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Creating texture maps

From: ZBrush 4 Essential Training

Video: Creating texture maps

All kinds of surface qualities can be extracted from the model and translated to 2D maps that are used in other applications. Color of course is the easiest to understand. There are other map types, like normal maps and displacement maps, that can re-create falling details from the high subdivision levels and then make them visible on a lower-resolution model. Now let's open up the Texture Map sub-palette. To make a color texture map, we are going to take the polypainting that already exists on the model and transfer it to a 2D image based on the UV map.

Creating texture maps

All kinds of surface qualities can be extracted from the model and translated to 2D maps that are used in other applications. Color of course is the easiest to understand. There are other map types, like normal maps and displacement maps, that can re-create falling details from the high subdivision levels and then make them visible on a lower-resolution model. Now let's open up the Texture Map sub-palette. To make a color texture map, we are going to take the polypainting that already exists on the model and transfer it to a 2D image based on the UV map.

Let's click New From Polypaint. The result we get is a low-detail map. This is because the model is currently at a low subdivision level and the texture map will only pick up whatever color is currently visible. Let's go up to the highest subdivision level and try again. One thing you might notice is that since we are on the highest subdivision level we should be seeing all the fine detail, but we're not.

That's because Texture Map is on. Let's turn this off. The texture map was covering up the Polypainting. Now with that off we can see all the detail that's inherent to this model. Now let's create a new map from Polypaint. Now that has much more detail in it. Another way to generate a map is by masking. So let's turn off this texture map and I also want to get rid of the color for now. So open up all the Polypaint and turn off Colorize, so we just see the model itself without any polypainting on it.

Now let's make a mask based on cavity. I am just going to use the default settings and click Mask By Cavity. So you can see what it's done is it's created a mask in any place where there's a crease or a depression or any sort of a cavity. You could see how it's darker. That means it's masked off inside of those creases. Now let's go down to the Texture Map sub-palette and click New From Masking. So now we've got a new map that was generated from all the crevices and creases in this model.

This type of map is really useful for rendering in other types of programs. You can use it to automatically darken crevices, tell it not to be shining down inside those creases. It really is a nice way to bump up the level of realism in a model. Let's make this map go away for now too, and I am going to hit Ctrl+Shift+A to remove all the masking. Let's talk about normal and displacement maps. Those are maps that are used to make a low-poly model look like it has all the detail of a high-poly model.

The settings you use depend on how you plan to use them and what programs they will be used in. So, for example, let's open up the Normal Map sub-palette. Unless you know what you're doing with these settings, it's best to leave them as they are. Let's make a normal map by just clicking Create NormalMap. Now we get this little pop-up. It tells us that the map cannot be created while the highest subdivision-level is active. That's because normal map and displacement map compare the highest subdivision level to the current subdivision level.

If I'm currently on the highest subdivision level, there's nothing to compare. So let's go down with the lowest subdivision level, and we'll try that again. So now you get this really cool, funky, colorful map. This is going to tell other programs like Maya or 3D Studio MAX how the high- resolution information should look. So you can map this onto a low-poly model and it will look like it has all that high-texture detail.

Let's do the same thing for a displacement map. ZBrush actually turns on the texture map every time you create a new map. Even if it's not a texture map, if it's a normal map, ZBrush will just turn this on. So I am going to turn that off again. Let's make a displacement map and it creates DispMap. Displacement map is similar to a normal map except that it's telling a 3D program how much the surface detail is pushed up or pushed down relative to the low-poly model.

Now once you've got a map, it's not very clear what to do with it or how to save it. There should be a Save button in all of these palettes, but there's not. The way you save it is by clicking the Clone button. So in the displacement map case, it's Clone Disp. You could also do Clone Texture up in the Texture Map or Clone NM in the Normal Map palette. What this will do is it will transfer the map over to the Texture palette. Then you can click Export and save it in any of these formats.

Most uses for a ZBrush eventually result in models and textures being exported for use in other programs, so learning the map-creation process is crucial. Maps can then be further processed in Photoshop.

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This video is part of

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ZBrush 4 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 14889 viewers

Ryan Kittleson
Author

 
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  1. 5m 13s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. What is ZBrush?
      1m 47s
    4. A note on screen resolution
      1m 32s
  2. 19m 17s
    1. Making sense of ZBrush
      2m 39s
    2. Understanding the interface
      2m 29s
    3. Using Light Box
      1m 23s
    4. Navigating the canvas
      2m 2s
    5. Using Perspective and Floor
      1m 51s
    6. Understanding local centering
      1m 9s
    7. Trying different materials
      2m 7s
    8. Activating symmetry
      2m 15s
    9. Viewing your work in various ways
      3m 22s
  3. 19m 59s
    1. Understanding polygon-based models
      1m 45s
    2. Creating ZSpheres
      4m 21s
    3. Using ShadowBox
      2m 15s
    4. Making a ZSketch
      2m 47s
    5. Extracting from an existing mesh
      4m 0s
    6. Using primitive 3D meshes
      3m 24s
    7. Importing from other programs
      1m 27s
  4. 23m 43s
    1. Understanding brush settings
      2m 45s
    2. Inverting brush effects
      1m 9s
    3. Switching to Smooth mode
      2m 35s
    4. Setting the stroke properties
      4m 14s
    5. Working with alphas
      2m 34s
    6. Using the Move brush
      2m 51s
    7. Using the Clip brush
      2m 58s
    8. Learning a few more common brushes (Polish, Clay, Flatten, Inflate, Tracks)
      2m 14s
    9. Saving and using brush presets
      2m 23s
  5. 26m 53s
    1. Working with tools and projects
      1m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision levels
      3m 4s
    3. Masking off parts of your model
      2m 28s
    4. Masking based on cavity and occlusion
      4m 23s
    5. Selecting and hiding parts of a tool
      2m 51s
    6. Working with polygroups
      2m 0s
    7. Using deformation
      1m 59s
    8. Mirroring geometry across an axis
      1m 49s
    9. Restoring symmetry
      1m 45s
    10. Creating morph targets
      2m 31s
    11. Understanding surface normal direction
      2m 11s
  6. 8m 57s
    1. Learning the basics of subtools
      2m 37s
    2. Making new subtools
      3m 12s
    3. Combining subtools
      3m 8s
  7. 7m 20s
    1. Masking with Transpose
      1m 49s
    2. Adjusting the Transpose Manipulator
      1m 46s
    3. Moving, scaling, and rotating with Transpose
      3m 45s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Understanding how ZBrush uses color
      2m 36s
    2. Learning the basics of Spotlight
      3m 37s
    3. Painting and texturing with Spotlight
      2m 56s
    4. Texturing a head: A practical approach
      11m 16s
  9. 21m 14s
    1. Drawing new edge flow for retopology
      7m 52s
    2. Tips for making good edge flow
      5m 14s
    3. Creating new topology
      3m 55s
    4. Transferring detail from the old model to the new
      4m 13s
  10. 13m 28s
    1. Understanding the UV maps
      2m 47s
    2. Installing the UV Master plug-in
      1m 47s
    3. Using UV Master
      3m 46s
    4. Creating texture maps
      5m 8s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Preventing problems
      1m 42s
    2. Recovering a corrupted model
      2m 28s
    3. Recognizing and fixing common problems
      2m 26s
  12. 4m 54s
    1. Examples of ZBrush work
      3m 16s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 38s

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