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v2019.1 Autodesk Mudbox

Review:

Autodesk Mudbox
  

3D Digital painting and sculpting software

Mudbox digital painting and sculpting software provides 3D artists with an intuitive and tactile toolset for creating and modifying 3D geometry and textures. Use Mudbox to create high-quality 3D geometry and textures for your next project. Take advantage of an intuitive work environment and professional tools for 3D sculpting and painting.


Highlights

Digital sculpting tools

Get fast, smooth, accurate results.

 

Paint onto 3D models

True 3D painting across multiple channels.

Advanced retopology tools

Create clean, production-quality meshes. Create meshes from scanned, imported, or sculpted data

Interactive control and display

Multitouch interaction and render-quality results.

Smooth integration

Move models between Mudbox and other software.

Texture baking

Normal, displacement, and ambient occlusion maps.

Maya interoperability

Import and export Ptex and multi-tile UV textures.

Smooth brush-based workflows

Effective brush-based workflows for polygons and textures.

Autodesk® Mudbox® 2018 software is supported on the following 64-bit operating systems and at a minimum, requires a system with the following 64-bit hardware:

Operating System

  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 (SP1) and Windows 10 Professional operating system
  • Apple® Mac OS® X 10.11.x, 10.12.x operating system
  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 6.5 & 7.2 WS operating system ¹
  • CentOS 6.5 & 7.2 Linux operating system ¹

¹ Requires a multi-user license, not supported with a single-user license.

Browser

Autodesk recommends the latest version of the following web browsers for access to online supplemental content:

  • Apple® Safari®
  • Google Chrome™
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer®
  • Mozilla® Firefox®

Hardware

  • CPU – 64-bit Intel® or AMD® multi-core processor
  • Graphics Hardware – Refer to the Maya Certified Hardware page for a detailed list of recommended systems and graphics cards
  • RAM –  4 GB of RAM (8 GB or more recommended)
  • Disk Space –  1 GB of free disk space for install
  • Pointing Device – Three-button mouse

New in Autodesk Mudbox 2019.1

Automatic Interface Scaling
Mudbox now automatically rescales the user interface based on the resolution of your monitor to accommodate high-resolution 4K monitors. As a result, Interface Scaling settings in the Mudbox Setup window and the User Interface Preferences have been removed.

See the full release notes with bug fixes.

New in Mudbox 2019

A new option, Preserve Volume, has been added to the Advanced properties from the Smooth tool so you can stop it from degrading the mesh excessively. This option is useful when working with dynamic tessellation if you want to prevent the Smooth tool from reducing the triangulated mesh volume too quickly.

This new behavior is off by default so you can use the Smooth tool to reduce and shrink the mesh volume. If you want the new behavior, where the mesh volume is maintained and cannot be degraded, activate this setting in the Sculpting tool properties (under the Advanced heading).
Note: The effects of Preserve Volume is less effective on low-polygon meshes.

Compare the effects without and with Preserve Volume in the animations below:

Dynamic Tessellation fixes

Dynamic Tessellation now supports UVs, Selection Sets, Joint Weights, and Falloff Type.

Previously, if any of these elements existed, they were ignored when Dynamic Tessellation created the new triangulated mesh copy. Now, Dynamic Tessellation includes these elements when the triangulated copy is created.

Selection Sets

Now, when you sculpt on a surface with the sculpting tools “Tessellate” option enabled, Selection Sets are maintained. This means that new topology on the triangulated mesh copy is a part of a Selection Set if the surrounding faces on the original were also part of a set.
Existing Selection Sets are copied from the original mesh to the generated tessellation mesh and appear identical, except that they are triangulated.

Joint Weights

Likewise, if a tessellated mesh is created from a mesh that originally had joint weights, these weight values are now copied to the new mesh as well. And this weighting is retained when sculpting on it using any tessellation-enabled sculpting tool. Any new faces created take the weighting from surrounding faces (or use none if there was no weighting).

PTEX

Dynamic tessellation is not supported on meshes with PTEX. If you use dynamic tessellation either through theMesh menu, or by using tessellation-enabled sculpting tools, on a PTEX mesh, a triangulated copy of the mesh is created, but it has no UVs.

UVs

Now, UVs on the original model is retained, and duplicates of the UVs are added to the new triangulated mesh, and when you sculpt on a surface with a tessellation-enabled sculpting tool, UVs are generated (or removed), the same way as new faces are generated (or removed) on the original mesh surface while sculpting with tessellation-enabled sculpting tools.
Note: If you experience problems when collapsing edges on a tessellated mesh, delete UVs from your model before working with the Reduce, Refine, or Remesh tools.

Falloff Type

Dynamic Tessellation now uses the current Sculpting Tool Falloff Type, so that you can set the way Tessellation affects the mesh surface. This way, it works together with the selected sculpting tool so that faces within the Falloff range are tessellated and faces outside are not.
There are three choices of how the brush determines the range of the Tessellation effect:

Surface

Brush distance measured from the center points outward, searching for vertices until it reaches the end of the surface or the edge of the brush radius, whichever comes first.

