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Main Page

From ZBrushInfo

In our continuing efforts to help ZBrush artists get the most out of using ZBrush we
have altered the main page one more time. We believe this is the final version of the
documentation for ZBrush 3. The documentation is a continuing effort, though, and
is subject to change. If you are accustomed to looking something up through the
previous main page, you can still find that page here. We'd appreciate comments as
to this new organization. Please e-mail 'doc' at 'pixologic.com'.

ZBrush 3 Main Manual

Useful Information:
Keyboard Shortcuts
User Edited FAQ
Palette Reference

● Part 1: ZBrush 101

❍ Welcome To ZBrush

❍ Key Concepts

❍ Digital Clay

❍ "Scalpel, please." Rakes, Gouges and Brushes

❍ Keep It Seperate

❍ Paint It!

❍ Strike A Pose: Transpose

❍ Strike A Pose: Rigging
❍ Win The Polygon Lottery With HD Geometry!
❍ Retool It: Understanding Topology

● Part 3: Communicating With The Others

❍ Bump, Displacement, and Normal Maps

❍ Displacement Exporter

❍ ZScripting

❍ Materials

❍ Lighting

❍ The Pixol

❍ Crossing The Great Divide

● Part 6: Tutorials
❍ Character Modeling: "Birth" by Francois Rimasson

■ Establishing the Base Mesh

■ ZBrush Sculpting

■ Posing

■ PolyPainting

❍ Character Modeling: "Eagle Head" by Joe Lee

■ Retopologization

■ Blocking It In

❍ Sculpting a Skull With Image Planes

❍ Topology and Reflow Lab: Plakkie and other users have created a great tutorial,
originally on ZBrushCentral and now on the wiki, all about using topology in
ZBrush 3. Well worth checking out!
❍ Material Capture by Meats Meier
❍ ZBrush 2 General Tutorials (Covering many topics–Good for new users.)
■ Introduction to the ZBrush Interface:Using controls, understanding edit

modes, basic painting, manipulating 3D objects.

■ Tutorial: Rusted Golden Idol:Some basic 3D modeling, painting materials

■ Tutorial: Bamboo Scene:More modeling and materials, lighting and

■ Not So Primitive: Parametric Models:Creating complex models using

parametric adjustments to ZBrush's 'primitive' models.

■ Hiding and Showing Model Parts:Learn how to hide or show model groups

or polygons, to more easily work with areas of interest.

■ Tutorial: Creating a Polymesh Z:Use model partial visibility to create a

shaped plane, create a 3D model from it using the powerful Difference Mesh
feature, maintain crease sharpness in a subdivided model.
■ Tutorial: Modeling a Telephone:Edge loop and low-resolution mesh

modeling, Projection and Normal maps, edge crisping, (a different way of

maintaining edge sharpness).
■ Tutorial: Warrior Image:Addresses a huge number of ZBrush's features!

Creating models with ZSpheres, high-resolution detailing and texturing,

positioning multiple models in a scene, lighting and rendering, and more.
■ Tutorial: Dragon Lizard:Creating low-res meshes from ZSpheres and edge

● The Reference Library

❍ Controls Reference

❍ More Resources

■ Pixologic Plug-ins

■ User Plug-ins

■ User FAQ (Written and maintained by users.)

■ ZBrush 2 Wiki: The old ZBrush 2 wiki. All of that information is also

contained in this wiki, but the old wiki may be useful for users still on the
previous version of ZBrush.
■ Keyboard Shortcuts

● Disclaimers
Shortcuts
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Keyboard Shortcuts
❍ 1.1 Alpha Palette (Alt+A)

❍ 1.21 ZScript Palette (Alt+Z)

● 2 Other Resources

Keyboard Shortcuts
Note: Mac Users: All keyboard shortcuts also work on the Mac. Simply substitute the
Cmd key for Ctrl
Alpha Palette (Alt+A)

Color Palette (Alt+C)

C
Selects whatever color is under the cursor.
Ctrl+F
Fills layer with currently selected color (or texture) and material Document Palette

Ctrl+O
Opens a Document
Ctrl+S
Saves a Document

Draw Palette (Alt+D)

I
Rgb Intensity slider appears at cursor location
Shift+I
Z Intensity slider appears at cursor location
L
Locks Rgb and Z Intensity sliders
S
Brings up Draw Size slider at cursor location
Alt
While held down, toggles between Zadd and Zsub Draw Palette (Alt+D)

Edit Palette (Alt+E)

Ctrl+Z
Undo
Ctrl+Shift+Z
Redo (Note that both functions are based on the mode that the user is in. If Transform>Edit
Object is active, then will undo the last change to the model. If it is not active, then they
will undo or redo the last changes to the canvas. Some changes, however, cannot be
undone.)

Layer Palette (Alt+Y)

Ctrl+N
Clears the active layer
Ctrl+F
Fills layer with currently selected color (or texture) and material
Ctrl+B
Shift+Click
On any layer, toggles all layers on or off
~+Click
Selects the layer on which the clicked pixol resides
~+Drag
Moves the layer contents (Equal to Layer>Displace H and Layer>Displace V)
~+Alt+Drag
Moves the layer content depth (Equal to Layer>Displace Z)

Material Palette (Alt+M)

Movie Palette

Ctrl+Shift+G
Brings up Grab Frame slider at cursor location
Ctrl+Shift+O
Starts continuous recording
Ctrl+Shift+P
Plays ZMovie
Ctrl+Shift+W
Select a window
Ctrl+Shift+1
Records a single frame Movie Palette (Alt+V) ;

Preferences Palette (Alt+P)

Ctrl
When Popup Info is turned on, hold down Ctrl to see more detailed descriptions
Ctrl+Click
On a Float Menu/Shelf item, removes that item from the Float Menu/Shelf
Ctrl+Drag
Pulls an item from the interface into the Float Menu or Shelf. Items can be docked with
other items, or left floating separately. Only interface elements which exist when ZBrush is
launched may be placed in these locations.
Ctrl+Shift+I
Stores interface configuration Tab Toggles Float Menu and Shelf on or off

Render Palette (Alt+R)

Ctrl+R
Renders area around cursor
Ctrl+Shift+R
Renders all

Stencil Palette (Alt+N)

Alt+H
Turns Stencil on or off
Ctrl+H
Hides/Shows Stencil
Spacebar
Brings up Coin Controller at cursor position

Stroke Palette (Alt+S)

Ctrl+1
Replays last stroke
Ctrl+2
Replays all strokes
Ctrl+3
Records brush strokes

Tool Palette (Alt+T)

A
When working with ZSpheres, toggles the mesh Preview
D
Goes up one mesh subdivision level (if available)
Ctrl+D
Divides the active mesh
Shift+D
Goes down one mesh subdivision level (if available)
Ctrl+E
Creates an edge loop around the visible portion of a polymesh object
Ctrl+Shift+T
Saves the active tool

Transform Palette (Alt+F)

E
Activates Scale
F
Quick 3D Edit
Shift+F
Polyframe mode
Q
Activates the Draw pointer
R
Activates Rotate
T
Enters/Exits Edit mode
W
Activates Move
M
Makes Marker
Ctrl+M
Removes Marker
X
X Symmetry
Y
Y Symmetry
Z
Z Symmetry
Ctrl
When Edit Object is active, hold down to paint a mask on the object
Ctrl+Click (On canvas)
Masks all visible portions of a mesh
Ctrl+Shift
Used with click or drag for partial mesh visibility controls (more info in this guide)
G
Activates Projection Master panel
Ctrl+G
3D Copy Shift Constrains object rotation in Rotate or Edit Object mode
Shift+S
Snapshots the current object or stroke

Zoom Palette (Alt+W)

0
Views actual size
+ or -
Zooms in (+) or out (-)
Ctrl+0
Half Sized, Antialiased View
Space+Drag
Pans the canvas

ZScript Palette (Alt+Z)

H
Shows/Hides ZScript window
Ctrl+U
Ctrl+Shift+L
Left Arrow
Right Arrow
Up Arrow
Scrolls ZScript up
Down Arrow
Scrolls ZScript down
Esc
Halts ZScript execution
Spacebar
Brings up QuickMenu at cursor location

Other Resources
● Hotkey reference cards by ZBC member Chomers
● Hotkey Editor

● Disclaimers
Welcome To ZBrush
From ZBrushInfo

Welcome to ZBrush. ZBrush is a unique application written by artists for artists. The company
behind ZBrush is committed to the cause of digital art tools for artists.

● boosted ZBrush's speed

● full 3D sculpting and texturing with alphas and textures,
● advanced ‘digital clay’ with up to one billion polygons using HD geometry,
● real-time posing with ZBrush's Transpose functionality,
● perspective camera,
● 2D / 2.5D /3D mesh projections,
● mesh retopologizing,
● one-click turntable recording and quicktime export,
● support for 32 and 64 bit systems,
● mutithreaded support for up to 256 processors,
● and more.

3 years in the making, ZBrush 3 sets out to unleash the 'artist within' and create an environment
that is an extension of your own creativity.

We have refined, tested, and refined again every feature. We hope you enjoy The Next Step.

The Pixologic Team

● Disclaimers
Installation
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Installation
❍ 1.1 Windows Vista: Important Notice

❍ 1.2 Installation Errors

● 2 Licensing

■ 2.2.3 Educational

■ 2.6.1 Online Activation

■ 2.6.1.1 Activation

❍ 2.12 Other Questions

Installation
Installation is fast and easy. Simply double-click the ZBrush3_Setup.exe.
Click next at the installer's startup screen.

To continue, accept the license agreement by choosing, "I Agree".

Click Next to install ZBrush 3 in its default directory or select Browse in the upper right to choose
a different location for it.

Click Install to begin installation.

Once installation has begun you will be asked to install a C++ 2005 Redistributable Package. This
package must be installed for ZBrush to run properly. If it is not installed you may get a side-by-
side configuration error.

If you do not install it now and encounter a problem later you can install it from the
troubleshooting folder in the ZBrush install directory.

Click Finish to end registration.

Launch ZBrush from the Start menu.

Windows Vista: Important Notice

Windows Vista has several new security enhancement. The first time you start ZBrush you may
have to right click on the executable and select "Run As Administrator".

Installation Errors

If you have errors during installation, look up the error number below and take the required action.

same drive as you are installing to. Another cause is an old WindowsInstaller. See 1723 for that
case.

Licensing

of ZBrush 3.

Activation requires a serial number that is obtained at the time of purchase. If you bought through
a reseller, you can use your coupon code to register and obtain a serial number.

Your serial number is your proof of purchase. ZBrush 3 cannot be activated without it. If you
Welcome to the ZBrush 3 licensing page. When you purchase ZBrush 3 you will receive a

Activation requires a serial number that is obtained at the time of purchase. If you bought through
a reseller, you can use your coupon code to register and obtain a serial number.

Your serial number is your proof of purchase. ZBrush 3 cannot be activated without it. If you

An individual license is issued to a single user. This license allows one user to install and activate
ZBrush as needed provided they are the one using ZBrush. To take full advantage of the
individual license make sure to activate online. Using the Check-in facilities explained below you
will be able to take ZBrush with you where ever you go. Learn more about the check-in process
here

Corporations and large groups purchase volume licenses which use one serial number to activate
as many licences as purchased. Using online activation, the company can move these activations
around by first checking-in (deactivating) licenses, and then checking-out (reactivating) those
licenses on new machines. Volume licenses does not require online activation but you can not

Educational
Educational Licenses are for non-profit use only, and are available to students or faculty of
accredited learning institutions. These licenses may only be purchased through authorized
academic resellers and require Proof Of Academic Ownership. For a list of current resellers, see
here.

support@pixologic.com

Installing ZBrush in a Network Environment

If you are installing and running ZBrush in a network environment where some users do not have
full control of their computers you must be sure to run ZBrush as the intended user the first time it
is started. Running as an administrator the first time ZBrush is started may cause permissions

Windows Vista Notes

It is important that you right click on the executable of ZBrush inside the ZBrush directory and
choose Run As Administrator. You can also set it to permanently run as administator by choosing
Properties from the right click menu.

Activating ZBrush

The first time you start ZBrush 3, you will be presented with an activation screen. You can
activate the following ways:

● Online Activation
● Email Activation
● Phone Activation

Online Activation
Activation

Online activation is the easiest and quickest way to activate ZBrush 3. When you start ZBrush for
the first time, select Online Activation. Enter your serial number when prompted. ZBrush will
verify your serial number and then start.

Note: You must be connected to the internet to use this option.

1. Your desktop now has an icon for ZBrush 3. Double-click that to run it.
2. The ZBrush Activation Method will appear. The internet activation method is selected by
default.
3. Click Continue
4. A ZBrush Serial Number window opens. Enter the serial number that was emailed to you
5. Click Continue
6. Wait while ZBrush validates the serial number. This takes several moments. When it
finishes, ZBrush will open to the new welcome screen.
7. Congratulations! You are ready to begin ZBrushing!

Personalizing ZBrush is only possible with online activation and has many benefits. First among
those benefits is that you can take ZBrush 3 with you where ever you go. Simply install it, activate
it and personalize it.

When ZBrush 3 is activated onlilne it obtains your name from our purchase records and stores that
within ZBrush. When you run ZBrush 3, your name will appear in the upper right corner of the
interface as its proud owner.

machines that you no longer use. If you don't do this, you won't be able to move the

To check in (or deactivate) a license go to the Zplugin: License sub-palette and press Deactivate
to be used on another machine.

Please note, you can only deactivate a license that was activated online. This option does not work
for activations handled over the phone or via email.

Email Activation
If you choose to activate via email, you will have a grace period of 7 days before you must
complete your activation. Unless you obtain an activation code from Pixologic, ZBrush will stop
working.

Email activation requires all three of the following:

● Serial Number
● Activation Request Code
● Activation code

1. Your desktop now has an icon for ZBrush 3. Double-click that to run it.
2. The ZBrush Activation Method will appear. The internet activation method is selected by
default.
3. Select the button for “Send Email Activation Request”
4. Click Continue
5. A confirmation window will appear. Click OK
6. Your email client will open with a pre-generated email containing an authorization code.
7. Enter your serial number that was emailed to you after upgrading.
8. Enter your first and last name.
9. Company name and phone number are optional. They will help us if we need to contact
you for any reason.
10. Send the email.
11. Any time you launch ZBrush before receiving the email response with your activation
code, choose the “Activate later” option and continue. A countdown will show how many
days remain during the grace period. You will receive your activation code well before the
grace period runs out.
13. At the Activation Method window, click “Enter Activation Response Code”
14. Enter the activation code that was mailed back to you.
15. Click Activate.
16. Wait while ZBrush validates the serial number. This takes several moments. When it
finishes, ZBrush will open to the new welcome screen.
17. Congratulations! You are ready to begin ZBrushing!

Phone Activation
Phone activation requires all three of the following:
● Serial Number
● Activation Request Code
● Activation code

1. Your desktop now has an icon for ZBrush 3. Double-click that to run it.
2. The ZBrush Activation Method will appear. The internet activation method is selected by
default.
3. Select the button for “Activate by Phone”.
4. Click Continue
5. Call 888-748-5967 from anywhere in North America.
1. Telephone activation hours are 9 am to 5 pm, M-F, Pacific Time.
2. If you are overseas, the number to call is 1-213-291-7689.
3. Telephone activation is available in English, only.
6. State that you would like to activate ZBrush 3 by telephone.
8. When asked, give the authorization request code from the ZBrush activation window.
9. Click Continue Activation.
10. The customer support representative will provide you with an activation code. Enter this
into the activation window.
11. Click Activate.
12. Wait while ZBrush validates the serial number. This takes several moments. When it
finishes, ZBrush will open to the new welcome screen.
13. Congratulations! You are ready to begin ZBrushing!

Online Activation – The Portable Licensing Solution

Online activation allows you to take ZBrush with you from office to job site and back. Your
ZBrush license is valid for two installations: work and home. However, if you need to move one
of those installations to another computer simply follow the steps below:

3. Confirm that you wish to do this.
4. Wait while ZBrush deactivates and returns the license to the server.
5. ZBrush will notify you that the license has been returned to the server, and will then quit.
6. Install ZBrush on another computer and activate it using the Online method.

Using this system, you can take your copy of ZBrush where ever you go.

While it is possible to have activated some of your computers using the telephone and email
options, you must have activated the copy being checked-in online. Copies that are activated by
email or telephone cannot make use of this portable license system.

For example: You have installed ZBrush on two computers. One computer was activated online,
and one was activated by telephone. To install ZBrush on a third computer and use it as a portable
will then be able to use your serial number to activate ZBrush on a third machine using the online
method.

Very important: Your serial number is YOURS. Do not give it to anyone else to use.

Pixologic understands that you’re likely to upgrade to a new computer at some point during the
life of ZBrush 3. It is very easy to do this.

2. Uninstall ZBrush using Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel
3. Be careful to remove all important data from your old computer! Remember to
protect your ZBrush 3 serial number.
have one sent to you.
2. Activate ZBrush 3 using your serial number.

Please note that this requires online activation.

Recovering From a System Crash
1. After reinstalling your operating system (or getting a new computer), install ZBrush on it.
2. Activate using your serial number.
3. Depending on the nature of the crash, the activation process may not work normally and
will instead deliver a message that the license must be recovered. Pixologic support will be
happy to assist with this.

Lost Serial Numbers

No matter how careful you are with your serial number, you may still lose your serial number. If
resent to you.

It is Pixologic’s sincerest hope that you will use and enjoy ZBrush 3 for a long time to come.
However, we do understand that circumstances occasionally force a user to sell his license or
desire to give it to someone else. We will work with you to make this possible.

Do not give your serial number away! Doing so will not actually transfer the license to the new
note that only the original license holder may initiate a license transfer. The recipient cannot do
this.

Other Questions

For all other questions or situations, contact Pixologic support for assistance. Please have your

Pixologic, Inc.
www.pixologic.com

support@pixologic.com

888-748-5967

213-291-7689

● Disclaimers
Key Concepts
From ZBrushInfo

ZBrush is a powerful sculpting, painting and designing application. Artists can work in 3D, 2D
and 2.5D.

● They can work with 3D models.

● They can work with 2D brushes.
● They can work with 2.5D brushes.
● They can also use 3D models as 2.5D or 2D brushes.

To do this they use 3 primary tools: 3D geometry, 2.5D/ 2D brushes and 2.5D documents.

● A 3D model is a collection of geometric points in space. These points in space combine to

create a 3D surface that can be viewed and edited in programs like ZBrush. Click here to
● A 2.5D brush is a depth-enabled brush. This type of brushes uses a core ZBrush
technology: The Pixol. The Pixol is, in one sense, a depth-enabled Pixel. However, it has
● A 2D Brush paints only color information. To paint a 2D image in ZBrush select Render:
Flat. This tells ZBrush to ignore all material information and present a flat 2D surface to
the user.
● A 2.5D Canvas is the depth enabled canvas you work in.

3D Models and Tools

In ZBrush, 3D models and 2.5D / 2D brushes can be located in the same place: the Tool palette.
3D models are called Tools and Model's interchangably.

A 3D model can be called a Tool or a Model in ZBrush. In the interface, you will find them
under the Tool palette.

The Document

The Document is the canvas you work in. Its is a combination of the viewport from a 3D modeler
and a 2D image. You can sculpt a 3D model inside the canvas as long as your model is in Edit
mode. You can sculpt and paint Pixols in it. You can adjust the lights in it in the Light Palette and
you can adjust the rendering settings in the Render Palette.

Documents vs Tools

The Difference

● You paint a Document.

● You sculpt or work with a Tool.

Go to the Document palette and click Save As. ZBrush documents store depth, color,
material, lighting and other setting with them. They do not store 3D information. If you are
modeling an object in ZBrush and you save the Document, it will drop the model to canvas
and save the document. It will, however, no longer be a 3D object.

Go to the Tool palette and click Save As.

Documents are the depth-enabled canvas that you paint. Information saved with a document
includes the image you've created plus any additional information (such as custom materials)
needed to render that image. But basically, you can think of a document as an image. Documents
are ZBrush's 'default' file type. When you do a simple save, you save a document, not a model.

Tools are brushes, built-in 3D shapes, custom models, and a few other special things such as blur
tools. If you are a modeler, then the models you work with will be tools, and to load or save them
you will need to use the load and save commands under the Tool palette menu, not under the

Images can be exported into .tif or .psd format (and possibly other formats as well, depending on
your particular version of ZBrush), and those image formats can also be opened. Resizing is done
by setting the desired width and height and click the Resize button. If you do not want to constrain
the proportions, unclick Pro.
Models can be exported as .OBJ and .DXF.

Looking At Documents In-Depth

A Document in ZBrush is a depth-enabled canvas. It utilizes the Pixol to create depth without the
systems-intensive nature of a 3D scene.

Artists work with 3D geometry that they 'drop' to a 2.5D canvas. Once 'dropped' it is no longer 3D

● All controls related to the Document can be found in the Document Palette.

Documents contain the following information that we will look at in more depth below:

● Depth
● Lights
● Materials

These attributes are stored in ZBrush via the Pixol. so, in order to understand the ZBrush
document, we will begin there.
Documents do not contain 3D models. These must be saved separately by pressing Tool: Save
As.

Pixol

ZBrush is not just another modeling package. It can create models with amazingly high polygon
counts. In ZBrush, you can convert and export this high resolution geometry into the maps,
textures and low resolution geometry that you want to use with other programs. ZBrush changes
the modeling process. Instead of pushing and pulling points around, you are sculpting digital clay.

ZBrush is also a powerful depth-enabled paint program. In other programs, points on the canvas –
the pixels – have color. In ZBrush, points on the canvas also have depth, material and orientation
and are called pixols.

Pixols are not drawn just as color on the canvas. They are rendered using their distance,
orientation and material information. A change in position of the scene lights will affect their
shading on the canvas. Paint strokes can be given the appearance of metal, or wood, or concrete,
or mirrors, or of many, many other things.

Pixols combines the simplicity of a 2D painting environment with the power of a 3D application.
The Pixol: The Depth-Enabled Pixel

The Pixel (2D) The Pixol (2.5D)

Color Information Color Information
X and Y Position X and Y Position
Information Information
No Depth Information Z or Depth Information
No Material Information Material Information

How Pixols Work

In ZBrush, the Draw palette controls the show. This palette lets you instruct ZBrush how you
want it to apply the effects created by the various channels. The MRGB, RGB and M buttons let
you tell ZBrush whether to paint with material, color, or both. ZADD, ZSUB and ZCUT tell
ZBrush how to apply depth. The Intensity sliders let you specify how much color and depth to
apply. Other sliders let you modify the size and shape of your brush, add perspective effects, and
even simulate refraction. You can also get at these options in the upper part of the shelf.

To help us understand the interaction of depth, color and material in ZBrush, let’s look at an
example.

To paint a 2.5D stroke in ZBrush do the following:

1. select the simple brush from the Tool palette.
2. Make sure that Zadd is on, that MRGB is on, set our Draw Size
3. Then paint a stroke on the canvas.

ZBrush’s real-time render engine looks at our settings in the Light palette and the material that we
painted with then renders the stroke on the canvas for us.

3D Rendering Engine

ZBrush's real-time 3D rendering engine harnesses the attributes of the Pixol and allows you to
work with lights and materials in the canvas in real-time or near real-time for millions and
millions of polygons.

The real-time render engine combines the Pixols RGB, Material and Depth information to render
your canvas to screen for you. The image to the left shows you how ZBrush combines these
attributes on the canvas for you.

Lighting and Rendering

It has been said that lighting and rendering have as much to do with creating a great finished
image as every other aspect put together. While this may be an overstatement, it is true that poor
lighting can wreck an otherwise excellent image and careful lighting can add tremendous mood —
and emotion — to a scene. The Light palette gives all the control that you need to be able to
effectively light your images. Meanwhile, the Render palette allows you to control your render
quality and add various special effects to put that finishing touch on your work.

Click above to go to the reference section for the Render palette.

Materials

In ZBrush, the way a surface looks is the result of a combination of factors, including its base
coloring or texture, the lighting, and its material. The ZBrush Material palette gives you a great
deal of control over the appearance of object surfaces by letting you specify various surface
properties such as shininess, transparency, and reflectivity, using numeric settings as well as
interactive graphs. You can use materials with any tool that adds pixols to the document, including
the 3D brush, the Sphere brush, and the 3D objects.

Always remember that unless Render:Flat Renderer or Render:Fast Renderer are active, the color
you see will not necessarily be the color that you paint! Or to put it another way:

Material + RGB (either color or texture) = Shaded RGB (displayed color)

Also, with certain materials, you might need to use the Render:Best Renderer mode to see
changes.

ZBrush materials are always “live.” In other words, if you use a particular material to create
pixols, and then modify that material later, any pixols that use that material will change in
appearance to reflect the modified material. Not only does this allow you to easily change your
mind regarding a material at any time, or to modify it on the fly, but it can allow some interesting
artistic possibilities.

Looking At 3D Models In-Depth

File Formats

3D models can be brought into ZBrush as an .obj or .dxf. You can create 3D models in ZBrushing
using ZSpheres or the .ZTL's included in the ZBrush/ ZTools directory.

ZBrush ships with following models for you to use:

● DemoSoldier
● Dog
● SuperAverage Guy
● PolyCube
● PolySphere
● PolyPlane
● Rhino

These files are stored in the .ZTL file format. This is ZBrush's native file format. .ZTL stores all
your sculpting, levels of resolution, SubTools, PolyPainting, HD Sculpting, one alpha (you will be
prompted to save one if one is selected in the Alpha palette) and one texture (if one is selected in
the Texture palette).

Moving Your 3D Model on the Canvas

When dragging in the canvas area to position a model, drag on the canvas, not on the model.

To move the model around the canvas you can do the following:

● To rotate your model press and hold the left mouse button and click and drag outside of the
model. If the model fills the entire canvas you can use the safe area designated by the white
thin lines.
● To move a model hold down the Alt key then click and drag on the canvas.
● To zoom/scale the model, hold down the Alt key, click on the canvas, then release the Alt
key without releasing the mouse click. When you drag up and down, the model will be
resized.
● To center the model on the canvas (even if it's been moved out of sight by accident), Alt
+click on any part of the canvas or click once on the Scale or Move buttons on the right
shelf.
If any of these methods of rotating your model are difficult just use the Move, Rotate, Scale
buttons on the left hand side of the interface. Also, press CTL while hovering over the interface

Subdivision Modeling

Subdivision modeling is familiar to most users of modeling programs; it increases the polygon
count of a model by replacing each polygon with multiple polygons. The most commonly used
subdivision scheme is the Catmull-Clark method, which also moves vertices as it subdivides, so
that a low-resolution cage can give a high-resolution smooth surface.

ZBrush offers an additional powerful feature when using subdivision with polymeshes; a
polymesh retains a subdivision history. To put it another way, each time a polymesh is
subdivided, the geometry from the previous polymesh is remembered, all the way back to the
original polymesh. So a subdivided mesh can have multiple levels of subdivision, equal to the
number of times it was subdivided plus one for the original level.

You can move back and forth between these subdivision levels as you model; if you need to make
'large-scale' changes to an object, such as raising a significant portion of the surface, you can do it
at a lower subdivision level where the model's polygons are relatively large (more of a 'cage')
while fine details can be sculpted at a high subdivision level. In either cases, changes will be
propagated across all levels, so sculpting geometry at one level does not lose the work you've done
at another level.

To understand the power of this ability, consider the following example. At a low subdivision
level, you sculpt a polymesh plane so it appears as rolling hills. Then, at a high subdivision level,
you add a "bumpiness" that gives the appearance of rocks, dirt, etc. But it then turns out that
instead of rolling hills, you need a flat plain. What to do? Well, you go back to the low
subdivision level and use the sculpting tools of ZBrush to smooth out the hills. Finally, when you
return to the high subdivision level, you'll find that all of the fine "bumpiness" detail is still there.
That work wasn't wasted!

Subdivision levels are also used to generate bump, displacement, and normal maps. Detail is
added to an object at a very high subdivision level (possibly with many millions of polygons).
That detail can then be compared against a lower subdivision version of the same model to
generate a displacement or similar map. Once generated, that map can be taken to an external
program and applied to the lower-poly-count model to give a detail effect almost indistinguishable
from the high-level sculpting in ZBrush.

Using Levels of Resolution

ZBrush subdivision levels allows the artist to work on different levels of resolution and have those
changes dynamically update with the rest of the sculpting they have done at higher or lower levels
of resolution.

These levels of resolution can be set in the Tool: Geometry sub-palette. Use the SDiv slider to set
the level you want to work on. You can also press "D" on your keyboard or SHIFT+"D" to go up
and down the levels of resolution.
Working with 3D Models

To learn about 3D models in ZBrush lets look at the Tool palette and all its sub-palettes.
Tool:SubTool Subpalette
Allows a mesh to be considered as made up of many different parts. For example, a
monster could have a weapon, clothing, etc. This also allows easy construction of full
scenes.

Tool:Layers Subpalette
Allows multiple different sculpts of one model, and combining those sculpt in different
ways.

Tool:Geometry Subpalette
A very important submenu, concerned with creating and working with multiple levels of
subdivision.

Tool:HD Geometry Subpalette

Analogous to the Geometry submenu, but functions with the new very-high res (hundreds
of millions of polygons) features of ZBrush.

Tool:Preview Subpalette
Allows one to redefine the model's default orientation and center point.

Tool:Deformation Subpalette
Can apply a wide range of deformations to a model; noise, skews, etc. Primarily used when
first creating models.

Controls Masking, the ability to choose or paint parts of your model to define if and how
much they will be affected by subsequent operations.

Tool:Polygroups Subpalette
Operations relating to standard mesh groups, as are understood by most 3D programs.
Create, hide, and show particular groups in your mesh.

Tool:Texture Subpalette
Operations relating specifically to 3D texture application; see the Texture Palette for more
general operations on images.

Tool:Morph Target Subpalette

Operations related to setting, removing, and restoring a sculpt to a previously defined form.

Tool:Displacement Subpalette
Operations related to generating or using displacement maps. ZMapper is a plugin that can
provide much more sophisticated functionality.

Tool:NormalMap Subpalette
Operations related to generating or using normal maps. ZMapper is a plugin that can
provide much more sophisticated functionality.

Tool:Unified Skin Subpalette

Operations to generate a polymesh skin over top of a ZSphere model.

Tool:Display Properties Subpalette

A simple submenu affecting certain display properties, such as if and when normals should
be flipped.

Tool:Import Subpalette
Used to bring in 3D models from other file formats; .OBJ and so forth.

Tool:Export Subpalette
Used to save 3D models in other file formats; .OBJ and so forth.

The next two sub-palettes are specific to ZSpheres.

Tool:Rigging Subpalette
Controls rigging, which can be used both for modifying models, and as part of model
retopoligization.

Tool:Topology Subpalette
Operations to do with mesh topology manipulation, primarily used when building a new
topology atop an existing one.

● Disclaimers
Controls
From ZBrushInfo

To learn about Controls in ZBrush you can press and hold the CTRL key and hover over the interface
item. A pop-up help box will give you several paragraphs of information to help you learn.

You can also use the Palette Reference guide to find each control within a specific palette.

Below we will explore the different ways to access Controls and use the Interface.

Contents
● 1 Interface
● 2 Using Palettes
❍ 2.1 Palette Controls

❍ 2.2 Subpalettes

● 3 Trays (Palette Docking)

● 4 Tools and Other Inventory Lists
● 5 Curves
● 6 Saving Configurations
❍ 6.1 Saving the Default Configuration

❍ 6.3 Layouts

● 7 The Startup Document

Interface
The centerpiece of the ZBrush interface is the canvas.

ZBrush's controls are designed to be available as you need them. They are grouped into palettes along
the top of the interface in the Palette list. They are also grouped along the edges of the canvas in the
the Shelf. Also, ZBrush has trays to the left and right that can be expanded to hold palettes.

The palettes along the top are in alphabetical order to make it easy to find.

The first palette is the Alpha palette. The last is the ZScript palette. Each palette contains controls
related to its main theme.

For example, the Alpha palette contains controls that relate to Alphas: Flip V, Flip H, Import, Export
and many others. The Movie palette contains controls related to recording and exporting movies from
ZBrush.

Each palette works with other palettes to perform the actions the artist needs. For example, sculpting in
ZBrush uses the Brush Palette, the Stroke Palette, the Alpha Palette, the Draw Palette and, occasionaly,
the Texture Palette and the [Picker Palette]].
Using Palettes

Beneath the title bar, there is a row of words that spans the top of the screen. This is the Palette List.
All of ZBrush’s functions are contained within palettes. Each palette contains a group of related
functions. Within the palette, these functions are further broken down into groups in order to help
make it easier to locate the particular control that you need.

● Click the palette names to open the palette.

● Move your pointer off of the palette to close it.
Palettes only remain open as long as you keep the pointer over them. In most cases clicking on
an element within the palette will not close the palette. This allows you to change several
settings without having to constantly pull the palette down again. In a few special cases,
clicking a control may close the palette.
● To learn more about ZBrush Controls you can use the in-line help. Press CTRL and hover
over the interface item.

Palette Controls

● Buttons are shown as a light gray raised object. Pressing a button causes something to happen.
● Switches are interface items that can be turned on and off. When off, the switch is shown as
dark gray. When on, it is orange.
● Sliders allow you to set a ranged value. They show the current setting as a number next to the
slider’s title, and also show where it fits within the range by a small indicator at the bottom of
the slider. The minimum value is to the left, and the maximum value is to the right.
❍ In the Render palette, click in the 3D Shading slider and drag to the left to set a value

of 50. The slider value will update as you move the slider.
❍ You can also set a slider value without dragging simply by clicking in it and then typing

the value that you want. Click the 3D Shading slider and type 100.

Subpalettes

In order to further help with organization, many palettes contain menus, also known as sub-palettes.
These menus contain controls that are all related to a specific task within the palette’s more
generalized categorization.

Clicking on a menu’s name will expand or collapse it.

● Open all of the menus within the Render palette. Move the pointer into any blank space
within the palette. When it changes to up-and-down arrows, click and drag up.

Palettes can sometimes get to be so long that they go off the bottom of the screen. By dragging
within empty space in the palette, you can slide its contents to reveal the hidden items.

Trays (Palette Docking)

ZBrush provides many ways to make your workflow easier. When working with palettes, you will
normally find that they are more convenient as pull-down menus. However, there will also be times
when you need to repeatedly return to a particular palette. For example, if you are sculpting a model,
you might find that you return to the Tool palette frequently. ZBrush accommodates this need by
providing Trays on the left and right sides of the interface. These trays are used to keep palettes open
continuously.

● To open a tray, click along its outside edge. To help you find the right spot, there is a pair of
arrows at the vertical center of the interface.Clicking this separator will expand the tray. In the
default configuration, both trays are empty. This allows you to use them however you see fit.
● To collapse a tray, click its separator bar.
Doing this leaves the palette in the tray. It will still be waiting for you if you expand the tray
again.

● To move a palette to the tray, open it and look in the upper left corner. Click on the orange
circular icon.This orange icon is called the palette’s handle. Clicking on it moves the palette to
the top of the open tray. The palette will now stay open while you continue to work on the
canvas.
● To remove a palette from the tray, click its handle.
You can also use the handle to move a palette from one location to another within the tray.

● Each palette has a preferred tray. If neither tray is open, clicking on the handle will open the
preferred tray and move the palette there automatically. If both trays are open, the palette will
automatically go to the top of its preferred tray.
● You can also drag the handle to move the palette where you want it. This is handy when you
have both trays open and want to put the palette in its non-preferred tray, or if you wish it to be
below other palettes that are already in the tray.
● When a palette is in a tray, its appearance changes slightly. Its icon appears to the left of the
palette’s name and the handle moves to the right. Next to the handle, there is also now a small
icon with a triangle in it. Clicking the icon will toggle between the palette’s basic and advanced
states. If you would like to simplify the palette so that only its most basic features are available,
click this icon.
● A palette that is in the tray can be expanded and collapsed by clicking on its title. This
conserves room when several palettes are in a tray.
● When several palettes are in a tray, it is not uncommon for them to scroll off of the screen. To
bring items back into view, simply click in any empty space within the palette and drag up or
down.
● A palette can only exist in one place at a time. If you have a palette in the tray, you can still
access it as a pull-down menu from the palette list. If you do this, it will temporarily disappear
from the tray and will reappear once its pull-down counterpart closes.

Tools and Other Inventory Lists

ZBrush uses Inventories to allow selection of objects such as tools, texture maps, etc. Below, we'll
give a quick example of how inventory lists work using the Tool inventory.

● In the Tool palette, click the large thumbnail.

● In the popup menu, select the Sphere3D.We have now changed the active tool from the
Simple Brush to the Sphere3D.

Several palettes use this thumbnail system to select things. For your convenience, their large
thumbnails are also located on the left side of the shelf.

Once an item has been selected the first time using the large thumbnail, a small thumbnail of it is
added to the palette next to the large thumbnail. These small thumbnails provide shortcuts to recently
used items. You can reselect that item by clicking on its small thumbnail rather than going through the
popup menu. The active item will always be highlighted with a teal background and a small triangle in
its lower right corner.

Double-clicking on a small thumbnail will allow you to replace it with a different item from the popup
menu. As more items are selected, more small thumbnails will appear. To restore the palette to its
starting number of small thumbnails, click the R button just above all the thumbnails to the right.

Curves
ZBrush graphs, also known as curves, provide a visual way to modify a range of values. Due to their
versatility, curves are found throughout the ZBrush interface.

A curve in ZBrush is simply a graph showing a range of values. They can be found in nearly every part
of the ZBrush interface: material modifiers, defining the falloff of the sculpting tool, defining how fog
or depth cue acts throughout a scene, etc.

Saving Configurations

Once you've customized ZBrush, you'll of course want to store your changes so you don't need to set
them again every time you start ZBrush. You can save both a default configuration that is opened
whenever you start ZBrush, and any number of other configurations that can be loaded explicitly at
any time.

Note: Zbrush does not save customizations automatically; you'll need to save them
explicitly if you don't wish to lose them.
Saving the Default Configuration

● Once you've customized the UI as desired, click the Preferences:Config:Store Config button.

ZBrush will give you a message that your settings have been saved successfully. The keyboard
shortcut for this action is Ctrl+Shift+I.

The saved configuration will be loaded every time ZBrush launches.

Specialized Configurations

While the custom configuration is the one that will load automatically when ZBrush launches, you are
not limited to it. The Preferences:Config:Save Ui and Load Ui buttons make it possible to create a
variety of specialized configurations for various purposes.

For example, you might prefer to have one configuration for sculpting, another for texturing, and a
third for lighting and rendering. There is no limit to the number of configurations that you may create.
Each of these configurations saves the current color settings. However, by default, those settings are
not loaded. If you would like to load the saved color scheme along with the layout, hold down the Shift
key when you click the Load Ui button.

One example of a specialized configuration is Rapid Start. This interface configuration is a completely
scripted interface created to guide beginning users into the ZBrush experience.

Layouts

In Preferences: Config, you will see several options for switching between layouts.

● Click Restore Standard UI

This returns you to the same layout that ZBrush shipped with. Any colors and special settings within
the palettes (such as memory management) will not be changed. In other words, only the positions of
elements are changed by clicking on any of these layout buttons. Your personal settings will remain
unaffected regardless of the layout.
● Click on Restore Custom UI

You are now returned to the custom layout that you just built.

The Startup Document

While the configuration files store many settings, there are many others that are not saved. These
additional settings are all an integral part of your document (such as the background color or lighting
setups). All document-related settings can be saved as part of a startup document. This document will
be loaded every time ZBrush launches.

● To create a startup document, click Document:Save As

● Navigate to the ZBrush\Zstartup folder

Aside
Since ZScripts rely on many of these settings, automatic ZScript recording is turned off if you use a
startup document. You will need to manually begin recording if you wish to record your session.
Bear in mind that unless you initialize ZBrush before beginning recording, you would also need to
distribute your startup document if you wish to share the ZScript with any other users.

● Save the file as in the ZStartup folder as StartupDocument.zbr

ANY document can be saved as your startup; even one where you have already begun painting on the
canvas. Settings that will be recalled by the startup document include:

● Canvas size
● Background color and Border color
● Layers
● Lighting
● Render settings

● Disclaimers
Digital Clay
From ZBrushInfo

Sculpting in ZBrush can give the user the feeling of working in actual clay. However, in ZBrush,
its digital clay. digital clay has several important features that will be important to artists who are
looking at or involved in digital art.

First, it has UNDO. This can not be underrated.

Next it has mirroring or symmetry. You can sculpt one side of your mesh and have the other side
update as well. To activate mirroring in ZBrush go to the Transform palette and press X, Y, or Z
depending on the axis that you want ZBrush to mirror across.

Below we will look at how we can work with digital clay inside of ZBrush. First, look at how we
can import 3D model's into ZBrush

Contents
● 2 Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Your Digital Clay
● 3 The In and Out of Sculpting
● 4 Dynamic Levels of Subdivision
● 5 Working With Dynamic Levels of Resolution
● 6 Sculpting Overview

To bring in a ZBrush tool that we have created, go to Tool: Load. A ZBrush tool holds all your
geometry information, a texture map and an alpha map.
To bring a model into ZBrush that we started in another program we must import it as an .OBJ or .
DXF. Go to Tool:Import and browse to where your model is.

To begin modeling, draw your model onto the canvas and enter EDIT mode.

Now, let's refresh our knowledge of how we can move around with a model in 3D space.

Moving, Rotating, and Scaling Your Digital Clay

When dragging in the canvas area to position a model, drag on the canvas, not on the model.

To move the model around the canvas you can do the following:
● To rotate your model press and hold the left mouse button and click and drag outside of the
model. If the model fills the entire canvas you can use the safe area designated by the white
thin lines.
● To move a model hold down the Alt key then click and drag on the canvas.
● To zoom/scale the model, hold down the Alt key, click on the canvas, then release the Alt
key without releasing the mouse click. When you drag up and down, the model will be
resized.
● To center the model on the canvas (even if it's been moved out of sight by accident), Alt
+click on any part of the canvas or click once on the Scale or Move buttons on the right
shelf.

If any of these methods of rotating your model are difficult just use the Move, Rotate, Scale
buttons on the left hand side of the interface. Also, press CTL while hovering over the interface

The In and Out of Sculpting

Now its time to sculpt on the Sphere. You have three main ways to sculpt on the model:

● To build volume make sure ZAdd is on in the shelf. Then click and 'draw' on the model to
begin sculpting.
● To 'cut' into the model, you can either press ZSub on the shelf or press and hold ALT while
'drawing' on the surface of the model.
● To smooth out your sculpt, press and hold SHIFT while you 'draw' on the surface of the
model.

For your first experiment try to sculpt a head. To begin sculpting a sphere use the following steps:

1. Press Tool: Load Tool and navigate to the ZTL folder in the ZBrush install.
2. Select PolySphere.ZTL and press OK
3. Draw the Sphere on the canvas by clicking and draggin on the canvas.
4. Immediately press T to enter Edit mode.
5. Click on the Sphere to begin modeling it.
6. You can select Brushes from the Brush Palette

Section.

Dynamic Levels of Subdivision

Subdivision modeling is probably familiar to most users of modeling programs; it increases the
polygon count of a model by replacing each polygon with multiple polygons.
In ZBrush, a Polymesh retains a "subdivision history." To put it another way, each time a
polymesh is subdivided, the geometry from the previous polymesh is remembered, all the way
back to the original polymesh. So a subdivided mesh can have multiple levels of subdivision.

You can move back and forth between these subdivision levels as you model; if you need to make
'large-scale' changes to an object, such as raising a significant portion of the surface, you can do it
at a lower subdivision level where the model's polygons are relatively large (more of a 'cage')
while fine details can be sculpted at a high subdivision level. In either case, changes will be
propagated across all levels, so sculpting geometry at one level does not lose the work you've done
at another level. Some example uses of Resolution Levels follows:

❍ At the first resolution level of your model you will be able to sculpt general forms
and establish the model’s overall gesture. You will not be able to sculpt toe nails or
wrinkles.
❍ At a resolution level of, say, 3 an artist may be able to begin developing more
specific forms such as the eye muscles or the individual lips.
❍ At a resolution level of, say, 5 the artist should be able to begin developing forms
such as the crease of the upper eye lid or wrinkles.

Subdivision levels are also used to generate bump, displacement, and normal maps. Detail is
added to an object at a very high subdivision level (possibly with many millions of polygons).
That detail can then be compared against a lower subdivision version of the same model to
generate a displacement or similar map. Once generated, that map can be taken to an external
program and applied to the lower-poly-count model to give a detail effect almost indistinguishable
from the high-level sculpting in ZBrush.

Working With Dynamic Levels of Resolution

Let’s look at the settings in the Geometry sub-menu of the Tool palette. It is important to note that
our options for the PolyMesh are different than the Sphere3D from the Sculpting Basics guide.
This is because Sphere3D is a ZBrush primitive which is a special ZBrush geometry format. In
order to use MRME you will have to start with a base mesh or with ZSpheres.

To add levels of resolution to you model go to Tool:Geometry:Divide. If you save your model
now as a .ZTL (Tool:Save As) it will keep these levels of resolution.

When you divide your model you can divide it smoothed (Smt on) or unsmoothed (Smt off). You
can also smooth its UVs (Suv).

● For character work, you will most likely divide the model with smooth on (Smt) but with
smooth UVs (Suv) off
● For more mechanical objects or architectural facades you will want to Divide the model
with Smt off. This will add the necessary geometry without altering the form

To go up and down the levels of resolution you can use the slider, press the Lower Res or Higher
Res button, or use the hotkeys: “D” goes up, Shift + “D” goes down.

ZBrush uses the Catmull-Clark subdivision algorithm to divide a model. If you are bringing in a
broken model where the head is separated from the neck it will shrink the edges of each part
inwards.

the edge of each separate piece of geometry. To remove a crease, press Uncrease.

Wherever possible, however, you will want to combine and merge verticies before bringing the
model into ZBrush. Consider having a separate model that is just for sculpting in ZBrush.

Sculpting Overview

An artist must understand form on several levels. General forms such as the shape of the cranial
mass and wedge of the jaw are crucial to developing a human face. However, General Forms give
way to Specific Forms. Eventually, the wedge of the jaw gives way to the muzzle of the mouth
which then gives way to the individual forms of the lips and so on. This process of the general
giving way to the specific is an ongoing process while sculpting. It is part of the artist's education
that they learn how to go from the general to the specifics that they, as artists, are interested in
presenting. One of the secrets of realism is that it is actually a form of abstraction. The Greeks
picked the specific forms they were interested in presenting as we do today. An artist is almost
always abstracting form from perception.

Lets look at an overview of sculpting the human head. This is not a step-by-step walk through of
the process. It is, if you will, a birds eye view of the sculpting process.
1. We begin with a PolySphere. To load this into ZBrush, press Tool: Load Tool and navigate
to the Ztl folder in the ZBrush root directory.

3. Next, we flatten the sides of the cranium.

5. Here I have established a bit more the shape of the ear and the orbit of the eye. The orbit of
the eye is very important to establish at this time as it is crucial to the character of the sculpt. I
have also roughed out the mouth area. I will only do this AFTER I have established the barrel
of the mouth which I do in the previous step.

7. Then, I take the rake brush from the Rapid Start Brush Presets and begin to rake the surface
of the model making sure to rake around the volumn of each part.

The rake is a great way to integrate and soften forms into each other.
2. We start with a sphere that represents the bulk of the cranium. From that sphere we will pull
out the jaw and establish the main angle of the face. For this we use the Tweak brush which
lets us pull large polygonal areas.

