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Handling hair cards in zbrush ?

Hey people. This is not a question about how do i create game ready hair.. I promise.. :) 

I recently purchased an amazing piece of software that spews out haircards + textures with a flick of a wrist. i'm really digging it, but i have a problem in my workflow.
I try to only use zbrush for my modeling needs. So far it's going fairly well and i'm happy, but today i ran into an issue that i just can't seem to overcome by myself.

When i import those hair card obj files to zbrush and try to apply them to my models head, i just can't do it with any grace whatsoever.
It's super clunky and time consuming to handle the hair cards with the move too. There MUST be a better way for this but i just haven't figured it out yet.

 I'm getting pretty desperate. All the videos seem to use blender and maya, but i'd love to get by with my trusty zbruh.

All tips are more than welcome. <3 

Replies

  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage
    You should supply some visuals it will be very hard for anyone to help you like that
  • profanex
    You should supply some visuals it will be very hard for anyone to help you like that
    Eh, my bad. Didn't save any of the mess i produced in zbrush.

    My issue is in general of handling 2D planes in zbrush. Anyone have tips how to make the planes follow the shape of my models head ? How to modify the planes form for example in a way that i get it to form a bun of hair ?

    I can manipulate 3D meshes just fine in zbrush, but these 2D planes cause issues to me. They feel stiff even when subdivided.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    Sounds like a hopeless case.

    Zbrush excels at letting you manipulate contiguous surfaces but hair card meshes are pretty much the opposite. In my experience they are done best with curve profiles - not polygons - for all the shape and layering work and only converted to polygons for the final stages. And then you will still need to be able to dive into the polysoup and manipulate specific vertices.

    What you can perhaps do in Zbrush is use fibermesh, make the strands really wide and map your textures to that and see how it goes. It'll not be clean and easy to control or alter. For any real work you better use a different piece of software.

  • profanex
    thomasp said:
    Sounds like a hopeless case.

    Zbrush excels at letting you manipulate contiguous surfaces but hair card meshes are pretty much the opposite. In my experience they are done best with curve profiles - not polygons - for all the shape and layering work and only converted to polygons for the final stages. And then you will still need to be able to dive into the polysoup and manipulate specific vertices.

    What you can perhaps do in Zbrush is use fibermesh, make the strands really wide and map your textures to that and see how it goes. It'll not be clean and easy to control or alter. For any real work you better use a different piece of software.

    Thanks for sharing your thought about this matter. I'd love to be able to get through with just Zbrush.. Maybe someday..
    I find Blenders UI so anti user friendly that it's a huge turn off for me. Any other suggestions than maya / blender for this kind of job ? Or are those the only real options ?
  • thomasp
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    thomasp quad damage
    Well, this is a total niche type of asset you are wanting to do - nobody aside from a few addon developers has it on their radar. All the usual modelling tools are meant to work on the kind of surfaces Zbrush excels at.

    For best results you want to be able to block out the hairstyle as a groom to get the overall shape, convert that into curve profiles, style those and assign textures to them, convert to polygons, finetune the mesh then tweak vertex normals as needed.

    Blender should be the best option by far with the hairtool addon. Maya has some commercial scripts/plugins available to help with the task and its polyreduce function works really well on hair. Max in theory can do the same but it appears nobody is developing the nifty kind of addons for it anymore so you are stuck with the barebones stuff.

    Basically avoid modelling the hair with polygon tools if you are after complex looking layered hairstyles and not just happy accidents. It'll take forever to make them this way and restyling them just as well means throwing away entire sections and starting over.

  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero greentooth
    Folk's've been using IMM brushes to try and place cards in zbrush for a lil bit now, shouldn't take too much googling to find either some tutorials or a brush DL. Since IMMs get put in on a curve its easier to manipulate freely/readjust without it turning into a blocky mess.
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