Maya 2016.5 - Zbrush texture looks different and low-res in Maya, why? image attached


I created a figure and expended a week painting it, now i sent it to Maya and it lost all details, my zbush texture looks completly different at Maya, low-res and blend, also colors are like washed out, why? does Maya cant handle Zbrush super high quality textures? what can i do?

At Zbrush i allready tried: GUV Tiles, PUV Tiles, Map size 4096, also 8192 (Zbrush actually doesn´t allow me to make it bigger), UV border 12, .bmp (200megas), .jpeg, UVs at lowest resolution(70k polys), Texture map polypaint at highest resolution(16 Millions Polys), rgb intensity 100…i already tried with almost everything and all my textures look exactly the same at Maya…bad

At Maya i simply imported the object, it opens with a lambert material and it already loads the texture, but i also tried with blin and reimporting the various types of extensions with different diffuse of textures or specular variables and same resoult…it loses all details i painted.

Please help,

image attached (not high-res image because of rescale, but diferences are obvious):


Is that image from Maya your Viewport, or an actual render?

It looks like the map is fine, but your shader itself is the problem. You say you exported simple texture files (such as .jpg) from Zbrush? What do those image files look like? Maya doesn’t change files magically as input nodes…

As a test, go into Photoshop and make a 4Kx4K texture from scratch, something detailed but quick. Scribbles. Import that over into Maya as your hand texture - do you see a change in resolution and the same issues?


Yeah its a maya render, not viewport, i checked the texture at Corel and it looks perfect, the problem is Maya, as a test i created a new blin material and added the texture in “color” and it looks exactly the same as the material that automaticaly loaded when importing the ob (meaning bad)j, i tested creating a new 4K texture as you said and imported it to the figure it also looks od, since its a new material the shading should be alright,

But i made a discovery… it looks similar to zbrush in the viewport of Maya if i choose “legacy high quality viewport”, meaning the problem is on rendering because if i make a render it still looks washed out but if i see it on legacy HQ it looks closser to zbrush in the viewport (at least), then why if legacy viewport shows the texture fine it doesnt render fine?

I decided to use Maya 2017 and Arnold (wich i dont like) just to see if its a MR problem, but it also looks washed out after rendering with Arnold, none looks as legacy HQ viewport either. Also after a while using “legacy HQ viewport” it also changed my texture to white and stoped to show light making it look black, so i re-opened the scene and texture looks ok again (sorry its my first time using legacy), but the big problem is that it still doesn´t renders as it looks on legacy HQ viewport not in MR nor Arnold, maybe i will have to make my renders from the viewport + screen print…LOL.

attached my material settings


It looks like you are probably rendering with the wrong color management settings.
Here is your render with a gamma adjustment of 0.45 - obviously the lighting is not right either, but you can see that your texturemap is doing ok in maya.



Thanks but it has nothing to do with gamma, color management or tone, its about little details, sorry if my previous image was too far but this site doesn´t allow heavy images and the link page also resized it, but i painted this texture at zbrush with a lot of details, the only thing you wont see is the displacement cause i never showed it on both programs, but maya renders the texture washed out, it does looks similar to Zbrush with Maya´s legacy HQ viewport, but remember it is a preview window and you cant go that close, what matters is the “details” on final renders, i added tons of details at zbrush and thats why my model is 16Million polys, but Maya loses 80% of the details after rendering; for me details are more obvious on closeups, thats when you see the differences and thats why i added a new image in the link below, the texture in maya looks washed out, dots not defined, vs Zbrush more clear details, and i belive my resolution settings are great at zbrush, i cant even go higher because the program doesn´t allow me.

Here is a closer look, this time i used Maya 2017 and Arnold for rendering, maybe color is a big diference at distance, but the real difference is in the washed out details at Maya 2017 (no displacements on both, only textures):

Maybe i´m crazy about details, i dont know, it looks different to me.


I really love sculpting in Zbrush but there are times I experience this exact same problem at render time.

