What other software should I get?

I’ve been building up my software library for use to make my game and I was wondering if there is anything else I could get. At the moment I have:

Unreal Engine 4 v4.7.5
ZBrush 4R6 P2
World Machine Pro v2.3.6.3
Autodesk 3DS Max 2015 (student 3 year trial)
Autodesk Maya 2015 (student 3 year trial)
Blender v2.74
Sculptris Alpha 6
xNormal x64 v3.18.10.33440

From an artist perspective

You really should get/try:

Substance Designer / Painter
Handplane (Free)
xNormal (Free)
World Machine

Notable mentions:

3d Coat
Quixel Suite
UV Packer IPackThat
Marmoset Toolbag

I’d recommend 3D coat, particularly for their retopology tools which are superior to zbrush. Quixel is great for texturing but be careful of new versions as they tend to be unstable and reinstalling isn’t very straightforward. I haven’t updated mine since last year.

Zbrush gives better results than 3dcoat for auto topology though.

I already have World Machine.

Is Substance Designer/Painter free? I already spent a lot on ZBrush. Are the other mentions free?

I really recommend the Substance suite of programs. They’re very user friendly and produce excellent results that plug into the PBR pipeline perfectly.

But no, they are most certainly not free.

Ah okay, I’ll look into that later on. I’ll just work with what I have at the moment and I’ll add Handplane and xNormal to my collection. Thanks :slight_smile:

Maya, crazybump, substance, xnormal, gimp/photoshop

I have Maya. Is there a free trial for Photoshop, Gimp and Crazybump?

Gimp its free, and crazybump have a 30days free trial.

Photoshop i don’t known, i use gimp and sometimes (rare) krita because few gimp limitations or krita options that not have gimp.

I think there’s a free trial for Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. There’s also a discounted educational subscription for the same – $20/month instead of $50/month.

You need Photoshop. The Gimp can kinda… sorta… almost… substitute. If you’re desperate. But you really need Photoshop.

Creative Suite also gives you a bunch of other useful tools, like Premiere and After Effects for videos, Audition for sound, and Acrobat for PDFs. (That last one not so useful for game development, though :wink:

I see no reason to use Photoshop if you use Substance Designer. They’re rather overlapping programs. Both would be used for texture creation except that Designer is specifically for game textures.

Substance Designer is really so much better at creating tiling textures than Photoshop. I’d be happy only using Substance designer for textures.

What I really like about substance painter is it’s very similar to working with a more traditional image editor with it’s layer system.

I’d much rather have Substance Designer+Gimp than Photoshop.

I should mention Handplane isn’t too useful if you are exclusively working in UE4, since UE4 uses the same types of normal maps xNormal generates. Handplane is great if you are using Unity, Source, Maya, 3ds Max, or UDK, or using a mix of engines. I don’t think Handplane supports mikktspace, which UE4 uses.

Wow there’s so much I need to learn. I don’t know much about PBR, mapping, mikktspace and auto-topology. :stuck_out_tongue:

I could easily speed a week talking about topology, normal maps, and PBR. There’s a lot to figure out and banging your head against a desk.

Don’t waste too much time messing with many different software programs/plugins. You’ll only really need a few things, for me, I mostly just use 3ds Max, Photoshop, and Mudbox. I rarely need much else.

I’ll just stick with what I have at the moment and learn them. Thanks :slight_smile:

Eh, I’d always suggestion figuring out the most efficient workflow for your needs. There’s a lot of things in 3ds Max and Photoshop that are backwards, slow, and frustrating, that are easy in other apps.

There is a lot to learn. I went into it all cold in December. My educational & work background has absolutely nothing to do with sculpting, modeling, or texturing. Still I’ve picked up a lot by sticking to the most user friendly of programs. I couldn’t texture worth a **** which is why I absolutely love Substance Painter. Learning to use fills, masks, and painting by vertices it became fairly easy and I never felt lost when trying to understand some basics of PBR.

Exactly. One person’s workflow won’t essentially translate well to another. It largely depends on what you have to do. Personally I only ever use Maya, UE4, Photoshop, Quixel, and xNormal. I’ll throw 3D coat in there if I’m doing character work, but that’s generally what I use. I haven’t used crazybump in years. The best thing is to figure out what you want to do, and then figure which software does the jobs you need most efficiently.