So I'm buying myself a Cintiq for my birthday. I'm really excited about all of the great 2d applications that I already have but I'm interested in learning 3d.
I've downloaded several trials over the years of programs like Maya, Lightwave, Blender etc but I ALWAYS seem to get frustrated about 10 minutes into it because the UI is so difficult to use.
What I'd like would be a 3D modeling program like http://www.ilovesketch.com/
or something that felt more like illustrator.
I'm mostly hoping someone can guide me to a program with a good (read better than most) UI that has a fairly easy learning curve. I'm not worried if I need to import into a different program for rendering later... I just want to get the images in my head into 3d space.
PS as per the rules... ART!
I made that in photoshop if anyone cares.
Webdev for hire.
It's lightweight and has a myriad of interface options. They also run tutorials and stuff on their forums.
Rhino is pretty straight forward, but I haven't done a lot with it. Modeling in Rhino is kind of like illustrator paths, but 3d.
I like solid works. It's a solid modeler, hence the name. The menus are a lot easier to navigate than some of the other programs I've used. It's 3D cad software that uses parametrics. It's nice because if you can go back and change anything you want and everything you've done will adjust accordingly (if you've defined it properly). Unfortunately it is insanely expensive.
AliasStuido is a nightmare. The UI is absolutely terrible, but it's supposed to be good for automotive stuff. DO get Sketchbook Pro though!
Hypershot is great for quick, but awesome looking renders.
Right now I use 3ds max because that is what I use at work but learnt the bulk of 3d using maya and freelanced for a while using modo. They're all great apps and have the same names for the same tools. Personally max and modo are quicker to model with and feel less clunky than maya and they all have the same basic tools to get your UV's layed out for texturing though modo was behind on animation. Blender and Rhino and Lightwave are similar too though I've only seen rhino in action in a tutorial video (which i followed using maya).
It's up to you to pick one that you know has everything you need (modelling tools and if you need lighting, animation and rendering) and then getting stuck into it. 10 minutes isn't enough time to get used to an interface in ANY 3d app. Check out the Game-Artist.net forums and Polycount too they're a great help.
From the tutorial videos I checked out online the interfaced seemed to me to be very tablet friendly/oriented using pen pressure as a mechanism for adding/subtracting various amounts of sculpting material.
So I have more questions.
#1 Am I correct in assuming that ZBrush is designed for tablet use?
#2 ZBrush looks to be used mostly (exclusively?) for modeling after I have my model created which 3d suit would be the most helpful for Animation/Game Prep?
#3 Am I incorrect in thinking that ZBrush is more for organic models and wouldn't be very well suited for anything industrial/precise (robots, ships, buildings etc)?
Thanks for the help guys.
The thing about Zbrush is you really have minimal control over how many polygons are used. Hence why it isnt used for gaming etc because the pictures are to high def. In the most part Zbrush is used to add texture to models that have already been created using another program such as maya or 3Dmax through the process called bump-mapping. it is also apparently good for colouring and laying in colour maps.
If your wanting to just 'play' around and create models that are not functional but look cool then try Zbrush. There arn't many tutorials out on it yet because its still a relatively new technology. A new one to check out also might be mudbox which I think is more art based rather than polygons.
If you decide you want to do 3D within the industry you are going to have to get your head around the interface of either max or maya (most used programs). Its not that hard. It does start to make sense after a while. ALso.. if you are animating z brush doesnt allow you to do so.... only texture and create pretty pictures
I'm just going to point out that ZBrush has quite possibly the worst user interface in the history of mankind. Mudbox is very similar to ZBrush, but it appears to have been designed by human beings for use by human beings (We're getting it this semester at college along with 3DSMax 10, so I'll be able to post more detailed impressions in a week or two). A lot of people love ZBrush, plus it's cheaper than Mudbox so I guess it works for some people, but personally I just can't stand the interface.
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In regards to the poly count for games... is there not a way to un-subdivide (I know thats not the word...) the models to work as a more low rez version of what you create?
As far as I know, the usual workflow is to make your low poly first and then save that. Then you take your low poly into ZBrush or Mudbox and add all the crazy details. Then you make a normal map from your high poly and apply it to the low poly, and the normal map basically 'fakes' all the details you added in your high poly version. So your low poly look awesome and high detailed without making the game engine cry.
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Unity3D (game engine technically, but it can sculpt with the best of them)
Blender (intuitive once you get used to it!)
XSI Mod Tool (free version)...exports to many formats
I know there are others...