High res sculpt to cycles?

I’m making a realistic sculpture of a person in zbrush, I have already retopologized it and doing the finer details now. The head is about 2 million polygons, before I give the model textures I’ll have to unwrap the retopologized model which is 2000 polygons high and then bake the normals from zbrush and possibly the diffuse map from it too and other maps.

Now what I to this day haven’t figured out is how to get back the details from the sculpt in cycles, normal maps are only for the finer details, wrinkles etc. But the larger shapes and bumps, how would I add those to the head? I once tried baking a displacement map from zbrush but that didn’t seem to work very well in blender at all.

How would you do it?

In case someone else stumbles on this, I looked around a bit and found the “reshape” button under the multires modifier in blender. This very important tool was hidden away real good huh. How to import subdivided sculptures from zbrush into blender.

  1. Export low res and high res mesh from zbrush and import into blender. Remember how many subdivisions the tool in zbrush had.
  2. Subdivide the uv mapped low res mesh the amount of times it was subdivided in zbrush.
  3. Select first the high res mesh then the low res mesh and then hit the reshape button.

Now the uv mapped low res model will reshape into the shape of the high res model with subdivisions so you’ll be able to move around without much lag despite the mesh being millions of polygons. Now you can go on with texture painting and creating materials in cycles for the guy.

(I wish I knew this when I rendered my 10 million polygon models in blender cycles with huge amount of lag to the point at which blender frequently stopped responding.)

Ahh snap, I assumed zbrush and blender subdivided their meshes in the same way, it seems they don’t and in order to reshape one object into the shape of another they need to have the same amount of faces, this is something someone should look into.

EDIT: Found an old topic that described a dirty method of getting the detail back. Subdivide the low res model then use a shrinkwrap modifier to have the model wrap around the high res mesh. It’s not super clean, but it does the job, finer details you use a normal map for.