ZGametools Texturer : Sharing my progress and my workflow

Some Features :

Bake accurate normal maps and target the engine of your choice compatible with GGX and metalness workflow.
*** Optimize GGX reflections for Marmot toolbag, or Unreal Engine 4 using engine target presets, and some more support to come for ( maya/stingray, unity, cryengine)
**** Baking time are faster that substance painter baker or any other solution on the market ! *
***** BPR rendering AA is taking no time ! better quality that what Substance Painter 2.4.1 gave me after 1 minutes of baking with no AA !

Bridge Zbrush to Photoshop, Marmot Toolbag, and Unreal engine 4 with no effort. *
Use Toolbag or Unreal Engine 4 as previewer during your sculpting session in zbrush.
Switch to normal map shader then, sculpt directly the normal map in zbrush canvas.

 

Complete description of the video :

Workflow with External application * (all along the video i jump from app to app)

Workspace manager helps to exchange with Zbrush > photoshop > Marmot Toolbag, then finally end into Unreal engine 4.
workspace-directory
Both applications helps to check the all the baking that is entirely achieved into Zbrush, with the new Normal map Matcap.
Work in Zbrush, then bake and switch to the game engine and apply the edit, then you can use Toolbag or UE4 as previewer in combo with zbrush,
during your sculpt session.

1a. Sending the baked texture using ZgameTools core to Photoshop,
Note : then after the document is open into Photoshop, you don’t need to use the core module, it will update in Ps if the file has changed.
1b. I just apply the crop to the texture to remove the margin and by the way the 1 pixel black border.

2a. Toolbag scene has been setup just before the video capture.
2b. The path to the texture are pointing  within the workspace directory, where zbrush batch save all rendered passes you setup in the render options of the Zgametools.
2c. Then when you switch to PS or marmot toolbag will automatically apply the textures changes without to do anything.

3a. In UE4 you import your texture then setup the material,
3b. then you will only have to select the updated texture in content browser and click Reimport !


Clipping Tools ** ( 2’15 in the video)

Get more control on soft or sharpen edges of your sculpt/texture using the Zbrush tools ( clay polish, smooth, relax etc..)
Note : I use a clipping plane with an offset that is driven by the layers intensity, depend the result i like to get, adjust the clipping for soft or sharpen edging.

zbrush-vs-spainter-normal-map-cliping-methodOn top ZGameTools baking using the clipping plane method, on bottom Substance Painter 2.4.1


GGX Reflections ***

Take the control on how the GGX reflections applies the horizon occlusion on your normal map, mostly depends of the game engine you choose to export to.
Several presets (Unreal engine 4, Unity 3d, Maya/Stingray, Marmot toolbag) are now available in Zgametools Texturer to match the game engine of your
choice with the optimized settings.

Rendered into Unreal Engine 4.13  ( on top ZGametools bake, on bottom Substance painter bake)

zbrush-vs-spainter-normal-map-ggx-reflections


Baking Rendering Time ****

My computer specs : ( low spec :s)

  • Amd phenom II
  • 6 gb ram
  • Geforce 760 GTX
  • no ssd

Example :

Zbrush BPR Default AA Settings, Substance Painter with no AA
2048*2048 take only 6 seconds in Zbrush with BPR and default AA settings, and between 30 seconds to a minute to bake using Substance painter with no AA.

 

On left ZGametools baking, on right Substance painter 2.4.1

zbrush-vs-spainter-normal-map-helix

Stay tuned.

Nicolas

MESA 2.1 released

Long while without giving a sign of life, i am sorry for the lack of activity on my blog, a lot of change has been applied to my website since i write down the last Post,
The WP theme has changed, and the layout, and a better sectionning so i can make cohabit my devBlog and MESA, and a forum and even if i never found a moment to create my portfolio here, one day it will finally happen :x

Ok Today , it’s all about MESA 2.1 release, this version is a revision of every edits i had made all along the last year, and recently i thought this would be important to fix the compatibility with SMD file produced by the decompilation of MDL files using Crowbar.(http://steamcommunity.com/groups/CrowbarTool)

  • SMD IMPORT : Compatibility with crowbar mdl decompiler
  • SMD IMPORT : Rewrite of the ReadUntil function in use when you importing a SMD file into maya.
  • SMD IMPORT : Import Reference, no longer force maya to create a new scene when importing an SMD file.
  • SMD IMPORT : Mouse Cursor don’t flick anymore during the SMD importing process.
  • INSTALL/CONFIG : Simplification of Mesa_config.bat file, the simplification has been apply to every projects batchs files too.
  • SMD IMPORT (ref) : weight skin data greatly improved during the smd reference import in maya.
  • SMD IMPORT (ref) : very small skin value are pruned at the import process.
  • SMD IMPORT (seq) : don’t need anymore to rename the unknowdag1 object to “unknowdag”, let it with the default name,the smd sequence will stop to throw you the error message about the missing unknowdag object.
  • SMD EXPORT : bug with the compileQc() function that give a wrong path to studiomdl.exe
  • SHELF TOOLs : BUG with the path to launch qcEye from the shelf
  • SHELF TOOLs : BUG with the path to open the current model into hlmv
  • COMPILE LOG : a printed information that bring confusion with a suspicious double quotation at the beginning of the path of studioMDL Compilation and VTEX.
  • SAMPLE ASSETs : adding some samples ready to use with maya and to compile with your game projects.

