Utilizing GoZ for Polypainting

Cody Burke details how to use the GoZ feature in LightWave 11 for polypainting objects in ZBrush

Posted: Mon 11 Mar 2013

The GoZ feature for polypainting objects in ZBrush can be used to greatly streamline surfacing workflow in LightWave 11. This powerful new addition uses the Spotlight Projection feature to simplify the painting of textures to models from other images. The end result can be anything from cartoon-like to realistic to hyper-realistic. After a polypainted model is finished, simply use GoZ to transfer your model back into LightWave—you can do this as many times as you’d like without having to set up any of the maps again.

 Our model for this tutorial is Lily, a character created at The DAVE School for its Block 4, Doctor Who animated fan film Doctor Who:The Dream Child. She was polypainted in ZBrush for the project and will be our test model for this tutorial.

Lily’s skin and clothes were textured completely by polypainting in Zbrush—touchups and color correction were done in Adobe Photoshop. In this tutorial, you will see how easy it is to texture your objects in Zbrush and seamlessly transfer them back into the LightWave 11 Modeler without having to manually set up a map.

 In this tutorial, we will use the base model of Lily’s head to demonstrate polypainting.

When utilizing the GoZ feature in LightWave 11, you can choose from several different options for polypainting. For this tutorial, however, we will lay out the UV maps for Lily’s head in the LightWave Modeler. These can also be laid out in Zbrush, but the program requires one UV map for the model. You can bring in other parts of the object separately for polypainting. 

At this point in previous versions of LightWave, we would have gone into the Surface Editor and selected our UV before saving out an OBJ file. Now with GoZ support in LightWave 11, we simply go to the new I/O tab in Modeler and click GoZ; ZBrush will launch with Lily under the Tools menu. Select Lily, and draw her out in the main perspective window. Polypainting is best done at a high resolution—use Ctrl+D to subdivide your object a few times. 

If you scroll down and select the UV Map option on the right, you can morph the UV to make sure it is the exact map we created in Modeler, and then morph it back into the object. 

Next, go to the Polypaint option and select, Colorize. You can polypaint the model with the SkinShader4 material, which is located under the Materials window on the top right. 

There are many ways to polypaint in Zbrush—it really comes down to the look you want to achieve. Start with Spotlight Projection, which is a fast and powerful way to load an image, place it over the model, and paint on the texture. To do this, go to the Texture tab, and import your image. Select the top right icon, which has a little plus and minus symbol, to add your image to the Spotlight. 

Make sure that you go to the Brush tab>Samples and enable Spotlight Projection. You can use the wheel of options to scale your image, then move and place it over your model. Hit “Z” to remove the options wheel and begin painting. Shift+Z will hide the image, and “Z” will bring it back. Many different options are available when polypainting, but I prefer to use this one to lay down a base coat. 

To add freckles to Lily’s face, change Stroke to DragRect and select Alpha 07 from the Alpha menu. Change the color of the skin to be slightly darker and begin drawing out the freckles. It’s best to do this with Symmetry off to add randomization. (Note: Symmetry is the, “X” key.) 

Once you are happy with your model, go to the Texture Map option on the right and select “New From Polypaint”—you will see the UV map generated in the little icon. Now select “Clone Textr,” which will send your UV map to the texture tab where it can be saved out and the image edited in Photoshop for the different layers of skin. 

ZBrush will be set to transfer back and forth between Modeler, but if you select the “R” icon next to GoZ, you can change it to Layout. If this is your first time utilizing GoZ you will be prompted by a window of reminders. Make sure that everything is configured properly and hit Continue. 

Now that we’re back in LightWave Modeler you can go to the Surface Editor and select the Texture Editor for Color. As you can see, everything was automatically setup, including the projection, UVMap, and image. 

Edit the main map in Photoshop to add more detail and create additional layers of skin. Once you’re happy with the result, you can start applying Lily’s other features and bring her to life.

Lily model credits: Modeled and textured by Cody Burke. Hair by Aine Graham. Rigging by Scott Sailing. Lily was used on the DAVE School production fan film, “Doctor Who - The Dream Child” directed by Dan Smith and created entirely with LightWave.

Cody Burke is a LightWave demo artist and editor for the LightWave 3D Group. He shares his LightWave knowledge with other artists in a variety of ways, including featured LightWave video tutorials on the new LightWave3d.com web site and TheOfficialLightWave Channel on YouTube.