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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.
The Stroke palette is another way to change how a brush behaves. You can alter various settings to get different effects out of the brushes. Let's open up the DemoRhino to have something to work with. I want to change its color a little bit brighter because it's kind of hard to see right now. Something else I want to do is increase the subdivisions of the model. This is going to give us more polygons to work with, so we can see the effect of the brushes more clearly. I'm just going to open up Geometry sub-palette here and click Divide about three times. Let's also zoom in, get closer to the action, rotate our view a little bit, so we can see this wide-open space to paint on.
You access Stroke settings over here by clicking on the Stroke button, and this pops up. You can change things in here. You can also change things up in the Stroke menu. What I want to do right now is dock the Stroke menu on the palette on the right side. The way to do that is by clicking on this little circle arrow icon, and what that does, it just locks it over here so I don't have to open it up every time I want to access this palette. There are lots of settings and frankly, it's more than you really need to worry about. Let's just quickly run through the essential Stroke options.
By default, it's on Dots, which makes a basic stroke. I just want to demonstrate. I want to decrease the Draw Size a little bit and I want to increase the Intensity just to make things easier to see. If I stroke with that, you just see it's a basic stroke, nothing fancy. Now, I'm going to undo this and change the LazyStep settings. Now LazyStep is over here. Setting this to a higher number spaces out the stamps more sparsely. So let's just crank this all the way up to 2. Now the effect you see is that each stamp of the stroke has been spaced out so you can see the individual stamps.
Now let's undo this, and let's crank LazyStep all the way down. What you see here is that the stamps are so closely packed together that they merge into one single stroke. I'm just going to undo this, and then we'll talk about DragRect. Selecting DragRect puts us into a mode where we drag out a single stamp of a brush wherever you place it. So I'm going to make the brush size a little bit bigger to make this easier to see, and now you just click and drag. What you see is that you can drag out a single stamp, and by moving the mouse up and down, you can increase or decrease the size of it.
It's locked into one place where you can easily see a preview of what the size is going to be. When you release the mouse, it's locked into place. DragDot is similar in that it creates the single stamp of the brush, but this time the size is fixed and the position moves as you drag. So if I just click and drag, you can see we get a preview of where the stamp is going to be. The size is determined by the Draw Size of the brush. If I release the mouse, you see it's locked into position. Let me just undo these, and let's click on Spray.
Spray is fairly intuitive. It scatters out stamps of the brush as you stroke. When selected, the Spray options are activated so that you can adjust the various randomizing functions. I want to decrease the Draw Size to make this easier to see, and I also want to decrease the Intensity a little bit. So the first thing I want to talk about is Placement. The higher the number you set for placement, the farther from the stroke each stamp can land. So let's just get an example of this. I want to crank Placement all the way up, and let's see the result that we get. Okay, so it's spraying out a whole bunch of stamps, and they're falling a certain distance away from the center of the stroke.
I'm just going to undo this, and now let's see what happens if we bring Placement fairly low down. Now as I stroke, you can see that each stamp is not falling so far away from the center of the stroke. I just want to reset Placement back up high again, so that we can see the Flow settings and how they work. The Flow, the higher you set this, the more dense the stamps get. So if I set this fairly high and we come out here and we stroke, we get a lot of stamps for every second of stroking that we do.
If I hit Undo and bring Flow all the way down--actually not all the way down, but pretty low--the result you see is that a lot fewer stamps come out for every second of stroking that you do. There is a lot more settings to play with in this palette, but even as an advanced user, I rarely change or use them. You'd be able to make pretty much any useful variation to your brush that you need with the settings I've shown.
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