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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.
Like any software, ZBrush has an array of buttons, menus, and controls that let you get work done. First off, there is this thing called Light Box at the bottom of the screen. I'm going to go more into depth in Light Box in other movies, but basically it's a browser that lets you load in models, tools, textures, and more, from your computer. However, it's just in the way right now, so I'm going to close it down with the Light Box button up here. At the top of the interface is the typical row of menu items that expand when you click on them.
On the left in the top are various controls for brushes, sculpting, color, and materials. I'll go over these more in later videos. This strip on the right-hand side has various controls that affect the way you view the canvas. I will cover these functions in the later video as well. Because of the screen resolution that I'm using, some of the buttons aren't visible right now. One of the buttons, called Polyframe, I'll talk about in a later movie; the others are less commonly used and won't be covered in this course.
On the far right is a palette that has the Tool menu loaded into it by default. In order to see everything that the Tool menu has to offer, let's load up a tool. We're using the ZBrush trial version; the interface should be exactly the same. So in the Ztools folder of your version of ZBrush, you should be able to find a Dog model. Now we can see that there are several submenus under the Tool menu. Click on the names to expand them and see that there are additional controls under each of them.
If the list goes off the screen, you can just click and drag anywhere on it and then scroll the palette up. You can click the name of one of these sub-palettes to close it again. Some of the settings and buttons in the interface can be hard to figure out, to say the least. If you want some extra information on what any of them do, hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard as you hold the cursor over it. A box should pop up explaining how to use the function. So I'm just holding down Ctrl and you see that each button or menu option that I move the mouse over pops up with a little explanation of how to use it.
Finally, if the interface is just getting in your way and you want to make more room for your model on screen, just hit the Tab key. That hides a lot of the interface. Hit Tab again to bring it back. With the basic understanding of the interface out of the way, we can now move on to a more in-depth exploration of ZBrush and its many capabilities.
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