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Workflow for importing, sculpting and painting textured .OBJ


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  • New Member

To all 3DC'ers!


I am new to 3DC and I have been trying to solve an issue with sculpting and texturing a model that I would like your help with.


I have a .OBJ file of a sculpture that has been captured by a 3D Scanner and has a UV map/texture. The problem is that, the model has some defects, both texture and geometry that require correction. 


I have managed to correct the geometry defects and I have also managed to correct the textures and export the model out of 3DC. I can do these operations INDIVIDUALLY but I cannot seem to bake the new texture on the modified (Voxelised) geometry. 


Could you please help correct my noob mistake or if this is a known issue/limitation then please feel free to put my mind at ease. 


My workflow (based on tutorials and searching the forums):
1: File > Import > import for voxelising (select the .OBJ)

2: Make modifications to geometry using clay tools and live clay etc.

3: To the Retopo room

4: Retopo menu > import - select the same file as original import to get Retopo mesh - (no UV edits as the texture already has UV mapped textures)

5: Retopo Menu > Merge NM 

6: To Paint Room 

7: Import Texture > import normal map

8: Back to Retopo 

9: Bake scan settings and Bake

10: Back to paint Room for export and the model shows the Voxel sculpted edits and the texture (albeit with wierd layers - most of the time the texture is a bronze colour!)


Please help!!! Endless hours trying to solve this and I am stuck.


I appreciate your comments and help, thanks in advance.




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once you merge NM. Why are you importing normal maps?


merge NM is baking the mesh to Normal Maps ( NM)


[edit]: also if you post some screen shots with your problem people will be able to help more.

Edited by Aleksey
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1-6 steps are correct....

7th step is correct except for importing the normal map as Aleksey stated, 3DC has just baked a new normal map for the model. This normal map includes the voxel / surface edits. There would be no need to import the old normal map.


Once you import your texture map and make any adjustments to it, then under the file menu in the paint room select export to export the object and all included maps... There is no need for rebaking...


8-9 steps are not needed and this is where the last problem is created as well.


Also be sure to turn off "Show voxels in Paint room" under the View menu


The below is so you understand how 3DC works when you re-merge (bake) an object from the retopo room.


When ever you re-merge (bake) an object you first have to delete the current model in the paint room. Delete the model from the objects tab, lower right hand side of the interface.

Next remove all the un-used paint layers. In the Layers panel at the bottom is a "X" icon this will quickly remove all un-used layers.


Now you would be ready to re-merge (bake) the object to the paint room.


I am answering your question based upon the information given....

Edited by digman
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  • New Member

Thank you very much for your help Aleksey and Digman.


I tried your suggestions and they worked great. 


However, I have another question as a follow up based on the revised workflow you described. Unfortunately, I do not have screen prints at the moment (sorry, different computer) but I will describe the issue.


Steps 1-3 are fine. 

Step 4: when importing the Retopo Mesh, 3DC asks if the mesh should be snapped.


If I click YES, the retopo mesh (as it suggests!) snaps to the new geometry and I can proceed with the rest of the workflow.

However, the retopo mesh (when snapped) creates a number of polygons that are not in the original model. 


If I click NO, the mesh aligns well to the original geometry and does not snap to the sculpted areas. By clicking NO to Snap, I do not get any artefacts. However, this means I cannot apply the diffuse map texture to the sculpted areas. 


My thoughts are at this stage that I may need to Autopo, export, import, retopo, merge and paint. However, I guess I am asking if I need to go through this convoluted workflow or do you have a more elegant solution. I cannot discount the NOOB factor so I may be making a simple mistake. 


Thanks once again for your help.



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When ever importing a retopo mesh into the retopo room be sure to have symmetry turned off and virtual mirror mode turned off (retopo menu) as well before importing. 

Snapping to the reference mesh depends upon the complexity of the model. I generally as a rule do not snap to the reference model unless it is a more simple one. I choose instead to do local snapping after importing using selected vertices where needed as it allows you much more control in the snapping process.


Snapping never creates extra polygons unless you have symmetry plus virtual symmetry enable and then it might create some unwanted polygons along the symmetry line.


If your uv set is imported with the model into the retopo room then I do not understand why you can not import the external diffuse map created using the same uv set in the paint room after merging (baking). Of course any new sculpted details would not fit the diffuse map so some correction would be needed.


Oh yeah, just  be sure to not unwrap the islands as they are already unwrapped.


Yes, please screen caps do really help or a short video...

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