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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.
ZBrush is a great piece of software that allows you to create highly complex and organic forms in ways that other programs can't. Getting general 3D tasks done in Maya or 3ds Max is great, but when you need to do some serious modeling, ZBrush is a great secondary program to turn to. It allows you to make all kinds of sculptures and models with a high degree of creative freedom. Instead of worrying about extruding polygons in Maya, you can immediately start sculpting in ZBrush. This means that you can focus on being creative rather than tweaking vertices all day.
You can then export models along with texture maps into game engines or any other software for rigging, animation, or rendering. First, ZBrush allows you to start with basic shapes that can easily be moved around and adjusted without worrying about fine details. Then those shapes can be refined and sculpted on with brushes that react naturally. There's the ability to use photographs directly on the 3D model for painting or adding surface texture. You can work non-linearly by making fine details and then change large-scale proportions without losing any of that detail.
Models can be cut up, combined, and shaped to fit other models, and modified in a huge number of ways. All of these options mean that you're free to quickly explore artistic decisions in ZBrush. Being the complex program that it is, ZBrush can be confusing to use at times. I'll make special comments throughout the course to highlight difficult features and present solutions to common problems. My goal is to remove the mystery from how ZBrush works so that you can make wonderful things with minimal trouble. ZBrush is capable of amazing things that were unimaginable just a few years ago.
With a little practice, your artistic vision can be brought to life with the help of this powerful program.
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