4. We divide the model and begin establishing more of the internal form. For this step you can
simply use the Standard brush or you can use Rapid Starts preset brushes or simply make your
own. The white lines show you the major forms I am looking at in this stage.
6. Using a mask I isolate the eye area and begin to sketch in the eye lid and the pupil of the
eye. I do this mostly by sculpting out the negative of the eye ball area itself. I leave the rest of
the surface to represent the eye lids.

8. Finally, I set my rake to a smaller Draw Size and rake all over the surface to smooth it out
without obliterating any details.

You can export your models using the Tool: Export button. However, many 3D programs can not
handle the high polygon count of a ZBrush model. This is where displacement maps and normal
maps can be used to send your sculpting from ZBrush to another application.

● Set Tool: Export: Mrg on to merge UVs

● Set Tool: Export: Grp off to avoid partitioning your model
● Set Tool: Export: Qud on
● Set Tool: Export: Obj on for OBJ models. Use Dxf to export a .DXF model.
● Also, its best to leave the scale slider at 1 to avoid adjusting the overall scale of the model.

To learn more about any of these controls you can press CTRL on the keyboard and hover over
the interface item inside ZBrush.

● Maya
● Max
● XSI
● Lightwave
● Cinema 4D
● Blender

ZBrush 2 at this time):

● ZMapper

● Disclaimers
"Scalpel, please." Rakes, Gouges and Brushes
From ZBrushInfo

Sculpting inside of ZBrush is fast and direct. Once the model is in Edit mode you can begin
sculpting on the surface right away. In this section we will briefly explore what it means to sculpt
inside of ZBrush and the tools available to you.

We will explore the following items:

● Brush types
● Controlling the shape of your brush

Anatomy Of A Brush
Brush Types

There are several brushes you can sculpt with in ZBrush 3. Each brush has a unique property that
allows it to do something the other brushes can not. Also, brushes in ZBrush can be modified
using several important controls such as Gravity, Wrap Mode or Density.
Here is a list of the brushes available in ZBrush 3:

● Tweak
● Elastic
● Inflat
● Magnify
● Blob
● Pinch
● Flatten
● Clay
● Morph
● Layer
● Nudge
● SnakeHook
● ZProject
● Smooth
● Mesh Insert

Alphas: Control the Shape of Your Brush

You can control the shape of your sculpting by using an Alpha. To select an alpha you can do two
things:
● Click the large Alpha thumbnail to the left of the canvas and choose an Alpha from the pop-
up window.

or

● Open the Alpha Palette, click the large thumbnail of the Alpha and choose an Alpha from
there.

An alpha is a grayscale intensity map. It can be used to represent intensity, masking, and similar
things. For example, bump maps and displacement maps (both in ZBrush and in other programs)
are both alphas; the gray intensity represents the height or depth of the bump or displacement.

Note: ZBrush alphas are 16 bits in depth, which simply put means that they can
produce much smoother gradations in gray, and hence wherever they used. Some
other programs are limited to 8-but alphas, which can produce noticeable
'stairstepping' artifacts.

In ZBrush, alphas are used for much more than just bump or displacement maps. They can affect
masking (which parts of an model or painting you work with), brush appearance, how colors, or
materials are laid down, and the shape of sculpts. And probably a few other things I can't think of
right now.

In addition, you can make your own alphas, and also turn alphas into other tools, such as Stencils
(which are masking tools that offer a different, and powerful, set of capabilities).

Below, we describe the most common ways of obtaining and using alphas. We also give links to
pages which describe material significantly related to alphas.

Note: The Alpha Palette details all of the controls found in that palette, but you will
also find alpha-related controls in other palettes.

Using Alphas
● Many of the standard drawing tools use alphas to control their shape. This affects the depth
of pixols on the canvas.

A stroke and then a mouse click using the SimpleBrush (tool #2), and built-in alpha #30.

● Alphas may be used with 3D sculpting brushes to affect the geometry of 3D models.

Alpha Brush 30 applied to a PolyPlane with the DragRect stroke.

● Alphas are the means by which displacement and bump maps are exported from ZBrush.
The Alpha Displacement Exporter adds further power to this process.

Obtaining Alphas
First and obviously, ZBrush comes with a large selection of useful alphas, which can be selected
from the Alpha Palette (menu) in the menubar, or from the popup inventory to the left of the
canvas.

You can of course load your own images for use as alphas using the xxx in the Alpha menu.
Colored imaged will be converted to grayscale.

Note: Some image file formats do not support 16-bit grayscales. If you load such
files, you may get the stairstepping effect described earlier. When using external
programs to create alphas, try to use one that offers 16-bit grayscales.

You may find it more convenient to simply paint a pattern on the screen, and then use the xxx
control to convert it into an alpha. The depth of the scene you created will be converted to the
alpha (color will be ignored). Since ZBrush supports 16-bit depths, you will get a true 16-bit
alpha.

Note: Alphas are displayed as thumbnail images in the alpha popup chooser, but are
always saved with the full dimensions of the source image from which they were
created. To get a small alpha, you can paint it on a large canvas of the proper aspect
ratio, and then reduce the canvas size before making the alpha. Alternatively, a large
alpha can be useful when you want to repeatedly apply a lot of detail repeatedly over
large areas.

Other Points

● The popup that displays the current inventory of alpha functions similarly to other
inventory popups, such as the Tool popup. For example, ZBrush can hold a maximum of
256 alpha at any given time. If you load or create more alphas than this, then each new
alpha will replace the currently selected alpha. For more details on inventory behavior, see
xxx.
● A good library of very useful alphas is available as a ZBrush plugin at xxx.
● Alpha are crucial for obtaining the very fine detailing for which ZBrush is know; See
Projection Master.
● If you need to rotate an alpha, you can convert the alpha to a Stencils Stencil, and use the
stencil instead. Or, if it makes sense, you could simply rotate the model appropriately, and
then apply the alpha.
Strokes

Introduction

While sculpting polymeshes in 3D you can use 6 different types of strokes: Dots, DragRect,
Freehand, Colorized Spray, Spray and DragDot. These can be used with the alpha sculpting
feature.

Below, left to right; Dots, DragRect, Freehand, Spray, and DragDot stroke types, sculpted onto a
plane in 3D Edit mode. The DragRect stroke started at the center of the circle, and was dragged
out; all other strokes started at the top left, and were dragged to the lower right.

Using DragDot

A DragDot stroke allows you to drag your brush around, to place your sculpting or painting at a
precise point. Only the area under the mouse when the drag ends is affected.

That's very useful for a case where you might want to have a company logo or some other bit of
text stamped onto the model. For our example, though, we're going to get a bit more creative so
that your imagination might be sparked to try even more interesting things.
We'll need these settings:

● Brush:Std selected.
● Alpha:Brush 09 (ring-shaped alpha) selected.
● Stroke:DragDot selected.
● Transform:Z on, to activate Z symmetry
● Transform:(R) on, to activate radial symmetry.
● Draw:Z Intensity = 80.
● Draw:Draw Size = 64.

Now:

1. Click Tool:Layer:New to create a layer that we'll edit on.

2. Use Tool:Layer:Rename and change the layer's name to DragDotLayer.
3. Click on the column and drag your stroke down to a point near the bottom as shown below.
Draw again to get this:

As you can see, this stroke allows us to very easily create an intricate pattern with only a simple
instance(s) in exactly the desired position.

Using Dots

This stroke draws a great many instances of the alpha very close together so that they blend into a
single line. The closeness of each alpha to its neighboring instances is determined by how quickly
you move the mouse. A slow stroke will create a uniform line (especially when lazy mouse mode
is active), while fast movement will create a blotchy effect that is useful for some organic work.

For this example, we're going to use the stroke to add some rings around the column, separating it
into sections.
Set:

● Brush:Std selected.
● Alpha:Brush 12 (ring-shaped alpha) selected.
● Stroke:Dots selected.
● Transform:Z on, to activate Z symmetry
● Transform:(R) on, to activate radial symmetry.
● Draw:Z Intensity = 20.
● Draw:Draw Size = 5.

1. Create a new layer by pressing Tool:Layer:New.

2. Rename it by pressing Tool:Layer:Rename, call it DotsLayer.
3. Draw some narrow rings around the column as shown in the following figure.
Keeping the same settings as above, set:

● Draw:Z Intensity = 15.

● Draw:Draw Size = 10.

Add a few more rings as shown in below. Don't be afraid to keep going over the same area to
build up additional width or depth.

Now let's sculpt a bit of a design on the very top of the column.

● Alpha:Brush 01 (ring-shaped alpha) selected.

● Draw:Z Intensity = 35.
● Draw:Draw Size = 20.

Now just three strokes will add the sculpting shown below.

Using DragRect

The Drag Rectangle stroke draws a single instance of the alpha, which may be rotated while
dragging the stroke. The alpha is drawn with its center point being where the stroke begins. As
you move the mouse away from the starting point, the alpha becomes larger. As you move the
mouse around the starting point, the alpha is rotated.

Set up for drawing with:

● Brush:Std selected.
● Alpha:Brush 29 (three stacked arrows) selected.
● Stroke:DragRect selected.
● Transform:Z on, to activate Z symmetry
● Transform:(R) on, to activate radial symmetry.
● Draw:Z Intensity = 50.
● Draw:Draw Size is irrelevant; the size is determined by your mouse movement.
1. Create a new layer by pressing Tool:Layer:New.
2. Rename it to DragRectLayer by pressing Tool:Layer:Rename.
3. Now draw a stroke that begins a little below the upper set of rings. Drag straight down until
the arrows almost touch those that are also being drawn to the left and right. When the size
is right, move the pointer left or right a bit to ensure that the arrows point straight down
along the shaft of the column, and release the mouse. The result will be as shown in the
next figure.

1. Repeat this just above the next set of rings down. Drag your stroke upwards to point the
arrows toward the top of the column.

As you can see, the DragRect stroke type is perfect for stamping any sort of design onto the
model. Another use would be with a speckled alpha to draw pores on a person's skin. Because you
control the size and orientation of the alpha with every stroke, you can keep the stamps from
repeating, thus preserving a naturally organic appearance.

Using Freehand

The Freehand stroke type is very similar to Dots, but gives you precise control over how far apart
the instances of the alpha will be stamped.
Set:

● Brush:Std selected.
● Alpha:Brush 18 (ring-shaped alpha) selected.
● Stroke:Freehand selected.
● Transform:Z on, to activate Z symmetry
● Transform:(R) on, to activate radial symmetry.
● Draw:Z Intensity = 60.
● Draw:Draw Size = 20.
● Stroke:Spacing = 1, to cause individual applications of alphas to be mostly overlapped.
(Higher values would result in less overlap.)
● Stroke:Lazy Mouse selected, to result in smoother lines as you draw.

1. Create a new layer by pressing Tool:Layer:New.

2. Rename it to FreehandLayer by pressing Tool:Layer:Rename.
3. Now draw a single line down the side of the column. It may help to rotate the model onto
its side before doing this.

The Freehand stroke type is remarkably useful any time you want to draw lines of repeated detail.
You could trace a line of rivets along the seams in an aircraft's panels, create cute little swirls of
dots, etc.

Using Spray and Colorized Spray

These two stroke types splatter the model with semi-random copies of the alpha. There are
settings to determine how far apart the alpha instances can be, how much they fluctuate in scale,
how densely the instances are drawn (just a few scattered, or a lot), and how color is affected. The
difference between the two stroke types is specifically in how each deals with color. Spray will
cause the value of the currently selected color to fluctuate. Colorized Spray will affect its hue.
Since we're strictly sculpting in this tutorial, the color modifications don't play a role and so we
could use either stroke with exactly the same results. We'll just use Spray.

Set:

● Brush:Std selected.
● Alpha:Brush 04 (like a puff of cotton) selected.
● Stroke:Spray selected.
● Transform:Z off.
● Transform:(R) off.
● Draw:Z Intensity = 30.
● Draw:Draw Size = 20.
● Draw:Zsub = selected.

1. Create a new layer by pressing Tool:Layer:New.

2. Rename it to SprayLayer by pressing Tool:Layer:Rename.
3. Now simply draw some damaged spots on the column.
The Spray strokes are a very powerful way to quickly create randomized organic detail. Don't
forget that while we've used them strictly in a modeling capacity in this tutorial, they also work
quite well with polypainting. That's where you'll really put the color features of these stroke types
to good use.

2C_Gouges_and_Brushes"

● Disclaimers
From ZBrushInfo

Contents

❍ 2.8 Create a Mask Using Topology

● 3 Related Material

A mask is an area of your model that is 'shielded' from sculpting, painting, etc. Masks only apply when in 3D Edit mode. (See ZBrush
Modes.)

contains quite a few controls that can be used to generate masks automatically, affect properties of masks and mask drawing,
etc.

such as sculpting have on masked areas of a model depends on the intensity of the mask at each point.

Also, see the Transpose feature for details on a specialized type of masking called topological masking that can be extremely useful
when masking limbs and other model parts that correspond naturally to the flow of a model's topology.

This section addresses how you can create and manipulate masks directly on the screen. You can do the following.

You can paint masks on your object directly by holding down the Ctl key while painting on the model. (The stroke must begin on or close
to the model.) By default, masked areas show up as dark patches on the model. The following figure illustrates this:
Left: Small masked 'dots' on the model created by holding down Ctl while drawing very short strokes with a small brush.
Right: Masked model after sculpting. Masked areas were not affected by sculpt.

Drag Rectangles Across Part of Your Object

Hold down the Ctl key, click on the canvas outside your object (not too close, either), and drag a rectangle across part of your object. You
can see the results below. Note: You need to start the drag outside the object, but you don't need to end it outside the object.

Left: Original model.

Center: Model while rectangle is being stroked out (Ctl key held down).

Lasso Parts of an Object to Mask

1. Press Ctl+Shift+M or press Transform:Lasso (identified in the popup help as Transform:Marquee) to toggle into lasso mode.
2. Hold down the Ctl key, click on the canvas outside of your model.
3. Drag out a lasso selection.

To invert an existing mask, hold down the Ctl key and click on the canvas outside the model.
Mask before and after being inverted with Ctl-click on the canvas.

Note: A convenient way to mask an entire object is to invert the mask while the object is completely unmasked.

Ctl-click on a masked area to blur the mask. This will 'spread the mask out' further across the object, while decreasing its intensity.

You can 'unpaint' a previously masked area, by holding down Ctl+Alt and painting onto the model.

In this figure, the inverted mask has been taken from the previous figure, and the 'border' of the model has been unmasked using Ctl+Alt-paint.

Note: If you don't want to remember the unmasking key combination, you can also unmask an area by inverting the current

Hold down the Ctl key and drag on the canvas outside the model. Any visible amount of dragging will do.

This masking method is discussed more thoroughly in the Transpose page, which is where the topological masking is functional. Basically,
when in transpose mode, you can Ctrl-drag along the surface of a model, to have a mask dragged out across the surface, following the
topology of the model. On models with typical topology, this gives an extremely fast, easy way to mask out limbs, tentacles, branches, and
other extrusions.
Related Material
● Sculpting With Masks by Cesar Dacol Jr. (Quicktime required).
● Sculpting Tips by Thomas Mahler (Quicktime required).
● Modeling With Your Texture by Ryan Kingslien (Quicktime required).

● Disclaimers
Polygroups
From ZBrushInfo

Polygroups allow you to organize the mesh with visual grouping information. Polygroups are one
way to organize your mesh. Another way is to use Subtools. Where SubTools create separate
pieces of geometry, Polygroups only create separate selection areas. Your mesh is still one
contiguous surface.

There are 4 ways to create Polygroups:

● Auto Groups
● UV Groups
● Group Visible
● Material Groups

Auto Groups

Auto Groups will create a new group for each separate poly object. The example to the
upper right shows what Auto Groups will do. Keep in mind that a separate poly object is
not a SubTool but a part of the object that does not share any polygon faces and is self-
contained.

UV Groups

UV Groups will create a new group for each UV section of the model that is in a unique UV
region. The image to left shows UV regions inside of the Maya UV Editor.

UV Groups are very important to Multi Displacement 3.

Group Visible

Group Visible will group the entire visible part of the mesh. To learn how to hide and

Material Group

Material Group will group the model based on shaders assigned in other 3D applications.
The model will have to be exported from the other application with Material information in
the OBJ file format. To turn this on you must enable Preferences: Importexport: Import
Mat before importing the mesh. Material Groups is very useful for transfering grouping
information from other applications into ZBrush.

Working With Polygroups

You work with Polygroups directly on the surface of your model. In order for you to work with
them and for them to be visible you must turn on Transform: Frame.

● Show Only One Group

1. Press CTRL+SHIFT and click on the mesh where that group is.

1. Press CTRL+SHIFT and click on the mesh where one group is

2. Invert that selection: press CTRL+SHIFT then click and drag outside of the mesh
3. Press CTRL+SHIFT and click on the other groups you want to select
4. Invert this selection: press CTRL+SHIFT then click and drag outside the model

● Disclaimers
Paint It!
From ZBrushInfo

To begin painting, we can be in Rapid UI or Classic UI. It doesn't matter. For our example here we will be in Classic UI.

● How to Set Up Poly Painting

● The difference between RGB and ZAdd
● Painting Basics
● How to export Poly Painting as a texture map

First Steps

Make sure your model is on the canvas and in Edit mode. If it is not, see the section called 'Setting Up Your Model in ZBrush's Classic UI
in First Sculpt.

Poly Painting paints directly on the surface of your model. Make sure that your model has enough polygons to hold a good amount of
detail. If you are not sure what a 'good amount of detail' means than simply make sure that it has over a million polygons. You can find the
polygon count of a model by hovering your cursor over its thumbnail in the Tool palette.

Choose a material that will work well with your model. In this example, we will use the MatCap Skin05 Material.
Set our model up for Poly Painting

The first way is as follows:

1. Set the color in the color swatch to white or whatever base color you want to begin painting on. You can find the color
swatch to the left of the canvas or in the Color_Palette.
2. Press Color: Fill Object.

The second way is as follows:

1. Press Tool: Texture: Colorize.

In the second option you do not get the chance to choose a color first. It defaults to white.

The difference between RGB and ZAdd

RGB and ZAdd are both options in the Draw palette and on the shelf. ZAdd, as we saw on the First Sculpt page allows the user to add
bulk to their model. RGB adds color. Its as simple as that.

To Paint on the surface of a model you must have Poly Painting enabled, as outlined above, and RGB selected on the shelf or in the Draw
palette. Selecting it in one place selects it in the other as well.

Painting Basics
The best way to learn about painting in ZBrush is to use the Colorized Spray Stroke. You can see more of a complete tutorial about it here.

1. Select the Colorized Spray Stroke

2. Set the color swatch to a dull skin tone or something close to it
3. Set Draw Size equal to 150
4. Set your model's Tool: Geometry: SDiv to its highest level
5. Select Brush: Std
6. Paint away on your model!

In the beginning be very gestural. You just want to cover the surface with color. This is not the stage to be refining or worry about
anything beyond covering the surface.

Painting Basics: Establishing Color Zones

Once you have the surface colored start to experiment with different color zones on your model. If you analyze old master paintings, you'll
see that the forehead is usually yellowish, the muzzle of the mouth is reddish and the ears have a slightly purplish tint. Think in terms of
warm and cool color combinations. Follow the steps below:

1. Lower the Draw Size to 100 or less

2. Increase the brightness of your color in the color swatch by dragging the color selector in the swatch upwards
3. Increase the saturation by dragging the color selector in the color swatch to the right.
4. Adjust the hue to be yellower or redder or purplish by dragging your cursor in the color selector border around the big block of
color.
5. Select Alpha: Brush 25 for a good spatter type effect
6. Set RGB Intensity to around 30 or so
7. Paint away on your model!

Painting Basics: Unify It All

Once you have a good range of color on the model you can begin to pull it all together with a light wash of a very light skin hue.

1. Set the color swatch to a lightish skin hue. Go as near white as you can.
2. Select Alpha: Brush 07
3. Select the Colorized Spray stroke
4. Set RGB Intensity to 10 or so
5. Paint lightly on the model. Try to use this color as a 'wash' over the model. Try not to over do it or make it too opaque in any one
spot.

Converting Poly Painting into a Texture Map

1. Create a texture at the size you want for your final map. If its 2048 by 2048, follow the steps below:
1. Set Texture: Width to 2048
2. Set Texture: Height to 2048
3. Press Texture: New Texture
2. At this point the texture map will override your polypainting. Don't worry. Its still there. :)
3. Press Tool: Texture: Col>Txr.
If you wish to continue PolyPainting simply press Texture: Texture Off in the texture palette and continue painting. When you want to
convert your new painting onto a texture map simply repeat steps 1 through 3 above. You can use the same texture. It will simply
overwrite the information that was there before.

If you do not have UVs you can create them inside of ZBrush by pressing Tool: Texture: AUV.

Congratulations! You have now completely textured a model.

Contents
● 1 An In-Depth Look At Painting In ZBrush
❍ 1.1 PolyPainting

❍ 1.7 Tutorials

An In-Depth Look At Painting In ZBrush

In ZBrush you can texture paint in 2 ways:

● Poly Painting
● Projection Master

PolyPainting
Polypainting allows painting on a model's surface without first assigning a texture map. A texture map can be created at a later time, and
the painted surface can be transferred to the map.

Polypainting offers significant advantages compared to standard workflow:

● The resolution of the texture map need not be decided in advance. This is particularly valuable if you find you need more detailing
on an area than you thought you would. Instead of repainting a new, larger texture map, you can simply transfer the existing
surface painting to a new, larger map, with no rework necessary.
● Similarly, the UV unwrapping need not be fixed in advance. If one unwrapping proves unsatisfactory, simply create a different
unwrapping and transfer the surface painting to that map.
● Removing UVs from your model frees up system resources and allows you to work with more polygons.

Poly to Pixel Ratio

To understand how polypainting works, first consider a 2048 by 2048 texture map, which provides reasonable resolution. It has a total of a
little over 4 million pixels.

The new version of ZBrush is fast enough to handle models with large polygon counts. If you work with a 4 million polygon model, then
in terms of surface painting, simply assigning each polygon a uniform color gives the same amount of information as the 4 million pixel
texture map. (Actually, somewhat more, since significant parts of texture maps are typically left blank.)

So, with polypainting, you can put all of the painting details directly onto the model's polygons, and then transfer that detail to a texture
map when the painting is complete.

Set Up Your Model For PolyPainting

Remember three points when using polypainting:

● Polygon colorizing is enabled in ZBrush when the Tool:Texture:Colorize switch is on. It is off by default, so remember to turn it
on before starting to paint.
● Working without UVs will allow you to use more polygons and get more detail out of your model. Whenever possible, delete your
UVs from your ZBrush model. You can always reimport them at the end of the process.
● When rendering, ZBrush gives precedence to textures over polygon colors. This means that if a texture is active, then any
polypainting you've done will not be visible. While painting, or to view your polypainting, ensure the selected texture is the
Texture Off.

With this in mind, polypainting a model and producing a texture map is a simple process.

1. First, get a model. For this description, we'll assume that you don't need your UVs and can add them at the end of the process.
2. Set your subdivision level to 1.
3. Press Tool:Texture:Disable Uvs. This will delete your UVs. Make sure to have a back up OBJ file if you wish to use those UVs
again.
4. Subdivide the mesh to get the number of polygons needed to match the map resolution you have in mind.
5. Paint the model, using alphas, masking, etc. Of course, you can sculpt at the same time you paint. Remember to turn on Tool:
Texture:Colorize before starting to paint.

You can PolyPaint with the same tools you use to sculpt with:

● Alphas
● Strokes

Simply enable PolyPainting by pressing Tool: Texture: Colorize and turn RGB on in the shelf. Once RGB is on you are ready to start
painting!

Control the Shape of Your Brush with Alphas

You can control the shape of your sculpting by using an Alpha. To select an alpha you can do two things:

● Click the large Alpha thumbnail to the left of the canvas and choose an Alpha from the pop-up window.

or

● Open the Alpha Palette, click the large thumbnail of the Alpha and choose an Alpha from there.

ZBrush has several different Stroke types available for the artist. Each is useful for a different task. In the First Painting section we learned
about the Colorized Spray stroke. For sculpting, the Dots stroke, Drag Rect and the Freehand stroke are very useful. Some of the strokes to
the right are not visible while 3D sculpting. ZBrush's interface is context sensative. It will only show you the controls that you can use.

Using a Texture Map to Paint with in ZBrush

To PolyPaint with a texture map you must delete your UVs by pressing Tool: Texture: Disable UVs. If you have UVs ZBrush will
display the texture map on your model instead of letting you use it to PolyPaint with.

You can create new uvs when you are done PolyPainting by pressing Tool: Texture: Auv. Make sure you are at the lowest subdivision
level when you do this.

You can import your UVs again after you have finished painting by following these simple steps:

1. Press Tool: Morph Target: Store MT to store a Morph Target

3. Press Tool: Morph Target: Switch to switch back to the previous geometry state. ZBrush will keep the changes you made to the UV
but reverse any change the imported OBJ made to you model's geometry.

1. Bake texture map into PolyPainting

2. Paint using ZBrush's 3D sculpting and painting tools
3. Bake PolyPainting back to a texture map.

Note: If you want to paint on a texture map in ZBrush you must use Projection Master.

Baking a Texture Map to PolyPainting

3. Divide the model so that its polygon count is close to your texture's pixel count. If you don't want to learn the math behind this just
divide it as far as you can. If you want to learn the math, here is some info: a 2k texture map has 4 million pixels in it. Your UVs
only use 70% or less of that space so the pixel count is close to 3 million.
4. Press Tool: Texture: Txr>Clr

Baking PolyPainting into a Texture Map

1. Create a texture at the size you want for your final map. If its 2048 by 2048, follow the steps below:
1. Set Texture: Width to 2048
2. Set Texture: Height to 2048
3. Press Texture New Texture
2. At this point the texture map will override your polypainting. Don't worry. Its still there. :)
3. Do you have UVs? If yes, skip this step. If not, you have two options.
1. Create UVs outside of ZBrush
1. Set Tool: Geometry: SDiv to 1
2. Export mesh by pressing Tool: Export.
3. Layout UVs in your other application.
4. Back in ZBrush, store a Morph Target by pressing Tool: Morph Target: Store MT.
5. Set your model's SDiv level to 1.
6. Import your model by pressing Tool: Import.
7. If you have sculpted moree since you laid out your UVs your mesh, at SDiv level 1, will be different. You will only
want to import your UVs and not your mesh. To do this, simply restore the Morph Target, Tool: Morph Target:
Switch.
2. Create UVs inside of ZBrush
1. Press Tool: Texture: GUV or Tool: Texture: AUV
4. Press Tool: Texture: Clr>Txr

Done!

Tutorials

Using Photoreference

● Disclaimers
Working with Multiple Objects
From ZBrushInfo

You can work with multiple objects in ZBrush two ways:

● Polygroups
● SubTools

Contents
● 1 What Are Multiple Objects?
● 2 Keeping It Separate: The Polygroup Option
● 3 The Polygon Count Variable
● 4 HD Geometry and Polygroups
● 5 SubTools

What do we mean by multiple objects? A model in ZBrush is composed of polygon faces. A

model composed of multiple objects is one that has two or more polygon objects that are not
connected. That is to say, they do not share any connected polygon faces.
A practical example is the DemoSoldier that ships with ZBrush. This model is composed of many
other parts such as boots, backpack, shirt, vest, ect. For the DemoSoldier they are all separate
SubTools but they could also all be one SubTool and simply be separated by Polygroups. The
important element here is that they are separate polygon objects. The shirt does not share any
polygons with the body. The vest does not share any polygons with the shirt.

If all you need is a way to keep track of your model's various parts, we recommend that you use
Polygroups. Polygroups give you a direct, visual indicator of your groups. They can be turned on
and off by pressing CTRL+SHIFT and clicking on them in the viewport. They will keep you mesh
as one surface so that Transpose can be used to pose all the various elements together.

If, however, you find that you need more polygons see below.

Keeping It Separate: The Polygroup Option

If you are importing your model from another app follow the steps below to make it ready for
Polygroups:

1. In your other application, select all the parts of your model that you want to use in ZBrush.
2. Export them all as one single OBJ.
3. In ZBrush, import the OBJ.
4. Press Tool: Polygroups: Auto Groups.
5. Divide the model and start sculpting.

Now, what happens if you find that you forgot a part and need to add it in? This is easy to do but
there is one variable. Do you have levels of resolution?

If you do not have levels of resolution follow the steps below:

1. Select the Tool: Polymesh tool. This is a star shaped polygon object.
2. Import the new part. Press Tool: Import and navigate to the part you want to add to the
model. This will bring it in as a separate model for now.
3. Re-select your original model from the Tool palette.
4. Add the new part to the existing model. Press Tool: Geometry: InsertMesh and choose the
new part from the pop-up window.

If you have levels of resolution we will modify the process slightly.

1. Select the Tool: Polymesh tool. This is a star shaped polygon object.
2. Import the new part. Press Tool: Import and navigate to the part you want to add to the
model. This will bring it in as a separate model for now.
3. Equalize the levels of resolution. Divide the new part so that it has the same number of
resolution levels as the existing mesh.
4. Re-select your original model from the Tool palette.
5. Add the new part to the existing model. Press Tool: Geometry: InsertMesh and choose the
new part from the pop-up window.

The Polygon Count Variable

When working with multiple objects or even large, detailed creature we can begin to run into the
barrier of our polygon limits. Some times our systems are just not fast enough to work with the
polygon count that we want or perhaps our operating system limits the amount of RAM we can
use. Either way, we may find ourselves with a need for more polygons.

● HD Geometry and Polygroups

● SubTools

As of this writing, HD Geometry does not translate into displacement maps so if you need to get
your sculpting detail out of ZBrush and into another application you must use the SubTool
method.
HD Geometry and Polygroups

HD Geometry allows your model to go up to 1 billion polygons. This is more polygon information
than SubTools are capable of.

Use Polygroups to keep your different objects separate. Polygroups allow you to easily select,
hide or show groups.

SubTools

SubTools are separate polygon objects. Each SubTool can be equal to the maximum number of
polygons your system can handle. If your system handles 8 million polygons and you have 4
SubTools then your model can be composed of 32 million polygons.

SubTools are, however, separate. You can NOT sculpt or pose multiple SubTools at the same
time.

SubTools also provide an easy to see visual outliner.

● Disclaimers
3D Layers
From ZBrushInfo

Introduction

Layers allow for a non-linear workflow. Artists are able to work with a model at many different
stages of development simultaneously. Artists can add details such as a reptile's skin scales then
turn those details off and refine the major forms underlying them.

● Each layer in the Tool:Layers list of layers functions as a single variant of the base mesh
geometry.
● Layers allow creation of new subtools based on the difference between the base mesh and
the mesh contained in a layer.
● Layers can be used to test out ideas for models, without committing to a single sculpt.

Base mesh (left), and with 'bullet hole' layer turned on (right).

Layer Controls

Layers are stored on a per mesh basis.To apply layers to a model, the first thing to do is to get that
model up on the screen and ensure you are in 3D Edit mode.

All models start with no layers defined. The base mesh is not a layer. To create new layers, use the
Tool:Layer:New button.

All layers are in one of three states:

● The Live layer, if it exists, is the currently selected layer. The effects of this layer on the
base mesh are shown onscreen. In addition, any sculpting done when there is a live layer
affects only that layer; neither the base mesh nor any other layer is affected. The live layer
is highlighted in green.
● A layer that is On does affect the appearance of the model onscreen, but sculpting does not
affect an On layer. Layers that are ON have an eye icon in their title
● A layer that is Off does not affect the appearance of the model onscreen, and is not affected
by any sculpting. Layers that are OFF do not have an eye icon in their title.

If you wish to bake the layer into your sculpt, simply press Tool::Layers:Delete.

If you want to remove the layer and the sculpting from your mesh, turn off the visibility of the
layer by pressing the eye icon and then pressing Tool:Layers:Delete.

Erasing Layer Information

You can erase information in a Layer by using a morph target and the morph brush.

To do this take the following steps:

1. Turn off visibility for the layer you want to remove information from
2. Store a morph target by pressing Tool: Morph Target: Store MT
3. Select the morph brush
4. Turn the visibility back on for that layer
5. Paint out the area you want to remove

● Disclaimers
Mesh Extraction
From ZBrushInfo

Mesh extraction is a fast and powerful way to create new parts to your model. Using existing
geometry you can quickly and easily create a jacket, a helmet, gloves, whatever your character may
need!

Contents
● 1 How Mesh Extraction Works
● 2 Mesh Extraction with Masking
● 3 Mesh Extraction With Visibility
● 4 Mesh Extraction Using Layers
● 5 Mesh Extraction Reference

How Mesh Extraction Works

Mesh Extractions works by separating a part of one model and, in a sense, duplicating that as another
mesh. It also 'cleans' the edge of the extracted mesh to create a smooth, even boundary.

You can tell ZBrush which part of the model you want to extract in 3 ways:

● Visibility
● Layers

Each of these tools isolate one part of the mesh from the rest of the mesh. When you press Mesh
Extraction, ZBrush will calculate the boundary of the selected area, then create a new mesh with
smooth clean edges. In order to create the smooth edges it will occassionly have to insert triangles and
shown in the far right of the image below:

Lets look at how to create new geometry by painting masks. In this example we will create extra
elements for a soldier character.

Masks can be drawn quickly, without much concern for the edges. ZBrush will insert extra polygons at
the edges of the extracted mesh, to ensure smoothness.

In this image we see the mask painted onto our character that we will turn into a flak jacket.
Press Tool:SubTool:Mesh Extract and ZBrush will create a new piece of geometry based on your

Mesh Extraction With Visibility

Start with the shoulder-guard. Using the new lasso function, we can simply hide everything except a
section of the warrior's shoulder, and then extract the shoulder-guard with Tool:SubTool:Extract. The
new mesh is a subtool of the full mesh, which can be manipulated independently or separated into a
completely separate mesh.

1. If necessary, press Ctrl-Shift+M to toggle from standard select to lasso mode.

2. Hold down Ctrl-Shift while dragging out the selection.

Lassoing (left) lets us easily hide everything except an area of the shoulder (middle), and pressing Tool:
SubTool:Extract produces the shoulder-guard (right). The new mesh is a subtool of the full mesh, but it
can be worked on completely independently, and can be separated out into a standalone mesh, if so
desired.
With the basics of the shoulder-guard made in a matter of seconds, the details can be sculpted on in
just a few more minutes.

Mesh Extraction Using Layers

Meshes are extracted from layers with the Tool:Layers:Make 3D button. Your mesh will be extracted
wherever the base mesh and the selection differ. Let's take a look, by creating a medallion.

Layer menu, and press Tool:Layer:New. This will create and make visible a single active layer.

Set the following: {Ctl|Brush:Std}} selected; Alpha:Brush 52 (star medallion alpha) selected; Stroke:
DragRect selected; Draw:Z Intensity = 65; Draw:Focal Shift = -100. (This prevents the sculpt from
'fading' as it goes from its center to its edge.)

Draw a stroke out from the center of the plane.

Now press Tool:Layer:Make3D. A new subtool will be created from the difference of the base (flat)
plane and the sculpted plane, and will be placed in the Subtool menu, as shown below. Also, the new
subtool will appear onscreen, slightly darker because it is not the selected subtool.

Mesh Extraction Reference

Tool:Subtool:Extract: If a model is masked, extracts the masked area of the model as a new
mesh subtool, or if the model is partly hidden, extracts the visible portion as a new mesh
subtool. See the reference for the Tool:Subtool menu for details on other mesh extraction
settings.

Tool:Layers:Make 3D: When a layer is selected, extracts a new subtool from the difference
between the base mesh and the sculpt in the layer. See the reference for the Tool:Layers
menu for details on other mesh extraction settings.

● Disclaimers
Transpose
From ZBrushInfo

Transpose is a new feature in ZBrush that allows you to quickly position, pose or deform your model. It uses three different elements:

● An action line is used to move, scale, or rotate the model or some part of the model.
● In the Transform menu, the Move, Scale, and Rotate buttons control which of the associated transformations the transpose action
line actually does. In ZBrush 2, those modes functioned as brushes, but transpose can do all of what could be done by those
brushes, and quite a bit more.
● An optional mask causes transpose actions to be done only on unmasked areas of the model. Amongst other things, this allows you

For instance...
To rotate an arm downward using transpose, you'd mask off everything but the arm, draw an action line from the shoulder to
the elbow, and then with Transform:Rotate active, drag the end of the action line that is not the shoulder to rotate the arm.

Contents
● 1 Understanding The Action Line
❍ 1.1 Creating the Action Line

❍ 1.3 Moving an Action Line Endpoint

● 2 Posing a Model
● 3 Moving a Model
● 4 Scaling a Model
● 5 Rotating a Model

❍ 5.3 Transposing With Bones

● 6 Transpose Symmetry
● 7 Other

Creating the Action Line

● To create an action line you must enter Move, Scale or Rotate. You can press W, E or R on the shelf. Then click on your model's
surface and drag out the action line. The endpoints of the line will snap to whatever is under them. Any previous action line will be
removed.
● Drag the outer yellow ring of an endpoint to position that end of the line. The endpoint will move in the plane of the screen.
● The yellow circles will resize to indicate distance from the viewer.

Moving the Action Line

● To move an entire action line, click on the yellow rim of the center circle and drag it.
● The line is moved in the plane of the screen. Its distance from the viewer does not change.
● You can also drag the line itself to move it.

Moving an Action Line Endpoint

● To move an end of the action line, click on the yellow rim of an endpoint and drag it.
● The endpoint is moved in the plane of the screen. Its distance from the viewer does not change.
● To move an endpoint of the action line to a precise place in a model (for example, to be precisely at a joint), view the model along
one global axis (Shift-rotate the model so it 'clicks' into a perpendicular view) and center the endpoint properly in that view, then
do the same thing while viewing along another global axis.

Posing a Model

When transpose is used with masked and partially masked objects, it gives you a huge amount of power in creating your scene, including
the ability to quickly achieve realistic poses of humans and creatures. Here's a quick look:

With Rotate pressed on the shelf, press and hold CTRL then click on the pectorial muscle of the solder and drag towards the deltoid
(shoulder muscle) to create a topological mask that isolates the arm. Release CTRL.
Click on the shoulder and drag downwards towards the hand. This will create an action line. Click and drag the end point to pose the arm.

Redraw the topological mask for the forearm. To do this press and hold CTRL then click on the bicep of the soldier and drag towards the
forearm.

Draw another action line, click on the end point and pose the forearm.
Draw another mask for the wrist area. Draw another action line and move it inside of the wrist so that the hand will rotate from the center
of the wrist.

Click on the center dot to rotate the hand around the action line. Clicking on the end points moves the model on a fulcrum. Clicking on the
center point rotates the model around the axis of the action line.
Let's draw another mask for the arm so we can rotate the entire arm upwards towards the head.

Click and drag on the center point to rotate it along the action lines axis

Click and drag on the end point to raise the entire arm.
Moving a Model

Action lines use a generalized move operation, where the vertices of a model are moved relative to a coordinate origin defined by one end
of the action line. This allows for scaling and shearing.

● Ensure that Transform:Move is active before doing anything.

● To move the entire object, click and drag from inside the midpoint of the action line.

Note: Shift-drag constrains the move to be along the action line.

● To scale or shear the object, click and drag from inside an endpoint of the action line. The other end will take the role of the origin
of the coordinate system. The point underneath the click will be moved to follow the mouse, in the plane of the screen. All other
points in the model will be moved proportionally within the coordinate system defined by the action line, which produces a scaling
or shearing effect.

Scaling a Model

Ensure that Transform:Scale is active.

● Set up the action line.

● To scale the model uniformly:

❍ Drag the center of an endpoint.

❍ Drag away from the other endpoint to scale the model up.

❍ Drag towards the other endpoint to scale the model down.

❍ The non-dragged endpoint serves as the origin of the scale (the model point under that end will not move as the model is

scaled.)
● To scale the model in the plane perpendicular to the action line:
❍ Click and drag from the inside of the midpoint of the action towards an endpoint.

❍ Dragging towards one endpoint will thicken the model (as shown).

❍ Dragging towards the other endpoint will thin the model (not shown).

In addition, holding down the Alt key when scaling can be used to achieve special types of scaling:

● When dragging from an endpoint, the model will be scaled along the axis of the action line, but those parts of the model nearer the
dragged endpoint will be affected much more strongly. For example, by Alt-dragging the feet endpoint of an action line that goes
from a model's head to its feet, you could lengthen the legs while leaving the rest of the model largely unchanged.
● When Alt-dragging from the midpoint, the model will be scaled along all three axes, but the effect will be much greater between
the midpoint and the most recently used endpoint. For example, click on the head endpoint, then Alt-drag from the midpoint to
scale the torso and head and produce a more "hulking" model.

Rotating a Model

● Ensure that Transform:Rotate is active.

● Drag the center (inner red circle) an endpoint to rotate the model around the other endpoint.
● Drag the center of the action line's midpoint towards the endpoint to rotate the model around the action line.

Topological masking allows you to create masks that flow along a model's geometry. For most models, this makes it easy to mask limbs,
fingers, etc.

● Ensure Transform:Edit is active and one of the Move Scale, or Rotate modes are active.

● When you release the mouse button, the edge of the mask will be smoothed. More smoothing can be applied by Ctrl-clicking on a

distortion, such as a knee joint when the lower leg is rotated into a pose. This is mask blurring, which allows you to easily widen out and
smooth the area of partial masking between the fully masked part of a model, and the non-masked area.

2. Ctrl-click on any masked area. The edges of all masked areas will be blurred.
3. Additional Ctrl-clicks will blur the mask further. A setting in transpose preferences allows setting how much blur occurs with
each click.

1. Set up a mask so the boundary between the masked and unmasked surfaces is at the joint.
2. Create a control line with one end at the joint, and the other end at the other end of the bone (or whatever) being rotated.
3. Rotate the limb, and see if the results are OK.
4. If not, undo the rotation, blur the mask, and try again.
5. Do this a few times if you need to.

Transposing With Bones

Transpose also has a mode that provides, if needed, a more accurate model of how skin folds on and displaces itself. See figure at right for
a comparison.

To use this mode:

1. Mask or hide the areas of the mesh you don't want to effect. This should not include the area where you want the skin to slide.
2. Position the action line to represent the bone above where you want to bend your sculpt, i.e. on the masked area of the model.
3. Press and Hold Alt then click and drag left or right on the end of the action line.

Transpose Symmetry

Transpose Symmetry allows the artist to get into and out of pose while retaining their high resolution details!

Transpose Symmetry frees the artists to begin posing their sculptures earlier in their sculpting process. Using current workflows artists
sculpt a base shape, pose the sculpt and then sculpt asymetrical details. Occasionally, an artist may want to sculpt with symmetry on while
the sculpture is posed. However, in current workflows, you can not return to a base sculpt to further sculpt your model. The pose is, in this
workflow, the end of the line for your sculpture.

Transpose Symmetry breaks down this barrier allowing you to pose your sculpt earlier in your workflow, get into and out of pose easily
and transfer all your high rez sculpting from your base sculpt to your posed sculpt. In this new workflow, posing happens earlier in your
workflow and does not have to be a one time deal at the end of the line for your model. In fact, you can go back and forth as many times as
you need. Sculpt symmetrical details like fabric weave on your pants while in your base pose and then transfer that sculpting to your posed
sculpt!

Other
For settings affecting transpose mode, see the transpose preferences.

● Disclaimers
Rigging
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Rigging
❍ 1.1 Step By Step

❍ 1.3 Preview your high-rez details on a posed mesh:

Rigging
Rigging in ZBrush is fast and simple. It is currently being redone to comply with subtools and
reworked to give the artist more control over rotation and weighting. It works superbly for bends
such as knees, elbow and chest, however, it does not give you control over rotations such as
rotating a wrist.

To rig a model you start with the lowest (or at least a relatively low) subdivision level. You do not
want to rig the highest subdivision level. The low resolution is rigged and posed. Then "preview"
your high resolution mesh by going through a few steps that will all be automated in one of the
next betas.

Step By Step

1. First, draw a ZSphere on screen and go into Edit mode.

2. Go Tool:Rigging:Select and select the mesh that you want to rig. Make sure that it is at a
low level of resolution.
3. Create more ZSpheres by clicking on the ZSphere in the center. The positions of the
ZSpheres are important but are not the only determiner for the effect on your skinning.
Make sure that the root ZSphere is somewhere near to what is usually the center of gravity
of the model--an area that doesn't bend sharply itself. For a typical humanoid, you will
want a ZSphere below the root for the hip, and a ZSphere above it for the ribcage.
4. When your skeleton is completed, press Bind. ZBrush is using an automatic weighting
solution so check your mesh to see if it is weighted correctly.
5. Pose your model using Rotate or Move. Press A to preview your low-resolution mesh in
that pose.

A few tips to keep in mind:

● Arms should be around 45 degrees or more away from the body. Otherwise they can get
caught up in the ZSpheres for the spine.
● If the weighting is not right, unbind the mesh by pressing Bind again (it should not be
orange after this, i.e. it should be off) and try to reposition some of your ZSpheres. Press
Bind once you are ready to test the weighting again.
● When you turn Bind off, your mesh returns to your bind pose.

Preview your high-rez details on a posed mesh:

2. Set Tool:Adaptive Skin:Density to the same number as the maximum levels of resolution
for the mesh you are posing.
3. Press Shift and click on the Tool:Adaptive Skin:Preview button. This will preview your
high rez mesh.
4. To have this happen every time you press A you have to sculpt some small brush strokes
after you press Shift and click on the Preview button. If this step is not done or is
undone you will not preview your high rez mesh. :div>:div>

● Disclaimers
Win The Polygon Lottery With HD Geometry!
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 HD Introduction
● 2 HD Levels vs SDiv Levels
● 3 HD Geometry Controls
● 4 Using HD Geometry
● 5 Rendering HD Geometry

HD Introduction

HD Geometry is the next evolution in Sculpting. HD Geometry allows you to divide your model
to 1 billion polygons while only taxing your system with the polygons you are using onscreen.
HD Levels vs SDiv Levels

HD sculpting is an extension of subdivision sculpting. Using HD sculpting, you first do regular

subdivisions of the model you are working with, up to a level your system can comfortably
handle. If you need further subdivision levels beyond that, you can perform HD subdivisions (as
discussed below). These add polygons to your model exactly as for normal subdivision, but keep
the portion of the model that is being worked with at any time to a size that leaves your system
reponsive.

HD Geometry Controls

Make sure to read the description for the Sculpt HD button. Pressing it will result in a preview
of your sculpted model; you must activate it with its hotkey to perform HD sculpting.
done when Tool:Geometry:SDiv is set to its maximum value. Once you add HD
subdivision levels to a model, you cannot add or delete 'standard' subdivision levels from
that model.

SculptHD Subdiv: Controls the HD subdivision level being shown (if you have done
more than one level of HD subdivision). Higher values let you sculpt at higher levels of
detail, but at a smaller portion of your model at one time. Conversely, lower values give
you access to more of the model, but don't allow you to sculpt the finest possible details.

Sculpt HD: This button is normally activated using the a hotkey. When activated with
the hotkey, it selects an area of your model around the current mouse position for high-
definition sculpting. This area is determined by the maximum number of polygons that
can fit into your computer's memory at any time (set in Preferences, and by the actual
number of polygons that need to be displayed as set by SculptHD Subdiv above. If you
press this button with the mouse, your model will be rendered with all HD sculpted
details shown, but the HD sculpt mode will not actually be turned on.

