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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

Isolating details with 3D layers


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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

with Eric Keller

Video: Isolating details with 3D layers

When you're working on a 3D model in ZBrush, it's nice to have the flexibility to test out various ideas on the model before committing to them. You can use 3D layers to do this, to make changes to your model, see how they look, and decide whether you're going to keep them or not. It's another way that you can have several levels of undo when you're working on a model. 3D Layers are found here in the Tool palette and there is a sub-palette called simply Layers. Now this is not the same thing as this Layer palette right here.
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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

Isolating details with 3D layers

When you're working on a 3D model in ZBrush, it's nice to have the flexibility to test out various ideas on the model before committing to them. You can use 3D layers to do this, to make changes to your model, see how they look, and decide whether you're going to keep them or not. It's another way that you can have several levels of undo when you're working on a model. 3D Layers are found here in the Tool palette and there is a sub-palette called simply Layers. Now this is not the same thing as this Layer palette right here.

This Layer palette right here are document layers and they have a completely different and unrelated function to 3D layers. So we want to make sure that you don't get those two parts of the interface confused. We don't have to worry about these layers at all right now. We are only concerned about layers here found in the Tool palette. I wish they were called 3D Layers that would make things a little bit easier but you can see that they are call 3D Layer here in the actual palette. So what is a 3D Layer? A little bit similar to morph targets in that they allow you to make changes on the model and then either remove those changes as a whole if you want to later on or keep them. I have my femaleHead_v01 model loaded on to Zbrush and I'm in Edit mode, and I'm going to move Geometry, let's make it even more dense by clicking on the Divide button.

When you work with 3D Layers, you want to stay on the same level of SDiv and 3D layers are best used when you are finished with your basic modeling and you are ready to make details, to fine details like pores and wrinkles. They work best for very small detail changes. They don't work very well when you're making large changes like if you decide to completely change the shape with this ear and make this woman some kind of alien or something like that. You probably want to stick to morph targets if you are going to be playing around for that kind of idea.

But for small changes 3D Layers have work really well. So let's create a new layer. To do that expand the Layers palette in the Tool palette and press New and we can rename this layer, let's call it pores. I'm going to zoom in to the model, and from my Alpha's I'm going to choose Alpha 23. I'm going to choose the DragRect style and bring the Intensity down so that the changes aren't so drastic.

I know that I'm going to be doing a lot of smoothing, so I'm going to select my Smooth brush momentarily, bring the Intensity down to 20. It's good to get into the habit of changing the Intensity of your Smooth brush, when you first start working in a session in ZBrush. Now if I switch back to the Standard brush, I still have my Alpha, I still have my stroke style and I'm ready to start some pores. So let's start dragging here, hold the Alt key to press into the model, let's zoom in a bit, so you can see what's going on and I'm making my changes there. Smooth this out a little bit using the Smooth brush. But let's give her some rather drastic details just for the sake of making it more obvious what's going on.

Now all these pores that I have made up in nose and on her cheek here, I should say they are no longer pores but they are definitely some kind of skin damage. They are stored on this 3D Layer and I can change the intensity of the layer and drag it up and when I do that the intensity of the changes increases each time I nudge this over. Likewise I can reduce the intensity of the changes, let's go down to zero and I can make it much more subtle, so now I just have a very slight change.

So all of these changes are stored on this layer. If I click on the Visibility here, you don't see them at all but it's still there. But I have just removed the visibility of those changes just like turning off a layer in Photoshop. Let's add another layer and we'll call this one wrinkles, this is going to turn into the opposite of a skin care commercial. I apologize in advance. I'm going to choose Alpha 13, just a nice small circle and then we are going to switch to the Free Hand Stroke and bring my Intensity down, I want to make straight lines, might be a good idea to turn on Lazymouse. So I have Lazymouse on and then when I draw again nice straight lines, just bring the Intensity up a little bit.

So let's quickly make some wrinkles here, maybe little bit of crow's feet, rotate to the side, so you can see the changes that I'm making there. Hold the Alt key to dig in. Now ideally I would probably want to sub-divide the model one more time. But for the purpose of demonstration this work is fine. And now when I turn this off I no longer have wrinkles and I could see what it looks like with and without the wrinkles, with and without the pores; with both of them off.

I can store these 3D Layers with the model but if I decide that I want to commit these change to the model permanently, I press Delete. That deletes the layer but it doesn't delete the changes. It makes the pores a permanent part of the model. So now I can no longer turn those on and off. If I want to remove the layer entirely, set this to zero and then Delete. So set the Intensity of the layer down to zero and then delete it and that removes the changes altogether. Now you can see how using 3D Layers is a great way to create a non linear workflow. If you like me and you don't like to commit to anything straight up after that, start playing with 3D Layers, make your changes, test them out.

Maybe I have several different versions of the pores on the model and I can see how they work together in combination or individually. Once again it's just another powerful tool that you can use in ZBrush when you're working on a model.

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