G3f textures in zbrush



I have been wanting to start using zbrush to alter daz figures for some time, but didn´t get around to it.

Now with G3f I figure it is a good time to start.

So my first question is about textures.

If I want to make textures for g3f in zbrush what are the steps after painting to get everything out of zbrush neatly?

I also want to sculpt some high frequency stuff in zbrush and export into Daz as normalmaps.


A much bigger request and one that might be too much to ask here, is about a good workflow for say Daz > Zbrush > renderer and/or 3dprint

I´m thinking posing and dialling in rough character in Daz then taking it to Zbrush to refine sculpt and doing texture and then to a renderer for material etc...and possibly doing 3dprint too.

But Im not really sure if I need to do something special to ensure best compatibility of the mesh etc.


I might as well ask something I hav been wondering earlier when doing morphs in zbrush and using goZ.

When Im working in zbrush and want to go back to daz to check how its looking in there I get that dialogbox that wants me to save a morph bla bla....then I want to continue working in zbrush...next time I want to check it, can I overwrite the previous one or will that mess it up? Do I need to reset the new morphdial each time before going back to zbrush? I have been using a new name for each iteration giving a few too many morph dials for my liking in the end.


Oh man, I was meaning to keep this post to the point, but now I made a mess of it anyway..




  • Hi,

    as I read your post I can understand how exited you are about all the possibilitys when working with such nice programms like Daz Studio and ZBrush.

    There are many things to learn as a beginner when you start creating content and these are many questions for one post but I will try to give you some hints and explain what I foud out so far by creating content for my presonal hobby project im recently starded working on. I use the advanages of Daz Studio, ZBrush and Blender all together and realy I am not an expert in any of these programms. I just have a goal in mind, watched and read many tutorials and forums and try some technics that I saw, getting ideas how it could be done and learning while doing.

    -> Why I dont use GoZ (skip that of topic part if you want):
    If I get you right you want to create rendered still images and maybe a posed character for 3D print. While i'm not an expert in rendering and 3Dprint I can explain my workflow with Daz Studio and ZBrush for creating morphs and textures like diffuse, displacement/normal map and even specularity.

    The first thing I want to make clear is that GoZ dosent work for me eigther. I get confused like you as I tryed out to work with this GoZ import/export bridge plugin and still thinking this is the solution to work with both programms on one mesh. I dont know if there is a updated version of GoZ but I was disapointed that the face groups of daz studio 4.6 dosnt get imported to ZBrush 4R7 in first place. The unsatifying workaround is to create ZBrush groups by the command "create groups from UV" this is not the same as face groups and makes it harder to isolate some bodypart/s with masking to only alter the shape on that part/s.
    But anyway I contiue to work for hours and created my morph in ZBrush since this needs to be done in one session so i dont get a long morph list with unique morphs than all lead to one desired shape that i have to merge lateron.
    (Yes I know there are options for reverse deformation - I wonder how this works but I found no informations about that jet - as I can imagine - the load pose-file option is very interesting for creating JCM)
    So I clicked GoZ within ZBrush to bring my morph back to Daz Studio and after the import dialog Daz Studio 4.6 crashed and my work was lost and this happened to me more than one time.

    Realy I tryed everythig, with ZBrush still opened I starded Daz Studio, loaded my scene but by clicking the GoZ button in ZBrush again Daz Studio only let me import a new static object and even worst this object couldnt be exported and reimported as a morph for my mesh within Daz Studio that says polygon count is diffrent.

    I also searched the internet for a GoZ fix - some say you need to delete the GOZ files within the GoZProjects exchange folder - some say you have to reinstall the GoZ plugin with the DazContentManager - I did both more than one time still getting crashes while importing back to Daz Studio. I give my figures a new name in Daz Studio everytime before a GoZ session so new exchange files gets created, I started up ZBrush before I use the GoZ plugin for Daz Studio and I began to always initialize ZBrush and deleted the GOZ files in the GoZProjects folder everytime I export a new state of my model out of Daz Studio nothing helped - GoZ was still unstable and almost useless.

