View Full Version : Z Brush info needed

11 November 2004, 05:42 PM
Dear all ZB users,
I am an LW user for a long time, and I have user it for my modeling, a lot of people have asked me to switch to ZB, I tried the Demo and it looks beautiful and I am sure it will be happy time for me to model there, but I have a few concerns, Please help me to get the proper info that will help me understand this technology, So my questions are:

1- Does it support the polygon designs for SubPatch conversions?

2- Can you reduce the details for transfer? and does is hold well the shapes?

3- Does it do good UVs? and do they export to other applications?

4- Can I use the model for animation on other platforms? my concern is to model the character then export to LW, the when I ad bones the polygons don't react well with Bones because of the complexity of polygons patterns on the object, like the arms and legs.

5- what are the export options or formats? any plugins to add more?

6- finally this is a favor : I would like to test a character design that was done properly on ZB to go to LW, to see the possibility of it's flexibility, I have not got any free available models ready made on ZB to test and I hope that some one have something for me to test with Bones, It will help to see and believe;)
I think the work on ZB is amazing and I hope it is a solution for my modeling but I would need you to give me the knowledge needed to get to the next step, hope I was clear because my English righting is not the best ;)

Thanks for your support guys...

11 November 2004, 06:05 PM
i dont know if I would switch, but I have added it to my workflow.

Frenchy Pilou
11 November 2004, 08:56 PM
Question 5
For 3D
Export format is principaly the OBJ format, the more pratical for x,y,z + material !
For 2D
Format Psd

11 November 2004, 07:11 AM
Thanks Guys,
Hmm-!!:hmm: :hmm: :hmm: I got some answers, but my main things that are needed are not yet answered:
I hope that someone have the answers, maybe ZB tek support can help me, I feel that these are very important to help 3D artist to add to there work flow, but why would I add it if there wasn't an use for it on the other platforms? I always see 3D models rendered from ZB, but only on ZB!! that were my questions will help new users to be comfortable to by the product.
Me and my team are working on an upcoming Movie, So I wanted to see if it will be a good solution for our models, but if I don't get the issues answered, we will not conceder the potential of this nice technology in the pipeline. If there is experienced ZB artists that use it on different platforms or ZB Tek support please help me with these Issues mentioned on the top of the page.

oh! one more thing, I dont want to switch, I want to add to my work flow but only if it will work all the way. I hope that I am clear on this Issue.

Thank all for the support it will halp.

11 November 2004, 08:35 AM
Hi. not a great expert, but i'll try to reply to u. u have different solutions to work into a Zbrush Lw pipeline and vice versa.

1) make the base model in Lw. it doesn't necessarily needs to heve really precise details. only the rough mesh, with good polyflow that will help u on riging and deformations , e.g. the char have to work and able to be rigged in lw. then save a .obj version of it, import in z brush, detail the whole hell out with it, give the char his final look. u also can do uvs for it and texture it in projection master. then, extract normal mapping and disp mapping, and save textures, and go and apply them in Lw. normal maps can be applied with Lynx pluginsin Lw, since Lw normal maps are quite crap as out of the box implementation.

this is a classic process, because it allows you to have both a good polyflow and cool details.

2) start the model with z spheres in Zbrush, rough out your adaptive skin in tnhe general form of your char. make adaptive. then, maybe u'll need to add some edge loop too, selecting groups, hiding them and hitting edge loop. once this done, u can save your tool, and maynbe import it in Lw, to refine polyflow in certain areas or a perfect work. (this is not an obligatory step , though)
then, in z brush divide your mesh and start detailing it. u will be able to always swithch to your lower detailed mesh. once detailing process is finished uu can extract your maps and do like in 1)

this second method has a variant.

u can export let's say a 70% detailed version of your mesh - from level 1 to 6 i'd say 4 , and import the obg in something like silo, and reconstruct the mesh with topology brush. so u'll have the good polyflow mesh and a high detail one. since the meshes will change their aspect on flow, to compare them and have a full working maps u'll need to use maybe ATi's plugs to extract them.

these workflows derive mainly from the fact that Z brush has no tools to change really the mesh opliflow(or at lest i dunno know them). the fact is that with a good rigging u could work also with a bad polyflow in lw too. u'll have to setup weights and maybe more bones to make the model work though, as well as use a more dense mesh to work with in layout (good polyflow allows less polygons always).

hope this helped you.

P.S. Z brush does great uvs way better than Lw ones.

11 November 2004, 07:38 AM
I am no expert either but You wouldn't be replacing with zbrush but adding it to your work flow.

I think you would ideally want to set up your base mesh in lw...setup edgeloops etc properly for your future animation needs. Map it in lw to your preferences and export as obj.

Import that into zbrush making sure to save base imported mesh as a morph target. then divide and sculpt away till you have all the detailing you want then create either displacement or normal maps for use in lw with your original mesh.

rig etc your model and use the displacements from zbrush to make your low poly model look like the high rez version you created in zbrush.

there are quite a few threads about zb and other programs at ZBC. There is also a thread that Pixolator himself started with a model he created in zbrush with displacement maps you can download and test in your desired program. I can't think of the name of it right now but a search there on "displacements" should bring it right on top if you choose the most replys option. You will also be able to see how other folks tests with various programs worked out and maybe garner a tip or two.

11 November 2004, 08:19 PM
Just an addendum to what has been said thus far.

I'm a Maya user with Zbrush added to my workflow. I think Zbrush UV tools are mediocre at best and wouldn't use them for UV layout. Unless you do all of your texturing in Zbrush, you'll find a lot of problems using Zbrush UV tiling method.

As well, while Zbrush has some basic tools to control edge flow and edge looping, I don't find they are the most intuitive and the advice given to create your base mesh in Lightwave is definitely worth following. Create a base mesh that you can subdivide inside Lightwave multiple times and still produce a clean mesh from it to test how Zbrush's subdivided mesh will look like without deformation. If you notice an area like an ear or finger that suddenly gets tons more polygons than you think it should, then go in and reduce the poly count of that area before importing to Zbrush. While Zbrush can subdivide specific areas of a model, it will cause horrendous results on your original edge loops. You will probably want to have Zbrush subdivide the entire model at one time, and as a result really dense areas will suddenly have much larger numbers of polygons than they need.

Also, like Amintus said, you can use the morph target feature to keep a copy of the state of your originally imported model, however I tend to not use this. When deforming a model you are most likely going to change it's silhouette and you'll tend to want to keep this new silhouette if you are producing normal maps.

Regarding question 4, you should have no problems exporting your low poly mesh from Zbrush as an obj and having is evaluate exactly the same as your original polygon mesh. I don't know if Lightwave is similar to Maya in that each vertice has a corresponding number, but Zbrush does not change the original numbering of vertices in the base mesh. Basically, I can export a rigged Maya character, deform it in Zbrush, create normal maps, export the new low poly model, import into Maya, and reattach it with the exact same smooth weights. I'm sure Lightwave would have no problems with your new mesh.

Regarding question 5, Zbrush only works with it's own proprietary format and obj for 3D geometry. For 2d images and textures it supports as wide range of format including bmp, jpg and targa.

I hope this helps.

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