II. Precautions: Non-Medical

  1. Not for Medical Care
  2. The author uses several software packages and programming languages to develop FPnotebook content
  3. For convenience, a dozen pages in FPNotebook are dedicated to quick notes on content creation

III. Technique: Modeling Workflows

  1. ZSphere Modeling
    1. Indicated for hierarchical (animal or human) or branching (e.g. Neuron) modeling
    2. Turn on X Symmetry (as needed)
    3. Process (repeat in cycles)
      1. Drag out new zspheres from another zsphere's surface when in draw mode (Q)
        1. Click interconnecting segments to add zspheres
        2. Alt-Click zspheres to delete (except for the initial, starting zsphere)
      2. Move (W), scale (E) and rotate (R) the zspheres and their inter-connecting "bones"
    4. Preview the geometry (A)
    5. Convert to geometry once zsphere hierarchy
      1. Zsphere can be saved as a ztool (and used to create other geometry)
      2. Press 'A' to preview geometry, then click Edit Polymesh3D button (in Tools menu)
    6. Adjust basic geometry with Dynamesh
    7. Create a low poly model
      1. Use ZRemesher and target polycount 5(k) with "adapt"
      2. Continue adjusting basic low poly geometry
  2. Dynamesh Soft Modeling (sculpting)
    1. Start with LightBox > Project > DynaMesh_Sphere_32 (or DynaMesh_Sphere_64 or 128)
      1. Starts with a sphere that is Polymesh3D
      2. Defaults to Dynamesh, Resolution 32 with Blur 2-3
    2. Scale the tracing plane (if used) to match the size of a part of the sphere (e.g. head)
      1. Avoid Scaling sphere to fit tracing plane (alters resolution)
    3. Activate Symmetry
      1. Orient the model and tracing planes, so that symmetry is across the X Axis
    4. Use the move brush to pull the starting object into the shape to match the tracing plane
      1. Periodically ctrl-LMB-drag for Dynamesh to recalculate
      2. Perform in x, y, z axis
    5. Use the low resolution (32) start to add rough definition and shape
      1. Use claybuildup and standard brushes (and their alt actions) to form the shape
      2. Turn on sculptris pro (button in top panel next to gizmo)
      3. Mask (Ctrl-LMB) or hide (Alt-Ctrl-Shift) subtool regions to protect them from modification
      4. Continue with Symmetry enabled
    6. Change the Dynamesh resolution to 64
      1. Continue to build form and detail with brushes, now including damian standard and other detail brushes
      2. Dynamesh will smooth out sculpting based on blur setting (set to 0, to avoid auto-smoothing)
      3. Continue to use sculptris pro, Symmetry, mask/hide
    7. Change the Dynamesh resolution to 128
      1. Continue to add further detail, often using lazy mouse, smoothing
      2. Continue to use sculptris pro, Symmetry, mask/hide
      3. For overhangs, use alt-Damian Standard, with claybuildup on one side, smoothing on the other
      4. Use claybuildup and alt-claybuildup next to each other for maximal definition of edges
    8. Switch to Subdivision Levels
      1. Turn off Dynamesh and SculptrisPro after completing maximal detail that 128 resolution allows
      2. Use ZRemesher to orient polygons to flow naturally around curves
        1. Use the ZRemesher Guide Brush to direct flow directions of polygons
      3. Subdivide (D) and continue to add maximal detail allowed for each subdivision level
        1. Subdivisions are typically added to the entire subtool
        2. Subdivisions may also be added only to unmasked areas

IV. Technique: Reference Images

  1. Reference Grid
    1. Texture Menu > Import
      1. Select all images (top view, front view, side view) that will serve as reference
      2. All images can be placed side-by-side in a wide composite in photoshop
        1. Allows lining up dimensions of each individual image to match the others
        2. Images can be cropped and centered within the draw>grid menu
    2. Draw > Grid
      1. Front-Back, Up-Down, Left-Right each accept up to 2 textures (Map1, Map2)
      2. Adjust Grid-Size to match the size of the starting object (e.g. sphere3d)
      3. Use adjust to crop the image for the particular view
      4. Use offsets to center the image as needed (most important for X symmetry)
      5. Use flip, inverse and rotate as needed
    3. Change the Tracing Grid Opacity
      1. Fill Mode to 3
      2. Adjust enhance factor and opacity to see through the model to the reference
    4. Show or hide the planes
      1. Shift-P
    5. Save or Load Reference Grid
      1. Example reference grids are available from Pixologic resource center
    6. Additional measures to ease tracing
      1. Turn off Dynamic Perspective (keeps the proportion between the tracing place and the object)
      2. Draw > Camera Lock (also on right tool bar) prevents the object/plane from shifting while sculpting
  2. Tracing Planes (alternate method to Reference Grids)
    1. Texture Menu > Import
      1. Select all images (top view, front view, side view) that will serve as reference
      2. Note the sizes of each image (x:y ratio)
    2. Tool > Subtool > Append > Plane
      1. Repeat for each axis for which a reference image exists
    3. Tool > Texture Map
      1. Choose the texture for the currently selected plane
      2. Rotate the plane 180 degrees if the texture is upside down
    4. Resize the plane to aspect ratio of the image
      1. If image ratio X:Y = 1.5, then for plane X of 100, resize plane Y to 150
    5. Move the planes out of the way so they do not intersect the object
      1. Position well behind (XY plane), to the side (YZ plane) and below or over (XZ plane)
    6. Change the transparency of the model as needed to see through to the image plane
      1. Place the Preferences Menu below the brush menu on the left
      2. Use the Preferences > Draw > Back Opacity
        1. Slide the Back Opacity down to see the model, and up to see the tracing plane
  3. Spotlight (Pavlovich Method)
    1. Create reference image as viewed from different perspectives (front, 3/4, side, back, top), maintaining size
    2. Import reference image as a texture, and add to spotlight (Texture > Add to Spotlight button)
    3. Open spotlight (Z) and adjust the image on screen (opacity, size) and toggle image on and off (Shift-Z)
    4. Movie > Timeline > Show
    5. Place a 3D Mesh (e.g. sphere) and keep the object at the origin (do not move it)
    6. Move, rotate and scale the camera, so the object is over the first image, corresponding to the correct image plane
    7. Click the movie timeline to set the first frame
    8. Repeat the camera change and a later click on the timeline for each image perspective
    9. Move between the perspectives using the arrow keys

