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3D Artists on SP3


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I'm new to the forums. I've been scouring them for weeks now trying to find detailed discussions on Zbrush and Maya on the SP3. Between the two I'm more interested in Zbrush on the SP3 as opposed to maya . . . I like the appeal of being able to do speed sculpts on the go when the opportunity arises.

I'm a professional 3D artist and I know something like the SP3 is no replacement to a desktop for my needs.

I'm not interested in the SP3 strictly for Zbrush. It would fulfill many needs I have right now:
Light computing platform on the go
email from anywhere (i'm not a smart phone owner, so the only time I can reply to emails is at home on my DT)
manage my websites on the go
note taking
writing anywhere (my current laptop is a dinosaur and also has a dead keyboard from spilling coffee on it...currently using a wacom tablet as a keyboard replacement...haha)
the list goes on . . .

However, my main reason for this post is to call out to all the 3D artists on these forums to clarify whether or not Zbrush has pen pressure issues. I've come across the posts about the pen pressure being a problem in Zbrush. I've also come across posts where users say Zbrush runs great.

I've looked over the Surface Pro Artist blog and read that the n-trig thing is a problem with Zbrush but that at some point an update is intended to fix this.

What's confusing me is I see posts about Zbrush "running well" in posts as recent as august . . . whereas the Surface Pro Artist blog discusses the n-trig issue with Zbrush back in May I believe . . .

Was there an update that fixed the n-trig pressure issues with Zbrush?
I'm just looking for some clarity on the experience of Zbrushing on the SP3 . . . Is the pen pressure in Zbrush acceptable? I imagine if worse came to worse . . . one could just rely on the brush intensity setting within Zbrush to make the proper adjustments to counteract a bad pen pressure issue . . . but I don't know that for sure.
When sculpting on the SP3 do you find that you're able to lose yourself in the enjoyment of sculpting? Or do you find yourself constantly reminded of hinderances of the SP3? And I don't know that there really are any, just can't decipher between different users posts as to whether or not it's a non-issue.

Any help on that matter would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping the responses are positive because the SP3 is appealing.

In case anyone that responds is wondering, I'd likely get the i7 256gb with the 8 gigs of ram.



I can't answer you from experience as a Surface user yet as i am still waiting for my device. However i can answer you as a fellow 3D artist and with all the information i have gathered from internet on this subject as i have also got interested in it.

You should not consider the Surface as a desktop replacement when it comes to Zbrush sculpting, although it is a powerful device it's limited by it's design. What you should consider the Surface is as a device you use to sketch your design on, create the rough sculpt, chisel out the shape and design on but the real final model with all highresolution textures is what you do at home on your powerful workstation. It's more of a mobile sculpting device than a fullfledged workstation you can walk around with.

I have also read and heard about initial issues with the limited pressure levels in combination with Zbrush and to some degree those exists, mainly with some users experiencing 'stepping' as you are limited to 256 levels. This means you could in theory atleast have trouble adding the finer surface details on your sculpts such as skindetails and such things.

From what i understand, sure the technical limit of 256 levels exists and at the moment there may be issues with stepping in some situations in Zbrush those issues should soon be eliminated. As a artist you will defiantely adapt to work with the new levels instead of letting them get in your way. By the way when sculpting you rarely use the whole 1024 or 2048 levels of pressure, you are using much less than that for most of your sculpting or sketching work.

There is also a new Wintab release which adds support for Zbrush so it should now be fully functional with the N-Trig pen. I have not yet tested this myself but based upon all the reading i have done online this seems to be the case.

By the way, i have placed an order for the exact same Surface model as you have. As soon as i get mine i'll keep you posted on how things work with Zbrush, Modo, Cinema4D and all the other applications. :)

/ Magnus


I don't consider myself a pro Zbrush user but I do have it installed on my i5 4gb 128gb SP3. With the ntrig wintab drivers I actually prefer this pen over the Wacom on the SP1 I had previously: I feel I have more control over the pressure levels and I also like that the lowest button on the pen acts as an ALT key press in Zbrush. For speed sculpting on the go I find it fantastic, especially with the size and quality of the screen.

As an aside, I make use of the Razer Orbwinder gaming keypad with my Sp3, which I have programmed with hotkeys and macros for Zbrush.