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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.
Sometimes a Ztool may become corrupted and there is not a previous version to fall back on. All hope is not lost. There is a way to extract the model from the Ztool and restore it. Let's open up the Super Average Man project. Now imagine that the Ztool is corrupted. There is a variety of things that can go wrong, such as ZBrush crashing often, certain functions stop working, or the model may do strange things when you sculpt on it. There's no way to list them all, but whatever the glitch, there is one solution that usually fixes it.
You can export the model as an OBJ and then import it into a new Ztool. Let's go through the steps. Make sure that your model is on the highest subdivision level. When we export, only one subdivision level can go out, so if you choose a lower one, you'll lose any finer detail. Click on Export in the Tool menu and save it anywhere you want. I'm going to save it on the desktop.
Now close ZBrush and restart. Sometimes the bug will be in the software and it will corrupt any model that is opened, so make sure that you're working with a fresh restart of ZBrush. Now let's click on Import to get the mesh that we just exported and just click and drag it into the canvas and go into the Edit mode. In order to get our subdivision levels back, let's expand the Geometry sub-palette and click Reconstruct Subdiv.
This is going to examine the model and see if its structure is based on a lower subdivision level. You can see we've just got another subdivision level out of this. Continue to Reconstruct subdiv levels, until it won't reconstruct anymore. Then save it as a new Ztool tool. So I clicked it one more time, and you can see it says, "Unable to reconstruct lower sub-div level, operation canceled." That means that there is no lower subdivision level to reconstruct. And now it's a good idea to save it as a new tool.
Usually, this procedure will fix odd behaviors and corruptions that can be seen in ZBrush and in Ztools. It can save you a lot of work if you don't have a backup or previous version to fall back on.
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