Zbrush displacement in Modo / by Xuan Prada

Another of those steps that I need to do when I’m working on any kind of vfx project and I consider “a must”.
This is how I set up my Zbrush displacements in Modo.

  • Once you have finished your sculpting work in Zbrush, with all the layers activated go to the lowest subdivision level.
  • Go to the morph target panel, click on StoreMT and import your base geometry. Omit this step if you started your model in Zbrush.
  • Once the morph targer is created, you will se it in viewport. Go back to your sculpted mesh by clicking on the switch button.
  • Export all the displacement maps using the multi map exporter. I would recommend you to use always 32bit maps.
  • Check my settings to export the maps. The most important parameters are scale and intensity. Scale should be 1 and intensity will be calculated automatically.
  • Check the maps in Nuke and use the roto paint tool to fix small issues.
  • Once in Modo, import your original asset. Select your asset in the item list and check linear uvs and set the amount of subdivisions that you want to use.
  • Assign a new shader to your asset, add the displacement texture as texture layer and set the effect as displacement.
  • Low value and high value should be set to 0 and 100.
  • In the gamma texture options, set the value to 1.0
  • We are working in a linear workflow, which means that scalar textures don’t need to be gamma corrected.
  • In the shader options, go to the surface normal options and use 1m as value for the displacement distance. If you are using 32bit displacements this value should be the standard.
  • Finally in the render options, play with the displacement rate to increase the quality of your displacement maps.
  • 0.5 to 1 are welcome. Lower values are great but take more time to render, so be careful.
  • Render a displacement checker to see if everything works fine.