nature challenge – 01

to me challenges are a good way to learn, and like my previous portrait and figure challenges, i want do now a nature challenge, to get out of my comfort zone of sculpting πŸ™‚ … the motivation for trying this was the hedgehog image… now i want do a series of images, to learn about how to create nature scenes in blender, where i use zbrush of course too, whenever zbrush is more convinient for a task (like texturing…)…

here my first attempt, a path along a little creek …



6 thoughts on “nature challenge – 01

  1. I’m developing to a point now where i can start to guess techniques used, simply because you pushed me to persist with Blender ☺ Thanks. ☺ Excellent work ☺

    • this is really great, greg! it is a pity blender is so difficult to learn, because of this complicated ui, but blender has a lot to offer. and i see on your blog, you know how to combine blender work with your other tools of choice! so glad it starts working out for you. thanks for letting me know πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Doris….Hmmmm…hard to tell reality from nature nowadays…. But I see that you often go back and forth from Zbrush to Blender– depending on task. I wonder if you could list a few tasks that you find better done in Blender vs Zbrush? Thanks.

    • hi mark. ..actually i don’t think this is particularly good, as my main trouble was figuring out how to do it at all. i hope the next pieces get better …

      i still use blender mostly. but texturing for example, i always do in zbrush. blender is missing the “colored spray brush”, which is used to get color variety. without that it is hard to paint realistic skin textures, for example. at least if you do not copy from fotos but paint by hand from scratch as i do… also setting up for texturing, i way too complicated for my taste, and the brushes do not work so fluently as i like..
      the other thing i prefer doing in zbrush is finishing off high poly sculpts. blender still cannot decently manage sculpting high poly meshes. dynatopo is restricted to something around 1-1.5 mill, which is often not enough. and multires is so picky with the basemeshes (and still has the spikes bug that can destroy your work completely, it did several times on me). i recently saw someone has sculpted the suzanne upto 16 mill (i think it was) polygons… yes, on a basemesh with only few quads, multires works fine. but even for a head, a good basemesh is closer to 1000 polygons, and then the trouble begins. a full figure needs a basemesh of at least 5000 polygons, and i had no luck with these in multires…
      i prefer sculpting in blender, for the basestructures, or for raw sculpt sessions that do not need fine details. blenders dynatopo is the best sculpting tool available, best brushes, best way the mesh reacts when you stroke. its almost like realy clay. it only lacks that it cannot deal with high polygon sculpts. zbrush dynamesh is crap, compared with blenders dynatopo. however, it can deal with many millions of polygons, 20 mill, no problem at all, even with brush radius that cover almost the whole workspace… blenders brush radii in sculpting are way too small for my taste, still..
      if i am not in the mood for hand retopo, i do this quicky in zbrush, and still have decent topology in just a click, waiting at most a minute.. blender has no such thing that gives a similar quality of the basemesh. hand retopo i do however always in blender, it just is ways better for it than zbrush.
      overall the viewport is better in zbrush, for example hair editing. in zbrush you really can see what you are doing…however, the combing tools and settings you have for blender hair are much better. alas, you have a hard time in blender seeing what you are doing while combing… and, zbrush hair can be exported to blender, but you cannot render it properly as you cannot use the hair bsdfs on this “hair”, and blender has no node to get info like the “intercept” for blender hair, which is crucial for a good hair shader…
      zbrush has a way better undo system. i stilll loose sometimes hours of work, due to the bad structure of blenders undo system. and the autosave does not work when you use dynatopo sculpt mode…
      rendering i always do in cycles. material nodes are super easy to use and understand..zbrush renderer is crap. the material system in zbrush is very hard to use. it is nice for quick wip images to render in zbrush, as it renders superfast. but i don’t like the quality.

      well, that is what comes to mind right now, maybe uch more than you wanted to read… nevertheless, if you are interested in specific tasks, just let me know. do you have zbrush? or considering buying it? is this why you ask? just curious.

      • Wow, thanks for the in depth explanation. I enjoyed reading it. Actually, I already have Zbrush 4R7 version. I started out with Blender 2.67 and migrated to Zbrush 10 months ago. I got busy learning Zbrush and kinda lost track of Blender. I really like Zbrush, and thought I never would look back to Blender anymore…but since seeing you go back and forth, I started to wonder maybe Blender is still pretty good to use. πŸ™‚

        • yes, mark, i think, zbrush and blender are a perfect combo. i have zbrush since the version 1.75, so more than 12 years or so… and since i use blender, i feel much better with zbrush too πŸ™‚, i would like to encourage you to see how they fit both into your work, to get the best of both worlds, with goz it is really easy to swap the programs.

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