View Full Version : Zbrush and Lightwave

assistant pimp
07 July 2005, 06:35 PM
I have a lil modelling project that I think can benefit from the detailing abilities of zbrush. But I hardly ever hear of a Lightwave a zbrush combo. Is it not wise to use LW and zbrush together? Also can someone recommend some zbrush trainings (from experience)? I am looking at digitaltutors and kurv, but they seem so similar.

07 July 2005, 09:52 PM
Well, here's a plugin to help LW and Zbrush work together. Looks pretty easy.

I'm no expert (so please anyone, jump in and slap me if I'm being an idiot) but from what I recall, the only real "problem" is that LW doesn't support normal maps yet. As I understand it, you have to either use the maps created in Zbrush as mere bump maps, or crank the poly resolution on your object to obscene levels and apply the maps as a surface deformation.

But it was months ago when I was researching this and I've forgotten most of what I learned already and I've never gotten around to actually trying it out, so I'm prolly just talking out of my ass... :D

But the plugin sure does look useful!

assistant pimp
07 July 2005, 10:04 PM
lol.....thx fongool. I will look into that. Zbrush seems so fantastic and with Siggraph coming up I dont know what the future holds for my $$$$....LW 8.5?, FPRIME/G2, That lightwave viewer plugin, Zbrush. Modo?? many choices so lil money. Thanks for the info tho.

07 July 2005, 10:31 PM
Steve Warner's tutorial (

You need Lynx's Normal Displacement plug instead of LW's native one.
You also need a 16 bit tiff import plug. It's shareware, but only available for PC.
I just read a Mac guy suceeded in converting to 16bit cineon and LW took that.
LW lacks micropoly displacement, which compounds the need to crank up the subpatch level. 8 or 9 isn't too bad, with the displacement also applied as a bump.

As for dvds, I'd say Kurv's over Gnomon's mainly because of price. I saw the Gnomon one first. It's very good. Bad thing is you have to watch the clips through the interface, whereas Kurv's you can drag the clips to your desktop or play directly from the dvd. What's the difference? Well, if you want to see something quick on the Gnomon one, you have to load the thing, wait through the intro and the damn Gnomon logo animation and then you get to the main menu. I just find that annoying.
Bad thing about Kurv's is Glen doesn't talk a lot. Doesn't bother me, but may be bad for others.

Oh yeah, that Zwave plug also is not available for Mac.

07 July 2005, 11:07 PM
Is it not wise to use LW and zbrush together?Apart from the non-native 16bit Tiff reader, the real killer is the lack of displacement options in LW. For displacement LW is working on the brute force method, i.e. you have to crank the poly sub-division level up for the whole model in order for the displacement to render properly, which defeats 90% of the reason for using dispacement maps in the first place.
Fingers crossed for improvements, as it looks like Zbrush is well on the way to becoming an industry standard.

As for training material, two Gnomon DVD's you might want to consider are "Zbrush Production Pipeline" by Meats Meier and "Digital Sculpting : Human Anatomy" by Zack Petroc. The first covers the basics of Zbrush, including importing and exporting to other apps, whilst the second is a real master class in sculpting by a talented traditional artist.

07 July 2005, 11:13 PM
Zbrush is well on the way to becoming an industry standard.

While zbrush is pretty good at what it does, "Zbrush" and "standard" should never be used in the same sentence. :) I really hope they get a good interface going for 3.0.

Silo is showing some promise in the displament area. ZBrush really needs competition to get a more fluid workflow.

07 July 2005, 11:13 PM
Does that first one go over using ZBrush with LW?

assistant pimp
08 August 2005, 02:02 AM
Many thanks guys....Barring some kinda wild break out at siggraph (not going but I am sure to hear about it here) with LW I think z-brush will be my next purchase (or maybe fprime). That tut is pimpin zara thanks.

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