I want to add some detail to my model using the Multires modifier, sculpting and then baking it to a normal map and applying it to my simpler mesh. Before I did this, I stupidly applied the basic subsurface modifier (with a factor of two) that I had already added to my mesh, so now it had all these extra vertices.

Of course my thinking was, "I'm just going to create a multires mesh and bake the normals back to the original model, so it doesn't matter if I apply my subsurf modifier and add a hard 2 extra layers of subdivision."

I haven't worked a ton with sculpting and multires, and I'm much better for the experience, but I figured out as I went along the reason this turned out to be dumb.

I ended up making a few significant tweaks to my character through the sculpting process, pushing them outside of a reasonable change to be recorded in a normal map. It was only when I went to apply the changes to the base mesh that I remembered that I had applied the two extra layers of subdivision, so my base mesh was still higher res by a power of 4.

I of course still have a copy of my base mesh without the subsurface levels applied, but I cannot use the "Reshape" option by adding a multires to the original mesh because the two meshes have a different number of vertices.

Right now my compromise will have to be to bake the normals, edit the normal map to remove the areas that are significantly different, and re sculpt those changes the proper way.

However, I'm hoping that there might still be some way to displace the original mesh to align with the vertices of the modified mesh, as they are 90% the same. I thought maybe the skin modifier? I'm going to toy around with some ideas now, but hoping maybe someone will have a quick and easy solution in the meantime, or in case I can't figure it out.

Thanks a bunch!

  • $\begingroup$ Is there any factor that stops you from modifying your base mesh using the sculpting tools or edit mode to fit it to the new mesh? $\endgroup$ – Sebastián Mestre Jan 7 '17 at 0:36
  • $\begingroup$ Nope, and this is what I ended up doing. I was just trying to learn if there was a way, in case I come across a similar situation, to save an hour of resculpting. Hopefully now that I've had more experience with multi res sculpting, I won't make that same mistake again, but if nothing else, it did give me a fun reason to play with the shrinkwrap modifier which I hadn't really done. $\endgroup$ – Blazer003 Jan 9 '17 at 8:03

Shrink Wrap Modifier

Hi Blazer, sounds like you have a good workflow going for your project, and it sounds like you're currently looking for the shrink wrap modifier. You can add the shrink wrap modifier to the lower res object, and then in the target field, add the name of the multires object. Before you add the shrinkwrap modifier, you may also want to put both objects in the same xyz space on different layers, and enable the xray option on the lower res object. In a sculpting/retopology/baking workflow, the shrinkwrap modifier is great tool.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you! I did stumble across this as I was poking around for an answer but unfortunately it loses a lot of detail. I surmise that the reason for this is that when the mesh is subsurfed, it naturally smooths out the peaks and valleys. so when it then conforms the less detailed mesh (with larger peaks and valleys in order to achieve the correct geometry once subsurfaced) to the subsurfaced mesh it then brings those peaks and valleys on the base mesh down and up respectively. Then when you throw on another subsurf modifier, your peaks and valleys are double smoothed/subsurfaced so to speak. $\endgroup$ – Blazer003 Jan 7 '17 at 22:16

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