OT: Questions about Blacksmith3D Suite

DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
edited December 1969 in The Commons

Blacksmith3D (Blacksmith3D Web Site) is on sale until the 30th, and I was wondering if anyone here has had any experience with it, and what they think about it. I'm looking for an app that will aid in the creation of figure texture sets from photos (V4/Genesis), and for making displacement maps. The videos make it look like it would be a great tool for texture creation and for blending textures at the seams. I do wonder just how good the results are. Unfortunately, I can't afford some of the other options out there (i.e. zbrush), and this seems like it might work. Below are a few additional questions.

1) In reference to texture painting and displacement map creation, how does Blacksmith3D compare to 3D Coat and Blender
2) Does Blacksmith3D support Genesis
3) Does Blacksmith3D support detailed displacement map creation on low poly figures (thinking Genesis and clothing details) similar to the capabilities of zbrush
4) I like the way the 3D bridge between Hexagon and DS works for creating morphs but would be interested in hearing others experiences with morph creation using Blacksmith3D.

Any other comments or general information about Blacksmith3D in general, or compared to other applications would be greatly appreciated.

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Comments

  • nitehawk_ltdnitehawk_ltd Posts: 260
    edited December 1969

    I have used both the free version and ver. 3.2.
    So far it works on any .obj file that will load.
    The seamless textures work great, but you must do a little clean up at times on lo-res textures.
    I mostly use the paint program, I really haven't used the high end functions like the modeling part.
    And it is a lot cheaper than photoshop.
    If you can, grab the free version and give it a spin.
    .
    Did you know that Hexagon has a paint program? It seems to work, although I really haven't used it much.
    Just a thought.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
    edited December 1969

    Thanks nitehawk_ltd!

    The video demonstrating painting with high resolution photos on the their website really got my attention. The paint tools in Hex are OK for simple things, but definitely don't seem to come come close the this level of versatility. I'll probably download the demo tonight and try it out. I don't think Blender can do anything like this either with the paint tools, but it does have some good displacement painting tools (Hex has some pretty good displacement painting as well).

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 9,598
    edited December 1969

    Heads up, its 50% off at rendo. Found this thread doing a google search, I want to know how it compares to Zbrush, or if it does.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
    edited December 1969

    Novica said:
    Heads up, its 50% off at rendo. Found this thread doing a google search, I want to know how it compares to Zbrush, or if it does.

    I'd say it's totally different than Zbrush. BS3D is really designed with a primary focus on Poser//DS content (though you can use any .obj file in it, so it is also quite versatile). I like it because it is a focused application, and fairly simple to use. It has some great 3D paint tools that were created with making seamless textures for figures in mind.

    I'd say download the demo version, and give it a quick try. That's what I finally ended up doing, and after about 10 min. I knew it would meet my needs and got it (watching some of the tutorials influenced my decision as well). At 50% off, IMHO it really is a great deal.

  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited December 1969

    I have it and like it. I'm still finding my way round though and unfortunately by the time I thought to get a copy of the manual last night I found it had vanished from their site, along with a lot of other links that come back not found. The developers do seem to respond to questions on Rendo though.

    Something else you can do with it is convert V4 textures to G2F and to HW's Dawn. (I know that might not be of particular interest to you as you have another product for that purpose, Novica, but thought it could be of interest to others). :) Pendraia put together a great guide on ShareCG that walks you through the process.

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,005
    edited December 1969

    Are you sure that its Pendraia? I looked at her gallery and the guide does not show up... and using SCG's search engine is super-useless (one may as well type "random-results" in place of whatever they are looking for).

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
    edited December 1969

    Are you sure that its Pendraia? I looked at her gallery and the guide does not show up... and using SCG's search engine is super-useless (one may as well type "random-results" in place of whatever they are looking for).

    I think it may be this one
    http://www.sharecg.com/v/72144/view/3/PDF-Tutorial/Texture-Transformer-for-DS-users

    The tool to do the texture conversions is called Texture Transformer (comes with BS3D, or can be purchased as a stand alone). It does a great job.

