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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.
ZSketch is yet another way to flesh out new shapes that can then be converted to polymeshes. Of all the methods mentioned so far, it may be the most appealing technique for traditional artists, because of its freeform nature-- by this I mean the ability to simply draw shapes directly into 3D space. ZSketch is a way of quickly drawing 3D volumes out in strokes. It works on top of existing ZSpheres. Let's start with how to create them on the ZSphere. So if I go over to my Tool palette, I am just going to click on the ZSphere and click and drag that out into the canvas.
We will also go into Edit mode and turn off Light Box because it's just in the way. To start with ZSketch, we just want to go down to the ZSketch sub-palette. So, down here it opens up, and there are several different options, but the only one you really need to be worried about is EditSketch, and this just turn on ZSketching mode. So, you can see that the ZSphere has changed color. It's one solid color now. And also our Brush palette up here has changed, so it's no longer the traditional sculpting brushes. It is now a ZSketch brush.
So the way this works is just by simply clicking and dragging and creating strokes on the ZSphere, and what it does is it creates a chain of ZSpheres in 3D space. And you can just move this around any direction you want and click and drag and creates new objects. And you can also change the size of your brush and create smaller and finer details. So, you can make some kind of weird like creature or worm or something. If you hold down Alt while you stroke, you can delete these ZSketches as well.
If you hold down Shift as you stroke, it will kind of smooth them out and combine them together into a little bit more of a smoother shape. As you work on your ZSketch, you can get a preview of what it's going to look like when it's converted to a polymesh. Press the A key on the keyboard to see what that preview looks like and then hit A again to go back to ZSketching. So, when you are happy with the shape you have created, we can convert it permanently into a polygon object. So the way we do that is we are going to open up the Unified Skin sub-palette here and just hit Make Unified Skin.
It doesn't look like anything has happened, but up here in the toolbox, there is a new tool that's been created called Skin_ZSphere_1. And so this is just the model that we were working on, but in polygon form. So you could sculpt on this and work on it just like any other polygon mesh. ZSketching is another option when you want to create new shapes and forms. It offers a loose way to flesh out shapes but at the expense of any kind of detailed accuracy. It's also really useful to have a pressure-sensitive tablet while you are working because then you can get a more artistic result with the levels of pressure sensitivity.
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