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Using primitive 3D meshes

From: ZBrush 4 Essential Training

Video: Using primitive 3D meshes

Another way to create basic geometry in ZBrush is through primitives. Primitives are simple objects like cubes, spheres, and cones that you can start with, rather than having to model them from scratch. ZBrush also gives you the ability to modify the attributes of primitives to create a wide variety of starting shapes. Primitives are created from the toolbox. Start by clicking on the Sphere3D up in the toolbox. Sphere3D is one of the primitives, but to see the others just click on Sphere again and you'll see this 3D meshes palette.

Using primitive 3D meshes

Another way to create basic geometry in ZBrush is through primitives. Primitives are simple objects like cubes, spheres, and cones that you can start with, rather than having to model them from scratch. ZBrush also gives you the ability to modify the attributes of primitives to create a wide variety of starting shapes. Primitives are created from the toolbox. Start by clicking on the Sphere3D up in the toolbox. Sphere3D is one of the primitives, but to see the others just click on Sphere again and you'll see this 3D meshes palette.

You can see there's standard objects like cubes, cylinders, and rings. There are also a few more exotic things like terrain and gears. I am going to pick Helix3D and just click and drag in the canvas to create it and then go into Edit mode. So you can see what we have here is kind of a spring object. There's lots of ways to modify this helix before we sculpt on it. All of the primitives can have their attributes set in the Initialize sub-palette. So down here is Initialize. I am just going to click and expand that. These settings control all of the math that goes into making this helix.

Various controls for shape, length, thickness, and curvature of this helix are all here for us to modify. So let's say I want to change the thickness of this. So I am going to click on Thickness, and what we get is a graph that pops up. You can change the points on this graph to change how the shape of the helix is made. So just by dragging these around, you can make one end thicker or thinner, and if you grab the other end, you can make that end thicker or thinner. It's really fun to play with. You can also click in the middle of this line to create new dots.

So you can make thin on both ends and thick in the middle. You can also remove dots by dragging them off the graph. Most primitives also have controls that affect how many polygons make up the surface. So let me move this down a little bit so we can see the bottom. Here's SDivide and LDivide. Let me zoom in a little bit, so we can see the effect more clearly. So SDivide changes the number of polygons that make up the circumference of the helix, and LDivide changes the number of polygons that are down the length of the helix.

There's really no set number of polygons that you should use. It really comes down to your preference of how dense you need this helix to be. Experiment with all the different graphs and sliders to see what kind of results you can get. Each primitive has its own controls and settings that you can work with. Now I could go through every single primitive and show you how every single control works, but really it'll be more fun for you to just play with them all and learn through experience how they work. When you're happy with how a primitive looks and you want to be able to sculpt on it, you need to convert it to a polymesh.

As it is, a primitive is a set of mathematical instructions that can't be sculpted on. So the way to make it a polygon mesh is up here in the top of the Tool palette, Make PolyMesh3D. When you click on that, it just creates a new tool that is now raw polygons instead of mathematical instructions, and this can be sculpted on. You'll find yourself using primitives to start all kinds of models. If the shape you need can be created based on the different shapes you can get through primitives, you'll save time by making it this way rather than trying to build it from ZSpheres or ZSketching or some other more organic method.

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This video is part of

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ZBrush 4 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 14614 viewers

Ryan Kittleson
Author

 
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  1. 5m 13s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. What is ZBrush?
      1m 47s
    4. A note on screen resolution
      1m 32s
  2. 19m 17s
    1. Making sense of ZBrush
      2m 39s
    2. Understanding the interface
      2m 29s
    3. Using Light Box
      1m 23s
    4. Navigating the canvas
      2m 2s
    5. Using Perspective and Floor
      1m 51s
    6. Understanding local centering
      1m 9s
    7. Trying different materials
      2m 7s
    8. Activating symmetry
      2m 15s
    9. Viewing your work in various ways
      3m 22s
  3. 19m 59s
    1. Understanding polygon-based models
      1m 45s
    2. Creating ZSpheres
      4m 21s
    3. Using ShadowBox
      2m 15s
    4. Making a ZSketch
      2m 47s
    5. Extracting from an existing mesh
      4m 0s
    6. Using primitive 3D meshes
      3m 24s
    7. Importing from other programs
      1m 27s
  4. 23m 43s
    1. Understanding brush settings
      2m 45s
    2. Inverting brush effects
      1m 9s
    3. Switching to Smooth mode
      2m 35s
    4. Setting the stroke properties
      4m 14s
    5. Working with alphas
      2m 34s
    6. Using the Move brush
      2m 51s
    7. Using the Clip brush
      2m 58s
    8. Learning a few more common brushes (Polish, Clay, Flatten, Inflate, Tracks)
      2m 14s
    9. Saving and using brush presets
      2m 23s
  5. 26m 53s
    1. Working with tools and projects
      1m 52s
    2. Working with subdivision levels
      3m 4s
    3. Masking off parts of your model
      2m 28s
    4. Masking based on cavity and occlusion
      4m 23s
    5. Selecting and hiding parts of a tool
      2m 51s
    6. Working with polygroups
      2m 0s
    7. Using deformation
      1m 59s
    8. Mirroring geometry across an axis
      1m 49s
    9. Restoring symmetry
      1m 45s
    10. Creating morph targets
      2m 31s
    11. Understanding surface normal direction
      2m 11s
  6. 8m 57s
    1. Learning the basics of subtools
      2m 37s
    2. Making new subtools
      3m 12s
    3. Combining subtools
      3m 8s
  7. 7m 20s
    1. Masking with Transpose
      1m 49s
    2. Adjusting the Transpose Manipulator
      1m 46s
    3. Moving, scaling, and rotating with Transpose
      3m 45s
  8. 20m 25s
    1. Understanding how ZBrush uses color
      2m 36s
    2. Learning the basics of Spotlight
      3m 37s
    3. Painting and texturing with Spotlight
      2m 56s
    4. Texturing a head: A practical approach
      11m 16s
  9. 21m 14s
    1. Drawing new edge flow for retopology
      7m 52s
    2. Tips for making good edge flow
      5m 14s
    3. Creating new topology
      3m 55s
    4. Transferring detail from the old model to the new
      4m 13s
  10. 13m 28s
    1. Understanding the UV maps
      2m 47s
    2. Installing the UV Master plug-in
      1m 47s
    3. Using UV Master
      3m 46s
    4. Creating texture maps
      5m 8s
  11. 6m 36s
    1. Preventing problems
      1m 42s
    2. Recovering a corrupted model
      2m 28s
    3. Recognizing and fixing common problems
      2m 26s
  12. 4m 54s
    1. Examples of ZBrush work
      3m 16s
    2. Goodbye
      1m 38s

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