“The Lord of the Rings” movies brought us three incredible movies and one of the most interesting 3d sculpting and painting software nowadays, Mudbox. Created as an add-on to expand developer’s toolsets, the program was acquired by Autodesk in 2007 and was fully used during King Kong blockbuster production.
This program is now part of Autodesk’s creation and design Suite and works in perfect combination with Autodesk Maya, AutoCAD or 3ds Max thanks to the added FBX file format.
How to Use
With ZBrush as a rival, Autodesk’s developers have tried to improve the product in order to be at the cutting edge of its rival after undergoing disappointing versions. Based on a retopology philosophy, Mudbox 2014 offers two different methods to work with:
The quick Computed Retopology automatically generates your model based on the number of polygons and their distribution (parametric inputs).
Guided Retopology generates edges loops and curves on the models’ surface to guide you in order to know how the model was made.
The new Mudbox retopology operations are capable of working with imported and native scanned models. Even though, sometimes they require some preparation previews (editing the model) and in some cases the program crashes, although it normally works fine.
Anyway, Mudbox retopology workflow is based on fixing all the topology problems. That’s why it is still below programs like ZBrush.
Included into Autodesk Suite 3d programs since the 2013 version, Mudbox UI is now more Maya-like but much more customizable. Layers, Viewport Filters and Object List can be moved and set wherever we want.
Feel free to sculpt realistic forms from a simple polygon, drawing curves over it. Mudbox is compatible with Adobe Photoshop software to import and export 16 bits PSD. It is also able to combine bump maps to generate relief’s details and generate a unique map compatible with most game engines. Autodesk Mudbox 2014 has enhanced the workflow and now it is easier to mirror objects and even manipulate the texture colour easily. Now it is possible to paint directly over 3d models with a multi-touch interactive control and display. Select/move tools were enhanced to include UV and border selection.
Thanks to those enhancements Mudbox is one of the best programs for 3D sculpting and unbeatable on 2D/3D painting. It is the perfect combination for Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max and its workflow with Softimage was improved to close the excellent Autodesk Suite.
Anyway, if you already have the 2013 Mudbox version and you need to work with imported models… we recommend not downloading the 2014 and sticking with the predecessor (or older).
Mudbox 2014 Features
Mudbox 2014 best features are:
- 2D/3D layer-based painting system
- Workflow similar to Adobe´s Photoshop (tools, layers, effects…)
- Able to interoperate with Adobe’s Photoshop and Autodesk Suite
- Better texture management
- Free library of tools and big Mudbox Community to share information and knowledge
For more information, before the download, please check the developer’s website. http://www.autodesk.com/
For the 32-bit Mudbox 2014 version it is necessary to fit the next system requirements:
OS Microsoft Windows 7 Professional edition
Intel or AMD multicore processor with 64- bit
At least 4GB RAM
At least 1 GB HDD space for installation
Hardware-accelerated graphic cards
Ethernet or wireless adapter card
3-button mouse is recommended
For more information about the recommended graphic cards, before the download, check the Autodesk’s Hardware wizard. http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/syscert?id=18844534&siteID=123112
For more information about the software, please check the developers website. http://www.autodesk.com/products/mudbox/overview
- 3d layer workflows
- Enhanced control and display
- Considerable enhancements on retopology tools and workflows
- Still the best on 2D and 3D painting
- Great and free community
- Not recommended to work with imported models
- Still not as powerful as other sculpting programs