We catch up with Romanian artist and coder Marius Silaghi to ask him about his latest version of a ZSpheres-inspired modelling toolset for Max
Romanian artist and coder Marius Silaghi has posted a video on YouTube showing his latest work on a script to add ZSphere modelling to 3ds Max.
We watched the video and thought, that is neat and fast, but we wondered what sort of mesh it would generate and whether it’s got a symmetry mode… so we got in touch with the developer:
Interview: Marius Silaghi
3D World: How long have you been working on this script to add ZSphere modelling to 3ds Max? Silaghi: The idea to add ZSpheres to 3DS Max came to me in June 2011. In that time I wasn’t that skilled at scripting and didn’t know anything about max’s SDK, so it was very hard for me to create such a complicated script/plugin. Here you can see the very first prototype I did. It just draws the spheres, but it doesn’t create the mesh around them.
I decided I need to learn more stuff like max’s SDK and get more skilled. For a period of 6 months on and off I created other scripts and plugins. In that time also I learned Max’s SDK.
In January 2012 I resumed my development of the ZSpheres plugin for 3DS Max. I worked on it and other scripts for about one month and a half. It consist of a modifier that creates the mesh, a new sphere object and a set of scripts to make it easier to work with the spheres.
3D World: Where did your inspiration come from? Do you consider it to be like MetaReyes, ZBrush or 3D Coat? Silaghi: My inspiration came manly from ZBrush. I was very impressed what the guys over at Pixologic did with ZSpheres. I never used MetaReyes but from what I hear from other users it produced meshes with horrible topology. So maybe it can be viewed as MetaReyes with good topology.
3D World: What are the benefits to the artist? Silaghi: In an normal modelling environment it may take hours to produces a model that with this system can be produced in minutes.
Also when modelling traditionally you very little artistic freedom to play with shapes and volumes, you have to worry about topology constantly, but with this system you can scale, rotate, reposition and combine parts of your mesh very easily.
3D World: Please could you explain what mesh it generates? Silaghi: It generate a polygonal mesh consisting of quad polygons with nice flowing topology. The mesh can then be further edited with the normal polygon tools or be sent to an sculpting application.
3D World: What’s been the greatest challenge in this project so far? Silaghi: The greatest challenge in this project has been learning c++ and Max’s SDK.
3D World Is it near completion? Silaghi: I still need to add some additional features but the core of it is ready.
3D World Does it have a symmetry mode? Silaghi: Right now it doesn’t, but I will implement one for the final release version.
Watch the sneak peek video now
Once work is complete, Silaghi plans to distribute ZSphere’s for 3ds Max via his site as a commercial plugin.