Entry 03/10/2016

3D Texturing Tools:

Part of me wants to explore and make use of 3D texturing tools. For the last

two years, I’ve been using 2D texturing tools, mainly Photoshop, for the

majority of my models. I’ve found several job listings which require a degree of

knowledge using either of the two most important texturing pieces of software:

MudBox Figure 1.(Dave Kendricken 2014) and ZBrush Figure 2.(Pixologic 2016)

I want to choose one to take forward in order to texture my models for my

dissertation; I’ll dedicate a blog to each of the tools and will base my final choice

on several factors listed below.

PBR workflow or physically based rendering is something which I’m familiar with.

It’s a set of critical materials which we use to build up an object. That includes

Diffuse, Normals, AO maps, Specular, Displacement and a few others which

deal with metallicness and the roughness of the material. These original

materials tell the game engine how individual objects react to light, depth and

detail, outside of the actual mesh itself. It is, therefore, important that I can

extract these maps from both pieces of software from an imported model from

3DS Max after being 3D textured within the software.


Figure 1: MudBox Logo (Dave Kendricken 2014)

Easy of use is something which should be a top priority when looking into both

pieces of software. Depending on the community surrounding the software it

might be simpler to learn the more complicated software, given a more active,

dedicated audience rather than the more available software which has a

smaller audience with fewer tutorials. This is something I’ll discover when I

experiment with both tools.


Professional outlook on the tools is something I should also look into. Does a

majority of companies fall on one side? This could be more useful to me in a

career sense and could offer greater opportunity to design applications


Figure 2: (Pixologic 2016)

The quality of results is a step up within 3D texturing tools. There are many

problems in 2D texturing, such as time-consuming normal mapping creation

which on the face of it, are solved in both Zbrush and Mudbox. I hope that

having the visual help of texturing straight to a model will significantly improve

the finer detail in meeting up with split UVs for example, something again which

can be time-consuming in working back and forth from Photoshop to 3DS Max.


The first blog I’ll report back on will be Mudbox;I’ll produce documentation on the

four points I’ve made using examples imported from 3DS Max, textured in

MudBox, exported back to Max and setup in a lighting rig using V-Ray. Doing so

I hope to learn a new piece of relevant software in the texturing pipeline to

increase the quality of my work.


Kendricken, D. (2016). [online] Available at: http://nofilmschool.com/2014/05/autodesk-mudbox-3d-modeling-software-monthly-subscription [Accessed 3 Oct. 2016].

Pixologic. (2016). Home of ZBrush. [online] Available at: http://pixologic.com/ [Accessed 3 Oct. 2016].