# Mudbox vs ZBrush

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Hey all,

So I've recently started working on a character model (I made the mesh in Maya) and decided I'd make it look better with Mudbox sculpting/painting tools. I've never personally used Z-Brush, but since its so expensive for a lone hobbyist like myself, I don't have it (but my university does).

I'm curious about which tools most people here find better and/or use more. Are they roughly equivalent, or is one certainly better than the other? Specifically, is one better than the other for sculpting, painting, or other functions? I'd be really interested in hearing opinions.

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ZBrush offers a lot more advance tools, it has better retopology tools. ZBrush also has dynamesh that helps a huge amount when building basic form, although as you refine you will stop using it.

I used Mudbox for a month because I heard some good things about it. I found that there wasn't any thing bad to say about it, it has all you need and a lot of users means I had a lot of help with it.

The largest difference I noticed(In mechanics not tools) was while sculpting  in Mudbox I would sometimes get a mistake when sculpting at a angle to the camera that never happens in ZBrush; it's a small thing but it's the kind thing that matters when working on a large amount of models.

If you can't afford ZBrush or you don't plan on being a 3D artist then Mudbox is more than a acceptable alternative.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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Well, ZBrush is great, if you can crack the incredibly obscure UI. Really, its like a tool from a different dimension made for some alien mind to understand. It's clearly NOT suited to be used like I do: open it once every 3 months to work on something I cannot do in simpler tools. By that time I need to relearn even the simplest things, because ZBrush seems to be unable to follow ANY industry standart (they think they can SET them, which given ZBrushs reach among 3D artist, is a fair assumption).

Once you get the hang of it, its extremly powerful though. Worth the 800$you spend on a license if you ask me... ...Though I have to make a mention of 3D Coat. A tool for less than half of what ZBrush charges you, which is able to do pretty much everything ZBrush does. Its not quite there yet with ZBrush when it comes to sculpting. You can do almost everything, but there ARE some brushes I do miss from ZBrush, especially the more special ones to create realistic Rock surfaces for example. On the other hand, the UI is WAY more intuitive, it supports 3D Mice (which ZBrush still does not after all these years and even Blender supporting them), and you can come back after 3 months without having to relearn everything. Oh, and 3D Coat definetily blows ZBrush out of the water when it comes to texture painting and retopology... Before you commit to ZBrush, give 3D Coat a look. you can get a free trial, just as with ZBrush. I ended up getting both, definitely not regretting it, but in the end I use 3D Coat as my go to tool for 3D sculpting, retopo, UV manipulation, and texture painting, whereas I only fire up ZBrush when I reach the limits of what I can do in 3D Coat, just to see if ZBrush gives me the missing options (which it surprisingly does most of the time). But 95% of my time I am satisfied with 3D Coat, and happy that I do NOT need to fire up ZBrush :) #### Share this post ##### Link to post ##### Share on other sites Well, ZBrush is great, if you can crack the incredibly obscure UI. Really, its like a tool from a different dimension made for some alien mind to understand. It's clearly NOT suited to be used like I do: open it once every 3 months to work on something I cannot do in simpler tools. By that time I need to relearn even the simplest things, because ZBrush seems to be unable to follow ANY industry standart (they think they can SET them, which given ZBrushs reach among 3D artist, is a fair assumption). Once you get the hang of it, its extremly powerful though. Worth the 800$ you spend on a license if you ask me...

...Though I have to make a mention of 3D Coat. A tool for less than half of what ZBrush charges you, which is able to do pretty much everything ZBrush does. Its not quite there yet with ZBrush when it comes to sculpting. You can do almost everything, but there ARE some brushes I do miss from ZBrush, especially the more special ones to create realistic Rock surfaces for example. On the other hand, the UI is WAY more intuitive, it supports 3D Mice (which ZBrush still does not after all these years and even Blender supporting them), and you can come back after 3 months without having to relearn everything.

Oh, and 3D Coat definetily blows ZBrush out of the water when it comes to texture painting and retopology...

Before you commit to ZBrush, give 3D Coat a look. you can get a free trial, just as with ZBrush. I ended up getting both, definitely not regretting it, but in the end I use 3D Coat as my go to tool for 3D sculpting, retopo, UV manipulation, and texture painting, whereas I only fire up ZBrush when I reach the limits of what I can do in 3D Coat, just to see if ZBrush gives me the missing options (which it surprisingly does most of the time). But 95% of my time I am satisfied with 3D Coat, and happy that I do NOT need to fire up ZBrush :)

Well, I looked at 3D Coat, I haven't downloaded the trial, but if it's got the same capabilities for the most part, the price is definitely in my range of affordability, especially the amateur version. Thanks for letting me know, cause this will solve my more long term software issues at least.  :)

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Well, I looked at 3D Coat, I haven't downloaded the trial, but if it's got the same capabilities for the most part, the price is definitely in my range of affordability, especially the amateur version. Thanks for letting me know, cause this will solve my more long term software issues at least.  :)

Well, as said, give it a try. I didn't regret starting off with 3D Coat. To me it has the right blend of features and usability to make it a joy to use... something I have a hard time saying about ZBrush, no matter how powerful ZBrush is.

Of course, keep in mind with both tools (and most probably mudbox too) you still may want to keep an additional 3D Tool like Blender or Maya to fill the blanks of ZBrush or 3D Coat, but you most probably know that already.

Good luck with finding the tool that fits your needs most. Just give them all at least a short try, don't think you will regret that.

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Even though I have ZBrush at my disposal, I use Blender that is free. Anytime soon we could get automatic retopology tools for free... yey.

I really like Blender, however it's sculpting tools -like that of Maya and Max- just can't compete with any of the dedicated sculpting software.

Although the triangle division of Blenders dynamic topology sculpting is good for rocky surfaces.

Well, ZBrush is great, if you can crack the incredibly obscure UI. Really, its like a tool from a different dimension made for some alien mind to understand.

So true. I remember spending my first day just looking for a way to select the model I just un-selected, only to find there is no way to select models in canvas mode. The worst part is that in the beginner tutorials no one even thinks to point out these strange concepts because everyone making the tutorials already thinks it's normal.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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I can attest to the 4 million or so polygon thing in Blender. Not sure what Z-Brush or Mudbox can do, as I would have thought this is mostly related to what graphics card you are using and whether you're using DX12/Vulkan or not. But my copy of Blender really starts sputtering and lagging very roughly around 3 to 4 million triangles. My graphics card is about 3 or 4 years old though. So a 1080 GTX would certainly do better. I love Blender. But I know not to over load it with more than it can handle.