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Using macros and ZScripts

From: ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Using macros and ZScripts

ZBrush comes with it's own scripting language called ZScript and this scripting language is used to create some of the plug-ins that you use with ZBrush. Some of these include things like Subtool Master and Transpose Master. But there is also an interactive way to create these scripts that does not involved any kind of coding. And that's to use macros. Macros just record everything you do in a ZBrush session to a text file. And that text file can be loaded as a ZScript. You can see that there are some that have come with ZBrush already. These are right here.

Using macros and ZScripts

ZBrush comes with it's own scripting language called ZScript and this scripting language is used to create some of the plug-ins that you use with ZBrush. Some of these include things like Subtool Master and Transpose Master. But there is also an interactive way to create these scripts that does not involved any kind of coding. And that's to use macros. Macros just record everything you do in a ZBrush session to a text file. And that text file can be loaded as a ZScript. You can see that there are some that have come with ZBrush already. These are right here.

To create your own macro you can start just play pressing the New Macro button, right here. And now I'm recording a macro, everything that I do in ZBrush is now recorded to a text file. So, let's create our own parametric tool in ZBrush using this macro. So I'm going to select the Helix 3D tool, go down to Initialize, let's draw it on the canvas, of course, and switch to Edit mode, I will switch to a side view here and lets play with some of these controls just to make our own special spring, we will thicken the center, here we go, that is already looking pretty interesting. Fantastic! Its beginning as it's a sea monster or perhaps some kind of hair style. I actually liked it the way it was before, here we go. That is perfect, good enough.

Now we are going to the Macro palette and I'm going to choose End Macro. It's going to ask me if I want to save this, I will save this in the Essential ZBrush files and will call this twister. So it is going to save it just as a text file and you can open up in the text editor, take a look at the actual script itself. Now that I have done, let's try playing back the macro. Before I play back a macro I like to initialize ZBrush just to set everything back to the starting point because what it is going to happen is when it plays back the Zscript, it's going to playback all my actions starting from where I'm now and sometimes that can cause some really strange behavior. Sometimes it's what you want to do but for this demonstration, I'm going to initialize ZBrush and we are back to the beginning of ZBrush and all of our tools are back to our initial state.

Now I'm ready to actually load that macro. So I'm actually load it using the ZScript palette, seems a be little bit strange for but if you notice there is no load button in here, this reloads all of these macros right here. It doesn't necessarily load a new macro. You have to go to the ZScript palette,, choose Load now I can choose twister and I can open it and nothing happens. Well, we have added a button down here, it says ???. This is actually my Zscript. I'm going to press it and will see, it is going to repeat all the actions; this Is not a movie, this is actually a ZBrush session. So, once it's done I will be able to play with this tool. See, there it is completely finished.

So it is a great way to record actions that you repeat a lot. If you want to change this title you can actually go into the text file by opening up something like notepad and replace ??? at the top of the file with your own title. And then when you reload it using the ZScript menu, you see a descriptive titles such as twister or something like that. That's the basics of working with Zscripts and if you are interested in scripting it's worth taking the time to go through the Help files to learn how the ZScript Language works.

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This video is part of

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ZBrush 3 for Windows Essential Training

80 video lessons · 10261 viewers

Eric Keller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 27s
    1. Welcome
      30s
    2. Using the example files
      46s
    3. Overview
      1m 11s
  2. 26m 18s
    1. Understanding pixols
      1m 58s
    2. Establishing canvas size and color
      2m 30s
    3. Positioning 3D objects
      4m 33s
    4. Working with trays and palettes
      2m 52s
    5. Sculpting models in Edit mode
      3m 12s
    6. Discovering sculpting brushes
      5m 29s
    7. Saving models
      1m 27s
    8. Managing memory in ZBrush
      1m 44s
    9. Setting interface preferences
      2m 33s
  3. 1h 52m
    1. Customizing the startup 3D meshes
      5m 44s
    2. Deforming 3D models
      5m 11s
    3. Activating symmetry
      4m 35s
    4. Creating armatures with ZSphere
      8m 28s
    5. Posing armatures with ZSphere
      8m 54s
    6. Working with levels of detail
      7m 33s
    7. Masking geometry
      5m 43s
    8. Hiding and showing polygons
      6m 29s
    9. Organizing geometry using polygroups
      8m 57s
    10. Extruding geometry with edge loops to make necks and ears
      10m 11s
    11. Creating sharp edges with the Crease tool
      4m 19s
    12. Adding parts to your model with subtools
      5m 18s
    13. Posing models with Transpose pt. 1
      7m 35s
    14. Installing the Subtool Master plugin
      4m 29s
    15. Posing models with Transpose pt. 2
      13m 52s
    16. Installing the Transpose Master plugin
      5m 7s
  4. 58m 51s
    1. Sculpting with brushes
      11m 22s
    2. Choosing stroke types
      2m 20s
    3. Using Lazy Mouse
      4m 28s
    4. Sculpting fine details with alphas
      5m 9s
    5. Creating alphas
      6m 46s
    6. Creating stencils from alphas
      9m 28s
    7. Storing morph targets
      6m 4s
    8. Isolating details with 3D layers
      6m 23s
    9. Building surfaces by extracting meshes
      6m 51s
  5. 1h 13m
    1. Picking colors
      3m 2s
    2. Applying textures
      4m 15s
    3. Creating seamless textures
      3m 8s
    4. Painting models
      7m 51s
    5. Mapping 3D model texture coordinates
      5m 32s
    6. Adding sculpture reference planes
      11m 21s
    7. Applying materials
      4m 10s
    8. Modifying standard materials
      10m 17s
    9. Applying MatCap materials
      2m 22s
    10. Creating MatCap materials
      9m 9s
    11. Creating bump maps
      5m 55s
    12. Painting with photos
      6m 31s
  6. 6m 7s
    1. Exporting models
      2m 30s
    2. Importing models
      3m 37s
  7. 1h 1m
    1. Getting started with 2.5D tools
      5m 10s
    2. Modifying paintbrushes with stroke types
      3m 42s
    3. Positioning strokes and models on the canvas
      5m 14s
    4. Using snapshots
      7m 32s
    5. Understanding ZSub and ZCut
      4m 2s
    6. Creating document layers
      7m 47s
    7. Applying transparency
      3m 23s
    8. Lighting the canvas
      9m 3s
    9. Rendering in ZBrush
      6m 10s
    10. Tuning shadows
      4m 53s
    11. Baking lighting into the graphic
      2m 15s
    12. Creating a sense of depth using fog
      2m 37s
  8. 7m 12s
    1. Recording ZBrush movies
      3m 23s
    2. Using macros and ZScripts
      3m 49s
  9. 20m 50s
    1. Can't rotate or move the model
      1m 0s
    2. Can't sculpt on the model
      59s
    3. Can't adjust the lighting
      47s
    4. Can't control disappearing strokes
      52s
    5. Can't move objects smoothly with the Gyro
      2m 2s
    6. Can't move the model on the canvas
      1m 40s
    7. Can't see some parts of the model
      38s
    8. Can't subdivide the model
      2m 27s
    9. Can't control the pivot of the model
      2m 2s
    10. Can't maintain symmetry
      1m 37s
    11. Can't control subtools
      2m 28s
    12. Can't rotate with Transpose without distorting the model
      1m 51s
    13. Can't activate the Transpose tool
      1m 0s
    14. Can't get rid of blurriness on the mask
      1m 27s
  10. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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