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  #1  
Old 07-06-2009, 03:34 PM
A.J. A.J. is offline
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Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

HI, I was reading the posts on digital sculpting not being art but I don't know enough about what it takes to use these programs to know. It may be an art in itself to be able to use a program like z-brush well enough to make a realistic sculpture. That being said it may be too high a learning curve to make it worth my while if I am just wanting another "tool". I am wondering though if there is any advantage for a sculptor already skilled in creating figurative and abstract sculpture in clay to learn to use a digital modelling program like z-brush? I am thinking that is could be a valuable tool not to take the place of sculpting in clay but to open the door to new possiblities. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
A.J.
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2009, 06:43 PM
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KelEG KelEG is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

I went from traditional to digital and back again(partly to see if the digital will influence how I sculpt traditionally).

Its useful as a high detail sketch medium--you can sculpt a head or figure and then rapidly make all sorts of variations on it. I even used photos of a digital sculpture I did as reference for a traditional sculpture.
I dont think the learning curve is that bad. Its not like trying to learn something along the lines of Maya software.

Zbrush has been used for conceptual illustration in movies and Rick Baker went from makeup effects sculpting to zbrush.

Where it would be very useful to learn is if you were geared towards industrial design sculpting. It has already started to take over toy prototyping and I know of at least one sculptor in it who felt compelled to learn zbrush because of shifting industry processes.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:20 PM
A.J. A.J. is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Hi,
Thanks for the reply. I am happy to hear from a sculptor who has actually done both digital and traditional sculpting! I am interested in trying to expand my possiblities when making prototypes and in creating interesting abstract work without having to physically create the idea until I am pretty certain it is something I think will be worth creating! I take it you use z-brush? If so what version would you recommend? I saw the 3.1 being offered as a 30 day free trial on the z-brush website so I thought i'd try it. I have just purchased the intuos4 medium pressure pad and pen to go with it. I figure it never hurts to try something new.
Thanks for your input.
A.J.
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  #4  
Old 07-06-2009, 08:10 PM
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KelEG KelEG is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Yes I am using zbrush. Currently 3.1.

I believe 4.0 is coming out in august.

I think 3.1 should be sufficient. I cant really advise beyond that.
I would recommend visiting the zbrush central homepage for more information--there are digital abstract sculpture sites-but I am not sure exactly where they are. I have seen it mentioned somewhere recently.
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  #5  
Old 07-06-2009, 11:20 PM
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The Forge The Forge is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Unless you are using the 3D model to generate a CAM program to be reproduced on a machine, the final sculpture can only be a 'human reproduced copy' of what you have computer designed.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2009, 02:21 PM
A.J. A.J. is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Thanks for the info, I'll look it up. Also to the person who wrote about the need to produce whatever design the computer comes up with humanly, Yes I absloutely knew that and to be honest I wouldn't do it any other way. I am one of those artists who believes in the human touch being what makes it art. I would only use the program to check out design possibilities before going to the trouble of making it. What I do know is that even the rudimentary knowledge I have using adobe illustrator has helped so I am just assuming that a better program will help even more.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:51 PM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Its good in this age that we have a choice.

Personally, if I were blasted back into the stone age tommorow and left with a set of cave paints and some clay from the ground I don't think I would be too devastated.

I think over the next 10 or 20 years what we make in reality, will be able to be automatically processed onto our pcs using some laser scanning cam.
So perhaps learning a 3d application with the detriment of making things in reality wont be that vital!?!?

Look at things like digital photography, software applications, scanners, computers, etc etc. In the last 20 years they have become affordable to the point of too cheap, ie throway objects. So perhaps digital 3d scanning will be the affordable norm in the near future.

Zbrush is good for organic work I find, for design work I used 3ds max.
Because I have the 3ds max software for my job, I am lucky to be able to use it for sculpture work.

However, you can use blender which is free. Lots of other good ones out there, I was looking at Rhino today for example.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:47 PM
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StevenW StevenW is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KelEG View Post
Yes I am using zbrush. Currently 3.1.

