Texturing in ZBrush

Learning ZBrush

This week I got to work on the texture maps of the 3D monster. For this we decided to work in Pixologic ZBrush. This Tool is incredibly powerful in making detailed photorealistic 3D models and and allows for sculpting with the use of textured brushes and alpha layers.

As I have never worked in ZBrush before, I had to find out how the interface works and determine which workflow I should approach.

Painting textures

Paul sent me his lovely created 3D model, which I imported in ZBrush.


After getting used to the software and studying some photo references, I started painting by using a leather like material. I started by painting a dark color on the material, followed by layers of lighter color to articulate the shape of the muscles and other limbs.

I used a dotted alpha layer to simulate a realistic lizard skin.

I wanted to create a sharp, detailed texture, so I found that I had to increase the polycount a lot. This required me to map the texture to a lowpoly mesh in a later stage (see Baking textures)


With this, the texture was finished. I’m quite pleased with the result.


Baking textures

I increased the polycount a lot to achieve better results. However, this is not what I wanted to keep because the model has to be managable in Maya for the animation later.

For this, I had to bake the high resolution texture into the lowpoly model that was delivered to me.

Using the UV Master tool, I made a lowpoly clone of the model, which I unwrapped and flattened, this gave me the UV map to work with.

Texture map

Afterwards, I copied the UV to the highpoly model to map the textures to it.

Texture map2

The texture was now baked onto the lowpoly mesh. With this, I created a model that looks the same as the highpoly model when smoothed out, and yet is perfectly managable in Maya.


Normal – and specular maps

Normals and specular.png

With this texture, I created normal maps and specular maps in crazy bump to get an even more realistic feel to the texture. It lets the texture appear to have a lot of detail in depth, without the geometry changing.

Importing in Maya

In the meanwhile, Paul had been setting up the rig skeleton and applying the weight paints. The model is now ready to be animated.



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