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Importing hi-res mesh with textures for sculpting, is it possible?

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Sorry for bothering you all again, i searched in the forum and over the internet but looks like i'm not able to find my answer, and all my efforts lead to nothing.

 

I need to import a hi-res model, produced with PhotoScan (2 million polys) and related texture maps. Textures are 4 x 8K bitmaps, mapped as 4 different UV groups. Object is in OBJ format, maps are TIFF 16bit. To ensure the object is correct, i loaded it into modo and i can see it correctly.

 

I want to load the mesh and see it textured in the sculpt room because i need the texture reference to emboss some details that the 3D reconstruction smoothed out a bit.

 

But i cannot load the textured object at all. I can only load the mesh. Moreover, if i switch from paint room to sculpt room the mesh suddenly disappears.

 

Sure i'm not into 3DCoat mechanics, but i cannot figure out what i'm missing.

 

Can someone point me to the correct procedure? If it is doable in 3DC?

 

Thanks! Umberto

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This has come up a few times as of late, must be the season of 3d scans or something!

 

Check this thread:

http://3dcoat.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=19089

 

It's a fair bit to read through but basically it amounts to the fact that the sculpt room does not have UV capabilities. But it can import your textures as vertex paints, you'll need the .mtl file to go with your .obj though. If you don't have the .mtl file I think AbnRanger states that you could import the object into the paint room first, with the textures, and then export it back out as .obj, and 3dc should also then give you the .mtl file.

 

You will need to perform an auto-retopo on your object once it's in the sculpt room though (and with vertex paints applied), in order to turn into a UV-mapped mesh that you can paint on, with the original textures baked in.

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Thanks Gary for your hint.

 

I did read the thread previously but i dismissed it after the first page because i tought i was not applying to my case :)

Now i understand that what i want to achieve is not possible in 3DCoat. In a way or the other i will lose my UVs.

 

Just to be clear, i don't really need to create/destroy polygons, i only need to move vertexes and edges to a better position, and looking for the texture to follow.

It would be cool to use liveClay and make 3DC to re-arrange the preexistent UV's while splitting the polygons, but i understand that this will be an hard task.

 

Thanks! Umberto

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hmm, you could always try importing your mesh into the paint room for per-pixel painting, this will retain the UV's, and you can then jump across to the Tweak room for some geometry tweaks, but this is like a super basic and restrictive form of standard modelling, if you're looking to continue sculpting with UV's and textures in-tact, then yeah I'm pretty sure that can't be done in 3dc.

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Thanks Gary for your hint.

 

I did read the thread previously but i dismissed it after the first page because i tought i was not applying to my case :)

Now i understand that what i want to achieve is not possible in 3DCoat. In a way or the other i will lose my UVs.

 

Just to be clear, i don't really need to create/destroy polygons, i only need to move vertexes and edges to a better position, and looking for the texture to follow.

It would be cool to use liveClay and make 3DC to re-arrange the preexistent UV's while splitting the polygons, but i understand that this will be an hard task.

 

Thanks! Umberto

If you MUST keep your original mesh and UV's you can always import it into the Retopo Room first, then step over into the Sculpt Workspace > choose the IMPORT tool from the Tool Panel > at the very bottom of the Tool Options panel, there is an option to PICK FROM RETOPO (room). That will bring a copy of it into the Sculpt room. Once that copy is applied to a layer, if you use the TRANSFORM, MOVE or POSE tools, you will have an option in the Tool bar (row of parameters above viewport)  to CONFORM RETOPO MESH. This will bind the verts of the Retopo mesh to their nearest counterparts on the High Poly version.

 

If you make normal sculpting edits with a brush, you will at some point need to step into the Retopo room to snap the changes, manually...either locally (Auto-Snap is turned on by default in the tool bar) by using the Brush tool...just a little tap, nudge, whatever, is all that is needed to snap just the verts under your brush. There is also a SNAP button in the Tool panel (toward the bottom third of the panel) to snap the entire mesh. If the tweaks are modest, then this last option should work just fine.

