View Full Version : quick question on using vzbrush for normal map

10 October 2005, 07:34 PM
am about to start with zbrush 2here is my question
I am going to build a lo poly character in Max7(all quads right?,read it is easier to work in zbrush with).I then export it to zbrush and add detail etc, then back to max.
I know there is more to it but am i on the right track.
Do i need to model a high ploy character in max also?This is what is confusing me,i thought as it is only gonna be a normal map for lo poly character that i dont need to build a hi in max,surely when the lo has been done in zbrush that this will be my hi and it can then be applied for my normal map.
Apologies for the vagueness but it is gonna be my 1st time with zbrush(really excited!) and want to be doing it right.I mostly model for game characters lo ploy and this character will be game related(search game/art design for my posts)
I have zbrushcentral added to my favourites and have download tutorials and learner basics,but really need help from pepole that visit this site and/or make game charcters

10 October 2005, 10:46 PM
-When working with subdivisions its better to have mostly quads.

-You can create your high poly mesh in any software and then add the detailing with zbrush (or start from scratch in zbrush).

-If you are working with max, import the zbrush high-res, create your low poly mesh based on it and "bake" the normal map. There's no need to do another high poly version in max...unless you want to re-do the edgeloops for animation purposes (since it's a game character i doubt you'll need to do that).

Ben Mathis wrote a very helpful tutorial on baking normal maps with max 7, check it out:

10 October 2005, 04:55 PM
why is everybody taking their model back from zbrush ? zbrush is able to generate the normal map right away right ? And when you're taking it back do you use a displacement map in max7?

10 October 2005, 05:21 PM
why is everybody taking their model back from zbrush ? zbrush is able to generate the normal map right away right ? And when you're taking it back do you use a displacement map in max7?

Depending on high poly the model is before you take it into Zbrush, you don't really want to UV map a high poly model when you can bake to low poly model that's UV mapped.

It's less work to UV map a low poly model then a high poly model. :)

10 October 2005, 06:30 PM
I haven't been able to try it yet, but I've read that you can import a UV-mapped low poly reference model into zbrush2, and like bookmark or save it off in some way, basically tie it to one of the lower multi-res meshes. then you can auto-generate a higherpoly mesh, do all your detail work, and then restore the bookmarked model and save off the normal map that way.

I saw a demo of it on the zbrush site i think?

I probably used all the wrong terms, but zbrush definitely has a way to incorporate low poly models that are already UV mapped.

10 October 2005, 08:37 PM
You can only make a normal map or displacement map with respect to a lower sub division level of the highpoly mesh in zbrush as far as I know. So if the model you first imported into zbrush isn't going to be your lowpoly, you have to export the high res into another app.

10 October 2005, 11:19 AM
ok now im with you !
adam atomic: yes its possible to import a low poly uv mapped model in zbrush2. That's how i do it and that's why i wondered why people take their high poly model back to ex. max.

edit: isn't kind of hard for the computer to model while viewing a, say for example, 2 million poly mesh in 3dsmax ?

10 October 2005, 11:41 AM
the thing is , you will want a different mesh to subd and sculpt in ZBRUSH than on your low poly finished model.

so create a base model in max, with nice clean geometry(quads), and all of the mesh modeled(i.e the insides of the ear).

then sculpt and add detail in zbrush.

then create an optimised low poly in max(i.e without the inside of the ear, and possibley a few tris) to normal map on to.

this may sound like extra work but i think its the best work flow for creating normal mapped models.

10 October 2005, 05:39 PM
so you have the extreme high poly model in your viewport while modeling the low poly mesh ?

10 October 2005, 04:15 PM
You can hide some portions of the mesh in Zbrush and it'll only export the visible part: so you can work on smaller chunks instead of the whole the end you export the full piece and bake your maps.

Zbrush can create normal maps without the use of other software, but i'm not sure how good the UV mapping will be. Another way is to use a properly mapped low poly model, save it's "state" (cant recall the actual name), subdivide/detail and then extract a normal map. I've had problems with this method mainly because my .obj object didnt keep the UV's intact when exported from max.

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10 October 2005, 04:15 PM
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