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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.
ZBrush includes a few particularly irritating bugs that either pop up all the time or seem impossible to fix. Luckily, I'm here to point out the traps and show you how to recover when you fall in. Now I've got the Super Average Man loaded up and I did something special to it to make it give me an error. Let's say you want to subdivide this model. So let's go into the Geometry sub-palette and we'll click Divide. Sometimes you'll get this little error message that says, "A 3D Mesh with Subdivision-history may be partially modified only while the lowest subdivision level is active." Now, actually the message and the given solution have nothing to do with the problem or how to fix it.
The real problem is that you either have something masked or hidden and you didn't know about it. So what you want to do is hit Ctrl+Shift+A to clear all your masks, and then hold down Ctrl+Shift and click once in the canvas to bring back anything that might be hidden. ZBrush won't subdivide if anything is masked or hidden. Now, subdivision should work just fine. Something else that happens all the time is that Edit mode accidentally gets turned off, and instead of rotating, you click and drag on the canvas and ZBrush draws out multiple copies of the tool.
Simply clear the canvas with Ctrl+N and then redraw one copy. Now you can reenter Edit mode. Another issue is that some things that you do in ZBrush will get undone when you hit Ctrl+Z, even if they weren't the last thing done. For example, let's say we want to polypaint some color on the character. We would go down into the Polypaint submenu and turn on Colorize. So we're just going to go paint with this color in the model.
You accidentally forgot to put it into RGB mode; it is still in Sculpt mode. So you hit Ctrl+Z to undo that. Notice that colorize got undone, even though that was the next-to-last thing that we did. There are all kinds of different modes and settings and buttons you can push in ZBrush that will get undone when you hit Ctrl+Z even though they weren't the last thing that you did. So just keep an eye out for situations like this. It can be very confusing and very frustrating.
But if you know that that's what happens, then you know how to fix it. The more you work with the ZBrush, the better you'll get at avoiding the pitfalls. Until then, just try to keep from losing your sanity.
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