Learn how to create a new document in ZBrush and the reasons to save as project rather than tools.
- [Instructor] When you first open up ZBrush, it's going to look pretty daunting. I mean, there's a lot of stuff to take in. But what I want to try to do is demystify it really quickly and talk about the pieces that we're going to use and how we're going to use them. But the first thing I want to say is that this Lightbox that pops up, this is basically, this bridge-like tool that opens up when you first open up ZBrush. This is your go to for finding things really quickly. Lightbox resides here at the top left hand corner, right next to Projection Master.
If I open it up, I have ZBrush, Projects, Tools, Brushes, that sort of thing. As I scroll through these, I can get different brushes or different tools that I've perhaps done previously, and I can use those or different projects. Now, the difference between a project and a tool. A project has information such as lighting, materials, and that sort of thing. A tool is fairly straightforward. It may keep the color information, but it may not keep your material information.
When you're working, you want to make sure that you're using project files. The other thing I want you to look at is this canvas that we have here. Now, currently, I've got this large border, and I can change that by zooming. But what happens with this is that it's a approximation of a 3D object or a 3D scene, but it's on a 2D surface. Documents are handled as if they're like Photoshop files, they're just 2D renders, they're not actually 3D.
I'm going to create a New Document. What happens is, I've set my new documents to be larger than the standard document that opens up, so when I select that, you can see that my document size has changed and it's 995 wide by 633 high, and it's proportional. The reason why I do that is when I zoom in and out now this is basically the extents of that area. That way, it starts off in its extents, and I don't have to worry about it being smaller than what I want.
With ZBrush, there's the Document, and again, that's a 2D space. There's the Tool, which is a 3D object, so I can load a tool, like this Dog. If I draw it to this surface, it looks like it's 3D, but unless I hit Edit, it's only a 2.5D object, so I can't rotate it, I can't do anything but draw more of them. What happens is, it picks the surface that I'm over, it picks the angle of that face that I'm over and draws it there.
I could just do this all day and make a pack of dogs sticking out wildly from each other. I'm going to make a New Document here. But if I draw this out, and then I hit T, which is Edit, I suddenly have the ability to rotate it and look at it from different directions and I can even sculpt on it. Now, not every surface or every object that you use does this, and I'll give you an example. Let's make another New Document. I'm going to come over and use the Sphere 3D.
Now, these objects at the top here, these 3D meshes, they're all primitives, with the exception of the dog, which I loaded up. I'm going to hit Edit again, to insure that I can actually work on it. If I were to try and sculpt on this, it will tell me that it's not a 3D object, it's actually a primitive. I need to come over here under Tool, and Make PolyMesh 3D. Now, it gives me the ability to work on top of it. When I'm setting up my ZBrush environment for my work, what I like to do is make a couple of changes to the material and to the lighting, because it makes it much easier for me to work.
The first thing I want to look at is the material. Over here on the left hand side, you'll see that if I hover over this, it says the current material is MatCap Red Wax. Now, what somebody's done is taken an image that they like of a red wax candle, and they've sampled that image and turned it into a material capture. But basically, it's like false lighting. I'd like to change this, and I can use BasicMaterial, which, if you're familiar with 3D, like Maya or Max, it's very similar to a lambert material.
Or I like to use BasicMaterial2, which is very similar to a blinn material. The reason why I change this is I use Lights to help me get a better understanding of the form of my object. If I double-click that there, it brings a new light into the scene, and I can move this around. But if I select that ball, what it does is it pushes the light behind it and brings the ball forward. Then I can create a rim light for my object. I'm just going to adjust this slightly.
That rim light actually helps me understand the form of my object a little bit better, and it's a really good way of working. Now, if I were to change this back to MatCap Red Wax, you can see that that light doesn't even show up. That's because it's baked in lighting, basically. Now, the other thing that we need to look at is saving the document. What I like to do is Save this as a ZBrush project, and let's just do a test.
What that does is it saves my object as a project file. Later on, I don't have to go and adjust my lights or my materials, it's simply there. Now, something as simple as this, it doesn't really matter, but when you have something that's a bit more complex, you want to hang onto all the work that you've done and all the different sort of functionality. The other thing it does is it captures your work history here, and you can scroll back through it. That's a really good way of keeping data that you're working on, or if you want to do a movie file of your object later on, it's good to have that information.
- Collecting references
- Creating brushes and thumbnail sketches in Photoshop
- Working with the ZBrush ZModeler
- Detailing the floor, walls, stairs, and surface detail
- Rendering your scene