RadialRgn: If on, then a circular region will be shown around the mouse when a is
pressed; if off, a square region will be shown. They will both contain the same number of
polygons, so will have different widths and heights. Use whichever is most suitable for

Using HD Geometry

In this section, we'll look at sculpting an elephant's skin in extremely high detail. Much higher
than has been previously possible without a complex workflow. In fact, with HD Geometry you
can keep your mesh one solid piece and sculpt up to 1 billion polygons.
In this example, our elephant is subdivided to about 700,000 polygons.

We press, Tool:Geometry HD:DivideHD three times until it's divided to 44 million polygons.

Then, hover our mouse over the area we want to sculpt and press the a key. A circular area around
our model has been selected. The selected area of the model comprises about 10,000,000 polygons
— the number is determined by MaxPolyPerMesh.

Sculpt this section of the mesh as normal.

Here is some quick sculpting on the 10 million polygon side of the elephant. This level of detail
would be extremely hard to obtain using bump maps and normal geometry.

When we are done, press the a key again to exit Sculpt HD mode. The entire model is again
displayed with the approximately 700,000 polygons we originally subdivided it to. However, the
high-definition sculpt we just did is retained and will appear again when we re-enter Sculpt HD
mode.

Rendering HD Geometry

To render your HD Geometry press the Sculpt HD button or press the a key while the cursor is
positioned away from the model. If your render shows 'holes' in the model turn on the Tool:
Display Properties:Double button and render again.

Rendering a model with subtools is best done using this [HD Render All zscript]. The zscript
preserves perspective settings.

HD Render All is a ZScript. It must be placed in the ZScript folder of your ZBrush directory. If
it is placed in ZStartup/ ZPlugs then ZBrush will not launch.
Win_The_Polygon_Lottery_With_HD_Geometry%21"
● Disclaimers
Topology
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Introduction
● 2 Step By Step
● 3 Convert To Main Feature
● 4 Importing Topology From Outside of ZBrush

Introduction

Using ZSpheres, creating new topology in ZBrush is simple. Using the new projection feature you
can shrink wrap your new topology to an existing model. Let's look at how to create new
topology.

Step By Step

To create a new topology we use two new submenus: Rigging and Topology.

When creating topology in ZBrush you do not have to close all of the polygon faces. ZBrush will
automatically close many of these polygon faces for you. The setting that determines how many
unconnected vertices that ZBrush will close is Max Strip Length. If ZBrush is closing holes that
you do not want it to close, set this number to 4.

You can also use the topology option to create a new mesh such as armor or a helmet or
something of that sort. Just create the topology and press Make Adaptive Skin. You can then
import this into your model as a subtool. You could also keep it as a ZSphere model if you want to
edit the topology later. If you plan on doing this it may be good to delete the mesh from the
rigging palette (Press Tool:Rigging:Delete).

1. First, draw a ZSphere on the canvas go into Edit mode.

2. Go to the rigging tab and press Select. Select the model that you want to retopologize from
the popup window. If it is not loaded you can press the Load button at this time.
3. In the Topology submenu, press Edit Topology.
4. Turn Symmetry on and click on the model to begin creating new geometry. Note, your
cursor may not show up until you click on the model. This will addressed in future updates.
The orange circle represents the active vertex. When you close a poly face, ZBrush keeps
the previous vertices active which allows you to more quickly build up poly faces on your
model.
5. Press A on the keyboard or Tool:Adaptive:Preview to see the new mesh.
7. If you are creating armor or helmets you may want to use the Skin Thickness slider to give

Convert To Main Feature

The Convert To Main feature has some very cool functionality. Designed to enable the surface
rigs that were shown in '04 it has other uses such as creating vines on a character or a tree or many
other things your imagination might come up with...you tell us!

To use Convert To Main there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, all ZSphere
chains must be connected to the base ZSphere that is active when you enable Edit Topology. If
they are not, they will not be converted to normal ZSpheres.

1. Draw your ZSphere on the canvas.

2. Go to Rigging and select the mesh you want to draw on top of.
3. Press Topology:Edit Topology. Make sure that the base ZSphere is selected or that the
root of your ZSphere chain is connected to it.
4. Begin drawing new topology on your model.
5. When you are done press Convert To Main and unpress Edit Topology. Your topology
lines will now be ZSpheres that you can edit and adjust. From here you can add them to
another model as a subtool.

Importing Topology From Outside of ZBrush

You can also bring topology in as an OBJ. The steps for this are below:

1. Select the Simple Brush in the Tool palette to avoid ZBrush importing one model into
another. Press Ok to drop your model to canvas
2. Press Layer:Clear to clear the document
3. Press Tool:Import and select OBJ
4. Select the old model you want to retopologize
5. Press Tool:SubTool:Append and select the newly imported model that represents new
topology
6. Make sure they line up correctly
7. Select a ZSphere and draw it on the canvas
8. Press Tool:Rigging:Select and select the design sculpt from the pop up window. This is the
tool with the geometry you want to change.
9. In the Tool Palette select the model that has the design sculpt and new topology sculpt as
SubTools of each other
10. Make the new topology sculpt the active SubTools by selecting it in the SubTool area.
11. Select the ZSphere you used earlier
12. Press Topology:Select and select the previous tool. Since the new topology is the active
SubTool it will bring that in instead. Note, right now there is a 25,000 poly limit on the
base mesh.
13. Press Edit Topology
14. If you want to push or pull points you can clear the mask that is automatically created by
15. Press Tool:Rigging:Projection

● Disclaimers
Interface Customization
From ZBrushInfo

by Matthew Yetter

Contents
● 3 Changing the Interface Colors
❍ 3.1 Setting Colors Affecting the Entire Interface

● 4 General Control Appearance and Behavior

● 5 Changing the Interface Layout
❍ 5.1 Areas for Customization

❍ 5.2 How to Move Elements Around

ZBrush 3 introduces powerful new interface customization features. Any interface element may now be moved, even if that item does not
exist when ZBrush launches. Additionally, entire new menus can be built to hold these elements, making it possible to redesign the ZBrush
interface however you see fit. The Rapid UI is one example of what is possible, showing how the interface can be completely transformed
to meet certain needs or tasks.

The first interface customization menu to become familiar with is Preferences:Config. The buttons here serve as inventories for the
interface itself. Here’s how they work:

Store Config: Saves the entire interface (color and layout) in its current state at the time that the button is pressed. This interface
will be loaded every time ZBrush is launched. The saved file will always be named CustomUserInterface.cfg and will
overwrite the existing copy of that file. Ctrl+Shift+I is the shortcut for this.

Restore Standard UI: Reverts ZBrush to the factory state. It discards all changes that have ever been made to layout and colors.

Restore Custom UI: Reverts ZBrush to the launch state. This discards all changes that have been made to layout and colors
during the current session.

Save Ui: Allows you to save a named custom interface (color and layout). You can use this feature to save a variety of interfaces
that are each tailored for a specific task. These interfaces do not load when ZBrush is launched, but are always just a few mouse
clicks away. (You will probably find it useful to remember that the shortcut for this command is Alt+Ctrl+Shift+I)

Load Ui: Allows you to load any previously saved custom interface (color and layout).

Changing the Interface Colors

Icolors (shown in Figure 2) contains the modifiers that control every aspect of ZBrush’s coloring. Your modifications can be broad such as
shifting the tint more toward blue, or very specific with setting individual colors for every type of element.

Before doing anything else, click Preferences:Icolors:Save Ui Colors and save out a file called DefaultColors.cfg. This will make
it easy to revert to ZBrush’s original coloration at any time by pressing the Load Ui Colors button and browsing to this
DefaultColors.cfg file.

Setting Colors Affecting the Entire Interface

The bottom half of the Icolors submenu is a set of sliders. Starting with Preferences:Icolors:Red, these sliders are used to modify the
interface as a whole. The sliders are all initially set to the middle value. This means that adjusting the sliders affects the interface relative to
its current state. For example, moving the Red slider toward the right will tinge ZBrush to be more red. Moving it to the left makes the
interface less red (which is the same effect as increasing both the Green and Blue sliders together).

With these sliders you can affect individual Red, Green and Blue values, as well as Hue, Saturation, Intensity and Contrast. As you
adjust these values you will notice that the sliders stay at the point that you move them to. So if you set Red to 29, it will stay at that setting
until you change it again. This means that you can continue to tweak and modify these sliders relative to the interface’s starting color state.
into the interface, setting a new starting point. All of the sliders will therefore immediately snap back to the midpoint (zero) value. Any
further adjusting of the sliders will be relative to the state that the interface was in when you clicked the Apply Adjustments button.

It should be noted that the SubOpacity1, SubOpacity2, Highlight and Gradient sliders are not tied together with the color adjustment

Setting Colors for Specific Control Types

Above the sliders is a series of color patches. These patches (all 40 of them!) each set the base color for a different aspect of ZBrush’s
interface. This is for the real control freaks out there, who want to completely customize the interface beyond what’s possible with the color
adjustment sliders alone. Holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key and mousing over any patch will give a detailed popup description of what that
patch controls.

Changing a color patch is a two step process. First, select a new color using any of the selectors found in the Color menu. This will update
the Color:Main Color patch. Once satisfied with the color choice, click the Icolors patch corresponding to the interface element that you
wish to affect. The interface will immediately update to show the results of your change. You can then repeat the process for any other
patches that you’d like to adjust.

One thing that you might notice is that these patches always ignore any modifications that have been made via the color adjustment sliders
– even if you’ve clicked the Apply Adjustments button. This makes it easy to always see the base colors that have been set for the

Note: The only color patch that has no effect at all on the interface is the one labeled as “Unused”. That one is just a
placeholder to avoid having an empty hole in the menu.
Aside
It’s very easy to share custom interfaces with your friends and coworkers. For standardization, it helps to follow these simple rules when
creating interfaces that you plan to share: Use Preferences:Config:Save Ui only when ZBrush is set to the default color scheme. Use
Preferences:Icolors:Save Ui Colors any time you wish to share a color scheme. So if you wish to share both layout and color, please
provide the user with two .cfg files. This standardization will allow other people to easily adopt the new layout and choose for
themselves whether or not to use the new colors as well.
Once you have created a color theme that you’re satisfied with, I recommend doing two things. First, press Ctrl+Shift+I (or
Preferences:Config:Store Config) to store the new colors as part of ZBrush’s startup configuration. Second, click the Save Ui Colors and
save out a .cfg file which will only contain the color modifications. That way, you’ll always be able to apply your favored colors to
any interface configuration. This is actually a new feature of ZBrush 3: colors are easily saved and loaded separate from layout
configuration files.

General Control Appearance and Behavior

The Preferences:Interface menu (shown in Figure 3) mostly contains controls that affect how the interface behaves during use. It does
also have a few items that affect appearance not related to coloration, most of which relate to pulldown menus. (A pulldown menu is what
you get when you click on a menu’s name in the list above the canvas.) For example, Buttons Size is an appearance modifier, but has
nothing whatsoever to do with colors. It’s therefore found in this menu instead of the Icolors menu.

Where a setting’s name is not self-explanatory, the popup help text does a great job of describing the functions of these buttons and sliders.
I’ll therefore only comment on a couple of the settings here:

Buttons Size: This affects more than just buttons. It actually affects the relative width of all interface elements. If you have a very
high display resolution, you may wish to increase this slider in order to make the interface elements a little larger. But if you
operate with a really low display resolution (such as the minimum of 1024x768) you can set this slider smaller to create additional
room for the canvas.

Document Fade: Sets the fade time in seconds of changes made in the menus. At a value of 0, any changes take place without
fading. A value of 1 means that any change will take one full second to become fully visible in the menu. A good example of this
is action is clicking on a submenu name to open that submenu. With a setting of 0 you will watch the submenu scroll open. With a
setting of 1, the submenu fades into view more slowly than the scroll effect takes place, making it appear as though the submenu
is fading into existence. Of course, any partial setting of this slider will let you see both the scroll and fade effects interacting with
each other for a more complex effect.

Areas for Customization

Now that we’ve looked at how to change the appearance of your interface, it’s time to examine changing the layout. This is how you move
interface elements from one place to another, and even create new menus.

The interface as a whole is divided into several overall sections. Some of these sections are specifically for the purpose of holding interface
elements, as shown in Figure 4:

Figure 4: The various places where interface elements may be placed.

The trays are on the extreme left and right sides of the interface.
● Trays can only hold complete menus. You can move a menu to a tray in one of two ways. The fastest is to simply click on its handle
as shown in Figure 5. The menu will automatically move to the top of whichever tray is currently open. If both trays are open, the
menu will move to the top of its “preferred” tray. (This preference is programmed into ZBrush and can’t be changed.) To move a
menu to a specific tray – or even a specific place within a tray – click and drag on the handle. When you release the handle, the
Separator bars divide trays from the rest of the interface, as well as being used to expand and collapse the trays. Each tray can be
opened and closed independently of the other.
● Shelves are expandable areas that completely surround the canvas. They are usually prefaced with a side of the canvas, such as
stating that, “The AAHalf button is located on the right shelf.” All four sides together are often referred to collectively, so it would
also be accurate to say that, “The AAHalf button is located on the shelf.” Each part of the shelf will automatically expand to
accommodate the largest item currently placed on that side of the canvas. You can even stack items side by side (in the case of left
and right shelves), or one above the other (in the case of the top and bottom shelves). Menus and submenus may not be placed on a
shelf. Only individual interface elements may go here.
● The custom menu list is located immediately above the status bar. The only thing that can go in this area are menus, which will
always appear in the collapsed state until clicked on. A good example of this area in use is the Rapid UI. Since it was designed for
extreme simplicity, this interface layout hides most of ZBrush’s menus and also incorporates a few custom menus. With the Menus
button turned off in the title bar, the only menus that are visible are those that have been placed in the custom menu list.

How to Move Elements Around

By default, all interface elements except menus are locked in place. This makes it impossible to accidentally move anything around or
delete it from the tray. To enable layout customization, you must turn on Preferences:Custom UI:Enable Customize as shown in Figure
6. Once that has been turned on, you hold down the Ctrl key to tell ZBrush that you want to move items around. With Ctrl held down,
you simply click and drag an item to move it to its new home. There are several rules that apply here:

1. The master menus (those that are built into the default ZBrush UI) may not be modified except through ZScripts or plugins. You
may not drag items to move them around within/between these menus or to remove items from them.
2. Moving an item from a master menu to an invalid location will have no effect.
3. Moving an item from a custom location to an invalid location removes it. For example, dragging the SwitchColor button from the
left shelf onto the canvas will remove it from the shelf completely.
4. Menus are moved to the custom menu list or rearranged within it by dragging on the menu’s name rather than its handle.
5. ZBrush tells you that you’ve found a valid location for an item by drawing a bounding box around the location as you get close to it.
6. Most valid locations will expand to accommodate items that are too large to fit the current size. This is especially true for the shelf
areas. The custom menu list, however, can only have menu items placed side by side (as opposed to one above another).
7. Moving an item over another item already on the shelf or custom menu list will cause an overlap. This is not something that you
want to do. You should always place items adjacent to each other, or remove the previous item prior to placing the new one.

These rules will quickly become second nature as you work with them. It’s a very straight-forward and logical system.

An amazingly powerful feature of ZBrush 3 is the ability to create your own menus, and even place submenus within them. With this
feature, you could conceivably rebuild the entire ZBrush interface!

The first step to using this feature is to turn on Preferences:Custom UI:Enable Customize. Doing so activates the remaining options in
text entry field, type the desired name, then click the OK button. This is shown in Figure 7.

Once a menu has been created, it appears at the far right of the master menu list. This is only temporary. Placing the menu into a tray and
then removing it from the tray will cause it to be ordered alphabetically relative to the other menus. The exception to this is if the menu
shares the same name as one of the default menus, in which case it will be treated as if it’s named “User”. For example, creating a custom
menu named “Material” would result in two such menus being shown in the master list. The original Material menu will be ordered
alphabetically, while the new one will be placed between the Transform and Zoom menus. As a general rule, it really isn’t a good idea to
give a new menu the same name as an existing one.

(Don’t go creating menus willy-nilly, without need. Once created, the only way to remove a menu is to restart ZBrush without saving the
configuration.)

After a menu has been created, it must be moved to a tray before you can place items within it. Click on the name of the user menu to
expose its handle, then use that handle to drag the menu to either shelf. Once placed in a tray, you can also rename it at any time by Ctrl
+clicking on its title.

Placing items within user menus is as simple as Ctrl+dragging them from another menu. When the item approaches the user menu, a
bounding box will appear. Drop the item any place within the box to place it there.

Menus are filled according to normal reading order. In other words, from left to right, then from top to bottom. The first item placed in a
menu will automatically go into the upper left corner. The next item will go to its immediate right, and so forth. The exception to this rule is
if you place one item on top of an existing item. The new item will take the first one’s place, and the first will be pushed to the right or
down depending upon available space. Figure 8 shows this at work.

Figure 8: Filling a menu with interface elements.

One thing that will help is to understand that the size of all interface elements is calculated in fractions of one. Elements can be full size,
meaning that they take the full width of the menu. Alternatively, they also come in 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 widths with occasional exceptions that
are 1/3 width or some other value. The default interface element (such as a button) is 1/8 in height. All combinations are possible, all the
way up to a maximum size of 1x1 (such as the preview found in the Draw menu).

Sometimes for aesthetic or organizational regions you may find it desirable to place a separator into your custom menu. The Preferences:
Custom UI menu provides several of these in various sizes, which become available whenever Enable Customize is active. To place one
of these separators, simply drag it out of the Custom UI menu like any other interface element.

Another item that can be placed in your menu is a submenu. Drag the item called Preferences:Custom UI:Custom SubPalette and place
“Untitled”. After you have placed an item into it, you can rename the submenu by Ctrl+clicking on its name. Figure 9 shows a
With these tools together, you can build complete menus with all the functionality of the default ZBrush interface. Want to take the Tool:
Layers and Tools:SubTool submenus out of the Tool menu and make them independent? As shown in Figure 10, you can! Modify the
interface to fit your own personal needs and workflow. The options are virtually limitless.

(One note about the SubTool and Layers submenus: They feature a scroll bar with several initially blank slots alongside. In order for these
to function properly, the slots must be inserted in numerical order alongside the slider. For example, a custom version of the Layers menu
will not work correctly if the order is anything other than “3D Layer 0” above “3D Layer 1” and then “3D Layer 2”, etc.)

Custom menus may even be built using buttons that are created via plugins.

The only remaining thought is what to do with these custom menus once you’ve created them. The first option is to leave them in the
master menus list. They’ll always be available to you here. Alternatively, you can drag select menus into the custom menu list. This is a
convenient way to hide all but the menus that you want to be available in your interface. They can be placed anywhere within the available
space, and in any order. Once you have arranged the list to your satisfaction, turn off the Menus button in the title bar to hide everything
except those menus that you’ve specifically placed in the custom menu bar. Figure 11 shows how this was done with the Rapid UI
interface.
Figure 11: The Rapid UI interface hides the master menus list, and only shows those menus that were placed in the custom list.

Once satisfied with your interface, press Ctrl+Shift+I to set it as your custom user interface, which will be loaded every time you
launch ZBrush. If you simply want it to be available as an alternate layout, use Alt+Ctrl+Shift+I instead. You will then be able to

● Disclaimers
Bump, Displacement, and Normal Maps
From ZBrushInfo

This section is an accompaniment to ZBrush/ZMapper. Its purpose is to provide an explanation of

the basic conceptual concepts of the normal mapping process, including how it relates to other
types of rendering techniques such as bump and displacement mapping.

Contents
● 1 Bump Maps
● 2 Displacement Maps
● 3 Surface Normals and Lighting
❍ 3.1 Surface Normals with Specular and Reflective Lighting

● 4 Bump Maps and Surface Normals

● 5 Normal Maps
❍ 5.1 Representing Normal Maps as Textures

■ 5.2.1 Converting From a Bump Map

■ 5.2.2 Raytracing/Raycasting

Object Space Normal Maps?

■ 5.3.4 Summary of Object Space and Tangent Space Normal Maps

Bump Maps

Bump mapping is a technique that allows a flat polygon to presented as if it had more geometric
detail. This is accomplished by applying a grayscale texture map to the polygon. The intensity of a
mapped pixel is interpreted as a height above the polygon, up to a certain maximum. For example,
a pure white pixel might indicate the surface of the polygon, a pure black pixel might be used to
specify a height of 1/10" above the surface of the polygon, and so a 50% gray pixel would mean
1/20" above the polygon. For various reasons, 8-bit grayscale images are usually used for bump
maps. Bump maps provide far more realism than simple textures which have been just been
painted to appear bumpy, since the bump map will correctly reflect light sources from any angle,
while the simple texture map always appears to be lit from one angle.

Bump maps give the appearance of features on a surface, but the geometry of the surface is not
changed. This is apparent when a bump-mapped polygon is viewed from the side. Even though the
bump map might cause the polygon to appear to have quite pronounced surface bumps or grooves
when viewed head-on, the profile of the polygon viewed from the side will be completely flat. In
addition, bump maps do not generate shadows. For these reasons, bump maps are best used to
provide detail that is already very flat, such as the dimples in an orange.

Displacement Maps

Displacement maps can be thought of as extended bump maps. Like bump maps, they are
grayscale images, with the intensity of a pixel indicating height above the polygon surface. Other
things being equal, a single grayscale image used as either a bump or a displacement map while
building a model will probably produce very similar images when viewed using a "real time"
renderer.

The result is different when a final render is done. At this stage, the displacement map is used to
actually change the geometry of the model. Conceptually, new polygons or pixels are produced
where the displacement map indicates height deviations from the polygon surface, and then this
new geometry is pushed up to reflect the height of the bump map. This new, higher-resolution
model is then rendered. As a result, displacement mapping can produce renders which show both
correct silhouettes and shadowing of displaced geometry, something which cannot be done by
bump maps. Displacement mapping is well suited for surfaces containing complex detail that
would be difficult and expensive to model with polygons, but where the displacement is large
enough that bump maps would obviously appear fake.
There is currently little hardware support for displacement maps, so they are typically used with
software renderers. (This may change in the future.) Bump maps and normal maps are both well
supported by modern video cards. Any of these tools can provide very realistic effects in
cinematic and other non-real-time renders, allowing both decreased overall render times, and
greater ease of model construction.

Figure: Combined maps (three images).

ZBrush was used to create a normal map, displacement map, and diffusion map for this figure.
Rendered with Maya(R).
Credits: ZBrush Forum member 'sunit'.

The high-resolution mesh was 1.5 million polygons in ZBrush:

The low-resolution model was just a little over 7000 polygons. (Shown in Maya):

Surface Normals and Lighting

A surface normal for any flat surface is simply the arrow (or direction) that points directly out
from that surface. The angle between that arrow and any line drawn on the surface from the
starting point of the arrow is exactly 90 degrees. Put a piece of thin white cardboard on a desk, put
the eraser end of a pencil on the cardboard, and point the pencil straight up. The pencil is now a
pointer in the direction of the cardboard's surface normal.

Figure: Surface normal for a horizontal piece of cardboard.

If a flat surface is oriented so that its normal points towards a light, that surface will be lit brightly
by the light. If the surface is turned so that the normal points farther away from the light, it will
become darker. If the surface normal points more than ninety degrees away from the light, the
surface will not be lit at all. The white cube below shows this.

Figure: Surface normals and surface brightness.

Interaction of light direction with the surface normals of a white cube. The normal of the top
surface points close to the light, and so that surface is the most brightly lit. The normal of the right
surface points farther away from the light, and is less brightly lit. The normal of the front side
points more than 90 degrees away from the light, so it is dark.

When a renderer calculates how brightly a light illuminates a surface, it (almost always) does it
with a simple mathematical calculation involving the angle between the surface normal and the
direction of the light.
All of this may seem obvious, but there's an important point here: Lighting calculations are done
using the direction of the surface normal, not the orientation of the surface. This makes no
difference as long as the surface normal does in fact point straight out from the surface. But if we
simply give to the renderer a different value of the surface normal, we can change the apparent
intensity with which the surface is lit, and hence the apparent orientation, without changing the
actual surface orientation at all. This is the basis of normal mapping, and is discussed in detail in
the next section.

Surface Normals with Specular and Reflective Lighting

The previous explanation actually applied to just one type of lighting model, diffuse lighting,
where the surface being lit is assumed to scatter incoming light equally in all directions.

Another common type of lighting model is specular lighting, which produces the highlights on
smooth or semi-smooth surfaces such as the bright spots on a billiard ball. Specular lighting is a
model that assumes light is reflected with some degree of directionality, rather than scattered
perfectly in all directions.

We won't go into details, but surface normals can also be used to calculate specular lighting.
Basically, the specular brightness depends on the angle between the surface normal and the
average of the direction between the light and the camera. This average direction is easy to
visualize. Imagine you are on a stage, being lit by one spotlight, with one person in the audience.
Now point halfway between the person and the spotlight. That's the average direction between

Reflective lighting is a special case of specular lighting. It's specular lighting having no (or
negligible) scattering. Images reflected in a mirror or off the surface of a still pond are examples.
For realism, reflections are often computed differently than specular lighting, with the aid of a
reflection map. Again without going too much into details, this can be handled with normal maps.
From a point on the surface, the direction to the camera issurface normal usually means whatever
direction is used when doing lighting calculations. From now on, we'll use the graphics meaning,
not the mathematical meaning, and in other sections of the paper, the phrase is also used in its
graphics, not its mathematical, form.}}

This process can be illustrated by taking the top face of the previously shown, dividing it into four
smaller sections, and changing the surface normal in each section. Each section appears with
greater or lesser brightness as a result.

Figure: Normal perturbation and effect on lighting.

The surface below is a single flat quadrilateral, divided into four areas. The surface normal in each
area for the purposes of lighting calculations (shown by the arrows) is a perturbation of the true
surface normal for the quadrilateral. As a result, each area is lit with a different intensity, since
brightness is calculated as a function of the angle of the normal to the light direction. In a rendered
image, this can give the illusion that different areas of a surface are at different angles, even
though the surface is completely flat.

Bump Maps and Surface Normals

Let's talk a bit about surface normals as they relate to bump maps. Bump maps are actually
converted to normal maps (invisibly, either by hardware or software) before being drawn on
screen, If you understand this process, you understand normal maps.

To see this in action let's look at a single row of pixels from a bump map. The following examples
will use lighter colors to indicate higher areas on the bump map, but some applications may do
exactly the opposite. The concept is still the same.

Note: The steps below are a conceptual presentation of how bump maps are converted
to surface normals. Renderers or hardware may accomplish this in different ways.
Also, the example below creates two-dimensional normals (pointing in the x-y
directions). A full two-dimensional bump map would result in three-dimensional
normals.

Figure: Pixel row from bump map.

A row of pixels from a bump map, looking down. Lighter colors represent higher elevations in
this map.

Figure: Converting bump intensity to bump height and normals.

The same bump map, viewed from the side. This shows how (in concept) pixels are raised in
height according to their color. A curve is fitted to the resulting profile, and at each coordinate, the
normal to that curve is calculated.

Figure: Resulting normals assigned to pixel locations.

The resulting surface normals associated with each pixel, viewed from the side. Once these have
been calculated by the hardware or software, the bump map height information is discarded, and
the normal directions--which are all that matter for lighting calculations--are retained. The lengths
of the normals are not meaningful in this example.

It's often easier to create a bump map via painting than to model the detailed geometry with
polygons. In addition, bump maps significantly speed the rendering process, compared to
rendering a model with a polygon count high enough to represent the bumps geometrically. In the
case of hardware, this can allow the presentation of bumpy surfaces while still animating in real
time.

Normal Maps

From the preceding section, we know that a bump map is processed by calculating a surface
normal at every point on the mapped polygon, using the heights given by the bump map. This
normal then interacts with light sources to produce the illusion of bumps or other surface
irregularities, even though the polygon is perfectly flat.

A normal map is just a map (texture) where the values given are the surface normals at each point,
rather than the bump height value. We're taking out the middleman, so to speak. Instead of having
graphics software or hardware calculate surface normals from the bump map, these normals are
pre-calculated and stored into the normal map, and then used directly by the processor.

The figure below shows this. It is a cross-section of a normal map, 16 pixels wide. No height is
shown because the normal map does not store any height information. It just stores directions to
be used as surface normals when lighting calculations are done.

Figure: A Row of Pixels in a Normal Map.

Cross-section of a normal map sixteen pixels in width. No height information is contained in the
normal map, only normal directions. Adjacent normals are completely independent of one
another.

This makes things slightly easier for the graphics processor, though that isn't usually important.
More importantly, normal maps have certain technical advantages over bump maps, which in
many instances can lead to better surface detail. In particular:
● Bump or displacement maps require a specification of the world unit dimension indicated
by the map intensity. (In other words, the height displacement between the maximum and
minimum values of a bump map must be specified in world coordinates such as inches, and
this must be done for every bump map.) This may require adjustments when transferring
such maps from on program to another. This is not necessary for normal maps, since they
do not refer to absolute world distances.
● Because the normal at each pixel in a normal map is completely independent from its
neighboring normals, normal maps can produce effects not possible with bump maps,
while still being able to do everything that can be done with bump maps.
● On the other hand, bump maps can be created (somewhat) easily by hand using a 2D paint
application, which is not case with normal maps. (See below.) You will find each useful in

Representing Normal Maps as Textures

A normal is just a direction in space–a vector with three coordinates, usually called the x, y, and z
coordinates. To create a normal map, we need to store these three coordinates at each pixel in the
map.

Instead of defining a new file format just for this, a simple trick is used. Standard 32-bit images
(such as used in many image processing programs) contain four channels of data; one for the red
component of the pixel, one for the green, one for the blue, and one for the alpha (which is usually
used for transparency). Each of these channels is 8 bits wide, meaning each of them can store one
of 256 distinct values.

The x, y, and z coordinates of a vector at a given point can simply be stored in the red, green, and
blue channels of the pixel at that point. When used in this way, the alpha channel is ignored. Now
every point in the image has a normal direction associated with it, and normal direction is
indicated by color in the normal map. This is quite different from bump maps, where normal
direction is given by the intensity difference between nearby pixels.

One result of this is that normal maps are not suited for creation by hand. In a normal map, the
general "shape" of what will appear on the rendered surface is apparent, but visualizing the exact
effect or constructing the map by hand is difficult because of the interplay of the color channels.
Constructing a bump map by hand is at least possible, as the grayscale intensities correspond to
bump height--though it is very difficult to visualize the exact effect without a render. The left wall
is a normal map of a brick surface, the right wall is an equivalent bump map, and the center cube
shows how surfaces would render when either map is applied. The normal map actually shows the
grain of the brick surface much better than the bump map, but the necessity of getting the right
color at each pixel makes it almost impossible to paint by hand. The small differences in bump
height over small areas make the bump map look 'smooth', but it could still be painted with an
appropriate brush to give an almost invisible graininess to the texture.

Figure: Normal and Bump Map Textures and Render

Normal map (bluish) on the left, bump map on the right, cube mapped with either in the center.
(Both the normal map and the bump map will produce the same visual result when rendered.)

Normal Map Generation

This section discusses various ways of generating normal maps. Raytracing is the dominant
conceptual model of normal map generation and is the focus of many of the normal mapping tools
that have appeared recently. ZBrush's multiple subdivision level editing can also be used to
generate normal maps in a different manner, with more accurate results.

Converting From a Bump Map

One of the easiest ways to generate a normal map is to calculate it from an existing bump map.
There are various tools to do this, and we won't go into them here. As well as being very simple
when it is applicable, this method allows you to use existing bump maps, instead of taking the
time to construct new normal maps.

There may seem little reason to do this, but as was mentioned before, one advantage that normal
maps have compared to bump maps is that while bump maps require additional information
describing how the bump intensity range maps to global space distance units, normal maps do not.
If you are finding this to be a disadvantage when working with bump maps, converting to normal
maps may well make sense.

There are disadvantages as well, in normal maps through simple conversion of bump maps. Bump
maps cannot express as much directional information as a normal map of the same resolution, and
so the visual effects available from a converted bump map may not be as striking as those
available from a normal map constructed directly.

Normal maps also contain implicit information about object space, tangent space, and the like.
Bump maps do not carry such information. As a result, conversion of bump maps is likely to be
easy only when the map is one for a flat surface, such as a wall. Other cases may be more
problematic.

Raytracing/Raycasting

A useful way of thinking about normal map generation is the idea of raytracing, or raycasting.
(Both words are often used in describing this particular technique for normal map generation. The
terms come from the raycasting and raytracing methods of rendering, to which they are similar.)

The raytracing method projects rays (the thin solid arrows below) from the surface of the low-
resolution mesh (thick lines) to the surface of the high-resolution mesh (thin curve). The normal
direction at the end of each ray is used as the normal vector value in the normal map UV
coordinate at the start of the ray.
Figure: Raytracing

Rays (solid arrows) are projected from the low-resolution surface to the high-resolution surface.
At each point a ray intersects the high-resolution surface, the normal (perpendicular) to the high-
resolution surface is calculated at that point, and then applied to the low-res surface as the surface
normal at the origin of the initial ray.

Conceptually, this is fairly accurate, but it leaves out a great many details. The most important of
these is how points on the low-resolution surface are associated with points on the high-resolution
surface. One way of doing this is to simply create two otherwise unrelated meshes having the
"same shape" as each other, and to fit the low-resolution mesh inside the high-resolution mesh to
generate the map. This may involve ensuring that the mesh rotations are completely identical, that
all parts of the low-resolution mesh are inside the high-resolution mesh, and so on, depending on
the tools used to do this. Achieving this degree of conformance can be extremely difficult for
meshes with any type of shape complexity, such as arms with hands and fingers.

ZBrush can use the raycasting method, but normally uses a different scheme to map points from
the first mesh to the second. The subdivision relationship between the high-resolution mesh and
the low-resolution mesh is used in matching areas of the surface. This reduces and in many cases
eliminates the problems described in the previous paragraph.

Normal Maps in Tangent and Object Space

A normal map specifies the direction of surface normals at points on polygons throughout the
model. Direction is relative, however; if we say a normal is pointing up, do we mean up towards
the top of the model, or up away from the surface of the polygon? In normal mapping, maps can
be created using either type of direction. A normal map which assumes that up is straight up in the
model coordinate space is said to be in object space, while a normal map which specifies
directions relative to the faces of the polygons to which it is applied is called a tangent space
normal map.

The figures below show the effect of this when a (very simple) mesh with assigned surface
normals is deformed[11]. In the first case (using object space normals), even as the rightmost
polygon changes its orientation, its brightness does not change, because its normal direction does
not change with the polygon. This is not what you would expect with "real world" lighting, and
illustrates why object space normal maps are not what you want to use if your mesh will deform.
The second figure shows how tangent space normals will change direction along with their
surfaces, and give the expected changes in surface brightness.

Figure: Effect of Deformation on Lighting with Object Space Normals

On the left of this figure, two adjacent squares are on the same plane, making a flat surface. For
lighting purposes, each is assigned a different object space surface normal, so intensity with which
each is lit is different.
On the right of the figure, the square with the normal labeled 'B' has been rotated clockwise.
Because both normals are defined in object space, their directions remain the same with respect to
the object (which itself has not been rotated), and so to the light source. The lighting intensity on
each surface remains the same, regardless of the rotation of the right polygon.

Figure: Effect of Deformation on Lighting with Tangent Space Normals

As in the previous figure, one of the two squares has been rotated clockwise. In this case the
normals are defined in tangent space, meaning that whenever a surface changes orientation its
associated normal changes direction along with it. The result is that the light intensity on the
rotated surface changes as one would expect.

One interesting effect of these two different interpretations of the normal map coordinates is that
tangent space maps always appear "bluish" in color, while object space maps typically exhibit a
full spectrum of colors. The reason is that in either type of map the normal will point "away" from
the polygon, as a normal pointing "behind" the polygon would have no meaning. But in a tangent
space map, "away from the polygon" means that the z coordinate at that point will always be a
positive number. Since the z coordinate of a normal map is stored in the blue channel of the
normal map texture, blue becomes the dominant color.

Object Space Map Uses

Object space normal maps can be applied to any object in which the orientation of the polygons
relative to the model does not change. This typically means any rigid model. The model may be
moved, scaled, or rotated, but not deformed.

Terrain, furniture, bas-reliefs, dueling swords or a door swinging open could be shown very
effectively with an object space normal map, using the normal map to generate the details of the
blade and pommel of the sword, or gouges or wood grain in the door.

Object space normal maps are easy to generate, and will likely require little if any tweaking to
achieve the desired effect and to remove artifacts. They are also computationally quite efficient.
Generating an object space map using ZBrush is simply a matter of selecting the appropriate
option in the ZMapper plugin. Details are given in other sections.

Tangent Space Map Uses

Tangent space normal maps can be applied to any object, but are required with models that might
be animated or deformed (other than through simple scaling). Given how commonly ZBrush is
used for organic modeling and how often these models will be deformed, you will likely be
generating mostly tangent space normal maps. This is simply a matter of choosing the relevant
option in ZMapper.

Compared to world space normal maps, tangent space normal maps require significantly more
computational power to render (though it's difficult to predict how much this will affect
performance in practice). In addition, they may require quite a bit more tweaking to give you the
desired end effect in other applications or renderers. This is more a matter of the fact that working
with deforming meshes is always more complex than working with rigid meshes than it is of the
conceptual differences between the two types of normal maps or differences in the way they are
handled by ZBrush.

How Does Your Application Distinguish Between Tangent and Object Space
Normal Maps?

There's a simple answer to this one; your application doesn't. A normal map is just a 2D picture
where colors represent directions. It's usually easy to distinguish the two visually (a tangent space
map will be predominantly blue in color, while an object space map will usually have a full range
of colors), but even this is no guarantee. Certain object space maps could look bluish in the same
way as a tangent space map.

Instead, you will simply generate whichever type of map is most appropriate for your model, and
then inform your application how to interpret that map relative to the object it is applied to.
Depending on the application, this may involve using different shaders, setting a checkbox, or
various other methods.
Summary of Object Space and Tangent Space Normal Maps

There's nothing in this section you haven't seen before, but you may find it a convenient summary.

● Tangent space and object space normal maps are simply 2D images where colors are
interpreted as directions.
● A major advantage of normal maps over bump maps is that normal maps are not given in
terms of distance, and hence do not require adjustment for changes in distance units from
one application to the next.

● In a tangent space normal map, the direction indicated by a pixel in the map is taken to be
relative to the surface of the polygon to which that pixel applies. In an object space normal
map, the direction indicated by a pixel is given in terms of the object's coordinate system.

● Tangent space normal maps can be used with either rigid or deformable objects, but have a
higher computational overhead than object space normal maps. Object space normal maps
are only useful with rigid bodies (unless you are trying for some truly psychedelic effects),
but are faster to render than tangent space normal maps. You'll normally generate object
space normal maps for rigid models.

● You may see references to world space normal maps. These are simply object space
normal maps where the "object" is the entire world. The computations needed to use a
world space map as an object space map are trivial, and generally there is no need to use
world space maps.

● Humans can usually visually distinguish object maps and tangent maps (tangent maps will
appear bluish), but to rendering software or hardware they are simply maps. You'll specify
explicitly in your application whether a map should be applied as an object space map or a
tangent space map.

We'll briefly mention one more rendering aspect here, since it can be incorporated into normal
maps by ZMapper. It is cavity shading.

Cavity shading is a method for implementing an 'ambient occlusion' effect, and ambient occlusion
is in turn the visual effect that we all see (but rarely notice) when looking into shallow crevices;
they're darker. It isn't really shadowing, since it occurs even in diffuse light where shadows aren't
cast. It has more to do with the fact that as light is reflected into a recess, and then back out, the
intensity of the light becomes lower due to absorption by the surface of the recess.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with normal maps, except that it turns out to be easy to modify
normal maps to include this effect. Or, to put it another way, if cavity shading is calculated at the
same time a normal map is generated, then the data necessary to accomplish the cavity shading
can be put directly into the normal map. Rendering it later will require no more data, and no more
time, that would rendering with a normal map that did not include cavity shading.

The mathematical details are of interest only to the analytically inclined. From an artistic
viewpoint, it is much more important that ZMapper does include cavity shading as an option, and
this is discussed more thoroughly in the ZMapper instructions.

2C_and_Normal_Maps"

● Disclaimers
Displacement Exporter
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Introduction
● 3 Installing the Displacement Exporter
● 4 Using the Displacement Exporter
● 5 Using Multi Displacement 2
● 6 Quick Qodes
● 7 History

Introduction

Displacement Exporter contains many innovative features such as the ability to convert a
displacement map into a normal map. From this plug-in you can export 8 bit, 16 bit, or 32 bit
RGB or grey-scale maps. You have full control over each channel, can flip your map as well as

8dot8 allows you to use 8 bit displacement maps to achieve results similar to what you achieve
with 16 bit displacement maps. 8dot8 separates out major and minor forms into two different
maps that can be added together at render time. To use 8dot8 turn the status of Major8 and Minor8
to On.

The Multi Displacement 2 will bake real-world coordinates (and remove the need for the Alpha
Depth Factor) into your 32 bit floating point maps for models that were imported into ZBrush.
Multi Displacement 2 has been production tested by ILM and other major studios.

Installing the Displacement Exporter

1. Extract the zip file to anywhere on your computer.
2. Move the contents to the ZStartup/ ZPlugs directory. If your ZStartup directory does not
have a ZPlugs folder, create it.
3. Launch ZBrush
4. The plugin will place two buttons in your Alpha palette and a new sub menu, Multi
Displacement 2, in your ZPlugins palette.
5. You can move the documentation, ADE4.PDF, anywhere you want.

Using the Displacement Exporter

1. Create a displacement map
2. Select the alpha in the Alpha palette
3. Open the Alpha palette along the top row and there are two new buttons: DE Options and
DExporter
4. Click DE Options to open the Displacement Exporter
6. Click Export Current to export out the map
You can use DExporter to automate the exporting of several types of maps. Click the button and it
will export out a map for each option with its Status set to On.

Using Multi Displacement 2

1. Select your model in the tool palette
2. Go to the lowest subdivision level
4. Click Export options to open the Displacement Exporter
6. In the Multi Displacement 2 submenu click Create All

Quick Qodes
● Maya: DE-LBEK-EAEAEA-R32
● 3DS Max:
● XSI:
● LightWave:
● Cinema 4D
● Houdini:

History

November 2nd, 2005: Version D released

Version C changes:

Changed tilde key, "~" in file name to a dash "-"

Version D changes:
Fixed some issues with 32 bit export for the Macintosh

● Disclaimers
Integration With Other Apps: ZPipeline Guides
(written for ZBrush 2)
From ZBrushInfo

Introduction
ZPipeline guides walk the artist step by step through the process of integrating ZBrush with the

Guides
● ZBrush to Maya Online ZPipeline| PDF
● ZBrush to 3ds Max | PDF
❍ In Turkish!

● ZBrush to Lightwave | PDF

● ZBrush To Softimage XSI| PDF
● ZBrush to Cinema4D | PDF
● ZBrush to Blender (contributed)

● Autodesk
● Lightwave
● Softimage
● Maxon

_ZPipeline_Guides_%28written_for_ZBrush_2%29"
● Disclaimers
ZScript
From ZBrushInfo

Introduction

A zscript is a ZBrush program written in ZScript, ZBrush's built-in scripting language. You can
use zscripts to automate common tasks, or to add new abilities to ZBrush. You can find full
examples of zscripts in ZScript Examples.

ZScript is simple to understand, but does require a basic knowledge of programming constructs,
such as variables, loops, if...then statements, and functions/procedures. If you know even the
basics of almost any other programming language, you'll be able to understand ZScript concepts
easily.

The remainder of this page discusses ZScript concepts. For a command reference, see the ZScript
Command Reference.

ZScript Directory
● Hotkey Editor

Resources
● ZScript Basics
● ZScript Command Reference
● ZScript Command Reference (older, slightly out of date.)
● ZScript_Examples
● ZBC ZScript Utility Forum
● ZBC ZScript Help Forum

● Disclaimers
Materials
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Introduction to Materials
❍ 1.1 Using the Material Palette

❍ 1.3 Rendering

❍ 1.7 Mimic Materials

● 2 Transparency

Introduction to Materials

In ZBrush, the way a surface looks is the result of a combination of factors, including its base
coloring or texture, the lighting, and its material. The ZBrush Material palette gives you a great
deal of control over the appearance of object surfaces by letting you specify various surface
properties such as shininess, transparency, and reflectivity, using numeric settings as well as
interactive graphs. You can use materials with any tool that adds pixols to the document, including
the 3D brush, the Sphere brush, and the 3D objects.

Remember also that the Draw palette allows you to paint with a combination of material and color
(MRGB), color only (RGB) or material only (M).

Always remember that unless Render:Flat Renderer or Render:Fast Renderer are active, the color
you see will not necessarily be the color that you paint! Or to put it another way:

Material + RGB (either color or texture) = Shaded RGB (displayed color)

Also, with certain materials, you might need to use the Render:Best Renderer mode to see
changes.

ZBrush materials are always “live.” In other words, if you use a particular material to create
pixols, and then modify that material later, any pixols that use that material will change in
appearance to reflect the modified material. Not only does this allow you to easily change your
mind regarding a material at any time, or to modify it on the fly, but it can allow some interesting
artistic possibilities.

One other aspect of the 'liveness' of ZBrush materials is that if you move an object, or change the
depths of pixols, any materials applied to them will appear to "move" along the surface. This
because materials are 'procedural'—they are calculated on the fly and as a result of where points of
a surface are in 3D space. This gives you the opportunity to adjust your objects so that materials
appear as you would like on the object.

Note: ZBrush has a special feature that lets you combine the appearance of materials
on a surface. The Bake function, found in the Layers palette, "bakes" any material
effects on all surfaces into the document as the Flat material (material 00).

Like many other palettes in ZBrush, the Material palette shows only some of the available
materials. The active material is shown in the large thumbnail in the upper-left, which reflects any
changes you make to the material while editing it. Several other useful materials are shown in
smaller thumbnails in the rest of the main palette; you can switch the active material to one of
these by clicking its thumbnail.

You can see the full selection of available materials by clicking the active material; either its large
or small thumbnail in the main palette. This opens the pop-up icon menu shown below, which
works like others in ZBrush such as those in the Tool and Texture palettes.
To see the name of a material, hold the mouse cursor over its thumbnail for a moment until the
label appears. To choose a material, click its thumbnail. When you choose a material that doesn't
appear in the main palette, it's made the active material, and its thumbnail is added to the main
palette. The main palette expands as necessary to accommodate the displayed thumbnails.

If the material list gets too long for your preferences, you can restore the palette’s inventory to the
minimum number of shown materials by clicking the 'R' button.

Using the Material Palette

The most straightforward way to use the Material palette is to choose a material, choose a tool that
creates pixols, such as the 3D brush or a 3D object tool like Sphere3D, and then start drawing.
Whatever you draw will use the current material. Remember that you must have either MRGB or
M active in the Draw palette for the material to be painted!

If you choose a different material, under normal circumstances nothing changes in the document.
Of course, anything you draw after switching materials will use the new material. If, however, you
draw a 3D object such as a sphere, and it's still floating in the document (that is, you activated
Transform or Edit mode immediately after drawing the object), you can change its material by
first activating a transform mode (for example, press W to enter Move mode), and then choosing
another material. Or you can choose a different material, and then activate a transform mode. The
new material is then applied to the floating object automatically.

