Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Adding sculpture reference planes

From: ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Adding sculpture reference planes

Starting as sculpture in ZBrush has made a lot easier if you have reference plans, an image that you can use as a guide, as you make your sculpture. Let's talk a little bit about how to create reference plans and then how to use them in ZBrush. ZBrush comes with some useful tools and these can be found in the Program Files/Pixologic/ZBrush3/Ztools folder. The ones I'm talking about are the ImagePlaneCube and ImagePlaneX. Let's take a look at the ImagePlaneX tool. I'm going to open this and draw it on the canvas and I'm going to switch to Edit mode as always so I can rotate it around.

Adding sculpture reference planes

Starting as sculpture in ZBrush has made a lot easier if you have reference plans, an image that you can use as a guide, as you make your sculpture. Let's talk a little bit about how to create reference plans and then how to use them in ZBrush. ZBrush comes with some useful tools and these can be found in the Program Files/Pixologic/ZBrush3/Ztools folder. The ones I'm talking about are the ImagePlaneCube and ImagePlaneX. Let's take a look at the ImagePlaneX tool. I'm going to open this and draw it on the canvas and I'm going to switch to Edit mode as always so I can rotate it around.

Do you notice, it looks a little bit strange because things are becoming visible and invisible. So, if I want to make the whole object visible, I go to Display Properties in the Tool palette, in tool>Display Properties>Double. By default, most 3D objects in ZBrush are single-sided, meaning the back sides of their polygons are invisible and this is just a way to conserve memory resources in ZBrush. So, if you see part of the model disappearing as you rotate it, remember to go to Display Properties and click on Double.

Now, we can see the ImagePlaneX object and let's switch to the Basic Material and how is this useful. Well, this is an object that you can add sub tools to and turn those sub tools into your sculpture. I'm going to load a texture here which will help us as a guide. So, I will choose Import. In the same Ztools folder, Program Files/Pixologic/Zbrush3/Ztools, there are two textures, ImagePlaneCube and ImagePlaneX. I'm going to choose ImagePlaneX.

This is just a two-dimensional texture that tells you're right there on the texture hidden backwards, there we go. Now it's forwards. This is the front image, and this is the side image. So how is this helpful? Let's take a look at the texture really quickly. This is what the texture is, front and inside. So, if I open this same texture in Photoshop, and I'm going to go to the Program Files/Pixologic/Zbrush3/Ztools, and here it is, ImagePlaneX. I can open this in Photoshop and now I can either draw my drawings that I want to use for a reference or I can even put photographs here. So I will put the front view photograph here and the side view photograph right here. I have actually created one of these images and this is available as ImagePlaneXGirl.

So this is just a very rough image that I have drawn, a sketch of a female head. Then I have used the same image, so it started out as the same ImagePlaneX image and I put the front view here and the side view here. Now, when I create these images, I like to use bold lines and I stay away from creating too much detail. All I'm really concerned about is the shape of the primary forms, because that's what I'm going to use as a guide in ZBrush. So, let's close Photoshop here and let's open ZBrush and I'm going to load that texture.

So I'm going to choose Import and I'm going to go to Essential ZBrush and I'm going to choose ImagePlaneXGirl. Now, I can see I have my side view and I have my front view. Now that I have that ready to go, I'm going to add a tool that I can use to start sculpting. I'm going to show you this because you might run into a couple of problems when you are working in this. I want to help you get out any problems you might encounter.

So, I'm going to go to Program Files/ Pixologic/Zbrush3/Ztools and I'm going to choose the PolySphere. This is my favorite tool to start add sculptures with. I get a little warning here in reference to this image. It's safe to ignore that warning. I'm going to move this down a lower level of subdivision. Now I'm going to add as a subtool, my ImagePlaneX tool. So, I'm going to append it and here it is.

