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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.
Sometimes you want to deform the shape of your model in a uniform or predictable way all over. ZBrush deformations can perform these alterations and save you the time of having to make them by hand. Let's open up the SuperAverageMan and expand the Deformation sub-palette. There's lots of controls here, but one thing that most of them have in common is the axis selector. Let's look at it in the rotate deformer. By default, the Z axis is active. If we move the slider back and forth, we see that the rotation happens along the Z axis.
If we click the Z off and turn on Y and slide again, you notice the axis of rotation has switched. You could have multiple axes active at once, which in the case of rotation results in some unpredictable overlap of motion. Some deformations work best with all axes active so that the result is even. I just want to show you some of the more useful deformers that I use often. Offset will move a model. Size will grow or shrink a model. By default, all of its axes are active.
I actually like to turn off all but one of them sometimes, so you could really get the effect and see how it stretches on just one axis. SBend is good for curling a model around. Twist will warp the model into a spiral. Let's put this one on Y just to see the effect. Inflate will make the model turn into something like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Take some time to play around with the deformations. They are fairly straightforward and with a little experimentation, you will understand how they all work. As you can see, deformers automatically change the shape of a model in a predictable way that would be difficult if not impossible to do by hand. Keep them in mind if you ever find yourself needing to make a big shape change to your model.
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