In additon, Projection Master allows you to paint materials onto areas of the surface of a 3D
object.
Materials are depicted accurately in the document when you're using the default Preview renderer,
with a few exceptions. For example, you won't see the full effect of the ColorizeGlow material
unless you're using Best Renderer mode, or until you render the document. You can save time by
rendering part of the document in this way: Drag the Cursor button from the Material or Render
palette to the area you want to render.

Material Quick Palette

The Materials quick palette shows all 76 available materials. The active material is shown in the
large thumbnail, in the Quick Palette, which reflects any changes you make to the material while
editing it.

To see the name of a material, hold the mouse cursor over its thumbnail for a moment until the
label appears. To choose a material, click its thumbnail. When you make modifications to this
material it is placed in a separate section of the palette to signify that it is no longer a default
material.

Click the Load button to load a new material from a disk file into the active material slot. A
number of material files are included with ZBrush (located in the ZMaterials folder), and you can
create and save your own with the Save function.

When loading a material from disk it completely replaces the active material, not only in the
palette but in all Pixols that use that material.

Click the Save button to store the active material to disk in the ZMaterial (.zmt) format. Thereafter
you can replace the active material with the saved material with the Load function.
Rendering

When you're manipulating materials in ZBrush, you normally work in Preview Renderer mode for
fast feedback. Some components, such as ray-traced Reflectivity, can be seen only in Best
Renderer mode. But if you use that mode all the time, feedback can be slow, because every time
you change any material component the program pauses while it re-renders the document. In such
cases, stay in Preview mode, and, whenever you want to view changes that require Best Renderer,
click the Render button at the bottom of the Modifiers sub-palette.

Note: If you work in Best Renderer mode on a floating object, changing the material properties
updates the bounding box of the floating object rather than the entire document.

Note: For even faster rendering, use the Fast Renderer mode in the Render palette. The only
surface properties displayed in this mode are a global, predefined ambient and diffuse (specified in
Render:Modifiers:Fast Renderer), so be sure to activate Preview Render mode to see all surface
properties (such as Specular, Noise and Bump).

Alternatively, to best-render only part of the document (a 128x128-pixol square), click on and
drag the Cursor button to the document area you want to render. Thereafter, when you click the
Cursor button, the same area is best-rendered. Or, to render a different area, drag the Cursor
button to the new area.

Flat render ignores all lighting attributes and displays all items without shading information -
only color and textures are rendered, at full intensity.

Fast Render ignores all material attributes and displays all items using simple shading (defined in
the Fast Render sub-palette).

Preview Render is the default render mode, which displays standard lighting and material effects.
It provides a real-time representation of most painting and sculpting attributes.
Best Render displays all available rendering effects, including environment reflections, depth
cue, shadows, transparency, and more. Each effect must first be enabled using the adjustment
icons and modifiers.

Types of Materials

When you open the Material palette there are 76 different materials. However, there are only four
basic types of materials. All the other materials are standard variations.

Flat Material The flat material is unaffected by light and so appears incandscent. No gradations
of tone and no material attributes

FastShader Material The fast material contains only a diffuse and an ambient attribute. It is
primarily used for modeling purposes.

Basic Material The basic material is the workhorse material for ZBrush. It includes:

● Basic Material

These materials contain all the same attributes as a Basic material except that they have either 2, 3

Fiber Material The fiber material adds 3D hair-like strands to the image. It respects the surface
normals of each Pixol and, by default, draws the hairs perpendicular to the surface though you can

Modifiers: Editing Materials

First, we need to define what a shader is. Shaders are effectively procedures that tell pixols or
vertices/surfaces how to display 'as they are being rendered'. For example, the BasicMaterial has a
single shader (S1) that allows two different settings, Ambient and Diffuse. Changing the Ambient
setting will change how lightly or darkly the object is rendered, while changing the Diffuse setting
will change the amount of contrast between lit and unlit portions of the object. These are not
changes in lighting; nothing else in the scene will be affected. You are simply changing the way
that the object's surface points respond to the lighting.

A material comprises one or more shaders, available in the Modifiers sub-palette via the buttons
S1 - S4. Each shader is made up of several settings. Most materials in ZBrush use the "basic"
shader, which is made up of the components described below. The basic shader is always the last
one; that is, if a material uses two shaders, then the basic shader is S2.

You modify a material by editing its shader modifiers. In this document we'll describe the most
common shader modifiers, and present examples of some of the other modifiers.

A number of shader settings use two modifiers: a numeric parameter that determines the overall
strength of the setting, plus a curve parameter that lets you use a graph to specify and to vary the
strength according to the direction of each affected pixol's surface normal (the Noise curve is an
exception to this). When a shaders has a curve modifier, such as the ReflectCurve modifier,
compressed version of the curve appears below the numeric modifier in the palette. In the palette
snapshot at the beginning of this section, you can see several such compressed curves.

To open the full curve, click it. The result will be a larger graph with which you can work, as
shown below:
You modify the sliders and curves as you would any other such control in the ZBrush interface.

Using Curves

To understand how modifier curves work, let's first look at an example that uses the DiffuseCurve
to produce two different effects:

The curves indicate how strongly the effect is to modified, from the center of the effect to its outer
edge, with the intial curves being the "standard" effect. The center of the effect is not necessarily
the center of the object; for example, the center of a Diffuse effect are those parts of an object
directly facing (and hence most strongly effected by) a light.
In the case of second of the above examples, the Diffuse effect is not modified at the center of the
effect, which means that part of the sphere is lit normally. The effect then rises through the next
1/4 of the graph, making the area around the center brighter than it otherwise would be. A fall in
the curve below its default value causes a darker 'ring' around the center of the effect. Finally, a
rise in the curve that brings it more closely into alighment with the default curve makes for a
brighter ring, and then finally the edge tapers off into darkness as the light source no longer affects
that part of the sphere.

In the case of Noise, the graph creates a fractal pattern across the entire document, making an
object's surface appear irregular:

Interesting, 'cartoonish' effects can be achieved by using straight line segments in the
DiffuseCurve:
Mimic Materials

Mimic materials allow adjustment of settings to simulate cavity maps and other more complex
real-world effects. They all have certain controls in common, and these are described below.

Understanding a few key points will let you start using mimic materials immediately and without
worrying too much about complex details:

● There are a number of paired controls, of the form ...A or ...B. The A controls affect the
appearance of normal (flat or raised) areas of the surface, while the B controls affect
recessed areas (cavities). This can be reversed by setting your Cavity Transition to a
positive value.
● At the bottom left of the modifiers shown above is a small icon consisting of either one
sphere, or two paired spheres. These define material maps for the A and B settings.
Redefining the material maps is a powerful way of affecting the results of mimic material

Opacity: Lower Opacity values make the shaded object appear lighter (but do not actually affect
the transparency of the object.)

Cavity Detection: Affects what counts as a recessed area. Lower values will result in less cavity
"resolution" on your model, but may also smooth out areas where cavities are being erroneously
shaded. In particular, try lowering this value if you are working with a low-poly model, and you
find that the edges of polygons seem to be affected by cavity shading.

Cavity Transition: Changes how sharply cavity edges, and changes within a cavity, are
delineated. 0 gives the smoothest changes, and other values sharpen the transition.

Intensity...: Controls the intensity of the A or B channels, i.e. the strength with which each is
applied to produce the final render.

Monochromatic...: A colored light ball in the mimic material environment (see Mimic Materials)
will result in colored shading of the model. Dialing the Monochromatic settings higher reduces
the coloration, and a value of 1 eliminates color from the cavity shading environment for that
channel. This setting does not affect the colors supplied by setting the A or B color patches
underneath the slider area.

Depth...: Best thought of as a way of changing the apparent direction of a light for the given
channel, in the same way that Render:Preview Shadows:Shadow Length does for the virtual

Colorize: Changes the intensity with which the color set in the Col color patch (underneath the
slider area) applies to the rendering. This has no effect if Col is white.

Hue, Saturation: These sliders can be used to modify the shading colors from what is provided
by the cavity shading environment texture. They can be used when color matching or similar
abilities are needed.
Render:

Cursor:

Note: All of these settings affect the render of the chosen material's thumbnail (which
is visible as the selected material in the material palette), and looking at that
thumbnail will let you see the effects on a hemisphere. Checking the shading effect on
the thumbnail can help in understanding the same effect on a more complex model.

Transparency
These determine the amount of light that passes through a surface. Transparency in ZBrush
requires the use of multiple layers. To be able to see through a transparent surface, it must be in a
different layer from the surfaces "below" it.

Note: In order to see transparency, you must turn off the Flatten Layers option in the Render:
Modifiers sub-palette. This feature is on by default, and speeds rendering of multiple layers, but
prevents transparency from being displayed.

To create transparent pixols, follow this procedure:

1. In Render:Modifiers, turn off Flatten Layers (it's the only option on by default). This is
necessary to see transparency between layers. 1. Create the background pixols in one layer.
1. Add a layer (Layers palette > Inventory > Create). This automatically activates the new
layer. 1. Use a transparent material to create pixols in front of the background pixols. The
background pixols show through the transparent material.

You can make any material except Flat Color and FastShader transparent by setting Transparency
to a value other than 0.

Using two layers to produce transparency

In this illustration, the checkered plane is in Layer 1, while the red, transparent sphere is in Layer
2. However, the order of the layers doesn't matter; what's important is that the transparent pixols
should be in front of the background image.
Note: For best results with transparency, make sure that checkered plane pixols fill the entire area
behind the transparent surface. Any blank areas in the document will not show through the
transparent pixols. For instance, in the following image, the document background color was set to
blue, and then the red, transparent sphere was drawn half over the checkered plane and half over
the blank background. The sphere looks opaque where only the blank background appears behind
it.
For a glass-like effect with your transparent objects, as in the above images, use the default graph,
or a close variation thereof. This causes edges to appear less transparent than the center, which
replicates the way a real-world glass object bends light more at the edges than at the center. For an
even more realistic glass effect, add reflectivity, or simply use ZBrush's built-in ReflectedMap
material, which uses a special shader that reflects an environment map. This gives the illusion of
reflecting an environment map without incurring the computation penalty of ray tracing.

Conversely, for a foggy effect, set the transparency to be greatest at the edges, and least at the
center. In the following illustration, the Transparency graph on the left was used in the sphere's
material.
The Transparency slider setting can be positive or negative. When positive, the curve works
normally, with the right side affecting the pixols facing the viewer, and the left side affecting the
pixols facing sideways. With negative Transparency settings, the degree of transparency is based
on the value (or brightness) of the underlying surface coloration. The left side of the graph
determines the transparency of the darkest pixols, while the right side determines the transparency
of the brightest pixols. Say, for example, you have an object whose pixols are colored with a black-
and-white texture, and Reflectivity is set to -100. If you use a curve that's high on the left side and
low on the right side, only the black pixols will be transparent, and if you use a curve that's high
on the right side but low on the left side, then only the white pixols will be transparent. ÔøΩ In
the following illustration, the spheres are colored with a black-and-white checkerboard texture.
The materials on both spheres have Transparency set to -100. But the material for the left-hand
sphere uses the left-hand Transparency curve Reverse the Transparency graph slope for a foggy
material shown below, so only the checkerboard texture's white pixels are transparent, while the
right-hand sphere's material uses the right-hand Transparency curve, so only the black pixels are
transparent.

● Disclaimers
Rendering The Big Picture
From ZBrushInfo

● Disclaimers
Render Palette
From ZBrushInfo
The Render palette controls which methods will be used to calculate the shading of scenes.
Lighting, color, and material properties are evaluated, and render-level special effects such as fog
and depth cueing are included.

Contents
● 1 Controls
❍ 1.1 Antialiasing Subpalette

❍ 1.6 Environment Subpalette

Controls
Cursor: When you drag the Cursor button to the canvas, a sample area centered around the mouse
release position is rendered using the Best Renderer. To re-render the same location after making
changes, press Ctrl-R.

Render: Causes ZBrush to render the entire document with the current settings.

Best: Used for the final render, the Best Renderer uses the best (and slowest) methods to produce
the highest quality image. Shadows must be rendered using this renderer.

If you try to work in the Best Renderer mode, ZBrush will automatically switch to the Preview
Renderer. There's one exception to this; if you have a floating object in the scene, you can make
changes to its material properties and the Best Renderer will re-render only the object and its
bounding box.

Preview: The default renderer, used when composing a scene. It will show most properties of the
scene (exluding shadows, complex fog, light colors, depth cue and some other effects). It does
show transparency, but the Best renderer is significantly better in most situations.

Fast: The fast renderer does not render materials, only basic shading. This makes it ideal for
modeling, since it is very fast and shows surface details due to geometry, not materials.

Flat: Allows you to see the scene with no shading, just basic color.

Fog: Click to enable the fog effect. The properties of the fog are adjusted in the Fog sub-palette.
Used only by the Preview (which displays only basic fog) and Best Render mode.

Depth Cue: Click to enable the Depth Cue effect. Depth Cue simulates the blurring that results
from an object being too close or too far away from a camera. The properties of the depth cue are
adjusted in the Depth Cue sub-palette. Used only by the Best Render mode.

Flatten: When active, all document layers are rendered as one layer. This button must be turned
off before material transparency effects can be rendered. Default = on.

casting enabled also. Used only by the Best Render mode.

SoftZ: Evaluates which material is assigned to each pixol. Activating Depth Adjustments can
clean up intersections between multiple objects in your final render. Enable only when needed.
Used only by the Best Render mode.

SoftRGB: Blurs edges in the image to reduce edge artifacts (blockiness). See Antialiasing, below.
Used only by the Best Render mode.
Antialiasing Subpalette

Blur: Sets the intensity of the blur. Range = 0 to 100%. Default = 100%.

Edge: Controls at which edge sharpness eges are antialiased. Range 0 to 100%. Default = 25%. A
setting of 0% will antialias only very sharp, edges, 100% will blur the entire image.

Size: The number of pixols evaluated when producing the blur. Larger sample sizes produce more
blur. Range = 1 to 8. Default = 1.

Super Sample: Causes ZBrush to render the same image several times and then average the
results for better final quality. Range = 1 to 4. Default = 1. A setting of 2 causes four renders, 3
causes eight renders, and 4 causes 16 renders.

Note: The best possible antialiasing is produced by working on a canvas that is twice the final
size. After rendering, press the Zoom:AA Half button to display the image at half size using
optimal antialiasing. When displayed in this mode, the image will be exported at half size with
antialiasing intact.

Depth Cue Subpalette

Rendering with depth cues is only available in Best Render mode. Depth cues cause the image to
be rendered with different levels of bluriness at different depths. This can be used to, for example,
simulate the effect of a lens that focuses sharply at only one depth, or atmospheric haze that
causes distant objects to appear blurrier.

Depth Cue Alpha: You can modify the depth cue effect by using Depth Cue Alpha. Click the
Depth Cue Alpha patch to access the texture sub-palette and choose a texture. It will be converted
to grayscale alpha and stretched over the entire canvas area. Each pixol of the alpha will determine
the intensity of the depth cue at that location. White areas give the strongest depth cue effect,
black areas give no effect. Useful for restricting the depth cue effect to a selected area of the
canvas.

Intensity: Sets the intensity of the blur at its far point. Range = 0 to 100%. Default = 100%.

Softness: The number of pixols averaged to produce the blur. Higher numbers produce more blur.
Range = 1 to 8. Default = 4

Depth1: Depth1 is the near point of the depth cue effect. There is no blurring at this distance. The
blurring begins as depth increases. Type in the Z depth directly or click and drag from the slider to
the canvas to set the value; pick an object at the depth where you want the depth cue to begin and
release the mouse button.
Depth2: Depth 2 is the far point of the depth cue effect. There is full blurring at this distance.
Type in the Z depth directly or click and drag from the slider to the canvas to pick a depth.

On the left, a fish rendered without depth cuing. On the right, the same fish rendered with Depth 1
set on its nose and Depth 2 set on its tail.

Depth Cue Curve: Clicking on the collapsed Depth Cue Curve area of the sub-palette expands
the Depth Cue Curve to its full size. You can adjust the intensity of the depth cue between the near
point (Depth1) and far point (Depth2) by adjusting the curve.

Note: By setting a high depth cue intensity at each end of the curve, and a low intensity at an
intermediate point, you can achieve a "lens effect", where depths both in front of and behind the
focal plane of lens of the virtual camera are blurred.

Fog Subpalette

The controls of this palette can be used to obtain a fog effect; different depths or areas of the
canvas may be partly or fully obscured by a foggy or smoky haze.

Intensity: Sets the intensity of the fog at its far point. Range = 0 to 100%. Default = 100%.

Depth1: Depth1 is the near point of the fog effect. There is no fog effect at this distance. The fog
effect becomes stronger as depth increases. Type in the Z depth directly or click and drag from the
slider to the canvas to set the value; pick a object a pixol at the depth you want the fog to begin.

Depth2: Depth2 is the far point of the fog effect. There is full fog at this distance. Set the value as
for Depth1.

Fog Color 1: Fog Color 1 is the color of the fog at the near point of the fog effect. Set by selecting
a color with any of the color pickers and clicking on the Fog Color 1 patch. You can also click and
drag from the Fog Color 1 to any part of the canvas or interface to pick a color.

Fog Texture: You can also colorize the fog by using a bitmap texture. You can produce other
environmental effects, such as smog, by using a fog texture. Click and hold on the Fog Texture
patch to access the texture sub-palette and choose a texture. It will be stretched over the entire
canvas area. Each pixel of the texture will determine the color of the fog at that location.

Note: A Fog Texture will override Fog Color 1 and Fog Color 2 settings.

Fog Alpha: You can further modify the fog effect by using Fog Alpha. Click and hold on the Fog
Alpha patch to access the texture sub-palette and choose a texture. It will be treated as a grayscale
alpha and stretched over the entire canvas area. Each pixel of the alpha will determine the
intensity of the fog at that location. When the alpha is white, there is maximum fog. When the
alpha is black, there is no fog effect.

Fog Color 2: Fog Color 2 is the color of the fog at the far point of the fog effect. Set as for Fog
Color 1

Left: A fish with with no fog effects. Right: Same fish with fog effects, Depth 1 set on its nose,
Depth 2 set on its tail and a light blue Fog color 1 and Fog Color 2.

Fog Curve: Clicking on the collapsed Fog Curve area of the sub-palette expands the Fog Curve to
its full size. You can adjust the intensity of the fog between the near point (Depth 1) and far point
(Depth 2) by adjusting the curve.
For example, setting the left end of this curve to the max value and the right end to the min value
would render a scene with the closest objects being the foggiest, and the most distant being the
clearest.

Fast Render Subpalette

Since the Fast Renderer does not take materials into account, an ambient and diffuse setting for
the entire scene is set here.

Ambient: Determines how much ambient (unshaded) light is rendered for all objects on the
canvas. Used only by the Fast Renderer. Range = 0 to 1. Default = 0.3.

Diffuse: Determines how much diffuse shading is applied to all objects on the canvas. Used only
by the Fast Renderer. Range = 0 to 1. Default = 0.8.

projected onto the canvas. The slider value controls the intensity of the shadow.

Preview Shadows:Length: Increases the scan range that ZBrush uses to create the
shadow. A larger Length will lengthen and soften the shadow but will also increase
computation time.

Preview Shadows:Slope: Sets the azimuth of the light used to project the shadow. All
shadows fall at a 45 degree angle across the canvas. This cannot be altered. Slope
controls the angle in Y at which the light casts the shadows. Zero means that the light is
directly overhead of the model. A larger number means that the light is more in front of
the model.

depends on the setting for Slope; at small settings of Slope, changing Depth will have
little effect.

Environment Subpalette

The ZBrush Environment palette allows you to globally reflect a single image or color on all the
objects in the scene with reflective surfaces. The amount of environmental reflection is set in the
Material palette for each material.

Off: Turns off Color, Texture, or Scene reflections. Default = pressed (environmental reflections
off).

Color: When on, lets you use a single color for global reflections. Pressing the Color button
enables the Environment Color patch.
Txtr: Allows a texture to be used for global reflections. Pressing the Texture button enables the
Environment Texture patch.

Scene: When on, uses the current scene as a source image for global reflections.

Environment Color (in the figure above, the blue square): When the Color switch is on, use
this patch to selecte the environment color. Select a color with any of the color pickers and click
on Environment Color, or click and drag from Environment Color to any part of the canvas or
interface to pick a color.

Environment Texture (in the figure above, the small square showing a scene): When Txtr is
on, click and hold on the Environment Texture patch to access the texture sub-palette and choose a
texture.

Trace Distance: The trace distance is how far ZBrush will look to find a local object to reflect.
Range = 0 to 100% of the current image size. Default = 50%.

Repeat: Controls how many times a reflective surface can reflect another reflective surface. The
effect can be visualized by facing two mirrors at each other. Range = 1 to 5. Default = 1.

Field of View: Sets the field of view for environmental mapping and lights. A setting of zero
degrees causes the point of view to be infinitely far away. A setting of 180 degrees places the
point of view right above the canvas. Range = 0 to 180 degrees. Default = 0.

Field of View = 0

Field of View = 180

Adjustments allow you to make color corrections to the final render without permanently altering
it. The four curves at the bottom of this subpalette are, respectively, the RGB Level, Red Level,
Green Level, and Blue Level adjustment curves

turned on and off with the Adjust button. All adjustment values are saved with the ZBrush scene
file.
Clr: Clears all adjustments to their default values.

Contrast: Varies the contrast of the entire image. Range = -100 to 100. Default = 0.

Brightness: Varies the brightness of the entire image. Range = -100 to 100. Default = 0.

RGB Level, Red Level, Green Level, and Blue Level curves: Clicking on a collapsed curve
area of the sub-palette expands the clicked adjustment curve to its full size. You can adjust the
intensity of the colors between their minimum and maximum values by adjusting the shape of
their curves.

BackShadow: Acts as a drop shadow cast by the current model and projected onto the canvas.
The slider value controls the intensity of the shadow.

Length: Increases the scan range that ZBrush uses to create the shadow. A larger Length will
lengthen and soften the shadow but will also increase computation time.

Slope: Equals the azimuth of the light used to project the shadow. All shadows fall at a 45 degree
angle across the canvas. This can not be altered. Slope controls the angle in Y at which the light
casts the shadows. Zero means that the light is directly overhead of the model. A larger number
means that the light is more in front of the model.

Depth: Deepens and enlarges the shadows. The effect of Depth depends on the setting for Slope;
at small settings of Slope, changing Depth will have little effect.

● Disclaimers
ZBrush Home Movies
From ZBrushInfo

The New Movie palette allows ZBrush artists to record their sculpting sessions. Artists can:

● Record just the canvas

● Record the entire ZBrush interface
● Show the menus or turn them off.
● Record timelapse videos
● Record turntables
● Record entire sessions

Movies can be saved as ZBrush Movies (.ZMV) and, if you have Quicktime isntalled, they can be
exported.

Learn about the Movie Palettes controls here.

Contents
● 2 Creating A Turntable
● 3 Create A TimeLapse Video
● 4 Exporting A Movie

Recording your session in ZBrush is as simple as pressing Movie: Record. By default, you will
only record the document and your interface items will be skipped.

To record a movie of the entire Interface follow the steps below:

1. Press Movie: Window
2. Set the final output size by selecting Movie: Small, Movie: Medium, Movie: Large. Movie
Small is 25% of your screen size. Movie Large is 100% of your screen size. Movie
Medium is 50% of your screen size.
4. Set the frames per second for the recording by adjusting Movie: Modifiers: Recording FPS
5. Set the frames per second for the Playback FPS by adjusting Movie: Modifiers: Playback
FPS
6. Press Movie: Record
7. Start sculpting
8. When you are done press Movie: Save As

Creating A Turntable

In this tutorial we will look at how to create a turntable of your model inside of ZBrush using the
new Movie Palette. Using ZBrush, artists can quickly and easily create high quality turntables
complete with ray-trace shadows and anti-aliasing.

1. First, draw your model in the position on the screen that represents the first frame of your
turntable.
2. Set your turntable settings in the Movie:Modifiers sub-palette.
1. Set the number of turns you want your model to take by adjusting the value of
Movie:Modifiers:Spin Cycles. I set this to around 2 since I will use my video
player to loop the animation.
2. Set the speed of the turntable by setting Movie:Modifiers:SpinFrames. I set this to
around 72. Keep in mind that this works in relation with Movie:Modifiers:
Recording FPS and Movie:Modifiers:Playback FPS. For example, if i have a movie
with a Playback FPS of 24 and I have SpinFrames set to 72 than I will have one
complete turn of the model every 3 seconds. 72 divided by 24 = 3.
3. You can also set the axis of rotation by pressing X, Y or Z in the Movie:Modifiers
sub-palette.
1. For real-time shadows, make sure that Render:Shadows is on and Render:
Preview is on.
2. For ray-trace shadows, press Render:Best and make sure that Render:Shadows is
on.
3. If you are using ray-trace shadows go into the light palette and establish the settings
1. Shadow Length should equal 500
2. Rays should equal around 80 or so for nice fall off. However, this largely
the less rays you will need.
3. Aperture should be set around 12 for harder edged shadows.
4. When all these settings are established, press Movie:Turntable.
5. Once the movie is recorded, decide if you want a title screen and end screen.
1. If you do not want either one, set Movie:Title Image:FadeIn Time and Movie:
2. If you do, then set the amount of time they would fade into your movie with Movie:
Title Image:FadeIn Time. Set the amount of time for it to be tacked onto the end,
6. Save your movie by pressing Movie:Save As. This will save a ZBrush Movie.
7. Finally, export your movie using Quicktime by pressing Movie:Export. If you do not have

Create A TimeLapse Video

Using TimeLapse can significantly reduce the length (and file size) of your movie. Time lapse
causes frames to be recorded only when the mouse is doing something that affects the document
or model; sculpting or painting, basically. Even actions such as rotating the model are not shown,
although once the model has been rotated to its new position, a frame will be recorded to show the
new orientation.

1. Set the duration of each snapshot with Movies: Modifiers: Snapshot Time.
2. Turn TimeLapse on. Press Movie: TimeLapse
3. Start sculpting

Exporting A Movie

Before exporting your movie you will want to set the titles up. These can be found in the Movies:
Title Image section.

Adjust the duration of the title image with FadeIn Time. A value of 5 means 5 seconds.

Adjust the duration of the end image with FadeOut Time. Again, this value is in seconds.

ZBrush gives you 3 lines of text you can enter in the title and end seqences. Simply press Text 1,
2, or 3 and entering your text.
One recommend way to export movies is as follows:

1. Press Movie: Export

2. Choose where you want to save the movie
3. In the Quicktime dialogue box set the following options:
1. Compression type to MPEG-4
2. Uncheck Limit Data Rate
3. Keyframe every frame
4. Set Quality to Best
4. Then open the movie in Quicktime Pro
5. Choose File > Export
6. Make sure it says Movie To Quicktime Movie in the Export option.
7. Press the Options button
8. Choose H264 from here and set quality to High.
9. Hit OK then press Save

● Disclaimers
Pixol
From ZBrushInfo

ZBrush is not just another modeling package. It can create models with amazingly high polygon
counts. In ZBrush, you can convert and export this high resolution geometry into the maps,
textures and low resolution geometry that you want to use with other programs. ZBrush changes
the modeling process. Instead of pushing and pulling points around, you are sculpting digital clay.

ZBrush is also a powerful depth-enabled paint program. In other programs, points on the canvas –
the pixels – have color. In ZBrush, points on the canvas also have depth, material and orientation
and are called pixols.

Pixols are not drawn just as color on the canvas. They are rendered using their distance,
orientation and material information. A change in position of the scene lights will affect their
shading on the canvas. Paint strokes can be given the appearance of metal, or wood, or concrete,
or mirrors, or of many, many other things.

Pixols combines the simplicity of a 2D painting environment with the power of a 3D application.
The Pixol: The Depth-Enabled Pixel

The Pixel (2D) The Pixol (2.5D)

Color Information Color Information
X and Y Position X and Y Position
Information Information
No Depth Information Z or Depth Information
No Material Information Material Information

How Pixols Work

In ZBrush, the Draw palette controls the show. This palette lets you instruct ZBrush how you
want it to apply the effects created by the various channels. The MRGB, RGB and M buttons let
you tell ZBrush whether to paint with material, color, or both. ZADD, ZSUB and ZCUT tell
ZBrush how to apply depth. The Intensity sliders let you specify how much color and depth to
apply. Other sliders let you modify the size and shape of your brush, add perspective effects, and
even simulate refraction. You can also get at these options in the upper part of the shelf.

To help us understand the interaction of depth, color and material in ZBrush, let’s look at an
example.

To paint a 2.5D stroke in ZBrush do the following:

1. select the simple brush from the Tool palette.
2. Make sure that Zadd is on, that MRGB is on, set our Draw Size
3. Then paint a stroke on the canvas.

ZBrush’s real-time render engine looks at our settings in the Light palette and the material that we
painted with then renders the stroke on the canvas for us.

● Disclaimers
Space Poly Continum: 2D, 2.5D And 3D
Understood
From ZBrushInfo

In this section we will look at a tutorial that explains the different 2D, 2.5D and 3D elements of a
scene in ZBrush.

This tutorial covers creation of a ZBrush-type 'Z', written in bamboo on a grassy background, with

You'll be exposed to:

● Parametric objects
● Deformations
● Basic modeling
● Texturing
● Alphas
● Canvas depth
● Lighting and rendering settings

Bamboo Scene Part 2: Modeling The 3D Z

Bamboo Scene Part 3: Creating 2.5D Grass

Bamboo Scene Part 4: Finishing Touches - Adding a 3D Lady Bug and Rendering

2C_2.5D_And_3D_Understood"

● Disclaimers
Crossing The Great Divide
From ZBrushInfo

Painting in ZBrush is for more than just making pretty pictures. ZBrush's paint tools are
remarkably powerful, offering many features than cannot be found in any other program.

The following is not intended to teach you all the details of how to paint in ZBrush, but rather the
of what ZBrush painting offers, and then refer back to it if you later feel yourself being
overwhelmed by all of the various features that are used, as we show you painting in action.

Contents
● 1 Paint Brushes
● 2 Color Painting
● 3 Depth-Enabled Painting
❍ 3.1 Clipping Planes

● 4 Material-Enabled Painting
● 5 Alphas
● 6 Strokes
● 7 The Picker Palette
● 8 Basic Controls
● 9 Models as Paint Strokes (and Paint Strokes as Kinda Models)
❍ 9.1 Placing Models and Strokes

● 10 Putting It All Together

● 11 Exercises

Paint Brushes

ZBrush offers many paint brushes found in other programs, plus some unique ones not found in
other programs. Paint brushes are accessed via the tools popup, which can be found to the left of
the canvas, or in the Tool Palette.
ZBrush's built-in paintbrushes. Many of these are not paintbrushes. Don't worry about it.

We won't discuss details of brushes here, but some of them will be explained in greater detail in
other sections, and the Tool Palette gives brief descriptions of most of them. And of course, the
way to really get to know a brush is to experiment with it.

Color Painting

Paint brushes can use color. (But color can be turned off, too.) Some brushes use two different
colors, a foreground color and a background color. You'll see this in examples, and as you
experiment on your own. You can look at the Color Palette reference for details of how to select
colors. Do we need to say more?

Depth-Enabled Painting

This is one of the unique features of ZBrush, and an important one it is. When you paint on the
canvas, you can affect not only the color but (optionally) the distance of pixels on the canvas from
you, the viewer. In fact, in ZBrush, we call the smallest dots on the canvas pixols (not pixels), to
indicate that in addition to all of the properties of normal pixels, pixols offer some unique features
of their own.

The concept of depth-enabled painting is easier to show than to explain. In the figure below, the
square on the left is some simple painting (a couple of strokes) I made on the canvas, using the
default settings when ZBrush first starts. Then, in the middle of the figure, you can see exactly the
same 'drawing', but with just the lighting changed. Because parts of the canvas have been raised,
the direction of lights affect how things appear on the canvas. Yes, ZBrush provides lighting
control, and it can be used to change the look of a painting without making a single brush stroke!
Finally, on the right I pulled a little trick by converting the canvas to a polymesh, and then rotating
that polymesh to show the depth of the original canvas. (There's no actual way of 'rotating' the
canvas to see it from a side view.)

Left and Center; same canvas, different lighting. Right; "Side view" of canvas.

When you paint depth on the canvas, you are not creating a model. You are simply pulling pixols
towards you, or pushing them away. The canvas is still composed of a bunch of dots. If you
want, you can think of it this way; a regular pixel is just a collection of numbers, for the red,
green, blue, and (often) opacity intensity of the pixel. In ZBrush, a pixel has another number; the
depth intensity of that pixel.

And by the way...painting with depth is really important in modeling, because it's how you add the
finest level of detail to ZBrush models.

Clipping Planes

Once we allow painting with depth, we have the question–how 'deep' is the canvas, i.e. how near
is the nearest point, and how far is the farthest point. Just like width and height, which must be
finite for any image, so must depth.

In ZBrush, the range of depth of the canvas is fixed; you can't change it, unlike width or height.
However, the range of depths is quite large (over 65,000 possible planes on which a pixol can be),
so that's unlikely to be a problem.
Within all of those planes along the z-axis, three are of particular importance:

● The back plane is at the farthest distance at which a pixol can be drawn.
● The front plane is at the nearest distance at which a pixol may be drawn.
● The canvas plane is midway between the back and front planes. When you first start
ZBrush, all the gray pixols you see on the canvas are at the distance of the canvas plane.

Material-Enabled Painting

Guess what–not only can you paint depth in ZBrush, but you can paint Materials too. A material
in ZBrush is like a material in other programs that provide shaders. It can produce surface effects
like wood grain, metalicity, glow, and so on. The difference is that in ZBrush, materials can be
applied not just to models, but also to pixols on the canvas itself.

Aside
In addition to the number representing depth, this means that ZBrush has another number
associated with each pixol, the number of the material applied to that pixol.

Here's a canvas that's been painted with just a couple of strokes. One was done with a reflective
material (using a picture for an environment map), another with a 'rough metal' surface, and the
final with a 'gel' material. All of the complex surface appearance is due to the material. None of it
is due to the painter (me), who couldn't paint such effects if my life depended on it anyway.

These paint strokes were done with depth-painting enabled, so they raised portions of the canvas.
Especially with the reflective stroke, you can really see how the material and the depth of the
canvas come together to create the final effect.
Same brush, different materials.

Alphas

Alphas are another big part of the painting equation. An alpha is simply a gray map, and it can be
used to affect lots of things. Alphas can represent depths, masks, transparencies, and virtually any
effect that depends on intensity. 3D maps such as cavity and bump maps are really just alphas.

Aside
It's worth noting that many (maybe even most) programs that make use of alphas use 8-bit
alphas, allowing only 256 different levels of gray. This can result in a 'stair-stepping' effect in
many cases. ZBrush uses 16-bit alphas, allowing for more than 65,000 levels of gray. This
ensures a smooth effect, no matter how the alphas are used.

ZBrush comes with a bunch of predefined alphas, that can be found in the alphas popup; either to
the left of the canvas, or in the Alpha Palette. It's also easy to create or import your own alphas,
but we won't go into that, because it's not really part of how alphas affect painting.

The major effect of alphas is to modify the shape of the brush. Basically, gray parts of an
alpha mean the brush has less effect, and white parts of the alpha mean it has more effect. (Dark
area mean it has an 'opposite' effect.)

Let's show this with a bit more depth painting. In the figure below, I just started up ZBrush, and
'clicked' three paint strokes. (I didn't drag them out or anything like that.) All of the ZBrush
settings were left at their default values except for the alpha.

The stroke at the left shows the effect of the default alpha (Brush 01). Since that alpha is an image
with white at the center, fading to gray at the outside, we get an effect where the center of the
clicked stroke is raised, and the area around it fades smoothly into the depth of the rest of the
canvas.

Note: In ZBrush, light areas of the alpha create a 'positive effect', dark areas create a
'negative effect', and a 50% gray means 'no effect'. So if any parts of that alpha had
been darker than 50% gray, they would have pushed pixols into the canvas.)

The center of the image shows the effect when using alpha Brush 17, the 'bullseye'.

Finally, the right of the image shows the effect of a more interesting alpha, Brush 30 I think of this
as the "soccer ball" alpha.

Same brush stroke and settings, different alphas.

Alphas don't affect just depth. They affect almost anything, including color intensity,
transparency (where it makes sense), and lots of other stuff. Alphas are one of the most
important tools you have in ZBrush.

Strokes

There's yet another factor in the ZBrush painting equation, strokes. A stroke can be thought of
(more or less) as controlling brush movement.
To get an idea of what strokes do, let's consider some of the simpler strokes.

● The Dot stroke places a single dot on the canvas, with a twist. If you click and hold the
mouse with this stroke active, you can drag the stroke around to position it. It's finalized
once you release the mouse button. Very useful!
● The Dots stroke applies a series of dots as you drag the mouse along. It's as if you clicked
on one point, and then clicked on another point a littler farther away, and so on. The dots
are put down at regular intervals of time, so the faster you move your mouse, the farther
away the dots will be from one another.
● The Freehand stroke corresponds to a 'standard' stroke in other programs–or on a real,
physical canvas, for that matter. It lays down a continuous layer of paint, depth, and
material on the canvas as you move the mouse along. This is actually done by putting
down 'dots' at very closely spaced intervals, and you'll be able to see this with complex
alphas.

But there are more complex strokes. Two examples are are:

● The Grid stroke effectively makes multiple copies of a dot stroke, and moves them
outwards in a grid from where you drag, according to how far you drag the mouse.
● The Spray stroke puts down multiple semirandom copies of your basic brush, around the
mouse, as you move the mouse.

Examples of the stroke types described above can be seen in the figure below. But there are more
stroke types than this!

Left to right: DragDot, DragRect, Dots, Freehand, Grid, Spray stroke types. All strokes were drawn
vertically, from top to bottom, except for Spray (which was just doodled around a bit).

The Picker Palette

I know you're already feeling a little buried, but there's still another thing we need to consider. The
good news is that it's something you can more or less ignore for much of what you do, especially
when you're first starting to use ZBrush. The other good news is that when you do use it, it can do
some really cool stuff. The bad news is that since it isn't obvious how useful it is, you may forget
about it. That's the Picker Palette.

Basically the Picker Palette affects how the pixol under the brush affects the paint stroke. This is
discussed at some length in the Picker Palette, so we won't go into details here. Instead, we'll just
look at one of the options the picker palette offers.

Let's say you start a paint stroke on the canvas, and you drag it over other, existing strokes. All of
these strokes have depth, so we need to figure out how the new stroke will interact with existing
strokes:

● Will it be hidden or partly hidden by the existing strokes?

● Will it maintain a constant depth, or will its depth change as it moves over canvas areas
with differing depths?

The Picker Palette lets us choose such options. In the case described above, we can choose to have
the new stroke continue at the same depth it started at, or follow the depth of the underlying
content, and so always remain "on top of" whatever already existed. And there are several other
related options, as well.

Again the Picker Palette talks about these options in detail. Please look there for more
information.

Basic Controls

We've left discussion of the most basic painting controls until now, because many of them don't
make sense unless you understand things like alphas, or painting with materials. These controls
affect many or most aspects of painting (or sculpting too, for that matter). For convenience, they
are grouped together above the canvas:

And here's what they do:

● A number of buttons control what effects are applied to the canvas when painting. Mrgb
means use the selected material and color when painting, Rgb means use color but not
material, and M means use material but not color.
● When depth painting is on, Zadd means that light area of an alpha pull pixols towards the
viewer, while Zsub means light areas of an alpha push pixols away. (But it's normally
more convenient to just just one of these, and hold down the 'xxx' key to invert it's
meaning.) Zintensity affects how much pushing or pulling is done with each brush stroke.
(A useful tip; for most uses, keep Zintensity small, and use repeated brush strokes to do
what you want to do.)
● The Brush chooser, Material chooser, Alpha chooser, Tool (paintbrush) chooser, Stroke
chooser can all be found on the area to the left of the canvas. Oh, the Color chooser
(foreground and background) can be found there too. These choosers can also be found in
individual palettes: xx.

Models as Paint Strokes (and Paint Strokes as Kinda

Models)

If you've looked at the ZBrush Tool inventory, you'll have noticed the usual complement of
brushes–simple brushes, airbrush, eraser, and so on. But you'll also have seen that 3D models are
part of this inventory. (All of ZBrush's 3D primitives are there, and any imported models will
show up also.)

ZBrush can paint using models (and can also treat more traditional paint strokes as models in
some ways, as we'll see in a moment). After all, a paint stroke is just a movement of the mouse
that affects pixols on the canvas–and laying a model down on the canvas certainly comes under
Here's a canvas where I've drawn in some models along with some more basic strokes. Except for
the last stroke I drew, all of these strokes are 'fixed' on the canvas. The most recent paint stroke
you drew is called the live stroke, and you can do certain things to it, but previous painting
becomes fixed to the canvas; you can't remove except via undo operations. (However, you can
keep different strokes on different Layers, to make it easy to modify some but not others.)

Placing Models and Strokes

Drawing 3D models onto the canvas wouldn't be very useful unless you could place them right
where you wanted them–rotate them, move them into place, shrink or grow them. When you draw
a model, it becomes the live stroke (the most recent stroke put on the canvas), and can be placed
using the xxx buttons.

When any of these button are active, a neat-looking little control called The Gyro appears around
the model. Clicking on different parts of (or outside or inside) the gyro will move, scale, or rotate
the model in different ways, depending on which of move/scale/rotate is on.

This might look like something pretty close to 3D modeling. Nope. You could use the gyro to
move around a model while sculpting it, but doing so would be somewhat of a hassle; there are
better ways to manipulate your model while actually sculpting. The gyro is intended for placing
things into full scenes.

Now for something very cool. Using the gyro, you can place almost any stroke, not just models.

Below on the left is a crude 'Z' drawn with the basic simple brush. Second from the left, I've
activated rotate mode; the rotate gyro appears at the center of the stroke. And in the next two
snapshots, you can see the 'Z' stroke rotated by different amounts and in different directions.
ZBrush can move, scale, or rotate strokes, even along the z-axis, regardless of whether or not they
are models..
A 'Z' painted onto the canvas and rotated by different amounts.

Putting It All Together

Whew! Quite a collection, eh? Let's look at all the things that can affect a single brush stroke:

● Choice of paint brush.

● Foreground (and maybe background) color.
● Depth settings (enabled/not enabled, intensity, and others).
● Alphas.
● Materials.
● Stroke setting.
● Picker palette.

Altogether, these properties give you a great deal of control over what your painting does in
ZBrush. But, as any Jedi master could tell you, with Great Power comes Great Responsibility, and
Great Danger. In particular, you may find at some times that your painting isn't doing what you
think it should be doing. What to do?

Well, first be aware that ZBrush remembers certain settings, associated with other choices, xx.

So, when things aren't behaving as you expect, check everything that might be affecting your
painting. You Know What These Are, they're listed above. Experiment with some other brushes,
to see if that helps you track down a forgotten setting.

If things are still really confusing, you may be overlooking a setting. Save your scene and custom
tools (including models), quit ZBrush, and restart. No, this isn't a problem with ZBrush–it's just
that's so flexible that it's easy forget settings you've changed.

And if all else fails, press xx. This will reset most of ZBrush to be very close to its factory
configuration.

Exercises

What would a primer be without exercises at the end? The following diagram shows six effects
that were each drawn with just one or two paint strokes. Your task, should you choose to accept it,
is to come as close as possible to these effect, regardless of how you do it.

Not everything you need to know to do the above has been talked about explicitly on this page, so
here are some hints.

● Many stroke types have additional settings. If you select a stroke type (especially a
specialized one), check the Stroke Palette to see if any additional settings show up.
● When you're working with 3D strokes, don't forget to use The Gyro!
● Remember that many brushes need something to paint on, before they can paint. Maybe
you need to lay down a patch of square?
● The Roller Brush can be used to paint a color or texture in a continuous strip.
● The Deco Brush texture defaults to a nice rainbow-type spectrum.
● Alphas and textures can work together; one defines what will show up in a paint stroke, the
other defines what parts of the pattern will show up.
● There are some neat stroke types we didn't talk about.

● Disclaimers
The Making of "Birth" by Francois Rimasson
Featuring: Transpose, ZSpheres, SubTools,
and Mesh Extraction
From ZBrushInfo

This tutorial has been split into several parts, to avoid long load times for your browser. They
are:

● Part 1: Introduction, Creating a Figure with ZSpheres.

● Part 2: Sculpting and Posing.
● Part 3: Details, Texturing, Shading, Rendering, and Compositing.
by Francois Rimasson

Contents
● 1 Introduction
❍ 2.1 Basics: Tools, Editing, and Navigation in Zbrush

❍ 3.1 Polygroups

❍ 3.3 Creating a Rough Shape from the Stick Figure

Introduction
This Project is going to guide you step by step, and to allow you to create a whole scene with
Zbrush 3 from scratch, to sculpt, texture and finally render it.

This is an extensive tutorial, but there's still a lot I won't go into, such as interface configuration or
ZScripts.

Zbrush is different from other 3D and painting programs. It's a mix between 2D painting, and 3D
modeling software, with good rendering capacities. In ZBrush, you don't have a 3D workspace,
but a canvas. The canvas can be painted on, and can also be sculpted in and out (like a bas-relief
carving, but with much greater depth). When doing pure 3D modeling, you simply manipulate the
model with a (usually) blank canvas as the background. Your model can then easily be
incorporated into a previously painted scene, and lighting, rendering, and so on, will all work to
produce an illustration with true 3D appearance.
Of course, many artists use ZBrush as primarily a 3D program, and that's largely what we'll be
doing in this tutorial.

Because of this integration, a model in ZBrush can be thought of as a tool, which also includes
2.5D brushes, a 3D primitives, ZSphere skeletons, and of course standard 3D models, which are
normally referred to as polymeshes or meshes.

A new feature in ZBrush 3 is that a single polymesh can be split into multiple subtools, enabling
you to work on multiple items at the same time.

To paint and sculpt a tool or the canvas, you will use 3D and 2.5D brushes, different kind of
strokes, textures, alpha maps and materials.

The picture on the left was created from scratch in Zbrush, all the models are created, sculpted,
posed, textures, lighted, and rendered without (almost) the help of any other application.

Before beginning this tutorial, let us have a look to the basic functions of Zbrush, as well as the

Basics: Tools, Editing, and Navigation in Zbrush

The Tool Palette (palette is another name for menu in ZBrush) is one of the most important
Select the Sphere 3d primitive and drag it on the canvas.

Near the top of the canva, you can find the Edit, Draw, Move, Scale and Rotate icons. After you
draw the Sphere, all these icons except Edit are now active.

You can use the Move, Scale and Rotate tools (respectively : W, E, R keys) to transform the
sphere, or stay in Draw (Q key) to draw other spheres.

For the moment, enter the Edit mode, and press the Make PolyMesh3D button in the Tool menu.
The sphere primitive is converted into a standard 3d Mesh. Sculpting brushes will work much
better with standard 3D meshes (polymeshes).

Edit Mode mode will let you edit and sculpt the sphere. When this mode is on, the Draw, Move,
Scale and Rotate icons will allow you sculpt, move, or pose your current tool.
In Edit Mode, to Move, rotate and scale the current tool, you'll have to use the Transform icons,
on the right of the canvas area, or the following combos:

● To rotate your Tool, just click drag on an empty area of your canvas.. (or on the Safe area
around)
● To move your Tool, press the Alt key and click-drag on your canvas..
● To scale your Tool, press the Alt key, click-drag on your canvas, then, release the Alt
key.
● To center your Tool, press .

