Well, this post was early on in my CC3 pipeline dev learning. Since then, I've discovered the poly groups that CC3 exports to Zbrush (or any 3D program) is locked in. They are based on CC3's UV layout, and ZBrush with automatically interpret the UV layout into Polygroups once imported as a subtool. As we all suspected, 'Auto-Grouping' in ZBrush will mess up CC3's entire format, and break the link from the source CC3 model.
So I've adjusted my workflow to maintain a 'peaceful' pipeline, always allowing for the adjusted Zbrush model to swap out the source CC3 model.
1) I use 'GoZ' for import/export. FBX is fine too. OBJ is probably fine, but I did encounter a few issues with OBJ that I need to explore further.
Bottom line, GoZ works great, always be sure to Open your CC3 program & file before Opening ZBrush for it to work. For some reason, CC3 requires itself to be opened first for Zbrush to be able to communicate correctly.
2) When exporting your avatar from CC3, only select the avatar's mesh's that you need. If you are just sculpting the body, you probably don't need the teeth, eyes, etc. This is not a big deal though,& just makes for a cleaner Zbrush file to start with.
3) Once the model is drawn in Zbrush (now a editable subtool), turn on 'Draw Polyframe' (Shift +F). You will see the avatar is reading CC3's UV assignments as Polygroups automatically. No need to 'Autogroup with UV's'.
4) Immediately add Subdivisions to the ZBrush model (I usually go up to level 5) before modifying your mesh.I usually prep the model with masks on a level 5 (for cleaner edges), and then drop down to level 3 to start sculpting (eventually finishing sculpt on Level 5). You can also hide polygroups that you don't want to mess with during the sculpting process here.
5) Once the Zbrush model is finished, unhide any hidden polygroups & remove all masks.
6) Export any maps you have created (Normal = Level 1 SubD export/ AO = Level 5 SubD export / ID = Level 5 SubD export).
Keep in mind, the ZBrush map export process requires each polygroup (UV's) to be exported separately. This takes a little time, as you have to hide polygroups that you don't want exported.
7) Export your modified Zbrush model back to CC3 (swap out).
- This must be done at Level 1 SubD. Make sure the poly count matches the source CC3 file. All polygroups must be unhidden.
8) Once in CC3, apply newly created AO & Normal maps from Zbrush into the correct shader texture channels.
9) If you created ID maps, these can be used in Substance Painter if you want to do your own texturing. I still have some experimenting to do with this, but below is what I think will work:
- ID map creation is the way to 'break free' or override the automatic UV's/Polygroups you are bound to by the source CC3 avatar. In Zbrush, you have the freedom to paint in whatever ID's you like, and import them into Substance Painter.
- Substance Painter will read CC3's 'UVs' & Zbrush's 'Polygroups' as 'Texture Sets'. Each program has a different word for the same thing.
- Use your ID maps as masks for each Texture Set.
- Once you have created your unique Substance Textures, using your proprietary ID maps as mask for each Texture Set, export all of your maps and apply to your CC3 avatar that was modified in Zbrush.
Stick with the flock, end up a lamb chop!
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