How Awesome is Polypaint?

Answer = very.

But I didn't always think so. I felt that the spot where polypaint sat in the high to low pipeline for game meshes was an awkward one at best. Don't get me wrong. Some people can do some amazing things with Polypaint... but it's generally not game friendly. Getting UVs into Zbrush has always been a hassle for one thing. Sure there are some improvements but I dont always want to remesh. The lack of painting layers like Photoshop makes Polypaint pretty much useless to me for game meshes as well. It's just too destructive.

BUT alas! I found an amazing use for Polypaint! Storing complex masks! One thing that has always bothered me about Zbrush is that there wasn't a good way to store masks without UVs (saving them as a alpha requires UVs.) I would spend tons of time masking out areas only to throw it away and realize I could have used it again in a few hours. Now, with the ability to save Polypaint info on layers you can paint using black and white just as you would a mask and then mask by intensity to convert the Polypaint into a mask. If you save all your Polypaints on layers you can toggle them at anytime to get your masks back for further sculpting. With Polypaiting the mask you have so much more control over the blur and intensity of the mask too. Ever try and mask at 50% intensity? Or blur just one part while leaving the rest crisp? Yea, it's a pain.

THEN! Afterward you can bake the OBJ's vertex color onto a map for a killer mask or texture in Photoshop. So cool.