A safe area (one that you can drag on to do the above) appears around the canvas that will help
you to move rotate or scale your tool, even if your model one fills all the available space on he
canvas.

For now, activate the Local transformations. If will help to focus on the part of the model you're
working on.

Basics: Sculpting
The various available brushes, which are going to serve you for sculpting the model, are all in the
Brush menu. Each has a different effect, and can be combined with different strokes and alpha
maps.

Before beginning, take time to experiment with them.

On the top row, you can find the buttons to controls the color, opacity, and material of the tools
when the Edit Mode is off, and the depth, color, opacity and materials of the 3d brushes when the
Edit Mode is on.

● Press S to change the Size to the brush.

● Press U to change the Z intensity of the brush.
● Press I to change the RGB intensity of the brush.
● Press O to change the Focal Shift of the brush.
● You can also show for a moment a Hotbox that includes all these options by pressing the
Spacebar.

Image:Birth Symmetry.gif

You'll find in the Transform Palette the Symmetry options. Symmetry will save you a lot of
time. Symmetry in X, Y and Z can be switched on and off by by pressing respectively, X, Y and Z
keys.

(Upper half of figure):

● Press CTRL + Shift and drag a rectangle to keep visible a section of the sphere.

(Lower half of figure):

● Press CTRL + Shift and drag a rectangle as previous. While you draw the rectangle area,
release the SHIFT key. The rectangle becomes red, and the underlying part of the model is
hidden.
● To invert the model visibility, press CTRL + Shift and drag a rectangle on an empty area of
the canvas.
● To reveal all the model, press CTRL + Shift and click on an ampty area of the canvas.

● The Lasso tool allows you to quickly create freeform selections by pressing CTRL + Shift
and dragging out a lasso.

(Upper half of figure):

(Lower half of figure):

● Press CTRL+ Alt and drag a stroke to unmask a section of the sphere. In the same way as
for sculpting, selecting an Alpha has an influence on the stroke.

(Upper half of figure):

● Press CTRL and drag a rectangle to mask a section of the sphere.

(Lower half of figure):

● Press CTRL + Alt and drag a rectangle to unmask section of the sphere.
● To invert the mask, press CTRL + Shift and click on an empty area of the canvas.
● To clear the mask, press CTRL, and drag a rectangle on an empty area of the canvas.
● As with hiding faces, you can also use the lasso tool to mask them.

Now, go out of Edit Mode, and clear the Document, using CTRL + N. (If you're editing a tool, all
but your current tool will be erased.)

Using Z-Spheres To Create a Stick Figure

To start, we will build a simple stick-model using Zspheres, which are a quick way to create a
stick figure, and to create a model from. This model will be a template on top of which we will
create the final topology of our girl.

Select the ZSphere icon in the Tool palette, Click-drag it on the Document, and enter Edit mode.
Activate X Symmetry, using the X Key. You can also find the Symmetry options on the
Transform Menu. You can notice that your cursor becomes green when it's over the symmetry
axis.
Now, we will create the Spine and the head of our model.

● Select the Draw icon, and start to add a first Z-Sphere. Pay attention to create this sphere
on the axis of symmetry.
● Go into Move mode (W key), and move it just above the original
● Go into Draw mode and add 2 other Z-Spheres the same way.

To shape your Stick figure you can Move, Rotate or Scale each Z-Sphere individually, or select
the Link between each Z-Spheres, to transform the downstream hierarchy.

If you want to delete a Z Sphere, just Alt + Click on it.

It's time to add arms and legs to our model. Here is what the skeleton and the poly model should
look like at the end.

Polygroups
You can preview your poly model, and go back to the Zsphere display at any moment by pressing
the Preview button, in the Tool:Adaptive skin subpalette; or the A key

You can Switch on and off wireframe and polygroups display by pressing the Draw PolyFrame
button, or Shift +F

Polygroups are just a quick and easy way to group part of your model, and to isolate these parts
later.

Polygroup options can be found in the Tool:Polygroup subpalette. The creation of these can be
made according to UV sets, or using to the visible polygons. If you import a model exported from
Maya in .OBJ format, which has selections sets, these sets will be converted into polygroups.
In the same way, these groups will be preserved when you will export your model again.

Polygroups Visibility

Hold CTRL + Shift and click on a polygroup, or the junction of two polygroups: the rest of the
model is hidden.

Revealing the model or inverting the visibility works as usual.

Have a closer look at the poly model, and especially at the hands. You will notice that our poly
model has multiple colored parts. Each part is in fact a polygroup.

A new polygroup is created each time the ZSphere hierarchy is split.

You'll have to add an additional Z-Sphere on both side of the palm, so that fingers have good
topology.

When you will model your character, ensure every finger is in a separate polygroup. It will help
us later.

When you have finished, save your model.

Note: Because of the reddish clay shader, polygroups are not really visible. You can
switch to a more neutral shader, or change the Render mode to Preview.

Creating a Rough Shape from the Stick Figure

Let us look more closely at the Adaptative skin sub palette. You will there find all the needed
options to controls the model we'll generate.

● Press A key to preview your Poly model, and make sure that the Minimal Skin to child
button (MC) is on.
● Set the Density to 4.
● Hit Make Adaptive Skin. A New 3d model is created and placed in the Tool Palette.
● Switch to this new model.

The model we created has multiple subdivision levels. You can move back and forth between
these levels as you model, by using the Lower Res and Higher Res buttons, or using D and Shift +
D keys.
It's time to rough out our model.

● Select the Standard Edit Brush. make sure the X symmetry is on

● Just draw strokes on your model to Pull geometry. Pressing Alt key while you draw
strokes, will push the geometry, and the Shift key will smooth the model.
● At this stage of the sculpting, you can also experiment the Inflate and Tweak brushes.

Don't push the sculpting too far. A quick rough is enough for now.
22_by_Francois_Rimasson_Featuring:_Transpose%2C_ZSpheres%2C_SubTools%
2C_and_Mesh_Extraction"

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Birth 2
From ZBrushInfo

This tutorial has been split into several parts, to avoid long load times for your browser. They are:

● Part 1: Introduction, Creating a Figure with ZSpheres.

● Part 2: Sculpting and Posing.
● Part 3: Details, Texturing, Shading, Rendering, and Compositing.

Contents
● 1 Creating New Topology
❍ 1.1 Before Beginning to Sculpt

❍ 1.9 Symmetry

❍ 2.1 Twisting

● Select a new ZSphere tool.

● Clone your model, and hide a part of the legs.
● Make sure that the subdiv level of the model is at 2
● Press CTRL and click on all the polygroups, one by one, to hide the whole body, except the fingers and toes. To spare time, we are
going to keep this geometry and to use it as starting point for the final model.
● In the Tool:Rigging subpalette, select the whole model, and activate the Projection Mode, so that the model which will be
generated is projected on the Template.

● In the Tool:Topology subpalette, select the cloned model only fingers of which are visible.
● Enter the Edit Topology Mode.
● An orange wireframe model should appear over the fingers and the toes. This topology is composed of multiple Z Sphere chains,
and was generated from the topology you selected. These chains of Z Spheres defines the contour of patches, from which a 3d mesh
is going to be generated
● Set the Max Strip Length to its max. This parameter indicates the maximum length of one of the side of a patch, so that it can be
generated
● Like a standard Z Sphere model, you can Move, Scale, and delete part of the topology as you like, and also can preview the final
model at any moment, by pressing A.

We are now going to create the rest of the topology, by beginning by connecting the thumb with fingers, and then, we are going to create
rectangular patches which are going to define the remaining topology.

● Press CTRL and click on a Z Sphere to define the starting point, and draw a four segments ZSphere chain.
● Create a second chain. both of them snaps automatically on top of the underlying model.

Pay attention that both chains have the same number of segments. If a chain has less segments than the other one, press CTRL and click on

● Press A to check the generated mesh, then A again to switch back to the ZSphere model.
● Continue to add patches, until the model is ended.
● Open the Adaptative skin sub palette, and Hit Make Adaptive Skin.

The final model is generated and placed in the Tool Palette. The number of it's subdiv level is controlled both by the Density slider in the
Adaptative Skin sub-palette, and by the Subdiv Parameter in the Topology Palette.

Before Beginning to Sculpt

Now, the serious things are going to begin.

The model on which you go to work will be the definitive model, (or almost). The first thing which it is always necessary to do before
sculpting a model, is to crease the border edges. Here, the only ones are the openings of the eyes and the mouth. When you go to smooth
the model later, these edges will remain hard. The second advantage to hardening the edges of the model, will be when you have to
calculate the cage of the model, to generate a displacement map; the cage model will be cleaner.

● Go to the Tool:Geometry subpalette, and apply a crease.

● Subdivide the model five times, up to level 6, with the Divide tool, or using Ctrl + D. The model should be around two million
polygons

Creating Polygroups

We are now going to create polygroups, and for it, we are going to use Zbrush 3's new topological masking tools.

{{Note|You can use these tools only if you're in Move, Rotate or Scale mode.}
● First, go into Preferences:Transpose, and set the Mask Blur Strength to 0.
● Make sure that the X Symmetry is on, go into move mode, press and hold CTRL then click on the wrist and drag towards the hand
to create a topological mask that isolates the body. Release CTRL.

● CTRL + Click on the canvas to invert the mask, go to the {{Ctl|Tool:Masking:} subpalette, and hide the unmasked polygons, then
go to the Polygroup subpalette and create a new polygroup.

|Always create your polygroups at the lower subdivision level.

● In the same way, create another topological mask by drawing another line from the top to the bottom of the corner of the mouth,
then, create a new polygroup, to separate the upper lip from the bottom lip.

The Advantages of Working with Layers

● Layers allow you to work with much more flexibility, and and to easily correct many kinds of errors.
● You will be able to work with a model at many different stages of development simultaneously.
● You can add details, then turn those details off and refine the major forms underlying them.

● To create new layers, use the Tool:Layer:New button.

● If you wish to bake the layer into your sculpt, simply press Tool:Layers:Delete.
● If you want to remove the layer and the sculpting from your mesh, turn off the visibility of the layer by pressing the eye icon and
then pressing Tool:Layers:Delete.

When you create one 3D Layer on a model, the following layers have to be created at the same level of subdivision as the first one. They
can on the other hand be edited at any level.

Erasing Layer Information

You can erase information in a Layer by using a morph target and the morph brush. To do this take the following steps:

● Turn off visibility for the layer you want to remove information from.
● Store a morph target by pressing Tool: Morph Target: Store MT.
● Select the morph brush.
● Turn the visibility back on for that layer.
● Paint out the area you want to remove.

This model is fairly simple in terms of the abilities ZBrush offers, it does not present big technical difficulties. The challenge to make a
beautiful result is essentially anatomical.

You'll visit in the next chapters some techniques which are going to allow you to work more quickly and more effectively.
Detailing the Eyelid.

● Create a topological mask around the eye at subdiv level 3, and invert it. (You can create the mask only in one direction, from the
outside inward of the eye, because you're working in symmetry)
● If the Mask is too blurred, use the Sharpen Mask tool, in the Masking Sub Palette.
● Create another topological mask just after the first one, so that there is no more than a simple strip of polygon which is not selected.
● With the Tweak brush,shape the eyelid, clear the mask.
● Select the Smooth Edit Brush and set the slider to -100. This prevents the concave polygons from being smoothed. Smooth and
reshape the eye socket.

Shaping the Breasts

The Topological masking tool will help us a lot to shape and add volume to the breasts of the model.

● Go into the Preferences - Transpose subpalette, and set the MaskBlurStrength to 7.

● Create a topological mask under the breasts.
● Select the Inflate Brush, to add some volume under the breast, and then, switch between the Tweak and Standard Brushes to
polish the shape.

Detailing the Ear

The ear is certainly one of the most delicate part of the human body, and it will be one of hardest to sculpt. For it, you need a closer look at
the sculpting brushes parameters. These are (almost) all grouped together in the Brush Palette.

● The Edit Curve determines, and can modify, the brush profile.
● To get a brush profile that mimic the Edit curve, activate the Accucurve tool. The Accucurve tool is also a quick way to switch
from a rounded brush to a sharper one. It's a clever idea to have this button on your interface.
● Selecting an Alpha in the Alpha palette will also have a great impact on the brush look.
The circumference of the ear, the Helix, with its part bent back on itself is certainly the most difficult to be sculpted. For it, we are going to
use the Gravity tool, in the Brush Palette.

● Set the Gravity orientation gizmo to the right, and the strength to 100, and draw a first stroke to shape the recess.
● Hold Alt and draw a second stroke to shape the fold. When you reverse the Stroke direction with Alt, the gravity is also inverted..

● Put the model in a view of three quarter, and use the Snakehook brush to shape the auditory canal.
● Use ths Clay and the Flatten Brushes with a low intensity to build up the earlobe, then the Tweak brush to highlight it with regard

The Flatten brush will also help you to create a sharp transition between the circumference of the ear and the head.

The Samples parameter, which you can find in the Brush Palette, has a great deal of importance. This can change the sensitivity of the
Clay and Flatten brushes, by averaging the orientation and height of the underneath surface.
● To be able to draw very precise and controlled brush strokes with ease is going to make you win a great deal of time. To do it, the
Lazymouse tool will help you a lot (see Lazy Mouse). Open the Stroke menu, activate the tool, and set the LazyStep to 0.03.

A digital red string is now attached between your cursor and the brush itself, and sculpting can continue.

Shaping the Hand

Work on the hand is a good time to have a first glance at the Transpose tool, which is a new feature in ZBrush that allows you to quickly
position, pose or deform your model.

The hand, such as it is, is not very realistic. Fingers are too fine, are not spread enough. To use only standard sculpting brushes to correct it
is not really going to give good results.

● Ctrl + Click on the hand to hide all but the hand polygroup.
● Go into Scale Mode.
● Draw a topological mask to mask the all the hand, except a finger.
● To create an action line, click on hand's surface and drag out the action line. The endpoints of the line will snap to whatever is under
them.
● (To move an entire action line, drag the line itself to move it.)

● Click and drag from the inside of the midpoint of the action towards an endpoint, to scale the finger.
● Go into Rotate Mode.
● Click on the Line's Endpoint, and rotate the Finger.
● Do the same for all the fingers and toes.

Symmetry

In certain cases, the Topological mask works much better when the symmetry is not activated.

When you do not sculpt a mesh by using a symmetry, you can nevertheless symmetrize it afterward.
● To do that, mask the zone of the model which you want to symmetrize.
● Select the Symmetry Axis
● In the Tool Deformation Palette, apply a Smart Resym.
● In case nothing is selected, the whole model is averaged.

Posing the Model

Posing the whole model with the Transpose tool is really simple.

● Create a new 3d Layer, dedicated to the Posing, and go to the 2nd subdiv level. The deformations will be made more easily, when
the model has few polygons.
● You will have to, as for fingers, mask the part which you do not want to deform, adjust the Mask smoothness with the MaskBlur and
MaskSharpen tools, and create one Action Line, and use that to deform the model.
● To Blur the Mask, hold CTRL and Click on the model.
● To Sharpen the Mask hold CTRL + Alt, and Click on the model.
● During this phase you should not only pose the model, but also to re-sculpt it, to have anatomically correct muscular deformations,
compressions, and skin folds.
Twisting

With Transpose, you are not limited to rotating parts of a model, but also twist them.
● To do that, create a Topo mask as usual, blur it until it goes from the elbow to the wrist.
● You can switch to Flat Render mode to better check the masking.
● Rotate your model to center the Action Line on the forearm. (The Action Line was drawn on the Surface of the model)
● Click and drag on the line's midpoint to rotate the forearm.

Oops, I Missed the Hair!

When I created the model, I thought of modeling hair separately. I changed my mind afterward and decided to extrude the hair from the

You're gonna do the same thing.

● Go to the lowest subdivision level, and create a new polygroup on the back of the head. Hide all the model, except the new
polygroup.
● Move the polygroup backwards using the Transpose tool, then, in the Tool:Geometry sub palette, create an Edgeloop.
● Repeat the operation a few times, that's all.
Begin by shaping and add volume to the hair using the Tweak and the Clay Edit Brushes, then, activate the Lazy Mouse Mode, switch to
the Standard Edit brush to add details to the hair.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Birth 3
From ZBrushInfo

This tutorial has been split into several parts, to avoid long load times for your browser. They are:

● Part 1: Introduction, Creating a Figure with ZSpheres.

● Part 2: Sculpting and Posing.
● Part 3: Details, Texturing, Shading, Rendering, and Compositing.

Contents
❍ 1.1 Setting up a Standard Shader

● 2 The Eye
❍ 2.1 Texturing the Eyeball

● 3 Painting the model

● 4 Creating the Set
● 5 HD Sculpting and Painting
❍ 5.1 Creating an Alpha From a Photo

❍ 5.2 Creating an Alpha Manually and Using It With the Edit Brush

● 7 Compositing and Final Touches

Before texturing the model, you will need to create a nice shader that mimic skins, with a Subsurface Scattering look, in order to have a
better feedback.

For that purpose, you'll use a new type of ZBrush 3 material; a Matcap material. It can be created in two different ways: By using a Ball
picture rendered in a 3d application; or from within Zbrush.

Using a good material from this point will also give you a good idea of what the model will look like in a final render.

If you can't use an external app to create a Shaded ball, you can also arrive at the same result by using a standard material.

● In The Material Palette, select a DoubleShade Material, and set it as shown.

● Now, draw a sphere on the Document, to preview the material.
● Open the Light Palette, and

Adjust the lights to get a nice result. Four sun lights should do the job

● You can do some experiments at your own will, or open the light setup also included in the Zip file.

● Select the MRGBZ Grabber tool. In the Tool's modifier's palette, make sure that Auto Crop is on, and drag a selection on the
document around the Ball. A copy of the Ball is stored in the Texture Palette.
● Change the specular settings of the material to have some variations of the material, and grab more pictures.
● Save all the pictures, the lights and your document if you want to make further modifications of the material.

The Sphere on the left is rendered in Mental Ray, using the MiSSS Skin shader. The subsurface settings were adjusted so that there are no
dark zones, and so that the translucence is really visible.

● Select a MatCap Material in the Material Palette, like the Red Wax, open the Modifiers Sub Palette,
● If the Material Palette is greyed, select a 3d Primitive tool. Some tools don't allow you to modify the Material settings.
● Click on the Material texture 1 Slot at the lower Left corner, and select the one of the Ball pictures grabbed previously, or a picture
rendered in a 3d app.
● In The Color Palette, select a brown color, then click on the Base Color Modifier.
● It will bring in the pink color of the material when you will paint it.

The Eye
We're going to model the eye, now.

● Select a Sphere 3d Primitive, and set the HDivide and VDivide to 24, in the Initialize SubPalette. Convert the Pritive to a Polymesh
3D.
● Select the Tweak Edit Brush, click on a Pole vertex to shape the Iris, then, hold Shift to constraint the translation to the vertex
normal.
● Hide the Eyeball, except the Iris, and do a Crease, and create a new Polygroup from.
● Unhide all, and subdivide the eyeball up to level 5.
● That's all for the modeling, now .

Texturing the Eyeball

● Now, switch back to the Eye model, open the Tool - Texture subpalette and activate the Colorize option. You don't need any UVs
on your model, as the color is actually stored on the model vertices.

● Deactivate the Zadd option, And leave only the RGB activated.

To paint a model, you can simply use the same Standard Edit Brush as to sculpt. You only have to choose between different Alphas,
different Strokes. and pick a color in the Color palette. To pick a color from your model, of simply from the canvas, click on the Color
Palette, and drag the cursor to the area of the document you want to sample.

As you created earlier several Polygroups, these will allow you to mask easily the white of the eye, and to bind the texture of the iris.

The Iris has a specific radial pattern. To reproduce it more easily, activate in the Transform Palette the Radial and Z Symmetry, and set

When the basic texture is created, you can deactivate the symmetry, and continue to detail the eye

Positioning the Eyeballs

One of the big novelties of Zbrush 3 is the possibility of grouping together several models, called Subtools. It is in this way that we are
going to be able to add eyes to our model, as well as lashes, and a set later.

At the moment, we have two separate models: a body, and an eye. Select the Body model, click on the Append button, and, then, select the
Eye.

You will certainly have to adjust the position, size and the orientation of the eye with the Transpose tool. After this has been, Clone the
Eye, append the cloned eye as a new subtool (for the second eye in the figure), and adjust it's position.

Lashes are going to be created separately, from ZSpheres.

● Draw on the canvas a ZSphere tool. Ensure its dark half points upward. This first Z Sphere will be the pivot point of the lash, and its
orientation is very important.
● Draw an additional Z Sphere from the light side, and a Z Sphere chain from the dark side of the first Z Sphere.
● Preview the model, and convert it to a 3d mesh using the Make Adaptative Skin tool
● Select the new 3d mesh, and delete the lower subdiv levels.
● In the Tool Deformation Subpalette, rotate the model on the Z axis of 90 degrees.

Lashes are not going to be put directly on the final model of the body, but on a template without any subdivision levels.

● Select the model of the body. Clone it.

● Go to the fifth subdiv level, and delete the higher and lower levels.
● Create a single Polygroup from the model.
● Hide all the model except the head, and mask it all.
● Open the Brush Palette, select the MeshInsert Fit Tool, then select the Lash as the mesh you will insert.

● Lashes may not be directed in the right direction when you go to add them.
● If it is the case, change their orientation by using the Rotation slider, in the Deformation Sub Palette. You can also tweak them with
the Tweak and the Transpose tools.
● When you are satisfied by the result, hide the Body Polygroup, and delete the hidden polygons.
● Finally, add the lashes as a new Subtool to the final model.

To paint the model does not present any particular difficulty.

Start with flat tint of color, to define areas like hair, lips, nails, then, using a low RGB opacity add color variations on fingers, cheeks,
knees.

To finish, select a spray stroke and Alpha 23, to add some blemish to the skin.
Creating the Set
To create the Set, we are going to start from a simple cube primitive.

● In The Tool Palette, select the Primitive, draw it on the canvas, then convert it to a Polymesh 3d.

As most of the primitives in Zbrush, this mesh has poles, and that will not be convenient when you sculpt it. So we are going to change
that.

● Open the Tool:Unified Skin Sub Palette, set the resolution to 8, then click on the Unified Skin button
● A new tool is created in the Tool Palette. Switch to it.

● Subdivide the model one or two times.

● Open the Deformation Sub Palette. Spherize the mesh, then Flatten the bottom.
● Draw a mask, to bound the shape of the new model, and Hide the Unmasked part

● In the Subtool Palette, click on the Extract button. A mesh with some thickness is created as a new subtool. That's the one that we
will use a the final model of the set.
Before sculpting the set in HD, give it a sharp look with the Tweak Edit Brush

HD Sculpting and Painting

Now that the model is in its final pose, we'll do some high-definition sculpting for details. HD Sculpting allows you to detail a single model
up to one billion polygons. This works almost exactly as for normal subdivision, but keep the portion of the model that is being worked
with at any time to a size that leaves your system responsive.

In Tool:Geometry HD, divide the girl model two times. This will be enough to add all the needed details.

Then, hover your mouse over the area you want to sculpt and press the a key. A circular area around the mouse has been selected. The
number of polygons of this area is determined by Preferences:Mem:MaxPolyPerMesh. You can then sculpt in that area.

When done with HD sculpting, press the a key again to exit Sculpt HD mode.

On this model, thanks to the HD, we are going to be able to add the skin grain, the relief tattoos, and all the details necessary to add exactly
the realism we want.
You can detail the skin grain in two different ways. The first solution is to use a simple brush, a spray stroke, and the Alpha Brush 15,
which will allow you to both sculpt and paint your model. Or, you can capture it from a photo

Creating an Alpha From a Photo

It's easy to create an alpha from a photo and to use it as a stencil or as a stamp with a 3d brush.

For this, you will need two additional pieces of software; Photoshop® or something similar, and a little help from Jpeg Enhancer to
remove Jpeg artifacts from photos. Here's what to do:

1. Open the original photo in Photoshop, and do a High Pass filter to remove all the relief and shadows but the skin grain. Save the picture
in .Psd format and open it as an alpha in Zbrush
2. Set Alpha:Alpha Depth Factor to a value between 2 and 12. It may vary according to the shading of the picture.

3. Adjust the Alpha curve to get a nicer depth effect, and fill the document with the Alpha, using the Alpha:CropAndFill button.

4. Select the GlowBrush Tool, and activate the ZAdd Button. Press and hold the Alt key (which is a shortcut to access the Smooth
sculpting brush), and use the tool on your document to smooth it, except for the creases.

5. Grab the whole document, or a portion of it with the MRGBZ Grabber tool. The new alpha is stored in the alpha palette.

6. If you intend to use this Alpha as a stencil, set it to be the current stencil using the Alpha:Make St Button.

Creating an Alpha Manually and Using It With the Edit Brush

In some cases, you will have to create your own Alphas from scratch. We are going to need it to stylize the hair, and to make it look like a
clay sculpting.

1. Create a New Document.

2. Change its size to 400 * 400, and Store Depth History. Storing depth history will allow us to add a constant depth layer.

3. Now, draw a 3d plane on and parallel to the canvas. You can easily snap a tool by rotations of 90 degrees, by pressing the Shift key while
you rotate the tool.

4. Switch to the Layer brush, select Alpha 15 and a Spray stroke.

5. Draw a first stroke, by paying attention not to draw on the edges of the Canvas.

6. On the Layer Palette, Displace vertically the canvas, This will allow us to create tileable alphas.

7. Draw an additional stroke, and repeat the operation one or two times.

Drawing, scrolling the canvas vertically, and repeating, gives a tileable alpha.

8. When you're fully satisfied with the result, press Alpha:GrabDoc.

Note: With this technique, you can create your own Alphas, textures, and stencils. Because it's possible to create an Alpha
from any part of the document, you can also convert any visible object, and use the grabbed picture as a brush.

9. Now, switch back to the girl model, select the Clay brush and the new Alpha you just created.

10. Open the Stroke menu and activate the Roll option. You are now ready to give the hair a detailed look, which looks like clay.
The rest of the models presents no technical difficulty. The blue tattoos of the girl are sculpted and painted using the Lazy Mouse mode,
which gives us perfect smoothed curves. The hair is sculpted in HD using the Clay brush with lazy mouse mode too.

Creating the Illustration

Actually, in Zbrush, you can't render multiple subtools at the same time. To do it, we are going to snapshot each HD subtool on a separate
layer, and we will need the help of the Zapplink plugin.

1. Create a new document which will have the size of the final image, place your tool on the document, and switch off the visiblity of the
girl, the eyes and lashes Subtool.
2.In ZAppLink, store the position of the tool on the Custom 1 view.

3.Select the Set subtool, which is the bigger one, open the Geometry HD subpalette, and press the Sculpt HD button. The whole model is
displayed in HD.

4. Open the Transform Palette, and Snapshot the tool on the layer.

Open the Layer menu and create a new layer.

5. Draw your model on this new layer, and recall it's stored position using the Zapplink Palette.

7. Now, in the Render menu, set the Flatten option Off.

8. Select a BasicMaterial and set the Specular and Transparency values and the Transparency curve as shown.

8. Paint the Set subtool and the two red balls subtools with this transparent material. The HD model of the set should appear on the
underlying layer.

9. Select the girl model, render it in HD.

10. Save your document, and turn Edit Object mode off.

12. Turn off the Set subtool.

13. In the Alpha menu, grab the document, and save the related alpha.

14. Turn on Set, grab the document again, and save another picture. We will use them as masks later in Photoshop.

To have a better control over the final image, we are going to need to render the shadows on separate layers.
To do it, select a new BasicMaterial, and set the Ambient, Diffuse, Diffuse curve and Specular parameters as shown.

The picture should look completely white, but don't worry. This kind of material doesn't have any shading, but will catch the shadows.
To use the Light menu, click on a light to select it, and click again to turn it on or off.

The placement sphere in the upper left of the palette shows where the currently selected light is placed, and also shows the combined effect
of all lights currently turned on. Drag the small yellow rectangle to change the placement of the current light; click it to toggle it from a
front light to a backlight, or vice versa.

On this Document, two lights will be enough to get nice shadows; one front light and one backlight. Switch on the ZMode only for the key
light.

When you're fully satisfied with the result, render each light separately, and export the document as .tif or .psd.

Compositing and Final Touches

In Photoshop group the shadow layers together, and set the Blending mode of this group to Multiply. Use the Alpha picture of the girl
model to create a mask so that the backlight shadow layer dosen't affect the Set. Then, give to the Key shadow layer a parma tint, and to the
backlight layer a blue tint. The drops of water are simply painted in Photoshop. Set the Layer Style to add Drop shadow and Inner Bevel
effects. Use the second alpha picture to mask the background, and to composite the sky.

That's all.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Pinup
From ZBrushInfo

by Alex Huguet

Contents
● 1 Basic Shape with ZSpheres
● 2 Adjust Topology in 3D Studio Max
● 3 Sculpting in ZBrush
● 4 Sculpting II (The Face)
● 5 Posing
● 6 Clothing
● 7 Texturing
● 8 Displacement Map
● 9 Exporting the Model
● 10 Back to 3DS Max
Basic Shape with ZSpheres

In this first section we are going to use ZSpheres to create a basic shape for our character.

Go to Tool:ZSphere and drag a sphere on the canvas. after, press t on the keyboard to go into edit mode and then press x to activate the symmetry on the X axis.
Click and draw on one side of the ZSphere while in draw mode, to add new spheres on it, the first sphere that we created is will be the central part of the body (the
hips). From this new sphere that we just created we will extrude the legs. Click and drag again to create another sphere on top of the two last spheres.
Now press w to go into move mode and move the last spheres down. Now we have the legs created.

We press q again to go back to 3D edit mode, now we can click on the middle of the legs, to add a new ZSphere which is going to be the knee of the model
Add another ZSphere at the end of the leg and move it as in the image to get the foot.
Using the same procedure we will create the spine and the arms of the model, and also the head, as seen in the image.
We will now press a to see what our mesh is going to look like.
We press a again to go back to the ZSpheres view, and we will add more ZSpheres, on top and bottom of the knees and also on top and bottom of the elbows.
Finally, press Tool:Adaptive:Make Adaptive Skin to make a new mesh based on the ZSphere model.

Adjust Topology in 3D Studio Max

Next we go to the tool palette and we will find there our new model created from ZSpheres, so we click on it and it will replace the ZSpheres model by the new
one. By default this new model has two levels of division so we will press Shift+d to go to the lowest level, and now we are ready to export our low res cage to
3D Studio Max® to refine it. To do so, we can just click on Tool:Export and choose where we will save the obj file.
Then, import our obj mesh into 3dsmax and with its polygon tools we will edit the shape, add some loops and create the proper fingers/toes as shown in the
image. Take your time in doing this and place carefully new loops where you think you may need them.

After this, we will export the mesh into a .obj file, using File->Export Selected, and setting the dialog as shown in the image.

Sculpting in ZBrush
Back in Zbrush we press t to deactivate 3D edit mode and then press Layer:Clear to clear the canvas. Leaving 3D edit mode is needed because if we try to
import an external model while a model is already active, ZBrush will try to import the external model 'over top of' the selected one, and in this case it won't work
because their vertices don't correspond. Clearing the canvas simply gets rid of the image of the model that printed to the canvas when we left 3D edit mode.

Now we are ready to import our new mesh. Go to Tool:Import and import the file, and then with that model selected, drag on the canvas to put a copy of it on the
canvas. Press t to go back to 3D edit mode and we are ready to sculpt. We can also press Shift+f to show the wireframe on top of the mesh.
At this point there are no secrets or special tools that I use to work with the model, I mostly use the Standard, Smooth, and Tweak brushes.

Before starting to sculpt we will divide the model one time, by pressing Ctrl+d.
and we will now start the sculpting session. We will start shaping out the legs and the overall body using the Standard brush and the Tweak brush, paying special
attention to raising the shoulders and starting on the proportions and shapes.
At this early stage I have decided to close the legs of the character a bit more, we will use transpose for this, in this way we will see what a great tool is this to
reshape and adjust your models without having to leave ZBrush. Press r to go to rotate mode and then press Ctrl and click and drag on one of the legs; this
selects (creates a mask for) the points in the leg, that will enable us to pose it. At this point we make sure to have X symmetry activated, in case we don't, we will
press x on the keyboard to activate it.

At this point we see that the legs are selected but the mask is too blurry. So unselect them (remove the mask) by holding Ctrl and clicking and dragging on an
empty area on the canvas. Then, set Preferences:Transpose:Blur Strength to 2, and again select the legs.
We click on the pelvis and drag until we reach the foot of the character, and a line will be created, this is the transpose line that we will use to close the legs. Click
in the middle of the last circle in this line and move it to the center, and the legs will move closer together.
We can press q to go back to Draw mode and then deselect the legs (remove the mask), and we should have something like this now:
At this stage I have decided that the model will be wearing some shoes with high heels, so using the same technique as before, we will select the feet and using
transpose we will rotate them and scale them down a little bit. After that we can go back to draw mode and hold Template:Ctrl to go activate the smooth brush,
and smooth the hands and feet out a bit.
Time to start giving shape to the head, and the torso, at this point it should start to be obvious that the model is a girl, not a guy.
Now we can divide the model one more time to keep refining it; press Ctrl+d again. Keep using the Standard and Smooth brushes to give shape and sculpt the
body.

As you can see on the screenshots, we are not using the preview renderer but the fast renderer, we will go now to activate Render:Preview and then change the
material to better see the model.
Once we're happy with this level of detail, we subdivide again and keep sculpting. I'm not doing anything fancy, just using Standard, Smooth, and Tweak brushes.
This is why ZBrush is so much fun, the process is straightforward and really feels artistic and like drawing. At this time we start shaping subtleties such as collar
bones, the rib cage blending into the belly, hip bones, and so on.
We keep sculpting the mesh, start defining the node and eye sockets area, and give more detail to the sternum, clavicle and shoulders area.
Here is what the model looks like at this point:

We are going to start shaping the feet at this point, we will hold Ctrl-Shift and drag a rectangle across the feet, this will hide everything but the feet.

Going back to the overall model, we are ready to divide one more time and keep adding and refining the shape of the girl, notice the detail of the back and also
how we start having some nice detail going on on the belly, ribs and breast area.

And we keep shaping things out, working on the overall shape of the arms now and still refining some areas, like the hips, and the belly button area.

Sculpting II (The Face)

Ok at this time i think is a good idea if we start getting some detail on the face, so we will go back one level of division by pressing Shift+d.
Earlier we started shaping the eyes and nose a bit, but I didn¬¥t really like where that was going so using the Smooth tool I smoothed out all of that and we are
going to start now again with the face! :)

We will hide the rest of the body and keep working on the face now, and by using the usual brushes we will start shaping the face.
The head and specially the face is a very difficult and delicate area, plus being a woman makes it even more difficult so we have to pay special attention not to
make it too like a male...

At this point we can go up one level of division and keep working on it, as shown on the image.

Now we are going to divide the model one more time, to get some more definition on the face. To do it, we will need to unhide all the model first by holding
Ctrl-Shift and clicking on an empty area on the canvas. Then press Ctrl+d to subdivide the model, and hide the rest of the model again. We can hide
everything but the face by activating the new lasso tool and then holding Ctrl-Shift and dragging a lasso around the face.
Keep modeling the face, still using the same few brushes...notice again that even at this stage you don¬¥t need a lot of tools to create this model!

We will add some detail on the lips, trying to give some feeling of flesh around them, and we can give shape to the eyebrows and to the sockets of the eyes and
also the nose
We will start giving shape to the eyelids. This is a very delicate area so you have to be careful here. You can see the evolution of the section in these two pictures
After this we will start reshaping the ears, still with just the standard and smooth brushes.

Here we have worked on the overall model a bit further, refining areas, giving some small details (like behind the knees...) and working on the hand in the very
same way that we did with the rest of the body.
Posing

The next step now is going be the posing of the character, and adding some props. First save the file just in case we don't like the pose that we get, we will be able
to go back to the original version of the model...

For the posing we are going to use transpose one more time, and in the same way that we did to adjust the model at the beginning, the trick here relies in finding
an interesting pose/shape.

At this point we have a model with 7 levels of division and we have nearly reached the 3 and a half million polygons. We will move down to the 3rd level of
division to pose the model, in this way we will work with less polygons and anyway all of the details will be updated to the new pose once we move back up to
the higher levels of subdivision. If X symmetry is still active, press x on to deactivate it since we won¬¥t pose the model in a symmetrical way. Then press r to
go to rotate mode, and holding and Ctrl- drag on the leg to apply a selection mask.
Click and drag on the leg to draw the transpose line, from the hip to the foot, and then rotate the leg by clicking on the middle of the bottom circle and dragging,
until we have something similar to this:
{{{6}}}
{{{4}}}
And we keep posing as shown in the next set of images:

Rotate the head in a similar manner; apply a select mask, create a transpose line, and use that to rotate the head.
The rest of the model is posed in much the same way

Once we have the final pose of the model, we will have to refine some areas were skin is now folding, wrinkles are appearing and some bone structure is pushing
the skin in ways that didn¬¥t happen before. Notice in these two images the main differences; the first one is the model before posing, the second is the model
after being posed. There's some skin folding around the ribcage, and also distortion in the shoulders and some other areas. A little bit of brushing takes care of
those problems.

Clothing

Clothing is the next step. We'll start with the boot, which will be based on a cube and uses a simple image from the internet as a quick reference.
In ZBrush, use Tool:Export to export the model at the third level of subdivision, and then bring that model into 3DS Max, where we'll adjust the boot mesh
around the model.

Now we export the boot from 3DS Max using File>export, choosing obj format and setting the dialog as we did before at the beginning of this tutorial.

Back in ZBrush, choose the simple brush tool, and then import the boot using Tool:Import. Changing to the simple brush before the import ensures that the boot
model doesn't overwrite an existing 3D model. The, choose as a tool the girl model and draw it on the screen. Finally, use Tool:SubTool:Append.
and we select the boot from the popup list. Now the boot is a subtool of the girl model, and appears in the viewport.

To edit the boot, we click on its entry in the subtool list, it will become a lighter color while the girl becomes darker.
Divide the boot to seven levels of subdivision, and sculpt it as desired. In addition to my normal brushes, I also used the Pinch brush to get in the wrinkles.

Here is a screenshot of the boot after adding all the details.

Now we will add the second boot. With the first boot still chosen in the subtool list, press Tool:Clone,
and then add this new boot to the girl model using Tool:SubTool:Append. The new boot appears in the list of the subtools but we can't see it in the viewport
because the new boot is on top of the other boot. So, with the new boot selected in the subtool list we press w to go to move mode, and we can move the new boot
by clicking and dragging inside the middle circle of the transpose line.
Now we want to mirror it. For that we will first go to the highest level on the boot, by going to Tool:Geometry:SDiv and moving the slider to the right until we
reach the 7th level. Then, click on the Del Lower button that is just under the Sdiv slider. This will delete the lower levels on the boot, and we need to do that in
order to apply the mirror modifier tool to flip the boot over, which is done with Tool:Deformation:Mirror

Once we flip the boot, we can then move it to where we want it.

Now we need to recreate the lower subdivision levels that we just deleted, so press Tool:Reconstruct SubDiv a few times until we got our lowest level back.
Notice how the slider for the levels is back to 7 levels.
Holding Ctrl-Shift, drag across the lower section on the boot to hide everything outside that area. This gives us a shorter left boot than the right.
Then go back to drawing mode by pressing q and use the Tweak brush to adjust the boot to the leg. After this we can go up in our division levels to see that all of
the detail is still there.

Texturing
At this point we have finished the model, and we are ready to paint the texture of the girl. We'll be using the capabilities of Zbrush to paint directly on the
polygons. In the Template:Tool:Subtool menu, make sure the girl mesh is active. Then, in the Material Fast shader material, in this way we will see the girl all in
white.

Activate the polypainting by clicking on Tool:Texture:Enable UV, and press Tool:Texture:Colorize. Then select a skin color from then color picker on the left,
and press Color:Fill Object to apply that color to the model.

To start painting some color and pores on the skin, we will use the standard brush, making sure that the ZAdd button is deactivated and that the RGB button is
active, setting an Intensity of about 15 for the brush.
Next we will use an alpha brush.

and instead of the DragRect stroke we will use the Colorized Spray stroke.
With just those settings and using different colors for skin tones, we'll paint the entire model until we get something similar to what is shown:

We are ready to export our model, colur and displacement map to 3dsmax. We'll first export the color map, so go to the lowest level of division to create some
UV maps for the mode, by pressing Shift+d until until reaching the first subdivision level of the model, then press Tool:Texture:AUVTiles. This will generate
a proper set of UV¬¥s in order to create our other maps. Now we can create the color map by clicking on Tool:Texture:Color to Texture
Once we have created the texture, it will be automatically selected by Zbrush. Now we go to Texture:Flip V to flip the texture in the V direction since we will
have to do it later on, otherwise.
and then in the same dialog we click on Export and we save the texture map as a TIF file

Displacement Map
Next is the displacement map. Since we are not going to animate the model I will export a medium resolution version of the model, in this way I make sure that
the displacement map is going to be very, very accurate. We will go to the fifth level of division, and then press Tool:Displacement and set the options as seen in
the image, and finally click on the Create DispMap button:

Once the map is created, we will find it in the alpha maps; select it, and then click on Export:

Exporting the Model

Now we have to export the model of the girl by going to Tool:Export and saving the OBJ file.

The next task is exporting the Boots, so we choose one of them from the subtool palette and set it to subdivision level 6; again since we won't be animating this
model we can just export the high-res mesh to make it easier to make a render. Once we finish exporting the two boots we can go back to 3dsmax, first saving our
file in Zbrush.

At this point we will load all of the OBJ files in 3dsmax and then we will build the rest of the props within 3dsmax.

Back to 3DS Max

Next thing is to load the color and the displacement map on the model, as seen in the image. Notice that I'm using Vray as the render engine, so I will use a Vray
Disp. modifier. But first I will add the displacement map that we created from ZBrush into an empty slot in the material editor and set the Tiling in V to -1 and the
Blur area to 0.01. Then go back to the original slot and drag and drop it to the Vray Disp. modifier:
We have now to set the Amount value for the displace, in this case 6, and then remember to set the Shift to a value of Amount / -2 , so in this case, -3.
Now create a new material for the PINUP and add the color map to the diffuse color slot .
The next step will be to create some interesting lighting scheme, in this case I used two area lights as shown in the image:

And we are ready to make the the render! :)

Here is the final render, after some color tweaking from Photoshop®:
Thanks everyone for reading and I hope you found this tutorial interesting!

P.S. Zbrush is very powerful software, with it and just a few brushes you can create some incredible images and models, but as with everything in this life, it may
take time to do something that you find cool, so don't get discouraged. Keep trying new things and you will get amazed on how fast you learn!
—Alex Huguet

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Bird of Prey
From ZBrushInfo

by Joe Lee

Contents
● 1 Introduction
● 2 Basic Form
● 3 Retopologization
● 4 Feathers
❍ 4.1 Creating the Feathers

❍ 4.3 Fluffing the Feathers

Introduction

Before getting started on this project, I tried to surround myself with as much reference and inspiration as I could before taking the plunge
on the Zbrush canvas. I have great admiration for master bird carvers such as Floyd Scholz and I have always wondered if such wood
carving techniques could be transfered over to the digital sculpting world. Some of the new features in the Zbrush 3.0 have convinced me
that this is as good a time as any to try.

Basic Form

So the first thing I wanted to do was to go to the Tool palette and select a zsphere and begin blocking out the form.
Once you establish the direction of the head, I usually check it in the Preview window to make sure the front of the head is facing out the z
axis and right side up. If it isn’t, reposition and press, Store.

Next I want to place the eyes, which will help establish a constant reference when I later sculpt around the eyes. Checking reference for eye
spacing and size is encouraged. On this occassion, I loaded up a polysphere which is now part of the selection choices in the library of
tools. Reselect the zsphere head tool, then go to Tool:Subtool and Append the polysphere. Select the polysphere subtool and scale and
position to the proper size and location using the Transpose feature.
Once the polysphere eye is in place and selected, we can press Tool:Clone. Select the zsphere head subtool and Append the clone of the
polysphere. Select the polysphere copy subtool and press Tool:Geometry:Del Lower to clear away lower subdivisions of the polysphere.
This is essential to be able to mirror the polysphere copy on the x axis, which can be pressed under Tool:Deformation:Mirror x. You
should now have a pair of eyes. This would be a good time to label your subtools if you like. I will refer to the main tool as ‘birdhead’, and
the subtool eyes will be distinguished as simply ‘left eye’ and ‘right eye’.

The next part is just shaping the bird’s form and just kind of sketching out the qualities of a raptor. It wasn’t long while I was blocking out
the form, that I noticed the nape of the neck was showing more rectangular spacing in the geometry than square. Also the spacing toward
the bottom of the bird’s bust was by far wider than that of the head area. This will have an effect on my ability to try get consistent fine
detail with the feathers even once the subdivisions are as high as I can go. The more equidistant the spacing through the body, the more
consistent the detail sculpting will be across the bird.

Retopologization

I am definitely going to need to create new topology.

To prepare for the retopologization, I simply select the bird tool and ensure that only the birdhead subtool is active (and not the eyes).

Now:

1. Select Tool:Zsphere and draw on canvas.

2. Ensure Transform:Edit mode is on, and then press Tool:Rigging:Select and select the bird tool.
3. Press Tool:Topology:Edit Topology and you are ready to begin creating new topology.

Because the topology in the beak area is significantly denser than the rest of the body and the physiology of the actual bird beak is different
from the feathered part, it seemed like an ideal place to break the two apart by creating separate topology.

Note: Before building new topology, be sure x axis symmetry is on for both meshes (press ‘x’ to toggle). This definitely helps
speed things up.

As you may have noticed, I overlapped some beak geometry onto the head. This was to make sure I had plenty of leftover geometry to

Select the bird tool with the subtool eyes and Append the new skin you just made and rename accordingly.
Next we’ll create new topology for the head of the bird. When it came to the opening in the mesh up by the bird beak, I needed to delete the
rigging selection to gain access for closing the gap.

To do this:

1. Unpress Tool:Topology:Edit Topology.

2. Press Tool:Rigging:Delete.
3. Press Tool:Topology:Edit Topology and you can now reach geometry that was previously occluded by the rigging mesh.

Closing this off gives me extra geometry to work with for making modifications between the beak and forehead if needed. By no means is
the new topology the best solution for the form, but it is certainly better than before. Make an adaptive skin and Append it to bird tool.

I then deleted the zsphere bird head tool from the subtool list and focused on trying to bring together the remaining subtools together to
become more raptor-like.
Feathers

After spending much time trying to fine tune the qualities that make a bird, an eagle, I then start to make note of the feathering of these
types of birds. The next section will go into time spent preparing the alphas and figuring out the layering process.

Creating the Feathers

When I started looking into the feather options, I didn’t know if I would go with a stencil technique or use the sculpting brushes. This time I
decided to go with the sculpting brushes for nothing else but the fact that the DragRect stroke enables me to put down feathers quickly at
any angle and size like the directional brush.

The first alpha I tried, I noticed that there was an auto fade that caused a loss of definition at the tips of the feathers. I didn’t mind the top of
the feather fading but I needed the bottom tip to be as crisp as I could get it. I decided to increase the size of the alpha, made sure the
feather was aligned to the top and the essential details were kept in the center.

