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MEC4D Tutorial -Preserve Polygroups after Importing model to Daz Studio Mini-Tutorial


RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
Cath (MEC4D) is dealing with some family issues at this time. I spoke to her via email and asked if she'd mind my re-posting this mini-tutorial she has at our old forums, since I'd saved the images to my hard drive.


This mini tutorial will show you how to assign materials groups ( polygroups called in Zbrush ) after importing manually to DS
It will not working via GoZ as GoZ does not import all model information .

After You exported Dawn to Zbrush via GoZ and created your clothing with beautiful polygroups, sometimes couple sometimes a lot
you are not in a mood to make them again after importing back to DS as sometimes it is very difficult task if you use panel loop .
That why this steps will save your work no matter you create clothing or props or figures .


After you are done with your clothing, click the Export button in Zbrush, make sure the right clothing subtool is selected
after that you open DS and Import the OBJ by selecting the Import setting for OBJ with Cinema4D Profile what is the exact scale in Zbrush
the clothing you create for Dawn in Zbrush are already scaled right so it will match the Dawn in DS 100%

Next you got your clothing in DS , but beside the one default materials there is nothing else , and you are correct
as the materials ( polygroups ) are not assigned to the model
please see the next image and follow the steps bellow


1. Select the Polygon Editor
2. Select the Tool Setting ( a new window tab will open )
3. In the Tool Setting tab you will see Face Groups that are nothing else as you Polygroups from Zbrush
by clicking on one of the group the area will get highlighted on the model, and by clicking the + sign the area will be selected , select the first group you would like to assign the materials to
4 . With the right click of your mouse button a task note will show up , slide to Polygon Assignment
5. Slide down to Create Surface from Selected , after you click on that a small window will open and ask you to type the name you wish to use for the material, for example Fabric1 or whatever you choice , your material is already assigned and will be visible from the Surface tab


Step :
1. after you assigned your material click on the same group EYE icon and hide it , this way you will be sure this part is already done and will not get in the way
After you assigned all materials there is also option to merge them together for example if you like to have just 1 material for fabric and not 2, you can select both Groups at once and assign it to only one material


after you are done with everything you need to clean the material groups that have not assigned polygons faces
1. Click the default materials group ( what is already empty )
2. Right click and choice ( Remove Selected Group )
Note: all materials are assigned to the model , now you are ready for rigging
Never rig the model before the steps above or you lose all groups ( polygroups ) you created in Zbrush
after rigging the all materials you just assigned will be preserved


After Rigging or runing Transfer utility in DS all what you will have to do clean the old Group Faces after Rigging and delete them the same way as I did early with the default groups
1. Select the old group that is empty
2. Remove the selected group


after you clean all the empty Face groups
all what is left are

1.Face Groups ( the assigned polygons to bones )
2. Materials ( assigned to the polygroups )

you are ready to save your new rigged figure with new materials in the DS Content Library

I hope it was simple for you to follow
it is easy once you get into routine , making polygroups in Zbrush is easy but sometimes after a lot of work you don;t want to start again , especially when the model is very complex
this simple steps will save your time
if anything is not clear, feel free to ask

thank you for your time



RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
Satira Capriccio asked her:
I had a horrendous mess after I added panel loops. I'd imported the obj from Silo (already with UVs setup) and used Auto Groups With UV to create the polygroups. After adding the panel loops, I tried creating UVs, but ZBrush locked up every single time. So, I exported the obj and imported it back into Silo. Which is where I saw what was causing ZBrush to lockup. The panel loops were composed of a bunch of random groups, and in the case of the sleeve, neck, and hem trim panel loops, a WHOLE bunch of itty bitty 4-6 poly groups. I was able to create the UV in Silo, but it was completely unusable without locating every single little separate group and sewing the whole thing back together. Not something I wanted to do at all.

I went back to ZBrush after finding instructions that related to what I'd experienced. I can't remember the instructions exactly ... or what I did, and I think I clicked some buttons purely on reflex. I either autogrouped or grouped similar or something along those lines, and then the instructions said to do something ... I think in Subtools. Yeah. Pretty vague.

Whatever I did though resulted in a single mesh again when I imported into Silo, but I encountered the same problem when I imported an obj from Silo to ZBrush just to add wrinkles.

I also lose my UV when I export from ZBrush. Is there something I should be doing that will retain the UV in the obj imported into ZBrush and then exported?

One thing you can do to help after Panel Loops is to delete the useless geometry on the inside of the model, by polygroup. Or, combine it with the outer groups.

