficient at 2d painting/texturing. Getting a stock texture and slapping it on a model, adjusting the fit, then baking in ambient lighting is nice, but you'd still be relying on getting that texture from somewhere else. 2D painting and detailing before baking will add to your versatility AND ability to stand out from other content creators.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice. It sounds like I will have to do some trial and error to see what works best for me and perhaps familiarize myself with a combination or blender or maya with zbrush depending on what I'm working on.
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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if u dl blender 2.49b with python do u still need jass?? or is the python have the same scripts? and if so do u install jass last? or what is the order of installation ?
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Jass = Python + Blender + Primstar. (^_^)

You can download Python, Blender, and Primstar and install them in that order. Or, you can just install Jass and it's all up and running in one shot. (^_^)y
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 07-08-2010, 06:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:21 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Gotta admit... That iPhone looks like a lot of sculpties I've seen inworld. =^-^=
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:16 PM   #21 (permalink)
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BlendTec has a much better user interface, that's for sure.
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Old 07-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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the UI in blender looks like someone ate a bunch of butons with random abbreviations on them, and then threw up.

D:< I opened it, and promptly closed it again.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I found that if I glaze over the majority of buttons and menus in Blender, my sculpts turn out just fine. Just follow the Youtube BlenderSL channel and Gaia's tutorial videos on Machinimatrix.com and you're good to go. =^-^=
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:49 AM   #24 (permalink)
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here is a copy of a notecard I pass out to people inworld that identify themselves as Blender Newbies:


=== Blender ================================================== ==========
Current version: 2.49b
blender.org - Get Blender

=== Python ================================================== ===========
Current version for Blender: 2.6

Windows: http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.6/python-2.6.msi
OS X: http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.6...2008-10-01.dmg
Linux: http://www.python.org/ftp/python/2.6/Python-2.6.tgz

=== Primstar Scripts ================================================== ======
v1.0.0 as of 21, December 2009
http://www.dominodesigns.info/sites/...star_1.0.0.zip

=== JASS Scripts ================================================== ========
Version: 1.41
http://www.machinimatrix.org/svn/sl/.../jass-1.41.zip

=== Script Installation Location =================================================
Copy/paste the unzipped folder(s) into the appropriate directory here.

Linux: ~/.blender/scripts/

Mac: /Applications/blender/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/.blender/scripts/

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\Blender Foundation\Blender\.blender\scripts\
Windows Vista: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender\.blender\scripts\

OR, if the Scripts folder is set to the program directory:
C:\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender\.blender\scripts\


=== Tutorials ================================================== ============
BlenderSL on YouTube: YouTube - BlenderSL's Channel
Machinimatrix: blender trail
I Ramble... Sorry: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Blender (Almost)
amandalevitsky: sculptedprims
Light Star Studios: Shadow/AOMaps
[TUTORIAL]Baking Specular in Blender
My Blender 3d Lenses
Blender Tutorials for Second Life & Opensim | Masterprim.com
Flickr: Discussing Sculpty Software Info in SL Sculpties
YouTube - 3rdmoon1's Channel
amandalevitsky: sculptedprims


=== Blender 2.5 Tutorials ==================================================
Blender Newbies 3D Video Tutorials (Learn to Create 3D Graphics with Blender!)
Blender Tutorials Downloads Videos & Education – Blender Cookie – 2.5



originally assembled by Ezra Rasmussen




changes




Advanced > debug settings > rendervolumnLOD

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Old 07-09-2010, 08:23 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Jass is 2.0 now. (^_^)

And, please don't advice people to jack up their RenderVolumeLOD. That's not the best solution and it allows ignorant content creators to bash out junk sculpts in complete ignorance of LOD. (>_<)

Yes, it does "clean up" rough sculpts, but it also multiplies on-screen polygons to an unmanageable state for many graphics cards. SL lags bad enough. Boosting RenderVolumeLOD just makes it worse for the sake of catering to bad builders. (>_<)
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