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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.
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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