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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training
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Customizing the startup 3D meshes


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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

with Eric Keller

Video: Customizing the startup 3D meshes

When you are ready to start working with a 3D sculpture in ZBrush, you can start by using one of the applications named 3D Startup Meshes. These are found in the Tool palette. Now I have my Tool palette here in the tray, the way I can put it in the tray is just to expand it, click on the switch and that's right over there. If I click on the tool icon here, I get the library of meshes. So these are the 3D Meshes up here which is what I'm concerned with. I'm not concerned with the Startup 2D Brushes down here at all.
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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

Customizing the startup 3D meshes

When you are ready to start working with a 3D sculpture in ZBrush, you can start by using one of the applications named 3D Startup Meshes. These are found in the Tool palette. Now I have my Tool palette here in the tray, the way I can put it in the tray is just to expand it, click on the switch and that's right over there. If I click on the tool icon here, I get the library of meshes. So these are the 3D Meshes up here which is what I'm concerned with. I'm not concerned with the Startup 2D Brushes down here at all.

Most of these models with the exception of PolyMesh and ZSphere, these are all what's known as parametric 3D models. What that means is, you use sliders and values to establish the basic shape of the model before you start sculpting on it. So I'm going to select the Gear model here, I want to draw it on the canvas. I'm going to switch to Edit mode by clicking on the Edit button, you can also use the T hot key and now I can rotate it around and take a look at the model itself. To start editing this model, I could just expand the Initialize sub palette here in the Tool palette; it's towards the button. These controls are all unique to this particular model. So in other words, each one of the Startup Meshes are going to have slightly different controls here, but they are all found in the Initialize sub palette. These are a lot of fun to play with and it get addictive.

I find myself starting a model this way and getting a little bit lost in all different ways to customize it. For instance, I can change the coverage by moving this slider back and forth and that changes whether it goes all the way around 360 degrees or just a portion of that. It starts to look like a little spiky mohawk hair. I can change the width to make it thicker. I can change the inner radius, change the width of the center here. Now, of course, all of these different controls do different things and it's not always completely obvious what they do. But if we want to know what a slider does, just hold the Ctrl key and hover over the slider and you will get a brief description over what the slider does. You can change the Tilts, get something somewhat radical there, maybe a little bit less.

This is a great way to come up with mechanical pieces or things that you can attach to a robot or maybe apartment complex where the robot lives. You can also use these edit curves to change the shape. These are found throughout the interface through these little sections right here with gray shape in them. To start working on it I just need to click on it and that will expand the curve. So in other words, if I want to expand the Outer Profile curve, I just click on it and the curve expands. If I want to work on the Outer Section curve, I click on that. There is also the Inner Profile curve and the Inner Section curve. So this particular model, the Gear model, has a lot of curves and each one controls a different part of the shape of the model. So when I start working on the curve, you will get immediate feedback over what it does.

This is part of what makes working these models, so much fun! If I'm working with a particular point on the curve, I can change its influence by dragging the circle back and forth. That changes the interpolation coming out of the curve, basically the curve shape. To add a point to the curve all I need to do is, click on it and a new point is added and I can start dragging around. If you see, you get some really, really cool stuff going on here. I can drag this one up towards the end right there, down like this and now we have robot dentures. If I decide that I want to make these curves less smooth and maybe more sharp, it's very easy to do that. I just select the point, drag it off and then drag it back on again. There we go; we get a different shape there.

This one still has a nice smooth curve to it, but this one has a hard angle. I want to make this hard as well. I just drag it off and then drag it back on again. To get quick look at some of these other curves, we have the influence, the shape. There we go; we already got something very interesting going. You may find that, if you really like these tools, that you're coming up about these different shapes, remember to save them, save them in your own folder, give them your own special name. I'm going to call this one myGear, save them in the ZTL format, that's the Ztool format. They will be available to load the next time you start off ZBrush and all these initialized settings will be right where you left them, so you can continue to work on the model.

If I decide that I want to start sculpting directly on the model, I'm going to get a warning when I try and paint on it with the Sculpting Brush. It's going to say, "...please convert this 3D- Primitive to a PolyMesh3D by pressing the 'Make PolyMesh3D' button in the Tool palette." So if I just do it, it says and I press Make PolyMesh3D, what's going to happen is, it's actually going to make a copy of the model. So if I look in here I actually have two versions, I have myGear and I have the PM3D_myGear. These are two different models, they look exactly the same; the difference is, the PM3D_myGear is a PolyMesh hence PM3D. So I can start sculpting on it. Whereas, the myGear is the original parametric model that uses the sliders and once again if I click on it, I'm going to get the same warning.

These parametric models found in the Startup 3D Meshes section of the Tool palette are a great way to get a sculpture going in ZBrush. As you create your own models, remember to save them to your local disk, because you never know when you might want to use them in a future model.

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