 

Now that you've made all your tweaks and the original mesh (in the Retopo room) is snapped, you are ready to export the mesh (from the Retopo Menu).

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AbnRanger, i did try to do what you suggested but when i choose import from the tool palette and "pick from retopo", nothing happens. I expected the mesh to be transferred in the Sculpt room as you said. Where i'm wrong?

 

On the othe hand i tried also Gary hint (use tweak room) and it somewhat worked fair (before and after screenshots attached).

 

This may be good enougn if i don't push modifications too far. Would we awesome being able to subdivide when needed.

 

Umberto

post-38835-0-67844400-1460204031_thumb.j

post-38835-0-37147200-1460204052_thumb.j

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Well, i found a decent workflow to process the mesh.

 

But this involves both 3DC and ZBrush as i load the mesh in ZBrush (OBJ format), mask by cavity and work on the unmasked part to enhance the depth of the surface. Then i need to export in FBX format (too keep UV sets, there are 4 of them) load in 3DCoat and re-save in OBJ format (because modo doesn't like FBX so much).

If i could skip the ZBrush part it would be nice.

 

Is there a way to get something comparable to "mask by cavity" in 3DC?

 

Umberto

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Hmm, I think 3dc has some sculpt tools for painting more in convex/cavity areas. I'm a bit rusty on this though, might be confusing it for some paint tools. Maybe someone else will know more.

Edited by Gary Dave

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Yeah, that's for painting textures Carlosan, the question (I believe) is whether there's something similar for sculpting? I thought there was but I can't seem to find it. Maybe it was a freeze option in surface mode, so you'd freeze concave or convex selections, which would allow you to sculpt on the inverse.

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Freeze mode in paint let you paint freeze areas over a surface model in Sculpt Room
please try

 

Surface mode:

freeze in paint room acts as freeze in Sculpt room

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Yeah as Carlosan says, you can paint your mask in the Paint Room, then use it as Freeze in the Sculpt Room. There are options in the menus to convert paint data to freeze data.

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Thank you Carlosan, Gary and Timmy.

 

Now i figured out that and it's cool. I managed to freeze the painted curvature in paint mode, but that doesn't seem to affect the tweak mode (i can still move every polygon freezed or not, and i tried to re-freeze after switching to the tweak room).

 

For the sculpt mode i don't know, as i cannot switch to sculpt mode without losing the model (and the import tool looks like it can import only from the retopo room, and still it's not working for me i don't know why).

 

But i'm looking to use this workflow with the tweak room, as i need the UV to be kept.

 

Thanks! Umberto

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AbnRanger, i did try to do what you suggested but when i choose import from the tool palette and "pick from retopo", nothing happens. I expected the mesh to be transferred in the Sculpt room as you said. Where i'm wrong?

 

On the othe hand i tried also Gary hint (use tweak room) and it somewhat worked fair (before and after screenshots attached).

 

This may be good enougn if i don't push modifications too far. Would we awesome being able to subdivide when needed.

 

Umberto

If you have imported your original mesh into the Retopo room and it is applied to a Retopo layer + visible, then when you go into the Sculpt room > IMPORT > click PICK FROM RETOPO at the bottom of the Tool Options panel, it should bring a copy of what you have in the Retopo room.

 

As for painting a mask in the cavities, you can do that in the Paint workspace and then use that painted mask as a freeze selection in the Sculpt room.

 

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Thanks AbnRanger, it's more clear now.

 

Anyway, i need to stick to TweakRoom because i don't want the SculptRoom to wipe my UVs.

Too bad i discovered that the freeze tool don't affect TweakRoom tools. With the move or draw tool i can affect the freezed mesh as it was not freezed at all.

Noticed that the TweakRoom has his own select tool, which works differently and doesn't sport curvature effectors as in Paint/Sculpt.

 

Puzzled on how i can overcome that.

