Forgot to unwrap base mesh before import - what to do?

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  01 January 2006
Forgot to unwrap base mesh before import - what to do?

Hi All,

So I'm learning ZBrush, and I've started working on a model I've imported from 3ds max.

Only problem is, in my haste to start adding details - I didn't Unwrap the UVWs of the base mesh before importing it into ZBrush.

So what would you all suggest that I do... Learn to unwrap it in ZBrush? Or is there a way I can unwrap the original base mesh in max, bring that unwrapped model into ZBrush, and apply that unwrapping to the already detailed zbrush mesh?

Any advice is much appreciated.

Modeler / Generalist TD
  01 January 2006
Hey man, how's it going. I think you got 3 options here.

You can layout the base mesh in the application of your choice and then import it into the lowest subdivision level of the tool in zbrush and it should update the UV coordinates. I'm not to sure on this one so It would be great if someone could confirm it.

You can unwrap it in a variety of ways with default tools that zbrush comes with. Auv or Guv would probably be best. You don't get much control at all this way but it can lay the uv's without stretching much. You just might not understand what your looking at if you open the texture in an image editing program.

Also you can install the Zmapper plugin. I havn't tried it yet but I hear it is really awsome and gives a lot of control. I'm pretty sure it is free and can be downloaded off of pixologics web site.
  01 January 2006
Zmapper doesnít unwrap anything. It only displays your existing uvs. Zmapper is basically a real time engine used to view normal maps. It has other functions but it does not unwrap uvs.

I have tried bringing my model back into zbrush to change uvs with 3ds max and maya. It is ALOT easier to do with maya. The main reason is just because Max re orders your verts. so when you try to import it back into zbrush it will destroy your higher sub d levels. So if you want a nice uv layout for painting I would suggest unwrapping in maya.

of course you can always use GUV or AUV tiles at any time.
  01 January 2006
Thanks for the advice.

I dont have access/dont know maya, so I cant unwrap the model in that.

So is there anyway that I can import the newly unwrapped base mesh from 3ds max into Zbrush, and apply that new uvw mapping to the old base mesh that has the details built onto its higher subdivision levels?

If so, how would I go about doing that?

Modeler / Generalist TD
  01 January 2006

Hi Divide!

Are you OK?

Here are the steps i do to re-import a base mesh into zbrush without loosing any higher sculpting resolutions ( I had the same problem of your's one day ).

1. Open your base mesh ( the same you exported to zbrush) in 3dsmax;
2. Apply unwrap into it;
3. Export this mapped mesh the same way you have exported the first poly ( I suppose OBJ - and same parameters);
4. Open zbrush;
5. Load you sculpted mesh;
6. Go to it's the lowest subdivision ( The subdvision of the base mesh );
7. Click Import tool;
8. Select your new unwrapped base mesh.

That's it. Zbrush will keep all your hard sculpting. Zbrush Rock's.

See yah!

Denis Pedro
Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

Last edited by ctl3d32 : 01 January 2006 at 02:14 AM.
  01 January 2006
good luck with that. If it works for you then thatís awesome, but I have found that unless you started your base mesh in max and not zbrush. or exported out of zbrush at its lowest level before you started sculpting to max. You will not be able to re import a model back into zbrush from max without destroying your higher sub d levels in zbrush.
  01 January 2006

I see. DivideByZero had exported his base mesh from 3dsmax. It works.

Now, creating a base mesh in Zbrush, than i don't know. Never needed it. Never did it.

See yah!

Denis Pedro
Brasil - Rio de Janeiro
  01 January 2006
ah hey sweet there ya go. you should have no problems then.
  01 January 2006
I'd like to hear if this worked. I've had problems re-importing base meshes with different UV coordinates as the vert numbers are reordered. I usually get an explosion of polygons once I step up and down subdiv levels. To get around it, I did the following:

-Step down to lowest subdiv level of original, unmapped ZBtool.
-Generate Displacement map
-Reset ZB
-Import new UV mapped base model.
-Sub divide up to highest detail level of original model
-Apply displacement map to highest level
-Tweak displacement amount

TaDa. ZB will deform the model and all of its subdivisions back to the state of your original model, but now with your good UVs. Nice, new, clean ZBTool

Last edited by anoon : 01 January 2006 at 07:15 PM.
  01 January 2006
I have done lots of tests. And it will work. There are only two ways to accomplish this with max currently however. (Considering you have the correct import export settings for max and zbrush)

1. If you start with your mesh in max. then import into zbrush. and then if you ever want to go back into max. max will not reorder your verts. you are good to go. and you can freely go between max and zbrush easily. just by exporting out of zbrush at the lowest level. and importing/exporting out of max with the correct obj settings.

2. If you start with your mesh in zbrush. After you have laid out the first subdivsion level the way you want it with zspheres or whatever. DONT WORK ON ANY SUBDIVISON LEVEL OTHER THAN ONE. at that first level export it to max and unwrap it however you want. then take it back into zbrush at that base level. at that point you can sub divide it up and work on it further and if you ever need to go back to max. just do the usual go back to level 1 and export and you will be fine.
  01 January 2006

I have done lots of tests. And it will work. There are only two ways to accomplish this with max currently however. (Considering you have the correct import export settings for max and zbrush)

this is probably the wrong place to ask,but what are the correct import export settings?
i have textured my model in zbrush, and can't import it with it's correct texture layout.
also are there diffrent seting for diffrent max vesions
  01 January 2006
I can't speak for all versions of 3DS Max but these settings have proved to work when exporting .obj models from Max to Zbrush, and vice versa.
  01 January 2006
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