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Pixologic's ZBrush 3 stands at the forefront of digital 3D sculpting and 2.5D painting, a new medium that is taking the art and entertainment worlds by storm. Visual effects artist Eric Keller shares his expertise and talents in ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training. He presents the concepts behind digital sculpting, shows how to produce fantastic images using the unique ZBrush toolset and interface, and demonstrates the power of the Digital Clay and Sculpting brushes. To offer a richer understanding of the application, Eric gives a guided tour of the interface and addresses the most common problems experienced by new users. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you want to create an illustration that has the look of a transparent objects in it, there are couple of ways to do this. The first way is to actually use the Rgb Intensity slider. I'm going to switch to the Sphere 3D tool, and notice that by default Rgb Intensity has set to 100. I want to switch to the BasicMaterial. There is nothing about his material that is transparent by default. That's an opaque material. So I'm going to draw a sphere on to the canvas. Without changing the material at all, I'm going to lower the Rgb Intensity, and draw onto the canvas. And now we get, semi transparent sphere.
The more I lower the Intensity, the more transparent the sphere becomes. I can go to the Draw palette, and add a little bit of Refraction to this Transparency. It's only going to effect new spheres that I draw on the canvas that have a low Rgb Intensity. You can start to see some of that Refraction there. It might be a bit much so, let's pull that down to about 4, here we go. You can see the light is being bent around these areas, around the corner. So that's one way to create transparency in you objects, and you can draw that on the canvas, and now it's been converted to pixel, so I can incorporate this into an illustration.
Another way is to use the material transparency. So I'm going to press Ctrl+N to clear the document. I'm going to turn Rgb Intensity back to full strength. In fact, I'm going to choose a different Material all together. This is a ToyPlastic material. Let's draw a sphere, or two, or three on the canvas, and to create the look of the transparency, if I go to the Material palette and increase the Transparency slider, we don't see any difference. In fact, if I go and Render, using Best Render quality, I still don't see anything transparent.
In order to get the Transparency to actually work, this works with Document layers. So let me turn this back to Preview, let's create a new layer, and now I'm going to draw some spheres on this new layer, and I'm going to increase the Transparency. I don't see anything different yet. The key is this Flattened button. If I turn this off, now I get the Transparency that I would expect.
It's kind of a strange workflow. If you want to create a transparent object using the controls in the Material palette, including the Transparency Curve to adjust the Transparency based on the facing parts of the object, in other words, the parts of the sphere that face us are more transparent, than the parts that are on the edge, and that's controlled by this curve. This is the center transparency, and this is the edge transparency. We will bring that up; now the edge becomes transparent as well. And then when I Render using Best quality, looks a little bit better. That is the secret to creating transparent objects when you are working on an illustration in ZBrush.
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