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Douglas McLean
Advanced Member
Username: Dmclean

Post Number: 113
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 12:52 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Is anyone working with both these programs, and do they play well together?

I do all my modelling, texturing, and rendering in formZ , but would love to be able to export model pieces, "sculpt" on them in Zbrush and then reimport to formZ for further work and final rendering.

I'm don't want to buy Zbrush only to find problems importing or exporting between the two. Does anyone have any experiences in doing this?

Thanks,

Douglas
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Leonard Yee
Advanced Member
Username: Lenyee

Post Number: 104
Registered: 05-2010
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Yes, we do all the time. I'm no Zbrush expert. We have guys that are and I export obj files for them and get them back for further work in FormZ.

There isn't any problem exporting and importing. We don't a lot of texturing so I don't know how that would work.

Best,

Leonard
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support@formZ.com
Moderator
Username: Tech

Post Number: 17457
Registered: 04-2001


Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 01:42 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Douglas,

We have some experience with several users who use Z-Brush to detail their models. .obj is the format to use. It will support textures, but they need to be flipped for ZBrush and then re-flipped coming back into form•Z.

The first thing to be aware of right up front is that form•Z and ZBrush operate in completely different ways. form•Z relies on ACIS to create mathematical surfaces that are not made up of large numbers of faces that approximate the surfaces. ZBrush uses Voxels, which are 3D pixels. These two methods of defining models could not be more different from one another.

As a result, you will need to construct your models in form•Z in a very different way than you might normally do it. You need to build your models from the beginning to have nice even meshes that ZBrush is expecting. It is very important to note that we are not talking about simply building objects in the normal fashion and then meshing them in one step with the Polygon Mesh tool. You must have considered all edges, corners, and faces so that a perfect mesh is created.

In the image below, a book has been created that has a correct mesh:

1

This was not converted to a mesh, it was built this way from the beginning.

This is the book after returning to form•Z and details have been applied in ZBrush:

2

Note, this one has been decimated in ZBrush before exporting back out as an .obj. Note: it will be easy to make simple objects that have millions of polygons. This must be used sparingly. ZBrush uses a different display method to show single objects with millions of polygons.

We recommend you try ZBrush on it's own first, it's interface is very different from form•Z's and any other standard CAD program. It uses a tool paradigm instead of models. You get one tool (model) in ZBrush, and other objects are sub-tools. In other words, it doesn't even really use a standard 3d modeling environment in the sense that you are setting up objects in a space. It is mostly for creating details and textures on models.

If you want to get up and running with this, you will need to spend some time getting familiar with ZBrush and then working out your pipeline, the way this is done is fairly arcane in ZBrush and you will need to have a firm grasp in order to understand all the importing, polypainting, converting textures, welding seams, and so forth. This is not the easiest pipeline to set up, you will being doing some trial and error before you are off and running.

Here are the files for the project above:


application/zipformZ and ZBrush Example
formZ_to_ZBrush_and_Back_Example.zip (2324.4 k)
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Jaspi
Senior Member
Username: Jaspi

Post Number: 283
Registered: 04-2011
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 02:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

1) what other program could be better for organic details?
(i mean for FormZ users)

2)is there any third party program specialized in conversion which could simplify the formZ and ZBrush together workflow?

(Message edited by jaspi on September 06, 2012)
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Pylon Technical
Senior Member
Username: Pylon

Post Number: 736
Registered: 10-2005


Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 03:21 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

The Maxwell Grass for formZ 7 Spell:

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Douglas McLean
Advanced Member
Username: Dmclean

Post Number: 114
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Thursday, September 06, 2012 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

Thanks for all the feedback and advice. It's definitely encouraging to know that it is possible, though not to be entered into lightly. I had come partway to the realization about meshing already, but seeing it so clearly spelled out really reinforces the necessity of careful planning about when and how Zbrush might fit into the workflow.

Will definitely not embark on the journey an hour before it's absolutely necessary for it to be working fast and flawlessly.

I agree with the paradigm and interface of Z brush being worlds apart from formZ. I've played with the program a little, and it certainly is daunting.

The Maxwell Grass Spell is superb. Another program on my list of things I need to integrate into my workflow. Sigh...

Thanks again.

Douglas
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Bo Atkinson
Senior Member
Username: Boa

Post Number: 587
Registered: 05-2001


Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 - 04:08 am:   Edit Post Print Post

I found that Zbrush was very useful for modeling individual objects, to bring back into formZ as "poorly formed objects" (in other words as a mesh surface, as a rough prop of some kind....

I consider Smooth models as sort of idealized vector objects, (useful for planning construction jobs). While Zbrush meshes as a gateway to include the natural-anomalies found in real life. Things which can be sculpted but less easily built with 2X4s.

Symmetry can sometimes be easier do in Zbrush. On the other hand the repeated-learning curve is too time consuming. (So i haven't used it in more than a year). Zbrush does have a large selection of 2 or 3 minute videos-- I much prefer short videos like this. As a quick reference to perform a specific modeling task. (Instead of long drawn out project videos).

I actually do look forward to rending with Maxwell, as a way to get more the subtle-edges and imperfections of real life. (By added use of my own photos, ultimately). Avoid having to re-familiarize my self with Zbrush.

(Message edited by boa on September 07, 2012)
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markus groeteke
Senior Member
Username: 3dworks

Post Number: 356
Registered: 11-2002


Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 - 05:21 am:   Edit Post Print Post

a few other options include:

mudbox (hig end)
3d-coat
sculptris
modo
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Bo Atkinson
Senior Member
Username: Boa

Post Number: 588
Registered: 05-2001


Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 - 07:37 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Ooops! I just realized i was referring to 3D-Coat in my post above! Too late to change-- It also shows how long it's been since i dabbled with that 3D-Coat.
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Kevin M
Intermediate Member
Username: Kevin_m

Post Number: 97
Registered: 06-2009
Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

I've never heard of Sculptris before. How is that free? I need to look more in to that. It looks intriguing and I'd like to know what the features it loses compared to ZBrush. It might have enough features for what I'd do.
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Douglas McLean
Advanced Member
Username: Dmclean

Post Number: 115
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Saturday, September 08, 2012 - 12:22 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Sculptris is available for download on the ZBrush site. It's a very limited version compared to Zbrush, but I found it really good to just begin wrapping my head around the way Zbrush works since it is SO different than any of the other modeling programs that I have ever used.

Douglas