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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.
If you want to use a photograph to actually paint colors on to a model, you can do this using the Projection Master Plugin. I'm going to draw my female version Head model on to the canvas and switch to Edit mode and press F to center and let's increase, level of Geometry. Now Projection Master is a plugin that's been part of the Zbrush for a while. In older versions of the Zbrush it was used to apply colors to a model and a lot of that functionality has been replaced by Poly Painting. And there are few areas Projection Master still could be very helpful and one of those is applying photographs as a color to a model.
So I'm going to switch to the BasicMaterial here. So I don't have any more of that red color from the Red Wax material. When I'm using Projection Master once again I will be painting colors directly on to the vertices of the model. So the more vertices I have in my model, the better the texture will look. Now I'm actually going to divide this model one more time so it has five levels of subdivision. I'm going to import a texture and this texture is going to be the Seamless Stone Texture that I created. This is a Seamless texture that I created using a photograph in Zbrush.
Now you can see it's applied as a texture to the model already but we can see that UV Seam is right here. This is not what we want, we want to have something that when we are -- placing the texture a little bit more intentionally. Now that I have that loaded I'm going to turn Textures off but it's still available you can see it's up here in the User Textures. Before I start Projection Master I should create a blank texture that I can use on my model and Projection Master will take all of the changes that I make and transfer to that texture. So I'm going to go to the Texture palette, set my texture to I'm going to choose 2048x2048, choose New, its going to create a white texture here in the Texture palette and now I can start Projection Master and to do that I just click on this button right up here and it starts the plugin and I get this little window right here.
So what Projection Master is going to do is its going to drop my model to the canvas temporally. So its going to freeze it in space so I can no longer rotate it around and while its frozen I can make changes to the model and when I'm finished it will pick up the model again and apply those changes to the model. You can actually apply colors, shading, material or you can even use the brushes to change the surface of the model. However most of the times you are probably just going to use the Sculpting brushes in Zbrush to make changes to the model. So for right now I'm just going to choose Color. I want to have Fade so that as it wraps around the surface it fades out a little bit. I could choose Double Sided if I want the texture to repeat on the other side, it gives a little preview when you click on that but I'm going to use Single Sided for now. So these settings are just fine. So I'm just going to choose Drop Now.
It doesn't look that much different to start off with but you can see I have all my 2.5D brushes are now available to paint directly on the model and I'm going to choose the Directional brush. This won't work for our textures. So right now I have the default texture that's applied to that brush I'm going to switch to my Seamless Stone Texture and I'm going to change the Draw style to DragRect and finally I'm going to turn Rgb Intensity all the way up so the full texture is applied to the model and now when I drag on here I can see my Stone texture is being applied and as I'm dragging using the directional brush I can actually change the direction here.
So I'm going to focus on just applying to the front. So the paint brush is applying this color just as if a projector were shining the projection right on it. As it wraps around the surface it's going to fade out a little bit. So I have to make sure that I concentrate on just those parts that face the front of the canvas. If I had a photograph of a woman I could also apply that to this face as well if I wanted to start off with the photograph of the skin texture but this is going to be statue. So I'm using stone instead.
Well I'm satisfied. I can click on the Projection Master button again and it allows me if I want to pick it up now. So I want to do that, it will convert my changes to the texture and you will see that here in the Texture palette. You can see those colors little bit applied to the texture. As I rotate the model you can see how it fades out on the side. Let me go to the side view here and start our Projection Master again. Maybe this time I will turn on Double Sided so I could do both sides of the face at the same time, then I'm going to choose Drop Now and then once again start painting that stone color on all the parts of object that face the camera. If I wanted to get in there and do some detailing I could switch to something like this Simple brush, take the draw size down and to start paint colors, let's turn Zadd off here and I could paint color on the model if I wanted do, like some kind of crack or something like that.
I'm going to switch back to the Directional brush here and maybe lower the intensity and drag little bit more on the stone texture over what I just painted here just to make it look little bit more like it belongs there and then when I'm happy, I will just press Projection Master and pick it up after few second. There we have it, and you notice it's on both sides. I can export this is a texture or if I wanted to, I could actually convert this to colors on the model and then continue Poly Painting. So I go to the Tool palette, choose Texture, I'm going to turn on RGB, turn off Zadd and I do Texture to Color and there we go. This is actually now a color that's painted on the model. So I started off with a photograph there and now I can go with my brush and continue to Poly Paint.
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