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Thread: finally got zbrush and lw8.5 to work perfectly

  1. #1
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    finally got zbrush and lw8.5 to work perfectly

    Greetings,

    With help from people here, I finally managed to key down most of the workflow procedures involved in getting zbrush and lightwave to play together properly.

    This is a character modelled in lw and enhanced in zbrush, i.e. boobs, musculature. Texturing and make-up is 100% zbrush using zbrush's auv mapping.

    I can now safely say enhancing/texturing models from now on will take hours rather than days. With max 7 and bodypaint, I would have taken days to do this and without any musculature control to boot.

    Best competitive upgrade I ever done, switching to lightwave.

    Link to walk cycle:
    http://www.exposurehifi.com/test/

    Thanks for all the help I received.
    -Vincent

  2. #2
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    Nice work. I can't wait till I can get ZB. Have you experimented with using ZB for painting textures?
    Carm
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  3. #3
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    I also own maxon bodypaint 2.0.

    Zbrush is the most amazing 3d texturing program I have ever experienced. You need to learn its "aha!" moments. Once you do, it's incredible for modelling and texturing.

    For example, you can apply a painted or phographic face texture to a polygonal plane and you can map that to your model with ease; painted the lips too big? No problem, select the move points tool to distort the texture point by point to fit your model!

    Need skin? Apply a 500 x 500 pixel skin texture again to a polygonal plane and add a circular soft-edged alpha mask (something like photoshops alphas) and apply all over at varying opacity and colour saturation and size ON THE FLY!

    JUst go to www.zbrushcentral.com to download videos that show this method of character texturing plus tons of other stuff.

    If you are asking if zbrush can also behave like a 2d painting programme like painter and photoshop, yes, it can!
    Last edited by vincent1; 01-30-2006 at 03:17 AM.

  4. #4
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    No I'm asking if it can be used for 3D painting, ala BodyPaint.
    Carm
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  5. #5
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    But if one can only afford one or the other...?
    Carm
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  6. #6
    D a r t h W a v e r Nemoid's Avatar
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    ZB is cool for textures as well.
    it has the project master method which is quite good.

    you can import your model as a.obj, then ZB can make UV for you (that are quite undistorted, even if they're not outlined to be understadable to paint into a 2d classic app.)
    you can also transfer your UV to your old lw object, if you need it,through a plugin called Zwave

    To paint textures in ZB you create a blank texture for the whole model at first. there, you can also fill the model with a base color.
    then, you can select different parts of the model, better if you isolate them, to work faster, frame it in the canvas,and go in Project master and paint. once your session is finished you can pick up the model , and "painting" is projected onto texture applied to geometry.

    but it doesn't end here:

    you have a plug called z app link, that transfers the project master image to Ps (or whatever app supporting psd you use) so that you can paint even there, and go back and forth to your hearth content.


    with this method you don't heve the need to unwrap UVs for your model. you even don't need to see UVs. only paint.


    ah i almost forgot :

    ZB supports even classic UVs you can create with Lw or other apps. BTW.
    Last edited by Nemoid; 01-30-2006 at 04:39 AM.
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  7. #7
    Doodler BazC's Avatar
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    I'd recommend ZBrush if you can't afford both but with some reservations!

    First, ZBrush isn't really a 3d painter. You can't paint part of your model then rotate and paint some more. You have to drop and pick up each time you want to move the model. It's OK once you get used to it but I don't think it's a really smooth workflow. Also those aha! moments Vincent mentioned can really bite you on the *** if your not careful. Things like painting through the mesh is easy to accidently do and that can wreck hours of work! Also if you paint up to the edge of the viewport you can get nasty artifacts.

    Still, it IS an awesome painter once you get used to it's idiosyncrasies with loads of great features. If you add in it's unbelievable hi res modeling capabilities and displacement and normal map generation it's really unbeatable value. Once (if?) ZB2.5 is released it will be downright unbelievable!

    Oh yes it also has an excellent though very unconventional renderer/materials system. Fantastic for illustration but limited in output size. Try the demo! Be warned though you will have to put some effort into learning it's ways and you have to accept that it's nothing like any 3d app out there, the people who fight against the ZB way are the ones who hate it, Be one with the app Grasshopper and you will learn to love it! - Baz

  8. #8
    D a r t h W a v e r Nemoid's Avatar
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    yap i agree on those limitations, painting workflow not being exactly smooth and idiosincrasies. however,once understood that, if you think to ZB as a 2.5 painting app, there's no problem at all and you reach getting excellent results.
    you can paint textures, create bump maps, disp maps, normalmaps. you can also improve your models giving to them not only great detail, but a natural feeling, difficult to achieve into a traditional 3d app. you can also model from scratch with z spheres. good tool for organics. plus , u can work in combination with other apps. ZB is a good companion for most 3D apps.


    as upcoming features, you'll be able

    1) to "rig" your model inside ZB, for pose and proportion modification purposes, inside ZB. i think you'll be able to obviously re export the model and so obtain easily a model with different proportions- poses, if you want

    2) you will be able to, lets say model within ZB, and reconstruct topology for animation purposes in other 3d apps with a tool similar to topology brush, using zspheres.

    i dunno Bp so i can't judge it
    Last edited by Nemoid; 01-30-2006 at 05:17 AM.
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  9. #9
    LW Goober acocq's Avatar
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    I was also pondering whether to get BodyPaint or Zbrush.

    I ended up with Zbrush (partially due to the fact that I got it in a bundle together with my Wacom Inteos3 tablett ) and haven't regretted it.

