ZBrush, Maya, Creased/Soft/Hard Edges

polygon
Hey there :)
I have that mesh in maya:

notice the creased edges on the outer edges, i added them to get a smoother look while maintain the hard edges there when subdividing:


because WITHOUT that crease subdiv would look like that:


so i export that with creases as FBX:


and import it into maya:

the "creased" edge is now lost,
i know i can "soft/hard" edges" to do that automatically
but is that really something i should do by hand?

I just noticed that while i got weird baking results.....


Should i leave "creasing" edges and use supporting edges instead?

So is it "crease" vs "supporting edge loop"?

Replies

  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    I'm not the guru on this stuff, but from whta i understand "creasing" is a per software thing, versus adding support loops is something understood by all software.

    personally i never bothered with creasing, though i hardly do hard surface. I just do a support loop. If my high poly will be done in zbrush i may not even bother with support loops because you can subdivide without smoothing, and then just manually go in with smooth brush and work that way.

    Depends on your overall workflow, of course.
  • goekbenjamin
    As a character artist i have to deal with organic and hard surface.

    For this for example i have to build a bullet, so no need to make a cylinder, make it super highpoly and smooth out the tip and "dam standard" the cap at the end, because i could easily blockout that in maya.
    just an example. This way i have better control as i find (as you said, personal workflow)

    I would love to hear other thought about that too if possible :-D
  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor polycount lvl 666
    Yeah what you are doing seems like the best way. Make the simple geometry in maya and subdivide. But if you just use support edges rather than creasing, then you can export it to any program and the smoothing is going to work as expected. I do think creasing should hold from some programs to others, but you have to look that up. But support edges will always work is the main point I am making.

    I wouldn't recommend trying to do hard surface with dam standard brush like that. What I meant was, blockout in maya. Do not add any support loops. Export to zbrush. Subdivide, but turn off smooth. Then you can go up a few levels and use the smooth brush to round off any edges manually. You can also turn off smooth for the first couple subdivisions, and then turn it on for the last.  This way you can mimic beveling without having to actually put in the loops.

    This is a workflow more about speed and less about super fine control. It really depends on the thing you are marking. It's best for something a bit imprecise where you want more artistic control and don't need as much millimeter level mechanic control.

    It is also limiited in that you cannot easily and non-destructively edit things like bevel size. For that sort of workflow you wanna study what the hard-surface guys working in max are doing. There is tons of threads here about it, I am sure you have seen some of them. Some of the regular posters in those threads have tutorials and if you just creep through their post history you can find lots of good breakdowns covering their techniques. I don' tknow much about them, I just know that the knowledge is there shoudl I need it.

    But the result of the subdivide without smoothing in zbrush technique is that you don't have to spend time doing the support loops or anything special for subdivision really, so getting your low-poly ready then is a little bit quicker as well. I only use it for small things that don't require tons of attention or iteration because it is a fast and destructive workflow, compared to others.

    It's just one way to work. Not always the smartest way. Especially for simple stuff like this bullet probably straight, ordinary subD techniques is the simplest approach.
  • oglu
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    oglu polycounter
    If we use creasing in maya we just smooth the object in maya and send the smoothed version to zbrush.
    Or we use scripts to convert the creases to real bevels. 
    Or we use scripts to convert the geo to a sculpt mesh.
    Or we dynamesh it in Zbrush.

    All that depends on how clean you need the topo in the end.

    Short note on the geo above. Its not ideal for zbrush. To much non uniform topo.
    The middle part needs much more spans to work for sculpting.

    Autoretopo in Maya is handy in that case.
    But for that bullet i would model it by hand.
  • oglu
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    oglu polycounter
    Creases does have something like a bevel size. 
    Just use a setting of 10 and you get a razor sharp edge.

    The main reason for using creases is that they work during rendertime.
    Every modern offline renderer does work with creases. Even some engines does use them.
    Think the only displacement baker is mudbox that is able to bake onto creased objects.


  • goekbenjamin
    Thanks, guys! Helped me a lot!
    @oglu
    it'S not a mesh I would use, it is just some bullet I blocked out to fiddle with creasing/subdividing/exporting :D
  • oglu
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    oglu polycounter
    Some Artists here use creases during the blocking stage and bevel everything in the end.
    Just select the crease sets in the set editor and do a bevel. On more complex objects it needs some cleaning work.
  • walter
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    walter polycounter lvl 10
    Try to export from ZBrush in native .ma Maya file.
    Zbrush deal with.ma files and keep crease informations.
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