AO (Ambient Occlusion) to PolyPaint?

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  09 September 2012
AO (Ambient Occlusion) to PolyPaint?

Hey there.
Sorry for this stupid question. I'm more Maya guy and I feel myself in Zb like an alien on the Earth.

Does Zb allow to generate AO and store it as polypaint?
I see that it can generate AO automatically (in "Multi map exporter" and "UV Master"). But I just can't find how can I render AO to the polypaint, not to the texture.

If someone's interested why I need to create AO in Zb (and not in MAX/Maya/xNormal) - here's more detailed explanation.

I've got a Zb tool. It's kind of hipoly - about 15 millions of vertices. It consists of tremendous amount of subtools (about 2 hundreds or so). So it's not a solution to UV-map and bake each of them separately. And a lot of them don't have subdivision levels, so I just can't use UV master.
What I need to do is bake correct AO. Under "correct" I mean that all the parts and pieces have to occlude each other. Now, the source of problem: the mesh is quite complex, and there are some intersecting bodyparts. Lowpoly is made the same way: it's split to corresponding bodyparts that, obviously, intersect, too. To bake them, I use cages. But even with cages, I have to bake them separately, one-by-one. So, I'm doing it that way in xNormal. But here's the problem: if I bake them separately, AO is calculated separately, too.
So, the only way I see to solve this is:
  1. Bake AO for the entire hipoly to the vertex colors (aka PolyPaint in Zb).
  2. Export each bodypart as separate OBJ.
  3. Bake vertex colors to lowpoly texture using xNormal.

P.S.: Of course, I've googled myself as hard as I can. But all that it gives to me is mentions about "Multi map exporter".

Last edited by Lex-DRL : 09 September 2012 at 10:06 AM.
  09 September 2012
Wrote you on render)
  09 September 2012
once its a texture you may need to flip it but place the texture AO on the mesh
tool>texture map then tool>polypaint>polypaint from texture
  09 September 2012
Yeah, it's what I've already found as "kind-of-solution". The problem here is that I need to create UVs first. Which is almost impossible due to these 2 reasons:
1. there are a lot of subtools (between 100 and 200) in thiis mesh. It's not an option to create separate UV layout for each of them. And to create single UV layout, you need to merge the first and...
2. It's impossible to create any UVs for such a hipoly mesh. Even without merging, there are some hipoly subtools which don't have subdivisions at all.

So right now I stuck with creating UVs.
MindThrower helped me (at one russian forum) by pointing to the way that could do it. But I haven't tested it yet. Right now I just need some free time to try what he suggested.
  09 September 2012
as long as there Not to much geo,
tool>subtool>all high
then merge visible,(select your new tool) then try tool>poly group>auto group,
then UV master it and use the polygroup option in uv master,
then try tool>geometry> reconstruct subdivision, if it dont work subtool >split
then reconstruct subdivision on each part, works on quads not tri's
  09 September 2012
Thanks for your reply.
Sadly, I've already tried that.

There is quite high polygon count.
There are triangles (I don't know how the mesh was modeled, we've got it from outsource artist).
Obviously, both reconstruct subdivision and uv master don't work: Zb freezes for infinite amount of time (I've left it working for the entire night) or even crashes.

MindThrower suggested to try new Qremesher feature, but... due to the time I already spent to this task with no result, I've been reassigned to some completely different task. And this one was left incomplete for later finalization. I have some other ways to test now, but there's just no free time to do it.
Sorry for bothering you guys. Right now I'm just waiting to have some free time to test these methods. I'll reply as soon as I can get the result I need.
  09 September 2012
merge all your subtools with weld off
now select your new merged tool then QRemesh it, once thats done each Separate object will be QRemesh because they was not welded.
now polygroup>auto group then subtool>split

walla va voom
  09 September 2012
Yeah, m.r.k.
Did you fix your problem?
  09 September 2012
I've learned and tested all the techniques you described. And looks like that is the solution. But I didn't finish the task itself.
As I mentioned, this issue has been delayed and now I'm working on some completely different task.
I didn't forget about promise to post results. Just it's not actually finished and therefore there's nothing to post yet.
  12 December 2012
Sorry for such a late response.
Looks like that the only thing that can give me enough free time is Christmas holydays. :(

Here are the results:
Sadly, there are no software out there capable of baking AO at ultra-hipoly meshes (like sculpts).
And the only way to calculate AO for any hipoly mesh is to bake it into texture. So you need to have UVs created.
And if you don't (like I did), the easiest way I found so far is:
1. load your lowpoly in ZBrush (with final UVs already)
2. add some divisions (without smoothing UVs)
3. reproject details from your original sculpt to your subdivided lowpoly
4. use xNormal to bake AO into the texture for Hipoly. Either by also specifying your HP as LP or using special tool that xNormal has (Simple AO generator - it's faster because it renders at GPU).
  12 December 2012
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