Why do Blender modelers use Zbrush and not the internal sculptor?

To me it seems so much easier not to have to deal with exporting importing normal maps, ability to adjust the polygons on the fly…and all the tools seem to be the same

Have you seen what Zbrush can do?

That’s an invalid comparison - you can point to Avatar and make the same argument with Maya, but it’s not the program that made it but the team behind it. I’ve modeled in Zbrush and Mudbox and recently made the switch to Blender - seems to be another voxel sculpting tool with painting capabilities. But I assume you find it inferior - referring to software alone - why?

I don’t think blender is inferior but if you got Zbrush, why not use it? I’ve never used Zbrush but from what I’ve seen it looks great. Retopo looks very easy compared to blender. Another great app is 3d coat with auto retopo. Sculptris has dynamic tessellation. There are many other reasons why some people choose Zbrush over blender for sculpting. Maybe they can reach higher poly counts in Zbrush or they just feel more comfortable using it.

I’m starting a studio/company and figuring what we need, and trying to garner some opinions from modelers here as what features they were missing in Blender in order to need the program.

Just google zbrush and goto images.

I’m no pro so I can’t really suggest anything
start a thread in the ‘Blender and CG discussions’ section and you’ll get a ton great advice from the pros

Just google zbrush and goto images.

Ignore him, he obviously didn’t read the previous posts

Hahaha, I’ll try. I’m aware what ZBrush can do, the US govt. for example uses Zbrush in order to model coins, and it’s Hollywood mainstream, considered highest calibre in the industry. But pedestals aside I’m interested in the opinions of people that use both.

I’m starting a studio/company and figuring what we need, and trying to garner some opinions from modelers here as what features they were missing in Blender in order to need the program.

Some initial things that blender lacks that I use:
Mesh Extraction
Useful Mesh Projection
3D Layers
Clipping brushes
The sculpting brushes feel much more responsive and predictable.
Blender sculpting really doesn’t come close when compared with zbrush, which isn’t surprising given blender is really a jack of all trades

I’m likewise a Zbrush virgin - mostly cos of my old ppc Mac. But I did try out Sculptris on my even older PC, and I’d have to say that just the responsiveness and speed of working was much better than the bit of sculpting i’ve done in Blender. If you’re in production, productivity is pretty important :wink: so if a tool works faster/more responsively, it can save many person-hours.

You’re right naturally, there are no magical tools, but sometimes a specialised tool is the right one for the job if you can afford it.

It sounds like we have more exciting developments in Blender sculpting soon though, and the tools are certainly all there, if you can get the performance from your machines.
Edit: except the ones Richard mentions above :o

Blender is an incredible program, whether it were commercial but even more so as free. It’s sculpting abilities are good, but they are certainly an add-on. It wasn’t designed to be a sculpting program, that was a feature added much later in development.

Zbrush is and always has been a sculpting program. Everything about it is designed with sculpting in mind. It handles high vert count better, it has a set of tools for organic AND hard surface modelling that are top notch – built in “texture” sculpting with a massive variety of textures.

Blender can mimic a lot of this, but it’s workflow is more of a workaround than a natural use. I am not knocking Blender, I use its sculpting and retopo frequently. The time required to achieve the same results is longer, and, esp for hard surface sculpting, Blender really can’t compete, it just wasn’t designed to.

I prefer to use Sculptris myself when it comes to sculpt, it’s the sculpting program i found to have the most intuitive and completely natural interface, and the dynamic tesselation allow very high level of details without crippling performance, as the faces required are only created where they are needed.
After that if i need the sculpt for a game engine or animating, i retopo in Blender.

For Zbrush , i only tried the trial version of zbrush back in version 3, and while i disliked the interface and navigation with my mouse, the obvious primary advantage i saw immediately is the polycount Zbrush allow while keeping the brush fully workable, it’s incredible how far i could push a model and keep everything being smooth.

In Blender the brushes are unworkable for me once it goes over 500.000 faces.
In Zbrush, the brushes were always sculpting completely smoothly at 8 millions of faces.

After that Zbrush is pricy, so it will all come on what use you would have of it to see if it’s a good investment for your needs.

Sorry for resurrecting a month old thread, but I am a big fan of these software comparison threads…

If you are simply asking about a performance comparison between Z-Brush and Blender, look no further than Jeepster’s Vimeo Channel: http://vimeo.com/user1440117 and like Shadowlich said, you can YouTube millions of Z-Brush timelapse vids and compare.

Richard made some great points outlining the (current) shortcomings of Blender’s sculpting toolset. But, don’t let that list deter you, these features (and more) will all appear in Blender in due time. Tons of students and enthusiasts are developing add-ons and features for Blender as we speak (some of them are in testing and yet to be released to the public :wink: )

I also couldn’t agree more with thePostFuturist’s statement about the heightened value of technique and skill of the artists versus a given software limitation/advantage.

That said, for a particular purpose like sculpting, baking or uv-unwrapping, there is purpose-built software which currently performs better. There will be hoards of people who claim those pieces of software are the “industry standard”, and they will ask you why you would bother yourself with open-source. The answer (for me), is simple: extensibility.

Industry standards are blurring. The choice of modeling, sculpting, animating, and texturing tools is now at the hands of the artist (as it should be). You don’t need to conform to any particular package any more. In my experience, people who talk about “industry standards” are typically not yet in the industry, or just stubbornly refuse to let go of a package which they invested years to learn. (I was the latter for quite a while)

I’m not trying to degrade any other software packages out there, but I have a hard time seeing how they will keep up.

Best Regards,

I gotta agree. I tried cd coat and maya. What I read was Blender was not as user friendly. I do not see that. I like Blender better.