Zbrush2 + Blender?

Heya, I’ve been away from blender for a while now (been using Cinema 4d CE+) but I’m thinking about coming back. My main reason for switching is that I can’t afford the x amount of money to upgrade from CE+ to 8.5 XL for Cinema 4d and Blender is free and keeps growing. :slight_smile: That aside…I’m a Zbrush user and I’m wanting to know how Blender handels displacment maps and or normal maps. I really don’t know much about rendering with Blender yet but what I’m doing is this…I create my low polygon model in SILO, then import into Zbrush for detailing and texturing, then export into cinema 4d for rendering. CE+ doesn’t handle displacment mapping very well so that’s my main reason for wanting to swtich. That and Yafray is better then CE’s render engine not to mention Blenders raytrace engine is looking better and better!

So any help or advice to push me over that fence of switching over would be great! Thanks,


Ooh, also if somebody could include a importer link that works for .obj files that would help too. :slight_smile:

dunno about .obj files

well anyway, my zbrush using maya using friend (his skills surpass mine by lots) complains of support of only 256 level grayscale images for displacement maps in some applications

I believe blender would suffer from that as well

as for normal maps, blender doesn’t support them (only grayscale bump maps). The change to make blender support them is pretty trivial (I belive only two lines have to be changed in the source), but it would make rendering of older files not work exactly the same. This appears to be why the decision was made to not make that change.

I haven’t played with zbrush 2 enough to say more at the moment

I’ll be experimenting with this over the coming weeks/months, and am interested to see what sort of results are possible - I just bought zbrush 1.55 for Mac, and will get the free upgrade to 2 when it’s released. In order to get the really nice fine details that you usually see in zbrush displaced images, you need an immense amount of subdivision for blender’s displacement mapping. This makes things reaaaalllly slow, and is not very practical. When I actually learn how to use the program properly (:P), I’ll probably experiment with making a displacement map for the larger bumps and indents that can be used at a lower subdivision, with a normal map over the top for the fine details.

I’d also like to see a map-to channel for RGB normal mapping instead of only the greyscale bump mapping we have now. Like z3r0 d said, it’s supposedly very easy - I was going to poke Ton about it when I had some results for him to see for himself (he doesn’t atm think there’s an appreciable difference between bump and normal mapping). If you have any sample images/models/maps that can be rendered in Blender and compared with boring old bump maps, please post them on blender.org to get some discussion happening, and ton interested :slight_smile:

Okay, as soon as I figure out which import/export script works with the latest release of Blender I’ll get crackin’. :slight_smile: Pixolator released a low poly head model with a nice displacement map I’ve been playing with in Cinema that I’ll test in Blender. In cinema I have to edit it in photoshop to increase the contrast level and then in cinema flip the texture vertically…I’ll see what needs to be done in Blender from Z2. One thing though, to load the texture as a displacement map I do the following, right? click the material button > click the map-to tab > adjust the disp slider to my liking. All this after loading the texture of course. Now my other question would be while loading the texture as a displacment map can I load another texture to actually ‘texture’ the object? :stuck_out_tongue:

Arg, it stinks being a newby again. :wink: