GoZ… that magical word that most ZBrushers love to see on a menu choice.
For those that aren’t in the loop… it’s a direct link from Character Creator 3 to ZBrush and back eliminating the export/import process. You work in one application, click GoZ and boom… you are now working on the same mesh in the other application.
Avid ZBrushers need no explanation of GoZ so we won’t waste any more space on that concept and move along with this look at yet another new feature of Reallusion’s standalone Character Creator 3 Pipeline.
ZBrush and Character Creator users know of the procedures we went through to get our character mesh out of iClone, into ZBrush and back.
First, we created our base mesh in Character Creator with sliders and morphs. We then exported that mesh out in whatever file flavor our 3D software needed such obj in the older days of ZBrush with FBX coming later when that function was added.
Going OUT from iClone. You can choose just the character mesh, all or a combination of meshes to move to ZBrush
After exporting the mesh from Character Creator, we then imported that same mesh into ZBrush for further sculpting and tweaking. After we were finished we reversed the procedure and exported/imported back into Character Creator.
Whew… I get tired just writing about it. A lot of wasted motion and energy went into the process. GoZ fine tunes that down to making some popup menu choices and clicking the button to continue.
Once in ZBrush, you can make clothing and accessories or tweak the character mesh as long as you don’t re-mesh or otherwise optimize the mesh while in ZBrush.
If you re-mesh or optimize your character in ZBrush then its hit and miss, mostly miss, as to if any of it will come back into iClone successfully. This was noted during beta testing so the Reallusion dev team is aware of it but the advantages of GoZ outweighed this negative and I’m glad GoZ was released.
Given a little time, Reallusion seems to work these things out. We can still do a lot while in ZBrush using the original mesh to mask and extract items or re-sculpt existing items including reshaping the character mesh to our needs.
Coming IN from ZBrush. You can make it an accessory or cloth or make it an accessory and skin to cloth later.
The great thing is if at the end of a lot of work it won’t come back into Character Creator 3 then don’t despair. Export the item from ZBrush as an obj and import it into Character Creator 3 using the “Create” method that utilizes push-button skinning of most objects.
One of the greatest features of GoZ, at least for me, is the ability to make changes on the fly. If you decide somewhere towards the end of your work that you don’t like the character's nose, facial shape or want to add a feature you just thought of, you can easily do so with GoZ.
One thing I noticed is the mesh sometimes will not come back into the exact center of the model and it needs to be moved into place. When this happens… if you choose to bring it in as cloth you are not able to manipulate it into place, so I started bringing in everything as an accessory then skinning them to convert to cloth later, after moving them in place.
Overall the introduction of GoZ is a positive step in the right direction and it will only continue to improve as Reallusion devotes its development resources to improve the tool. The amount of time saved with by eliminating most of the back and forth process between the applications will give users more time to complete the task at hand and less time wasted in the pipeline moving assets between apps.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.