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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.
I have my oldMan_v01 model here and I want to export it so I can use it in another program. Now of course, this model is about two million polygons, which ZBrush is fine with that but my other programs might not be as crazy about such a dense model. So I'm probably going to want to lower this to lower subdivision level and then when I render it in Maya or 3ds Max, I can take care of the fine details using bump maps or normal maps or even displacement maps if I want.
But the base mesh, the original object that I want to export out of here is going to be probably either level one or level two, depends on the model. You essentially want just enough detail in the exported model so that it shows up when you render in Maya or 3ds Max. So I'm going to export this at SDiv 2, which in this case is about 30 ,000 polygons, it's not bad. I prefer to use the Export controls here at the bottom of the Tool palette as opposed to the ones up here. It's the same thing, it's just when you use this you get a few more options. These are the settings that I prefer. I use the OBJ format as much as possible. It contains UV Texture coordinates and they go back and forth between ZBrush and the other 3D modeling and animation programs.
I choose to export as Quads, meaning that all the polygons of the model are four-sided as opposed to triangles. I turn Texture off, because I don't need to export the texture with the model, I can always export right off the Texture palette using the options down here. Most of the time, you don't need to flip the polygons. I turn Group off; Group is usually on by default. This is the most important one. Turn Group off. Otherwise, when you import it into your other program, you may find that the model has been split into arbitrary polygons groups, which is not going to be very useful. Usually leave its scale at 1, I don't need to change the scale in ZBrush. Just press Export, then save the model. I want to save this as oldMan_v01, replace that model.
Overtime, as you become experienced with the ZBrush and if you are interested in working with other 3D programs, you find that you can develop a very circular workflow. In other words, I'm moving models between ZBrush and Maya back and forth the entire time I'm working on it, using the Maya tools when I need them, using the ZBrush tools when I need them. It becomes sort of a pipeline that works together in a very nice way.
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