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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.
There may be times when you only want to see a part of the model, or some parts may be in the way of others and you want to make them disappear for a while. ZBrush has a Selection function that makes this quick and easy. Like many functions of ZBrush, its selection tools require the user to master some complicated keyboard combinations. With a little practice, however, you'll be a selecting and hiding ninja in no time. Let's open up the SuperAverageMan project from the Spotlight. Let's say that we just want to focus on the head and that the rest of the body is just getting in the way right now.
I'm going to move this down so we can get a better view of the head. Now we can select the head by holding down the Ctrl and Shift keys. Notice that when you hold these keys down that the Brush and Stroke icons change. We're now in Selection mode. Click and drag a box over the head. The body disappears, leaving the head. Hit the F key to focus in on the visible portion. The body is still there; it's just invisible. We can modify the visibility in a few ways now. We can invert the selection by holding down Ctrl and Shift and then clicking a single time on the model.
This makes everything that was hidden visible and vice versa. If you hold down Ctrl and Shift and then single-click on the canvas, everything becomes visible again. Let's open up the Visibility sub-palette. There is a few more ways to manipulate selections there. Let me give you an example of when you would grow a selection. I'm going to move to the hand of the model. Now let's say I want to select just the pinky finger. But it's kind of hard to draw a mask that just exactly covers the pinky, because you sometimes catch a little bit of the other finger.
So let me just undo that and show you an easier way to do this. Let's zoom in a little bit in on the pinky, and now I just want to select a little tip of the finger. See, just a little bit of that tip is selected. Now if I hit Grow, it's going to increase the size of that selection along the surface. So now I've got the entire pinky finger selected. All right, let's make everything visible again by hitting ShowPt, and I'm going to hit F to zoom out.
Okay, so a good way to make irregularly shape selections is by converting a mask to a selection. So first, I'm just going to paint a mask on this body, and then you just hit HidePt to convert it to a selection. It would be very difficult to draw a box over an area like this. Take a few moments to practice with these functions to get the hang of it. You'll use selections all the time to focus in on the important parts of models. Selections really get powerful when in combination with masking and other features.
You'll find that there is many ways to achieve different effects by hiding some parts of the model and modifying others.
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