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Adding parts to your model with subtools

From: ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Adding parts to your model with subtools

When you want to create a model in ZBrush that's made up of many different parts, you use what's known as subtools. Remember in ZBrush, tool just means anything that makes a mark on the canvas but it also means 3D models. So I'm going to use the word tool interchangeably with the term model or sculpt or object through all the same thing. So therefore a subtool is really just an object that's part of a larger object. I have ZBrush loaded. I take the Tool palette and put it in the tray by clicking on this switch. I'm going to press Load tool and I'm going to load the robot_subtool object here.

Adding parts to your model with subtools

When you want to create a model in ZBrush that's made up of many different parts, you use what's known as subtools. Remember in ZBrush, tool just means anything that makes a mark on the canvas but it also means 3D models. So I'm going to use the word tool interchangeably with the term model or sculpt or object through all the same thing. So therefore a subtool is really just an object that's part of a larger object. I have ZBrush loaded. I take the Tool palette and put it in the tray by clicking on this switch. I'm going to press Load tool and I'm going to load the robot_subtool object here.

This file is available for premium users. You can also use the demo soldier model that comes with ZBrush. Now that I have it loaded in my Tool palette, I'm going to drag on the canvas and he is going to appear. I'm going to switch to Edit mode and then rotate him around so you can get a look at him here. Now if I go to the Tool palette I can expand Subtools and I will see that this guy is actually made up of a bunch of little parts. The SubTool palette is kind of like the Layer palette in Photoshop. So you can sort of see the hierarchy in the model and each of these are the various subtools. As I select them you can see them highlighted on the model. So there is his legs. This is his little pants and here is his feet.

What I would like to show you is how to add an object to the robot by appending it as a subtool. So let's first make another 3D object. We are going to make a whole new part. I'm going to click on this tool icon here and I'm going to select the Gear 3D model and we switch over to this model. The robot disappears but he is still here. Here is his feet. We have just switched from one model to another while we are in Edit mode. I'm going to press F to zoom-in on the model to get a closer look and I'm going to scroll down and I'm going to expand the Initialize sub-palette and I'm going to start playing with some sliders.

I don't have a specific idea what I'm trying to create. I'm just going to play around until I get something that looks kind of neat. Usually that's done pretty quickly by playing with these controls. Let's Skew a little bit, there we go. This robot has a built-in blender of some sort. Let's expand the Outer Profile. It makes it a little bit more intimidating looking and taking that up a little bit. There we go. Nice kind of gear shape going. Not exactly sure what it is but it looks like it will be very useful to robot. This is a parametric 3D objects. I want to convert it to a PolyMesh, just in case I decide that I want to use the sculpting brush as later on to change it. I'm going to click on the Make PolyMesh 3D button here at the top of the tool sub-palette. It makes a copy of the object but this copy is now something that is sculptable with the sculpting brushes and it's given the name PM3D_Gear3D#1, not terribly descriptive.

So let's switch back to our robot here. Just by selecting him in the Tool palette. You can also select him this way. I'm going to press F so that we can see the entire robot and I'm going to go to the SubTool palette and I'm going to click on Append. When I do that I get this toolbox here and I click on this and it's going to have this object and here it is down at the bottom. You don't see it. The reason you don't see it is because it's in the middle of the robot. If I want to see it, I can click on Transparency and there it is, looks like that's what he had for lunch. The Transparency button allows you to actually see through the model. So it makes the objects semitransparent. It's very useful when working with subtools. So you can see it there.

To control the visibility of individual subtools, I can just click on the Eyeball icons here. If I go to the selected subtool, that's the one that's highlighted here and I click on the Eyeball icon, it hides everything except for the one subtool. I click on it again, it restores the visibility. That only happens for the current selected subtool. In other words if I hide the antenna I don't get the same action. It's only when I do it with the currently selected subtool. That allows you to quickly go to that subtool and start working with it.

There is a Delete key to remove the selected subtool and I can also Rename it. So let's Rename this subtool. We will call it gear, easy to remember. Now that I have created my extra object, converted it to a PolyMesh and appended it to the main robot model using the SubTool palette, I'm ready to reposition it using the Transpose tool.