MEC4D replied:
Under Polygroup , you need to create the polygroups by Normals , this way there will be just couple of the polygroups and a lot of the tiny little loops , when you create Panel loops in Zbrush the other area of the model is mask after so you need to reverse the mask and then create one poly group from the panel other way you ends with a lot of them , you should not lose your UV's doing it and when you create new uv's don't use the option by polygroups , if you do the UV's islands will split .

so in your case just load the model into Zbrush go to polygroups and create new polygroups by normals, and see how it looks, if the effect is not as you wish and there are minder polygroups change the value to lower , how lover the value how more polygroups will be created based on the normals of your model .
Other thing you can do is masking the parts you like to have as one polygroup and manually create them you will also not lose the UV's doing it , Polygroups are nothing else as Face Groups and apart of UV's
I think it is something for next mini tutorial

and regarding the last question , if you imported the model into Zbrush there are not UV's until you create them , under polygroup tab click , Auto Groups with UV's then after Merge similar Groups button and your model have the UV's assigned you created in Silo .


RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
Last fall, SophieW asked:

Thanks for posting this. I have been searching for ages for how to create surfaces in DAZ from polygroups in zbrush.

However, I am having a bit of difficulty following your explanation because your screenshots don't click/enlarge and I can't read the detail in the menus.

When I try to "create surface from selected" I find this is very variable (i.e. it doesn't always create the surfaces properly). It seems to make a difference if the plus and minus are on or off and I can't seem to work out how to control those or what they do. Can you maybe explain in very simple steps how I can create surfaces from an imported OBJ consisting of different polygroups.


(also, are you maybe using an older version of DAZ, as in mine it's called "Geometry Editor" not "Polygon Editor"

I talked to Cath and got this:

Unfortunately, she doesn't have the old images - they were on a computer she no longer has.

Yes, the polygon editor now is called Geometry editor

(+) means to select all polygons from the group
(- )means to deselect the polygons from the group

Once you're there, she said you should see it clearly in DS - here's a new image from Cath showing how :)

Screenshot 2015-09-16 13.47.20.png


RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
Then, a bit more:

From SophieW

so this is the kind of problem I am having. Here's what I did.

1) in zbrush I created three new polygroups on a cylinder (by marking them out with a mask and then Ctrl-W to make a new plygroup)
2) exported as an OBJ
3) imported the OBJ into DAZ Studio
4) in the geometry editor I selected each polygroup and pressed the "+"
5) in the viewport I right-clicked on the group and selected "create surface from selected" then named it "one"
6) I repeated this for the other two polygroups and named them "two" and "three"
7) went to the "surfaces" tab and gave my three new surfaces each a different colour
8) BUT al three seem to have the same colour! Basically all three surfaces have got the colour I gave to the most recently created one ("three")

What am I doing wrong? (I do notice that in the surfaces list, only surface three has a count which is non-zero. It also has a "-" next to it)


RAMWolff replied:

Are you sure you created the surface group from selected polygons? It's called "Assign Selected Face to Group" and that's the one you want. When you go to the Surfaces tab to see your selections you can easily assign different diffuse colors to them to delineate the groups so they stand out.

SophieW replied:
Really? But the tutorial above says you select "Create surface from selected"

RAMWolff replied:
Correct. Select with the + so it's hilighted and then use the Assign Selected Faces or Create Surface from Selected. Depending on if your adding to a group or creating a new one. The colors your looking for, if you have previously filled them with diffuse color will go away if it's a new group, if the selected is ADDED to another group then that new bit of poly's will inherit the groups colors (and maps) after the reassignment.

SophieW replied:

I have finally figured out the problem!

You have to unselect the group, once you have created the new surface from it. Otherwise it just remains selected, so it gets added to the newest surface!

Thank you RAMWolff and Alisa SO much!

This has been bugging me for ages!

RAMWolff replied:
Yea, I do that every so often... quite annoying. Thank GOD for the groups so you can recreate that surface group!

Hope this is of help to someone :)


RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
You're welcome. I actually didn't see your comment about it til after I'd posted it ;)


RETIRED HW3D QAV Director (QAV Queen Bee)
Staff member
:) Cath is very knowledgeable (and sweet). Hope she'll be able to rejoin us soon :)


HW Honey Bear
I hope Cath is doing better.... I just came over here from the store... to say how much I STILL love this little outfit, and have ALWAYS wanted it:
Miss September for Dawn - A MEC4D Creation
IF it can ever be converted for Poser... it's adorable! (FYI the store says I own it, but that is because I mistakenly bought it, and had to ask for my money back, and deleted it, being I do not use DS at all).