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My 3dMax to Zbrush pipeline and why it sucks
show user profile  TheShrike
Hi all, I am working on a character right now with smooth groups on his armor to define areas I want to remain hard when I take it into Zbrush and subdivide. So I bring the character in using smooth group import plugin. I make changes on the character in zbrush then realize, almost every time, that I want to go back to Max to make changes to the geometry. So I take the object I have modified in Zbrush back to 3ds Max, and of course, the smooth groups are gone...

Theoretically I should be able to change the geometry in Max and then import the object back in to Zbrush at the base level of my object ( if I have subdivided) and it will keep the hard edges. This is not what happens. After I import, I lose all my hard edges. Then I, of course, have to go back and reapply ALL of the smooth groups on the modifed mesh, and then start over in zbrush. Its frustrating and I don't know what other Max Zbrush users do, when they need to go back to max to modify geometry on an object with smooth groups.

Any help would be sweetness and I would send valentines day chocolates to anywhere within a 3 mile radius of Detroit, MI... Where I know you all live because it's super awesome here and not depressing.
read 1421 times
2/12/2011 3:31:33 AM (last edit: 2/12/2011 3:31:33 AM)
show user profile  gogodr
are you using GoMax?

Hello there

beautiful ;3

read 1418 times
2/12/2011 3:43:40 AM (last edit: 2/12/2011 3:43:40 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
if it's not a huge change you could 'project all'
you'll have to hide bits of the newly imported mesh if they aren't represented in the original
(subD'd to the level that you can catch any detail from the original- or approx)

or you could take a morph target from the unprojected new mesh and use the morph brush to get the trouble areas back to their import state after 'project all'

if you're not on zb 4 the GoZ plugin goes back to 3.0 i think (not 100% sure)
free upgrade to 4 of course

Website and Portfolio

read 1409 times
2/12/2011 5:07:01 AM (last edit: 2/12/2011 5:07:01 AM)
show user profile  soontekk
i'm not too impressed with goz in z4
not much UI and a bit strange

melting ur brainz!
/ FOS4 / FO2 / Blurb / Twitter / Facebook / Vimeo /

read 1405 times
2/12/2011 5:09:30 AM (last edit: 2/12/2011 5:09:30 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
i must admit to only using it a couple of times
it's best to take a sculpting mesh in zb- one that you know can take the lumps- regular spaced and sized quads- denser where you know you'll need more detail, then you can retop if you need a low poly

just thought- shrike could use the retop tools to add new geometry to the mesh

zsphere on the canvas, Rigging> select mesh> Topology> edit topology
then you press shift while going over the mesh with any brush- this should highlight the topology as yellow edges (press a to preview and see if you've missed anything), and when you have it all (bit fiddley and finniky) you can adjust the topology and add new geometry if needed
but this way is a bit tricky but does work
when you're finished press a or preview and press make adaptive skin
if you're on zb4 press solo to see the wireframe without anything else

also it's very important not to turn perspective on when previewing and forgetting to turn it off again- puts verts out of place

Website and Portfolio

read 1400 times
2/12/2011 5:28:56 AM (last edit: 2/12/2011 5:34:25 AM)
show user profile  TheShrike
Thanks all, I forgot about Morph targets, those seem the most practical here. Ktonne- that method you mentioned with with zspheres confuses me because I dont know how to select the entire mesh to be editing. When I pick a brush and shift paint over it, it highlights some, but not all. Kinda confusing, but good idea if I could get it to select the whole mesh.
read 1382 times
2/12/2011 12:06:22 PM (last edit: 2/12/2011 12:06:22 PM)
show user profile  K-tonne
the highlighting of the rigging thing is weirdly tricky- and it really does help if you know the mesh well so you can do it methodically and know if you're missing bits
just takes time i guess
you'll be forgetting about layers next... lol

Website and Portfolio

read 1362 times
2/12/2011 6:09:45 PM (last edit: 2/12/2011 6:09:45 PM)
show user profile  TheShrike
but i dont really get it... the highlightingverts for retopo thing. It looks like I brush over a an area and it lets me edit the verts that get selected, then I can make an adaptive skin of that new modified gemoetry. Even if I could select the whole mesh to modify it, which I can't seem to do, Then I would still have to reproject it after I made an adaptive skin wouldnt I? Projecting in zbrush half works for me, but a lot of the time I get jagged edges and shit. Its probably something Im doing wrong but I dont know of any great documentation for it. The zbrush wiki page kinda sucks
read 1350 times
2/13/2011 1:07:30 AM (last edit: 2/13/2011 1:07:30 AM)
show user profile  K-tonne
try zooming out and using a larger draw size and make sure the tool is at it's lowest level before rigging, sounds like you are
and yeah, you'd make an adaptive skin of the preview of level 1 (not 2 as is the default), click on that newly created mesh in the tools menu, append the original tool to that and project all
diddle with the settings to get better results and don't forget to get a morph target before projecting to help sort the mesh out with the morph brush

Website and Portfolio

read 1338 times
2/13/2011 4:12:01 AM (last edit: 2/13/2011 4:12:01 AM)
show user profile  TheShrike
Thanks Ktonne, good information. Seeing as maintaining hard edges can be so important for so many models, I wonder why they havent integrated a less "work-aroundy" system for going back and forth between Zbrush and Max without losing your hard edges.
read 1319 times
2/14/2011 1:14:11 AM (last edit: 2/14/2011 1:14:11 AM)
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