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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.
Navigating around your model in ZBrush may seem a little awkward at first. Once you get the hang of just a few simple controls, it will become second nature. You'll then be able to move easily from one part of your model to the next without even thinking about it. If you have used other 3D programs before, you may be used to how you navigate in the viewport by holding various keys and clicking or scrolling the mouse wheel. ZBrush isn't all that different, but it does a few things in its own special way that takes a little getting used to. I'm going to show you how to quickly rotate, move, and zoom your way around a 3D model.
I'm going to double-click on the DemoRhino down here in the Light Box to have something to work with. Starting with rotation, ZBrush makes this very easy. All you do is click and drag on an open area of the canvas-- so any part of the interface that isn't buttons or the model you're working with-- and it will just rotate the model around. You can move up, down, and left, and right by holding down the Alt button while you click and drag in an open space. Zooming is a little bit tricky.
You start out by moving, by holding down Alt and clicking and dragging, but then you let go of Alt and move your mouse up and down and it goes into Zoom mode. If you zoom in so close to your model that there is no longer any blank space to click on, all you do is click on this outer edge of the canvas and ZBrush knows that you want to navigate rather than edit the model. Now sometimes this happens where the model disappears, so all you do is hit the F key on the keyboard and that frames the model, brings it all back into view.
You can also use the Move, Rotate, and Scale buttons on the lower right-hand side of the canvas; just click and drag on any of them to do the exact same thing. The Scale button especially comes in handy because the whole move-and-then- release-Alt-and-drag thing can be awkward sometimes, so it's easier to just use this button. Once you have figured out all these simple controls, you'll ready to attack your model from all sides. Navigation in ZBrush will become second nature to you and you'll be able to do it in your sleep.
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