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Decency
07-08-2010, 05:49 PM
Hey guys, I've recently been trying to decide between a few sculpting apps, and I have a couple questions about Zbrush. This will really help me to decide, and I appreciate any input you can offer.

Baking Maps - I know that in 3.5 it seems there is a new way to bake normal and displacement maps, very quick and easy. However, I'm wondering if you can bake a map from one object to another. So for example, can I import a high and low poly OBJ for a character and use Zbrush to bake a map from one to the other?

Creating a mesh from a displacement map - Can I take a plane in Zbrush and, using a height map, construct geometry on the plane? I suppose this could be done in Max or Maya and exported as an Obj, but Zbrush simply handles the high res geometry a lot better on my machine.

Katzenminze
07-11-2010, 12:41 PM
hi,
i am not sure if you can bake from one mesh to the other in zbrush. for this i usually use maya (very easy and simple to setup baking feature) a friend of mine is using 3dsmax for most of his work but he also switches to maya for baking maps.

if i get you correctly, you want to use a balck and white image to create geometry on an object ?
this is what zbrush excells at. just take the black and white image into zbruhs as a alpha mask, subdivide the target model to a high enough resolution and brush the detail on there. its super intuitive and easy to use.

since you are considering different sculpting apps, you should also try out mudbox, it has become a tough competition for zbruhs already and the next version will propably kick it up a notch again.
its not as multi purpose as zbrush but if you just want to do modeling and texturing its a great app as well. very easy interface.
i still rpefere zrbush because im more used to it by now but both are valid options.

ezekiel66
07-11-2010, 02:21 PM
Baking Maps - I know that in 3.5 it seems there is a new way to bake normal and displacement maps, very quick and easy. However, I'm wondering if you can bake a map from one object to another. So for example, can I import a high and low poly OBJ for a character and use Zbrush to bake a map from one to the other?


You cannot directly bake a map from one object to another as far as I know. But: simply open the high resolution model in zbrush, switch to the lowest subdivision level, then import the lowres version into the same document. Zbrush will ask you if you want to transfer the details. Transfer them, then go to the lowest subdivision level of your new object and create the normal/ displacement maps.

Anyhow, you really should not make this feature influence your decision to buy or not to buy Zbrush since there are other (free) programs that you can use to generate the normal/ displacement maps from two separate objects. -> xNormal
(http://www.xnormal.net/1.aspx)

Decency
07-12-2010, 06:01 PM
Thanks for the info guys, very helpful. I have figured out how to do the alpha thing well, and I will test the baking when I get home. You can definitely bake your maps out using Max too, although it will get a bit unwieldy in the millions of polys.

Decency
07-16-2010, 01:52 AM
You cannot directly bake a map from one object to another as far as I know. But: simply open the high resolution model in zbrush, switch to the lowest subdivision level, then import the lowres version into the same document. Zbrush will ask you if you want to transfer the details. Transfer them, then go to the lowest subdivision level of your new object and create the normal/ displacement maps.
(http://www.xnormal.net/1.aspx)

Quick question about this. If I subdivide my tool to level 8, do some sculpting, then try to import a new low object, 2 things happen.

First, if I am at the highest SubD level, I am asked if I want to transfer high level details. If I hit yes, nothing happens, and the new object is loaded with no subdivision.

If however, I am at the LOWEST level and I try to load a new object, no messages pop up but the model retains all the high res sculpted details and geometry. However, since the new low res model has the original shape (as opposed to the slightly altered shape after I've scultped) now my high res is a bit different, presumably to match the new low res model.

So which is the correct workflow here, and should I expect Zbrush to alter my high res model slightly when the new low mesh is imported?

Some other small questions since I'm here -

Can I show smooth polys in the viewport as opposed to faceted?

Can I view the UV's of my model at all?

I tried setting the canvas size to 1024x1024 and saving it as the default. It says it will load when I start Zbrush, however it always loads the default size. Any ideas?

SuperHero
07-16-2010, 10:04 AM
Can I show smooth polys in the viewport as opposed to faceted?
Can I view the UV's of my model at all?

1_ i'm almost sure you can't since ZB does'nt soften/harden edges.
2_ the easiest approach for that is to use UV Master. but you can always give a texture to your object, clone it, assign it as a texture to a 1:1 simple plane (flat shader). then you can view your UV layout.

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07-16-2010, 10:04 AM
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