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yougotdirked

High poly finished in Zbrush - What's next?

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Hey all, this is my first post here smile.png

 

I am originally a blender user, as it's free (and I'm a poor student), and have made the transition to Zbrush some time ago.

 

Over the last couple of months I've gotten really into Zbrush, after getting past the initial hurdles. Finally I've reached a stage where I'm confident at making 3D character models using Zbrush, but thus far I haven't been able to get past the sculpting.

 

I really want to use blender to create the low poly mesh or do that in Zbrush (I dont have any other software nor money to buy the software that most people would recommend), but I'm at a couple of million polygons on most of my characters, and blender doesn't handle that amount too well.

 

I really liked the control blender gave me over the UV maps for example, but AFAIK zbrush generates them automatically, and I don't want that.

 

tl;dr I have several high resolution Zbrush characters which I want to build normal mapped, game ready models with, how should I approach this?

 

Examples of my work for the curious (and to show off  a little ;) ):

http://gyazo.com/dcb968094bf807ef04084c40e7df9e0c (finished sculpt, what now?)

http://gyazo.com/8c6f9dba6135b104f19955ca7f0c52b3 (almost done)

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not a ZBrush user here, but a longtime 3D Coat user which is similar to ZBrush (just cheaper tongue.png )...

 

As such, I face similar things when completing my high poly sculpts and trying to create a game ready mesh from it. In 3D Coat there is a very expansive set of tools for retopology and UV unwrapping / baking high poly sculpts to low poly meshes.

 

I guess similar tools will be available in ZBrush? Some random links I found while doing quick google searches:

 

http://docs.pixologic.com/user-guide/3d-modeling/topology/topology-brush/

http://pixologic.com/zbrush/features/UV-Master/

http://henningsanden.com/2013/04/13/extremely-efficient-uv-mapping-using-zbrush/

 

 

As to the other possibility, importing the high poly mesh to Blender.... I actually never tried that, and I don't think it is so much of a good idea. It could work though, depends on the polygon count, I just never saw a use for it.

 

 

 

As a warning on using Blender in conjunction with other 3D Tools: I just had to learn the hard way over christmas that Blender does not play nice with models imported from 3D Coat. Reason is that 3D Coat uses vertex normals for smooth shading.

Blender on the other hand does recalculate vertex normals all the time... result is broken smooth shading on imported models.

 

I don't know what ZBrush uses to smooth its meshes, but chances are that it will conflict with the way blender handles smooth shading too.

 

My solution was to move over to Maya LT, which supports vertex normals just fine (and is very comparable to blender functionally). Though there are workarounds to make Blender save the vertex normals to a separate file and restore them on export, it seems a little bit complicated.

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Alright. So. You want to use the "Decimation Master" tool,  though make sure you have an iteration of your final sculpt saved off first.

 

This tool decreases the polycount of a subtool, while keeping the shape as best it can. Don't go too low, but you should be able to decrease everything to a few thousand polys each instead of millions. Use those to import into blender for retopo, but still bake from the pieces in the detailed final sculpt file.

 

Zbrush has retopo tools, but they're kind of questionable at best.

 

If you need more advice, this forum can be really helpful but sometimes the art sections are a little quiet.

Try asking at Polycount for advice that's program specific, there's just more traffic that actually uses niche tools for game artists in their workflow.
http://www.polycount.com/forum/index.php

It's a great resource in general and for networking as a 3D artist, too.

 

Good luck, hope this can help.

Edited by BagelHero

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