1. #1
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default ZBRush on Surface Pro 4 i7?

    Hi all.

    I'm looking at buying a Surface Pro 4 i7, 16gb RAM. I need a generic portable machine, I'm a Mac guy normally but I want to be able to sketch on the device and I also want to be able to run ZBrush, so the SP4 is where I'm thinking.

    I've read every review and watched every video I can find but they don't answer the question like:

    - Right now, 2017, does the N-Trig tech offer pressure on ZBrush?
    - If so how well does it work in reality, compared to a Wacom for example?

    Does anyone here use one? I just play with ZBrush, it's not my main gig so I don't need a workstation. It's really to relax doing anatomical sculpts.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    941

    Thumbs up

    You'll be shocked at how well ZBrush runs on a Surface Pro, especially the i7.

    I have a SP3 i7, and regularly sculpt with subtools at 5-20mil. KeyShot runs great because it's also cpu based like ZBrush.

    You can use the wacom remote with it (or Bluetooth keyboards obviously).

    Regarding pressure, simply install Microsoft's wintab driver and you're good to go.

    Regarding feel, the pen has a slightly higher initial activation force than a Cintiq, but will still activate at a low pressure. The glass is smooth, which provides a much clearer image than the Cintiq, but no texture. You can change the nib for some grip, but it won't have that paper feel.

    Overall, I actually prefer sculpting on it over a large Cintiq, but haven't tried the Companion line, which I would probably enjoy.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    55

    Cool

    It was James' all-clear in another thread that got me to pull the trigger on the SurfacePro4 configuration you're asking about. Been using mine since the start of 2016.

    Prior to that, I had been training on my i7 MacBook Pro (bootcamped) with a Wacom Bamboo, but since getting the SP4, the sheer convenience of its form factor has me sculpting on that 100% of the time:
    http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthr...r-s-Sketchbook

    Currently working on my 6th likeness sculpt, but haven't had time to post into my sketchbook thread.

    Huge majority of my ZBrush sessions, I'm absolutely amazed the SP4 fan isn't kicking in. Typically keeping my sculpts somewhere in the 500k-2million polygon count per subtool. I credit this to the i7 not breaking a sweat but also due to ZBrush's reknown efficiency.

    By comparison a semi-baked inefficient app like Affinity Photo will make this same machine activate some mild cooling when merely opened for a few minutes.

    The kickstand is absolutely brilliant putting the SurfacePro4 at an optimal angle when I'm sculpting at a desk. The robust hinge has held up splendidly after some 15 months of near-daily usage.

    The very first thing I readied when pulling it out of the box was applying a hardened glass screen protector on it. Figuring if I could learn to live with it, it'd be my first-chance opportunity to forever protect the factory glass. Absolute worst case if I hated it, it could always be removed. Within a week, I became acclimated. Didn't even bother looking for a protector with a texture. I'm not one of those guys who need a 100% paper-graphite simulation. Instead of just getting the $10 nib-tip set, I got a 2nd pen. One has the factory rubber pin-tip, the other has their #2 tip.

    Perhaps it's due partly to the screen protector, but if I had to critically guage, the nTrig pen provides around 70% of the pressure sensitivity I remember in the previous setup using the Wacom Bamboo. Given the overwhelming benefits, I'm perfectly fine with the SurfacePro4's pressure sensitivity in ZBrush.

    Microsoft has designed the thermal cooling on this to the very limits. When you ARE doing overly intensive things, the SP4 relies heavily on convection cooling to move warm air out of the edge vents. This has kept me from putting a protective jacket on it. In the non-sculpting times I'm using it and the cooling kicks in, the unit WILL start getting hot if it's laid flat on a table somewhat impeding that vertical convection rise. Most of the jacket protectors out there don't seem to offer enough clearance in these areas to ease my concerns... plus MOST of them obstruct the kickstand and overlay their own shoddy version. I've been very careful with mine. It's kept in an inexpensive Moko padded sleeve when in motion.

