I've been experimenting with photoshop cs4's 3d tools lately, trying to find any useful techniques that can be applied to digital painting/concept art.
So far the judgement is "not useful". I am a fully capable Maya user and can do a lot more with that software.
What I'm searching for are quick and intuitive modelling tools that can blend seamlessly into the digital painting process. Maya is too cumbersome for this end and sketchup too limited. Zbrush might have potential but users focus on characters rather than environments, which is my focus.
What are your thoughts on 3d integration into 2d paint?
Are the tools in cs6 much improved?
Are there concept artists out there I should study?
Bryce works well if you can get past the non-intuitive, oh-so-cool interface. Once I get my thumbnails down and do a quick color sketch from my head, then I use real maquettes or objects, or digitally I use Bryce, Max and Maya for resolving things better from a camera angle and lighting.
As for study, look at matte painters who have been working this way before anyone else. The processes are still the same but its now digital instead of practical effects.
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Bryce looks like its a terrain modeller, which could be of some use to me. The ideal program for me would be somewhere between photoshop and zbrush, where modelling and painting work hand in hand in a simple intuitive manner, without the clutter of animation, dynamics, etc, menus clogging up the screen. One day, I believe there will be such a program. In the meantime, I'll give Bryce a try, see what it can do.
Thanks for your help.