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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.
You can customize the way the tools behave in ZBrush by changing their stroke type, this is true for both the 2.5D brushes but also the 3D tools as well, Startup 3D Meshes and the 2.5D Brushes. I'm going to apply some bolts to my robots here in our little robot army. I'm going to choose the Sphereinder 3D tool and by default, when I choose a 3D tool and drag on the screen, I can draw it out by dragging and then switch to Edit mode and edit the 3D object from there, and this is because the DragRect stroke type is the default stroke type for all 3D meshes. But I can also paint a 3D mesh all over the scene by changing the stroke type. For instance I can switch to Free Hand, let's choose the Intensity Metal which is our robot material right here and let's start painting, you can see -- let's start painting bolts all over the scene.
I hit Ctrl+Z to undo those. If I want get a little bit more precision here, I can use a stroke type such as DragDot so we can quickly add bolts, we undo those, reduce the Draw Size a little bit. If I wanted to decimate my robot army with some machine gun fire, I can choose the Spray stroke type, maybe choose Zsub and start painting like this and this will quickly destroy the army. But I actually think that the army is here to protect us so I'm not going to destroy them.
You will notice though that I also D stroke types available as well. D stroke types down here at the bottom section are not available for the sculpting brushes. There are only available when you are in Illustration or 2.5D Paint mode. So let's take a look at some of these. For instance, the Line mode when you are trying to accurately place things like bolts, let me switch to Zadd so I'm adding bolts on, you can see that I can place these somewhat accurately. If I want to change the spacing, I can go to the Stroke menu and by moving this down; I actually increase the spacing between them. If I hold the Shift key, this will snap to 45 degree angles.
I also have a Grid if I want to pull out a grid of these guys or a Radial arrangement, make a nice little button for them. The Ray90 basically pulls out perpendicular to the surface of the pixels beneath it, a line of bolts; this is definitely a very interesting look. Conic is fairly simple but now I have sort of a combination of the Ray and a Free Hand stroke so I'm pulling it out like this.
So these are worth experimenting with when you are making changes to your illustration. Primarily I can just choose Dots and just paint on the surface like this. Probably the best way to add bolts precisely, I'm just doing undo there -- is to do DragDots, let's bring the down the size a bit, now I can place them exactly where I want them. But it depends on what you are trying to create in your own illustration.
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