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xeno

Zbrush & C4D

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  • Hello guys,

    I've been looking into ZBrush for the last 24 hours and I've understood a certain amount, but I'm still unclear on certain aspects of how it would be useful to a C4D user. I wanted to ask this question at ZBrush Central but I couldn't see any forum section for noobish questions, so I hope someone can help me fill in a few gaps here.

    I am at a level where I can model most things I can think of in C4D and produce a pretty decent human model with good topology and correct/usable edge loops. I haven't done much rigging yet and I tend to pose the hard way. I've been following Cardinal's (Lino Masciulli) method to learn figure modelling.

    I can see that ZBrush can be used to create higher detail and it seems possible to also alter topology to some degree and have those changes updated using GoZ going back and forth between the two programs, and for this stuff to be implemented using displacements, etc., back on the original model in C4D. This is already good and useful, if I've understood it correctly.

    What I'm confused about is what happens if I create a figure completely in ZBrush. What can I do with it in C4D considering it will be a squillion polygons? Is it that you create your bazillion polygon model in ZBrush but then export one of its lower subdivisions to C4D and then make a displacement of the highly detailed version and apply it to the obj in C4D? If so, would this be faster(or better) than modelling the basic mesh in C4D and adding detail in ZBrush?

    Well, I'm confused because it seems ZBrush works in a slightly different way to other ploygon modellers, so any help would be greatly appreciated. I really like the results people get with ZBrush and I'm willing to put the time, effort and money into it , but I would like to understand its potential place in the pipeline before going all out.

    As always, thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

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    What´s missing is retopology. Typical workflow would be to start with either a ZSphere model directly in ZBrush or import a low poly basemesh from C4D or as an .obj. Sculpt all the details in ZBrush -> use DecimationMaster plugin to reduce polycount -> retopologize either in ZBrush, C4D with the scripts provided by Holger Biebrach: http://www.holgerbiebrach.com/?p=1272 or Topogun (a $100 specialised tool): http://www.topogun.com/ <- excellent tool! In ZBrush transfer the sculpted detail to the retopologised mesh and generate a UV map using the UVMaster plugin. Generate maps (displacement-, bump-, normalmaps etc.) in ZBrush and use them on the retopologized mesh in C4D. Hth.

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    What I'm confused about is what happens if I create a figure completely in ZBrush. What can I do with it in C4D considering it will be a squillion polygons? Is it that you create your bazillion polygon model in ZBrush but then export one of its lower subdivisions to C4D and then make a displacement of the highly detailed version and apply it to the obj in C4D? If so, would this be faster(or better) than modelling the basic mesh in C4D and adding detail in ZBrush?

    You can do it either way. I prefer to start off in C4D, because I'm comfortable with modelling there and can get the base mesh looking how I want it. But if you prefer, you can model it entirely in ZB then export a low-res version plus displacement map for import into Cinema. Whichever way you do it though, you may need to retopologise it - this will almost certainly be true if you create it entirely in ZB, but depending on what the model is and what you're going to do with it, if you created the base mesh in C4D, you may not need to if the topology was OK.

    You can retop in ZB itself, there are various video tuts around showing how it's done.

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    You can always consider Mudbox or 3D coat along Zbrush. If you plan to sculpt there are two methods:

    1. Imported basemesh - sculpting - displacement map export

    2. Sculpting - Retopo - again displacement map

    Assuming that you want to rig/render/animate the model in Cinema.

    In my personal opinion, it is much better to build base mesh or at least be very good at it, otherwise one will run into problems when in retopo phase, which assumes

    you understand topology really good to produce good results.

    I prefer Mudbox since it has "standard" 3D application feel to it, where Zbrush has a different approach which does not suit me.

    Anything you choose will do as long as you feel comfortable with it wink.gif

    Good luck with sculpting!


    Free C4D trainings from MAXON professional on our youtube channel

     

    https://www.youtube.com/c4dcafe

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  • Thanks guys,that all really does help a lot. I'm getting a much clearer idea now.

    I'm still a little unclear on what level of low poly mesh is required from C4D in order to be able to sculpt a realistic anatomy in ZBrush and then to finally have back in C4D in a usable state. I'm currently used to pushing as far as I can in C4D to get as realistic a model as possible(once under a HN of course), but would that no longer be necessary?

    I guess that will clear up once I actually get into it.

    I will look at Mudbox too.

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    I'm still a little unclear on what level of low poly mesh is required from C4D in order to be able to sculpt a realistic anatomy in ZBrush and then to finally have back in C4D in a usable state. I'm currently used to pushing as far as I can in C4D to get as realistic a model as possible(once under a HN of course), but would that no longer be necessary?

