Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Making cracked and peeling paint, part of ZBrush: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] Here's a fun trick that can create a very convincing effect of cracked and peeling paint. So let's check it out. I've got this monument here, and I want to make it look even more aged and weathered, like it had a coat of paint on it and that paint is just falling apart and cracking and peeling. I'm sure there's a lot of different ways to achieve this effect, but let's combine a few basic tools in interesting ways to get a complex result. I'm going to make a duplicate of our subtool here so that one of them is the base of the monument and the other is going to be the cracked paint layer.
Let's go back to the original here, and let's give it a material that kind of maybe looks a little bit like stone or concrete. And now let's just fill this material. Go to M, which is the material channel, and we'll just go ahead and fill the object with that material. And now let's go to the paint, and let's pick something that looks like it might be good for paint, maybe the Skin Shade 4 material, and we'll go ahead and fill that as well.
Okay, the next thing I want to do is define the areas of the material that are going to be cracked. So let's go ahead and hold down Control, so we go to our masking tools, and I want to change the mask stroke style to Drag Rectangle. And then also let's give it an alpha. I'm going to go ahead and pick this alpha that comes with ZBrush, it's kind of a cracked pattern all by itself. You could also load in a photo of cracked paint but I find this works pretty well.
So what I want to do is just zoom in a little bit here and just start holding down Control and dragging out different instances of this cracked pattern. And some of them you want to have small, some of them you'll probably want to have big. You just want a big variety of these all over. You really want to just cover the entire surface. I'm just remembering to rotate the brush at different angles while I'm dragging this out so that it doesn't look like I'm just repeating the same pattern so much.
I'm just getting some nice variation here. Maybe I'll overlap some big with some small. I just want to make sure I get every surface. Okay, so I've got some nice coverage now. Something else I can do is mask specific areas to have more coverage or less, so I'm going to hold down Control, I'm going to get rid of this alpha, and we're going to change this back to freehand. And now what I want to do is just mask off certain areas as being where the paint is completely worn off.
So let's say for example, there's just different areas where I don't even want the pattern to be there at all, but just want to get the look of the paint being completely missing. And I'm going to try to make this kind of organic and natural. I don't want to be too precise about where I'm putting anything, I just want to just kind of scribble out different places where the paint is completely worn off. And maybe there's a few places where the paint is completely stuck on, so I'm going to hold down Control and Alt and erase that on the mask.
So maybe there's some places where the paint is adhering better. Just want to keep this really nice and organic. Not fretting too much about where exactly I do it. Okay, looks good. Now let's go ahead and delete all the masked areas. I'm going to use the hotkey that I made in a previous video and just hit Control-X to delete all the masked areas. Alright, let's zoom in and take a look. That looks pretty good. There's kind of a really ragged edge here, however, so let me undo this and try a different technique.
I'm going to hit Control-Z a few times to get back to where I was. So there's another technique that I like to use. I'm just showing you here. If you go to Geometry and then Edge Loop, you can do Edge Loop Masked Border. So what this does is it cuts out around the masking, but it does it in a way that kind of softens that jagged edge. And when it finishes calculating in just a minute, I'll show you what I mean. Okay, so let me zoom in here. You can see now, if I hit Shift-F especially, you can see that it took that jagged edge and it kind of cut a smoother line all the way around it.
Now if I hit Control-X to delete that, now we get a smoother, softer outline. Okay, now let's see what this looks like with the original monument visible. I'm going to go to subtools and turn on the visibility for that. Okay so it looks like a pretty nice, correct-feeling paint effect so far. Let's do a few things to heighten the realism even more. One thing that I'd like to do is have this paint peeling and curling up away from the surface, so to do that, I want to mask the border.
So I'm going to use my hotkey from a previous video, Shift-A, to mask out the border. Or you could just go to Masking and Mask By Features and use just Border. I'm going to go back into solo mode so we see only the paint. Let's zoom in here. So what that did is it masks off just the edge of the polygons, so what I want to do from here is grow the mask a little bit, so that masked edge sort of extends out onto more of the paint chips.
Now we can invert the mask, and let's turn off solo mode. And what I want to do from here is sort of inflate out all of these paint chips, so I'm going to go into my Move manipulator And just tap on the model to bring out a manipulator. And let's right click on the outer end of the manipulator on the red ring inside of that circle and just drag it out and you can see that it's kind of inflating out all those edges.
Alright, let's go ahead and get out of that manipulator and let's clear the mask. Alright, you can kind of see a better effect coming out now. Something else I might want to do is go into Move mode and move some of these individual edges independently so it's not the exact same effect all over. So I'm going to hit B-M and I'm going to get the Move Topological brush. That way the Move brush will affect only one piece and it won't affect other pieces next to it. And I also want to turn on AccuCurve for this brush so that I get a little bit more of a sharp point on the move.
So let's go to Brush and let's open up Curve and turn on AccuCurve. Alright so I'm going to adjust my draw size here and I'm going to hold down Alt and click and drag on some of these pieces, and it's just going to pull up some of those edges a little bit more. So you could go ahead and do this all the way around. It might be kind of time-consuming, it's easiest for me to just demonstrate the same effect all over so I can let you take it from here and just really go around and start putting some unique twists on some of these paint chips.
So from here you could get all kinds of different effects. If you had used a different alpha from the beginning, the pattern of these paint flakes and chips would be different. That could be a different effect. Or you could use different brushes and different settings on your brushes to pull out these paint chips in different ways. So there's lots of different ways for you to experiment on your own from here. But in the end it's pretty amazing how you can get some really complex details by just combining a few settings and brushes in ZBrush.
Skill Level Intermediate
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