kirkl

Zbrush to 3dcoat workflow?

21 posts in this topic

I got 3dcoat with an intention for texture painting mostly since I accostomed to do sculpting work up to very tyny surface details in Zbrush. I don't like texturing options in Zbrush. But for a wile already I can't find an easy, straight and optimal way to transfer things to 3dcoat.

Could sombody share some thoughts. I would like to try it again. Shoulkd I try the new vector displacement export from Zbrush? Can I use a displacement texture baked from Zbruush in per vertex mode only? Is it possible to use per-pixel mode together with the displacement map from Zbrush somehow?

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Have you tried the applink? http://3d-coat.com/applinks/

It unfortunately does not work, at least not bidirectionally.

One can send from Zbrush but stuff does not come back.

The updated file from 3DCoat gets written but the folder-structure gets messed up.

It would be great if someone who really uses both apps fixed that File-Link.

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You should be able in Per Pixel mode import the Zbrush displacement map ( same uv map as the model in per-pixel). 3DCoat seems to convert the height map to a normal map for PPP mode. I tested with a displacement map from 3DCoat and it works plus I checked the normal map that was created off the displacement under the texture uv editor.

To import the ZBrush displacement map.

Create a new layer

Texture menu/import displacement

You might have to adjust the depth of the layer to get more detail to show-up

When done painting just export your diffuse maps under the texture menu for importing into Zbrush...

I'm not saying this will work perfectly but it worth a couple of test runs using different displacement settings from Zbrush...

Of course you could always load up the Zbrush displacement map under MV mode but it's vertex painting in MV mode...

http://3d-coat.com/w..._vs_Microvertex

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Thanks digman. It looks to me that that in per-pixel mode 3dcoat treat the displacement details not as precisely as in mv mode. I can't make "more/less on heights" follow the imported depth well with that way or maybe it's just a matter of a correct scale factor.

To be honest I don't understand the "more/less on heights" option very well. Perhaps it's not a problem of imported displacement but rather how it works. An ability to paint with a brush being aware of surface curvature is very important for me. Is it possible to appoint depth aware feature onto a pen pressure somehow?

ps. Also the rendition of the displacement in per-pixel mode is somehow rough and not very precise. Should I get a dx11 card (with adaptive tessellation) to get better rendition ?

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Thanks digman. It looks to me that that in per-pixel mode 3dcoat treat the displacement details not as precisely as in mv mode. I can't make "more/less on heights" follow the imported depth well with that way or maybe it's just a matter of a correct scale factor.

To be honest I don't understand the "more/less on heights" option very well. Perhaps it's not a problem of imported displacement but rather how it works. An ability to paint with a brush being aware of surface curvature is very important for me. Is it possible to appoint depth aware feature onto a pen pressure somehow?

ps. Also the rendition of the displacement in per-pixel mode is somehow rough and not very precise. Should I get a dx11 card (with adaptive tessellation) to get better rendition ?

Don't use "More/Less on Heights." I never get jack out of it either. Use "More/Less in Cavity" and you'll get pretty good results. If you are going to use Displacement Maps, might as well stick with MicroVertex mode. You can export both Displacement and Normal Maps from it. Another option to consider is just merging your hi-poly object into the Voxel Room, then paint on it in the Paint Room, with full layer support and the ability to bake everything to maps from the Retopo Room (There is a Bake Maps option in the Retopo Menu or you can access the very same tool in the TEXTURES menu, with the Texture Baking Tool...not sure why there is that redundancy...but that's where you'll find them)

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Yes, it works on the conversation but it is something that 3DCoat was not design to do by intent. I tested and found out it works but maybe not that great.

AbnRanger, I would say has the best options for now....

More/Less on heights, It nevers seems to do much....

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That " heights" feature works pretty well in MV mode although. It's good for painting worn edges and some dirty prominent parts of a surface. The “cavity” option works somehow more abruptly and more in tiny pores than on surface curvature in general. It looks similar to auto cavity mask in Zbrush mostly. A bit mechanical. And goes very slow when I try to increase the cavity value.

In a word I need something similar to real world dry brush technique when you can adjust brush depth penetration on the fly by hand pressure and velocity. It there some pressure related option for the cavity in 3dcoat? In Zbrush it's not that good also but still somehow works for clay and trim brushes.

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I use PPP almost exclusively (as I rarely get good results merging from the Retopo Room...it's gotten better lately, but PPP almost always gives me a good result), so that explains why I don't get anything from the Heights feature, I suppose. I don't think there is a way to apply cavity scaling on the fly, with brush pressure, but you may want to experiment a little more with the different brush types in the E-Panel. Some are pressure-sensitive and some aren't. You can also crank up the border width in the E-Panel to get much softer (anti-aliased) strokes. Another think to keep in mind, is that you don't have to use a brush with cavity painting. You can use the selection tools in the E-Panel and 3D Coat will fill the areas you selected with color in the cavities or heights.

Furthermore, you could use the Fill tool (fill object, layer or material only) to apply solid color or procedural patterns, while cavity mode is active. It's worth experimenting with.

