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Creating new topology

From: ZBrush 4 Essential Training

Video: Creating new topology

Now that we have planned out our new topology, it's time to actually create the polygons that will conform to the proper edge flow. Pay close attention here; the way to do this involves some strange steps. It's one of those processes that Pixologic has cobbled together from various leftovers of other features. But if you memorize these steps, you will be able to take advantage of this very powerful way to turn a sculpted model into something that can be animated. All right, now let's go through the steps.

Creating new topology

Now that we have planned out our new topology, it's time to actually create the polygons that will conform to the proper edge flow. Pay close attention here; the way to do this involves some strange steps. It's one of those processes that Pixologic has cobbled together from various leftovers of other features. But if you memorize these steps, you will be able to take advantage of this very powerful way to turn a sculpted model into something that can be animated. All right, now let's go through the steps.

The first thing you do is go into the Subtool sub-palette and click Append. We are going to bring in a ZSphere. I know it doesn't make much sense, but just stick with me here. Let's make sure we have got this ZSphere selected in our subtool, and let's see the head disappear. Let's just make sure that's visible again. What we want to do is shrink this down. So I am going to go into Scale mode and just click and drag on the ZSphere until we can't see it anymore. Good. And just go back into Draw mode.

Now we open up the Topology sub-palette and click Edit Topology. ZBrush automatically switches into Orthographic mode, or turns off Perspective mode. Now we just need to click on the model to place new vertices, edges, and polygons. Let me zoom in here. So just clicking on the model, it's going to create vertices and connect them with edges, and then when you close them off, it creates a polygon. Now there are a few things to remember as you do this.

New edges will be connected to the vertex that has a red circle around it. That's usually the last vertex that was created. So you can see there is one vertex here. It has a red circle around it. Wherever I click, the new vertex is going to be connected to the red one. Now, let's say you don't want to continue making new edges from this red vertex; you want to start from somewhere else. The way you do that is you just click once out into the open area.

Now you can start making a vertex anywhere you want. If you don't like where a vertex is, you can delete it by holding down Alt as you click on it. Sometimes deleting a vertex will delete a vertex or two next to it. It's kind of annoying because it might delete vertices that you don't want to delete, but you just have to redraw them. It's annoying. If you click on a line segment, you will insert a new vertex that cuts the segment in two.

So you see right here, if we hover the mouse over this edge right here, it's showing us a preview of where a new vertex will be inserted. Just click on it, and then you can click again on another edge, and it's going to split those in two. You can get a preview of what the new model will look like by hitting the A key. It can be hard to see right now what's going on, so I am just going to go up into the Subtool sub-palette and let's hide the head. So there is not a lot to see right now, but if you had fleshed out more of the face, you would see the new topology and the new model. Hopefully, everything is looking good.

This can show you if there is any problems. Sometimes ZBrush doesn't quite interpret how you created the new polygons in an accurate way. So this will show you if there is a problem. Then you can go in and delete some edges or some vertices and then try drawing it again. Let me just hit A to go back into Topology mode. Make sure you've got your head subtool visible, and then you can continue working. So go ahead and take some time to flesh out this entire face with new topology. Even though it's cumbersome, it can be a powerful way to turn a model with bad topology into one that can be rigged and animated.

Even if a model will never be animated, this process can make a model have a much more efficient and clean topology.

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This video is part of

Image for ZBrush 4 Essential Training
ZBrush 4 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 14881 viewers

Ryan Kittleson
Author

 
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  1. 5m 13s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. What is ZBrush?
      1m 47s
    4. A note on screen resolution
      1m 32s
  2. 19m 17s
    1. Making sense of ZBrush
      2m 39s
    2. Understanding the interface
      2m 29s
    3. Using Light Box
      1m 23s
    4. Navigating the canvas
      2m 2s
    5. Using Perspective and Floor
      1m 51s
    6. Understanding local centering
      1m 9s
    7. Trying different materials
      2m 7s
    8. Activating symmetry
      2m 15s
    9. Viewing your work in various ways
      3m 22s
  3. 19m 59s
    1. Understanding polygon-based models
      1m 45s
    2. Creating ZSpheres
      4m 21s
    3. Using ShadowBox
      2m 15s
    4. Making a ZSketch
      2m 47s
    5. Extracting from an existing mesh
      4m 0s
    6. Using primitive 3D meshes
      3m 24s
    7. Importing from other programs
      1m 27s
  4. 23m 43s
    1. Understanding brush settings
      2m 45s
    2. Inverting brush effects
      1m 9s
    3. Switching to Smooth mode
      2m 35s
    4. Setting the stroke properties
      4m 14s
    5. Working with alphas
      2m 34s
    6. Using the Move brush
      2m 51s
    7. Using the Clip brush
      2m 58s
    8. Learning a few more common brushes (Polish, Clay, Flatten, Inflate, Tracks)
      2m 14s
    9. Saving and using brush presets
      2m 23s
  5. 26m 53s
    1. Working with tools and projects
      1m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision levels
      3m 4s
    3. Masking off parts of your model
      2m 28s
    4. Masking based on cavity and occlusion
      4m 23s
    5. Selecting and hiding parts of a tool
      2m 51s
    6. Working with polygroups
      2m 0s
    7. Using deformation
      1m 59s
    8. Mirroring geometry across an axis
      1m 49s
    9. Restoring symmetry
      1m 45s
    10. Creating morph targets
      2m 31s
    11. Understanding surface normal direction
      2m 11s
  6. 8m 57s
    1. Learning the basics of subtools
      2m 37s
    2. Making new subtools
      3m 12s
    3. Combining subtools
      3m 8s
  7. 7m 20s
    1. Masking with Transpose
      1m 49s
    2. Adjusting the Transpose Manipulator
      1m 46s
    3. Moving, scaling, and rotating with Transpose
      3m 45s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Understanding how ZBrush uses color
      2m 36s
    2. Learning the basics of Spotlight
      3m 37s
    3. Painting and texturing with Spotlight
      2m 56s
    4. Texturing a head: A practical approach
      11m 16s
  9. 21m 14s
    1. Drawing new edge flow for retopology
      7m 52s
    2. Tips for making good edge flow
      5m 14s
    3. Creating new topology
      3m 55s
    4. Transferring detail from the old model to the new
      4m 13s
  10. 13m 28s
    1. Understanding the UV maps
      2m 47s
    2. Installing the UV Master plug-in
      1m 47s
    3. Using UV Master
      3m 46s
    4. Creating texture maps
      5m 8s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Preventing problems
      1m 42s
    2. Recovering a corrupted model
      2m 28s
    3. Recognizing and fixing common problems
      2m 26s
  12. 4m 54s
    1. Examples of ZBrush work
      3m 16s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 38s

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