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Pixologic's ZBrush 3 stands at the forefront of digital 3D sculpting and 2.5D painting, a new medium that is taking the art and entertainment worlds by storm. Visual effects artist Eric Keller shares his expertise and talents in ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training. He presents the concepts behind digital sculpting, shows how to produce fantastic images using the unique ZBrush toolset and interface, and demonstrates the power of the Digital Clay and Sculpting brushes. To offer a richer understanding of the application, Eric gives a guided tour of the interface and addresses the most common problems experienced by new users. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you are working on a digital sculpture like this one that requires a lot of straight lines and smooth curves, like some of these spirals here, you can actually get more control in your brush stroke when you activate Lazymouse. So what is Lazymouse? Well, it really should be called lazy brush, because as I said before, you don't really want to use a mouse when working in ZBrush, but they have decided to call it Lazymouse, so that's what we will stick with. Right now I just have a Standard brush activated. I'm using the greenMan model; this is available for premium users. I have it in Edit mode, and I have my strokes types set to Dots.
I'm dragging the surface of the model and you get to see sort of the basic standard stroke that we get. As I move my hand around you can see that the brush is pretty good at picking up all the idiosyncrasies of the movement that I put into my stroke. When I turn on Lazymouse, which is found in the Stroke menu, towards the bottom, activate the Lazymouse button, and now when I draw, you will see that there is this little line here. This little line creates a delay in the brush stroke. This sort of smooths out and removes a lot of the smaller movements as I move across the surface. In other words, if I really wiggle like this -- I mean you see some of that in there but it's smoothed out.
If I increase the LazyRadius, it increases the length of that line. Now if I move all over the place, it's only going to pick up some of the major movements, and a large radius will allow you to make really straight lines. I'm going to remove some of these strokes, and try and do something a little bit more intentional here. When I created a lot of the spirals in this model, I don't think I could have done it nearly as well if I hadn't had Lazymouse.
So I'm going to reduce my brush size and bring down my Intensity to about 17, and I'm going to set the LazyRadius to 15. I usually use a radius somewhere between 5 and 20. Now you see as I drag on the parts of this model, I can get a nice and straight line. Especially useful for these inner curves here.
Another feature that you can use to make creating strokes like this, not only easier and faster, is you can actually repeat the last stroke exactly as it was recorded. If I go to the Stroke menu and Play Replay Last, you will actually see that stroke that I just created, repeating exactly how I do it. By default, the Replay Last is mapped to the Ctrl+1 hot key; you can see it right here on the screen. So if I press Ctrl+1, that stroke is replayed. That's a great way to get nice, smooth strokes onto your model.
Now, of course you could just set the Intensity really high, but sometimes it's easier or more precise to just build up the stroke while establishing the first stroke and then replaying it a few times. Some other settings for Lazymouse, the LazyRadius, you also have the LazyStep. As I increase this it's going to increase the spacing between each stamping. Let's increase the Intensity so we can see what's going on here.
So there is more of a space between each iteration of the stroke. This is perfect if I was making some kind of studs on the surface or something like that. If I switch it to Stroke Type 2, Spray. Now I have Lazymouse activated. If you look, I have LazySteps set to 2, and I have my Strokes Type set to Spray; this is the right way to quickly put dots all over the surface.
But most of the time I find Lazy mouse is useful for making these nice flowing lines on the surface of the model. Experiment with it and see what settings you like and what you prefer and what you can create with it.
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