How to bypass the subdiv limitation...

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  01 January 2006
How to bypass hardware subdiv limitation...

Hi, I'm new to ZB (I know, you've never read such a start for a thread ), and I'm gonna use it to highly detail a character I'm creating for my end of year school project.
The problem I'm experiencing right now is that I can't subdiv my model enough, in order to reach the level of detail I would like to have. This is due to hardware limitations. What I was planning to do is to cut my mesh in 2 or 3 parts, import each one in ZB, detailing it, and reimporting it back in 3DS, one by one, to generate normal maps through "Render to texture". Is that an efficient way to do it, or are there better methods ?

P.S. The base mesh done in 3DS max is already unwarped, and I'm worried about the fact that, if I have to cut it in 3 different parts, it'll ruin the unwarp I've done. And I'm also not sure about creating normal maps with "render to texture", in 3 passes, one for each detailed part of the mesh imported from ZB.

Last edited by HappyCookie : 01 January 2006 at 03:50 PM.
  01 January 2006
Go to Preferences/Mem and add more MaxPolyPerMesh (by default 1.99)

Cartoon | Design | Photoshop | Flash |
  01 January 2006
Hey, tanks for the answer .

But unfortunately, that won't solve my problem, because my computer can't seem to handle too much subdivision...
That's why I was thinking of cutting my mesh in several different parts that I could detail one by one, but I have no ideas on how to create an overall normal map of my character then...

  01 January 2006
You can in ZBrush with the ctrl+shitf+drag select the different uv groups and also you can work in isolated manner each one.
also in 3DMax using the Unwrap editor you can select and group the more convenient playing with stich.
In 3DMax there is a plugin:
that allow you to paint the unwrap map in photoshop or other paint program.
I will review some tutorial related to render to texture and i will send the information.
Hope this help something
  01 January 2006
Hi Happy Cookie
Yes, there's definatly another way to go about it. I'll give you two.

Firstly the correct way to do this to make your low poly model in Max. Export it out as an OBJ. and import it into ZBrush. In ZBrush you will do the subdivision to a very high mesh and model it adding the wrinkles and dimples. ZBrush is designed to handle high poly subdivided meshes. In ZBrush use ZMapper (a plugin for ZBrush) to create the Normal Map using the 3ds Max preferances and then export the Normal map out of ZBrush. Back in Max, import the Normal Map and place it on the low poly mesh.

The second way is to check out the video tutorials found at It's called "ZB2 and Max 7 - Normal Mapping for Games". Using this method you'll make your Normal Maps in Max. You'll find these video tutorials by clicking Free Tutorials > 3DS Max and scroll to the bottom and find the link. This video tutorial is split into 3 parts. If I remember, the 3rd video tut is over 100 megs.

Links to follow up...
Upham's Max to ZBrush with Polygroups

The Free ZMapper Plugin for ZBrush
(make sure you also download the documentation and read chapter 7 and do the tutorials).

3D-palace Home page

I strongly recomend you watch the built in ZBrush tutorials found in the ZBrush Help. Load ZBrush and in the top Right you'll find a button called HELP. Click this and it'll take you to the self-running scripted tutorials. The ones you want to look at are called "multi Resolution Modeling", "Projection Master Tutorial" & "Displacement mapping Tutorial"

There's a bit of a lerning curve I'm afraid
  01 January 2006
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