Smooth Group Import - updated for ZBrush 2018

This is an update of the Smooth Group Import / Crease Groups plugin that will work with ZBrush 2018 (Windows and MacOSX).


  1. Unzip the file to your Desktop.
  2. Open any folder created by the unzipping and find the SmoothGroupImport_2018.zsc file and SmoothGroupData folder.
  3. Copy the SmoothGroupImport_2018.zsc file and SmoothGroupData folder to the ZBrush 2018\ZStartup\ZPlugs64 folder.

Restart ZBrush and you should have a new Crease Groups sub-palette in the Zplugin palette. This has two buttons:

  • Crease Smooth Groups
    Use this button to import an OBJ with smoothing groups. The group borders will be creased allowing you to control the way the model is smoothed when you add subdivision levels. If there are also polygroups in the file these will be preserved. If there are no polygroups then the smooth groups will also be converted to polygroups, making selection easy.

  • Crease PolyGroups
    Use this button to import an OBJ with regular polygroups. The group borders will be creased allowing you to control the way the model is smoothed when you add subdivision levels. The polygroups will be preserved making selection easy.

  • Additionally both buttons will import polypaint and masking data if available and the OBJ was exported from ZBrush. Note that this will only work if the OBJ was exported from ZBrush and the data written in a block starting with #MRGB . This is not part of the OBJ specification and may not have been implemented by programs other than ZBrush.

Download here: SmoothGroupImport_2018.zip (114 KB)

Previous version for ZBrush 4R7 - download here: SmoothGroupImport_4R7.zip (153 KB)

I hope you find the plugin useful. Any questions, let me know.SmoothGroupImport_4R7.zip (153 KB)SmoothGroupImport_2018.zip (114 KB)


SmoothGroupImport_2019.zip (111 KB)

Many many thanks Marcus

Great job Marcus. This plugin will be very helpful for me, and not only for me I suppose. Now if we have connection Max->ZBrush it will be great to make a connection ZBrush->Max. Maybe you can make a button who export subtool to obj and change creases to separate smoothing groups. It’s just a suggestion. Anyway thanks a lot for this plugin. :slight_smile:


Have you tried the FBX export from ZBrush? That will get creases into Max, with OpenSubDiv modifers in place.

Ok I will try.

I checked your advice and the results are really good. However sometimes I need to keep smoothing groups on my low poly model and when I’m exporting obj to ZBrush and back to Max everything is screw up. I mean in some cases smoothing groups are very useful. Maybe there is some way to change crease or polygroups information to smoothing groups data.

Changing polygroups to smoothing groups in the exported OBJ would be straightforward and I will do it as soon as I can. (Using the creases would be problematic as they might not completely enclose an area of the mesh.)

It sounds great! :slight_smile:

Hi everyone,
I just try it and it works fine…but there is an issue with UV.
It seems to break it. I tried with different models and each time it’s the same.
Maybe i’m missing a trick…if someone could help.

Hi Smasher,

UVs work OK for me. What is the problem you are seeing? And which OS are you on?


Hi, I tried to use this plugin and every time I import an obj file I get this message:

Error number :-1 has occurred. Operation aborted.

Which OS are you on?

Win 10 but it’s an upgrade from win 8.1.

Thanks. I have Windows 8.1 and the plugin works for me without problems. I can’t think that Windows 10 is likely to be the problem in that there’d be a lot of complaints of other plugins not working. That error is basically a file load error, so might be a permissions issue. Are you loading files from a network drive or anything? Try copying the files to a local ZBrush folder, such as ZExportImport, and see if that helps.

Hi, I think I might be doing something wrong? I added the files to my x32 directory, and I see the plug-in in my 4R7 (x32). However, whenever I import a model (.obj with smoothing groups checked), it doesn’t seem to crease/split smoothing groups into polygroups.


Any ideas why this could be? Does obj not work?

Can you post the OBJ so I can take a look?


Updated for ZBrush 2018 - see first post.

Just wanted to say thank you, Marcus.
Appreciate all the work you do.