After trying the first test alpha feather, I then made a few more feather alphas for added variety so as not to have any major discernible
repetition. Pressing Alpha:Flip H on any given alpha can also buy you one more alpha variant to break things up even more.
Return to the bird tool in Zbrush, and subdivide to level 6 or 7. In this case, 7 was the highest used. Now clone the Birdhead subtool and
Append it twice to the subtool list. I renamed one clone FeatherSet.01 and the other FeatherSet.02. We’ll save the BirdHead
subtool as a backup and move it down the list using the arrow keys which are located at the bottom of the subtool list.

As a little safety precaution for the FeatherSet subtools, we’ll click Tool:Layer:New for both subtools. Now if anything should go astray,
we can always slide the layer slider back to 0 and start over. A morph target is also a good alternative if it’s not already being used.

Now set:

● Alpha = the feather alpha.

● Brush:Std.
● Stroke:DragRect.
● Z Intensity = 25, with Zadd.

Click and drag feathers in the direction they would flow on the actual bird. Space them so that there is minimal overlap or at least little to
no noticeable overlap of the feather details.
Cycle through your feather alpha collection finding the best alpha with a curve in the feather that compliments the form of the bird.

Don’t forget to horizontally flip your alphas if the bow of the feather needs to run the other way. You may find you can get away with
applying these feathers with Transform:>x< on to activate x axis symmetry. However, when feathering the front, top, and back views, it
will become apparent when to turn off the symmetry and go freestyle.

When you have given the FeatherSet.01 subtool a good first pass, select and turn on the visibilty of FeatherSet.02 while
FeatherSet.01 remains visible. Adjust the Z intensity of the standard brush to 28 now and draw a new set of feathers through the
FeatherSet.01 subtool until they appear to overlap (or underlap) the feathers of FeatherSet.01.

Due to the nature of the auto fade of the sculpting brush alphas, the displacement intensity of the outer edge is less than the center. This
makes it possible to slide the top of the feathers under existing feathers.

Once the bottom feathers around the neck are placed in a fairly filled out fashion, we can begin painting a mask on the undisplaced
geometry. Begin with either feather subtool while the unselected subtool is hidden. Work your way around until the bottom straight edge is

Repeat for the remaining FeatherSet and adjust masking if necessary. You can toggle the visibilty of the two subtools to check if the

Once both featherset subtools are completed, you can turn on the visibility of the beak and both eyes to inspect the piece as a whole. I
would frequently have either the beak or one of the eyes selected in order to view the feathers in the same value.

Sorting the Feathers

Next we need to tidy up the feather overlapping by either pushing or pulling the feathers that are not properly ‘settled’ such as the example
shown here.

Notice the crashing of the middle feather into the left most feather? To fix this we can first set a morph target in the selected subtool by
pressing, Tool:Morph Target:StoreMT.

To lift the middle feather out of the other, we’ll set:

● Brush:Elastic.
● Alpha = Alpha00.
● Stroke:Dots.
● Z Intensity = 15 with Zadd on.

As we build up strokes over the feather, you can see it gradually lift out from the bunch, leaving the feather’s detail. If you look closely, I
accidentally pulled too much of the underlying surface through the inactive subtool.
Switch to the Morph brush, adjust brush size and intensity to suit, and push back any over extended surface.

Give the model a once over and look for any more areas that need this kind of attention. We are almost to the end.

Fluffing the Feathers

Remember that extra subtool that was our backup, named BirdHead? Select it and make sure it is at the highest subdivision. Turn the
visibilty of the clones off. Create a New 3D Layer if you haven’t already done so and begin drawing on feathers like before except this
time, they are not to touch each other. You don’t need to cover the whole bird but check your reference. In this case, the back of the neck is
a good area along with the side of the neck. Basically you just want to break up the silhouette and give a feel of some depth to the feathered
area.
Now under Tool:Layer move the layer slider back to 0, go to E Smth and S Smth and slide both down to 1. Lastly, move the Thick slider
down to 0. Press Make 3D.

You should now have a new subtool created based on the strokes just made from the BirdHead subtool resting on the very surface of the
subtool from which they were made.

Next:

● Move the 3D Layer slider back to 1 so the feathers are visible once again.
● Reselect the LayerSkin subtool with the feathers and press Tool:Geometry:Divide once.
● Select Brush:Zproject.
● Select Alpha:Brush00.
● Set Stroke:Dots.

With Zadd on, we’ll now brush over the layerskin feathers until they take on the detail of inactive subtool above it. You may find you get
better results projecting, by rotating the model to where the area you wish to project is parallel to the screen. Also make sure X symmetry is
off for this part. If you wish, you can sculpt in more detail to make these feathers unique.

After you are satisfied with the indiviual feathers, we’ll paint a mask over one of the feathers. Invert the mask, and invoke Transpose mode
by pressing ‘w’. Create an action line on the feather by clicking near its top, and dragging to near its bottom. You can now use the
Transpose rotate feature and lever the feather away from the body.
Don’t forget the middle circle of the Transpose action line can be used to twist the feather on the axis of the action line. Clear the mask
when done and select a new feather to begin the adjusting process. Feel free to turn the visibility of the Birdhead subtool on to get an idea
of how much to rotate the feather from the rest of the body.

When you have all the feathers positioned, turn on all essential subtools for evaluation. If there are still sorting issues with the feathers, use
the Elastic brush like mentioned above or even try the Tweak brush to correct aggressive clipping.
And finally...

Looking back in hindsight, I would have liked to have tried consolidating the the subtools into fewer, by Zprojecting details from one
entirely onto another. This may require retopology again but may be worth a try in the future.

I hope this tutorial was helpful and assists you in your getting desired results in your future projects.

A big Thank You to the Pixologic Team!

● Disclaimers
SubTool Hair Sculpting Tutorial
From ZBrushInfo

by Joe Lee

The following are some of my observations while learning the new features in Zbrush. It is my
hope that this process will help shed light on achieving a unique look as well as open new ideas
for other techniques.

Blocking It In

The goal was to add hair to a preexisting head. Looking for a suitable base form for the hair, I
settled on the Sphereinder3D tool, which has been a resident in the ZBrush tool library since I
can remember. I immediately opened the Tool:Preview window so I could see the changes I am

● Coverage to to about 270.

● In the Deformation section, I set Rotate with only z highlighted, to 45.

In the Preview window you will see what will be the front of the head.
Returning to the head, I pressed Tool:Subtool:Append to add the hair base to the Spereinder3D
tool.

Tool:Deformation:Offset was used to properly position the hair base. Once it is in the general
vicinity that I like, I pressed Preview:Store to make this the new default position of this tool.
Now on to shaping the hair. I pulled on it with the Snakehook brush and a Dots stroke. Keep in
mind that you want as evenly a distributed mesh as possible so I used the Nudge brush and
Smooth brush to even things out as much as possible. If you were to pull the front of the hair
down the forehead some, you would notice some streching from the rest of the hair base. Use the
Smooth brush from the dense mesh area to the sparse mesh area and you will see it average out
more cleanly. The Nudge brush also speeds this process up as well. You want to do this before
dividing.

I then proceeded to block in the hair with the Standard and Pinch brushes. Stroke was set to
Freehand with a Mouse Avg of about 4 and the LazyMouse was pressed.
The trick I was trying to pull off was the illusion of the hair growing from under the head so I
needed to try to keep the beginning of the hairline just under the head. I wanted to give the hair
base enough ‘runway’ to start a stroke under the head and get it to surface as a strand of hair. You
may need to toggle on/off the visibilty of the head subtool to get the look you want.

If you get to a point to where you are starting to like your results then save everything.

I kept my hair base a primitive 3D tool until near the end after I divided it several times. But at
some point you may want to make a polymesh 3D tool out of it. It’s up to you. If you plan on
going with mesh projection later on, it may not be necessary as you will most likely retopologize.

Adding Strands of Hair with ZSpheres

My next step at giving some dimension to the hair is to add strands of hair that appear independent
of rest of the head. For this I used the new Convert To Main feature that has been added to the
Zsphere tool.

After selecting the Zsphere tool, I went down to Rigging where I pressed Select to choose the hair
base ztool I just finished working on.
Go to Topology and press Edit Topology. You can now click across the hair base where you
want the strands to flow. When finished with a strand, I typed e (scale) and went back to click on
the parent zsphere again to reselect it and then typed q (draw) to redraw a couple more strands
from the origin.
When I was ready to start shaping the strands, I pressed Convert To Main under Topology. Now
unpress Edit Topology and the zsphere strands should appear.
To get them to appear thicker than what they are, press Scale and then hold down the Alt key
while you click and drag to the right on the zsphere stem that lies between the first and second
zsphere. This should grow the branch without scaling the zsphere's positions.

You will now want to scale individual zspheres to taper the size you see fit as well as move in and
out of the hair base.
To cut the strands loose from the parent, Alt+q click on the stems that lead the parent zsphere to
the strands.

When you are ready to append the strands to the rest of the head, go to Rigging and press Delete
and the zspheres will now be added to the Subtools.

Once the zsphere hair strands are added to the subtools, you can refine the integration of the
strands with the rest of the subtools. The LazyMouse was a key player in carving lines down the
curving strands. Don’t forget to use the ReplayLast stroke feature for emphasis and further
definition of strokes you liked.

Here’s an image to help see a process that helped define the hair strands.
Steps 1 and 3 are tool preparation steps. Step 2 works best if applied in a single stroke. On that
note, step 4 works best if the model is not moved at all since step 2. Step 5 will help even out the
mesh from all the pinching but should leave the newly created creases when the Smooth slider is
set to higher than 50 (try 100 first).

I hope this walk through will help give insight to some of the new features in the latest version of
Zbrush. Please post any insights or improvements you may have found as I too am still learning.
Good luck with your future creations!
The finished model.

● Disclaimers
Sculpting A Skull With Image Planes
From ZBrushInfo

(Redirected from Tutorial: Sculpting A Skull)

Please note that this tutorial uses a polygon sphere with its center at the origin. ZBrush 3's
PolySphere was offset before release. Click here for a polygonal sphere with its center at the
origin.

Contents
● 1 Introduction
● 2 Setup The Image Plane
● 3 Bringing The Image Plane Into ZBrush
● 4 Sculpting

Introduction

In this tutorial we will look at sculpting a skull using image planes. We will use:

● SubTools
● Transparency
● 3D sculpting brushes

Setup The Image Plane

To begin this tutorial, we must first prepare our image plane. The second image from the top is a
template that you can use to align your front and your side view.

1. Click the image to open a larger view, then right click the larger image and save it to disk.
Call it ImagePlaneTemplate.jpg
2. Then, open ImagePlaneTemplate.jpg in Photoshop as well as the images you would like to
use for front and side views.
3. Align your front view in the section marked Front in ImagePlaneTemplate.jpg.
4. Align your side view with the section marked Side in ImagePlaneTemplate.jpg.
5. You must keep each view in a square formatting and placed side-by-side.
6. Save your image plane with an easy to remember label.

Bringing The Image Plane Into ZBrush

In this section we will bring the image plane into ZBrush as a SubTool and use Transparency to
begin sculpting.

1. Make sure that a ZTool is on the canvas and in Edit mode. If not, simply draw it on the
canvas and press t on the keyboard to enter edit mode
2. Go to the Macro palette
3. Open the Macros sub-palette and then open the RapidStart sub-palette
4. Press the ImagePlaneX button
5. Load the image plane you saved from above
6. Press Transform: Transparency to turn on Transparency

The steps above utilize a macro created to make this process easier for the user. Visit the Macros
After adding the image plane, you may want to enable double-sided viewing. By default, ZBrush
does not display the backside of the mesh where the surface Normals are not facing you. To
enable this press Tool: Display Properties: Double.

If you do not want the image plane to share the same material as your model please follow the
steps below:

1. In Tool: SubTool palette, select the X-plane subtool

2. Select the desired material. See below if you wish to use the Flat Color Material.
3. Select M in the Draw Palette.
4. Press Fill Object in the Color Palette.

Note: you can assign the Flat Color material to a surface however, you have to do the following
steps:

● select the Flat Color material.

● Press the Save button in the Material Palette and save it to disk
● Select a Material that is not likely to be used like a Fast Shader.
● Press the Load button in the Material Palette, and load in the Flat Color material.

This newly loaded Flat Color material will allow you to assign it to an object. When you are done,
make sure to select your main mesh, and change back to your modeling material, such as Red
Wax.

You might ask why? The Flat Color material resides in the 00 index of the Material palette. This
allows it to be used to unassign a material to an object. Effectively, by assigning a material of 00
to an object it assigns no material to the object.

Sculpting

Rotate the model to the side view by clicking outside the model and dragging to the left. While
dragging you can press SHIFT to lock the model to a side view. Select the Tweak Brush from the
Brush Palette. Move the edge of the model in to align with the image.
Turn to the front view and press Draw:Perspective. We are using Orthographic views so we will
set our Draw: Focal Length to around 100 to remove as much of the perspective distortion as
level that works for you.

Still using the Tweak brush sculpt the Front view. Focus mostly on the contour.

Don't get into the interior forms yet.

Switch to the Standard Brush in the Brush Palette and begin working on some of the internal
forms.

Moving back and forth between the side view and the front view will help you judge your
progress.

Here we have gotten farther along with the forms but we are still keeping it loose and very
general. The key is to know what you want to put in there but only suggest it at this stage. We will
slowly make it more and more 'realized'.
At about this point, we start sculpting the orbit of the eye. You can use the tweak brush and pull
the hollow of the eye backward or you can just use the Standard brush with Zsub on. Remember to
check the front and side views often to see if you are on track.

video tutorials:

● Sculpting With Masks by Cesar Dacol Jr. (Quicktime required).

● Sculpting Tips by Thomas Mahler (Quicktime required).
● Modeling With Your Texture by Ryan Kingslien (Quicktime required).
Here we have begun to bring the forms into focus a little more. The cheekbone is clearly marked.
The Jaw is defined by the hard line and everything is still lining up with our image planes just
fine. At this stage we are using the Clay Brush set to around 30. We are using the Freehand Stroke
and Alpha: Brush 28.

Now we divide our model to get more geometry to work with. Press Tool: Geometry: Divide.

Then start to use the RakeSmooth brush in the Macro: Macros: RapidBrushes sub-palette. The
RakeSmooth brush is a a preset of several settings: The Clay brush, a custom alpha, Freehand
stroke and others.

The RakeSmooth brush is great for smoothing forms together and really getting in and developing
the details of a model.

Here we use the Ramtool brush preset. This is another RapidBrush macro. This brush creates a
very clean and deep stroke that we use to clearly define the temporal line and the outer edge of the
orbit of the eye.
Going back to the RakeSmooth tool we further develop the skull. We have refined the form and
made the nasal area more clear.

Our final image shows the development we have done to date. The major forms are outlined. We
could now go further and create more specific form such as the teeth.

● Disclaimers
Topology and Reflow Lab
From ZBrushInfo

by Plakkie

This is a user-created and user-maintained tutorial, originally created in the ZBrushCentral

additional information there. Thanks to Plakkie and all of the other contributors!

Contents
● 1 Introduction
● 2 Quickstart guide
● 3 General controls
● 4 Editing existing topology
● 5 Creating a topology mesh over a ZSphere model
● 6 Topology Mesh Extraction
● 7 Further Information

Introduction
The retopo tool can be used with a number of different artistic or technical goals in mind.
Consider the following usage scenario:
An artist creates a sculpted mesh in ZBrush that originates from a ZSphere or Polymesh, without
taking the overall flow of the mesh into consideration. If the generated mesh topology (or polygon
layout) is not ideal for the subject, the retopo tool allows the artist to reconfigure the mesh to meet
their specific requirements. By applying new topology to the target mesh, the user can be creative
without considering the base mesh, meshflow or seams of the target mesh.

The process of refactoring the polygon layout and tweaking a copy of the base high-resolution
mesh is called retopolizing. The artist factors in polygon loops, animation, effects, rigging and
anything else that is important after creating the high resolution mesh. If desired, a low polygon
mesh (retopolized) is retained. This mesh may also be subdivided and have details of the high-
resolution version projected on it.

Please see video example at the bottom which illustrates the concept of mesh deformation
abstraction.

Quickstart guide
1. Load in your model (must be a polymesh, the standard primitives don't work)
2. Go to 3D Edit mode , if it's not already active (t key).
3. Click on the ZSphere tool in the Tool menu. Now a ZSphere will appear automatically.
4. In the Tool menu two new options have appeared: Rigging, and Topology. In Rigging,
press 'select' and select your model that you want to edit.
5. In Topology select Edit Topology. Now you can start drawing lines.

Andreseloy has made a ZScript to show the basic procedure.

General controls
(click means a standard mouse click, i.e. using the left button.)

● To add a point: click on desired spot.

● To delete a point: ALT-click on point.
● To set a new starting point: CTRL-click on point.
● To select a point: LMB-click on the point.
● To deselect a point: LMB-click outside your model.
● To move points: go from Draw mode to Move mode.
● To move more points together: increase the draw size.
● To scale points: go to Scale mode. (works best with larger draw size)
● To delete a connection-line without deleting the connected points: insert a new point in the
middle of the line and delete that point.

Note: Sometimes certain points won't move at all. Chances are you have accidently
masked them (you can't see this). Unmasking the points makes them move again. —
Thomas Mahler

Editing existing topology

1. Load the model you want to edit
2. Select a new ZSphere tool.
4. Make sure that the subdiv level of the cloned model is at 1 or 2. (If you don't, it doesn't
work! The original model can have as many subdiv levels as you like)
5. In the Tool:Rigging subpalette, select the original model, and activate (optional) the
Projection Mode, so that the model which will be generated is projected on the Template.
6. In the Tool:Topology subpalette, select the cloned model. All the lines will show up.
7. Enter the Edit Topology Mode.
With a big thanks to Francois Rimasson for his wonderful tutorial!

Here's Plakkie's ZScript showing how to edit existing topology.

Bonecradle has made this PDF tutorial showing this workflow on an imported .obj file.

Creating a topology mesh over a ZSphere

model
You can create a skeleton of ZSpheres and wrap it with a topology mesh, while still being able to
use the ZSphere skeleton as a rig!

1. Create a skeleton of ZSpheres just like the ones you use in ZSphere modeling.
2. Under Tools:Topology, click on Edit Topology.
3. In the Transform menu, activate the buttons: >X< , and the key to it all: Local ZSphere-
Symmetry (Local Radial Count-Value determines how many lines will be drawn around
the ZSphere skeleton).
4. Activate Draw mode.
5. Set your starting point with Ctrl + LMBclick on the desired spot on your ZSphere structure.
6. Click, release, move a little bit and click again. Around the ZSphere skeleton appears a
topology!
7. Preview the mesh with the a key.
8. To use the ZSphere skeleton as a rig to pose your new mesh, deactivate the button Edit
Topology and you can deform (Move, Scale etc.) the skeleton again; the created topology
9. After you have finished your topology mesh, you transfer it into a skin mesh by Tool:
Adaptive Skin:Make Adaptive Skin. Note that Edit Topology must be deactivated for
that.
10. Now select the ZSphere skeleton as the active tool and scale the ZSpheres somewhat
smaller so they fit all inside the new mesh.
11. Now press Tool:Rigging:Select and select your new created mesh , click Bind, et voilà,
your mesh has a cool rig.

Note: When retopoing zspheres, under Display Properties you can size them so they
show smaller than the skin/rig you are making. You can also quickly shrink down the
ZSpheres for doing things like fingers, then scale them back up. —Crusoe the Painter
Note: You can turn edit topology off, add more zspheres, and then turn it back on!
Then you can add more mesh-zspheres, connect them up, et voila! So if you make a
bust, and later want to give it a body, you can, as long you saved the bust zsphere rig!
—Crusoe the Painter

Rastaman is currently exploring this under-documentd technique. He's made a more detailed and
illustrated tutorial. Check it out! He also made this ZScript showing this technique.

Topology Mesh Extraction

With the topology tool you can easily create extra geometry like clothing, armor, etc. In
comparison with the Mesh Extraction tool you have more control over the topology of the created
geometry.

1. Setup a model for topologizing as shown above.

2. Set Tool:Topology:Skin thickness to 1. This will give the geometry shown in preview, (a
key, some thickness. Smaller values, thinner geometry.
4. The new geometry can now be put into the subtool list of your original model if you wish.

Here's a ZScript showing topology extraction, made by The Namek.

Further Information
Topology in action:

● Movie by Thomas Mahler

● Thomas does a nose job

Q. How do I show the wireframe model?

Transform: Quick on and Transform: Frame on. Shows the polygons (The Namek)
Extra info: Or the Frame button on the shelf. (Plakkie)

Not at this time.

Q. Is there a way to adjust your topology in Move mode while forcing the vertex moved to remain
on the surface of the underlying model?

Moving created points breaks them away from their on-model position., as demonstrated
by Bisenberger. At the moment it seems like that's inevitable. Something for ZBrush 3.5?
(Plakkie)

Q. Is there a way to save a topology rig in progress?

Just Deactivate the Edit Topology Button, and then save the active ZTool, after reloading
the ZTool, just activate the Edit Topology Button again, and work further. (Mouse_art)

Q. Is there a way to create a mesh from the topolines that match up exactly?

To use the exact amount of polygons as you draw, set Tool: Adaptive Skin: Density to 1
and Tool: Topology: Subdiv to 1. (Mouse_art)
Extra Info:you have to set Adaptive Skin Membrane (Mbr) to 0 if you want the low res for
your new mesh to match the poly count from your retopo rig. I think Mbr defaults to 2
instead. I figured that out the first time I created a skin from my retopo rig. The weird part
was that I could not get Reconstruct Subdiv to work on the skin. So I deleted it, changed
the Mbr setting to 0 and made a new adaptive skin. (Poda)
While Edit Topology is on, you can press Shift and draw on the model to
automatically draw topology lines from the existing topology.

Q. Is there a way to transfer the high sub details to the new mesh?

Yes! Turn on the 'projection button' in Tool:Rigging. (Ladysoul)

Q. Is there a way to convert the original topology of a model into a Topo-ZSphere structure, so
you can edit it a bit instead of having first to draw all the topo-lines?

Yes! The procedure is explained in detail at the top of this thread under "Editing existing
topology" (Poda/Plakkie)

Q. When you project your old details onto your new mesh, is there any way to copy over your
texture or poly painting info? Or do you need to do retopolgizing before you do any texturing/
painting?
If I understand correctly, polypainting stores the color information directly 'in' the
geometry. With the topology tool you are making new geometry, and thus your
polypainted info doesn't apply on the new model. I don't know about texture maps, yet. I
think it's a good idea to do the texture/paint part after you have made the new topology.
You can use the ZProject brush to transfer details from one SubTool to another. Appending
the new topology to the old topology as a SubTool will allow you to use the ZProject brush
to do this.

Q. When shifting topology vertices away from the mesh some of them seem locked, couldn't
move them at all. [more a statement really ]

twice if it doesn't go off at first.

Q. Are there some functions like "edge loop", "edge ring", "making strip" "split"... ?

Maybe some day, but not now. Those tools would really help with retopoing zsphere
armatures. Those things are still causing problems. I'd rather have metablobs I can retopo
(like Blender), than trying to use Adaptive skin with ZSpheres to get a clean mesh. (Crusoe
the Painter)

Q. What's the quickest way to delete edges?

I am currently adding a new vert in the middle of the edge and deleting (Ctrl+LMB click)
that. The edge gets deleted in the process. This seems to work fine but I would love to have
a simpler, faster way. I think i tried Ctrl+LMB clicking directly on the edge and something

Q. After working a little bit with the new topology tools, i tried to create a new topology as
described on the wiki. The mesh/tool was created in ZBrush 2. When I hit the "edit Topology"
button, i got a skin with lots of holes in it, and I don't know why. Before hitting the button the skin
was ok! Does anyone know why this happens and how I can fix this?

Solved this problem, by taking the topology of Subdivision lvl 2 of the Mesh. Lvl 1 didn't
work and gave those strange holes... (Train22)
Q. What do the Hide and Bind buttons in the Rigging and Topology menu do?

None found...

Not at this time

Q: In section " Creating a topology mesh over a ZSphere model", starting point for the mesh is
defined with Ctrl + LMBclick, but when I tried it I get a "mask" tool because Ctrl is pressed.

It works only when there is a topology present, but if there is no topology made, than you
can click anywhere on the structure and it will start adding the topology).

Q: When making topology over zspheres sometimes my mesh is closed (glass shape), sometimes
it starts open (pipe shape). I couldn't find any logic to see when it will be open and when closed.
It's like lottery, you see the result after adaptive skin preview. How to know from the beggining
what kind of mesh you are making?

Try setting Tool: Topology: Max Strip Length to 4. ZBrush, by default, allows you to
create a minimal number of topology lines that it will try to connect for you. Depending on
your needs, you can turn this on or off with the Max Strip Length slider.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: MatCap Skull
From ZBrushInfo

by Meats Meier, http://www.3dArtSpace.com

The Material Capture function in Zbrush 3 is an excellent way to sample the lighting and material
of an object. It can be used to quickly simulate a texture from a photograph or rendering, and then
can be as either a real time shader, or as a shader meant to seamlessly composite Zbrush rendered
3d objects into photographs.
1.To capture a material, the first step is to find and prepare a photograph of an object with a
material that you would like to simulate. Identify key areas of the photo, such as clean areas that
show the pure surface color, as well as texture and cavities. The more information in the photo,
the better the results will be because of course there will be more information to sample from, and
you can get a more realistic result.
2. Prepare the image in photoshop, and save it as something that Zbrush can read, such as .bmp, .
psd, or .jpg. I sometimes copy a version of the object, place it near the original, and darken it to
make sure that I have dark areas that I can sample from for the cavity creation later on. In Zbrush,
I bring in the image with Texture:Import, select the flat color material, and fill the screen with
the image using Texture:CropAndFill.
3. It can also be very helpful to place 3d objects on the canvas that are roughly the same shape as
the object itself, this lets you quickly see if your material is behaving like the one in the photo.

Select one of the real time shaders (the main red wax is fine). This is the material you'll be
modifying to create your own MatCap material. Place objects around the object, but do not cover
any of the parts of the image you are trying to capture.

4. Select the MatCap tool in the Tool palette and then open and dock the Material Palette.
In these next steps, you will sample different angles (normals) of the object in the photograph. The
lines show some of the normals I defined when estimating planes in the image.
The lightball in the center of the main skull image appears when you are sampling, and interactively
shows the effect of your sample as you position the normal.

5. We'll first sample the only pure color information in the photo. Avoid shadow, specular, and
cavity areas of the image. We'll actually end up creating two shaders in the material--MatCap A
and MatCap B. MatCap A is the color information, and MatCap B is the shader we'll create a bit
later that Zbrush will user when rendering cavity effects.

Making sure the Tool:MatCap tool is still selected, left click on a point the background image
and drag the mouse around to define a surface normal. Let the mouse up when you have a normal
you think reasonably close to the real normal of the object in the image (don't worry about
precision, you will do many samples, and they will all work and blend together nicely). As you
make more and more markers on all visible angles on your image, you will see the temporary
shader ball become closer and closer to the photograph. (See MatCap Basics for a fuller
explanation of sampling points.)
6. To add the highlights, find the brightest parts of your photo, and sample them. To adjust the
highlight itself, you can press the Ctrl key after you drag out a vector but before releasing the
mouse, and then move your mouse left and right to control the "hotness" value of the shine.
(MatCap Basics discusses this in more detail.) At this point, try changing some of the gloss,
refine, intensity, etc. sliders in Material:Modifiers to bring the shader closer to realism.

The sampling markers on the 'dark' upper left image of the skull show where cavity samples have been
taken.

7. To create the cavity part of the shader, press the Material:Modifiers:B button to tell Zbrush
that we would like to work on the secondary shader. Now is the time to sample the dark, or cavity
areas. You can also do a overall darken by just lowering the Intensity slider for a quick, darker,
cavity.

Adjust the cavity detection and transition sliders in Material:Modifers to see the effect of the
Material:Modifiers:B shader. You can also determine how much cavity vs. color is shown in
Material:Modifers.

8. Save the material for use next time you use Zbrush by pressing Material:Save. My material,
Image:Sculpy mm.ZMT.zip, is also included for your tests.

● Disclaimers
Introduction to the ZBrush Interface
From ZBrushInfo

The key to getting the most out of ZBrush is to be able to get around the interface quickly and
easily. ZBrush 2 has introduced many enhancements to be more intuitive and faster than ever to
use. It is well worth taking the time to explore this chapter before proceeding to the other tutorials.

Contents
● 1 ZBrush Modes
● 2 The ZBrush2 Window
● 3 Palette Basics
❍ 3.1 Palette Controls

❍ 3.2 Subpalettes

● 4 The Title Bar

● 5 Trays (Palette Docking)
● 6 Tools and Other Inventory Lists
● 7 Curves
❍ 7.1 Curve Quick Reference

❍ 7.2 Curve Tutorial

ZBrush Modes

While not really part of the ZBrush interface, understanding ZBrush Modes is so fundamental
to using ZBrush that you should read that page before anything else.

The ZBrush2 Window

In its standard configuration, the ZBrush window is mostly taken up by the canvas. This area is
where you will do your painting and modeling. Immediately below the canvas is the ZScript area,
where ZScripts load unless they are designed to embed their components within the interface.
Completely surrounding the canvas and ZScript window is the Shelf. This provides a handy space
to keep the most commonly used interface items. The Palette (Menu) List near the top of the
window provides ZBrush's menus, and Trays on either side of the window can be used to dock the
menus. The Title Bar at the top of the window provides information and a few miscellaneous
controls.

● To hide the Shelf, press the Tab key on your keyboard. Pressing the Tab key again will
bring it back.
By hiding the Shelf, you are able to reclaim almost the entire interface for your canvas,
providing a great amount of room to work in. The Shelf, like much of the rest of the
interface, can be customized to suit your needs. We will deal with this in detail in a later
section.

Palette Basics

Beneath the title bar, there is a row of words that spans the top of the screen. This is the Palette
List. All of ZBrush’s functions are contained within palettes. Each palette contains a group of
related functions. Within the palette, these functions are further broken down into groups in order
to help make it easier to locate the particular control that you need.

● Move your pointer over one of the palette names to open the palette.

● Move your pointer off of the palette to close it.

Palettes only remain open as long as you keep the pointer over them. In most cases clicking
on an element within the palette will not close the palette. This allows you to change
several settings without having to constantly pull the palette down again. In a few special
cases, clicking a control may close the palette.
● Move your cursor over any interface item and watch the area beneath the palette list.

Palette Controls

● Buttons are shown as a light gray raised object. Pressing a button causes something to
happen.
● Switches are interface items that can be turned on and off. When off, the switch is shown
as dark gray. When on, it is orange.
● Sliders allow you to set a ranged value. They show the current setting as a number next to
the slider’s title, and also show where it fits within the range by a small indicator at the
bottom of the slider. The minimum value is to the left, and the maximum value is to the
right.
❍ In the Render palette, click in the 3D Shading slider and drag to the left to set a
value of 50. The slider value will update as you move the slider.
❍ You can also set a slider value without dragging simply by clicking in it and then
typing the value that you want. Click the 3D Shading slider and type 100.

Subpalettes

In order to further help with organization, many palettes contain menus, also known as sub-
palettes. These menus contain controls that are all related to a specific task within the palette’s
more generalized categorization.

Clicking on a menu’s name will expand or collapse it.

● Open all of the menus within the Render palette. Move the pointer into any blank space
within the palette. When it changes to up-and-down arrows, click and drag up.

Palettes can sometimes get to be so long that they go off the bottom of the screen. By
dragging within empty space in the palette, you can slide its contents to reveal the hidden
items.

The Title Bar

The area between the palette list and the top part of the Shelf is called the Title Bar (or Note Bar).
This area is meant to provide helpful feedback while you work.

In most cases, the title bar will show you the name of the current interface item. Other times, it
will provide helpful suggestions for what to do next. Also, when ZBrush is performing a complex
action such as a best-quality render, the title bar will provide several kinds of feedback at once. In
the example shown above, it informs us of the type of action being performed, how long it has
spent on that action already, how long it estimates will be required to complete the action, and
finally an orange bar showing a graphical representation of its progress.

Trays (Palette Docking)

ZBrush provides many ways to make your workflow easier. When working with palettes, you will
normally find that they are more convenient as pull-down menus. However, there will also be
times when you need to repeatedly return to a particular palette. For example, if you are sculpting
a model, you might find that you return to the Tool palette frequently. ZBrush accommodates this
need by providing Trays on the left and right sides of the interface. These trays are used to keep
palettes open continuously.

● To open a tray, click along its outside edge. To help you find the right spot, there is a pair
of arrows at the vertical center of the interface.
Clicking this separator will expand the tray. In the default configuration, both trays are
empty. This allows you to use them however you see fit.
● To move a palette to the tray, open it and look in the upper left corner. Click on the
orange circular icon.

This orange icon is called the palette’s handle. Clicking on it moves the palette to the top
of the open tray. The palette will now stay open while you continue to work on the canvas.
● To collapse a tray, click its separator bar.
Doing this leaves the palette in the tray. It will still be waiting for you if you expand the
tray again.
● To remove a palette from the tray, click its handle.
You can also use the handle to move a palette from one location to another within the tray.

● Each palette has a preferred tray. If neither tray is open, clicking on the handle will open
the preferred tray and move the palette there automatically. If both trays are open, the
palette will automatically go to the top of its preferred tray.
● You can also drag the handle to move the palette where you want it. This is handy when
you have both trays open and want to put the palette in its non-preferred tray, or if you
wish it to be below other palettes that are already in the tray.
● When a palette is in a tray, its appearance changes slightly. Its icon appears to the left of
the palette’s name and the handle moves to the right. Next to the handle, there is also now a
small icon with a triangle in it. Clicking the icon will toggle between the palette’s basic
and advanced states. If you would like to simplify the palette so that only its most basic
features are available, click this icon.
● A palette that is in the tray can be expanded and collapsed by clicking on its title. This
conserves room when several palettes are in a tray.
● When several palettes are in a tray, it is not uncommon for them to scroll off of the screen.
To bring items back into view, simply click in any empty space within the palette and drag
up or down.
● A palette can only exist in one place at a time. If you have a palette in the tray, you can still
access it as a pull-down menu from the palette list. If you do this, it will temporarily
disappear from the tray and will reappear once its pull-down counterpart closes.

Tools and Other Inventory Lists

ZBrush uses Inventories to allow selection of objects such as tools, texture maps, etc. Below,
we'll give a quick example of how inventory lists work using the Tool inventory.

● In the popup menu, select the Sphere3D.

We have now changed the active tool from the Simple Brush to the Sphere3D.
Several palettes use this thumbnail system to select things. For your convenience, their large
thumbnails are also located on the left side of the shelf.

Once an item has been selected the first time using the large thumbnail, a small thumbnail of it is
added to the palette next to the large thumbnail. These small thumbnails provide shortcuts to
recently used items. You can reselect that item by clicking on its small thumbnail rather than
going through the popup menu. The active item will always be highlighted with a teal background
and a small triangle in its lower right corner.

Double-clicking on a small thumbnail will allow you to replace it with a different item from the
popup menu. As more items are selected, more small thumbnails will appear. To restore the
palette to its starting number of small thumbnails, click the R button just above all the thumbnails
to the right.

Curves

ZBrush graphs, also known as curves, provide a visual way to modify a range of values. Due to
their versatility, curves are found throughout the ZBrush interface.
A curve in ZBrush is simply a graph showing a range of values. They can be found in nearly every
part of the ZBrush interface: material modifiers, defining the falloff of the sculpting tool, defining
how fog or depth cue acts throughout a scene, etc.

Curve Quick Reference

The diagram below gives a quick visual reference as to what different types of clicks and drags do
when using curves. The step-by-step tutorial below will take you through these various types of
manipulations.
Blue circles indicate a mouse "click and hold", dashed lines indicate dragging, arrowheads show where
the mouse button should be release.

Curve Tutorial

In this tutorial, we’ll work with one of the curves that has been introduced in ZBrush 2: the Alpha
Adjust Curve. As you will see, this curve makes it possible to modify the current alpha and with it,
your paint brush -- “on the fly.”

● Begin by reinitializing ZBrush. (Preferences:Init ZBrush)

● For convenience, place the Alpha palette in either tray.

We’ll be adjusting the curve constantly while working through this tutorial, so it will be easiest to
keep it open rather than having to pull it down again each time.
● Click where it says Alpha Adjust.

In order to conserve screen real estate, curves are normally displayed in a compressed state.
Clicking on the curve opens it for editing, simultaneously closing any other curve that might
already have been open elsewhere in the interface. Only one curve can be open at a time.

So that we can better see the results of our edits, we’ll draw an example of the alpha on the
canvas. Use the thumbnails on the left shelf to work faster:

● Select the DragRectangle stroke type.

● Select the Toy Plastic Material.

● Press Ctrl+F to fill the canvas with the current material and color.
● Select another color (such as blue).

● Drag a large stroke on the canvas.

● Press W to activate the Move gyro, then position the stroke so that it’s pretty well
centered on the canvas.
ZBrush uses 16 bit grayscales, which give a far greater range of values than the standard 0-255
range of an 8 bit image. When exporting a displacement map, it is crucial to use the TIFF format,
which also supports the 16 bit range.

While the gyro is active, our changes to the Alpha Adjust Curve will also update the example on
the canvas. This is an important principle of the gyro: it allows you to make changes to many of
the components that were used to draw the most recent stroke.

Now we’ll go back to paying attention to the curve.

First, let’s clarify what an alpha is. An alpha is simply a grayscale image. More precisely, an alpha
is an array of pixels, each ranging somewhere between white and black.

The Alpha Adjust Curve provides a way to interact with those values, which in turn changes the
alpha. The horizontal portion of the curve represents the current grayscale values of the image,
with black on the left and white on the right. The vertical portion determines how those values are
output, with black at the bottom and white at the top.
At this point, the curve simply shows a straight line from the lower left corner to the upper right.
That means that any alpha values that are black will be output as black (lower left) and any values
that are white will be output as white (upper right). Anything falling in between is also output
exactly true to the alpha. Let’s put it to work.

Any point on a curve can be moved. Right now, the curve is made up of only two points. Since
they are the end points, they can only be moved vertically.

● Move the lower left point to the upper left by clicking on it and dragging. Move the upper
right point to the lower right.

What this did is tell ZBrush to output black (left side) as white (top) and white (right side) as black
(bottom). In effect, the curve has been reversed, and the current alpha has been modified along
with it. You can see the changes both in the alpha large thumbnail and on the canvas.

● Click the Reset button to restore the alpha to its original state.

● Click any point along the line between the two existing points.

This adds a new point to the curve. The yellow circle surrounding it represents the point’s area of
influence on the curve.

● Drag the new point around to see how the curve is adjusted by it, then finish with
something like the example below.

As you move the point, watch how it affects the alpha and what you’ve drawn on the canvas.
● Now add another point, moving it above and to the left of the last one.

If you move the point too far to the left, you’ll notice that the curve can end up shooting way up
off the top of the graph. That’s due to the point’s radius.

● To tighten the point, click on the circle surrounding it. When it turns orange, drag to
resize the circle.

Any point can be modified at any time. Simply click on it to make it the active point, and then

● Now drag the point off the curve and without releasing the mouse back on again.
When the point comes back into view, it will be a sharp angle instead of a soft curve. Radius no
longer applies, so the circle won’t be present. You’ll also notice that any points adjacent to it
become “split.” The line coming out will be a sharp point on the side leading toward the angular
point, and the line going out the other side will still be curved. To make a point soft again, simply
drag it off the curve and back on.

● Now click on the point to make sure it’s active, then click on it again.

This zooms in on the point, allowing you to make fine adjustments. To return to a normal view of
the entire curve, move your mouse anywhere off the graph.

● Remove the sharp point by dragging it off the graph and releasing the mouse.
You’ll now be left with the three point curve. Go ahead and play around with the curve a little bit,
adding points and moving them around. Watch how it affects the alpha and the canvas. Make sure
that you have a few of them before you move on to the next step.

● Immediately beneath the curve is a slider called Focal Shift. Drag it to the left and right.

When you move the slider, watch what happens to the curve. The points on the curve will shift
horizontally, but not vertically. This compresses the curve toward one side or the other. The
purpose of this slider is to make it easy to quickly modify the curve without the need to move
points around. Even with the simplest possible curve (the straight line that we started with), the
focal shift can dramatically alter the alpha.

● Adjust the Noise slider to .25

This slider affects the curve without actually changing any points. At this low value, you can see
on the canvas how the noise was added, but the overall shape of the alpha remains essentially the
same.

● Click Undo a few times.

As you can see, Undo affects all edits made to the curve. This includes changes to the Focal Shift
slider, and also the Noise slider. Redo behaves the same way.

The remaining controls are for inventory.

You can save a graph to disk for use in another project or for sharing with other users. I say
“graph” here because any graph can be loaded into any curve, anywhere within the ZBrush
interface. If you create one that you really like, save it for later. Feel free to experiment, also, with
copying graphs and pasting them into other places. One area in which this is extremely useful is
when you’re working with materials. The Material palette has many curves, and sometimes it is
useful to place the same graph into several of them.

● To close the curve, click the Close button at the bottom.

This helps keep the interface from becoming cluttered. Of course, the curve would also close
automatically if you opened one somewhere else.

● Now switch to alpha 19.

Notice how the new alpha is immediately modified by the Alpha Adjust Curve. That curve affects
the current alpha, regardless of which one is selected. Also, if you look at the popup menu again,
you will see that the previous alpha now looks exactly like it did when we started. By default,
modifying the Alpha Adjust curve does not permanently change any apha.

● To convert the modified curve to a permanent alpha, click the Make Modified Alpha
button.

Two things will happen. First, a new alpha will appear at the end of the thumbnails. It is
automatically selected. The original alpha #19 is now shown in the thumbnail list in its
unmodified state, and is no longer selected. This new alpha will not remain if you initialize or
restart ZBrush. If you want to save it for another session, use the Export button at the top of the
Alpha palette. Second, the new alpha is also modified by the same Alpha Adjust settings!

● Open the Alpha Adjust curve again and click Reset.

This restores the newly-created alpha to exactly what you saw before you clicked the Make
Modified Alpha button.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Rusted Golden Idol
From ZBrushInfo

In this section we’ll put the theory behind ZBrush’s 2.5D painting techniques to work.

In the last section, we learned the basic principles behind 2.5D painting. Now we’ll apply those
principles to create a simple but fun project.

Contents
● 1 Create the Idol
● 2 Paint the Model
● 3 Lighting and Materials
● 4 Create the Idol's Shadow
● 5 More Materials

Create the Idol

We’ll begin by creating the idol out of simple primitive shapes. Color and material will then be
used to paint the rust onto it. Lastly, we’ll create a background and use some ZBrush trickery to

● Select the Ring3D tool.

● Select the Basic Material, and a Brown color.

This material will be modified later to suit our needs. We’re using it instead of the default Fast
Shader because the Basic material has many more modifiers.

● Set the Tool:Initialize values.

Use SRadius 39, Coverage 180, Scale 1, Twist 0, SDivide 32, LDivide 64, and ITwist 0. Every
native ZBrush object is parametric in nature. This means that you can use the Initialize menu to
set various parameters that influence the object’s shape.

● Draw the object on the canvas.

● Activate Rotate.

● Rotate the half ring so that it curves up.

Markers must be placed while the current object is active. Once you have switch to a new tool, it
is too late to place a marker without redrawing the object.

Also, only one marker can occupy any part of the canvas. If you try to place a marker too close to
another one, the first will be replaced by the new one.

When close to the desired rotation, press Shift to snap it the rest of the way.
● Activate Move.

● Position the ring near the top center of the canvas as shown.

● Press Transform:Place Marker.

You’ll see a small animation as the marker flies from the button to the center of the object on the
canvas. Markers are a very powerful feature of ZBrush. They are able to remember many details
about a 3D object, including its position on the canvas, scale, orientation, material, color and
more.

We’ll use this marker to assist with positioning the rest of the 3D elements in the scene.

● Select the Sphere3D tool.

If you receive help message, select “Switch Now.”

● Draw it at one end of the arc on the canvas.

● Activate the gyro.

● Draw another sphere.

● Activate the gyro.
● Set Tool:Initialize:Coverage to 180.

While the gyro is active, the object is in a transformable state. This means that adjusting the
Initialize settings will also affect the sphere on the canvas, making it into a hemisphere.
● Use Move, Scale and Rotate to flatten out the hemisphere and position it as shown.

● Move the duplicated layer so that the two arcs merge.

You can use the Displace H slider to move the layer, or hold down the tilde (~) key and click
+drag within the canvas.

● Merge the layers by pressing Layer:Mrg.

This combines the current layer with the one to its left (the original one). The result is one layer
again. Always be sure that Zadd and Mrgb are active before merging layers. Otherwise, you can
get strange effects.

● Duplicate the layer again and flip it vertically.

● Use Displace V to move the layer down, forming legs.

● Merge the layers.

● Select the Sphere3D and move the pointer so that it is where the marker was placed.
The marker will appear when you get close to it, and will enlarge when your pointer is directly on
top of it.

● Click the marker.

The sphere will be drawn with the exact scale, orientation and position of the ring.

● Select the Cylinder3D and click the marker to draw it.

● Use the gyro to rotate and move it into position. Use scale to lengthen it.

Remember that clicking on the intersections of the gyro makes it possible to constrain your
transformations. For example, the yellow intersection is used to lengthen the cylinder without
changing its diameter.

The one around the head is added by clicking the marker and then scaling and rotating the ring
appropriately. Snapshot was pressed to copy the ring at its current position before moving the ring
down the body and scaling/rotating it. The ring was snapshot three times here before moving and
rotating it into place for the arm band and ankle. Note that the right side is left alone.

Paint the Model

● Create a new layer for the background.

While the simplest way to color the background is to change the Document:Back color, we will
want to paint on ours. To make this possible, we will use a different technique involving a second
layer and a 3D object.

● Select the Flat Color material.

This material is unaffected by the rendering engine, and so will not receive shadows from it.
While ZMode shadows with good Rays and Aperture settings will produce an excellent shadow,
we have chosen to paint the shadow manually in order to illustrate other ZBrush features.

● Draw the plane on the canvas and use the gyro to scale it to fill the screen. Also, move it
back behind the idol.

Remember that you can change an object’s depth while Move or Rotate are active by clicking and
dragging anywhere on the canvas surrounding the gyro.

● Select alpha 27 and the Simple Brush.

● Rotate the alpha by pressing the Alpha:Rotate button.

This stroke will allow us to paint a single instance of the alpha.

● Choose a darker color, turn off Zadd, and paint a stroke on the canvas so that the gradient
fills it completely.
You can use the gyro after drawing the gradient to move and scale it if necessary.

● Switch back to layer 1 so that we can paint on the idol.

● To begin painting the rust, use the Simple Brush and alpha 23.

● Using the Drag Rectangle stroke and various shades of color, paint multiple copies of the
alpha all over the idol.

You could also use the Spray stroke type for parts of this. Since the background is on a different
layer, it is completely unaffected by these strokes. With ZBrush, there is no need to “color within
the lines.”

● Change the Draw:Width to 50%

This changes the width of the alpha, which in turn will affect the strokes being painted on the
canvas.

● Continuing to vary the colors, add still more rust to the idol.
Lighting and Materials
● Adjust the direction and intensity of the primary light.