I think the biggest problem with Zbrush color map painting is that it is dependent on subdivisions for the pixel detail resolution.

For this reason alone I very often do my sculpts in Zbrush and then import them into Mudbox for color painting.

I can simply set the resolution of the image in Mudbox and no matter what subD level I am at I always have the full resolution available.

That is just something I do out of habit from many years ago. Also the fact that I can use photoshop style layers for color painting in Mudbox makes it easy to paint with certain shader effects in mind.

All this being said I have seen workflows where you import a blank black or white image into Zbrush and then you paint on it so you have a full res image no matter what subD you are painting on. I will say though that your model looks like it is far too pixelated for just the area you are observing. Makes me wonder how the UV map is laid out because an 8k image for that hand area could suffer from pixel squish/buzz (the opposite of pixel stretching) where you’d get sizzle from too much resolution.


the colour space will matter - if you apply a gamma it will crunch some of the colour and contrast together - the washed out effect when you get it wrong is not simply moving a straight line brighter.
All that said you can also turn off the filter or try some of the others.
If you want to assess the colour its also a good idea to turn off spec for the time being so you can trouble shoot.


It has already been mentioned that the maya render is looking a bit soft - probably a combination of the filter on the fileTexture and the sampling settings of the renderer. But that said, I still see a color management problem. You already said the image looked perfect in your paint app, so you are doing something wrong for your maya render to look so washed out. I was not suggesting that applying gamma correction to your render was a way to fix it. This was not a “fix it in post” comment. It was just a way of pointing out an obvious difference that would probably be fixed by correctly setting up color management before and during rendering. Once you get your renders to line up tonally I think you will find those details that you love so much will become apparent again.



Even by using default options with Arnold i always get the same resoult, washed out textures, now the only think i can do is to extra paint my textures with super strong clownly colos, like infected hyper painted skin at Zbrush… so Arnold can show me better textures after it washes out my textures in Maya and i need to be testing my paint progress in zbrush so i see how much Maya washes out my paintings…

It doesn´t have anything to do with AAA or gamma, its´not about the tone of color, its the details that get lost since textures load and even if i try to fix them, colors might get strong after fix but details always gone even with 4K texture maps, and correcting my gamma in post will affect my entire scene, and it would be really crazy to render each object in layers just because Arnold washed out some textures… its a Maya problem.

Hours of painting gone.


… My replay just duplicated itself…how to deleat duplicated texts or messages? lol


Just a small question: Do you have colorManagement turned on?

If no: Ignore my comments below.
If yes… then
If I see it correctly, then you used “scene-linear Rec 709/sRGB”. Usually this should be sRGB if I’m not completely mistaken, at least that’s what maya sets as default for jpg files in current versions. I’m not sure about Maya2016.5, but I think arnold (or mentalray) recognizes this switch and applies the desired color space and if so, it will render the image with the wrong colorspace. You can check it in viewport 2.0. The image should appear exactly with the same brightness as in you image editing app. And as soon as the brightness is correct, the details will be more visible again.


I belive “scene-linear Rec 709/sRGB” is the default and right choice for linear workspace for Maya 2018, check this information and tell me your opinion:

Autodesk knoledge network linear profiles

Autodesk knoledge network linear workflow

Linear color workflow in ArnoldI have tested SRGB before but they look cartooney as colors appear at higher values, and thats why many tutorials recomend to stay with “scene-linear Rec 709/sRGB”, shadows look better, deeper, light vanishes more natural and it is also easyer to work with in post because you can play better when raising color values or lower them, you get a better range in my own experience.


Yes, the “scene-linear Rec 709/sRGB” is the default rendering color workspace. But I’m talking about the image input. By default a jpg file is saved in a sRGB gamma corrected space. Switching it to “scene-linear Rec 709/sRGB”, what is the case in your screenshot image, lets Maya think that the jpg contains linear values. Of course that’s okay if your jpg contains linear values.