There, I've completed a 5 days class on Softimage and I've also done a 2 days class on Mudbox, at the NAD center. Now, there's only ZBrush missing (that should come in February 2011)
For now, I'm not sure which of the two software, between ZBrush and Mudbox, that I prefer (both works alike, meaning that you work in 3D a bit like if it was digital clay, which is less technical and more intuitive). I still haven't seen everything with ZBrush, that's a fact... but in the other hand, I haven't experience much with Mudbox... but here's my impressions for now:
Each, ZBrush and Mudbox, has strength and weakness.
- Complicated interface (few hours of tutorials are needed to understand it)
- Unique navigation... meaning different than other 3D software or even photoshop (so, we're lost... or mix-up... which is not practical)
+ Better usage of the computer's memory (lighter to work with)
++ ZSphere, which is a structure system to put under the "3D clay" and which seems really cool to do modeling from scratch, directly in ZBrush (haven't tried it yet though...)
+/- = Textures. With both software, we can paint textures directly on the models. I found that... because of the interface and the "unique" navigation of ZBrush, it's harder to paint texture in ZBrush than Mudbox... but I haven't done the full formation (3 days) in ZBrush, so I'll wait before I'll pronounce my final critic of it!! =P
+ Simple 3D Interface (easier and more intuitive).
+ Navigation similar to the other 3D software from Autodesk (same company), so easier to find yourself in it.
+ 3D "layer" system, which adds a lot of malleability and freedom (it's also easier to go backward if you fail a step).
+ Uses "Vector Maps" (which allows, among other things, to do super cool brushes, like, to paint 3D mushrooms or 3D hears, etc.)
- No "structure" system; it's harder (impossible?) to start from scratch for complex models, such as full characters... (for the moment, we have to do the complex part mostly in another software, than to import it in Mudbox to do the modifications).
- We need a super high deluxe graphic card, otherwise, it's "heavy" to work with... - The "pose" system (which is new from the 2011 version) is not super... I haven't compared it to ZSphere yet, but having played with it, it's... not convincing... I rather still re-import the model back in the other 3D software (in my case, Softimage) to do a real decent "bones" system and give better controlled poses to characters.
On that, happy holidays and I'll get back (I hope) with news about writting and drawing ^_^
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!