Forum Groups
  All forums
    Help & Feedback
      Work in progress
      Finished Art
      Non-Max related

Featured Threads
  inspiration alert!!!
(37 replies)
  Indespensible MaxScripts, Plugins and 3rd Party Tools
(37 replies)
  The allmighty FREE Resources Thread !
(17 replies)
  spam alert!!!
(4886 replies)
  Maxforums member photo gallery index
(114 replies)
  Maxforums Member Tutorials
(89 replies)
  three cheers to maxforums...
(240 replies)
  101 Things you didnt know in Max...
(198 replies)
  A Face tutorial from MDB101 :D
(95 replies) Members Gallery
(516 replies)
(637 replies)
  Dub's Maxscript Tutorial Index
(119 replies)

Maxunderground news unavailable

Z-brush to Max Pipeline (Topology)
show user profile  herfst1
I'm trying to learn the "new school" pipeline to modelling as suggested by Scotch_again and I wanted to know if I'm on the right track. This is my understanding:

1. Model a general sculpt in z-brush and export to Max.
2. Re-topologise the mesh using standard techniques or (as seen in the picture) the paint -> extend to surface tool.
3. UVW and export to z-brush again for final details.
4. Export maps to photoshop etc...

read 323 times
1/17/2012 1:13:57 PM (last edit: 1/17/2012 1:15:44 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Note: the reason I'm unclear about all this is that whenever I've sculpted a body I always created a general geomesh shape first and modeled around that. It just seems that this process is a bit redundant - also the fact that I can't generate useful UVW maps in z-brush.
read 316 times
1/17/2012 1:20:44 PM (last edit: 1/17/2012 1:20:44 PM)
show user profile  scotch_again
It doesn't really matter how you initially generate your base sculpt. Knock one out in Max, use a Zspheres mesh, or start with a sphere and just sculpt the lot, it's up to you. If you start it in Max keep it ultra-simple, don't try and create a rough version of the model, because you'll need to keep your polys even and avoid pole verts and tri faces like the plague, and that's so much easier on a 200 poly mesh than on a 2000 poly one (unless you are planning to dynamesh it anway, in which case your starting topology is irrelevant).

Here's what I generally do:

1) Create sculpt (and, optionally, paint the colour map) in Zbrush.
2) Create a Decimated version and use that as a retopology target mesh.
3) Export both my top-level sculpt and retop mesh and use XNormal to generate your maps.
4) Create any additional maps in PS, and do any necessary touch up to the ones you've baked.


1) Create base meshes
2) Sculpt
3) Fix up mesh and UVs
4) Export both the top level and whichever lower level is at a suitable density for skinning (not always the lowest)
5) Bake them in XNormal
6) Do whatever needs to be done in PS.

And always be prepared to quickly retopologise a mesh or part of a mesh as you go along. It's easy to run out of subdivision levels before you get all your details finished. And if you start with a Zsphere mesh or a dynamesh you'll need to do this fairly early on in the process, because you'll either run out of polys or dynamesh resolution.

I prefer the first workflow rather than the second one because it's more suited to low-poly work and that's mainly what I do, and because I like the fact I never have to put anything back in to Zbrush, but I do use the other one too. The reason I'd choose the second one is that sometimes it's just easier to start with a mesh that has the broadly the correct structure. For example if I was modelling a suit jacket that needed to have an inside and an outside and lapels and useable pockets and so on, I'd find it quicker to knock up a really basic version in Max first than to start sculpting it out of a ball of clay and then try to fix it later.

Some things to bear in mind:
- XNormal generates better maps than Zb does internally, and you don't have to transfer your base mesh into the stack of your subtool as you do if you want to bake in Zb natively. And xnormal can bake meshes that are too big for Zb to export.
- If you run out of memory on export, the biggest saving is from deleting your UVs, followed by turning off polypaint, if there is any.
- Transferring between Max and Zb is much more reliable and predictable using GoZ than .obj exports.
- If you get bakes that look faceted then ZBrush has cycled your UVs, and there's a button to fix them. Most people who run into this assume it's some sort of hard-edge issue and get stuck for ages trying to fix it.
- Avoid using layers in Zb for anything other than simple stuff. They're bugged to fuck and you will end up pulling your hair out if you rely on them for any heavy-lifting.

read 297 times
1/17/2012 2:24:37 PM (last edit: 1/17/2012 2:24:37 PM)
show user profile  herfst1
Wow, I can't thank you enough for your detailed response, I'll copy it and save it to my desktop for constant reference.

You might have just bumped yourself up to my favourite member of maxforums for this :)
read 288 times
1/17/2012 3:31:44 PM (last edit: 1/17/2012 3:31:44 PM)
#Maxforums IRC
Open chat window