Zbrush to XSI workflow

After I had some trouble with rendering displacement maps from Zbrush,

I wrote a tutorial describing my workflow between XSI and Zbrush:

1) First model your basemesh in XSI, it´s a good idea to have a look at the

edge-flow, too. Or you may have to retopologize your model later.

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2) Layout your UV-coordinates. If you plan to use multidisplacement, the UV-groups must

be arranged horizontally in spaces of one unit:

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3) Export your model as .obj and import it into Zbrush.

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4) Detail your model as you like.

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5) When you are done detailing and want to texture the model from within Zbrush,

disable the UVs and start polypainting.

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But don´t forget to reimport your .obj to get your UVs back! 🙂

6) For my renderings in XSI I tend not to use the lowest subdivision level, because they

are too blocky. So I export a higher version and delete the lower levels afterwards:

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7) Now to the important steps:

Create your Texture on the highest subdivision level unsig Texture-> color to texture.

Always hide all but one UV-group.

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Do this with all UV-groups.

8) Create your displacement-map with the multidisplacement plugin.

The following options seem to work best:

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9) Back in Softimage import the object and select one of your displacement maps.

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10) If you didn´t change the import options, all UV-groups will be imported as separate objects and there will

be a rendertree for every object.

Set the right displacement and color maps in the rendertree.

Maybe you need to change the displacement ranges, too but for me a range from -0.5 to 0.5 seems to

work pretty well.

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1) You should now merge your objects back into one and also merge the materials and UVs.

Every material will end up on a separate cluster.

Change the subdivision render level to 1.

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12) Change the displacement options of the new object:

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13) Now do a test rendering. If you don´t see any displacement you may need to set the mesh splitting

factor in the render options to a higher value.

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14) Now it´s time to fine-tune your displacements and your rendertree…

Here is the final image:

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