    I've grown accustomed to using the ZBrush interface buttons for moving/scaling. Some of the other finger-gymnastics, I've put into the RadialMenu utility. My own personal manifesto is that if I need anything beyond the Surface Pen, I'll consider this a failure in mobile sculpting. So far, this experiment has worked out quite well.

    It WOULD be nice if Pixologic would put tablet-friendly features in a future ZBrush... I can rotate and finger-tap the brush button, but pinch-to-zoom is a GLARING disconnect in this experience. Pixologic's coziness with Wacom is presuming you'll ONLY use a Wacom product and thus their dedicated physical buttons and dial when sculpting. IMO, Pixologic ought to put UI changes in ZBrush that'd make it cooperate more globally with people who want to sculpt with other touch-screen devices whether it be a SurfacePro or Lenovo's Yoga products. (ALT, CTRL, Shift buttons I can put on a dockable palette )

    Surface Pro 4, i7, 16gig RAM, 512GB HD, 64GB microSD under the hinge slot, 2 pens, iCarez HD glass screen protector, Windows 10 Creator update, ZBrush 4R7 (patch 3)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Posts
    941

    Default

    Glad to hear it's working out for you Carter! And yeah it's definitely the efficiency of ZBrush that makes it run so well. However, I also use Unity for gamedev, which runs great. The fans spin while playtesting, but that's expected.

    Multitouch gestures would be sweet. Maybe that'll eventually happen now that touch is used by Wacom.

  5. #5
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Hello.

    Thanks for the replies. Going to bite the bullet. I'll figure out how to hack a Bluetooth something to use as quick keys like the Wacom has. I'm so rusty on ZB now it's sad, and I only get an hour or so per week. So hopefully something I can take everywhere will help.

  6. #6
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Hi all. So here i am n the surface, the typing experience is terrible! Is anyone using anything other than a kwyboard to map ctrl alt etc? I dont mind carrying a small controller around but would like to avoid a keyboawrd.

    lthoug lookimg ant how this is coming out... my god microsoft are behind the curve on autocorrect.

  7. #7

    Default

    There is an app/plugin I forgot the name that adds a widget on the top left corner of your surface screen which you can toggle around with your thumb for shift/alt/ctrl etc.

    But nothing beats the bluetooth keyboard really.

  8. #8
    New Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default

    "It WOULD be nice if Pixologic would put tablet-friendly features in a future ZBrush... I can rotate and finger-tap the brush button, but pinch-to-zoom is a GLARING disconnect in this experience. Pixologic's coziness with Wacom is presuming you'll ONLY use a Wacom product and thus their dedicated physical buttons and dial when sculpting. IMO, Pixologic ought to put UI changes in ZBrush that'd make it cooperate more globally with people who want to sculpt with other touch-screen devices whether it be a SurfacePro or Lenovo's Yoga products. (ALT, CTRL, Shift buttons I can put on a dockable palette )"

    Oh grief, ^^^ THIS .SO. HARD.

    There are so many touch-enable devices around and a huge swath more on the horizon. Higher end Cintiques, the Dell thing that's appearing in the autumn, and an array of 2-in-1s and tablets that are powerful enough with prices dropping all the time.

    Gesture based navigation and an Artdock style customisable button array down one edge would be a powerful combo.

  9. #9

    Default

    http://surfaceproartist.com/blog/201...-artdocks-easy
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/thre...ownload.63014/
    and a video from A music perspective.. but should help you get the idea
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STH83j24aic

    Hope this helps

  10. #10
    Senior Member Follow User Gallery
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    203

    Default

    I'm using a surface book and I'm experiencing a very annoying issue where the Zbrush randomly loses pressure sensitivity.

    I have no idea what triggers it and it seems to happen at random and the only way to resolve it is to save and quit.

    I'm using Zbrush 4.8 with a i5 surface book.

    Has anyone experienced the same or know of anything that might sort the issue?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •