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Zbrush: Extract Sculpt Layer as Displacement Map? (Or more general: How to extract Surface Details?)

polycounter lvl 3
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Fabi_G polycounter lvl 3
Hi :-) I was wondering if it's possible to extract just a sculpt layer as a displacement map for use in the texturing app.

Tried Zbrushs' function to bake displacement to a lower subdivision level. In this case the deformation is partly visible in the lower levels as well, making the displacement map inaccurate.

I read about this old plugin by user Jake0 on cgfeedback which seems to do what I was looking for, however it seems to be working for the 32-bit version only.

Another approach would be to bake the difference of the exported mesh with layer applied to the mesh without layer applied. However with the high density of the mesh, export and baking times are quite slow.

Of course these surface details could be created soley in the texturing app, however using Substance Painter, I feel the stencil options available are bit limited.

Does anyone extract those sculpt layers and can share their experiences, or point in a direction/ to a resource.
Or generally, how do you go about surface details if you want separate control over them during the texturing process?

Have a great day!


  • gnoop
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    gnoop greentooth
     I never  had a need to do it myself but  my guess you can  bake two displacement maps in Zbrush itself  without exporting geometry, one with  the layer and one without,    then use "difference" blending mode in Photoshop  or just subtract   one texture from another
  • Fabi_G
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    Fabi_G polycounter lvl 3
    @gnoop thanks for the suggestion, will try this out!

    Blending displacement maps from zbrush in Photoshop gives interesting results, but it looks like some details got lost. I have to look into this more, because I don't know what's happening :-D

    Baking from a decimated mesh with surface details to the highpoly (uv-ed mesh with subdivion levels) in xNormal gave best results so far. Not using crazy heavy meshes helped with the speed.

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