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In ZBrush 4 Essential Training, Ryan Kittleson introduces ZBrush to artists making a transition from another sculpting program or who may just need some help with the finer points of this powerful digital arts package. The course covers the most popular tools and techniques for digital painting and sculpting in ZBrush, and explains how to export the models and texture maps to other programs for use in games, film, fine art, or 3D printing. The course also highlights the new features in ZBrush 4, such as ShadowBox, clip brushes, and LightBox. Exercise files are included with the course.
Sometimes you may have way more subtools than you really need and it can be helpful to combine some into one. This is easy to do, and don't worry, you can always split them apart again if you need to. Let's open up the hank exercise file. I am just going to click and drag to open this open this and hit Edit to go into Edit mode. I am also going to hit F so we can see it more clearly on screen. Let's also close the Light Box. It's just in the way. Now let's open up the Subtool sub-palette.
Let's first talk about merging subtools into one. Let's say we want these two shoes to be the same subtool. First, I am going to arrange the shoes so that they are next to each other in the list. I am going to move this one shoe up one, and then I am going to use Merge Down. What Merge Down does is it combines two Subtool into one by taking the one that's currently selected and merging it with the one below it. So I've got the top shoe selected, and I'll just click Merge Down.
It's just reminding me that this is not undoable. And this is what I want, so I am going to hit OK. Now you can see the shoes are one subtool. The Merge Visible button will merge all subtools that are currently visible into one new tool. Let's say that I want the pants to be one subtool again. I'm going to hide all the other subtools and then click Merge Visible. So we'll just select the top part of the pants and hide all these other subtools.
You've just got the two subtools of the pants visible now. If I click on Merge Visible, what happens is ZBrush makes a new tool up here in the toolbox called Merged_hankclothes. So if just click on this, you can see it's a single subtool now. This could be appended back into our other tool. Now there's one setting that affects merging, and that's Weld. Let's go back to the hankclothes tool. Weld will make any vertices that occupy the same space to be joined when they're merged.
So to demonstrate, I am just going to turn this off and click Merge Visible. Now we'll go up and look at the new tool that it created in the toolbox. So it looks just like the other one that we made, but if I'd go into the Move Topological tool, which is B+M+G, and then try to move this--actually, I am going to zoom in, so we can see more clearly-- what happens is it splits apart at the seam where it used to be two different subtool. This is because the vertices were not merged. If I go back to one that I made previously where Weld was turned on, you can see if I use the Move Topological, it stays together.
That's because the vertices were welded. Although it can be complicated, it's a good idea to understand all of these functions that you can do with subtools. Many times creating a model involves a lot of breaking off, adding to, switching around, and other types of manipulating. The advanced control that you get with subtools gives you the flexibility to make these changes.
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