  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited August 2014

    Thanks dustrider for adding the link for lordvicore. I'd forgotten to add there was a stand-alone version of this tool, which is why the tutorial wouldn't have been obvious even though it was the right person's account. But the link will keep people right.

    Post edited by IndigoJanson on
  • MistyMistMistyMist Posts: 15,554
    edited December 1969

    it says auto uv :bug: iz too much to believe, is it true?

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,005
    edited December 1969

    Thanks... I'm stupid... I saw that and it didn't click... I was looking for "Blacksmith 3D" or something.

    About that Auto UV... I'd like to know about that too... I've used the demos before, but I've never been able to get that to work like it seems it should work (specialized/localized projection mapping?)... actually, I never really got it work at all for the most part... I'm curious about other people's experiences with that... for me, that would be the soul reason to buy that...

  • MistyMistMistyMist Posts: 15,554
    edited December 1969

    Thanks... I'm stupid... I saw that and it didn't click... I was looking for "Blacksmith 3D" or something.

    About that Auto UV... I'd like to know about that too... I've used the demos before, but I've never been able to get that to work like it seems it should work (specialized/localized projection mapping?)... actually, I never really got it work at all for the most part... I'm curious about other people's experiences with that... for me, that would be the soul reason to buy that...


    +1 for auto uv.


    i'm using wings3d for uv mapping, is time consuming

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,005
    edited December 1969

    Does that mean you are using it and like it?
    I read one of the CGI mags a while back and they looked at Blacksmith and sorta liked it... but they pointed out it's faults... they seemed to be steering people more toward UV LayOut or Ultimate Unwrap...
    But that was a long while ago... last year or before... I've been seriously thinking of buying UV LayOut (especially since I have a Mac)...

    You know what we really, really need? a 21st century UV mapping program... one that works like photoshop, allowing you to edit and manipulate the textures directly on the model... It automaps the model roughly, then allows you to drag textures onto the model and cut, splice and warp and scale to your heart's delight all in super duper happy fun-time 3D... like when you are sculpting in Zbrush or Scuptris... then after you are done patching it all together, it flattens it all into one nice happy UV map...
    it should also work with touch screens... maybe in place of a tablet...
    I know there is stuff that is sorta like that, but I'm describing it poorly... The vision of what it should be that I have in my head is awesome.
    Even the best stuff still seems too 20th century.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
    edited December 1969

    The UV map that BS3D creates is great for texturing in BS3D, but you wouldn't want to use the UV map it with anything but a 3D painting program . The UV maps it creates won't work well in any 2D program, as it spreads out "poly's" all over the place. If you only plan to use the models yourself, and only texture them in BS3D, then it works very well.

  • jestmartjestmart Posts: 1,811
    edited December 1969

    Base off of dustrider's description I would say Blacksmith's auto UV is much the same as Blender's. Every edge in the model is designated as a seam so every polygon is 'splattered' on to the map wherever they will fit. Whereas if you take the time layout the seams in Blender or any other decent modeller/UV mapper you should get a nice, neat logical map without much stretching.

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,005
    edited December 1969

    Thanks... seems like it hasn't really changed... not that it is a bad thing if you like it, but I want/need to make 2D maps for my models (well, I'd really love to be able to do what I said previously, but at this point thats just blue sky dreams)... since they are not just for my personal use, I need them to be more traditional looking...
    I'll probably eventually get UV Layout... I like the idea of the map relaxing feature... if it works the way people suggest it does, this is a huge help.
    Thanks again!

  • MistyMistMistyMist Posts: 15,554
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for explaining the auto-uvmapping feature

  • BTLProdBTLProd Posts: 106
    edited August 2014

    jestmart said:
    Base off of dustrider's description I would say Blacksmith's auto UV is much the same as Blender's. Every edge in the model is designated as a seam so every polygon is 'splattered' on to the map wherever they will fit. Whereas if you take the time layout the seams in Blender or any other decent modeller/UV mapper you should get a nice, neat logical map without much stretching.
    Correct. The technical term is Atlas Mapping, and several 3D programs use it.

