Zbrush Multi-Map Exporter: Creating multi-tile displacement maps & rendering them with Vray for Maya

In this tutorial we will cover how to use Zbrush’s multi-map exporter to create multi-tile displacement maps, as well as how to use the Project All tab to make changes to our Zbrush sculpt on the fly.

Say for instance you’ve completed a sculpt, but need to change the UV’s or have decided to go from a single UV tile to a multi-UV tile obj after the fact. You will need to re-import that new mesh into Zbrush using the append subtool option to create a polymesh 3d. Then once you have swapped your polymesh 3d for your new obj, you can use Project All to get all the details from your original sculpt onto the new one.

After going over the settings in the multi-map exporter, we will then take the files into Maya to be rendered in Vray. In this final portion of the video, we will go over all the basics on how you configure Vray to accept the Displacement maps for rendering.

9 comments on “Zbrush Multi-Map Exporter: Creating multi-tile displacement maps & rendering them with Vray for Maya

    • Yannick

      Vector displacement don’t work between Zbrush and Vray.Vlado is on the case, hopefully it will be working soon.

      • italo

        I would like to know also if Arnold’s autobump is a good way of having bumps or it is better to use a separate bump node to have better control.

        Does autobump a good job by itself?

        • admin

          Autobump works well, but I usually use a tangent space normal map in addition to the Displacement in Arnold. It’s up to your personal preference, if autobump looks good enough to you it will be faster than adding the normal map. Test both ways and see what you like better.

  1. Hi, thanks for tutorial. a good rule of thumb is to set Vray max subdivs to the ZBrush subdiv level that you get your disp map from, so i think 6 is enough in this case.

  2. nreynolds

    Great tutorials I was wondering with the multimap export are you exporting any other maps besides displacement to assist in the texturing process and if so how that is achieved? With a single uv asset xnormal is a go to option but i dont know of any good options for when an object has multiple udims.


    • admin

      Everything else works as well, you just use multiple file read nodes the same way and just pump them into the appropriate input. I have another tutorial you should look at setting up multi tiles shader networks for Arnold. Nearly everything translates to vray in terms of the shader setup. As for multi-map out of zbrush you can export anything, normals, cavity, occlusion etc. I never paint it zbrush though, I use Mari for that.

  3. 6th

    Hi max-depth,your tutorial is very helpful 🙂 thank you for sharing.
    now i can follow your tutorial and it’s work for vray in maya.
    I just wonder about painting workflow if I export displacement map in Zbrush
    then I want to paint in mudbox or mari. should I paint on low base model with import
    displacement map from zbrush. or paint on scultp model from zbrush in mudbox or mari and export all map to maya.


    • admin

      I like to paint on a decimated version of anything I have sculpted in Zbrush. As long as you remember to check the box called “Keep UV’s”, your decimated model will be virtually a 1 to 1 version of what your Maya displaced model will look like at render time. Paint on the decimated, then use those texture maps on your hero model and you’re done!

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