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ZBrush vs Mudbox


Just after people's opinions on which is the better package for displacement/normal map generation?

I'd like to purchase one of these products, but I've heard mixed reviews. I've played briefly with a friend's copy of ZBrush and I found its interface confusing - until I figured out the relationship between the 2.5d canvas and working on a brush.

But ZBrush seems to be the industry standard, yes?

Alternatively I've been told that Mudbox has a more functional interface, and a more familiar work process, but lacks some of the capabilities of ZBrush - and moreso, it's not really used widely in this industry.

Anyway, any opinions you could share with me about these packages would be greatly appreciated!

<3 boon

Submitted by Malus on Tue, 24/07/07 - 2:21 PM Permalink

depends on what you are trying to accomplish and how often you use the product.

Yes Zbrush3 is still an unintuitive interface too those new too it but if you are too use it daily that will soon pass.

And Mudbox does have less features at this point in time but ask yourself, do you need those features?

I'd scour the MB and ZB forums, look at the features sets and if possible get some hands on experience before writing either of them off.

I find it hard to choose myself, I love just being able to get into MB and sculpt away but I do find myself drooling over some of the newer ZB3 features. Hell get em both.

Malus2007-07-24 04:25:40

Submitted by Killa Dee on Sat, 28/07/07 - 10:50 AM Permalink

i was going to post this the other day but the login and password had expired. It's working again now, not sure 4 how long. If you get a chance some of these zbrush3 tutes, may help u to evaluate zbrush3. Wacking mallet and lazy mouse FTW!

login: 3dtedu

password: 3dtedu

4 some weird reason firefox hates me, when i try the login WEIRD! use IE if joo have any problamos.

4 nomral map / ambient occlusion generation check out xnormal Killa Dee2007-07-31 04:02:20

Submitted by artofsw on Sun, 20/12/09 - 8:50 AM Permalink

At first glance, and try out. Mudbox was much easier to pickup than zbrush. Zbrush seems to do a lot more than mudbox. I would like to know more about the 2 programs and how they differ from each other. Would like to hear more from people who use it daily. Any tips on the best way to start a model and texture it and keep the high and low poly versions. process?

Submitted by Snacuum on Sun, 20/12/09 - 7:02 PM Permalink

For me it's Zbrush. I spent a good while l learning how to use mudbox and then when I brought my model in it had a spaz. Sure, I know I'm a royal noob and had triangles in my model, but zbrush ran with it while mudbox lost the plot.

But I agree that Zbrush is confusing, it would be nice if pixologic got over themselves and realized that a great deal of people picking up zbrush today use it just for sculpting and not the still finishing, and therefore make an interface that reflects our 3d not 2.5d mindset.

Submitted by Flash on Tue, 29/12/09 - 11:08 AM Permalink

I did a talk at GCAP09 which touched on this exact topic.

Basically, here's my thinking (as an industry employee):

Assume you speak to a driver who aims to race professionally with the Ferrari team. He's pretty damn awesome, and because of his skillset, he's been offered either a McLaren or a Ferrari to train in. What would you recommend?

Sure, they're both fast cars, and they both have 4 wheels. But it's the subtle differences that professionals are bound to master, and it's the mastery of those subtleties that make the professional.

In a nutshell: If the industry uses Zbrush, learn zbrush. Seriously, if you can learn maya, zBrush is a piece of cake.

In terms of generation: there's no right way of doing it. I use a multitude of tools to get the best result. xNormal, zbrush, crazybump, photoshop. Its all about using the strengths of each program :)

-Adam Rudd

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/02/10 - 8:38 AM Permalink

A vote for zbrush here.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 06/12/10 - 9:11 PM Permalink

Not used Mudbox yet. I have just started using Zbrush because of its popularity. Heard that it is way to ahead Mudbox. Mudbox might me much user friendly, but my vote goes to zbrush....

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/12/10 - 10:35 AM Permalink

Basically what it boils down to is features and cost. While Mudbox has the ease of use down pat, it is also owned by Autodesk, who's current obsession is to have a yearly subscription based model. zBrush is owned by a much smaller company pixologic, who not only love and are passionate about their product, they currently offer free upgrades to all license holders. Whether this will last forever, who knows, but for now the $500ish price point is fantastic value for money. It also has most every feature you could ask for. Advanced, customisable sculpting tools, retopology features (much better than max/maya and imo better than having to use a 3rd package like topogun). It does mesh painting, image planes, mesh project, has an optimise plugin so you aren't bringing in billion tri meshes into your 3d package of choice. Haven't really used any of the baking tools in zbrush though, I prefer a dedicated solution like xnormal to handle that.

tldr version: zBrush is well worth the money. Mudbox is too simple and is owned by Autodesk, who seem to want to monopolise the 3D industry.