Non-destructive and interactive workflow using texturingxyz maps

My name is Jeremy Celeste, owner and founder at Texturingxyz. Before getting started the texturingxyz adventure I had the pleasure to work as Lighting / Lookdev TD mainly for feature films and commercials.

I've seen many of you struggling to find a proper workflow to use Texturingxyz maps. Of course there is no "ultimate" workflow, however there are destructive workflows that will destroy your raw maps. That's why I worked on this simple non-destructive and interactive workflow that combine Zbrush exported map and Mari/Substance/Quixel/Photoshop exported map directly inside of maya. Hope that will help some of you.

How to :

Step 1 - Export your map from Zbrush using map exporter. At this point you should only have primary and secondary forms sculpted inside of Zbrush :



Step 2 - Project and export the resulted map obtained with Texturingxyz maps.

Step 3 - Download and import the nodes setup into maya.

Step 4 - Just change the path for the zbrush and texturingxyz exported file textures into the corresponding slots. If using Arnold, make sure to select color space Raw for the Zbrush displacement in maya 2017.

Step 5 - Make sure your object's settings on Arnold extra attributes are well set up for displacement. Connect the displacement shader to your material's shading group et voila ! Render !

Step 6 - Adjust the intensity in real time using both blend sliders you have in the nodal setup.

Finally, if you projected the maps correctly in your texturing tool, you should get great results even with macro shots, without having the need to go back and forth from Zbrush to Maya. Secondary and Tertiary forms will be balanced.

Some quick explanations :

 Zbrush exported displacement maps contain true displacement information that correspond to scene units. So if we want to preserve that map without the need of tweaking the height value, we must modify the texturingxyz projected maps.

Since a displacement / bump map mid point is about 50% midGrey in general for a 8bit (not recommended) or 16bit workflow, we have to do a quick offset to make sure that the new mid point will be 0.

Then, all we have to do now to combine them is to add a +/- average node in 'sum' mode. This will combine everything properly. However if you want to be flexible we have to create something that could be used to interact and change the intensity for the xyz projected maps.

For that I used a simple blendcolor with a black value for the second slot. Now it's pretty easy and straightforward, only move the blender sliders to tweak in real-time the displacement intensity for the given map.

Feel free to contact me if you want to add your contribution to this post. Enjoy !