hi everyone, just a quick follow up on the maya-zbrush workflow for those who don't use zbrush very often:
1 - select all the objects in maya and export them as a FBX. I usually put a cube as my first object so when in zbrush that becomes my first/top subtool. In zbrush your top subtool has the same name as the ztool file. Just so I can keep all names the same as in maya.
2- in zbrush, just go to - Zplugin > FBX ExportImport > Import - Your objects will have names and order preserved as they were in the maya outliner.
3- Transpose master is a very helpful zbrush plugin when working with multiple subtools. I make sure I have my polygroups set up before hand and the 'Grps' button is on before clicking on 'TPoseMesh'.
4- zbrush will generate a one piece model to work on and later on these changes will be applied to all your subtools.
I usually store a morph target so I can keep checking the changes I've made. The switch button can be used for that or the 'morph brush'. The morph brush will let you paint on the vertices, reverting back to the stored morph target.
I also make sure 'double' is on under the 'display properties' palette.
5- now I can work on cross sections of the whole muscle-skeletal model - all polygroups are preserved and I can also use the 'move tool' (W) to mask based on mesh continuity. After disabling the gizmo 3d option, just hold ctrl and drag.
6- you can also 'append' a new subtool to this file . I usually bring the skin as a separate subtool. You just have to remember to delete it before clicking 'Tpose/SubT' when you're ready to transfer your changes to your properly named subtools.
That's all for now, I hope this is helpful to those who are new to zbrush and want to build a creature/character from inside out. Cheers!