In my experience you want to use the former method.
Attempting to export a mesh from ZB to Blender and then trying
to re-import UVs 'only' is kind of tricky. More often than not, you get
vertex order problems, particularly (for some reason) on the 'active'
polygon that Blender had selected at export time. Often ZB (4.0) will
be able to correct minor problems, but I'd hate to rely on it!
Low res mesh from ZB to blender, UV, then re-import OBJ back
to ZB, will work more reliably. Then you can go ahead and detail before
For non-organic stuff I always start in Blender in the first place.
OK WickedSunny, I must be a real dummy because I didn't learn anything at all from your 'Zbrush 4 to Blender Pipeline' tutorial and being a Blender user, I was really looking forward to it when I saw the 'Title' of the thread.
I'm testing out some clothes for my character moving between Zbrush and blender through trial and (lots of) error for the past week. Here's what I ended up doing.
I sculpted a shirt in Zbrush, problem was mesh extract created a lot of tris so I can't divide or calculate lower subd. I obviously can't export the subtool as is (1.5 mil polys... yeesh) so I used decimation master. I decimate the mesh at about 5% and ended up with less than a 17k, I think 15 or 20% will result in a crisper mesh without making you suffer in blender. With that I imported to blender, fixed up some artifacts and rendered the mesh smooth. Made a quick retopo then export back to ZBrush, then project.
That's all I have for now, I have nothing on UVs or Baking yet.