 

Moreover, i'm still puzzled on the mechanics that drive the mesh sharing between Rooms. While i can find documentation on single Rooms, i cannot find any docs about making them work together.

 

Thanks! Umberto

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Thanks AbnRanger, it's more clear now.

 

Anyway, i need to stick to TweakRoom because i don't want the SculptRoom to wipe my UVs.

Too bad i discovered that the freeze tool don't affect TweakRoom tools. With the move or draw tool i can affect the freezed mesh as it was not freezed at all.

Noticed that the TweakRoom has his own select tool, which works differently and doesn't sport curvature effectors as in Paint/Sculpt.

 

Puzzled on how i can overcome that.

 

Moreover, i'm still puzzled on the mechanics that drive the mesh sharing between Rooms. While i can find documentation on single Rooms, i cannot find any docs about making them work together.

 

Thanks! Umberto

Here is the online manual:

 

http://3dcoat.com/manual/

 

Listen, if you follow the steps I mentioned above, you are not going to lose your UV's. Your Retopo mesh will have those intact. When you use the MOVE, TRANSFORM or POSE tools in the Sculpt Room, you can check CONFORM RETOPO MESH, and it will do just that. If you make some sculpting edits with brushes, you will need to re-snap the entire retopo mesh, or just those local areas, where you were working

 

 

When you have made all your edits to the copy in the Sculpt room > snapped the Retopo mesh to the High Poly copy, all you need to do is export the Retopo mesh from the Retopo Menu. The Voxel/Hi Poly mesh was really just a means to drive the deformation for your low poly/Retopo mesh. Nothing more. You don't need to bake or anything. Just export the tweaked Retopo Mesh.

 

If you need to do some painting on it, then import that mesh into the Paint room. The Tweak Room is relatively obsolete, now. I'm trying hard to get Andrew to unify the mesh structure of the Paint and Retopo workspaces so that there is no more need to import/export between the rooms....that they are one mesh. What you would see in the Paint Room and the Retopo room would be the same. Andrew said he wants to do that but has some other things to work on for now. It will take a lot of users repeating this request because it requires some deep structural changes to the app.

 

But it will be worth it. No more Tweak Room, cause all transform operations will be done in the Retopo room. It will probably be renamed at that point. Mesh Tools or something like that. This will also allow the user to step into the MESH TOOLS room and Subdivide the entire mesh or just the selected poly's. If a user needs to clean up the mesh, or add some modeling edits at any point > step into the MESH TOOLS room make them and step back into the Paint Room....totally undisturbed.

 

It would also unify the UV tools. All UV editing would now be located strictly in the UV room. No more confusion between the UV's tools in the Retopo room with those in the UV room. These changes also remove two tabs from the UI....less clutter and easier to understand. Anyone who agrees with this direction, please contact Andrew via e-mail (Support@3dcoat.com) about this.

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I suppose that many do not use all the functions of an app (think PS) and I have never used the Tweak room or the UV room.

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AbnRanger, first of all please note that i don't want to upset you, it's not the purpose of my post.

I used 3DCoat with success before and i like the tool, so i don't want to detract anything or criticize. I'm simply a non-professional user of 3DCoat that doesn't know every aspect of the tool (well, i know very little of it).

 

That said, i appreciate so much what you write here (and yes, i did read the user manual, not entirely but i read it), and i start thinking that maybe there is a misunderstanding.

From what you write, i understand that i should use Retopology room, and this involves having a hi-res mesh used as static reference and a low density mesh as retopoed one. I write this because when i try to import the hi res mesh as retopo one, 3DCoat warns me that there are too many polygons and that the workflow would be slow. And it is. So, is't not so much applicable to my case.

 

What i need is to load a huge mesh with UVs, being able to sculpt/tweak it while seeing the applied texture on it (i use the texture as reference, so it's mostly a backward workflow if we can call it this way) then export the mesh with UVs unchanged.

 

That said, these are the tests i performed:

1. Paint room: I can see the mesh with textures but cannot alter the mesh itself (i don't really need live clay at the moment, it just would be cool).

