Author Topic: Zbrush to Substance UV's and Painting  (Read 2586 times)

Hi everyone,

Firstly, my apologies if this is a silly question, but can somebody please explain the workflow going from a high poly mesh in ZBrush to Substance Painter now with the new UV feature?

For example, if I had a high poly sculpt of a human or a bust and I wanted to paint it in Substance, do I have to generate a Normal map from my high poly then import a decimated version or Zremeshed version then have Substance unwrap that and project my Normals onto it? Or can I just import my high poly and generate UVs straight from this?

Any help for this workflow would be much appreciated as I'm still very much learning the software.

Would an option be to use Zremesher fairly early on in the process so that the topology is better, work on this, then import this version to Substance and unwrap?

On thinking about it I know Substance wouldn't be unable to unwrap a decimated version because the topo would be unmanageable. I'm just not sure I can get a model with 5 million or 10 million points into Substance without using the old school method of taking it to Maya, retopologizing it, creating UV's and then going to Substance?

Retopologizing and UVing is not 'old school', but still something you need to do for each and every model you want to texture in Painter.

In general, you need 2 versions of each object (at least if you indeed have sculpted details in ZBrush that you want to bake into a normal map). The highres object, and a matching lowres object. The lowres object needs UVs, and - despite the fact that Painter can now generate an automatic UV layout - I would still always do that manually. There is no way an automatic algorithm will generate perfect UVs for your object. It might be usable for background objects away from the camera, but there is no way around creating a manual UV layout for hero objects/ characters.

You do not load your highres object from ZBrush directly into Painter. If the poly count is really high, it would be near impossible to create a good UV layout for it, and moving UV islands ect would be a pain.

The sculpted details will be transferred to the lowres mesh in the form of a normal map, you can bake that normal map directly in Painter.

How you create the lowres object is up to you. It might be possible to use ZRemesher for background objects, but there is no way around manual retopology for hero objects/ characters.

There is no reason to use a decimated version of your mesh to bake normals ect. from. Just use the highres version directly.
Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 02:27:56 pm

Thanks for the reply Volker, much appreciated!