ZSpheres is a powerful feature in ZBrushCore that allows you to create shapes very quickly which you can then convert to sculptable meshes for more complex sculpts. In this video, take a look at what ZSpheres are and how to use them.
- [Instructor] In the previous video we talked about the different ways that you can start a project in ZBrushCore. Now let's talk about how to use one of those methods, the ZSphere approach. There are two things that you need to know about ZSphere. The first one is that they are not Geometry, so you cannot sculpt on them directly. They are merely a tool to create an armature like we said before that can then be converted into Geometry. And the second thing is that although they are not Geometry they can live in the same tool with other sculptable meshes. This will make more sense later on but for now it's good that you know at least that they can co-exist with other sculptable meshes.
Okay, go ahead and click on the Tool thumbnail to open up the 3D Mesh window and from here we can select the red ZSphere to load it into the canvas. Let's also make sure that we are in Draw mode, indicated with this switch at the top of the UI and click and drag on the ZSphere to create another sphere. The size of your new sphere will be determined while you drag before you release the click. So in other words, the longer you drag the larger or the bigger the ZSphere is going to be. And you can keep clicking and adding new ZSpheres like so.
And of course you can also click more than once in the same ZSphere and that will create a more complex shape, like if you are creating a branch for instance, like so. If you are not happy with one of the ZSpheres you can delete them by holding Alt key and clicking on it. You can even remove one between two ZSpheres, like in this case if I hold Alt and click on this one you will recreate the connection between the two other ZSpheres. The only one that you cannot delete is the original one. So the first one that we loaded up because this where everything starts.
Now to move, to scale and rotate we can use the switches at the top of the UI or you can learn the hotkeys if you want to work faster. So in this case would be W for Move, E for Scale, and R for Rotate and you can press Q to go back to Draw mode. So those shortcuts will be equivalent to clicking on the switches at the top of the UI. Let's go ahead and use Move to reposition some of the ZSphere. Simply click on ZSphere and drag it wherever you want it to be, like so.
When you're editing your armature, and you start to move, rotate, and scale your ZSphere you might see this dotted section like I have right here and that means that there are two ZSphere too close to each other. So make sure you avoid those areas. So to avoid this section we can simple move the ZSphere a little bit apart and that will get rid of that section. Now another important is that ZSpheres have a hierarchy starting from the first ZSphere that we created at the beginning of the chain and this is very cool because it let control the armature very efficiently. So for example, instead of moving every single ZSphere in the chain one by one, we can click on the connections, like so between the ZSphere and move everything that is after this connection that we clicking on and exactly the same principle apply for scaling the armature.
So we can take this connection, make sure that Scale is selected, click and drag as well as rotating things around. So we can click on that, and you'll see that everything after this connection will be also rotated. Okay those are the basics to manipulate and to create ZSphere armatures but there are a couple of additional tricks that will be handy in certain situations. So for example, in Draw mode if you click and drag to create a new ZSphere, you can press Shift to snap the size of the new ZSphere to the exactly same size as the previous one, like so.
And this is very useful if you're for example creating a tube or a cable that want to ensure the volume is consistent across the entire model. Another thing that you can do is create a ZSphere right in the middle of two ZSphere and this will add more resolution to the object. For instance I can pull the ZSphere away and then click in the middle to add a new one. Let's go ahead and move it away just to create this sort of angular shape and then we can create a couple more here and here and then move them in place just to refine the shape that I want to achieve.
So you can add as many ZSphere as you need to describe a more fluid shape if that's what you're after. Finally, and this is one of my favorite tricks, you can create armatures following the movement of your mouse. And this is really cool and perfect to create details like horns or organic shapes. Now to do this make sure you are in Draw mode. Click and drag to create a new ZSphere and before you release the click press the Control key once. Now, if we keep moving the mouse you'll see that the ZSphere's movement is constrained to an axis. Okay, which is very handy as well.
Now all we have to do is press that Control key one more time and there you go. You can move the mouse around and ZBrushCore will generate ZSpheres following the position of your mouse. In the next video we're going to start using this technique to create our basic creature armature.
This course was created by ZBrushGuides. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Loading projects and templates
- Importing reference images
- Creating an armature
- Working with Adaptive Skin
- Using brushes
- Extracting mesh
- Using custom alphas
- Modeling with primitives
- Texturing with Polypaint