    Both Z-Brush and 3D Coat do a much better job of auto UV mapping.

    There are several alternatives to Blacksmith 3D, a few of which I have used.

    If all you are looking for is 3D paint then Blacksmith 3D (which I have used) is not a bad choice. If you like using Photoshop, so you have the best of both worlds (2d and 3D paint) then I recommend 3D Coat (which I use, now, almost exclusively for 3D paint) instead as it has a Photoshop bridge built in.

    If all you are comparing is 3D Paint then they are similar. If you are needing UV mapping then 3D Coat is far superior, not just in the auto UV function, but also in allowing you to do your own UV mapping.

    If you want to do sculpting (Making morphs) or retopo then both Z-Brush and 3D coat are far superior to Blacksmith 3D.

    Just my $0.02. LOL

    Post edited by BTLProd on
  • BTLProdBTLProd Posts: 106
    edited December 1969


    You know what we really, really need? a 21st century UV mapping program... one that works like photoshop, allowing you to edit and manipulate the textures directly on the model... It automaps the model roughly, then allows you to drag textures onto the model and cut, splice and warp and scale to your heart's delight all in super duper happy fun-time 3D... like when you are sculpting in Zbrush or Scuptris... then after you are done patching it all together, it flattens it all into one nice happy UV map...
    it should also work with touch screens... maybe in place of a tablet...
    I know there is stuff that is sorta like that, but I'm describing it poorly... The vision of what it should be that I have in my head is awesome.
    Even the best stuff still seems too 20th century.
    I believe what you are describing is called PTex. (Supported by both DS and 3DCoat.)
    http://ptex.us/overview.html

  • McGyverMcGyver Posts: 1,005
    edited December 1969

    Yes and no... my understanding (though I may be wrong) is that its more like it applies procedural textures instead of image based textures... and there is not actual UV map...
    I think it is awesome and that something like it will eventually be common... but right now thats too hi-end.

    I should go and look at it again to see how that all works...

  • Dream CutterDream Cutter Posts: 1,084
    edited August 2014

    Fwiw, I believe Blacksmith was actually sold to Rendo. I have it and am ambivilant to further reccomend it. The product has had an identity crisis since the start and its capabilities morph rather than evolve with each release. I dont like its method of uv. Strange interface. Now that updates are unlikely, I moved on a more robust solution.
    ZB is awesome, a bit of a learning curve however the results of its capabilities are impressive. Also in the long run ZB is less expensive because feature updates are free!

    Post edited by Dream Cutter on
  • Midnight_storiesMidnight_stories Posts: 1,590
    edited December 1969

    I believe Blacksmith was actually sold to Rendo. !

    Just out of curiosity where did you get that info from ?

  • Dream CutterDream Cutter Posts: 1,084
    edited December 1969

    I am a customer and when I had a support inquire, the prior publisher directed me to Rendo support (not the forum). It's still an assumption and not fact. Since that post and recently I have seen a new release (v6) so I definitely was incorrect in assuming that development has stalled. I really like the objectives of BS3d, but its fallen short of usability and capability for me, although eventually I had to get a better program to accomplish the full range of features needed for hd figure modeling.

  • Midnight_storiesMidnight_stories Posts: 1,590
    edited December 1969

    Yes the interface puts me off to and I would love some HD Baking tools in it but don't see any !

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 1,318
    edited November 2014

    I am a customer and when I had a support inquire, the prior publisher directed me to Rendo support (not the forum). It's still an assumption and not fact. Since that post and recently I have seen a new release (v6) so I definitely was incorrect in assuming that development has stalled. I really like the objectives of BS3d, but its fallen short of usability and capability for me, although eventually I had to get a better program to accomplish the full range of features needed for hd figure modeling.

    Does it mean, that ZBrush fulfils your needs for hd figure modelling, or you are still in search for a better solution?

