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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 allows you to paint with color onto your models using mostly all the same brushes and settings you use for sculpting; the difference is that instead of altering the positions of polygons, you're altering their color. Let's open up the SuperAverageMan and expand the Polypaint subpalette. In order to allow polypainting, we need to turn on Colorize. With Colorize off, changing the color will change the entire model's color.
With Colorize on, we can paint different colors on to different parts. We also need to change the Brush mode from Sculpt to Paint. You do this by turning off Zadd and turning on RGB. The colors that you paint with are controlled here on the left side of the screen. You can move the color pickers around to get any color you want. The swatch on the right is the primary color, and the left one is secondary. Click on the SwitchColor button to swap them. You can also pick a color from anywhere on your model by clicking and dragging on the swatch over to the model.
You can see it's going to pick up white. One thing you want to watch out for is the material that you're using. Right now, it's set to SkinShade4, which is a neutral white material, but let's say, for instance, you were using ReflectOrange. This material comes with a color built into it, so any color that you paint with is going to add to it. You can see here painting with pink isn't quite giving us the same result we're expecting. That's because it's combining the orange with the pink. I am just going to undo that. So if you set it back to a material that has a neutral white color built into it, you will see you will get a more predictable result.
Now this color pink is actually the same that we see in our swatch. Now we can start painting. Simply set your brush size and your color and your brush type and get down to it. Let me zoom in here and show you. I want to set the Draw size a little bit smaller. Now, notice when I paint it's really blocky. This is because polypainting is resolution dependent. It's not painting the surface; it's actually just painting the polygons. So the more polygons you have in your model, the finer the painting you can do.
I am just going to hit Ctrl+D a few times to add subdivisions to the model. Now when I paint the result is much smoother. Take a few moments to experiment with various brushes, colors, and stroke types. Polypainting in ZBrush is a much faster way to color a model than the old method of painting on 2D texture maps.
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