I believe 4.0 is coming out in august.

I think 3.1 should be sufficient. I cant really advise beyond that.
I would recommend visiting the zbrush central homepage for more information--there are digital abstract sculpture sites-but I am not sure exactly where they are. I have seen it mentioned somewhere recently.
From what I understand, ZB 4 is going to have some very powerful tools to assist in 2d work and browser capability to make snatching things up like textures and shades/colors straight from the internet (folders or wherever) very fast and friendly and eliminating the need to export and touch up in photoshop and re-import/map/re-texture and so forth. Doesn't really matter if all you are doing is "clay" renders, but it looks like it is shaping up nicely IMO.. The industry in general seems also to be investing a great deal of effort toward rapid import/export from one app to another in real-time (think "easy" button) to speed up workflows because so many people in 3D have a wide range of different programs for different purposes and like to use them in their own unique pipelines. Several guys I know use Hexagon or Modo to model quick base meshes for instance and then import those to Zbrush for the detail work and they can knock out fully detailed and textured models very quickly and shoot them back for rendering as opposed to starting out with a sphere or base model in ZBrush or whatever..

Hexagon 2.2 is free in this months issue of 3D world magazine and is an excellent poly modeler, check it out at Barnes and Noble. Well worth 15 bucks..
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2009, 03:02 PM
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WillPaq WillPaq is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

It's great to be inquisitive and to embrace any means of creation. Were I younger and interested in commercial sculpture applications I would learn the programs.

As it stands, I am not not interested in anything which further ties me to a keyboard, mouse and screen. Digital anything is shortcutting and feels so temporary. Hell, when I want to shoot real pictures, I take out my twenty five year-old Canon F1, load it with film and get down to business. Likewise when I sculpt, I want my hands dirty- I want to smell the clay or wax, and use all the properties of the materials to create a possession in three true dimensions and hold it, molesting the contours and having that tingle run through me.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:11 PM
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The Forge The Forge is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

To me, using MOI3D is like sketching an idea on paper, just a starting point for what is to be created.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2009, 11:20 AM
A.J. A.J. is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

I agree that it does take energy and time to keep up with the computer age. Of course I prefer not to be tied to a keyboard either but it has made so many things so much easier that I am not the least bit sorry for taking the time to learn enough about some of the programs to take advantage of these time saving tools. I can't imagine having to go back to real film, invest time and money on film and processing and have to wait until the film was returned to see if any of the photos were usable. If they were not I had to start the whole process over again. This made applying for shows with deadlines a nightmare. My only other option was paying professional photoagrahers to tdo the job but that was cost prohibitive. I still get my hands dirty and do all my art with my hands up to the point that I no longer have the skills such as in the casting of the bronze, but to be able to use modern tools to eliminate uneccesary steps is a huge help if you ask me.
I don't want to see digital take over hand made, and don't think it ever can but I have nothing against making my process easier if I can.
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:02 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

Sure, it's worth it, if this is a direction that interests you. There are a ton of different approaches, though, and you should decide what sort of thing you're trying to do, and what program or system would be best for accomplishing that. If you're into the hard-edged geometric type of sculpture, Z-brush probably isn't for you - a program like MOI, Rhino, or Solidworks might suit you better. But if you're more interested in organic, textural sorts of things, then Z-brush, Mudbox, Modo, or Sensable's Claytools would be more appropriate. Any program you get into will take some time and practice to get good at, but it might save you some time and money over making your mistakes on a grand scale with real materials like stone and bronze.

Obviously, if you're looking at sculpture as a recreation, something therapeutic to do with your hands after a busy day at the computer, then this probably isn't the approach that's going to appeal to you. But if you want to be able to test out 3d ideas without wasting valuable materials, then it has a lot to recommend it.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2009, 08:02 PM
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KelEG KelEG is offline
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Re: Is it worth it to learn to use a digital sculpting program?

This is a neat workflow. Seems like the buildup method in digital. Zbrush is full of surprises lately.

http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/sho...d.php?t=073956
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