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Understanding polygon-based models

From: ZBrush 4 Essential Training

Video: Understanding polygon-based models

In ZBrush, as well as many other 3D programs, polygons and vertices are the basic building blocks of models. Models made up of polygons are called polymeshes. Understanding what they are and how ZBrush deals with them will help you make sense of ZBrush's workflow. Let's double-click on the Dog project to open this up. So one thing I want to do is make the polygons that make up this mesh really clear, so I'm going to hit Shift+F. This turns on a mode called PolyFrame. It just makes it really easy to see where the edges of polygons are. Now if I go in to do any sculpting on this model, what you can see really easily is that the brush is only affecting the vertices, and the vertices are the corners of polygons.

Understanding polygon-based models

In ZBrush, as well as many other 3D programs, polygons and vertices are the basic building blocks of models. Models made up of polygons are called polymeshes. Understanding what they are and how ZBrush deals with them will help you make sense of ZBrush's workflow. Let's double-click on the Dog project to open this up. So one thing I want to do is make the polygons that make up this mesh really clear, so I'm going to hit Shift+F. This turns on a mode called PolyFrame. It just makes it really easy to see where the edges of polygons are. Now if I go in to do any sculpting on this model, what you can see really easily is that the brush is only affecting the vertices, and the vertices are the corners of polygons.

So you can see that everywhere I move the brush, each vertex is highlighted, and right now the polygon mesh doesn't really have enough density to make any fine details, so it's just making these very big, crude, lumpy changes. If I want to sculpt finer details into this, I need a more dense mesh. So let's open up the Geometry sub- palette and click on Divide a few times. I'm just going to click three times. I also want to refresh the PolyFrame view, so I'm going to hit Shift+F to turn it off and then hit it again to turn it back on again.

So what you can see is there is a lot more polygons, a lot more vertices making up this model. So if I want to sculpt any fine details, it's now possible because there is a lot more geometry to work with. I'll go over subdivision levels and dividing a model more in later movies. I just want to make sure that the concept of polygons and vertices was clear. Because of the fact that polygons and vertices are the core building blocks in ZBrush, you'll need to understand how they work in order to really take advantage of all that ZBrush has to offer.

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This video is part of

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ZBrush 4 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 15345 viewers

Ryan Kittleson
Author

 
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  1. 5m 13s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. What is ZBrush?
      1m 47s
    4. A note on screen resolution
      1m 32s
  2. 19m 17s
    1. Making sense of ZBrush
      2m 39s
    2. Understanding the interface
      2m 29s
    3. Using Light Box
      1m 23s
    4. Navigating the canvas
      2m 2s
    5. Using Perspective and Floor
      1m 51s
    6. Understanding local centering
      1m 9s
    7. Trying different materials
      2m 7s
    8. Activating symmetry
      2m 15s
    9. Viewing your work in various ways
      3m 22s
  3. 19m 59s
    1. Understanding polygon-based models
      1m 45s
    2. Creating ZSpheres
      4m 21s
    3. Using ShadowBox
      2m 15s
    4. Making a ZSketch
      2m 47s
    5. Extracting from an existing mesh
      4m 0s
    6. Using primitive 3D meshes
      3m 24s
    7. Importing from other programs
      1m 27s
  4. 23m 43s
    1. Understanding brush settings
      2m 45s
    2. Inverting brush effects
      1m 9s
    3. Switching to Smooth mode
      2m 35s
    4. Setting the stroke properties
      4m 14s
    5. Working with alphas
      2m 34s
    6. Using the Move brush
      2m 51s
    7. Using the Clip brush
      2m 58s
    8. Learning a few more common brushes (Polish, Clay, Flatten, Inflate, Tracks)
      2m 14s
    9. Saving and using brush presets
      2m 23s
  5. 26m 53s
    1. Working with tools and projects
      1m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision levels
      3m 4s
    3. Masking off parts of your model
      2m 28s
    4. Masking based on cavity and occlusion
      4m 23s
    5. Selecting and hiding parts of a tool
      2m 51s
    6. Working with polygroups
      2m 0s
    7. Using deformation
      1m 59s
    8. Mirroring geometry across an axis
      1m 49s
    9. Restoring symmetry
      1m 45s
    10. Creating morph targets
      2m 31s
    11. Understanding surface normal direction
      2m 11s
  6. 8m 57s
    1. Learning the basics of subtools
      2m 37s
    2. Making new subtools
      3m 12s
    3. Combining subtools
      3m 8s
  7. 7m 20s
    1. Masking with Transpose
      1m 49s
    2. Adjusting the Transpose Manipulator
      1m 46s
    3. Moving, scaling, and rotating with Transpose
      3m 45s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Understanding how ZBrush uses color
      2m 36s
    2. Learning the basics of Spotlight
      3m 37s
    3. Painting and texturing with Spotlight
      2m 56s
    4. Texturing a head: A practical approach
      11m 16s
  9. 21m 14s
    1. Drawing new edge flow for retopology
      7m 52s
    2. Tips for making good edge flow
      5m 14s
    3. Creating new topology
      3m 55s
    4. Transferring detail from the old model to the new
      4m 13s
  10. 13m 28s
    1. Understanding the UV maps
      2m 47s
    2. Installing the UV Master plug-in
      1m 47s
    3. Using UV Master
      3m 46s
    4. Creating texture maps
      5m 8s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Preventing problems
      1m 42s
    2. Recovering a corrupted model
      2m 28s
    3. Recognizing and fixing common problems
      2m 26s
  12. 4m 54s
    1. Examples of ZBrush work
      3m 16s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 38s

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