2. Sculpt room: I can sculpt the mesh but cannot see textures.

3. Retopo room: I could work on the mesh if this was not so huge, but could not manage to load textures.

4. Tweak room: i can alter the mesh while seeing the textures, but could not use the paint/sculpt room brush "auto masking".

 

So far, the best way i found is tweak room, while being not able to auto mask.

 

My question was only to understand if i'm missing something to this list or if 3DCoat is not the right tool for this task. Which doesn't mean 3DCoat is not a good tool (i like it and purchased it time ago).

 

From what i gathered until now, looks like i cannot use 3DC this way. And that's not the end of the world, i just need to understand it.

Please forgive me if i've upset you.

 

Cheers! Umberto

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AbnRanger, first of all please note that i don't want to upset you, it's not the purpose of my post.

I used 3DCoat with success before and i like the tool, so i don't want to detract anything or criticize. I'm simply a non-professional user of 3DCoat that doesn't know every aspect of the tool (well, i know very little of it).

 

That said, i appreciate so much what you write here (and yes, i did read the user manual, not entirely but i read it), and i start thinking that maybe there is a misunderstanding.

From what you write, i understand that i should use Retopology room, and this involves having a hi-res mesh used as static reference and a low density mesh as retopoed one. I write this because when i try to import the hi res mesh as retopo one, 3DCoat warns me that there are too many polygons and that the workflow would be slow. And it is. So, is't not so much applicable to my case.

 

What i need is to load a huge mesh with UVs, being able to sculpt/tweak it while seeing the applied texture on it (i use the texture as reference, so it's mostly a backward workflow if we can call it this way) then export the mesh with UVs unchanged.

 

That said, these are the tests i performed:

1. Paint room: I can see the mesh with textures but cannot alter the mesh itself (i don't really need live clay at the moment, it just would be cool).

2. Sculpt room: I can sculpt the mesh but cannot see textures.

3. Retopo room: I could work on the mesh if this was not so huge, but could not manage to load textures.

4. Tweak room: i can alter the mesh while seeing the textures, but could not use the paint/sculpt room brush "auto masking".

 

So far, the best way i found is tweak room, while being not able to auto mask.

 

My question was only to understand if i'm missing something to this list or if 3DCoat is not the right tool for this task. Which doesn't mean 3DCoat is not a good tool (i like it and purchased it time ago).

 

From what i gathered until now, looks like i cannot use 3DC this way. And that's not the end of the world, i just need to understand it.

Please forgive me if i've upset you.

 

Cheers! Umberto

I wasn't upset at all, I was just trying to clarify what I mentioned earlier and to mention that some changes to 3D Coat's mesh structure could make it a bit easier to understand how things work....because it can create some unnecessary confusion at times.

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Could you send me a copy of the mesh via PM, and I can take a look at it to see if the workflow I mentioned is feasible in your case or if it's better to use the Tweak Room. It won't be used for anything other than testing/demonstration of the workflow in this instance

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Sure. Please allow me a few hours as i don't have the mesh/textures here.

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I just took a look at it and it is a very dense object + 3 8k maps. Importing into the Paint workspace was quite laggy and after bringing the image maps in, it was very sluggish in the Tweak Room. This is definitely a job for importing into the Sculpt Workspace as a Surface Mode object. 3D Coat will attempt to bake all the image detail onto the vertices of the model (Vertex Painting). I would highly suggest Auto-Retopologizing the model after you've done your sculpting edits/clean-up work.

 

Then, once you have an Auto Retopo'ed model, you can quickly create uvs for it with the UV path tool...it's a point to point seam selection tool. Then go to the Bake Menu > to PPP w/ Normal map (or Displacement map), and 3D Coat will bake all the color data onto the lower poly (Auto-Retopo) version. This way, you have a cleaner mesh and cleaner UV's.

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Thank you Don for your tips!

I'm eager to see the upcoming tutorial on this topic!

 

Cheers! Umberto

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