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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.
As you are working on a model in ZBrush, you may notice in the bottom end of the interface here, we have this Color Picker. How does this Color Picker affect the model that you are working on? You already can see that there is a nice red color to the surface of the model. I'm using the old man painted model and this is available for Premium Users. Well this red color that you see is actually part of the material that's applied. Simply put, the material affects how the surface reacts to lighting in the scene.
Some materials, actually, have a color built into them. I'm going to switch to the basic material down here at the bottom of the Material palette and this one has no color applied to it, and that's part of the material. So the surface color is actually white; the variations in value that we are getting is a result of the lighting in the scene. I can change the lighting by opening the Light palette and moving the Light Cursor around. So we are getting white to gray to black and that's mainly because of the preview shadows that are around the object. But if I start changing the color here on the Color Picker, you can see it is quite obvious I'm actually changing the color of the model.
The color is applied to each vertex of the model, as I zoom in here. So each one of these vertices contains color information and then across the surface of each polygon that color, for your information, is blended. So I have one uniform color applied to the entire model. Let's take a quick look at how the Color Picker actually works. The center of the Color Picker, I can choose between saturation, so on the right side, it is more saturated, on the left side, it is less saturated. The top has a higher value, the bottom has a lower value and then you also have a way of storing a secondary color. If I ever decide that I want to switch between the main color and the secondary color, I can just click on this Switch Color button.
I also have a Color palette. Let's put this in the tray by clicking on that button right there. So I have the same Color Picker here and then under Modifiers, I have just a variety of other ways to choose colors, just in case, I decide I like these better and if I really like the System palette, I can click on this button to call up the System palette. This is a great way to get more information on the exact color that you have chosen. Finally, I can also choose a color directly from the interface just by clicking and dragging. So I can choose this gray background color or I can choose the blue color on the surface. And this is really useful if I have painted an illustration and let's say I have one object on one side of the screen and an another object on the other and I want to clone a color from one object to the other, I could just click and drag to the surface of that object and grab that color.
So understanding how Color works in ZBrush is important, especially when you get to the point where you are ready to paint colors directly on to the model.
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