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This video is part of

Image for ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training
ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

80 video lessons · 10339 viewers

Eric Keller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 27s
    1. Welcome
      30s
    2. Using the example files
      46s
    3. Overview
      1m 11s
  2. 26m 18s
    1. Understanding pixols
      1m 58s
    2. Establishing canvas size and color
      2m 30s
    3. Positioning 3D objects
      4m 33s
    4. Working with trays and palettes
      2m 52s
    5. Sculpting models in Edit mode
      3m 12s
    6. Discovering sculpting brushes
      5m 29s
    7. Saving models
      1m 27s
    8. Managing memory in ZBrush
      1m 44s
    9. Setting interface preferences
      2m 33s
  3. 1h 52m
    1. Customizing the startup 3D meshes
      5m 44s
    2. Deforming 3D models
      5m 11s
    3. Activating symmetry
      4m 35s
    4. Creating armatures with ZSphere
      8m 28s
    5. Posing armatures with ZSphere
      8m 54s
    6. Working with levels of detail
      7m 33s
    7. Masking geometry
      5m 43s
    8. Hiding and showing polygons
      6m 29s
    9. Organizing geometry using polygroups
      8m 57s
    10. Extruding geometry with edge loops to make necks and ears
      10m 11s
    11. Creating sharp edges with the Crease tool
      4m 19s
    12. Adding parts to your model with subtools
      5m 18s
    13. Posing models with Transpose pt. 1
      7m 35s
    14. Installing the Subtool Master plugin
      4m 29s
    15. Posing models with Transpose pt. 2
      13m 52s
    16. Installing the Transpose Master plugin
      5m 7s
  4. 58m 51s
    1. Sculpting with brushes
      11m 22s
    2. Choosing stroke types
      2m 20s
    3. Using Lazy Mouse
      4m 28s
    4. Sculpting fine details with alphas
      5m 9s
    5. Creating alphas
      6m 46s
    6. Creating stencils from alphas
      9m 28s
    7. Storing morph targets
      6m 4s
    8. Isolating details with 3D layers
      6m 23s
    9. Building surfaces by extracting meshes
      6m 51s
  5. 1h 13m
    1. Picking colors
      3m 2s
    2. Applying textures
      4m 15s
    3. Creating seamless textures
      3m 8s
    4. Painting models
      7m 51s
    5. Mapping 3D model texture coordinates
      5m 32s
    6. Adding sculpture reference planes
      11m 21s
    7. Applying materials
      4m 10s
    8. Modifying standard materials
      10m 17s
    9. Applying MatCap materials
      2m 22s
    10. Creating MatCap materials
      9m 9s
    11. Creating bump maps
      5m 55s
    12. Painting with photos
      6m 31s
  6. 6m 7s
    1. Exporting models
      2m 30s
    2. Importing models
      3m 37s
  7. 1h 1m
    1. Getting started with 2.5D tools
      5m 10s
    2. Modifying paintbrushes with stroke types
      3m 42s
    3. Positioning strokes and models on the canvas
      5m 14s
    4. Using snapshots
      7m 32s
    5. Understanding ZSub and ZCut
      4m 2s
    6. Creating document layers
      7m 47s
    7. Applying transparency
      3m 23s
    8. Lighting the canvas
      9m 3s
    9. Rendering in ZBrush
      6m 10s
    10. Tuning shadows
      4m 53s
    11. Baking lighting into the graphic
      2m 15s
    12. Creating a sense of depth using fog
      2m 37s
  8. 7m 12s
    1. Recording ZBrush movies
      3m 23s
    2. Using macros and ZScripts
      3m 49s
  9. 20m 50s
    1. Can't rotate or move the model
      1m 0s
    2. Can't sculpt on the model
      59s
    3. Can't adjust the lighting
      47s
    4. Can't control disappearing strokes
      52s
    5. Can't move objects smoothly with the Gyro
      2m 2s
    6. Can't move the model on the canvas
      1m 40s
    7. Can't see some parts of the model
      38s
    8. Can't subdivide the model
      2m 27s
    9. Can't control the pivot of the model
      2m 2s
    10. Can't maintain symmetry
      1m 37s
    11. Can't control subtools
      2m 28s
    12. Can't rotate with Transpose without distorting the model
      1m 51s
    13. Can't activate the Transpose tool
      1m 0s
    14. Can't get rid of blurriness on the mask
      1m 27s
  10. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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