View Full Version : ZBrush Workflow

03 March 2010, 03:10 PM
Hey Guys,

Just a quick question regarding how much I should rely on Zbrush to produce my models from start to finish.

My main programme is 3dsMax, Im very proficient in all disciplines especially modelling. I have just started to learn Zbrush and find the learning curve to be easy enough. I'm just trying out a few video tutorials out there to see what Zbrush has to offer at its initial stages i.e modeling and blocking out models with Zspheres.and going from there I like the work flow this provides but it does still feel like I should be modelling my base mesh in 3dStudio and going from there.. essentially by-passing the use of Zspheres etc. and to be using ZBrush later in my pipeline when I want to add the details that Zbrush is so renowned for.

What are your thoughts on this matter.What was everyones experience when using Zbrush for the first time and how has it changed if at all. Should I I wasting my time learning to use Zspheres.?. Will I ever find it more natural modelling like this rather than in my native modelling package .ie 3Dsmax. What are the benefits of mastering Zspheres over getting a base mesh from another package.. I understand it to be more of a natural way of modelling ..even though Im slow at it at present! I have already run into a few problems ..mainly symmetry not being completely accurate when it comes down to the fingers for example.. basically I need your experienced heads to give me a bit of insight :)

03 March 2010, 04:20 PM
It's all a matter of personal preference. Some will prefer making a base mesh, some will prefer zspheres. No one can answer the question which is best for you, only you can. Have you a problem making a base mesh in max ? Have you the time and inclination to learn about zspheres. Try them and if you're not comfortable with them stay as you are. If you are able to use both, all the better.


03 March 2010, 04:47 PM
Cheers Richard,

Yeah Im totally comfortable creating a base mesh in Max. Creating the necessary topology as seen fit etc.

On the opposite side I'm trying Zspheres as I want to flesh out a mesh without worrying about topology .. 4 sided poly's etc etc. for once.. I hear creating them from scratch has re-invented the way people work.

I'll give Zsphere another go,.. I think the issue of creating a bash mesh with them and then creating the hands realising that it wasn't creating perfect symmetry on the other side threw me a bit after spending an hour on it and doing a bit of research people are saying you are never going to get perfect symmetry,not until your mesh is heavily subdivided..?

I'll push on with few more tutorials but as you asked time is precious yes, as I spend all day working in Game dev.

Cheers again and anyone wising to add your experiences feel free to post. :)

03 March 2010, 08:07 PM
I find that sometimes Zsphere based meshes can give nasty poles along the centre line that have to be cleaned up manually.
It's so quick to jump back and forth from ZB to Max anyway and the topo changes will propagate up the sub-D levels. You can always just jump across to Max and sort out any issues with a symmetry mod if needs be.
Zspheres are pretty cool and very easy to build with although i still build the majority of my bases in Max. Also, ZB has come along nicely in terms of building props/etc without having to rely on your 3D app all the time.

03 March 2010, 11:53 AM

I hope it's ok if I just explore this question a bit. In regards to the workflow when doing textures and maps, which are most suited for animation in Maya/MAX:
1) creating the base mesh and UVs first in Maya/MAX, import to Zbrush and texture and create maps, and then export the maps back to Maya/MAX
2) or is it just as well to create the mesh in zbrush (zspheres etc.), texture, and then create the UVs and maps in zbrush, and export model+maps to Maya/MAX?

I saw Meats Meiers video on texturing on Vimeo ( ) and it seems he would prefer option 1, but I couldn't understand exactly why...?


03 March 2010, 03:55 PM
Jakob, it really dosn't matter which method you chose. All roads lead to Rome, so to speak. It is a matter of personal preference, your own workflow and what you're most comfortable with.

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