Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh, zBrush

I love zBrush. It's an amazing program that allows me to really detail my models and make them look fantastic.

However, I've run into a limitation, and possibly a bug.

The zBrush file for the character of Bodacious Creed is at about 2 gigs. Work on it is getting slower, which is understandable. There are a LOT of polygons in the individual models. I try to keep parts I'm not working on at their lowest subdivision level, but even so it gets bogged down. So, Okay, I can work with that.

What I haven't been able to work with are two things. Sometimes something simple, like painting a texture onto an existing mesh and then saving the file, will balloon the file up to over 6 gigs! The funny part though is that as the file saves, it will get that large, then jump down to 4.1 gigs when it's saved. I'm guessing there's a lot of data loss when that happens, though I don't know why it happens at all. In any case, that has got to be a bug.

The second problem is, even if these 4.1 gig files are complete, zBrush can't open them. I did some research, and it seems to be that 32 bit programs can't open files over 4 gigs.

So... Dear Pixologic, Please put out a 64 bit version of zBrush asap.

This means I need a work around, and this is what I'm planning. I'm saving various parts out to their own individual files. I have one with the mechanical parts, and one with the clothes. I'll put everything else in a third file. Once I've done all the work I need to on the individual parts, I'll export texture maps of everything, plus displacement and normal maps of everything hard surface. That means the guns, buttons, and all the mechanical parts, things that won't need further sculpting. The displacement and normal maps will contain all the high resolution detail information, so I'll be able to lower all those models to their lowest subdivision level, and delete higher subdivision levels.

My hope is that I will then be able to bring everything back into one file. From there, I should be able to set up poses and sculpt the organic parts.

I shouldn't have so many issues when I get to Anna or Coconino. Creed is by far the most complicated of the models. Sometimes you can just keep workin, and sometimes you need a work-around. I wish I could just keep working on Creed with all his models in one file, but I'm doing what I need to do.

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