Another weekly update. This week I’ve been quite busy figuring out ZBrush to the extent that I’ll be using it, that is to say – mostly for detailing and alot of masking. I’ve also gone through the pipeline of high-poly to low-poly, and gotten somewhat used to working with shaders in unity.
Now, today I’ve run into some problems, I did have slight worries in regards to this — however it came from another source than I originally anticipated.
When attempting to export a mesh from ZBrush (I’ve been using subtools to split the mesh up somewhat) I ran into an unexpected problem! It’s not possible to export all subtools at once without merging them, at least not to my knowledge, having looked all over the place for information.
Now, this wouldn’t be a problem normally (I’d expect) but in my case I’m working with a ridiculously high-poly mesh since I’ve done the hard-surface work in Maya, and in order to get proper details in I have to divide the mesh 3-7 times depending on the mesh, more or less resulting in extreme point counts, upwards 33 million.
My computer at home has no problem handling this amount while sculpting though, as subtools lighten the heavy load. The issue also lies in that ZBrush being a 32-bit application can’t utilize more than 4096mb of RAM and chokes up while trying to merge the separate pieces together.
Anyway, I know a few different methods that could act as a workaround. Starting with the simplest one being to drag the division levels down before exporting the mesh for retopologizing. This part wont really be an issue and it’s not something I’m worried about.
The issue comes at the point where I need to bake the maps. I have layers of objects where I want only the outermost ones showing (example being breastplate occluding the chainmail and straps occluding the breastplate where applicable).
To combat this there’s a couple of approaches that I’ve thought of so far, such as baking the subtools separately and combining the maps afterwards, or separating the parts where you wont see any seams from the main body. There’s also the option of baking directly in ZBrush, but that’s not something I currently entertain – as I have no good idea of how well it does it (not to mention, if it can handle the workload).
I’ve also toyed with the idea of making each object a dynamesh and then reverting back to the original mode so that each face of the mesh is similar in size, which should allow for more details in the spots that require them rather than at the edges where the detail is currently being put due to the way the mesh is built (the maya hard-surface modeling followed by smoothing to allow detail work).
Anyway,for now I’ll update with a few pictures of the current progress, seeing as the work I’ll be doing in ZBrush wont be too extensive – mostly bigger details (as seen on the shoulderpads in the images below) and scratches etc – it shouldn’t take too long now that I’m more or less aware of what I need to do.
I expect to be done with the modeling process by sunday evening. And hopefully if I manage to make the mesh lower-poly than it is I can bake everything besides the moving parts at once as I originally intended to.