Patterned Fabrics, Woven Cloth, and Chainmail

Ben Courtenay
Art Heroes Contributor
MircoPoly is an awesome feature that takes simple meshes to the next level! It uses Dynamic Subdivision by tiling 3D meshes to produce patterned fabrics, weaved cloth, and chainmail. It's incredibly easy to use and can be combined with cloth simulation for some amazing results.

So let's get straight into it!

Getting the mesh ready:

The main things to keep in mind are the topology and the resolution of the mesh.

After extracting the mesh, use Zremesher. Make sure to turn adaptive and curve strength down to zero. As you can see in the example, when adaptive and curve strength are cranked to 100 the polygons aren't square. When Mircopoly is applied to that mesh it'll look distorted and that's not what we're going for.

Now it's just a matter of getting the poly count as low as possible. The reason for this is that we're going to be using Dynamic Subdivision. We can use the smoothness slider to increase the resolution. We're also going to be playing with Dynamics (which performs much better at lower resolution).

Dynamic Subdivision and MicroPoly:

Now to toggle MircoPoly on via the Dynamic Subdiv palette. There you have a library of different MicroPolys to choose from! You can crank up the smooth subdiv slider to increase the resolution (making the pattern more complex).

You can also go back and play with the initial mesh using Zremesher to find the right resolution for your model, depending on the style and look you're going for.

MircoPoly Meets Dynamics:

Combining Zbrush's Dynamics (cloth simulation) and MicroPoly is awesome. Creating realistic chainmail, woven cloth, or fabric whether it's a top or a hood, looks amazing! I'd strongly suggest playing with the two and seeing what you create.
MicroPoly is a great tool to add to your roaster, especially if you're into sculpting life-like armor. Let us know if you're interested in learning how to create your own MircoPoly pattern!

Hope this article was helpful!

Ben Courtenay,
Art Heroes Contributor

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