    Yes, you need to experiment with this until you're happy you can get consistent results. But it's simpler than it sounds. Say you have a model in C4D which you put in an HN. The HN by default will give you 3 subdiv levels when rendered. Now, if you export the unsmoothed mesh into ZB, you will find that you will need to subdivide it maybe 3-4 times to get close to the smoothed mesh in Cinema. Then you will need to subdiv it say another 4 times to add the fine detail.

    After exporting your displacement map, back in C4D you would enable the HN and add your displacement map. To get the detail back in C4D that you saw in ZB, you would need SPD at perhaps 4-5 levels. If you don't enable the HN, but apply the disp map directly to the unsmoothed mesh, you will probably need 7-8 SPD levels for the same result. You can do it either way, and see what gives the best result. Personally I prefer to apply the disp map to the smoothed mesh, but it's whatever works best.

    You could, of course, export the smoothed mesh into ZB, and then you wouldn't need to subdivide it so much to add detail, but if you do that you're stuck with the high-poly mesh which reduces the control you have over it.

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  • Yes, you need to experiment with this until you're happy you can get consistent results. But it's simpler than it sounds. Say you have a model in C4D which you put in an HN. The HN by default will give you 3 subdiv levels when rendered. Now, if you export the unsmoothed mesh into ZB, you will find that you will need to subdivide it maybe 3-4 times to get close to the smoothed mesh in Cinema. Then you will need to subdiv it say another 4 times to add the fine detail.

    Thanks for all this information, it's getting clearer. I'm obviously gonna have to experiment to find out exactly how far to push the low poly model before the sculpting stage. For the five mins I've looked at Mudbox it also look interesting.

    I have one more question, I promise (for a given value of "promise"), it's the last one: If I don't need to animate, but do want to render figures in different poses in a C4D modelled environment, would it be okay to model the figures and clothing straight in ZBrush, pose in Zbrush, then import that into C4D wholesale with the silly polygon count and render there with whatever props are required, and then change the pose back in ZBrush, and then reimport to C4D for a new render? Or will the polycount be so ridiculous that C4D will choke? And is that another question? Oh, and is that another question?

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    Posing wont work because you are changing the position of original vertices and that can produce problems in main 3D app. However, the process of doing what you described is simple.

    You can simply create a very rudimentary rig for posing in Cinema and slap on displacement maps from any of sculpting app. if you are going to do cloth and stuff it is also good idea to create base meshes for that in Cinema also.

    I am talking about workflow for Mudbox, things are probably different for 3Dcoat/Zbrush therefore I cant say. If you go Mudbox route make sure your gamma is set to 1 in spd otherwise you could use hair smile.gif

    My personal workflow is to build nice and clean poly model in Cinema and use sculpting just for fine tuning and something that cant be achieved with polygon modeling.

    Hope this helps also.

    Cheers


    Free C4D trainings from MAXON professional on our youtube channel

     

    https://www.youtube.com/c4dcafe

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    Um... well, if I was doing this what I'd probably do is create a low-poly base mesh in C4D. Then export to ZB, and create whatever clothing/props were needed, add fine details, and pose the figure. Or of course, you could do the whole thing in ZB from the start. Then I'd export the model back to C4D as a separate file in a low-poly version.

    This way you can repose the figure as desired in ZB and export another low-poly version back to C4D which can then be smoothed and have the disp map applied. It makes it easy to have multiple versions in different poses using the same disp map without having to export very high poly count models, which will cause C4D to slow down at the least. Posing in ZB is pretty easy and if like me you're not a rigger it's a good way to go for stills.

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    My personal workflow is to build nice and clean poly model in Cinema and use sculpting just for fine tuning and something that cant be achieved with polygon modeling.

    Just wanted to say that I absolutely agree with this. That's the way I prefer to work, too.

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  • Wow, thanks guys...I think that's really nailed all the confusions I had in my mind about what would be used for what. As I get into this I think I'll be rereading this thread many times.

    BTW, I just realised you're Vertex Pusher HSrdelic; I bought all your tuts and found them all to be excellent, and just wanna say thanks for those too.

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    I mentioned the plugin Decimation Master in my first post - you should look into that. It´ll bring your polycount down while retaining form and detail - it´s does a stunning job.

    As you already know your way around poly modeling and good edgeloops, my advice would be: sculpt first, worry about poly flow later. It makes the whole process faster and more enjoyable.

    (provoking&teasing HSrdelic) Pure poly modeling is a dying artform and it´ll hopefully be obsolete in the not to distant future. (/provoking&teasing HSrdelic) bigwink.pngroflmao.gif

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