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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.
A morph target is like a saved version of your model that you can revert to. It records the positions of every vertex of your model and allows you to then morph between that and any modified versions of the model. Open up the DemoDog and expand the Morph Target sub-palette. Click on StoreMT. This will save the shape of the model in its current state. Now, get the Move brush out and just have some fun changing the overall shape of the dog. I am going to hit B+M+B to switch to the Move tool and I am going to hit X to turn on symmetry.
Now click on the Switch button. This will revert back to the state the model was in when you stored the morph target. It's kind of like an undo that you can always jump back to. Click Switch again to go back to the edited version. You can also blend between the old and the new versions. Slide the Morph slider up and watch the result. This can be useful if you want to make an edit, but you are not sure how intense of a change you want. You can make extreme changes and then dial the effect back to get something that looks good.
You can even run the slider backwards and get an exaggerated result. You can only have one morph target stored at a time. Click DelMT to clear the memory. Be aware that you could only switch or blend morph targets when your tool is on the same subdivision level as it was when you first stored the morph target. One situation that I like to use Morph Target in is when I subdivide a model. When ZBrush subdivides, it also slightly relaxes the lowest subdivision level.
Let me demonstrate. First, I will store a morph target at the lowest subdivision level. Now, I will hit Ctrl+D a few times to subdivide the model. Then hit Shift+D a few times to go back to the lowest subdivision level. I am going to hit F so we see this little bit more clearly. It may not look like it, but the model has lost a little definition. Hit Switch to see what I mean. I use morph targets whenever I subdivide in order to restore the lost definition that results from subdividing.
You will use morph targets when you are about to make big changes to your model and you think you might want to revert back or tone back the changes. It's also just a lot of fun to play with.
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