What's your workflow in Zbrush (be thorough).


I’m new to zbrush and wanted to learn the workflow of the pros.

Here’s mine and pls suggest improvements:

Work on sphere with 4k poly with dynamesh and polish on, gradually increase resolution of dynamesh which increases the no. of polys too (I dont’t Divide, I just keep increasing the resolution of dynamesh), when I am ready for the details (wrinkles, pimples etc) I stop increasing the resolution of dynamesh, do the details, UV unwrap, export the displacement map, paint the mesh, export the texture map frop poypaint.

Here’s a problem, when maps have been exported and I use Zremesher to low down the no. of polys, it now needs to be UV unwrapped again, so when I UV unwrap again, this UV is now different than the UV on which the earlier exported displacement and texture map are based on. But the whole point of exporting displacement is that we can get those high res details on a low poly mesh, isn’t it? But if the UV of low poly mesh is different than UV of displacement map, the map won’t work correctly.

I tried copying UV from high poly mesh and pasting to low poly mesh using UV master, but it didn’t work.

What’s your workflow?


I don’t know if I read your workflow clear. What you are saying is that you dynamesh, do details, then do your UV map. The place you are messing up on is after you Zremesh and your UVs dont match up. If I read this correctly then the hang up on your workflow is doing your UV mapping before you do your Zremesh. When you Zremesh, you have a complete new set of topology and of course it will not match up to your previous UV Mapping.

The way my workflow is, if I am in dynamesh mode, I stay in that mode until I need my bare essentials. Such as, figuring out the silhouette, adding in parts, etc.
Once I have everything I need out of Dynamesh, I get out of Dynamesh into Zremesh. Reproject any details I have from the dynamesh model. I like being in Zremesh mode, because it gives me the ability to work in different subdivision levels and that is so important to me. I also dont like doing my tertiary details until I am in Zremesh.
After UV mapping that Zremeshed model, there shouldn’t be any reason for the map to disappear or reset because the topology is consistent.
Pay close attention to your topology of the model if you are confused. If your topology looks different than the other model from before, then that is your answer.


So you stay in Zremesher mode to get different subdivision levels to work with, when you are done how do export the displacement map? because you can create and export displacement map only in the lowest subdivision level being active, and the lowest sub division level does not has the high details.


You can definitely export displacement map with subdivision levels. The whole point of having a displacement map is so that you are able to export your geo out at the lowest subdivision (which is a smaller file size) and by using a displacement map, you are able to get all the details you have in zbrush on the lower subdivision model. If you dont have any subdivision levels, especially in dynamesh mode with high frequency detail, it’s going to be an absolute pain to UV that. Futhermore, you wouldn’t need a displacement map if you’re able to get all your detail with no SubD.

The way you get a displacement is by going into Z-Plug-in, multimap exporter, open up export options and click on displacement. The slider that says SubDiv level 1. That is telling Zbrush that you want all the details starting from subdiv level 1. If you slide it to level 3 for example, then you are telling Zbrush you want details starting from level 3 and so forth.
There are great tutorials online if you google like ‘exporting displacement map in Zbrush’.


I created a sphere, divided it 3 times, and used standard devian brush on each subdivision, just some short and straight strokes. I selected the lowest subD level, then clicked UV unwrap.
Then in the texture map> create> new texture from UV map. Then in displacement texture > create and export displacement map. and I got this:

It’s not correct, I tried it in maya, this map is not right.

I tried UV master and selected the division lvl in export options like you said (chose lvl 3) but it kept on creating and exporting maps endlessly for some reason, I had to press Esc key to stop it.


That UV map you created looks incorrect, that’s probably why your map isnt working correctly. When you UV unwrapped it did you work on clone, copy UVs and paste it on the higher SubDiv? You may be messing up on the UV part which is leading you to not get correct displacement maps.


You should check that tutorial out for exporting displacement map out correctly.


Okay, with same sphere, I cloned it, UV unwrapped it, copied UV, pasted those UV on the original sphere at the highest subD level, now I created displacement map which requires my mesh to be at lowest subD level and finally got a good displacement map which is correct.

But it required that the mesh be at lowest subD level for displacement map to be exported, I mean those details I worked on at highest subD level weren’t involved in the displacement map throughout the whole process, isn’t the purpose of displacement map is to capture all the high details of our mesh.


What do you mean it wasn’t involved?
You mean when youre doing your displacement and Zbrush hangs on the SubD level you put it on? That’s because Zbrush is thinking… It is capturing all your details.
You’re suppose to export the lowest subD and then plug in displacement map to get the highRes detail. That;s the whole point.


Alright, thank you very much for your help.


No Problem~ I hope it works out for you :smiley: if something keeps messing up, its either your UV or how you export your displacement map. So make sure those two are solid.


sure, thank you for your time.