Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio finds that computer animation programs are continuing to evolve. Zbrush premiered over a decade ago and completely pioneered what was to be the next generation of digital sculpting using its “pixol” technology. This allowed massively detailed sculpting without horrendous load times that would have been traditionally attributed with such dense meshes.
There are so many advancements occurring each and every year, but one that has certainly garnered much acclaim recently has been MARI by The Foundry. In addition to UV-less Ptex support, MARI generally improves on everything that programs like Zbrush and Mudbox brought to the table in terms of digital painting. MARI boasts a user-friendly interface and some downright revolutionary features, such as the ability to create animated textures and distort specific texture layers in a more non-destructible manner than has ever been seen before in 3D texturing applications (picture photoshop distortion grids seamlessly blended into a fully 3D world). The high-definition detail is quite jaw-dropping to see in real-time as well. Though it was originally developed by WETA in New Zealand for the purpose of creating the high-definition models in Avatar, MARI has already began catching on in the pipelines of major studios. Rhythm and Hues in Los Angeles recently adopted MARI and is incorporating it into several upcoming features.