    So I keep working on my ZBrush Project File saved after a GoZ reimport crash and export my morphed GoZ mesh as an OBJ file from ZBrush and import this one with morph loader. By trying this i foud out GoZ for Daz Studio sizes the mesh down to 1/10000 so you have to import a first exported GoZ object mesh with a scale of 10000% this actualy worked but im not happy with that workaround. Also the downsized GoZ mesh creates another downside in ZBrush causing the brush scale of 1 is even to big to work on just a few vertecies very close together compared to a OBJ export with Daz Studio native scaling of 100%. So I almost give up on creating morphs since this took me weeks of trial and error and much frustration. Retrospectively I remeber once loaded my mesh back into blender I found out that there where some loose / unused verts left over from the modeling process that may caused the GoZ import back to Daz Studio crash after GoZ import dialog accept but I dont care anymore.
    I used the "delete unused vertices" this leads me to find out how powerfull the "Tranfer Utility" is and what it is capable of. So I loaded my original figure with the all the morphs and custom weightmaps created so far into the scene and imported the new mesh OBJ with the exact same shape but without the unused vertices into the scene and used the transfer utility and guess what, everything got tranfered smooth and nicely to the altered geometry mesh without any distortions while I had checked only Weightmap, Morphtarget (all) and replace source with target to keep all the parameters like I set it up.

    Sorry for just complaining about my trouble with GoZ so far but I explained why I won't recommend using GoZ at all.

    -> My workflow without GoZ:
    So how to work on a morphed maybe posed figure mesh of Daz Studio within ZBrush. Its simple but this information is hard to find and seems to be widely unknown - maybe this is because the experts dont want to reveal their clever tricks to the public.
    I'm no expert and everything I explain here I found out the hard way or getting ideas how it could be done in public tutorial videos and forums so here we go.

    1. load the basic figure (genesis for example) into a empty Daz Studio scene, leave it as it is without any morphs in t-pose but switch the resolition to "Basic" and export an OBJ file. The OBJ export options are often discussed here and there but I personaly simply choose the "DAZ Studio (1 unit = 1 cm)" option in the dropdown and get all the options set as needed and keep with that so I dont have to remember which scaling and settings I used when importing back into Daz Studio. I recommend to save the OBJ in a new folder for your project where also the morphed OBJs of ZBrush will be saved later on and give it a name like Genesis_BaseMesh_DS-scale for example.

    2. start ZBrush - in tool tab choose import and load in the "Genesis_BaseMesh_DS-scale.obj" you just exported out of Daz Studio. Now we have a SubTool if you familar with ZBrush you may know what to do next to get your mesh into the viewport - just click and drag once across the screen to draw the model than hit "T" for edit-mode "F" to focus then draw something random on the model with the current brush no matter what - hit "shift+z" to undo that and now click "left-mouse" in empty canvas while hold down and moving the mouse - now you should rotate around the verts of last action that you undo before - just to check if everything gone right. I original wondered if this first drag will define the orientation and scaling of the model while I got trouble with reimport it propperly back to Daz Studio but I foud out this mesh will be the exact size and orientation as exported out of Daz Studio no matter in wich direction you drag and how far. You can also check if the polygon / face - groups come across by activating 'draw Polyframe' "shift+f". (sidenote: ZBrush dont use names or a editable list for the polygon groups just random gradient colors - the exported OBJ files will write new names for polygroups like Group0123456.. but dont worry Daz Studio doesnt care about that in the import process with morph loader (pro))

    3. switch back to Daz Studio open the timeline - we are on farme 0 and I personaly use this frame for the basic shape and pose - go to frame 1 and dial in the character morphs you want but keep the t-pose (I use the timline frames to store diffrent shapes and poses one after an other to easily compare and zero or memorize diffrent poses / shapes for the ERC-freeze later)

    4. export the morphed character as OBJ like before and save it to the folder used before

    5. back in ZBrush go to "Layers" create new (Morph) Layer - you should see "1 untitled Layer" in the list and its automaticly in record mode now - and here comes the trick that makes GoZ useless - if you now go to tool tab, click import and choose the morphed character OBJ the altered shape gets stored as a dial in the layer channel 'almost' like we are used to in Daz Studio. Deactivate the record mode for this layer and give it a name. The limits of this dial are -1 to 1 and you can hide and unhide the layer influence but to model on the mesh you need one layer in record mode for now on (and remember to save often smiley)

