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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.
Brushes are the things that you've used to sculpt and color your model. They come in many varieties, but they all have some settings in common. Let's open up the DemoDog to have something to work with. So, for example, the size of the brush is shown on screen by the bigger red circle around the cursor. This is something that all brushes have in common. You can change the size of the brush by moving the slider that says Draw Size. You can also use the left and right brackets on the keyboard to grow and shrink the brush size, but only if you're on a PC; sorry Mac people.
The smaller red circle around the cursor is called the focal shift. Put simply, it defines what kind of falloff the brush has. If the inner circle is small, the effect of the brush is concentrated in the middle. So I can make it really small. You can see that most of the effect of the brush is happening in the middle. If I make it very large, then the effect of the brush is going to be spread out over most of the area of the brush. I actually don't change this very often from the default. Right in the middle usually works good for most situations.
All brushes also have an intensity-- the higher the number, the more pronounced the effect will be when you sculpt. So right here if I crank up the Intensity, you're going to get a really heavy, pronounced effect from this brush. Let me just undo that with Ctrl+Z, and now let me show you if I bring it down really low, you can barely even see that effect. It's more useful if you want to make very subtle changes. There's also a huge variety of brush types that do all kinds of things to the surface of the model. They can be selected by clicking on the default brush called Standard, up here on the left side.
Then you can click on any of the others to test them out. Some of them are pretty intuitive; others take some time before you really understand what they do. I'll talk about some of the more important specific brushes in the later movies of this chapter. A quick way to access brushes is by pressing B on the keyboard. This brings up the Brush palette. If you're looking for a specific brush, just press the first letter of its name. For example, I am looking for the Inflate brush, so I'll press I. Now, we see only the brushes that begin with the letter I. Each brush also has an orange letter next to the icon.
You can see that Inflate has the letter N, so press N to select the Inflate brush. Each brush can be quickly chosen if you remember its keyboard combination. Anytime you want the Standard brush, for example, quickly type B+S+T and it will be made active. Take a moment to experiment with these settings and get a feel for how they affect the surface of the model. These features are some of the most common controls that you'll be using in ZBrush, so make sure you get comfortable with them.
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