Friday, June 16th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Luiz Elias ships Mush 3D 2.0

VFX artist and tools developer Luiz Elias has released Mush 3D 2.0, the latest version of his GPU-based tool for sculpting corrective shapes or adding secondary deformation to animation caches from other software.

The update adds a new Muscle Jiggle deformation type, automatic blending of corrective sculpted shapes, and the option to bake output into FBX format for use in game engines.

Edit animation caches using an intuitive brush-based workflow
First released in 2018, and originally named Shot Sculpt, Mush 3D can be used to edit geometry caches generated in other DCC software, usually imported in Alembic format.

Users can sculpt on top of the cache on a per-frame basis using a small set of ZBrush-like brushes (Standard, Move, Inflate, Clay, Crease and Flatten, plus an Erase brush to reverse the effects).

The intensity of the corrective shape can then be keyframed in the timeline, with Mush 3D automatically generating a smooth transition curve.

As well as sculpting corrective shapes manually, it’s also possible to mask out a part of the mesh and apply a Delta Mush, jiggle or cloth deformation effect.

The workflow provides a quick way to generate plausible-looking muscle or skin deformation for organic characters without having to run a full simulation in your main DCC application.

Mush 3D 2.0: FBX export for games workflows as well as VFX and animation
At the time of writing, the online documentation hasn’t been updated to Mush 3D 2.0, but we contacted Luiz Elias who sent us the changelog included at the foot of this story.

Under the hood, the software now has a node graph, making it possible to control its output by wiring nodes together, rather than via the layer-based workflow used in version 1.0.

For manual corrections, there are new brush types, and support for reverse subdivision levels, making it possible to reconstruct subdivisions in a subdivided mesh.

There is also a new deformation type, Muscle Jiggle, shown in the early preview video above.

For export, a new FBX pipeline bakes output into a set of animated blendshapes that can be played in real time in game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine.

Finally, a new auto-blending blends sculpted shapes across an animation without the need to set keyframes, when working with 4D caches and the new FBX pipeline.

Pricing and availability
Mush 3D 2.0 is available for Windows and Linux. A node-locked perpetual licence costs £450 (around $575).

Read more about Mush 3D 2.0 on the the product website

Full list of new features in Mush 3D 2.0

Node graph
Reverse subdivision levels
New brushes
Muscle Jiggle
FBX pipeline
Auto-blending for 4D caches for sculpting and FBX pipeline