From ZBrush Summit: ZBrush 4R8 Revealed

Oh boy seeing news of ZBrush 4R8, my excitement level is over 900%. Owners of ZBrush 4 got one more free update, 4R8.

Being so long time ZBrush user and having used it from the early 4 version, I feel like I’m on luxury yacht with Pixologic’s software with these free major updates. This is one investment that has truly paid off, to say the least.

Basically why ZBrush 4R8 is happening seems to be that Pixologic wants to give out the features in Core for us ZBrush owners before Core is released. This is very nice. According to Pixologic some of these new features include those that would have been (and will be) in ZBrush 5.

zBrush prop modeling

a prop being modelled using zBrush sculpting tools

This version of ZBrush will get the new transform gizmos and ability to create one’s own gizmos, also localisation to several languages.

Biggest thing for me personally are introduction of vector displacement maps (3D displacement maps). New version can c0nvert any mesh to these 3D maps and these can be used with brushes kind of like 3D alphas.

There’s also new real-time Boolean system which appears to be basically just a render effect, but one can convert or create mesh by using Make Union Mesh.

I am also very interested how well this will take advantage of larger memory via 64 bit support. We’ll have to see how this will be, it seems Core will be only 64 bit. I have been occasionally using 64 bit version of 4R7 for meshes that required a lot of memory, but the experience has not been always completely, ehm. stable. I wish that 4R8 would be more stable and truly 64 bit.

At this time Pixologic has not provided us a date when ZBrush 4R8 will be out, but I would guess before end of October.

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ZBrushCore in Pixologic

ZBrushCore and what we know now

Some details about ZBrushCore are out.

To me this looks kind of like ZBrush version for everyone. They said it was going to be streamlined and it sure seems that way. When I think about ZBrush 4R7  it sure has tons of systems in it and itself it could use some streamlining. It’s crazy, it has ZSketch Armatures, ZModeler, Dynamesh and Dynamic Subdivisional modelling engine, just to name a few features. You can do so much with it that it’s mind blowing, and the automatic retopology ZRemesher (post R6 versions) is crazy awesome good. But there are just so many different features that for a newcomer learning this program can be like uphill battle.

ZBrushCore in Pixologic Website.

ZBrushCore in http://www.pixologic.com

So  having more simple to use if less featured program for those who mainly work for 3D prints and such makes sense. And ZBrushCore has new features that the “full” ZBrush doesn’t have, such as one click optimisation for 3D printing and advanced export settings for 3D printing. If you only work for 3D print it doesn’t make much sense to have UV mapping tools I suppose. ZBrushCore still has basic 3D painting capabilities though and it can do basic BPR renders and Keyshot integration which is cool (but it lacks multi-pass export).

The other advanced features that are missing are mainly SSS, AO, and the like, ZSketch, ZModeler, Fibers and Shadowbox and others. The number of brushes is limited to 30 vs 300+ in the bigger brother. The full list of differences is in Pixologic site.

What is ZBrushCore really?

So what is ZBrushCore really? I would say it is entry level ZBrush optimised for serious sculptors who come from art school and want to get into sculpting anatomy and figures. This is great for that and costs about a hundred dollars. So I don’t know, why not I guess, although for game artist, the lack of re-topology and limited texture size would be problematic factors.

ZBrushCore now available for pre-order (discount for a limited time for a $119.95) 

Here’s a youtube video I made about this.

What are your thoughts? Please write to the comments below.

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100 Subscribers; Thanks!

I crossed the 100 subscriber line yesterday. Really, thanks everyone who subscribed.  Subscriber amount isn’t the reason why I do this but it feels nice that someone is watching and liking what I do. But no matter how many subscribers or likes there is going to be, I don’t think that the thing what I do will change.

I hope to see you soon.

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Curves in 3D Coat Video Tutorial

Curves in 3D Coat is a wonderful feature which allows custom spline models to be used with organic curve. Please enjoy this video tutorial to learn how to use this.

You can create chains or any shapes using this handy too. You can use closed or open curves, or use the curve to create a filled shape. There are many instances where this tool can come very useful. This can be used to create tubes on a machine for example.

It is also possible to brush along a curve. I will cover this in another tutorial.

Please watch the video tutorial and I hope you enjoy it.

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Don’t forget to BACKUP (VLOG)

Here are some thoughts about importance of having a backup. Digital data is so fragile because once it’s gone, it really is, and there’s no way to get it back. I had a bit of issue with my WordPress site yesterday because I ended up making a mistake and overwriting the data. I was able to recover from a backup but this really reminded me how important it is to have one.

I recommend to have automated solution such as Time Machine, which doesn’t require user intervention. Just remember to verify the backup every now and then to make sure it is safe.

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Data Matters, Vaultpress

Since this blog is so important to me, I decided to invest into Vaultpress backup plan. I had my own home-brew system in place but it is cumbersome and restoring a backup is very slow since it basically depends on moving files via SFTP, and is really quite a hassle to recover.

I had a bit of a glitch today with the site and this was offline for couple of hours during the most important business hours. Granted this glitch was my own fault, I kind of accidentally managed to overwrite data. The worst thing that can happen to a data basically is to be overwritten. Luckily I could recover from my backup, but thought, oh, why have I not made a better backup plan.

What Vaultpress promises is a real peace of mind, plus they also scan the site for security threats, and even throw Akismet key on top. For 9 dollars it isn’t too much I feel, and now I can just fully concentrate making content.

Basically, streamlining everything including the production schedule is always something to think about. We should be able to focus in creating new content and have peaceful rest in between. This is the ideal state of matters. So I think jerryrigging a backup solution might not be something I am interested in doing.

Anyway, setting up Vaultpress was straightforward and fast, so far I have a very good experience with them. I will report more later.

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zBrush Summit 2016 and thoughts on zBrush

Are you going to join 2016 zBrush summit? I can’t make it to LA, but I’ll be there virtually. I’m mostly curious about zBrush Core. Is this a lower cost alternative to the full zBrush or something completely different?

I have been extremely glad about my zBrush 4 investment. It’s been so many years since I bought it and there have been so many upgrades that have been completely free for me. And now there is even 64 bit version. Seeing the difference from the version that came in the cool Anniversary edition metal box is quite something. It feels like I have been part of this software’s development.

zBrush prop modeling

a prop being modelled using zBrush sculpting tools

If you are a sculptor or someone who comes from traditional art school, zBrush is definitely a worth to check out, even though recent versions of 3D Coat gives it run for it’s money . It all comes down to the very 3D sculpting tools built into zBrush that just are the best thing there is at the moment.

You can stream summit in http://pixologic.com

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