To adjust the direction, click and drag on the small square located on the thumbnail. You will be
able to see the lighting update on the canvas in real time. Set the intensity to 1.22.

The next step is to adjust the material properties to look more like rusted metal.

Use the settings shown to the right. Diffuse should be 86 The Diffuse Curve should be modified
slightly, and given about 50% noise. Also pay attention to Specular to modify the shininess of the
metal and Color Bump to make it rougher.
The material now looks a lot more like rusted metal, but it’s still missing something. Rusted metal
doesn’t only contain variations in color, but also variations in specularity, diffuse, reflections, etc.

● Press the CopyMat button located above the material modifiers.

● Select another material such as Fast Shader 5.
● Press the PasteMat button.

This replaces the Fast Shader 5 material with a duplicate of the Basic material.

● Set the material’s Diffuse to 60.

This will make it possible for us to see where we are painting this new material because it will
stand out against the existing one.

● Activate M on the top shelf.

This instructs ZBrush to ONLY paint with material. Colors and depth will not be changed.

● Paint the new material in scattered places across the idol.

● Because this material is a copy of the original, it still has the same rust quality that we had
built previously. This is a real time saver. It’s simply darker than the first because we
adjusted the Diffuse before painting the new material.

● Adjust the other material modifiers.

❍ Raise the specular setting.

❍ Add a little noise to the material itself, etc.

● At this point, tweak the colors on the idol a bit by switching to Rgb and painting with just
color.

For purposes of this manual, “Tool” always refers to an item found in the Tool palette.

There are several methods by which a drop shadow can be added to the scene. As previously
mentioned, we could simply tell the rendering engine to render shadows. The drawback to that is
due to the fact that our background is a vertical plane located just behind the idol. Rendered
shadows would give it away immediately. Since we wish to give the impression that the idol is
standing on a vast plane, we’ll use a different technique.

Aside
The Alpha:GrabDoc button could also have been used. We chose the MRGBZGrabber simply
to illustrate the capabilities of this tool.

● Select the MRGBZGrabber tool.

This complicated-sounding tool is used to grab a kind of snapshot of the canvas. It can capture the
materials (M), colors (RGB), or depth (Z) hence its name.

● In the Tool:Modifiers, turn Auto Crop off.

With Auto Crop active, the grabbed area would automatically be cropped to the size of the objects
on the layer. We want to capture the entire canvas, instead.

● Click and drag on the canvas to capture the entire scene.

Two things will happen when you release the mouse. A capture of the canvas will be placed in the
Texture palette. At the same time, a depth map of the canvas will be placed in the Alpha palette.

This alpha is a precise representation of the canvas with the grayscale values representing relative
depths. White is the highest depth while black is the lowest.

● Press Alpha:Make St to convert the alpha into a stencil.

The stencil will immediately be activated on the canvas. Dark areas can be painted through, while
light areas will block paint.

● Activate Stencil:Elv.

This displays the stencil as an outline, making it easier to see the rest of the scene. It does not
change the stencil’s effect at all.

● The stencil is too small. Press Stencil:Stretch to match the size of the stencil to the size of
the canvas.
● Hold down the Spacebar to activate the stencil’s Coin Controller.

This controller will appear at the pointer location, and has several controls built into it.

● Click V on the controller and drag to reduce the height of the stencil.

● Release the Spacebar to dismiss the controller.

● Select the background layer from the Layer palette.

● Use the Simple Brush and a dark color to paint the shadow through the stencil.
● Once the shadow has been painted, you can turn off the Stencil:Stencil On switch.

● Use the Blur brush (found in the Tool palette) to soften the shadow edges.

More Materials
● Select the Colorizer1 material.
● With Draw:M active, paint this material onto the figure.
● Modify the material properties.
This material has two shader channels that must be modified. You switch between them using the
S1 and S2 buttons at the top of the modifiers. Match the images at the right.

● Add a few more brush strokes of color, only to complete the scene.
Aside
This tutorial is also available as a ZScript, found in the ZScript list under the name of
Materials: Rusted Golden Idol.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Bamboo Scene
From ZBrushInfo

This tutorial covers creation of a ZBrush-type 'Z', written in bamboo on a grassy background, with

You'll be exposed to:

● Parametric objects
● Deformations
● Basic modeling
● Texturing
● Alphas
● Canvas depth
● Lighting and rendering settings

Bamboo Scene Part 3: Creating 2.5D Grass

Bamboo Scene Part 4: Finishing Touches - Adding a 3D Lady Bug and Rendering

● Disclaimers
Not So Primitive: Parametric Models
From ZBrushInfo

In this section we’ll introduce some basic modeling principles by using masking and deformations
to transform primitive objects.

One aspect of ZBrush’s workflow is the ability to create extremely complex scenes by combining
a bunch of smaller objects. Ultimately, a scene could be composed of millions or even billions of
polygons, yet still render in real time! This is because only one object ever exists as polygons at a
time. But where to get those building block objects in the first place?

ZBrush provides a very powerful masking and deformation system that is unique to parametric
objects. (Both are available for polymeshes, but the more specialized selection functions that we’ll
make heavy use of here are only available for primitives.) In this section, we’ll explore a few of
the possibilities inherent in this system by creating several complex objects.

Contents
● 1 Plastic Pipe
● 2 Round Plastic Pipe
● 3 Round Metallic Spring
● 4 Webbed Pipe
● 5 Bolt
● 6 A Tire
● 7 Creature Tail
❍ 7.1 In Conclusion

Plastic Pipe
● Select the Cylinder3D tool. Draw it on the canvas and enter Edit mode by pressing T.

It is possible to do the effects in this tutorial while the model is still in the Tool palette, but it’s
much easier to see your results when the model is on the canvas.

● In the Tool:Initialize menu, set X Size and Y Size to 20.

The Initialize menu has settings that change from one primitive to the next. These are the
parameters that you set to control the model on its most basic level. In this case, we’ve changed
the model’s cross section to be 20% of a ZBrush unit. As a result, the cylinder is not five times
longer than it is wide.

It is important to adjust the Initialize settings before you modify the model through sculpting or
deformations. Any change in this menu causes the model to revert to its primitive state.

The object becomes completely dark to show that it’s fully masked. You could also hold down the
Ctrl key and paint your mask onto the surface of the model, but this is faster for our purposes.

This tells ZBrush how to deal with the unmasking process. By leaving the Skp value alone, we’re
actually telling ZBrush to use the same value as for Sel.

● Press Row.

At this point, the model is unmasked in alternating rows of 1 polygon each (the Skp value). All
masked areas will be left alone when deformations are applied.

● Apply Tool:Deformation:Inflate at a value of 100.

As you can see, the deformations affect a model’s points, while the masking affects its polygons.
This is perfectly normal.

● Perform the Inflate a second time.

● On the top shelf, turn off Quick 3D Edit.

This activates ZBrush’s smoothing algorithims. The effect is that while the model is stationary
(not being edited or rotated), it will be displayed with many more polygons than it really has.
If we had used a Tool:Initialize:VDivide value of 32 at the outset, the result would have been
more tightly-packed ribs. Go ahead and try that now.

Round Plastic Pipe

The next object that we’ll create is very similar to the regular pipe. We’ll use the Ring3D

● Exit Edit mode (T) and clear the canvas (Ctrl+N).

● Select the Ring3D. Draw it on the canvas and enter Edit mode.

This turns the ring into a half ring.

● Press Masking:MaskAll, then set the Sel value to 1 before pressing Col.
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For the Ring3D object, rows run along the large circumference while columns ring the small
circumference.

● Perform the Inflate deformation at a value of 100, then clear the mask.

Round Metallic Spring

● For this object, repeat the steps above for the Ring3D object. But this time, use a Masking:
Sel value of 2 and a Skp value of 1.
This tells ZBrush to unmask 2 columns for every 1 that it leaves masked.

● When you get to the Inflate step, use a value of 50 twice.

Deformations are cumulative. Sometimes it’s best to do a series of smaller deformations rather
than try to accomplish everything in one.

Webbed Pipe
● Repeat the steps for the spring, stopping when you have unmasked the rings.
● Set Sel to 1 and leave Skp at 1. Press Row.

Unmasking is also cumulative. So the unmasking by row now gives us a checkered pattern.

● Do two Inflate routines at 50, and then clear the mask.

As you can see, by creating more complex masks we are in turn able to create more complex
models! And we did all of this with just a few very simple steps.

Bolt
● For this one, we’re going to start with the Cube3D primitive.
● In the Initialize menu, set X Size and Y Size to 20. Set Sides Count to 6, HDivide to 30 and
VDivide to 45.

The cube can actually become a cylinder with enough sides! It has slightly different parameters
than the Cylinder3D, though, which is why we’re using it for this example.

● In the Deformation menu, click on the Z in the Size slider to turn it off.

Each deformation has XYZ settings to control the axis that the deformation will operate on. By
turning Z off, we’re telling ZBrush not to change the length of the unmasked polygons when we
perform this deformation.

Note that the axis is NOT in relation to the canvas (world coordinates). Deformations use an
object’s local coordinates. If you ever wonder what the local coordinates are, open the Tool:
Preview menu. You can also change the local coordinates on the fly by rotating the figure in the
preview.

● Apply the Size deformation at a value of 50, followed by SFlatten at 5.

This protects the head that we just created, and allows subsequent deformations to only affect the
bolt’s shank.

● Apply Twist 6 times at a value of 100. Follow it with Inflate at 30.

There’s no need to adjust the XYZ settings for the twist, since it’s set to Z by default.

A Tire
● Select the Sphere3D.
● Set Initialize:Z Size to 50.
● Use the SFlatten deformation at a value of 25, followed by Inflate at 100.

● Apply Size XY at a value of 10.

● Press MaskAll, followed by Row.
● Apply Twist at a value of 40, then clear the mask.

Creature Tail
● For this object, we’ll return to our old friend, the Ring3D.
● In the Initialize menu, set SRadius to 50, Coverage to 220 and Scale to .01.

SRadius thickens the torus a bit, and Scale causes it to taper down to almost nothing.

● MaskAll, then set Sel to 2 and press Col.

● Apply Inflate at 100, followed by Rotate Z at -20 and then another Inflate at 50.

● Inflate 25, then Smooth 100.

In Conclusion

Masking can easily be combined with a variety of deformations to create one complicated-looking
shape after another. These various shapes are then able to be combined with other scene elements
to build incredibly detailed scenes. In fact, some ZBrush artists use these techniques almost
exclusively in the creation of their artwork. It should be noted that Row, Column and Grid are
only available for parametric objects. The remaining masking options are available for both

● Disclaimers
Hiding and Showing Model Parts
From ZBrushInfo

Before proceeding, let’s quickly go over the selection features. The core of these features is the
Ctrl+Shift key combination. All mesh visibility options involve those two keys.

When a mesh is completely visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on any group will hide everything except
that group.

When a mesh is partly visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on a group will hide that group.
When a mesh is partly visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on the blank canvas will restore full visibility.
At any time, holding Ctrl+Shift while dragging across the model will activate a green selection
box. Any polygons within that box when the mouse button is released will remain visible. All
other polygons will be hidden.

If the keyboard is released before the mouse button, the box turns red. Any polygons within the
box will be hidden while the rest of the mesh remains visible.
Dragging a small box (of either color) on any empty part of the canvas will invert the visibility.
Image:PM149 289 files image107.jpg

The drag-rectangle selections use a “smart” system. If the drag rectangle encloses an entire
polygon, then the system will select by polygons, only. In other words, a polygon must be fully
enclosed by the box to be selected. If no polygon is completely enclosed, then the system will
select by points instead. You can also force point selection by activating the Pt Sel switch on the
right shelf.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Creating a Polymesh Z
From ZBrushInfo

In this section we’ll use the Create Difference Mesh feature to quickly create a custom 3D shape,
then modify the subdivision smoothing via ZBrush 2’s Crease feature.

Contents
● 1 Creating the Z
❍ 1.1 Create a Polymesh Circle

● 2 Smooth and Crease the Z

❍ 2.1 Draw the New Mesh on the Canvas

❍ 2.4 Changing Crease Sharpness

● 3 In Conclusion
Creating the Z

ZBrush 2 has the ability to create a 3D mesh by comparing a model’s current state to its stored
morph target. We’ll put that to work here by creating a 3D letter “Z” from a Circle3D primitive.
Along the way, we’ll also make use of ZBrush’s mesh visibility features.

● Begin by selecting the Circle3D primitive.

● Press the Tool:Make Polymesh button.

Since the Difference Mesh feature uses a stored morph target, and only polymesh objects can store
one, we need to convert the primitive into a polymesh.

● Select the new polymesh and draw it on the canvas.

● Enter Edit mode and activate the Polyframe view.

We’ll need to be able to see the polygons in order to selectively hide some of them.

Create the Z Shape

● Using a red drag-rectangle, hide several polygons. (See Hiding and Showing Model Parts.)
● Continue to hide polygons, creating a simple “Z” shape.
As you work, you will find that sometimes it’s beneficial to use polygon selection and other times
it’s easier to use points. If you want to use points, the fastest approach is generally to just make
sure that your selection box doesn’t fully enclose a polygon.

This stores the current geometry so that it can be referenced later.

● In the Tool:Deformations menu, set Offset to Z and then enter a value of around -40.
This moves all of the visible points toward the camera by 40% of a ZBrush unit, or 2/5 the size of
the object.

● Back in the Morph Target menu, press CreateDiff.

At this point, ZBrush compares the current mesh to the stored morph target and creates a brand
new mesh.

● Exit Edit mode and clear the canvas.

● Select the MorphDiff_PM3D_Circle3D tool.

Aside
ZBrush automatically names models in a way that makes it easy to tell how they were derived.
From the name alone, we can tell that it’s a difference mesh generated from a polymesh3D
object that was in turn derived from a Circle3D primitive. Of course, you can rename the model
to anything you’d like by saving it.

● Draw the new model on the canvas and enter Edit mode.
As you can see, the new model is a fully-enclosed 3D figure. ZBrush used the stored morph target
as one group, the offset position as a second group, and the polygons filling the difference
between the two as a third group. This technique can be used in a remarkable variety of ways. For
example, form-fitting clothing for a figure could be created very quickly and easily.

Subdivide the Z

Now let’s take a look at what happens when the mesh is divided a few times.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Divide three times.

By default, when the mesh is divided it is also smoothed by averaging the new points with the pre-
existing points. This behaviour can be overridden by turning off Tool:Geometry:Smt but the result
would be that the mesh remains very faceted. What if you want partial smoothing instead? ZBrush
2 provides a way.

● Rotate the model to the side, activate Pt Sel, and draw a red rectangle to hide all but the
front of the model.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Crease.

The polyframe view will change to show a fine dotted line around the edges of the visible area.

● Restore full visibility by holding Ctrl+Shift and clicking on any blank part of the canvas.
● Divide the mesh three times again.
This time, the front surface of the mesh remains flat. The crease tags serve as weighting to prevent
their adjacent edges being smoothed when the geometry is divided.

When you look closely at the polyframe, you will see that the hidden polygons remain uncreased.
So the edges where the front and side groups come together are only creased along one side. Let’s
crease the other side, as well.

● Press Ctrl+Z to undo the mesh subdivision.

● With Pt Sel off, rotate to the side view and use red drag-rectangles to hide the front and
back surfaces.
● Press Crease.
● Restore full visibility.

Now you will see that the edges common to the front and side surfaces have two rows of dotted
lines.
● Divide the mesh three times again.

The edge is now sharper than ever, but the mesh does not have a faceted appearance. This is
because the non-creased edges are still being smoothed. Creases are very useful for creating
mechanical objects!

● Undo several times until only the front surface is creased.

● Restore full visibility.
● Set Tool:Geometry:CreaseLvl to 1.

● Divide four times.

The crease level tells ZBrush the maximum level at which to apply the crease tags. With a value
of 1, the crease is only applied the first time the mesh is divided. For each subdivision after that,
the crease is ignored and the mesh is smoothed. The result is a front edge that is slightly harder
than the back edge.

● Undo the division and set the CreaseLvl to 2.

● Divide the mesh four times.

Now the crease is used for the first two subdivisions, and ignored for the second two. The result is
an edge that’s harder than the back surface, but still somewhat soft.

In Conclusion

In this chapter, we’ve taken a look at how ZBrush 2’s mesh visibility controls operate and can be
used to interact with the mesh. We’ve also used morph targets to store a base level for a mesh that
was then modified. By comparing this modified mesh to the stored morph target, ZBrush was able
to quickly create a shape that would have been very difficult to model by other means. Finally,
we’ve examined how creases can be used to modify how ZBrush subdivides a mesh, giving you
control over the sharpness of your model’s edges. A tutorial on this subject is also available in
ZScript format in the Help system. Go to Modeling 3D Objects/Creases to view it.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Modeling a Telephone
From ZBrushInfo

Contents
● 1 Edge Loop Modeling
❍ 1.1 Mesh Visibility Refresher

❍ 1.3 Making Edges Sharper

❍ 1.4 In Conclusion

● 2 Adding Details with Projection Master

● 3 Displacemant and Normal Maps
❍ 3.1 General Information

❍ 3.4 Applying a Displacement Map in ZBrush

❍ 3.5 In Conclusion

Edge Loop Modeling

In this section, we’ll cover basic Edge Loop functionality, demonstrating the Crisp function.
ZBrush 2 offers two ways to create sharp edges in a model. In this tutorial, we’ll use the Crisp
feature, which is a part of the Edge Loops command. Along the way, we’ll work with partial mesh
visibility.

Mesh Visibility Refresher

Before proceeding, let’s quickly go over the selection features. The core of these features is the
Ctrl+Shift key combination. All mesh visibility options involve those two keys. When a mesh is
completely visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on any group will hide everything except that group.
When a mesh is partly visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on a group will hide that group.

When a mesh is partly visible, Ctrl+Shift+Clicking on the blank canvas will restore full visibility.
At any time, holding Ctrl+Shift while dragging across the model will activate a green selection
box. Any polygons within that box when the mouse button is released will remain visible. All
other polygons will be hidden.
If the keyboard is released before the mouse button, the box turns red. Any polygons within the
box will be hidden while the rest of the mesh remains visible.

Dragging a small box (of either color) on any empty part of the canvas will invert the visibility.
The drag-rectangle selections use a “smart” system. If the drag rectangle encloses an entire
polygon, then the system will select by polygons, only. In other words, a polygon must be fully
enclosed by the box to be selected. If no polygon is completely enclosed, then the system will
select by points instead. You can also force point selection by activating the Pt Sel switch on the
right shelf.

● Draw the phone on the canvas and press T on your keyboard to enter Edit mode.
This basic mesh was created using ZSpheres with only 1 resolution level. The skin was then
sculpted to block out the shape of the phone.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Divide 3 times.

The divided and smoothed model now has a fairly sleek appearance. It’s a little too smooth in
places, though, such as where the ear and mouthpieces would go. The Crisp feature will be used to
create these edges.

In order to use any of the Edge Loop features, we must be at subdivision level 1. We’re using
undo here instead of Multi-Resolution Subdivision Editing because we want to work with the
original, unmodified mesh. MRSE would reshape subdivision level 1 to more closely match level
4, which in this case is an effect that we don’t want.

● Hold Ctrl+Shift and drag a green rectangle over the polygon that makes up the earpiece.
If you do it right, you’ll be left with just the one polygon. If you accidentally are left with more
than one, use any visibility control that you prefer to isolate the single polygon.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Edge Loop.

This adds a row of polygons around the outer perimeter of the visible area. With just one polygon
visible, the result is an inner extrusion. With the I-Grp and O-Grp modifiers selected, the new
polygons are also assigned to new groups. One group is created for the center of the loop, and
another is created for the outer row. (Note: Your colors may be different from what’s shown here.)

● Press Edge Loop again.

Another edge loop has been added, but thanks to the Crisp modifier, it is so narrow that you can’t
really see it.

● Activate Move on the top shelf, and set the Draw Size to a low value like 20.
● Press X on the keyboard to activate X symmetry.
● Move the points for the center polygon to enlarge and recess it.
● Now Ctrl+Shift+Click on a blank part of the canvas to restore full visibility.

● Press divide four times to subdivide and smooth the mesh.

● Set PFill on the top shelf to 0 in order to hide the polyframe group coloring.

The row of very thin polygons prevents the mesh from being smoothed in that area. The result is a
nice, crisp edge. One advantage to this technique is that the low resolution mesh can be exported
from ZBrush and the crisp edge will remain. Crisp edge loops are a truly cross-application edge
weighting method!

● Repeat the process for the mouthpiece polygon and what will be the number plate on the
back.

● For the mouthpiece, use a regular Edge Loop followed by a Crisp one.

● For the number plate, use just the Crisp loop.

● Also perform a Crisp loop on the three polygons making up the base of the mouthpiece
area.

● Divide the mesh four times.

The phone is now smoothed overall, but is also still sharp exactly where we want it to be.

● Undo to remove the higher subdivision levels, and save this model as phone2.ztl.

There’s no point in wasting disk space by saving extra polygons when we can quickly add them
later. In this state, the model is a mere 64 polygons, and could also be taken into another program
for use in an animation.

In Conclusion

This section has given a brief introduction to one of ZBrush 2’s advanced geometry tools the Edge
Loop. Combined with the partial mesh visibility controls, edge loops provide a very quick and
simple way to modify your mesh on a polygonal level. When the Crisp modifier is activated, the
result is an edge weighting system that controls subdivision smoothing in any application. This
section will be continued in Telephone Part 2, where we will use Projection Master to “sculpt”
high resolution details. We’ll finally conclude with Telephone Part 3, in which we’ll generate
displacement and normal maps. This tutorial is also available as the “Displacement Mapping
Tutorial” ZScript, found in the Modeling 3D Objects\Displacement Maps chapter of the Help
browser. Part 1 of that ZScript shows the original ZSphere modelling of the phone, while part 2
shows the material covered in this section of the manual.

Here we’ll cover the use of Projection Master to paint displacements onto a high resolution mesh.
ZBrush 2’s ability to work with exceptionally dense meshes in real time provides a powerful way
to detail your models whether they will be incorporated directly into a ZBrush scene, or ultimately
used in an animation package. While the sculpting brushes found in the Transform palette provide
a powerful way to freehand-sculpt details, they aren’t sufficient for all purposes. This is where
Projection Master comes in. Projection Master provides a way to paint textures directly onto the
surface of your models. It can also be used to paint depth-based details that will then be
incorporated directly into the mesh via displacements. You can even paint texture and depth at the
same time!

In this tutorial, we’ll only deal with the displacement side of the equation, illustrating how
Projection Master makes it possible to edit your meshes using any or all of ZBrush’s brushes and
3D objects. Along the way, we’ll explore the uses of alphas, various stroke types, and even the
ability to transform strokes after they have been painted.

Note: This chapter continues whererequires the model that was saved at the end of the
previous section.
Aside
Even as highly optimized as ZBrush is, it is still possible to reach a number of polygons that
will make it hard for your computer to keep up. If you find ZBrush acting sluggish while you
rotate the model, press Shift+D a few times to go to a lower subdivision level, then D to return
to the higher level once the model has been rotated into its new position. Lower subdivision
levels are also an ideal time to hide parts of the mesh.

● Begin by loading the phone2.ztl file that you saved at the end of Part 1. Draw it on the
canvas and enter Edit mode.
● Divide the mesh several times until you have 7 subdivision levels.

The model will now be comprised of 262,144 polygons, which is sufficient for our demonstration.
When using Projection Master to paint mesh displacements, the quality of your work will be
directly influenced by the size/number of polygons.

● Turn off the Polyframe view by pressing Shift+F.

● Rotate the model so that it is squarely facing the camera and scale it to fit the screen.

Remember that when the phone is close to the desired orientation, you can press Shift to snap it
into position.

● On the top shelf, press the Projection Master button.

The Projection Master (PM) control panel will pop up. You can use this panel to tell ZBrush what
you want to do.
● Turn off Colors and Fade. Turn on Deformation.

When settings are changed, the thumbnails next to the buttons update to show the effects of your
changes.

● Press the Drop Now button to drop the mesh onto the canvas, ready for projection painting.
● PM will display a note asking if you’d like to create a texture. Say yes.

By default, when PM is first used in a session it selects the SingleLayer brush. That’s perfect for
our needs.

● Select the Radial stroke type.

● Select Alpha 06 (a hard-edged circle).
● With a Draw Size of 32, draw a ring of dots on the earpiece.
● Use Scale and Move to position the ring as shown.
● Switch to Zsub and set Z Intensity to 50. Press Shift+S or use the Snapshot button on the
right shelf to make an instance of the holes.
● Use Scale and Snapshot to add two more concentric rings.

● Activate Projection Master and press the Pick Up button.

While the PM panel is showing, you have a final chance to change your settings. This is useful if
you were planning to do one thing before dropping the model, but changed your mind and did
something different while working with the dropped model. If you wish to skip the PM panel,
simply press G to pick up the model. (This keyboard shortcut can also be used to drop the model.)
After pressing Pickup, the model will become editable again. At the same time, the depth that was
just painted onto the dropped model is now incorporated into the actual geometry of the phone.
You can clearly see this when you rotate the mesh.

● Hide all but the lower of the model, and then rotate it so that the mouthpiece area is
squarely facing the camera.

● Repeat the Drop/paint/Pick Up steps to add another group of holes for the mouthpiece.
● Restore full visibility to the mesh.

● Rotate the model so that the number panel is squarely facing the camera. Drop the mesh
again.

● This time using the Grid stroke with repeat settings of 3 x 4, add 12 indentations to the
● Snapshot them in place, then change to Zadd and a Z Intensity of 90. Modify the Draw
Size to place buttons within the indentations.

● Use PM to pick the mesh up again, then rotate to a side view.

● Drop the mesh. Use the Line II stroke and Zsub to paint four lines onto the side two for the
base, and two for the ear/number pad area.
Choose the Z Intensity that you like best as you go. Remember that you can transform your
strokes after the fact to modify the Draw Size. Any place that the line touches the side of the
mesh, be sure to extend it past the sides. This even applies later when using Zadd. Projection
Master will ignore anything that it doesn’t need when the displacements are calculated, and going
off the edges ensures a nice, uniform projection that wraps all the way around to the other side.

● Using the DragRectangle stroke and Zadd with a Z Intensity of 27, paint a dot on the base.

● Snapshot the dot, then use the Move gyro to place more along the side of the handle.

● Switching between stroke types and Zadd/Zsub, add a few more details, as well (as shown
above).
● Before picking the mesh up again, activate the Double Sided option in Projection Master.

This tells ZBrush to apply the displacements to the back of the mesh (the side facing away from
the camera), as well as the front. When a symmetrical model is positioned squarely along the

axis of symmetry, Double Sided provides a quick and easy way to maintain the symmetry while
using Projection Master. At this point we can also easily see the effects of the Normalized option.
Any place that our painting went off the edges of the mesh, the displacements wrapped nicely
around to the opposite side.

● Rotate the model so that it faces front again and move it off to one side of the canvas.

● Drop the model, and then draw a Plane3D to the left as shown.

For the next step, we need a surface to paint on. The plane will provide that surface, and will be
ignored by Projection Master when the phone is picked up again.

● Using the PaintBrush tool and Zadd with a Draw Size of 14 and alpha 01, paint a Z on the
plane.
You can use Stroke:Mouse Avg to steady your hand and ensure that the letter turns out nice.

● While holding down the Ctrl key, add “Brush”.

Ordinarily, only the last stroke drawn can be transformed. Holding the Ctrl key allows us to chain
several strokes together so that they can be transformed as a unit.

● Activate the Move gyro and move the word over onto the phone.

● Rotate and scale the word into position, then switch to Zsub.
● If you’re happy with the result, press Q to return to regular draw mode, which makes a
snapshot of the word.
● Pick the mesh up again.

The plane will disappear from the canvas while the word is projected onto the phone.

● Rotate the model so that the back is facing the camera, and drop it.

Incidentally, it is not necessary to keep the entire model within the canvas when using Projection
Master. Only the portion that you wish to work on needs to be visible.

● Use the Grid stroke and SingleLayer brush to add several rows of bumps on the back.
In our example, we used an array of 3 x 15. Remember that while the gyro is active for
transforming the stroke, you can also change the alpha that is being used, as well as the Draw Size
and Z Intensity.

● Pick up the model and rotate it to the side. Drop it again.

● Using the Line II stroke, add a row of dots.

● Pick up the model.

● You’re done! Save the completed model as phone3.ztl so that you can use it for the final
part of this tutorial.

Displacemant and Normal Maps

This section concludes the telephone project by showing how to use ZBrush to process
Displacement and Normal maps.

General Information
Note: A new plugin called ZMapper provides normal mapping and other features than
can handle much more complex tasks than the process given here. But this is still a
simple way to do simple tasks.

While ZBrush 2 is highly optimized to work with figures of up to ten million polygons, animation
packages can’t handle nearly that many. Also, real time game engines require extremely low
numbers of polygons. ZBrush 2 provides the tools to compare your high resolution and low
resolution models, and generate a difference map. Displacement maps can be used with many
animation programs, while normal maps are useful in the game industry. Some animation
packages can also combine displacement and normal maps.

This tutorial will not explain how to use these maps in your other software. You should consult
your software’s documentation for that information. Instead, we’ll show you how to generate the
maps. We’ll also show you how the maps can be used in ZBrush.

It should be noted that there is no need to create difference maps if you’ll be using the model in a
ZBrush scene. ZBrush will incorporate the high resolution version as-is.

Set Up the Model

● Begin by loading the phone3.ztl from the previous part of this tutorial.
● Draw it on the left side of the canvas, snapshot it, and then move another copy over to the
right.

It is not necessary to have two copies on the canvas. We’re simply doing that here for
demonstration purposes, so that you can clearly see how similar the high resolution version is to
the displaced low resolution version that we’ll end with.

● Press “T” to enter Edit mode.

● Lower the Sudivision level to 1.

Sometimes you might want to use a different subdivision level. If you’re using a model that is
already being animated in another program, though, you will absolutely need to use level 1,
however, so that is what we’re going to show in this tutorial.
Restoring the Shape of the Original Model

Here we see the model at level 1. If you remember what our original model looked like, it was
quite a bit different. This is because ZBrush interpolates changes made at one subdivision level
across the other levels. Under normal circumstances, that would be exactly what we want, but for
making a difference map we need the original, unmodified mesh. We have three options available.
Let’s look at each of them in turn.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Cage.

This calculates a cage object that you could export to another program. This option is normally the
least desirable of the three, however, and should only be used if neither of the next two is
available to you.

● Turn off Cage.

By loading the original model back into subdivision level 1, the level is replaced by the original
geometry. This is particularly useful in a production environment where your animation team has
already begun working with a model and it cannot be changed.

The third option requires some pre-planning. While at subdivision level 1, before beginning the
high resolution modelling, you would press Tool:Morph Target:StoreMT. This stores the
unmodified low resolution geometry so that it can be retrieved later.

Now when you wish to reuse that geometry, you would simply press the Switch button to return to
it. In fact, this technique is what you will see illustrated if you run the ZScript companion to this
tutorial.

Assign UV Coordinate

● Set Texture:Width and Height to 1024. Press the New button.

Displacement mapping requires that the mesh has properly-assigned UV coordinates. If it doesn’t,
you can apply any of ZBrush’s mapping methods or export the base mesh to another application
for mapping. When the mesh is imported back into subdivision level 1, the mapping will be
retained.

Since this model does not already have mapping assigned, we’ll do that now. To give the best
quality mapping, you should first assign a texture to the mesh. The best sizes to use are powers of
2 such as 256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024, 2048x2048 or 4096x4096.

● Press Texture:GUVTiles.

GUVTiles is new to Z2, and is an automated mapping system designed to let you see details on
the unwrapped map. Like AUVTiles, it is a virtually distortion-free mapping method. Since it
unwraps the model in the largest polygon groups possible without introducing distortion, this
mapping method has the advantage that you can often do some painting on the unwrapped texture
should you need to.

If a texture is not already applied to the model when AUVTiles or GUVTiles is pressed, ZBrush
assumes a size of 1024x1024. Since that is the size of our texture, it wasn’t really necessary for us
to assign a texture to this model, but it’s good to get in the habit.

● Set Tool:Displacement:DPRes to 2048.

● Activate Adaptive and SmoothUV, if you wish.

These are not necessary in our example, but are important to use if any of your sculpting has used
the Nudge or Pinch editing brushes from the Transform palette. It takes slightly longer to calculate
than a map created without it.

● Press Texture:Export to export the normal map if you need it.

You have a choice of formats, including BMP, PSD, TIFF, and (for Mac users) PICT.

● Select the displacement map from the alpha popup menu.

The popup is structured so that your custom content appears in a separate section beneath the
other thumbnails.
● Export the alpha.

Applying a Displacement Map in ZBrush

That’s all there is to creating difference maps for use in other programs! The rest of this section
will show how to use a displacement map in ZBrush. If ZBrush 2 can work with extremely dense
models, why would you wish to use displacement maps? Well, there are a few reasons. Maybe
you are importing a displacement-mapped model from another program for use in a ZBrush scene.
Maybe you wish to refine a map that you’ve already created. Or maybe you simply wish to
conserve disk space, and so prefer to only keep the low resolution versions of your models, with
their displacement maps. Along the same lines, you might have a friend who wishes to share his
model with you; it’s easier to send a level 1 model with a displacement map than a level 7 model.
Whatever your reasons, ZBrush provides an easy way to use displacement maps, which we’ll
cover here:

● If you would like to see what the alpha looks like on the model, press Alpha:Make Tx.

The new texture will automatically be applied to the model. There’s not really a need to do this,
but sometimes it’s nice to see.

● Press Texture:Clear.

In order for a displacement map to be viewed in ZBrush, the model must have a texture assigned
to it. We’ve cleared the texture because we wish to demonstrate how displacements alone can
allow a low resolution model to match its high resolution “brother.”
● Press Tool:Geometry:Del Higher.

We now have the exact model that you would be working with if you’d imported it from another
program or were starting fresh without having saved the high resolution version. In other
programs, you’d use this model as a subdivision surface. The cage object would then appear to
have more polygons than it really does. We need to simulate that effect.

● Press Tool:Geometry:Divide three times.

The model is now comprised of 4096 polygons, which is probably equal to what an animation
package would use.

● Turn off Quick 3D Edit.

ZBrush’s displacement rendering requires render-time mesh smoothing, which is disabled by
Quick mode.

● Set Tool:Display Properties:DSmooth to 1.

This activates render smoothing. Each of the polygons is divided a few times when the model is
rendered. How many times is determined by the Dres setting.

● Note the value of the Alpha Depth Factor slider, found at the bottom of the Alpha palette.

In this case, the value is .0562. This number will only have relevance if the displacement map was
created by ZBrush. For maps imported from other applications, you’d have to experiment to find
the correct value to use in our next step:

● Back in the Tool:Displacement menu, set Intensity to the Alpha Depth Factor value.
This slider tells ZBrush how strongly to apply the map. At the moment, it’s only being applied as
a bump map, however. This means that pixols are only being displaced along the world Z axis.
This changes the appearance of the model, but does not change its profile. In short, ZBrush 2
offers two ways to add bump to your models. The first is the Color Bump material modifier,
already familiar to experienced ZBrush users. Alternatively, a bump map can be used that will
operate independently from the model’s colors or texture. This lends even greater realism to your
work.

● Also in the Displacement menu, activate the Mode switch.

This switches ZBrush from rendering the displacement map as bump to full displacement. If you
look closely at the model, you will see that the quality of the displacements is good, but not
perfect. This is because the number of rendered polygons is still lower than the high resolution
model that was used to create the map. It’s also easy to compensate for.

● Set Tool:Display Properties:DRes to 6.

This subdivides the mesh a few more times at render time, resulting in a finished render that is
almost indistinguishable from the high resolution model. Obviously, what you’re seeing here is a
render-time effect applied to a low resolution model. What if you wanted to continue to sculpt this
model as a high resolution figure? After all, every time you click on the model, the smoothing is
deactivated and the displacement effect along with it.

● Divide the mesh three more times to reach subdivision level 7.

The model is now comprised of as many polygons as the original high resolution version.

● Click Tool:Displacement:Apply DispMap.

This button converts the details created by the displacement effect back into being a part of the
actual mesh. It’s sort of like applying Projection Master to your entire model, all at once. It also
sets the displacement intensity back to 0, but your mesh will not appear to change.

● Activate Quick 3D Edit again.

This turns off all smoothing. Your mesh still looks exactly like the high resolution version still on
the left side of the canvas. The displacement map has been applied as actual geometry, and you
can now continue to sculpt on the mesh or use Projection Master, just as if you’d never gone
through the displacement process to begin with.

In Conclusion

ZBrush 2 provides an incredibly fast and efficient method to create high resolution versions of
your models and generate difference maps from them. This technique eliminates the need to create
and scan clay sculptures in order to create high quality maps, thus saving tremendous time and
money.

Modifiers are available to fit the needs of your rendering software. In addition, ZBrush 2 can not
only render displacement maps, but can actually transform their detail back into being a part of the
high resolution mesh. This makes it possible to edit the high resolution model further, and
provides an alternative to having to fill up hard drive space by always saving the high resolution

This tutorial is also available as the “Displacement Mapping Tutorial” ZScript, found in the
Modeling 3D Objects\Displacement Maps chapter of the Help browser. Part 4 of that
tutorial shows the material covered in this section of the manual.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Warrior Image
From ZBrushInfo

by By J.S. Rolhion

Contents
● 1 Creating Armor with ZSpheres
❍ 1.1 In Conclusion

● 2 Sculpting the Armor

❍ 2.1 In Conclusion

● 3 Fine Details with Projection Master

❍ 3.1 In Conclusion

● 4 More Armor: Upper Arm

❍ 4.1 In Conclusion

❍ 5.1 In Conclusion

● 6 Combining Everything Into a Scene

❍ 6.1 In Conclusion

Creating Armor with ZSpheres

In this section, we’ll use ZSpheres to create a base mesh that will be refined in the following
sections.
● If this is not a fresh ZBrush session, initialize ZBrush (Preferences:Init ZBrush).
● Select the ZSphere tool.
● Holding down the Shift key, draw the ZSphere on the canvas.

By holding down the Shift key, you constrain ZBrush to draw the object “squarely” on the canvas.
It will be oriented so that X is perfectly horizontal, Y is vertical, and Z is directly facing the
camera.
● Press Transform:Edit Object.

This allows you to sculpt the most recently drawn object in this case, the ZSphere.

● Press S and change the Draw Size to 1.

This step is very important when working with ZSpheres. Larger draw sizes can cause you to
affect more than one ZSphere at a time, which is usually undesirable.

● Also in the Transform palette, click on X Symmetry.

Now all edits made to one side of the model will be duplicated on the other side.
The small circles indicate the future positions of ZSpheres. They turn green when the positioning
is ideal, but that is not always important. Don’t worry about it for the purposes of this tutorial.
Also, the red line is drawn from your pointer’s position to the center of the ZSphere that would be
affected by clicking at the pointer’s current location.

● Click and drag to add two new ZSpheres as shown:

The red ZSphere is the one that you actually draw, while symmetry also draws an identical
ZSphere on the other side. White lines show the parent/child relationships for the currently-
selected (red) ZSphere.

● Rotate the object by clicking and dragging on a blank part of the canvas.
● Switch to Edit:Move mode.

The keyboard shortcut for this is W.

● Click and drag on the new ZSphere to move it slightly away from its parent.

● Activate the mesh preview by pressing A.

● Change Tool:Adaptive Skin:Density to 4.

This greatly increases the number of polygons in the preview mesh. It also increases the number
of subdivision levels that a skin created from this model would have. Density of 4 means that the
skin would have 4 subdivision levels.

● If the preview looks like the image above, your ZSpheres are positioned correctly. If not,
adjust them as needed by pressing A, moving ZSpheres, and then reactivating the preview
until the mesh looks correct.
● Activate Edit:Draw mode by clicking on the Draw Pointer button or pressing Q.

● Create a new ZSphere for the armor’s torso.

To draw a single ZSphere, move your pointer so that the two red circles overlap. When they
become one circle, this indicates that a single ZSphere will be created, exactly centered along the
model’s axis. For this ZSphere, try to get the circle to turn green before you click and drag.

● Create another small ZSphere for the neck.

● Move the ZSphere slightly forward of center.

You can try different moves and then see the result by pressing A to activate the preview. To help
get the proper positioning, don’t hesitate to rotate your model. You will often find that it is
beneficial to work from one of the “planar” views. Rotate the object so that it is close to the planar
orientation, then hold down the Shift key to snap it into position.

● Move the neck ZSphere into the main structure. You’ll know that its position is correct
when it becomes semi-transparent.

When a ZSphere is inset into its parent, its effect on the mesh changes. Instead of adding to the
mesh’s mass, it creates an indentation.
● Activate the preview, then set the density to 3.

While ZSphere meshes can be created with any density up to 8, lower numbers of polygons are
to this:

● When satisfied, deactivate the preview and then return to Edit:Draw mode so that more

● Draw arm ZSpheres from the base of the shoulders.

● Like with the neck, press W to switch to Move mode and then inset these new ZSpheres
into their parents.

● Return to Draw mode. Click on the first linking sphere connecting the chest ZSphere to the
shoulder.

Clicking on a linking sphere while in Edit:Draw mode converts it into a ZSphere. By adding a
new ZSphere so close to its parent and child, we force a crease to appear in the mesh as shown:
● With the preview active, change to Move mode.
● Increase your Draw Size to about 100. The cursor should be slightly larger than the waist
ZSphere.

While the preview mesh can be sculpted, it is important not to do so until you are sure that you
will not be adding additional ZSpheres or otherwise changing the structure of the ZSphere figure.
If you were to make a change to the ZSphere structure that caused the number of vertices in the
preview to change, your sculpting would be lost.

● Click on the bottom of the mesh and drag to move the center polygons up inside of the
figure.

There are other ways that you could achieve this same result, such as by adding another inset
ZSphere. We’re using this technique instead to show that you can sculpt the preview mesh, even
without skinning the model.

● Now increase the mesh density to a value of 5.

Now that the basic shape of the mesh is finished, it’s ok to add more polygons to it. This will
allow finer detail to be created in the next section.

● Press Tool:Save As and save your model as ArmorPart1.ztl

In Conclusion

ZSpheres provide a very fast and easy way to create a wide variety of shapes. All you need to do
is block out the shape that you want by creating a skeleton of linked ZSpheres, and ZBrush will
then create a nicely-organized mesh around the structure. You can preview this mesh at any time,
and even sculpt the preview on a polygonal level. For more information on ZSphere modeling,
including the use of Attractors (magnet ZSpheres), be sure to review the ZScript documentation
and tutorials included with ZBrush.

In the next section, we will add details to the armor using the mesh-level editing tools that are at
our disposal.

Sculpting the Armor

In this section, we will explore ZBrush 2’s new editing tools to further refine the shape of our
mesh.

The Transform Brushes provide a really powerful way to obtain precise results when adding
details to a mesh figure. You’ll find them in the Transform palette.
● Std is the Standard brush. It moves points away from the surface along a single direction.
This direction is determined by the surface normal at the center of the brush’s area of
influence.
● StdDot is similar to the Std brush, except that it only draws a single “bump.” This bump
can be dragged across the surface until you are satisfied with its position.
● Inflat has an effect that can be very similar to Std, or very different depending on where
you use it. Every point within the brush’s area of effect is moved according to its own
normal. On mostly flat areas, this effect is indistinguishable from Std, but in places where
the polygons have very different orientations this brush has the effect of infating the edited
area.
● InflatDot allows precise placement of an inflated bulge by allowing you to drag the
inflated area around before releasing the mouse.
● Layer raises the polygons in a single hard-edged layer. The effect is similar to the Single
Layer tool when painting in 2.5D, but works on a fully 3D polygonal level.
● Pinch pulls nearby polygons toward the center of the edited area. This is very useful for
creating creases or sharpening edges.
● Nudge pushes vertices along the object’s surface. This is useful for refining edge loops and
the overall “flow” of polygons.
● Smooth is used to soften edits that have been made to the surface of a model by averaging
the points within its area of influence. Taken to an extreme, it can erase edits that have
been made to portions of a mesh.

Many brushes can also be reversed by holding down the Alt key. For example, Std normally adds
depth to a surface but by holding down Alt it can cut into the surface instead.

Each brush has its own Z Intensity settings.

Last of all, the Shift key by default activates the Smooth brush. You can change this by holding
Shift while activating any of the other editing brushes. Shift will then activate that brush instead.
Let’s start putting this into practice.

● If you are starting a new session, press Tool:Load Tool and select ArmorPart1.ztl. Draw it
on the canvas and press T to enter Edit Mode.

Make sure that Edit:Draw is active, like in the illustration above. Also make sure that X Symmetry
is still active.

● Set your Draw Size to 39, and Z Intensity to 25.

● Paint additional detail onto the model to build up the neck and chest.

While working, you can change your Draw Size and Z Intensity. Be sure to add details to every
side of the mesh. You may also at times want to hold down the Alt key to chisel into the mesh
rather than building up detail.
These tools are very intuitive, since they are much like traditional sculpture. They are extremely
useful for organic shapes. Of course, armor is usually very sharp along edges and intersections.
ZBrush can accommodate this need, as well.

● Choose a Z Intensity of 40 and a Draw Size of 25.

● Draw on the areas where you wish to make harder edges.
As you can see, this brush directly sharpens area where we originally had an organic look that was
not realistic enough for this armor.

You should experiment with different Z Intensity and Draw Size settings to really get a feel for
this brush, or to achieve different results. Feel free as you work to alternate between Std and
Pinch.

This creates a new object in the Tool palette, which starts with “Skin” for the object name. This
new mesh is no longer tied to the ZSpheres that were used to generate it, and is a discreet
polymesh object.
You could actually continue to work with the model while it’s connected to the ZSpheres. While
this is useful if you plan to animate the finished figure in ZBrush, it’s not necessary for a project
such as this still scene.

● Save the model as ArmorPart2a.ztl.

It’s always wise to save your work in case you wish to return to the ZSphere model later for some
reason.

● Press T to exit Edit Mode, then Ctrl+N to clear the canvas.

We do this because the ZSphere version of the model is still on the canvas. ZBrush is programmed
to work this way, since it allows you to change the model and create additional skins if you wish.
For our purposes, though, we want to switch to the skin object instead of the ZSphere model, so
we need to remove the ZSphere figure from the canvas. Place your pointer over the thumbnail for
the skin object. A popup will appear with information about the mesh, including the number of
polygons, points, groups, etc. This information can be very useful.

When creating a skin using the Make Adaptive Skin button, ZBrush also keeps the mesh’s
subdivision levels. This means that you could actually make broad-scale changes to your mesh by
going to a lower subdivision level and moving a few points, then return to the higher level without
losing the detail that has been sculpted so far. We’ll make use of this feature later.

● Select the skin object and draw it on the canvas.

● Press T to enter Edit Mode.
● In Tool palette, click on Geometry to open the Geometry menu.
● Press Divide.

Dividing the mesh quadruples the number of polygons. More polygons make it possible for finer
details to be added to the mesh. The number of times that you can divide the mesh is ultimately
dependent on the amount of RAM that your system has and the processor speed.

Dividing also adds a new subdivision level in the top section of the Geometry menu. You can then
use the Lower Res button to temporarily decrease the number of polygons and Higher Res to
increase it again.

● Select the Intensity Metal material.