    Post edited by Artini on
  • Consumer573Consumer573 Posts: 181
    edited November 2014

    Yes, Renderosity Purchased Blacksmith 3D

    Here is their latest for Blacksmith 3D version 6 Pro:

    http://www.renderosity.com/blacksmith3d-version-6-released-cms-17361

    I had V5, didn't particularly care for the interface, and now in 6 they say they have supposedly improved it. The upgrade is about $75 on sale technically until 10/31, but apparently still available today.

    There are three tutorials under Rendo's 'Premium Tutorials' tab, page2:

    http://www.renderosity.com/mod/tutorial_premium/?page_number=2

    ANd a tutorial on how to create textures:

    http://www.renderosity.com/mod/tutorial_premium/index.php?page=info&tutorial=9

    I am curious to where the tutorials Dustrider used that got him enthusiastic and going. Are these them?

    Post edited by Consumer573 on
  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 1,318
    edited December 1969

    Yes, I have upgraded my 5 Pro version to the 6th, and even get a 24% off out of it, by using October's prime member coupon.
    As for the move of Blacksmith 3D to Renderosity, I think it was the right decision, because it will get more publicity there
    and the developer will get more time to spend on actual development, instead of dealing with marketing/sales support.

  • Midnight_storiesMidnight_stories Posts: 1,590
    edited December 1969

    Yes I updated to 6, had some good sales at rendo this month so it didn't coat me anything.
    Now how do I change the hot keys from F1 F2 F3 to ALt Lft Mid Right mouse keys ??? I want it to do something that is standard navigtion ?
    I see it load DUF directly now that's a good plus !

  • Dream CutterDream Cutter Posts: 1,084
    edited December 1969

    Artini said:
    I am a customer and when I had a support inquire, the prior publisher directed me to Rendo support (not the forum). It's still an assumption and not fact. Since that post and recently I have seen a new release (v6) so I definitely was incorrect in assuming that development has stalled. I really like the objectives of BS3d, but its fallen short of usability and capability for me, although eventually I had to get a better program to accomplish the full range of features needed for hd figure modeling.

    Does it mean, that ZBrush fulfils your needs for hd figure modelling, or you are still in search for a better solution?

    Frankly ZBrush far exceeded my expectations in many dimensions, value being the greatest. Its a hugely capable program that does 2.5 - 3D modeling, design and illustration however its built as a 2.5D ART package rather than a true 3d Modeler, It has a 3d modeler to edit 3d primitives in a zillion ways within a realtime 2.5D render engine. It IS NOT a figure development system, however its GOZ interface allows for 3d figures to be modified as Morphs (no vertices count change) between several figure systems including DS, Poser and Carrrara, Because it is so versitle, much can be accomplished HOWEVER because it is not a TRUE 3D Figure Editor, it is lacking some necessary functions NOT supplied by ZBRUSH (OR Blacksmith for that matter). Capabilities like rigging, poly group blending, and other figure centric needs.. However you will find theses features are handled by Poser,m DS, Carrara ane even further game figure tools like FragMoSoft and UUW 3D.
    SO to say what will work for you for a given need is complex. Its all about defining your end goal requirements and working backwards from thier to your source primitive mesh to create a 3d development pipeline that works for your needs.

  • GiGi_7GiGi_7 Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    There is a free trial in rendo

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,026
    edited December 1969


    I am curious to where the tutorials Dustrider used that got him enthusiastic and going. Are these them?

    A lot of the tutorial videos can be found on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/realityPaintVideos). Unfortunately they all use either the old Blacksmith 3D (B3D) version 4 interface or the newer RealityPaint (version 5) interface, but not the new V6 interface. Keep in mind Blacksmith 3D had a brief name change to RealityPaint, so videos that reference RealityPaint are actually for Blacksmith 3D (version 5).

    I just fired up B3D V6 for a quick "look see", and the new interface is a LOT different than the version 5 interface. It will take a little bit of time to get used to the new interface after the other one, but it will probably be much better for new users.

    Because of time constraints, I haven't used B3D as much as I thought I would. But every time I do use it, I'm glad I have it. Some day I would like to "upgrade" to either 3D Coat, or possibly zBrush, for some of the additional tools they have, but B3D is a great addition to the 3D tool kit.

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