Read the complete  2.1 release notes

You can download MESA from the Download page, or you can download MESA from Github.
If you get in trouble with the new build of MESA, you can report the bugs/issues on that topic.
//red

Hello World ! I’m still alive, just an..

 

… harder time with project and life stuffs.

I would d like to apologize about the lack of update, and the unfinished guide for Dota 2.

I would like to inform the MESA users that a last maintenance  will be provide and  BUT Mesa is DISCONTINUED, because I am moving up to new horizon in game development and i want to work with Engine that reflect the current technology in game industry, so I am sorry to leave MESA user without  any support for the source engine.

But you can still Post your help Topic into the forum, you probably noticed that i am very slow to respond with the question there are posted, happily with the wade number of people who download mesa 2.0.1 everyday, it seem that the installation system has successfully  made their effect, as the question are most commonly about the setup and the basic usage.

I can’t To say when this last update of mesa will be release, it will just fix few detail :

  • 1. Re-localization of source sdk in Common directory.
  • 2. adding import in Existent scene. So you could import a full collection set for your characters and the Valve workshop.

 

Nicolas Kirsch

MESA 2.0 released now

Dear Mesaïan,

It a great pleasure for me to announce the availability of MESA 2.0
MESA is a tool-set of scripts for Autodesk Maya that can Import and Export to the Source engine.

This is a list of the new functionalities and improvements than MESA 2.0 brings.

 

 

    • The new environment System is now completely independent from the Source Sdk Environment variables.

 

    • The Maya.env files is no longer used to define the environment variables that MESA requires to work.

 

    • MESA provides the project environment workspaces for the 20 Games powered by the Source Engine.

 

    • The UI has been refines ( check the Screenshot section )

 

    • Guide Sections (under development) this section wil brings some use full tips and important information
      with the creation of assets vehicles, npcs, items, and weapons.

 

    • and more…

 


Screenshots


The new MESA panel :

mesa-2-shelf

 

 

Click on the Tab to display the screenshots :

exportpathsqceditqcsetupanimationguidesabout


Documentation


 


Tutorials


Installation ( article )
How to Update ( article )

VIDEOS TUTORIAL :
INSTALLATION

EXPORT TUTORIALS


Report Bugs and Development


You can use the Issue report service that Github offers for developpers to report any bug, or features requests.

MESA on Github

Nicolas Kirsch

Source SDK Windows Gadget Updated with source SDK base 2013 support

Source SDK Windows Gadget supports now Source SDK Base  2013 MP and SP.

I made the update myself, and added the last source sdk base 2013 for Singleplayer and multiplayer.

Installation

Just download the file and double click on it.
Accept the installation the gadget. if the older version is running, close it before to install the new one.
When the installation is done,the gadget appears and you have to set your game configuration name and path.

That’s all !

I hope this will make the modding easier.

Valve Release Source Engine SDK 2013

Source SDK 2013 Release

We have released an update to the Source SDK, bringing support for Mac OS X and Linux to mod developers and exposing the ability for virtual reality support in your mod. The biggest change with this update is that we are using github to host the source code. You will find the code here. This Source SDK 2013 release also includes a new license that can be foundhere. This new license allows mod authors to share their changes to the SDK more easily.

The other change with the Source SDK is that now Hammer and the other mod tools ship with their respective games instead of as part of the SDK Launcher. The launcher itself is being phased out, so it will disappear from your Tools list. You can find information about how to run the tools from the games here.

The source for this new SDK release includes the latest code for all the included games, and has many new features:
. The games now build and run clients on Windows, OSX, and Linux. Dedicated servers are supported on Windows and Linux.
. Steam Pipe (the new Steam content delivery system) is supported by the sample mods. Existing mods can change their gameinfo.txt to match the new format and gain Steam Pipe support.
. Support for Virtual Reality via the Oculus Rift has been added to the SDK. Running a compatible mod with -vr on the command line will run the mod in stereo and enable head tracking on the Rift.

You can find instructions on getting started with the new Source SDK 2013 on the Valve Developer Community wiki.

MESA 1.1 – Shelf issue

When using a version of maya thas is different than Maya 2014, you probably experience an issue with the MESA Shelf.

To fix the issue, just download mesa again, and extract the ” maya/prefs/shelves/mesa_V1.mel ” to replace the older shelf in user “/documents/maya/your_version/prefs/shelves/“.

Thank you Roman for reporting this error on the forum.

The errors messages :

MESA shelf:”The shelf “MESA_V1″ has items that cannot be read.”
”// Error: Invalid flag ‘-flat’”

//red