Immediately, you can see that I have a number of problems. One thing, the PolySphere and the ImagePlaneX are not lined up. This is easy to fix. I just select the ImagePlaneX and I go to Deformation and I choose Unify. Now, they are lined up. I can turn Transparency on. Now I can actually see through the PolySphere to the image plane. So now I want to put my texture on this ImagePlaneX object.

So I will go over to the Texture palette and I will select ImagePlaneXGirl. I'm going to turn Transparency off for the moment so we have an idea of what's going on. Well, another problem that we are having. When you apply a texture to an object that has subtools, that same texture is applied to all of the subtools. It's great for the image plane, because this is what I want, but it's very distracting while it's on the cube. So, how do I get out of this situation? Well, what I want to do is I want to use my color controls to convert the texture that is applied to the ImagePlaneX. I want to convert that into a color that is applied to this tool. This is one way I can separate the texture that's applied to one subtool from another. Now, if you remember from poly painting, when you apply colors to an object, it's based on the resolution of the object.

If I turn on Frame right now, I can see that this is fairly low resolution, this tool by default. I would like to divide it a few times; increase the resolution on the object. Now, when I turn Frame on, you can see I have many more polygons and this will make the sketch of the girl a lot clearer when I convert it to a color. Let's divide it one more time, just for fun. Okay. So I have six levels of subdivision on my PolyPlane. That gives us a total of two million polygons, that's a lot but these here work fairly well.

Once I have that divided, I can go down to the Texture palette. Now, all of these that I have been using, they are all part of the Tool palette. So, let me scroll down and find Texture and I'm going to do Texture to Color. I'm going to convert this texture to a color that's applied to the plane. The Texture has turned off. There is no texture applied, but you could still see this sketch on the planes. So, now we know that that texture has been successfully converted to a color that is applied to the object. Now, when I turn on PolySphere, I have a nice, clean sphere that I can work with. I turn on Transparency. I'm setup and ready for sculpting. Turn on the Visibility on both subtools, select the PolySphere and I'm going to turn on Activate Symmetry, so I have X symmetry enabled.

Switch to a side view, I'm going to add some lower levels of subdivision to this model. Choosing Reconstruct Subdiv, so it is nice and low resolution. Switch to the Move tool, increase the size and start dragging the object until it starts to conform to the shape drawn on my reference plane. The way I like to do this is, I create the head shape and then I extrude the neck using edge loops. So let's do a quick recap of the entire process from the beginning, because this just is something that I do every single time I start a head model and it takes a little bit of getting used to. So I'm going to initialize Zbrush. When I do this, it removes all of the tools from the Tool palette, starting with a clean slide. I'm going to load the ImagePlaneX tool. Once again, this is in Program Files/Pixologic/Zbrush3/Ztools/ ImagePlaneX. Load onto the canvas, draw it, switch to Edit mode, turn on Double Sided and switch to Basic Material.

Now, I'm going to load the PolySphere object. This is the best way to start ahead in my opinion. Let's lower the subdivision and a slight change there. Now, I'm going to go to the SubTool palette and append my ImagePlaneX. When I do that, I need to realign them. I just pressed F to zoom out there. I'm going to select the ImagePlane, go to Deformation and choose Unify, now on the same place.

I want to apply the texture to the ImagePlane. So, I choose from my textures, my ImagePlaneXGirl texture. It's applied to both objects. So, let's hide the PolySphere as we just have the ImagePlaneX visible. I'm going to go down to Geometry, divide it, it has about five or six levels of subdivision. Let's just stick with 5 for now.

Now, that it is nice and dense, I can go to Texture. For the most part, remember, we are all in the Tool palette. I will switch to menus and I'm going to go Texture to Color. There we go. I will turn my PolySphere back on, turn on Transparency, switch to a side view and start sculpting. Another variation of this is the ImagePlaneCube tool, if you like to have six sides to your reference planes. You will also find that this has its own special texture as well, ImagePlaneCube texture, which you can bring into Photoshop and use to arrange your reference images. The workflow for the most part is exactly of the same, it's just a cube as opposed to two planes. There you go!

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

80 video lessons · 10461 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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.