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A Beginner's Guide to the 3D sculpting program, ZBrush

Finishing Up



On the left, the original Unified Skin generated from a ZSketch, on the right, the ZRemesher retopology with the default setting applied: It’s just a one button automatic retopology!

ZRemesher will recreate a new polygonal structure for your model, with a controlled flow of polygons and a global polycount value. In just a few seconds you can convert a 200,000 polygon DynaMesh to a 10,000 poly retopologized model with a natural flow of polygons. From there you can project all the fine details from your original sculpture, easily generate UV’s with UV Master, and ultimately create your Vector, Dis­placement, Normal and Diffuse maps.



UV Mapping is the process by which a two-dimensional image is wrapped onto a three-dimensional object. UV coordinates (or UVs for short) have to be assigned to a model before the image can be displayed correctly.

Think of it as a bit like peeling an orange. You can cut the peel off the orange and lay it out flat – that’s like your 2D image; and you could wrap the peel back around the orange and it would fit perfectly – that’s like the 2D image mapped to the 3D object. The UVs are needed so that the 3D program knows which bit of the image goes exactly where on the 3D object. 



UV Master will generate UV coordinates for your ZBrush models in a single click.

When using a 2D map with a 3D model, the model must have UVs, which are 2D coordinates needed for your texture to display accurately on your model. UV Master creates the necessary UV seams,then unwraps and packs the UVs to make best use of the texture area. The result is an optimized UV map which is understandable to the human eye allowing work on the corresponding texture in a 2D painting software like Photoshop.


See detailed, written guide to UV Master here


A normal map is just a map (texture) where the values given are the surface normals at each point, rather than the bump height value. We’re taking out the middleman, so to speak. Instead of having graphics software or hardware calculate surface normals from the bump map, these normals are pre-calculated and stored into the normal map, and then used directly by the processor.

The figure below shows this. It is a cross-section of a normal map, 16 pixels wide. No height is shown because the normal map does not store any height information. It just stores directions to be used as surface normals when lighting calculations are done.

A Row of Pixels in a Normal Map

A Row of Pixels in a Normal Map

Cross-section of a normal map sixteen pixels in width. No height information is contained in the normal map, only normal directions. Adjacent normals are completely independent of one another.


Tool > Normal Map sub-palette

Tool > Normal Map sub-palette

Normal Map thumbnail

The Normal Map thumbnail displays the most recently created normal map.  Each SubTool can have its own normal map.

Clone NM

The Clone Normal Map button will copy the current normal map to Texture Palette from where it can be exported.


The Tangent Space button determines the coordinate-space used by the next normal map created for this object. If pressed, the normal map coordinates are tangential (local) to the object; if un-pressed, they are world-space (global).


The Adaptive Scan Mode button affects the quality of the next Normal Map generated by the Create Normal Map button. If pressed, the map will be more accurate in detailed areas, and will likely take longer to generate. This button is similar to its counterpart in the Displacement sub-palette. If normal and displacement maps are intended to match, this mode should be enabled or disabled for both.


The Smooth UV button, if pressed, determines that UV coordinates are smoothed when the next normal map is generated.

  • When SmoothUV is enabled for generating maps, all UV borders will remain frozen when smoothing.


The SwitchRG button will switch the Red and Green channels of selected Normal Map.


Smooth Lowres Normals


The FlipR button will flip the Red Channel of the Normal Map.


The FlipG button will flip the Green Channel of the Normal Map.


The FlipB button will flip the Blue Channel of the Normal Map.

Create NormalMap

The Create Normal Map button generates a normal map for this object. Height and width of the map are the same size, and are determined by the  UV Map settings in the UV Map menu.


Displacement maps can be thought of as extended bump maps. Like bump maps, they are grayscale images, with the intensity of a pixel indicating height above the polygon surface. Other things being equal, a single grayscale image used as either a bump or a displacement map while building a model will probably produce very similar images when viewed using a “real time” renderer.

The result is different when a final render is done. At this stage, the displacement map is used to actually change the geometry of the model. Conceptually, new polygons or pixels are produced where the displacement map indicates height deviations from the polygon surface, and then this new geometry is pushed up to reflect the height of the bump map. This new, higher-resolution model is then rendered. As a result, displacement mapping can produce renders which show both correct silhouettes and shadowing of displaced geometry, something which cannot be done by bump maps. Displacement mapping is well suited for surfaces containing complex detail that would be difficult and expensive to model with polygons, but where the displacement is large enough that bump maps would obviously appear fake.

Image result for displacement map zbrush


Displacement Map Settings for Arnold (Autodesk Maya)
























Multi Map Exporter is designed to automate map creation and export for your model. Click here for guide to detailed function of settings.