    Yes, the workflow takes some getting used to , but after that you get to enjoy a truly unique program ...

    As a hobby user (high on ambition, low on talent ), I have spent hours 3D-Doodling with Zbrush. It is amazing !

    And once you get the LW-ZB-LW workflow set up, it really adds a lot of capabilities (look at the latest plugin ZMapper for advanced normal mapping functionality).

    And I agree that the Zapp link to your favourite paint program adds yet another dimension of use.

    (Oh dear, I'm starting to sound like a fanboy ... hmmm ... guess I am ! )

    Cheers,
    Andreas

  10. #10
    Steam username: Carm3D Carm3D's Avatar
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    Yeah I saw ZBrush demoed, so I know about the whole Paint-Drop-Rotate methodology. But for me it was love at first sight. I didn't see the PSD-linker feature that you talked about so I am curious how that would be useful. It sounds more like a 2D painting tool from that perspective.
    Carm
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by vincent1
    Greetings,

    With help from people here, I finally managed to key down most of the workflow procedures involved in getting zbrush and lightwave to play together properly.

    This is a character modelled in lw and enhanced in zbrush, i.e. boobs, musculature. Texturing and make-up is 100% zbrush using zbrush's auv mapping.

    I can now safely say enhancing/texturing models from now on will take hours rather than days. With max 7 and bodypaint, I would have taken days to do this and without any musculature control to boot.

    Best competitive upgrade I ever done, switching to lightwave.

    Link to walk cycle:
    http://www.exposurehifi.com/test/

    Thanks for all the help I received.
    -Vincent
    Got the time to post a brief tutorial of your workflow for us ZBrush newcomers?

  12. #12
    May the sauce be with you starbase1's Avatar
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    I'm rather intrigued by all this, as I am painfully slow at modelling.

    But I'm still not really clear on exactly how you use Zbrush. If I understand correctly, it lets you paint geometry onto a model. I looked at the web site though, and that confused me more, with references to materials and stuff, which make it sound more like a surfacing or even rendering application, (or is this just for baking UV's?)

    I'm useless if it comes down to painting in photoshop with brishes on a blank canvas - would a lack of skill as a digital painter be a serious handicap for me?

    Perhaps a specific example would help - I have never yet managed to make a satisfactory cratered moonlet / asteroid in LW. It's just too oainful trying to raise sets of crater rims fall over a (very roughly) spherical surface... If I understand correctly, this should be very easy indeed in ZBrush?

    Nick
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  13. #13
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    I stand corrected. zbrush is not YET a true 3d texture painter as you cannot rotate and paint on the fly.

    Like it was pointed out, you need to drop and pick up before painting another area. It is just a workflow i have accepted as a reasonable compromise.

    I think where I find it so productive is that its (compared to BodyPaint's) invisible uv management is far superior for character texturing. No need anymore to spend hours fixing or moving uv points just to get textures not to stretch and fit properly. Ask Leigh van der Byl, it was common for her to spend hours if not days tweaking uv maps, which I did myself before zbrush.

    Even with bpaint, i spent a lot of time isolating uv meshes and resizing to get higher resolution in faces, ears, etc. This was due to my preference for creating only one seamless mesh for everything. As opposed to one head for talking, seamless body for walking and bits and pieces for close-ups, etc.

    For my workflow zbrush's GUV, AUV tiles work great without ANY need to tweak a single UV point. This particular model (the female model) was even modelled prior to ZB and contains tris and quads. Not a texture seam to be found anywhere.

    Disclosure: I'm not an accomplished 3d character artist, whether technically and artisitically; it is just a passion of mine, whatever time i have left remaining from my job as Creative Director for an ad agency, i now spend pursuing 3d character work and 2d painting.

    I'm just excited to be able to do character work with much less time and effort than it took me three years ago.

    For e.g., this aqua dog took me three hours of doodling and another hour to refine the next day.
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    Last edited by vincent1; 01-30-2006 at 08:37 AM.

  14. #14
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    Starbase1 - you are joking right?, that's a lot of high quality models on your site for "a painfully slow modeller". :-)

    Yes, you do need skill and control of the wacom pen to paint musculature and stuff like that. Things you can't get from a seamless texture.

    Zbrush is not efficient with structural and manmade stuff like achitectural structures, spaceships, cars. Im not saying it can't be done, as there are zbrush fanatics who have done it, it's just the reverse for zbrush to model these kind of structures; what's the word? "Painfully slow".

    I have built entire factories and hospital visualisations and trust me, do not expect zbrush to do these kind of stuff. Max and formZ will be much better here.

    However, since I can see you are a spaceship fan, zbrush will be great to put much better panelling detail on your spaceships. Create a mask or stencil and literally brush rivets, recess lines into existance on your spaceships without ever needing to push Lightwave's bevel, multishift buttons even once. And these are real geometry, not bump maps, mind you.

    The two picts below are the zshphere model and the quadratic mesh generating by it. All other stuff you see on the aqua dog in my previous posts are just brushed on. Yes, you literally brush on geometry and detail.

    I do not use zbrush for its 2.5d illustrative capability, as I prefer to create models for animation purposes in Lightwave. "Make the best use of your tools to serve your purposes", that's my motto. In other words, if Lightwave takes days to model wrinkles, use zbrush. Zbrush takes much effort to make a poseable model (now anyway), so use lightwave's bones, etc;.
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  15. #15
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    Just to show zbrush great AUV tile.

    Just painted this in under 5 minutes.

    Not one uv point to tweak. Just two standard seamless texture maps and the high lighter brush. What's that? a brush to lighten geometric ridges or darken crevices.
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