Blender, Zbrush, MakeHuman and 3D scanning

Experience with 3D scanning and digital tools to create a character

The process step by step

  1. 3D Scanning
  2. Blender sculpting
  3. Auto retopo with ZRemesher inside Zbrush (similar instant meshes)
  4. Sculpting micro details in Zbrush
  5. Export of retopologized model with displacement map texture
  6. Import in Blender
  7. Painting the difuse chanel in Blender
  8. Setting material, lights and render

1. 3D Scanning

3D Scanning with the Sense Scanner from 3D Systems.
3D Scanning with the Sense Scanner from 3D Systems.

The 3D scan was performed with a 3D Systems Sense scanner. Special thanks to CAFYDMA, the Metropolitan Design Center, the professor of the 3D printing course Maximiliano Torres Sagardoy and the student of the Blender course that was offered for the experiment.

2. Blender sculpting

The sculpted in Blender consisted of removing the hair that is always difficult to scan and then through subtractive and additive booleans remove the torso and add one without a shirt from a base model of MakeHuman.

3. Auto retopo with Zremesher in Zbrush

In this case, once the modified model was imported into Blender and brought to Zbrush, we carried out a self-retool to reduce polygons and tune the topology of the polygons.

4. Micro details sculpting in Zbrush

After the retreat we subdivided the geometry several times and applied a generalized noise to the whole geometry. Then some details of thicker pores.


5. Export of 3D model and displacement map.

We export as OBJ the retopologized Zbrush model and the texture of displacement with its details.


6. Blender import

Simply import the OBJ into Blender.

7. Painting the diffuse texture in Blender

With Texture Paint mode we paint the red stripe and the black lips.


8. Setting materials, lights and render

The material is very simple, we used the displacement map as a bump map and in turn we have created a copy with the paintings of the face on top. We activate the Denoising filter, the DOF, load an HDRI to bring reflections.

The result

¿Is it Worth it?

When I saw the result of the 3D scan, being a system that does not capture much detail, I thought it could not be used to make 3D art. But once the whole test is done I think it is very useful to have two things:

  1. Factions of a particular and unique face.
  2. Proper proportions of the human figure very quickly.

So my conclusion is that for realistic work is a great saver of time and work, bringing singularities of real life. The counterpart is that you have to spend time cleaning the model, but in Blender this was done very quickly.

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