    6. for your own morph modeling create at least one new layer and have fun with the insane amount of tools and possibilitys in ZBrush but dont alter the geomerty topology in any way if you want to load your mesh back as a morph into Daz Studio. I found myself creating more than ten layers for diffrent areas, the facegroups come in handy here. First using the masking brush at low RGB value and technics like shrink / grow / blur / invert mask to isolate the area I want to morph. If you are quit the record mode the masking seems to get lost but its still there when go back to edit mode you can also store masks by: create texture from masking > clone texture > alpha from mask > export alpha map as image file. To load alpha: mask by alpha. I use brush move elastic quiet often and after quit layer record I switch back and forth the influence from diffrent perspectives to see if some unwanted distotions happend in some polys. If so I switch of the layer go to "morph target > store morph target" choose "brush > morph" set up focal shift and low z intensity. Then switching the layer to record again and carefully paint the distorted polys back to the stored morph target shape. If you like you can also merge down two or more layers and finaly export them all in one or seperate as OBJ. Yes after a while I get used to the somehow twisted logic in ZBrush because in most cases it leads to a nice and smooth workflow.

    7. once again back in Daz Studio you can load or create the desired pose on the following frames but zero to the default figure shape before. Then also export singel frame pose as OBJ and import it on a new layer/s in ZBrush but keep in mind things work a bit diffrent here (like almost everything in ZBrush laugh).
    If its a asymetrycal pose I wouldnt even try to model on that with symetry active but you can check if your morph works in that pose within ZBrush and switch off that layer again.

    8. Finaly you can import the new created morph/s form ZBrush with morph loader to the figure in Daz Studio. If you are happy with the shape of the character I would then create a new parameter dial for this new character with ERC-freeze that combines all the morphs together in one slider and save the modyfied asset.

    -> Did I missed out something? OK yes finaly to your first question wink
    For painting textures on the mesh ZBrush uses its own technic (if I remember it right they call this pixols). So if you plan to paint on an existing texture like I once tryed you first have to realize that ZBrush dosnt handle diffrent surface areas to get the seperate head, torso and limbs texture maps diplayed on one mesh. Maybe one could make a new UV unwrap within ZBrush and if possible set the resolution of this UV map to 8192 by 8192 pixels so there is no downsize in image quality and maybe then the one image UV map that you get could be first imported to Daz Studio and then converted to the original UV map with the Daz Studio map transfer tool, but this is just my idea - dont konw if this would work. If so you need to know that you cant paint textures in ZBrush directly. You first have to convert the texture to polypaint where every vertex gets also a RGB value - so the actual resolution of your panting depends on the densety of the geometry. To do that you have to subdivide the mesh to a realy high level to get a texture quality that gets near the quality of the original 4096 image maps. I have tryed this with only the torso map - subdivided the base mesh at least 4 maybe 6 times until my PC starts to get trouble handling this heavy geometry but compared to the original diffuse map the result gets blurry and this is caused by the coversion process where you need to convert the texture to polypaint and then export the maps back to texture.
    Beside of that polypainting on a mesh with high subdivision level in ZBrush is amazing because you can actualy go into detail and see what the dispalcement will look like. The brush set and tools will alow you to paint RGB, displacement and material even all together with one brush stroke if you like. After that the displacement and the specularity can be exported with "Zplugin > multi map exporter"

    To paint diffuse textures directly and seamlessly to a daz figure I would recomment you to do that in blender. Also the UV unwrap an manipulation is realy great to work with in blender.

    Sorry for this realy long post here and that I coudn't answer all of your questions. I just want to give you and anyone else who reads this some knowledge about what I have dicovered so far, so you don't have to invent the weel by yourself again cheeky if you know what I mean.

  • No response so far? OK maybe my post comes a bit late for kaboom but I would be happy for any response.

    Sad enougth I'm now answering my own post.

    Recently I found something interesting that could be realy handy for painting charater textures in ZBrush / Sculptris. Didnt try this so far but now I see someone else got the same idea and allready did a single UV-Map conversion for genesis 1.


    As I mentioned before with DS Map-Tranfer it is possible to convert existing textures to an other UV-Map layout. Maybe someone can make use of it. I would like to know if this method is useful at all because DS Map-Tranfer could produce some stretching and I guess overall texture quality will suffer with this method.

    If usefull maybe I create a single UV-Map for Genesis 2. I had some good expirience with UV-unwrap and the UV editor tools in blender.



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