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Old April 12th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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saundby saundby is offline
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Default Sculptris and Blender

Double Thumbs Up for Sculptris from me. It's a bit limited, best for doing "soft" sculpts (as opposed to hard-surface objects. I use it in preference to ZBrush for the things it does well, then import into ZBrush to finish.)

It's very easy to learn, compared to ZBrush's general sculpting which has some hitches and gotchas that can be really frustrating. I can knock out a basic creature bust in abouut 45 minutes without trying to work fast, and I can texture and detail it in about another 45 min. That's skin texture, veins, etc (not to be confused with image textures overlaid on the mesh-this is texture detail in the mesh.)

My experience with real clay sculpting turned out to be amazingly applicable. I even get the same ripples in the edges of ears that I get in clay when I shape them improperly, and the fix is the same, too. Same goes for slapping on masses of clay then shaping it to get the form you want.

It's still in Alpha, I get semi-regular crashes on Mac and less frequently on PC under Win7. Save often, watch memory and vertex counts--simplify and reduce where possible.

Maybe we need a review/tips thread for 3D software?

Note on Blender: Free, but difficult to work with. Usually has multiple ways of accomplishing something, of which one will work well, but never the way you try first or spend the most time on. I don't think much of the modeler, rigging has a painful way and a less painful way. Certain effects are easy to do, others are very difficult or not as possible as they are suggested to be. But much cheaper than Maya, and it has some strengths but the best way to learn it is like crossing a minefield--inch by inch, probing a little way ahead at each step. The most common book on it (The Essential Blender) is not that great, in my experience and that of two students I know who've taken it on. Introducing Character Animation with Blender is much better, even for subjects outside those suggested by the title. It teaches things from the ground up very well.
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