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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.
Moving, scaling, and rotating are at the heart of the Transpose functions. Up to now, we've done the setup work for Transpose, from masking to positioning the manipulator; now we really get to move things around. Let's open up SuperAverageMan. Let's see how we can use the Transpose functions to move his head around. So I just want to zoom in closer to the neck. I also want to turn on symmetry by hitting X, so that we get a nice even deformation. And let's go into Move mode.
I am going to hold down Ctrl so we can draw out a mask and just get something roughly even in the middle of the neck. Let's see if that did it right all the way around. It's a little bit off in the back. Let me try it from the side. All right, that looks pretty good. We also need to position the manipulator so it's in the middle of the neck. So the way you can do that is by just clicking and drawing without holding down any keys from one point in the middle of the neck and up to the top.
If you hold down Shift, it will lock the manipulator in very precise angles. So let's see what that looks like. Okay, pretty close. I also want to move it in the side view so it's more in the center of the neck from this position. All right, now that we've got that situated, you perform the actual transposing by clicking and dragging the inner circles at either end or in the middle of the manipulator. So since we are in Move mode, let's try clicking and dragging on this white circle in the middle. This will move the entire unmasked area evenly.
It's kind of a fun effect. And let's undo that. Something else you might want to do is turn off symmetry after you have drawn the mask. Sometimes having two overlapping Transpose Manipulators, they can kind of fight with each other, so I am just going to turn that one off by hitting X. Let's see what happens if we click and drag either end of the manipulator. So doing this it skews the unmasked area.
The end that you grab moves and the opposite end is locked down like an anchor point. Now let's try the other side. So you can see not every Transpose mode makes sense to use with every body part. Now, let's try out Scale mode. Grabbing either end now resizes the unmasked area relative to the anchor points on the opposite end.
The center circle grows or shrinks the unmasked area in every direction except in the direction parallel to the manipulator. A description is probably less helpful than a demonstration in this case. Finally, Rotate mode. This one may give the most predictable results. That's probably the one you are going to use most. Dragging either end will simply rotate around the pivot point, which is at the opposite end of the manipulator.
Dragging the center circle will twist the unmasked area around the manipulator. When you're done transposing, simply click on Draw mode to return to the standard working mode. Transpose can take a lot of practice to get good with. It often relies on precise masking, precise placement of the manipulator, and a bit of luck. Even when done carefully, there's usually some cleanup sculpting that will need to be done in order to fix up areas that didn't quite deform the way you wanted. Even with all these complications, Transform is a powerful way to pose and adjust your models.
I use it all the time to adjust the positions and sizes of various body parts.
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