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Human Head Retopology with Wrap 3D

Learn how to quickly enhance character detail and create game-ready models using a unique retopology workflow with the Wrap 3D program.

This tutorial covers UV mapping, expressions, and displacement mapping for realistic character modeling.

- Workflow

  • For today’s tutorial, we’ll look at a 3D software called Wrap 3D.

  • This software will help us fix the topology on our sculptures and add ZBrsuh layers onto them as well.

  • The sculpt in this tutorial has Decimated topology and isn’t fit to be used in any game or cinematic use.

  • The sculpt is Exported from ZBrush as an OBJ file and it is important that is an OBJ file for the wrap 3D to work.

  • In Wrap 3D, click the Tab key in the Graph on the right side of the workspace.

  • Hover over the Load/Save options and click on LoadGeom.

  • This will create a node that can be renamed by clicking F2.

  • Rename the first node Base_Mesh.

  • Make another LoadGeom and name it Sculpt.

  • Click the Base_Mesh node and select the Base_Mesh OBJ file for it.

  • In the Sculpt node, select the Sculpt OBJ.

  • If the sculpt model is too small or not completely aligning with the Base_Mesh, just like in Autodesk Maaya, scale and move the sculpt to align with the Base_Mesh.

  • The Base_Mesh has UV Maps and Layers in ZBrush that can turn into different expressions.

  • Turn off the topology on both the sculpt and Base_Mesh by unticking the Wireframe box.

  • In the Graph, add a LoadImage node.

  • Rename that node Guides.

  • Click the node and add the Guide jpg image.

  • Connect the image node with the Base_Mesh node by connecting the dots to each other.

  • Since the Base_Mesh has proper UVs the image guide will have no problem loading on it.

  • Click on the Visual Editor tab, and there add a SelectionPointPairs through the Selection options.

  • Connect the left side of the node to the Base_Mesh and the right side to the Sculpt.

  • Enable Syn Views in the Editor window below the Graph.

  • This will make it so that if one view is moved, the view next to it will move as well.

  • Add dots on the Base_Mesh, following the dots on the image guide then immediately after, add the dots to the Sculpt in the same position and order.

  • This is important for the UVs to wrap correctly onto the Sculpt afterward.

  • To move a dot, click and drag it anywhere it needs to be.

  • Add the dots on the rest of the guides until the whole face is finished.

  • In the Graph click tab and type in “wrap” to find the Wrapping node.

  • Connect the wrapping node with the Selection Point Pairs, Sculpt, and Base_Mesh nodes.

  • In the wrapping node, make sure the Parameters settings are set up properly. When everything is set u, click on the Compute button and wait for the wrapping to finish.

  • Click back on the Viewport3D window.

  • After it is done, hide the Base_Mesh and Sculpt nodes by clicking the lightbulb icon next to each node.

  • While the wrapping node is selected, you can see how well the Sculp was wrapped from the Base_Mesh UV.

  • There are deformities around the ends of the sculpt as well as the lines around the guides are wiggly instead of perfectly curved.

  • To fix the ends of the sculpt, go back to the View Editor, and inside the graph add a SelectionPolygons node through the selection tab.

  • Connect the SelectionPolygons node with the Base_Mesh node.

  • Once connected, you can select parts of the polygon from the Base_Mesh just like in Maya, by clicking the Shift double-clicking to do a loop selection.

  • There is also a Grow tool that expands the selection by one.

  • If there is too much selected, you can use the Shrink tool to shrink down the selection by one.

  • Select parts of the ends of the neck and the inside of the mouth.

  • Connect the SelectionPolygons node to the Wrapping node then click Compute again.

  • To fix the wiggly lines around the guides, add a Brush node inside the graph and connect it with the Base_Mesh, wrapping, and Sculpt node.

  • Select the Clone brush, adjust the Radius and Strength of the brush then lightly click on the guides to straighten them out.

  • Do this to the entire face.

  • When you are done with the brush, click on the Accept button.

  • Add another node in the graph called the SaveGeom node and connect it to the Brush node.

  • Name the File, select a path for where the file needs to be, right-click the Brush node, click on Save Geometry, and save the OBJ file anywhere on your desktop.

  • In Zbrush, import the ZTL file provided for the class, and make sure that it is set to the lowest division before the next step.

  • After that, import the Wrapped 3D file we just saved.

  • Once it is imported, the Base_Mesh from the ZTL file will transform to look like the Sculpt because of the placed vertices.

  • The Sculp will have all the Zbrush levels and UV map from the Base_Mesh.

  • To add textures in Zbrush, click the Texture tab and click on the Import button.

  • Select the Color 4k PSD file provided for the class, then click Open.

  • Flip the UV map to the correct side.

  • In the Texture Map tab, click the gray box and add the Color 4k PSD file.

  • Repeat the same steps for the Displacement map but this time, the displacement map goes into the Displacement Map tab.

  • You can control the Intensity of the map by lowering and raising the scale in the tab.

Bonus - Exporting Layers from ZBrush and turning them into Blendshapes

  • Set the model to the 2nd division, then click Del Lowe and Del Hidden to delete the rest of the divisions.

  • In the Zplugin tab, open the Maya Blend Shapes sub-menu and click on the TurnOff All button to turn off all the layers.

  • Wait for the layers to finish turning off.

  • After the layers have been turned off, open the Maya Blend Shapes sub-menu and click the Export Blend Shapes button to export everything.

  • In Autodesk Maya import the exported file.

  • It will take a while before the model loads in.

  • To use the blend shapes, open the Window tab, Animation Editors, and click the Shape Editor.

  • From the Shape Editor Window, you can use the blend shapes and change the expression on the model.

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