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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.
So there is a couple of problems that can arise when you try and load and save a digital sculpture that you have been working on. Let's say you have a digital sculpture and you want to load it into ZBrush. Now, your impulse might go to the Document > Open menu. If I do that, I will see my documents, but these are illustrations that I painted in ZBrush, and in each one of these illustrations the objects themselves are no longer independent models, they are part of the canvas, they are 2.5D paint stokes, not 3D models.
So I'm going to start a New Document here. To load a 3D model, remember to go to the Tool menu and Load tool. So that terminology that can trip you up when you are first learning, the ZBrush. But a tool is a 3D model; so the same thing as an object or a digital sculpture, they are all the same thing. So now I'm going to load the greenMan_ v01 tool, which is a 3D object, and once it's loaded into the Tool palette, I can draw it on the screen. Switch to Edit mode and start sculpting. Now, when I decide that I need to save this model, it's the same problem. If I go to the Document menu and choose Save As, I will get a warning, which is actually very helpful. This warning is asking me if I want to Save the Document or the tool. If I save the document, this 3D tool will now become part of the canvas and I would no longer be able to edit it as a tool. What's more, any changes that I have made to this tool are lost. They are just part of an illustration now, and they are not part of a 3D object.
So you have to remember, save the tool. Make sure to save it in the ztl format; that's the ZBrush tool format, and then the next time you load it using the Tool menu, you can continue to sculpt it.
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