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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.
Now that we're at the end of this course, I just want to take a few minutes to show you some of the work I've done in ZBrush. I will talk about the tools and the techniques that I have used, as well as talk about why I used them. So this is a bull that I sculpted in ZBrush. I actually started with a base mesh from Maya that is as very simple, rudimentary model built in Maya that I could then import into ZBrush and then continue to work on and sculpt on. Let me just increase some subdivision levels, so we can see more of the detail.
Now the bull is in an action pose right now, but it was sculpted mostly along the process in a neutral pose with him just standing still and his head facing straightforward. Even the tail was sticking out straight in a completely unnatural line. I did it that way because I didn't want to have to sculpt all these fine details and muscles independently on one side and then have to do it again on the other side. I wanted to be able to use symmetry so that I could sculpt everything on one side and have it be copied over to the side.
Then when I was happy with the result, I used the Transpose tools here in ZBrush to move all of the joints and the body and the tail and everything into this pose. I also used ZBrush's polypaint features to give this guy some color. The entire body has one brown color, but the horns and hoofs have some extra coloration just to set them apart from the body. Let's zoom a little bit closer in, so we can really look at this texture that I worked into to this. I'll subdivide one more time.
This model has over 10 million polygons, so it's kind of pushing this computer to its limits, but you can see there are all kinds of final grooves and hair clumps. It was a lot of fun to really texture this model. Okay, so let's look at another image now. This is the diner, and it was done using a combination of Maya and ZBrush. In case you don't know how Maya works, it is more of a general 3D application that includes animation and rendering and rigging, a lot of things that are beyond the scope of ZBrush which, mostly focuses on modeling and sculpting.
Maya was particularly useful for modeling the hard surface for mechanical objects, such as the motorcycle and the diner in the background. ZBrush was more useful for the more organic objects, such as the Rhino himself and his clothing. I also use ZBrush for the snow on the ground. These tracks here were sculpted in using an alpha that just repeated a footprint texture. In Maya I was also able to set up lighting and create these glow effects and put the whole scene together and light it and render it. Then I took into Photoshop and I was able to do color correction and different effects to bring out different lighting effects or different snow effects.
ZBrush works great with other programs. You can bring it strength of organic modeling into other programs, which might be better at other things to combine them into one really stunning image. There is really no limit what you can do with ZBrush. The tools and techniques can be mixed in so many creative ways, that really anything is possible.
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