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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training
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Painting models


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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

with Eric Keller

Video: Painting models

ZBrush is not only a great program for creating digital sculptures and 3D objects, it's also a great way to texture 3D objects. You can paint the texture directly on an object and then export that for use in another 3D program or just use it in ZBrush itself. For instance, I have painted or I have started to paint a skin texture for this old man character and I have done this by painting colors directly on the surface of the model. I'm going to demonstrate how to do this. This is the oldMan_Painted2 model; I'm going to load a different old man character. I do have a lot of old man characters apparently. So let's load up oldMan_v01 and press F to center and here he is. I'm going to switch to the basic material and now we can see, it's just a white color on 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

Painting models

ZBrush is not only a great program for creating digital sculptures and 3D objects, it's also a great way to texture 3D objects. You can paint the texture directly on an object and then export that for use in another 3D program or just use it in ZBrush itself. For instance, I have painted or I have started to paint a skin texture for this old man character and I have done this by painting colors directly on the surface of the model. I'm going to demonstrate how to do this. This is the oldMan_Painted2 model; I'm going to load a different old man character. I do have a lot of old man characters apparently. So let's load up oldMan_v01 and press F to center and here he is. I'm going to switch to the basic material and now we can see, it's just a white color on here.

When you apply a color to an object in ZBrush, the colors are actually applied to the vertices of the object. In other words, if I turn on Frame mode you can see, each point right here will contain RGB information and then the colors that are stored in these points are blended across the surface of the polygon itself to create a nice, smooth looking color. Pressing F to zoom out and I'm turning Frame off, I'm going to increase the subdivisions. Just like if you are working in a Photoshop with a 2D image, the more pixels you have, the more information you have in the image and the smoother the image will look and the more detail you can get into it.

ZBrush is the same way, but now we are talking about points rather than pixels. So if my object has a lot of points to it, the colors that I paint on it will look a lot smoother. I have this one up to about two million polygons right there which is a good start. So in order to start painting directly on the model, I'm going to go to the Texture palette and I'm going to turn on Colorize. And now I can choose a color from the Color Picker. You notice that his eyes are changing color there. His eyes are a separate subtool, as well as his teeth. So they are picking up the color automatically, they don't have Colorize on. So as I change the color, you will see the eyes change as well.

Well, let's pick a deep red. Now as I paint on the model, you are going to see a couple of things happen. You see a color, but you also see a raised lump. It is because I have Zadd on. So I'm going to undo that and sometimes when you undo, Colorize turns off, so I'm turning Colorize back on and turning Zadd off and now, as I paint on the model, I have a nice, smooth stroke. If I lower the subdivisions of the model, you can see the stroke becomes blurry, as I raise it, it's still nice and smooth. However, if I lower the subdivisions and then paint on the model and then raise it, it's not quite as smooth. So this is why you have got to remember, always do your Poly Painting at the highest subdivision level where you have lots and lots of polygons to work with.

So I'm going to remove this red stroke that I have painted on the model by choosing a white color, we go to the Color palette, do Fill Object and this is just like the Paint Bucket in Photoshop, I'm just clearing out the whole object with a white color. In fact, if I want to start painting some skin, maybe I will choose more of a pinkish hue, because I like s pinkish hue and then choose Color > Fill Object. A little bit dark, but that's okay. It is just my base layer, maybe I will pick something lighter and I'm ready to start Poly Painting.

To do the actual painting on the surface, I'm going to use my sculpting brushes, and what's great about this is that I can also use Alphas with the sculpting brush and even change to a different type of stroke. I'm going to lower my RGB Intensity. When you lower the RGB Intensity, you are lowering the opacity of the brush stroke. So let's raise the Draw Size here and start painting on the surface. So what that means is you are lowering the opacity, so the base color is going to blend with the colors that you paint on here. If I raise it up to 100%, this is what we get. Let me press Ctrl+Z to undo that, but if I lower it, even to about 8, it's like a very light coat with an Airbrush on the surface of the model and as I paint, I can blend different colors together to create sort of the color regions of the face.

This technique is known as Poly Painting because I'm painting directly on the polygons. I usually spend a long time doing this, but I'm not going to go through entire process here, but just give you an idea of how to get started. What I like to do is I like to build up the color over several layers, changing Alphas, changing Colors, changing Intensity as I go because a believable face is going to have a lot of variation in it. Actually, one of my favorite Alphas to use is the Spray Stroke, the Circle. When the Circle start to overlap, they create kind of a nice texture. A little bit more warmth for this part of the cheeks, maybe some coolness, just a little bit down in this area, on the beard line. Paint red where blood vessels are closer to the surface, and the ear lobe and these parts of the ears.

Poly Painting is one of my favorite parts of ZBrush. I really get lost in it. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. All right, well he has got a little bit of a make-up going on there, but that's okay. Other things that you can paint obviously, include details such as freckles and other types of spots, pores and so on and so forth. When I have painted a model and I'm ready to convert this into a texture, I just go to the Texture sub-palette and I press Color to Texture and this converts it to a texture which is now stored in the Texture palette. I can export this texture and then use it in my other 3D programs such as Maya and 3D Studio Max.

The thing to keep in mind is, it's a good idea to have your UV texture coordinates laid out ahead of time before you convert the color to a texture. Now if I switch textures here, it looks like I have lost all of the work that I put into painting the texture, but that's not the case. Remember, that the texture is just wrapped over the model. The color that I painted on the texture is still there. If I turn Texture off, you can see it, it hasn't been lost. And what's great is I can store this color, this paint job with the model. Every time I load the model, that color information is still there.

So what that means is I can make several variations of the texture. If I need to make a 1024x1024 version of the texture, I can do that by sizing it and exporting that version, but I could also export 2048x2048 version of the texture and so on and so forth. It's a very wonderful workflow because you only have to paint it once, but you can create many variations of that texture depending on what you need for your animation program.

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