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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training
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Building surfaces by extracting meshes


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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

with Eric Keller

Video: Building surfaces by extracting meshes

So you would like add additional items to an object such as clothing or creeping vines or something that conforms to the surface of the original sculpture. You can do this by extracting a mesh from the original object. I'm going to demonstrate this by creating some vines and some leaves on top of my greenMan sculpture. To do this, I'm going to load my greenMan_v01 model. So I'm drawing the greenMan out on the canvas, switch to Edit mode and I will press F to center the object, and I'm going to switch my material to the light-brown clay material just because I like it.
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  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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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training
6h 9m Beginner Nov 10, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Building and posing digital armatures for sculpture
  • Importing models from other 3D programs
  • Learning how to sculpt a human head based on reference images
  • Detailing skin and surfaces using textures and stencils
  • Creating illustrations with depth, lighting, and surface materials
Subjects:
3D + Animation Modeling Textures Materials
Software:
ZBrush
Author:
Eric Keller

Building surfaces by extracting meshes

So you would like add additional items to an object such as clothing or creeping vines or something that conforms to the surface of the original sculpture. You can do this by extracting a mesh from the original object. I'm going to demonstrate this by creating some vines and some leaves on top of my greenMan sculpture. To do this, I'm going to load my greenMan_v01 model. So I'm drawing the greenMan out on the canvas, switch to Edit mode and I will press F to center the object, and I'm going to switch my material to the light-brown clay material just because I like it.

Now there is a couple of ways to extract meshes. One of the simplest ways is to do this using just a mask, this one painted on the surface. So I'm going to increase my geometry of my object to the 6 subdivision (6 SDiv) level. I reduce my Draw Size, and I'm going to start just by painting a simple mask on the surface. Let's turn Activate Symmetry off. I'm going to hold the Ctrl key and then just start painting my vines. Put some nice curls in there. I'm making my mask fairly thick. This makes it easier for the extraction to calculate because after I actually make the extraction, I'm going to spend some time editing it, so I can actually reduce the thickness.

You don't want your mask to be too thin or too highly-detailed to start with, I think then it will work okay. To actually make the extraction, I go to the Subtool sub-palette of the Tool palette, I go down to the Extract section at the very bottom of Subtools. I have a few controls here which will determine how the extraction looks. I have Thickness, Edge Smoothness, that's what E Smooth (E Smt) means and Surface Smoothness (S Smt). When you are using these you are going to have to do some experimentation.

There is no way to know exactly how it's going to look until you press the button. So you might have to do it a few times to get it right. Let's try this. See what happens. I'm going to press Extract, and it calculates, and after a few seconds, I have my extraction, and that seem to work pretty well actually. So I'm going to select my Extract subtool, it's a new subtool that appears here on the SubTool palette, I'm going to hide my original geometry, and there you can see, that's the extraction. And it's pretty neat, it's actually got some of the detail here that's on my original model. The denseness, the resolution of this mesh is going to match the resolution of the Subdivision level (SDiv) and I have my original object on. So it's already would be fairly dense, but that's fine.

I'm going to increase my brush size here and I'm going to start to edit this. I would like to use the Inflate Brush when I do this. I want to make a nice round vine. So I have Inflate just drawing in the surface, and I hold the Shift key to smooth, so it's going be a back and forth process. I can make the vines thinner by smoothing and then thicker in parts by inflating. Of course, if I hold the Alt key while painting with the Inflate Brush, that's another way to shrink the surface, but sometimes it gets a little bit extreme. I'd like to use smooth, I have a little bit more control over in that way.

I can turn my original object on here and see how the vine is looking. And if I want to make changes, go to the Move Brush, draw the size. So if I don't want to just cling exactly to the surface, I can drag it out here, do some smoothing, drag it, reposition it, and there we go, I'm on my way to making some interesting looking vines. To make some leaves, I can actually use some Alpha based on an actual photograph of a leaf. I'm going to use an oak leaf which I realize oak leaves don't grow on vines, but that's the image that I have. So we will put it on the other side of his face. So let me zoom out here. I'm going to go to the Alpha palette and I'm going to choose Import, and I have got my leaf image, it's just called leaf. I'm going to switch to the Standard Brush, and you will notice the Alpha disappears. But the Alpha is associated with the current brush. So in other words this Alpha is being applied with the Standard Brush.

If I switch to another brush such as Clay, that Alpha disappears. If I choose a different Alpha like this one, switch back to Standard. I have my Leaf Brush again. I'm going to make sure that the Stroke type is set to DragRect, so I can drag the leaf out, select my greenMan subtool, and now when I drag out here I have my leaf. Make a couple of them here. I could even make them overlap a little bit, so I have a few leaf shapes here.

I'm going to go to the Subtool palette at the bottom. These settings worked pretty well for the vines, so let's see how they do with the leaves. I'm going to press Extract, and give it a few seconds, and then my subtool appears and it looks like I did a pretty good job. So if I select Extract and hide these, there I have my leaves. This is the same process, I can go through here and start editing these. I'm going to turn my Alpha off, and if I switch to the Inflate Brush, make sure that doesn't have an Alpha applied, just start inflating and smoothing.

Another way to remove some of these details is to choose the Clay Brush, make sure there is no Alpha. Remember that the Clay Brush fills in depressed areas on the surface first. This is a great way to remove some of that detail. Remember that it's not adding geometry, it's just pushing geometry around. It's easy to forget that with a Clay Brush because it works just like clay. If I turn my original geometry back on and I can start editing, and there we go, I'm on my way to making some really interesting leaves that conform to the surface of the object.

And this is great for not only details like this, but if you wanted to add clothing like a shirt or pants to a figure, it's great way to add objects like that, anything that clings to the surface of your original sculpture.

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