How important is Zbrush to games?

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Old 07 July 2012   #16
You can see the requirements listed for work in the game and film areas include sculpting applications. Just check out the ads.
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Old 07 July 2012   #17
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If you are doing PC/console games, you definitely need Zbrush to find a job, unless you show you can be as efficient with a non-sculpting app, which is unlikely, but happens sometimes.
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Old 07 July 2012   #18
Those of us on here for a while forget there are people who are new to cg. Also the search function doesn't always deliver expected results
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Old 07 July 2012   #19
Very important. particually for character work.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #20
Hey ppl!
I'm new here and have a similar question. I agree that Zbrush it's an awesome tool in the game industry. It's less time consuming than boxmodeling, and by baking the information from the highpoly mesh (normal, ambient occlusion maps, texture, etc) into a low poly, works perfectly.
In the last few days I was surprised by a different workflow that consists in modeling in Zbrush, retopologize (into 2000 polys), and that's it. No normal maps or baked info from Zbrush is going to be used. Do you see any useful point in this process? Is Zbrush necessary in this case?

Thanks in advance for your attention,
Cheers
Sofi
 
Old 02 February 2013   #21
Originally Posted by sofinimation: Hey ppl!
I'm new here and have a similar question. I agree that Zbrush it's an awesome tool in the game industry. It's less time consuming than boxmodeling, and by baking the information from the highpoly mesh (normal, ambient occlusion maps, texture, etc) into a low poly, works perfectly.
In the last few days I was surprised by a different workflow that consists in modeling in Zbrush, retopologize (into 2000 polys), and that's it. No normal maps or baked info from Zbrush is going to be used. Do you see any useful point in this process? Is Zbrush necessary in this case?

Thanks in advance for your attention,
Cheers
Sofi

Where did you see that workflow?
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Old 02 February 2013   #22
Originally Posted by Kanga: Where did you see that workflow?

Yeah, that doesn't sound right. Retopologizing in ZB will give you a workable mesh but it's still going to be megapoly. You still need normal maps etc. to get it in a game.
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Old 02 February 2013   #23
More and more modelers I know prefer to start their model entirely in Zbrush. It's a great way to work - inside Zbrush you only have to worry about forms and shapes. You don't have to keep worrying about edge loops or anything until the end, which Zbrush also offers very easy and powerful retopoly tools.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #24
Originally Posted by WyattHarris: Yeah, that doesn't sound right. Retopologizing in ZB will give you a workable mesh but it's still going to be megapoly. You still need normal maps etc. to get it in a game.

Yeah it could be something new we missed. I would love to see that trick
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Old 02 February 2013   #25
in far cry 3 they almost used it everywhere...
http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showth...c-Character-Art
 
Old 02 February 2013   #26
Originally Posted by Dirtvic: in far cry 3 they almost used it everywhere...
http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showth...c-Character-Art


While I'm sure the game itself also used ZBrush (or Mudbox) pretty heavily, all of those examples are from the cinematic trailer, not the game itself.
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Old 02 February 2013   #27
Dynamesh is a cool recent addition to ZBrush and I think that you will see it used more in the game pipeline. I'm currently working on a character (part human, part animal) that began with a base mesh in Maya for the body and separate meshes for the tail, horns, etc. I can "fuse" the separate meshes in ZBrush using Dynamesh easily. Dynamesh allows you to "experiment" with shapes in a way that was difficult before (but note that in a studio pipeline you will follow the concept given to you). But the high resolution sculpt must be made into a game mesh (with proper topology based on poly count budgets and animation deformation).

Many character artists use TopoGun for retopologizing--it has some great new features (I also have 3DCoat). I will sometimes bake polypainting (TopoGun, XNormal, and other programs allow polypainted pixel baking) before UVing. I don't know of too many game character artists that retopologize in ZBrush. I never UV in ZBrush (but sometimes I will "slop" on some quick UVs for polygroup selection purposes for easier sculpting of fingers, etc.).

The recent insert mesh and curves insert mesh brushes in ZBrush will probably get used more in game art (for pockets, belting, etc.), but sometimes it is just quicker to model in Maya or Max. Sculpting folds in clothing is a lot easier in ZBrush.

Hard surface character artists will typically not use ZBrush as much as organic character artists (mainly to do some hard surface "shaping," although I know some artists are using it more for hard surface stuff lately). I prefer using TopoGun, 3D-Coat, or curve-lofting in Maya/Max instead of ZBrush "extractions" to make armor or other accessories (it is hard to get nice edge flow with extraction and if you have to retopo you might as well just use TopoGun, 3D-Coat, or similar program).

A mobile games studio near me uses ZBrush for a few things in their pipeline, but as noted by others, not a lot.

Last edited by FrankIowa : 02 February 2013 at 11:26 PM.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #28
Don't forget that ZBrush is also a really nice texturing program, with polypaint, spotlight and the noisemaker plugin. I pretty much use it for all my texturing needs these days.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 02 February 2013   #29
ZBrush is still the standard for sculpting but many companies use Mudbox for texturing, since the latter is more geared towards previewing GL/DirectX realtime previews. Naughty Dog, for example, uses both. I hate using polypaint, not because of the UVless workflow but just because it's not as fluid as Mudbox for painting. But I'd never sculpt in Mudbox. It's awful for sculpting compared to ZBrush.
 
Old 02 February 2013   #30
Interesting, I've not used Mudbox. Before I used ZBrush I used another painting app and I find ZBrush a lot more fluid than that so I guess it depends on what you are used to. I'm not working with assets for games typically though, usually it's for rendered animation.

I actually like the UV-free workflow, it feels very organic to me to be able to just throw some paint or project some photos on a rough model to get a feel for where it's going without having to deal with UVs and it can be handy sometimes if you need to transfer textures to a new mesh with different UVs and that kind of thing. Generally if I want to work on a flat version of the texture I'll just save out a UV snapshot from Maya and then work in Photoshop, of course that's not going to give live preview but usually at that stage I'm just making minor tweaks or fixes.

There's no perfect app of course but I really have fun using ZBrush and find it enjoyable to work with. The best aspect of it for me is that it lets you focus on the art side to begin without dealing with too much technical stuff, then once the client buys off on the model/textures you can deal with topology, UVs etc without losing any of your work.

Cheers,
Brian

Last edited by Horganovski : 02 February 2013 at 05:25 AM.
 
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