Exporting FBX with Polypaint/ColorData no longer working in latest update (ZBrush 2021.1.2)

It basically follows this process here: https://youtu.be/uF0U9LrXgwA?t=32

But ever since the latest update, I can’t get it to work. I tried it on 2020 and it worked fine, even using the same exact subtool and settings. I even did the decimation process in the 2020 version, opened it in the latest version to export, only to not work. It did work when exporting from 2020 version and I’m pretty sure the 2021.1.1 also worked as well.

I can provide more information if you need it but it’s one of the big features I used constantly and can’t find a way to roll back my update. Thanks in advance

Polypaint is working fine for me in Maya, following the video you link to.

You can also quickly turn on the vertex color in Maya like this, after importing the FBX file:

  1. Make sure Smooth Shade All is on, then right+click on the mesh and choose “Assign new material”
  2. Assign something like Maya Surface>Lambert material.
  3. Select Mesh Display > Toggle Display Colors Attribute.

There’s more detail about this here: https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/maya/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2020/ENU/Maya-Modeling/files/GUID-789B35EA-BDBE-4B82-81E3-75FB611FC96C-htm.html


Okay thanks, I will try it out and report back soon

I figured out a workaround. Instead of using the FBX ExportImport Plugin to export, if you export the FBX from the TOOL menu instead, the colors are actually exported. Going to use this until it’s solved but it seems that either my settings for the plugin are bugged or its just bugged in general.

I troubleshooted further and figured out that only one color was exported because bringing in the model from the bugged exporter into zbrush would also result in one color. Same went for maya. After using the new method, colors showed up in both so Its clear to me that the plugin is broken (at least on my end)

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I can confirm! I’m getting same problem. I cant export polypaint/vertex color with FBX exporter zplugin for ZBrush 2021.1.2. So I can’t bake textures colors from that FBX exporter.

I’m not sure, but this FBX with polypaint was working before on the version 2021.1.1! It works just fine in previous versions ZBrush 2020.1.4 for reference.
So maybe it is something to do with this update for 2020.1.2 added on the release note list Version 2021.1.2:
-FBX export polypaint amended so that displays correctly in 3ds Max

-How to test!
If you want to bake textures colors, I’m using this workflow from Michael Pavlovich if you want to try. You can confirm this error if you do this workflow:
“125 Multi Baking In Painter From ZBrush”

When I export the subtool with FBX exporter zplugin with ZBrush 2021.1.2 version, the polypaint details didn’t export at all. It show just as as a flat color only, but no details from the high-poly mesh.

I’m trying to bake vertex color with Substance Painter (v2020.2.2, I also tested with previous versions 2019, both was working fine the bake vertex previous to this update), and didn’t work, the color are flat, no details.

I tried to check the same highpoly FBX that I’ve exported from Zbrush plugin and load the high-poly fbx into Marmoset toolbag to check polypaint there too, and when check to see vertex colors into the Marmoset shader it also show the high-poly FBX just as flat colors, just like in Substance Painter bake textures, no details at all for the colors.

It seems to be that this FBX exporter zplugin is not exporting polypaint /vertex color at all, and making this plugin unusable at moment for polypaint colors. At least for baking textures workflows.

- Workaround Solution with previous versions:
Unfortunately you can’t load a Ztool Zbrush 2021 file into a previous ZBrush 2020 version. You have to do a Workaround for that.
The previous version of Zbrush 2020.1.4 works just fine, so I’m using now ZBrush 2020.1.4 for this but other previous versions might work too.

From this current version ZBrush 2021.1.2, you can export manually each subtool as OBJ and import manually as OBJ on another version of ZBrush, but this of course, can be time consuming if you have many subtools to deal with. To automate a bit this process, do as follow:

1- From this current Zbrush version 2021.1.2, let all the subtools visible that you want to export the subtools. (we gonna load them later on another previous ZBrush version that works)

2- Make sure you all have polypaint turned on for each subtool and all them visible subtools before export!

3- Export all your visible subtools as OBJ using menu: ZPlugin > SubToolMaster > Export
(I suggest create a folder for this, as each subtool will be exported separated as OBJ file.)

4- Open a previous version of ZBrush that the FBX exporter have worked before, (such as ZBrush 2020.1.4 that works fine with this!), and go to menu: "ZPlugin > SubTool Master > MultiAppend" and select all OBJ files that you have exported before and now want to import back to this previous version of ZBrush.

5- Wait for ZBrush to load all the OBJ into subtools.

6- Use the FBX Exporter as normal. The polypaint will work fine to use for bake textures! :slight_smile:

Sorry for long text, but I hope that helps. Regarding exporting polypaint/vertex color with FBX expoter zplugin seems to be buggy at moment for me, so I will keep using ZBrush 2020.1.4 until a fix has come.

Thanks for the awesome support!

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@StanleyCheng and @rodrigo.g,
I can confirm that there is a problem with the FBX plugin export. The solution is easy:

  1. Close ZBrush.
  2. Locate the FBXExportDLL64.dll file in the C:\Program Files\Pixologic\ZBrush 2021\ZStartup\ZPlugs64\ExportImportData_2021 folder.
  3. Right+click on the file and select “Copy”.
  4. Go to the C:\Program Files\Pixologic\ZBrush 2021\ZStartup\ZPlugs64\FBXExportImportData_2021 folder.
  5. Right+click in the folder and select “Paste”. Make sure you replace the FBXExportDLL64.dll file already there.

Note that exporting from the Tool>Export button (or importing using the Tool>Import button) gives you the same options as the FBX plugin.



Thank you so much @marcus_civis and @aurick for you your attention and support!
Your solution worked! Cheers! :slight_smile:

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That’s great! :smiley:

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@marcus_civis and @aurick… much love, and thanks guys! Been trouble shooting this since last night…

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This is GREAT. Thank you Marcus! I can now export my Fbx Polypaint.

I was wondering if I had some kind of scale issue when baking as I was getting some incorrect colors… but it turned out that the FBX import as it stood did not export polypaint.

FBX export still does not export polypaint after following these steps. Using version 2021.6.3
Seems like a long time for a fix to be implemented :slight_smile: any update?

Hi LylahD,
Welcome to ZBC.
FBX does export polypaint. What program are you importing the FBX file into?

Cheers Marcus. I tried importing into both Blender and Maya.

I don’t know Blender but polypaint shows in Maya provided you follow the instructions from Autodesk:
Make vertex colors visible in Maya

You can test that polypaint is included in the FBX file by importing back into ZBrush!


Thanks Marcus. I had already tried in Maya, following requirements for viewing vertex colour. I tried your idea of importing into Zbrush to check and it has not got vertex colours. Polypaint shows full black as in Blender.


I think you should start a conversation at Pixologic Support where we will be able to assist you.