While the Fast Shader material allows slightly faster mesh interaction (especially at really high
polygon counts), it is also beneficial to be able to see what the figure will look like with a metallic
material.

You can create your own material by changing the modifiers, but for this tutorial the standard
Intensity Metal is perfect.

● Select Transform:InflatDot
● Set the Draw Size to 10.
● Click on the surface of your model. Drag the raised dot to where you want it, then release
the mouse.
Feel free to put these dots anywhere you like to add visual interest to the armor.

As you can see, this is a very fast and easy way to create detail!

● Use varying Z Intensity settings to modify achieve different effects.

When you’re done, the armor should look something like the image below (depending on how
much detail you’ve chosen to add).

● Save the tool as ArmorPart2b.ztl

In Conclusion
In this section we’ve created a skin from our ZSphere model and experimented with several of the
sculpting brushes to refine the look of our armor. These techniques allow us to sculpt the figure in
a very intuitive way, working with the model as if it’s made of clay.

In the next section, we’ll add more details in a different way: using Projection Master.

Fine Details with Projection Master

In this section we’ll finish the armor chest plate by using Projection Master to paint detail onto the
model. We’ll also cover the subjects of texturing, lighting and rendering.

In part 2 we saw how to create the base mesh for the armor through modelling. But what about
when you wish to add detail that cannot be achieved through the editing brushes?

ZBrush offers an innovative solution called Projection Master. Using this utility, you can literally
paint details onto the model, using any or all of ZBrush’s 2.5D painting tools.

UV mapping will also be assigned to the model, which can be used for texturing or for export to
other applications.

● If it is not already active on the screen, load ArmorPart2b.ztl and draw it on the screen.
Enter Edit Mode by pressing the T key.
● Hold down the Shift key and rotate the model so that it is exactly facing you.
● Ensure that the model is at least subdivision level 7. If you don’t have enough subdivision
levels, add another by Dividing the mesh.

Projection Master will project anything you paint directly onto the mesh below. Because of this, it
is important to position your model so that the area that you will be working on is facing the
camera as directly as possible.

The following popup menu will open:

You are presented with a panel showing the various Projection Master options. The top section is
for painting textures while the bottom section is for projecting displacements. As you click on the
check boxes, the preview to the right will update to show the effect that your selection will have.

● Activate the options shown above (Colors, Material, Fade, Deformation and Normalized).
● Click Drop Now.

ZBrush will snapshot the model to the canvas. This prevents the model from being rotated until
you use Projection Master to pick it up again, but it also enables all of ZBrush’s other tools. This
opens up possibilities beyond what can be achieved with the Transform palette alone.

Aside
Projection Master functions best when the texture dimensions are a power of 2. These include:
256x256, 512x512, 1024x1024 (the default), 2048x2048, or 4096x4096.

Since a texture has not yet been created for this model, Projection Master will prompt you with a
warning window.

This instructs ZBrush to create a texture at the default size of 1024x1024.

If you wanted to work with a different size, you would cancel projection instead and create a
texture. First, you would need to set the desired width and height in the Texture palette. Next,
click New. Finally, open Tool:Texture and select the UV mapping that you would like to use
(unless you’re working with an imported model that already has mapping applied).
Since the model cannot be rotated while you are working on it, a full mesh texturing needs to be
done in parts, over the course of several drop and pick cycles. You will usually find that it works
best to paint the entire model with one step before moving on to the next. For example, paint a
base texture across the entire model (using several drops and picks). Next paint the next level of
detail onto the entire model. Then proceed to the next level of detail, etc. This makes it easy to
keep your work consistent across the entire model.

● Choose the Single Layer brush.

● Choose alpha 08.
● Choose the Spray stroke.

● Set Zsub with a Z Intensity between 5 and 10, and a Draw Size between 10 and 15.

● Begin texturing by painting details like you see on the example below.
Feel free to experiment with different alphas, Z Intensity settings, and Draw Sizes to create
naturalistic results.

● Choose the Simple Brush

● Select alpha 52
● Choose the DragRect stroke.
● Activate Zadd and set the Z Intensity to 25

● Click and drag on the mesh to create a large sunburst.

Remember that after drawing the stroke, you can use the gyro to move and scale it for the best
positioning. Note that for this tutorial, we are using the alphas that have been included with
ZBrush. If you wish, you can modify them using the Focal Shift slider and Alpha Adjust curve.
You can also create or import your own to create custom brushes and personalize the armor.

As you can see, you can obtain a very high level of detail using the various brushes, alphas, and
stroke types. Feel free to add as many details as you wish.

● Click the Projection Master button again.

The Projection Master panel will open once more. It will be exactly like you last saw it, except
that Drop Now has changed to Pickup Now.

At this point, you can change your settings if you find that your creativity took you in a direction
that you hadn’t anticipated. In our example, we did not paint any colors or materials onto the
model.

● Deselect Colors and Material.

Of course, your own experimenting might have led you to use color and/or material. If that’s the
case, then you should modify the settings appropriately.

● Press Pickup Now.

At this point, ZBrush will return the model to Edit Mode, ready for you to rotate it to a new
position or do anything else that you like. In the process, all of the details that you have painted
while it was dropped will be transferred onto the model. In the case of depth details, they will be
incorporated directly into the mesh geometry. The quality of this projection displacement will
depend upon the number of polygons that your model has. More polygons mean the ability to
paint finer levels of detail.

● Rotate the model to take a look at your work.

As you can see, all painted depth has literally become a part of the mesh.

● Repeat the Projection Master steps from several different angles to add details to the entire
mesh.

Feel free to use different colors and alphas to get a variety of rust effects and produce a truly aged,
beaten look. Various Z Intensity and Rgb Intensity settings will also lend realistic randomness to
your work. The more time you put into this step, the more compelling your finished scene will be!

Now that texturing and painted displacements are complete, we are ready to take a look at some of
ZBrush’s lighting and rendering options.

Lighting in ZBrush is very powerful. Different options are available, such as colored lights, light
intensity, light type (Sun, Point, Spot, Glow, Radial), very precise placement, and raytraced

Aside
Regarding Rays and Aperture: The more rays you use, the more realistic your shadows will be
(at the price of longer render times). More rays also makes the shadows softer, and you should
lower generally lower the Aperture setting to compensate.

● Duplicate the settings below, or feel free to modify them.

If you wish to learn more about any setting, hold down the Ctrl key and place the pointer over it.

● Rotate the model into a position that you like, then exit Edit Mode (press T).

While ZBrush can do a Best render while a model is in Edit Mode, ZBrush will only render the
model and a bounding box surrounding it. To render the entire scene, Edit Mode must be off.

This tells ZBrush to render shadows when a Best render is performed.

● Turn SoftZ and SoftRGB on. Set the Antialiasing adjustments as shown.
This will give a higher quality to the Best render.

● Press the Best button to render the scene.

While it certainly took you longer to work through this tutorial because you are still learning
ZBrush and also had to read and follow the steps, I’d like to say that I created this whole
breastplate in 30 minutes, including rendering. A “classic” workflow (using the other modeling
packages on the market) would have taken a little bit longer. :-)

If you are using the model within a ZBrush scene (like we will do later in this tutorial), there is
nothing more that you need to do.

● Save your model as ArmorPart3.ztl.

However, if you are planning to use the model in an animation package, it would be a simple
matter to create a displacement and/or normal map, and then export a cage object from ZBrush as
an OBJ. Displacement and normal maps are really powerful when exported to other applications,
and enable you to keep all these wonderful details while working with a much lower resolution
mesh. Bear in mind that the quality of the finished work will depend on how your rendering
engine implements such features. For further details, see ZMapper.

In Conclusion

This section of the armor tutorial has given us hands-on experience with texturing and painting
displacements onto a mesh. Once a model has been dropped to the canvas, ALL of ZBrush’s tools
become available for use, including meshes that have been imported from other sessions or
programs. This provides an extremely fast and powerful approach for adding high resolution detail
to your meshes, which in turn results in far more compelling renders.

More Armor: Upper Arm

In the last three sections, we learned how to use ZSpheres to create a simple mesh and then detail
that model through the combined use of ZBrush’s editing brushes and Projection Master. In this
section, we will practice those techniques by creating another piece of armor to be used in the
finished scene.

In this section, we’ll begin with ZSpheres, and then go all the way through mesh sculpting and
projection painting. Let’s dive right in!

● Initialize ZBrush or clear the canvas.

● Select the ZSphere tool and draw it on the canvas.

● Enter Edit Mode and set the Draw Size to 1.

● Activate X symmetry.
● Hold down the Shift key and move the pointer over the ZSphere until the two red circles
become one and turn green. Click to add a new ZSphere.

By holding down the Shift key when adding a new ZSphere, we tell ZBrush to make the new
ZSphere identical in size to the first one. Making the ZSphere when the cursor is green means that
the ZSphere will have the optimal placement for a clean mesh.

● Press W to switch to Move mode, then rotate the model and move the new ZSphere down a
little as shown.

● Move the new ZSphere back into the first one until it changes to show that it will create an
indentation in the mesh.
● On the opposite side of the root (first) ZSphere from the ones that you have added thus far,
create two more ZSpheres.

The easiest way is to create one, move it down so that it is connected to its parent by three linking
spheres, then convert the first linking sphere to a ZSphere by clicking on it while in Edit Draw
mode.

● Preview the mesh by pressing Tool:Adaptive Skin:Preview (or A on your keyboard).

● Set Tool:Adaptive Skin:Ires to 7.

Ires is an advanced feature covered in the online users guide and by holding the Ctrl key while
moving your pointer over the slider. It affects the way that skins are created.
The mesh should look similar to what you see above. If necessary, you can adjust the ZSpheres by
pressing A and then moving or scaling them as appropriate.

● Make sure that Density is set to 2.

● With the preview active, press W to switch to Edit Move mode. Using a Draw Size of
between 50 and 70, move polygons around to refine the shape as shown.
Feel free to change the Draw Size as necessary while you work.

● Once you are satisfied with the base mesh, increase the Density to 3, and click the Make

This operation creates a new polygon mesh in the Tool palette. This new mesh has three
subdivision levels, so you can return to the lower resolution later if you wish to make large-scale

● Press T to leave Edit Mode, then Layer:Clear (Ctrl+N) to clear the canvas.
● Select the new mesh in the Tool palette.
● Draw the new mesh on the canvas and press Transform:Edit Object to return to Edit Mode.
● Press Tool:Geometry:Divide a few times until you have 7 subdivision levels.

This step can also be avoided by setting Tool:Adaptive Skin:Density to 7 before skinning the
ZSphere model. From here forward, the mesh will be edited at an extremely high resolution using
the various Transform brushes. However, if you would like to make large-scale changes to the
mesh, you can use the Lower Res button to temporarily reduce the number of polygons. It is then
a matter of moving a few points to make major changes to the mesh. When you return to
subdivision level 7, the mesh will adapt to the new shape without losing any details that you have
sculpted at this higher level.

Multi-resolution mesh editing enables you to sculpt any level of detail at any time. This frees your
creativity by letting you work in a non-linear fashion.

● Use Transform:Inflate to exaggerate the ridge. A Draw Size of 7 and Z Intensity of 25 are
appropriate to begin with.
Feel free to experiment with different sizes and intensities as you work.

Z Intensity of 40 and Draw Size of 25 are probably what you’ll need.

● Switching between Inflate and Pinch, chisel a ring around the mesh.

Remember that you can switch between Zadd and Zsub by holding down the Alt key. This turns
Inflate into Deflate, allowing you to cut the ring. The edges can then be sharpened using Pinch.

● Select the Intensity Metal material.

As with the breastplate, it is nice to be able to see a material applied to the model while working,
so as to have a better impression of what the finished result will be.

● Using InflatDot and various Z Intensity settings, add bumps and spikes to the armpiece.

● Using a very small Draw Size and a high Z Intensity, add small spikes to the edges.
● Rotate the model to the position shown in the next illustration.
● Activate Projection Master. Make sure that Color, Fade, Deformation and Normalized are
active, then click the “Drop Now” button.
● Click the “Create a texture and continue” button in the help dialogue box that will appear.
● Select a pale yellow color, the Single Layer brush, alpha 6, and the Line stroke.
● Paint several lines as shown.
● When finished, press the Projection Master button, then pick up the mesh.
● Rotate the model to new positions and continue adding details.

The Fade setting in Projection Master helps with this. What it does is apply the strongest
projections to polygons pointing directly toward the camera and no projections to polygons
pointing to the side. This fading effect makes it much easier to blend the details together over
several Drop and Pick operations.

Remember that you can also return to using the Transform brushes at any time. Feel free to
experiment, using each form of mesh sculpting to add different kinds of details. (For example,
cracks can be added most easily using Transform:Std rather than Projection Master).

Also feel free to use color variations and even materials to really “rough up” the armor.
Here is where we finished. You can duplicate our work, or try new ideas of your own. Since this
section is meant to refine your skills with the various techniques employed, you should
experiment as much as you like!

● Save your model as ArmorPart4.ztl

In Conclusion

While no new ground has been covered in this section, you should already be seeing an increase in
your working speed. It undoubtedly took you less time to create this upper arm piece than it did to
create the breastplate. In the next section, we’ll sculpt the head of the man who will be wearing
our armor.

Since this section builds upon techniques taught in the previous parts of this tutorial, it is highly
recommended that you complete those first.

Many people consider realistic heads to be one of the most difficult modeling tasks. It doesn’t
need to be! Through the use of ZSpheres, multi-resolution mesh editing, the various sculpting
tools, and Projection Master, you can sculpt a believable head nearly as easily as the armor pieces
that have been done thus far.

Since this tutorial builds upon the techniques already covered in the earlier sections, we will not
go over many of the basics. It will generally be assumed that you know how to do many of the
steps.

So let's start!

● Initialize ZBrush.
● Select the ZSphere tool and while holding down the Shift key, draw it on the canvas.
● Activate Transform:Edit Object, and then press the X key to turn on X symmetry.
● As always when working with ZSpheres, change the Draw Size to 1.
● Add two new ZSpheres as shown below.
● Rotate the model to the side, and hold down the Shift key to snap to a perfect side view.
● Move the ZSpheres into their parent so that they will create indentations.

● Add more ZSpheres for the ears, nose and mouth. Move the mouth and ear Zspheres into
the parent, as well.

● Activate the mesh preview.

The problem here is caused by the fact that ZSpheres are treated as cubes for skinning purposes.
Each face of the cube normally can have one child in order to create a clean mesh. However, in
this case we have four children on the same side. This can be resolved by changing the Ires setting
from its default of 6.

● Set Ires to 1.

● Make an Adaptive Skin, and draw it on the canvas.

We no longer need the ZSphere model. Its sole purpose was to give us a basic face shape that we
can then refine using mesh editing tools.

● Enter Edit mode and make sure that X Symmetry is active.

● Using the Move tool and medium Draw Sizes (between 30 and 50), move points around to
begin refining the shape.

The following steps are a general guideline, only. Be creative as you move points around. The
important thing is to block out the overall shape of the head while there are few polygons to
contend with.

Use different Draw Size settings while you work, depending upon how many points you wish to
affect at a time. For example, when adding the neck you will probably want to use a large Draw
Size. Alternatively, you can use the Geometry menu to go to Subdivision Level 1, move just a few
Notice that for step 6, the mesh resolution has been increased. For this step, we divided the mesh
once, adding a third subdivision level.

● Continue to refine the face.

From this point on, different artists have different preferences. Some like to sculpt as much as
possible by moving a few points at a low subdivision level. They only add a new level after they
have accomplished as much as they can at the current level. Other artists prefer to jump to a high
level and sculpt. Ultimately, you should try both approaches and decide which works best for you.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way.
● Divide once more.
● Using the Inflat brush, begin adding brows, cheek bones and nostrils.

Change Draw Size and Z Intensity as necessary to get the results that you’re looking for.

● Add ears by using Inflate to create the raised ring of the ear (1), followed by Move mode to
push it into shape (2).
● Move can also be used to refine the cheek shape (3) and the eyes (4).

These steps are all illustrated in the image on the next page:
● Divide the mesh once more. Continue using Inflat to add details such as fatty tissues and
lips, nostrils, etc.

● Continue work, dividing as necessary to add finer levels of detail.

Remember as you work that even after you have divided the mesh, you can always return to a
lower subdivision level. Also, remember that Inflat can be reversed by holding down the Alt key.

At some point, you will want to turn off symmetry and Move large parts of the mesh around a bit
to keep the face from being unnaturally symmetrical. At this point, you can also add character to
your figure by sculpting details such as veins and scars. You might even rough up the nose and
chin a bit to create pores or places for stubble. A lot is possible when you can work with millions
of polygons in real time!

Once the face has been sculpted, it’s time to apply a material. We’ll build a skin shader by using
ZBrush’s copy and paste features for the Material palette.

● Begin by selecting the Colorizer 1 material.

● Select the S1 channel and press CopySH to copy this shader.

● Select the S1 channel again and press PasteSH.

What we have done is create a material with four shader channels, the first of which is from the
Colorizer1 material. We can now easily modify this to create a complex, four-layered material
effect that will appear to be somewhat translucent.

The images below show the settings that you should use for each channel.
As you can see, a lot has been accomplished toward a “textured” appearance for the model
without having to use any texture at all! The ability to create custom materials by copying and
pasting channels together is truly powerful. Even so, there is only so far that the material will take
you. For more detail, it is necessary to paint a texture.
● Activate subdivision level 1.

New UV mapping can only be assigned at the lowest subdivision level.

● Create a new texture by setting Texture:Width and Height to 2048, each, and then pressing
New.
● Assign UV coordinates to the model by pressing Tool:Texture:GUVTiles.

This assigns the Group UVTiles mapping method that is unique to ZBrush 2. It is as distortion-
free as is mathematically possible, while still keeping the groups of polygons as large as possible.
It is ideal for painting on using Projection Master.

● Rotate the model so it faces the camera squarely.

Remember that you can press Shift when near the desired orientation to snap the model into
position.

● Press the Projection Master button, select Colors and Fade, then press “Drop Now”.

● Use your choice of brushes, alphas and stroke types to begin texturing.

In our example, we began with the Single Layer brush, alpha 7, and the Spray stroke.
The nice thing about the Spray stroke is that it has a random quality that is very suitable to
texturing natural objects.

This allows us to paint with color, alone. No depth or materials will be added while we work.
Vary your colors, draw size, RGB Intensity, etc. Low Rgb Intensity settings are essential for
realistic texturing, since they allow you to build color up gradually, blending it together as you go.

● When ready, use Projection Master to pick up the model and rotate it to a new angle.

Remember that in order to keep your texturing consistent across the entire surface of the model
you shouldn’t try to do everything at once! Instead, it is best to repeatedly pick up the model,
rotate it to a new angle, and drop it again so that you can texture every part of the head that can
benefit from the current settings before you changing them to add a different kind of detail. This
process of dropping and picking will quickly become second nature to you.

Here is our texturing in progress:

Many details will be added by the material’s cavity settings. These will not appear, however, until
a Best render is performed. Check your work occasionally by doing one while the model is
dropped.

The next page shows our finished result.

● Save this head as Head.ztl. When prompted to save the texture with the model, say yes.
● In addition, you should save your material by pressing Material:Save. Call it skin.zmt.

In Conclusion

Using ZSpheres, a very basic mesh complete with edge loops can quickly be blocked out. This
mesh can then easily be modified by using the many sculpting brushes available from the
Transform palette. More and more polygons are added to the mesh as necessary for the details that
we wish to add. When modeling is finished, a complex material can be built by combining
elements from other materials. Projection Master then provides an easy way to paint textures
directly onto the model without the need to compensate for UV mapping distortions. What’s more,
ZBrush offers several UV mapping methods including the new GUVTiles.

Combining Everything Into a Scene

This is where it all comes together! The various elements from the previous five sections will now
be used to build a scene, which will be finished and rendered.

Something that you may have noticed in the course of working on this project is that we did not
attempt to create a single character but instead created a few pieces. This is because our figure is
going to be used within ZBrush and so each piece can be added to the canvas one at a time.

This feature of ZBrush has several strengths. First, we at this point have four very “heavy” pieces
in terms of polygons. If all four of them were active in a scene at the same time, your system
might very well begin slowing down. But since ZBrush makes it possible to snapshot each piece
to the canvas, you actually only have one that exists as polygons at any given moment. You could
actually build scenes with figures totally billions of polygons, yet never sacrifice real-time
interactivity.
The second advantage to building one piece at a time is that these pieces can be posed any which
way you please without the need for skeletal rigs or anything else. Place each part where you want
for the scene and you’re done! The third benefit is that pieces can be recycled from one scene to
the next. The Smooth brush can be used to remove details, making room for fresh detailing
without the need to build a whole new model. The other editing tools make it easy to reshape
elements; for example to change the shape of a face and give him a new expression. By building a
relatively small library of reusable parts, you can create an endless variety of scenes while saving
hours off the time required creating each one.

Before putting together the final composition, you’ll need to define the size of the final image.

● Click Document:New Document.

● Turn off Pro, then set the Width to 1400 and the height to 1200.

With Pro turned off, we can change the width and height values independently, creating
documents with different relative dimensions.

The size of your document should be double the size of the image that you plan to export from
ZBrush. Ours will be 700x600, so we create it at 1400x1200. This allows us to take advantage of
ZBrush’s antialiasing zoom level for the best quality render.
● Click Resize

Your document is now probably too large to fit within the viewable area. This is not a problem, as
you can zoom out to get a full view when you need it (such as when blocking out the scene), then

● Press the AAHalf button on the right shelf.

The Half-Sized antialiased view is now active, and depending on your display resolution, the
entire canvas could well be visible again. The advantage to working in this view is that you can
see exactly what the final image will look like while you work.

● Select the Intensity Metal material.

● Draw the model on the canvas.
● Move, scale and rotate it into the position shown.
There are two ways that you can do this, depending on your preferences. In the example above,
we entered Edit Mode and used the Move, Scale and Rotate icons from the right shelf to position
it. That was fine for this piece since there was no need to change the depth.

Alternatively, you could use the gyro. The main difference is that you can change the object’s
depth with this method. Also, you can use the sliders in Transform:Info to achieve very precise
placement should you need it for a project.

At this point, the breastplate is now snapshot to the canvas and cannot be moved without clearing
the layer and drawing it again.

● Press Layer:Create to add a new one and make it active.

● Select the Skin material.

If this is a new session, the material will not be in the palette. In this case, select any material that
you do not plan to use in your scene (Fast Shader 5 is a good one) and then load the Skin.zmt that
you saved in section 5. The skin material will replace the other.

● Draw the head on the canvas.

● Activate the Move switch. Use the gyro to move the head into position.

● Create another layer.

● Select the Sphere3D tool.
● Choose the Toy Plastic material.

● Draw the Sphere3D. Use the gyro to move it into position within the head’s eye socket.

● When it is positioned right, press Shift+S to snapshot it to the canvas.

● Use the gyro to position the second eye.
Snapshot lets us create an instance of the object without having to turn off the gyro and draw a
second copy. This means that both eyes will be the same size.

We now have one layer with armor, one with the head, and one with the eyes. There are several
advantages to placing intersecting elements on their own layers. For example, if we decided that
we weren’t happy with the head we could clear that layer and draw it again without affecting
anything on the other layers. Also, we will be able to paint on the eyes or armor without worrying
about affecting the head in any way. Layers are far more than an organizational tool!

● For the background, select the Plane3D.

● Create a new layer.
● Select the Basic Material.
● Draw the plane on the canvas and use the gyro to move it into a background position.

● Use Scale to enlarge the background so that it fills the canvas.

● Paint your background using any method that you like.

We used the Single Layer brush, alpha 01 and the Spray stroke to do the majority of the painting.
Because the background is on a separate layer, it can be painted on without affecting the rest of
the scene. Modify the material properties if you like to make the background more visually
interesting. For example, you could use a little bit of color bump, and even slightly increase the
High Dynamic Range modifier to realistically brighten the sky.

● When you are satisfied, press Layer:Bake.

This changes the layer to the Flat Color material and converts the colors that are generated by the
material on this layer to unshaded colors. There are two important reasons for doing this: You
could now use the correction brushes (such as Highlighter II, Smudge and Blur) to add even more
detail to the background. Since these brushes affect unshaded color, you will get the most
dramatic results from them when working on a layer that has been baked.
The Flat Color material is impervious to shadows. This means that when we set up our lighting
and render the scene with shadows, the man in his armor will not cast shadows on the sky (which
wouldn’t be very believable).

● Select the layer that the breastplate is on.

We’ll keep both armor parts on the same layer so that we can paint additional details and keep
them consistent across the figure.

● Draw the arm on the canvas and use the gyro to move, scale and rotate it into position.
● Snapshot the arm, then move and rotate the second one into place.

You may find that the second arm becomes partly submerged in the background layer. This is
easily corrected by selecting the background layer and increasing the Layer:Displace Z slider by
small increments until the background is completely behind the figure.

Now that the scene is blocked out, it’s time to bring it to life.

● Use the various paint tools, alphas, and stroke types to paint character onto the head and
armor.
You can also add soft details using different Draw Size, Z Intensity and Rgb Intensity settings, as
well as toggling between Rgb and Mrgb. Activate Zadd or Zsub when you wish to paint depth, but
otherwise turn them off. Change layers as necessary to paint the part that you wish.

Don’t forget to add details such as iris and pupil on the eyes. Also, the Shading Enhancer brush is
great for adding shadows on the eyes caused by the eyelids. All brushes with the split thumbnail
can be reversed by holding down the Alt key. For example, the Blur brush can become Sharpen
and Highlighter can be used to darken instead.

Simulate rust on the armor, and in general have fun with the image.

You might want to reuse the settings from part 5, but this time activate ZMode in the Light:

● Adjust the Render settings to match those from part 5.

● Press Render:Best Renderer.
In Conclusion

2D tools, 2.5D tools and 3D tools in one integrated environment. And all of that in real time! This
gives artists the freedom to experiment a lot more than could be accomplished with either a 2D or
a 3D program.

● Disclaimers
Tutorial: Dragon Lizard
From ZBrushInfo

by Lonnie Sargent

Contents
● 1 Low-Resolution Mesh
● 2 Creating Details
● 3 Finishing Work
❍ 3.1 Light Settings

❍ 3.3 Render Settings

Low-Resolution Mesh

This section of the multipart tutorial covers how to use ZBrush 2’s Edge Loops feature for
modeling detailed meshes.
With the introduction of Edge Loops and many other exciting new features in ZBrush 2 we now
have more flexibility than ever in our approach to building models. A common method in the 3D
world for building models is called “Box Modeling.” A simple cube is taken and formed into a
basic shape to which additional detail and form is added. This can be done in ZBrush 2 now as
well, but ZBrush offers its own unique base modeling methods which greatly simplify the Box
Modeling technique. In Part 1 of this tutorial we shall use ZBrush box modeling techniques to
build and define a low-density mesh. Part 2 of the tutorial will explore refining and detailing the
model using new techniques and features found in ZBrush 2 . Part 3 of the tutorial will cover
texturing, painting, rendering and post work. The two alphas that are used in this tutorial are
available in the Image:Lizard Files.zip file.

These tutorials are of an intermediate level. It is assumed you have a basic understanding of
ZBrush and its features. If you have not done so, please go through the starting sections of this
manual and the ZScripts that were included with ZBrush 2 in order to familiarize yourself with all
the new features. Of immediate importance is that you understand and are comfortable with the
new polygon selection capabilities presented in ZBrush 2.0.
During the course of the tutorial I work in a document size of 1280 x 960. At the end of each of
the steps of the tutorial I highly advise you to save your tool. In the event something happens you
can always load the last saved tool without fear of having to start the tutorial from the beginning
again. Save your tool and save often!

Now without further ado let us begin our journey.

● Create a basic ZSphere object that looks similar to the one I have created.

You will notice as you create the object that the spheres are different from earlier versions of
ZBrush. The spheres are two-toned and you will see triangular vectors within it. The dual colors
allow easier manipulation of the spheres and indicate the orientation of the mesh (press A on the
keyboard to preview the mesh). The triangular vector inside the spheres indicates the child/parent
relationship of the currently selected sphere. The benefits of this feature become more evident
when dealing with larger ZSphere objects containing hundreds of branching sphere chains.
● We will be using an Adaptive Skin for modeling so set the Density of the Adaptive Skin to
1 and skin it.
● Clear the document and draw the new skin out onto the document.
● Enter Polyframe mode.

We will be working in this mode through the rest of this chapter. It is possible that your base mesh
may not look like the image on the right. If this is the case you may use the selection features in
ZBrush 2 to isolate the mesh as shown in the six steps below to reassign polygroups. This is not
entirely necessary in this tutorial, as it will not affect the final outcome of the model we are
working on but for purposes of following the tutorial you may find it helpful to match your mesh
to the mesh I have created in the image on above.

● You may find it necessary to tweak the model a bit by entering EDIT:MOVE and moving
the vertices around. Make sure you are in X-Symmetry mode when doing this by pressing
the X key on the keyboard.

You should see two red dots appear in symmetrical relation to one another on the model. Move
the vertices around until you are satisfied.

1) : The default polygroups generated;

2): Select the blue polygroups (your actual colors may differ);
3): The blue polygroup is selected and the remaining mesh is hidden;
4): Invert the selection;
5) : Assign the selected area to a new polygroup ;
6) : The final grouping.

● Subdivide the object once by pressing Divide located in the Tool:Geometry palette.

You should now have two subdivision levels. By subdividing we are generating additional
polygons, which will help us to further define groupings and place additional edge loops as we
model. Before we place the edge loops we must delete the lower subdivision level first.

● Go to TOOL:GEOMETRY and DEL LOWER.

It is located in the same palette as the Divide command. edge loops may only be created on the
lowest subdivision level thus for our purposes this step is necessary. Now we will create the eyes.

● While holding the Shift key rotate the object on the workspace until it snaps into a full side
view.
● Use CTRL+SHIFT DRAG to select the two rows of polygons depicted in the image
below.
With the object at a full side position we will be able to select the polygons needed on both sides
of the head at the same time. We need to further isolate the polygons we wish to work on. To do
this we will use the constrained HIDE SELECTION feature.

● Rotate the rows of polygons while holding the SHIFT key so that they snap into a top view.
● Then press CTRL+SHIFT and begin dragging the selection box across the top polygons.
Release both CTRL and SHIFT but continue to drag the selection box.

You will notice it will turn from green to red. This indicates that any selection made with the red
selection mode enabled will remove polygons from the currently selected group. This is the
opposite of the green selection mode which selects polygons. This is a handy feature but can be a
bit tricky to get accustomed to at first.
You should now have two polygons on each side of the head selected.

● Create an Edge loop on the selected polys.

It will be necessary to move the vertices around so they conform more to the shape of the original
polys.

● Enter EDIT:MOVE mode to do this.

Ultimately when the model is subdivided several times this “square” area will become rounded.
● Hide the outside edge loop of polygons by CTRL+SHIFT+LMB Clicking on them.
● Create another Edge loop and move the vertices once again. This time move the vertices
inward to create depth.

This will become the basis of the eye socket later on. Once you have completed cutting in all the
additional edge loops for the eyes and moving the vertices accordingly you should have something
similar to the picture below.

It is important to cut in all the edge loops that we need at this stage. If you wait until after you
have modeled in details to add edge loops you will be in for a nasty surprise. edge loops add
geometry and if you add geometry after you have detailed your model you will find the change in
mesh topology will destroy much of the detail you created. So it is a good habit to train oneself to
think ahead and get those loops in early on during the initial model development.
Next we will select the jaw area and begin to add edge loops using the same method we used for
the eyes.

● Select the polygons just below the eyes all the way through the first row just behind the
eyes.
● Create an edge loop and move the vertices if need be.
● Hide the edge loop of polygons you just created.
● Clean up the vertices by moving them.
● Create another edge loop.
● Hide the outer edge loop once again and create another edge loop (not shown here).

Your model should now look similar to the image below.

Move vertices around a bit and make any final adjustments that beg for attention.

● Use the same procedure to create edge loops for the nostrils.
Next we shall create the top ridge of plates that run along the top of the head.

● Select the polygons that run along the top of the base of the nostrils all the way to the back
edge of the neck as shown in the image at the right.
● Next you will create an Edge loop.

It should look similar to the image at the right.

● Make sure to move the vertices on the outer edge out closer to those edges.

Now we are ready to move on to making the actual ridges.

To create the ridge polygons on the back of the head we will use edge loops to extrude and make
new polygons for us.

● To do this we first select the polygons that will become the tops of the ridges.

The front three polys will each become a separate ridge and the back two polys near the base of
the neck will form the largest ridge.
● Select just the tops of the polys (see bottom of image) then enter EDIT:MOVE and move
the vertices upward.
● Next click on the EDGE LOOP button.

New polygons will be created between the original position and the new position of the vertices.
The blue edge loop in the image shows what this would look like when done correctly. The last
step would be to move any vertices around that might need tweaking to get the final form.
Following this same procedure we will create a set of horns for our dragon creature.

● Select the polygon that is about midway between the jaw and the base of the neck.

Make sure to select it on both sides of the head and be certain you are in symmetry mode.

● Create an Edge loop around these selected polygons.

● Then select the inside polygon and using EDIT:MOVE move the vertices out and away
● Create an Edge loop and you should have the first building block of your horn.
● Repeat the process and while you are moving the vertices about make sure to turn them
ever so slightly as you proceed so the horn has a gradually twist toward the front of the
face.

● Finish off by moving the vertices to give the horns final shape.

Creating the neck plate at the base of the neck involves the same Edge loop extrusion process.

● Select the last two rings of polys on the base of the neck.
● Using Edit:MOVE, move the vertices up and outward away from their original position.
● Use the Edge loop command to generate the additional polys. Then immediately follow it
with another Edge loop command.

You should get results similar too the image on the right. We are after that small ring of polys on
the inside edge so make certain you generate them with the Edge loop command.

● To finish off the neck plate, move the vertices to form a nice sweeping form. Flare it out
near the top and tighten it up near the bottom of the neck.

Don’t be afraid to exaggerate the form a bit. However, be careful to keep the vertices in a neat and
orderly fashion. If they become jumbled up now, then they will be all the more messy to work
with once you have subdivided the mesh several times. It is much easier to set things correctly
now than to fix them later.

The last step in creating our base mesh will be to determine areas that should have sharp edges.
We will do this around the eye socket, the base of the horns, and the base of the neck plate.

● Simply select the yellow eye polygons, all the polygons that comprise the horns, and the
blue and purple polygons that make up the neck plate.
● Next simply press the Crease button located in TOOL:GEOMETRY menu.

Small dotted lines will appear around the edges of your selected polygons. When subdivided,
these edges will remain weighted or crisp and will not be smoothed. The CreaseLvl setting next
to the Crease button tells ZBrush how long the crease will be propagated when subdividing. If left
at the default value of three

then the crease will remain in effect through three subsequent subdivisions after which it will
begin to smooth. Crease is a very powerful tool that can aid you in both organic and mechanical
modeling. The final model should look similar to the image depicted below. If you feel confident
enough about the tools I encourage you to experiment and make alterations. Experiment and have
fun.
Creating Details

With the base modeling complete, the tutorial now moves to the subject of high resolution details.
In this second chapter we shall be focusing entirely on detailing our model using many of the new
features to be found in ZBrush 2.0 . We will take a look at how alphas can be adjusted and put to
good use, how to create custom alphas on the fly while modeling, and how to use Projection
Master to advantage painting in details. So fire up ZBrush 2.0 and load the model you created
from Chapter 1 of the tutorial if you haven’t already done so. Let’s have fun.

● The first step will be to Divide the mesh twice.

This should place the mesh at three subdivision levels.

During this “roughing out” phase I like to use several TRANSFORM:EDIT BRUSHES . These
can be found in the Transform palette. My particular favorites at this stage of the modeling are
Standard and Inflate . I switch back and forth on brush sizes large sizes to cover large areas and
small sizes to do finer edge work. Generally a Zadd setting of around 8 to 12 will suffice. It is at
this point where all the extra edge loops we created around the eyes and mouth will come in
handy. With the added geometry in those areas we can inflate and add detail much easier without
fear of stretching too few polys over a wide surface area. Should you run into a situation where an
area has become overworked and looks a bit nasty then just use the Transform:Edit Smooth
Brush and smooth out the polys. This edit feature is ideal for fixing mistakes, smoothing rough
spots, or even flattening the surface of an area. You can also store a morph target and then use the
Morph brush to revert to the stored geometry.

After you have worked over the model use Edit:Move to move large areas like the neck flab into
a more natural-looking state.

You will want to take the opportunity to shape the eye at this point. Move the polygons around the
eye area to create a round socket. You can clean up afterwards if need be with the Smooth Brush.
● The ridges on top of the head need to be a bit larger so CTRL+LMB CLICK to select them
then perform an inverted selection by SHIFT+CTRL+LMB Dragging across the document
area away from the model.

This in effect hides the area you selected first and reveals the areas that were hidden.

● CTRL+LMB CLICK anywhere within the document window but not on the model itself.
This will mask the visible area.
● You can now reveal the entire model and as you can see the entire model save for the tops

Set your brush size to a large size (around 50) and proceed to EDIT:MOVE the vertices until you
get the shape and form you are after. The masking ensures that the rest of the model will remain
unaffected when we use our large brush size to move the vertices of the head ridges.

● We need to tighten up a few lines so let’s use the Pinch Brush.

● Set ZAdd to 50 and set the brush size to about 8 or 10.
● Use it on the line between the lips and also near the base of the horns where the horn meets
flesh.

This will tighten the lines and give a nice sharp form. I often use Pinch on eyelids, lips, teeth, and
around the nostrils. It is also a very handy tool for making scars. Let’s add a little more detail
around the mouth.

You should be at five subdivision levels now.

● Using the Standard Brush turn on Zsub with a setting around 10 and a small brush size and
sub out the areas where the two teeth will be placed.
● Use the Smooth Brush to smooth out areas that get a little rough and continue.
● Next use Zadd with the Standard Brush and begin working in some basic teeth shapes.
● Use Inflate Brush and Pinch Brush to punch the details, especially around the edges of the
teeth.
There is no need to overwork it at this point since we will be coming back to the teeth once we
have subdivided again.

● Use the Inflate Brush to add in some detail around the snout area.
● Use Edit:Move to push some of the polys around to get a more pleasing shape.

I did that with the nose to get more of a slope on top. Now let’s add some bumpy bits to the
model.

● Use both Standard Dot Brush and Inflate Dot Brush to place some bumps and warts around
the face area.
I used the Standard Dot Brush with a high setting to create the little horns near the mouth
opening. Now it is time to roll out the big guns and get Projection Master cranking.

● Divide the mesh two more times.

This should put it at seven subdivision levels. Be warned, at this level the mesh will most probably
be around 1.5 million polygons. If your system has limited resources you may want to limit the
subdivision to 6 levels instead of 7. Remember that you can speed up interaction with a high
polygon mesh by going to a lower subdivision level before rotating it, hiding all but the area that
you wish to work on, and then returning to your highest level.

● Rotate the model so it is in a side viewing position.

● Activate Projection Master.
● Turn off Colors and make sure Double Sided, Fade, Deformation, and Normalized are all
marked. Click the Drop Now button.
● You are now ready to begin displacement painting.

I used Alpha Brush 03 with a Focal Shift setting of 70 in conjunction with the Simple Brush
using DragRect stroke to lay in the rough areas on the skin.

● Use small values of Zsub and Zadd.

I generally use a setting of 1 or 2. When working in Projection Master at this point we are only
concerned with creating surface detail so we will be working with Zadd and Zsub exclusively.
You should not at this time have any other Drawing features enabled such as RGB or Material .
The scale texture on the bottom of the neck was created using a custom Alpha that I created on
another layer while working on the model. The Resources\Sargent folder contains the two alphas
that were used.

● I used the Single Layer brush with ZAdd and DragRect stroke to lay in the scales.

● Once we are done with this level of detailing, activate Projection Master again and click on
the Pickup Now button.

The detailing we painted will be picked up and the displacement will be calculated and applied to
the mesh.
You may notice the detail is a little less defined and not as sharp as it was when we were painting
it on. The crispness of the detail is completely dependent on the mesh density of the model you are
applying it to. To retain high levels of fine detail it will be necessary to create models with
polygon counts in excess of one million polygons. If your computer has the resources you can go
significantly higher. If you are having difficulty working on the entire model in this manner you
can select portions of it and hide the remaining mesh. Projection Master can be used on
selections just as easily as the whole model. Working on small select areas will help to optimize
computer performance and make it easier to manipulate large polygon meshes.

● Now, using Projection Master and various alphas, continue to paint in details.
I specifically like to use Alphas 7 and 8 with Focal Shift set to around 90 or 95. These alphas in
conjunction with the SimpleBrush and SingleLayer Brush make good work of laying in lines
and creases.

● Use a Zadd or Zsub setting of 1 or 2 and set the stroke to Freehand with Zero spacing.
● You can also at this stage accent certain areas of detail by adding to them.

For example the scales on the neck of our dragon creature could use a little more definition.

● Use the SimpleBrush and Zadd to accentuate some of the larger scales.
● Do the same on the ridges on the top of the head and the lips around the mouth.
● Put lines and creases around the eye socket.

Another custom alpha was used for the bumps on the head. It is also found in the Image:Lizard
Files.zip file.

The details will be applied to the mesh.

● We repeat the process to detail the horns and the neck plate.

Notice I selected the horns and neck plate and worked on them individually. This makes it much
easier to get into tight hard to reach areas. It also takes the strain off system resources.
Here we have the final result.
I encourage you to experiment with detailing in Projection Master using your own custom alphas
and settings.

Finishing Work

With high resolution detail sculpted, we’ll complete the project by focusing on 2.5D painting,
lighting, materials and rendering.
the previous chapter.
● Draw it on the workspace and move it into final position.
● Enter Edit mode by pressing the T key on the keyboard and choose a light sandy brown
● Fill the object with this color (Color:Fill Object) and drop it to the workspace by pressing
the T key again.

It is not necessary to choose a material at this time. We will be creating custom material later on.
The default Fast Shader material will suffice for now.

Now we will begin to paint in darker and lighter values of color.

● Select the Paintbrush, SprayStroke, activate RGB mode and set RGB value to 20.
● Select a darker brown and choose a Draw size of around 80.
● Begin making strokes across the model and darken areas to suggest shadow.

The paintbrush allows you to lay increasing values of color with each stroke so apply it in short
overlapping strokes. This will keep the color from looking too uniform. We will do the same for
● Using the same technique as before select a light crème color but change the brush size to
40 and apply it with the Dots stroke.
● Work in light areas around the face and surface areas that should be emphasized.

● Change the color to a medium red and set the brush size to 80.
● Change the RGB setting to 5 and paint in some red to give the color work a little more
impact.
● Switch to a light Cyan color and do the same.

● Select the Shading Enhancer tool. Set RGB value to 10 and select the Dots stroke.
● Set the brush size to about 20 and use the Shading Enhancer tool to lighten up areas that
should be highlighted.

Image:PM Lizard files image092.jpg

This includes raised features such as the brows and head ridges, areas around the mouth and neck
folds etc.

● Use the Shading Enhancer tool to darken in recessed areas by holding the ALT key.
● Paint darker areas where the facial features recede into shadow.

We will now add an eye.

● Begin by selecting the Sphere3d tool from the Tool menu.
● Select a dark red color and choose the Toy Plastic material.
● Create a new layer in the Layer menu.
● With this layer selected draw the Sphere3d into the eye socket.
● Press the W key on the keyboard to bring up the Gyro. Move the eye into position. When
done press the W key again.

To texture the eye choose the Shading Enhancer brush. Set RGB intensity to 10 and the
brush size to 18. Select Alpha 01.
● Start by working on the area of the Iris.

● Decrease the size of the brush to get sharper highlights.

● To paint in the pupil choose the Simple Brush from the Tool menu. Set RGB to 100 and
select black from the Color menu.
● Select Alpha 12 from the Alpha menu and set stroke to DragDot with a size of 8 and place
the pupil on the eye. Next select Alpha 09 from the Alpha menu and set the brush size to
22.
● Position this dark circle as shown in the above image.
● Select the Shading Enhancer brush again and set RGB intensity to 5 with a brush size of
15.
interest.
● Change brush size to 8 and the RGB intensity to 20.
● While holding the Alt key draw in dark areas around the outside edge of the pupil and
around the top edge of the eye just under the top eyelid.
● Select the Simple Brush, set RGB intensity to 20, select the Dots stroke, and set brush size
to 4. Choose a golden yellow color from the Color menu.
● Add a few bits of color to the iris area.
● Select the Shading Enhancer brush and set the brush size to 8 with RGB intensity of 20 and
darken the middle part of the iris slightly.
● We are ready to apply lighting, materials and render settings.

I have provided snapshots of all the settings to help you in setting up your final render.

Light Settings
● Light 1: Sun
❍ Intensity: 1.21

❍ Color: White

● Light 2: Sun
❍ Intensity: .45

● Light 3: Sun
❍ Intensity: .40

❍ Color: 197, 250, 247

Material Settings

I used two materials, which are identical except Material 2 has a specular value of 20.

● Created from the BasicMaterial

❍ Ambient: 0

❍ Diffuse: 75

❍ Cavity Intensity: 15

❍ Cavity Colorize: .3

❍ Cavity Color: 236, 223, 206

● Apply the new material to the model by Copying the material and Pasting it into the Fast

The entire model will now be covered in the custom material we created.

● Paste the material into another material slot and increase the specular value to 40.
● Using the Simple Brush with only Material selected (Rgb, Zadd etc turned off) paint in the
specular material around the eyes, mouth, nose, and skin folds.

Render Settings
● Fog enabled with Intensity 100 and Depth 2 of .7
● Alpha used in Fog Alpha

● To create the fog alpha select Alpha 01 in the Alpha palette and press Alpha:Make TX.
● Go to the Texture palette and select the newly created texture. Click on the Invert button to
invert the texture.
● In the Render:Fog menu click on Fog Alpha and select the fog texture we created.
● Click on Best render to generate the rendered image.
● Once it is rendered, press Texture:Grab Doc.
This is a fast way to capture the entire document as a texture.

● Next create a new layer from the Layer palette.

● Deactivate the other layers and make sure you select the newly created empty layer.
● Turn off Fog in the Render palette.
● Select the rendered image we grabbed in the Texture palette. Select the Flat Material in the
Material palette. Fill the empty layer with the grabbed image and flat material.

You can do this from the Texture palette by pressing the Crop And Fill button. Alternatively,
you can press Ctrl+F.

We are almost done. The color is looking a little flat so let’s liven it up a bit with the Saturation
Brush .

● Select the Saturation Brush from the Tool palette. Set the RGB value to 2 and the brush
size to 60.
● Now paint over areas of the model to increase the color levels.

Be careful not to overdo it.

● After adjusting the color in this fashion select the Contrast Brush from the tool palette. Set
RGB intensity to 5 and choose Alpha 07 from the Alpha palette. Make sure you are using
Dots stroke.
● Drag the brush across portions of the image to increase contrast.

A little goes a long way so don’t overdo it.

● Finally choose the Blur Brush from the Tool palette and blur some of the farther edges of
the image.

Feel free to experiment with the other 2d brushes in the Tool palette. We have now completed our
image.
This tutorial has touched upon several key elements used when working with ZBrush 2.0 . There
are numerous other techniques that can be used to accomplish the same results we arrived at here.
I encourage you to play and have fun with all the various tools. You will be surprised at just how
many ways there are to skin the proverbial cat within ZBrush 2.0 .