Volume

Brush distance measured by drawing a line from the center of the brush to each vertex within the brush radius, to determine where to tessellate. Volume falloff affects one mesh with separated parts if they are within the brush radius.

Volume/Surface

Brush distance measured by the brush moving along the surface, searching for vertices until it reaches the end of the surface or the edge of its radius, whichever comes first.

Combine Meshes

A Combine Meshes option in the Mesh menu lets you merge multiple meshes into a single object that contains all of the faces.

Press + (plus sign) to combine two selected meshes

In previous versions of Mudbox, there was no way to combine more than one mesh into a single object without exporting to another software package. This is effectively the opposite of Separate Selection.

Combine multiple meshes into one object
Mesh menu

Separate Selection

A new feature, Separate Selection, has been added to the Mesh menu so you can separate compound objects into multiple objects within Mudbox.

Press – (minus sign) to separate two selected meshes

Previously, dividing objects this way required that you export the object to another 3D package to do this work. This is effectively the opposite of Combine meshes.

  • Separate meshes into multiple objects
  • Mesh menu

Stamp Offset

A new property, Stamp Offset, has been added to all relevant sculpting tool properties to let you fine-tune the depth of a stamp imprint on a model’s surface.

Stamp Offset comparison: Default and set to 0.50

The default value is 0.00, which means that black areas of the stamp image make no surface impression, and the deformation strength increases until it reaches white. A Stamp Offset value of 0.50 means that black areas of the stamp image indent the model’s surface with -50% deformation, continuing until it reaches a +50% elevation in the white areas.

  • Paint Tools properties
  • Sculpt using stamps

Delete UVs

Now, you can cut down the number of UVs on your geometry while still in Mudbox, where previously you had to go to Maya or 3ds Max. The new Delete UVs feature gives you a way to remove UVs from your mesh from the UVs & Maps menu.

UVs and Maps menu

Smooth Curve hotkey

The Shift key now works to smooth curves while using any of the curve tools, the same way you use it to smooth vertices.

  • Curve Hotkeys
  • Curve Tools tray

Additional Patch tool behavior

Patch: Patch meshes without holes

An updated Patch tool now lets you remove parts of a mesh without needing a hole or border faces in the tessellated mesh. Now you can use the Patch tool to remove parts of a mesh without leaving a hole. So now, depending on what you select, the Patch tool reacts to the kind of selection.

If you select:

A fully enclosed loop of border edges or faces: the hole in the loop is closed. (The same behavior as earlier versions)
Interior faces with no border edges: the selected faces are deleted and patched with triangle faces. (The new behavior)
Border edges or faces that do not form a fully-closed loop: nothing is done. (The same behavior as earlier versions)
Multiple distinct groups of interior faces (for example, the four legs of a cow): Mudbox moves through each selection, deleting the selected faces and filling the holes with patches of triangle faces. (The same behavior as earlier versions).

The keyboard shortcut for the Patch tool is P.

  • Mesh menu
  • Mend existing geometry with the Patch tool

Updated hotkey list

The Mudbox keyboard shortcut list has been expanded to include functionality that previously existed but have not been assigned keys. This way, you can use the Hotkey editor to give these functions a key designation, for example choosing 6 to be the keyboard shortcut for the Blur tool.

  • Tool Hotkeys
  • Hotkeys window
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Additional and improved tooltips

In an ongoing effort to simplify the Mudbox interface, a number of new tooltips have been added to the user interface. Further, the information on many of the existing tooltips has been clarified.

Gamma Correct Blending

The Gamma Correct Blending in the Advanced section of the Paint Tools Properties is now on by default. This feature, introduced in Mudbox 2018 update 2, blends colors before doing gamma correction when texture painting. This type of blending eliminates the dark edges that used to appear where colors intersected, for example, when you painted green over red.

Disabling this option will make the edges between overlapping paint areas dark.

Better support for 4k monitors

Mudbox has improved the experience for people using high-resolution monitors by providing support forInterface Scaling. Interface Scaling lets you use a different scaling method for 4K or Retina monitors, which previously would display fuzzy, aliased, text and icons. Interface Scaling appears in the Mudbox Setup window the first time you launch Mudbox so you can set the resolution that works best for you setup. You can always switch this setting in the User Interface Preferences. (The default setting is 100%.)

Example: Hi-res icon for the Smooth tool

Also, to further improve the Mudbox interface for higher resolution, graphic elements such as icons, tools, and shelves have been updated so they are distinct and better-defined.
Note: The Mudbox documentation will be incrementally updated to reflect these changes; some illustrations and animations in the Help may depict older interface elements but no behavior has changed.

  • Mudbox Setup window
  • User Interface Preferences

Creating a Walk Cycle in Maya

In 2015 I wrote an article about how to create a walk cycle with several tutorials and examples, plus, some animals, not just people! This article is a follow up, focused on Maya. Yes, we missed Maya Monday due to the holiday yesterday, but we’ll do it like the garbage man, and bump things back a day!

More...