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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 ZSpheres, ShadowBox is a way to get a rough start going so that you can continue to modify it later. Once you learn how it works, you will find yourself using it to start all kinds of mechanical or rigid shapes. To start using ShadowBox, we just open up the built-in ShadowBox tool. So down here in the Light Box, let's click on tool and then click on ShadowBox128. Then click and draw out in the canvas. We will also just want to go into Edit mode here so we can work on it. So, what we have here is a box with three sides.
You can draw anything you want into these panels with masks. The way that you start drawing in the ShadowBox is by holding down Ctrl and then click and drag. So, what this is going to do, it's going to paint some shapes into here, and then it generates a three-dimensional object based on the 2D drawings that you make on any sides of this box. So, we have got one shape here, and we can also change the depth of it by drawing in the right side. So, I am just going to hold down Ctrl, and you can keep adding to whatever it is that you draw. So now, we have also generated a view form the right side and that's creating a 3D shape with these two drawings combined into one.
You can also erase a drawing by holding down Ctrl+Alt. This is like an eraser: it just cuts away at any drawing that you have already done. And just to finish things off, let's make a little drawing here in the bottom view, holding down Ctrl and painting. And you can see, it's made this really complex shape that would be really hard to make out of ZSpheres. So, it's a completely different way of constructing a 3D object. Something to keep in mind is that ShadowBox creates rough, imprecise shapes. Don't expect to make highly detailed or accurate models here.
Use a ShadowBox as a way to get basic shapes going that you can then continue to modify. When you are done making your 3D objects, simply click on the highlighted ShadowBox button in the SubTool palette. So, here we have got ShadowBox. It's already active. You just click on this and it turns off the box and just leaves us with this 3D model, and now you could work on this just like it was any other model by sculpting on it or making any other modifications to it. So, as one of the many ways to create a polymesh in ZBrush, ShadowBox is good for certain types of shapes, especially ones that are difficult to make with ZSpheres.
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