Absolute Beginners Retopology and UV Unwrap in 3dsmax

Absolute Beginners Retopology and UV Unwrap in 3dsMax

You probably have always wondered, how to make your Zbrush models animation ready and prepare them for texturing? How to make this retopologizing step that everybody is talking about? How to make this jump from couple of million polygons to just a few thousand? All those questions, and more, will be answered in this course.

My name is Niko, and i am a 3D character artist for more than a decade now. I have made numerous characters for numerous games. And for all of them i was using the style of retopologizing and UV mapping i will show you in this course.

Using the retopology and UV unwrap tools that come default with 3ds Max, we will retopologize a simple cartoon character. We will then make it’s UVs, so he is ready for baking and texturing in Substance painter (whch we will do separately in the Substance painter course). As a bonus i will show you how to retopologize and unwrap an animation ready realistic head with open mouth and also a realistic hand.

In this course we will learn:

Preparing your mesh in Zbrush for export
Exporting your meshes from Zbrush and import them in 3dsMax
Baiscs of 3dsMax, needed for retopology
How to start the retopology of a character
Retopologizing tricks and hints
Basics of 3dsMax UV unwrap
Hints and tips on efficiant and quality unwraping of a character
Exporting a high poly realistic head from Zbrush and importing in 3dsMax
Retopologizing a realistic head with loops in the right places ready for animation
Making good and useful UV map of a human head
Retopology of a human hand
UV mapping of a human hand
Some interesting random artistic stuff when we are doing something repetitive 🙂

We will start in Zbrush, where we will spend some time to organize, merge and prepare the high poly meshes for export. Then we will decimate the high poly so we can import it in 3dsMax without too much performance issues. We will see how to export meshes from Zbrush and import them in 3dsMax. Then we will get familiar with the retopology tools and get some basic knowledge about 3d Max.

After that we will start the retopolology from the head and horns, and then going trough every separate pieces we have, like the arms, shoulders, cape and legs. As we go i will tell you how i do retopology and how i approach the problems when retopologizing.
We will then get familiar with the UV unwrapping capabilities embeded in 3dsMax, and we will start unwrapping the character piece by piece and checking our unwrap with a checker texture. When we finish, we will arrange all the pieces in a sqare texture space like a puzzle.

When we are done with that we will export a realistic head from Zbrush, and import it in Max so we can start making it’s topology. We will make a topology which is animation friendly and also include the inside of the mouth. Next will be, of course, making the UV unwrapping of the head, in which i will show you how to use Zbrush as a very good unwrapping tool. We will do all this steps again for a realistic hand too.

I made this course for absolute retopology beginners and no previous knowledge of 3dsMax is required. I made this course in 3dsMax, because i always made my retopologies and UV mapping there, i think it is a pretty good software for this purpose, and i am ready to prove it! So see you in the first video of the course!


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  • it is the best spot to start the journey!

    If you are an absolute beginner, after this course you will be in a very good level to start walking the path of the 3d artist! The path is long as we all know but Niko will give you the best shoes for the road! Njoy and never give up.

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