View Full Version : Newbie integration with other apps and modelling question

12 December 2004, 01:35 PM
Hi all ,
I am a newbie to 3D modelling and have been teaching myself lightwave. I am completely blown away by the models I have seen created by Zbrush and have been since 1.2.
My question is:
How does what is the workflow of creating a model and morphs? Does one just create it in Zbrush and create morphs in Lightwave or whatever 3D app or what is the actual process here?
Hope this doesnt sound like too stupid a question,

12 December 2004, 08:25 AM
That's sort of a complicated question. You can make some beautiful and sophisticated morph targets inside of ZBrush, but to make those blend naturally would be a long and arduous process.

By this, I mean that Morph Targets (or Blend Shapes if you're in Maya -- we'll use the terms interchangeably) are additive.

If one shape moves a vertex up, and another shape moves that vertex to the right, applying both will move that vertex up and to the right. Simple enough. But if both shapes move the same vertex in the same direction, applying both will move that vertex probably twice as far as you planned when creating either shape. So, you have to plan your targets carefully to avoid this sort of unintended behavior.

Morph targets are usually created in another application, because it's easier to be precise, touching only the vertices you intend to affect, than it is to exclude everything you didn't want affected after the fact.

That's not to say it can't be done. But, it usually isn't.

The usual workflow is to include enough geometry in your base object that it can form every shape you're going to want, create high detail displacements on top of that, export your low-poly base, then rig and animate that no differently than if you had never opened ZBrush. Only, when you hit the render button, your very sophisticated high-detailed model comes out instead.

You don't have to think that way if:

A) Your character only needs to morph from one shape to a single other shape.

B) You happen to be Taron.

And seriously, more power to you if that's the case.

So, where does that leave you?
Asking about facial animation in a software-specific forum whose software isn't so much used for that. :shrug:

If your goal is to animate, pick an application that people animate directly in, make sure you can export your Normal and Displacement Maps to it, and get to work on learning that software.

Also, I can save you one other bit of trouble: When you ask about workflow setting up a character for facial animation in the forums for whatever piece of software you go with for that, they're going to tell you to pick up Jason Osipa's Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right ( Trust me. It's pretty much inevitable.

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