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Also what you can do to make the cavity painting a bit softer is to paint the cavity in its own layer, then "Freeze Painted pixels" from the Freeze menu, Invert and then you may apply "Smooth freezing". Then you may "Fill Unfrozen" for a softer cavity painted layer than originally painted.

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Why is the Bake Texture option still broken. How am I to export a displacement map from a merged Zbrush model? Nothing is working for this displacement map wise.

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Why is the Bake Texture option still broken. How am I to export a displacement map from a merged Zbrush model? Nothing is working for this displacement map wise.

Try Textures (Menu) > Texture Baking Tool. Maybe I wasn't imagining things, recently, when trying to bake just a Displacement map from the "Bake Textures" tool (should be the same thing, though), it didn't work correctly. I tried then using texture baking tool to do the very same thing, and it worked. If it works for you, then I guess there is a bug that needs to get fixed.

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What goes wrong sometimes with MV mode (not as forgiving as PPP) IMO is this:

3DCoat is trying to subdivide the retopo cage and project it on the voxel/surface hi density mesh. This way, it counts the displacement values.

It seems reasonable to me. When messing with projection - shrinkwrapping, some difficulties are expected. Not always easy for zbrush or for blender as well.

If I'm right, then,

1. where are the parameters of the projection?

2. why I can't fix some nasty messy parts in sculpt or paint room?

3. why these displacement maps look a bit blurred, compared to zbrush's crisper ones?

@AbnRanger

I may missed something, what about your new beautiful avatar image?

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What goes wrong sometimes with MV mode (not as forgiving as PPP) IMO is this:

3DCoat is trying to subdivide the retopo cage and project it on the voxel/surface hi density mesh. This way, it counts the displacement values.

It seems reasonable to me. When messing with projection - shrinkwrapping, some difficulties are expected. Not always easy for zbrush or for blender as well.

If I'm right, then,

1. where are the parameters of the projection?

2. why I can't fix some nasty messy parts in sculpt or paint room?

3. why these displacement maps look a bit blurred, compared to zbrush's crisper ones?

@AbnRanger

I may missed something, what about your new beautiful avatar image?

You can adjust the cage depth for baking by clicking on "baking parameters" in the Retopo Menu. As for the avatar, I'm not sure what you are asking, but nevertheless, I just thought I'd go with something humorous.

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You can adjust the cage depth for baking by clicking on "baking parameters" in the Retopo Menu.

OK, thanks. Still learning. After a few tests, I managed something decent. (MV mode)

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Try Textures (Menu) > Texture Baking Tool. Maybe I wasn't imagining things, recently, when trying to bake just a Displacement map from the "Bake Textures" tool (should be the same thing, though), it didn't work correctly. I tried then using texture baking tool to do the very same thing, and it worked. If it works for you, then I guess there is a bug that needs to get fixed.

Can't get either menu to bake a displacement. just hangs in the balance no matter what I do. In previous version of 3.7 it was working but the detail was very shallow.

Well I found out a trick in ZBrush that will allow me to reproject my dynamesh details without running out of memory. That's the only reason why I go outside of ZBrush, is it tends to run out of memory for bigger pieces of geometry.=bigger poly counts. Cutting up the mesh sometimes isn't an option. 3DC handles this really well in the past, but now is only good for painting my ZBrush models it seems.

Oh well.

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Pardon me if this sounds silly, but have you checked to make sure your UV's are good to go? That would seem to be the only reason why you wouldn't get anything when baking the textures. I did it just the other day, and it came out fine (using build 3.7.14). Can you run a (video) screen capture of your process?

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k if you really think it would help but I've been trying off and on for several months now with different meshes. I'll dig up 3.5 again and see if I can get that working too. These retopo meshes are being exported from the retopo room, I apply GUV tiles from Zbrush to them and then bring them back into 3DC. So maybe there is just some strange incompatibility going on. I just don't have a lot of time to be this frustrated tbh, it ruins my creativity zen thing. I've never had this much frustration with a program and I use maya and max too.

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@JPWestmas

There had been several bugs with the texture baking tool. I have not had any time to check out each one but maybe in a week or so I will have time see if I can still reproduce them in the newest beta. If I find any, will make a video for Andrew...

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These retopo meshes are being exported from the retopo room, I apply GUV tiles from Zbrush to them and then bring them back into 3DC

IMO, what a terrible idea... why GUV? 3dcoat handles UVs very well, the editor is just fine. On the other hand, UVmaster is your better choice inside Zbrush. Not GUV.

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IMO, what a terrible idea... why GUV? 3dcoat handles UVs very well, the editor is just fine. On the other hand, UVmaster is your better choice inside Zbrush. Not GUV.

(GUV works perfectly fine)

Well, that's kind of a complicated question to answer but for displacements I get the most predictable results from GUV. This is mainly because the UVs are designed to look best with linear interpolation. Any other UV shell solution causes too much distortion unless the proper UV smoothing algorithm is applied in your animation rendering app. Smoothing UVs is not universal between apps. yet and my meshes have a ton of pieces to them OR they have very precise and complicated mechanical shapes. . .so it is most practical to use GUV or Ptex because it is most predictable and saves time. Will probably look into Ptex soon. I'm using Maya Vray at the moment to render this stuff.

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