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Zbrush and games

polycounter lvl 5
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Busterizer polycounter lvl 5
Can someone give me some insight on how actual professional character artist deal with creation of game characters with Zbrush? My current workflow is to create reasonable low poly mesh, import it to Zbrush to add detail (usually small once), and bake normal map and AO map from either Zbrush or XNormal.

With latest and greatest iteration of Zbrush it seems more easy to create stuff directly from there. But then, if I am to create a character from very low poly base mesh, in Zbrush, how am I supposed to handle stuff like inside of the mouth and eye sockets?

Pretty much anything related to characters in games in Zbrush is meant for promo rendering, baking maps, figurine type stuff and not actually in-game use.

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  • cryrid
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    cryrid interpolator
    You can make the final game-res object in zbrush through it's retopology tools, though there are certainly many advantages in using other programs to do that particular task.
  • arcitecht
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    arcitecht polycounter lvl 6
    Usually its basemesh (created in maya or zbrush with dynamesh, zspheres etc) > sculpt > retopology > uvs and bake

    For making things like mouth bags I add it after the retopo step, take the mouth parts into zbrush and sculpt them, then bake out the mouth separately and combine the maps in photoshop (called an exploded bake).
  • Fingus
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    Fingus polycounter lvl 11
    There's no real hard rules on how a pipeline should be. But I think you will most likely encounter a lowpoly->sculpt workflow in the industry since in production it will usually be a lot more efficient if you can send the lowpoly over to the rigger and animator before you spend a long time doing detailing in zBrush. Depends on the production of course.
    For personal work there's nothing stopping you from just working in dynamesh and then do retopo afterwards. I've done a couple of characters that way for the sake of time.

    Exactly what's your issue with making eye sockets and mouthbags in lowpoly?
  • Busterizer
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    Busterizer polycounter lvl 5
    How do I add inside of the mouth so it connects with the rest of the head after retopology step? If I didn't have mouth on the base mesh initially, I would need to model the thing in zbrush and then character would have its lips sealed. I need to have this character with basic facial animation.
  • ahtiandr
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    ahtiandr polycounter lvl 11
    When I was doing my assignment for university I made basemesh in maya with mouth interior as one object. Then I unwraped the head and the mouth interior and I also offset the uvs so that in zbrush mouth interior and head are two separate polygroups and you can easilly isolate the one you need. Actually I did three polygroups. One for the head and two other for upper and lower mouth interiors.

    PS.

    Are you from Herts by the way ?
  • Busterizer
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    Busterizer polycounter lvl 5
    Ok, polygroups might help, actually. But then again what if I didn't have that in base mesh?
    Are you from Herts by the way ?
    No.
  • ahtiandr
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    ahtiandr polycounter lvl 11
    if you dont have polygroups in basemesh then you can make them in zbrush but it will cost you more time to manage.
  • pior
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    pior godlike master sticky
    Since we are talking Zbrush in the context of game making, then there is no way around it - you need a "regular" 3D application (Max, Maya, Modo, XSI, Blender) to take care of the more technical aspects of the asset.

    Adjustments and technical details like the handling of mouth cavities, eyeballs and so on will all be taken care of there. There is no point in jumping through hoops in Zbrush to do all this - it will only be frustrating and slow.

    Good luck, and don't hesitate to post your progress here along the way ! This will bring more practical answers, since there are always different ways to go at all this.
  • ahtiandr
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    ahtiandr polycounter lvl 11
    pior is right. One have to learn how to use many apps in the same pipeline. The more tools you have the better possibilities you will get.
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