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Working with subdivision levels

From: ZBrush 4 Essential Training

Video: Working with subdivision levels

Subdivision is a central feature of ZBrush that allows you to sculpt intricate detail on your models. It breaks down a polygon mesh into smaller and smaller polygons. Depending on your computer's resources, you can have millions of polygons in a single model. Let's open up the SuperAverageMan project. So I just want to go into the Geometry sub-palette. We can look at all of our subdivision settings here. As it is, this model already has two subdivision levels. We can just grab the slider to go through them. You see that one is lower density and the other is a little bit higher.

Working with subdivision levels

Subdivision is a central feature of ZBrush that allows you to sculpt intricate detail on your models. It breaks down a polygon mesh into smaller and smaller polygons. Depending on your computer's resources, you can have millions of polygons in a single model. Let's open up the SuperAverageMan project. So I just want to go into the Geometry sub-palette. We can look at all of our subdivision settings here. As it is, this model already has two subdivision levels. We can just grab the slider to go through them. You see that one is lower density and the other is a little bit higher.

It's actually four times as dense. You can also move up and down through your subdivision levels without going to this palette. You can just hit Shift+D to go down or just hit D to go up a subdivision level. Sometimes it can be helpful to turn on PolyFrame to see your polygons more easily. Hit Shift+F to turn that on. So now if I go down a subdivision level, you can see that more clearly. I am going to turn PolyFrame off now, Shift+F. The detail that you sculpt on a model can only be as fine as the mesh is dense.

If I zoom in and sculpt, you see that we're just pushing big polygons around-- not much fine control here. I am going to increase the subdivision level to the highest one. Now, we'll create even more subdivision levels by clicking Divide. Each time we do this it splits every polygon into four smaller polygons. Now that the mesh is much more dense, we can sculpt finer details. I am going to shrink the brush down so that we have that finer control and zoom in a little bit.

One of the great things about subdivision levels is that you can sculpt fine details in a high subdivision level and then if you want to make really broad sweeping changes, you can go down to a lower subdivision level, change things, and all of the fine details will still be there when you subdivide again. I am going to grab this and just drop all the way down to the lowest subdivision level. I want to increase my brush size and just make some really big changes to the shape of the body here. I'll hit D a few times to go up to the highest subdivision level.

Notice how all the fine detail is still there, but it's conforming to the new shape. If it turns out that you really don't need as many subdivisions as you've made, you can delete the higher ones. So go to the highest subdivision level that you want to keep, let's say 4 and you hit Del Higher. This is just going to remove the higher subdivision level. You could always divide again to re-create it. You can also delete lower subdivision levels. So let's say the lowest one that I want to keep is level 2. If I hit Del Lower, now that is the lowest subdivision level that we have.

The ability to make adjustments on any level and have those changes update what happens on other levels is one of the most powerful features in ZBrush. It gives you the freedom to make big changes to a model on low levels without losing detail on high levels.

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This video is part of

Image for ZBrush 4 Essential Training
ZBrush 4 Essential Training

63 video lessons · 14628 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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