V. Technique: Interoperability with other Software

  1. Maya to ZBrush
    1. Create a low polygon mesh in Maya
      1. Keep geometry simple (basic form) and straight without distortion and without ngons
      2. Complex objects (e.g. hands) may require more geometry, but keep to low polygon
      3. Keep model size within the size of the default grid
      4. Assign basic materials (e.g. Blinn) to each sub-object within the model
        1. Each object with a different material will become a different subTool in ZBrush
      5. Click Go-Z exporter or export to Obj
    2. Import into ZBrush
      1. Receive the GoZ import as a ZTool or import as obj
      2. Draw out the tool and edit (T)
        1. Model scale is important for brush sizer to work properly
      3. Break the object into SubTools
        1. Tool > Polygroups > Autogroup
        2. Tool > Subtools > Split
      4. Edit each subtool
        1. Start by Tool>Divisions (Ctrl-D) - subdividing 2-3 times
        2. Consider turning off smooth for the first 2 subdivisions to harden overall shape
  2. Zbrush Export
    1. Export Low Poly Geometry
      1. Create a low poly subdivision levels if lacking on any objects (e.g. Dynamesh objects)
        1. Subdivide subtool twice (may bring object to 50M or more)
        2. Select subdivision level 1 (lowest level)
        3. Freeze subdivision levels
        4. Use ZRemesher set to 5-10k (or with Dynamesh set to 300-800)
        5. Un-Freeze Subdivision levels
      2. Set Subtool > "All Low" (turns subdivisions to lowest level)
      3. ZPlugin > UV Master > Unfold All (or can auto UV map unwrap in Substance)
      4. Set Export (with merge and group off)
      5. ZPlugin > Subtool Master > Export (or export as FBX using the FBX exporter plugin)
    2. Export High Poly Geometry
      1. Check that mesh sizes are not too large to freeze the export process (e.g. >1 million points)
        1. Use ZRemesher or Decimate plugin tol reduce size
      2. Individual subtools can maintain selection regions with polypaint (for use in substance painter)
        1. Either polypaint manually, or polygroup to polypaint
      3. Set Subtool > "All High" (turns subdivisions to highest level)
      4. No need to create High Poly UV (we will only be using the high poly for normal maps)
      5. Set Export (with merge and group off)
      6. ZPlugin > Subtool Master > Export (or export as FBX using the FBX exporter plugin)
  3. Substance Painter
    1. New Project > PBR Metallic Roughness
    2. File Select > Low Poly FBX
    3. Document Resolution 1024
    4. Auto Unwrap (options: recompute all, margin size large)
      1. Can try margin size small (but this resulted in normal mesh distortion for me)
    5. Bake Meshes
      1. Choose "Vertex" for the color id pass to use polypaint for selection within a subtool
      2. Use high poly mesh FBX in substance painter
    6. Using the above work flow in Maya/ZBrush, each subtool will be its own textureSet in Substance Painter
      1. In addition, "mask by color" may be added to a substance layer to select regions based on vertex color

VI. Technique: Main Interface

  1. Help
    1. Tooltips (hover over buttons; hold down ctrl and hover for detailed tooltip)
  2. Windows
    1. Document/Canvas Window
      1. Tab: Toggles maximal canvas size (inside dividers and top menu)
    2. Window Scrolling
      1. Click in background space between buttons and drag
      2. Hold Shift while opening sub-menus to open up multiple sub-menus simultaneously
  3. LightBox
    1. Bottom of lightbox shows folder path
    2. Hide Lightbox (Toggle LightBox button or press ",")
      1. To hide at start-up, Preferences > LightBox > Toggle "Open At Launch" (and Store Config)
  4. Perspective
    1. Turn on perspective for normal camera proportions (distant objects are smaller)
    2. Turn off perspective typically for hard surface modeling (e.g. ZModeler)
  5. Scene Navigation
    1. Pan
      1. Alt-RMB-Drag
      2. Alt-LMB-Drag Background (classic LMB navigation)
    2. Zoom
      1. Ctrl-RMB-Drag
      2. Alt-LMB-Drag Background and release Alt (classic LMB navigation)
    3. Rotate
      1. RMB-Drag
      2. LMB-Drag Background (classic LMB navigation)
    4. Constrained Rotation
      1. Shift-RMB-Drag
        1. Rotate to fixed camera angles (or click on the CAM View Icon and Arrows in the upper right)
    5. Frame (F)
      1. Frames current object in document window (fit mesh to view)
  6. Orienting Scene
    1. Toggle Floor Grid Plane (Shift-P)
    2. CAM Head
  7. Tool Appearance
    1. Shift-F
      1. Toggle Polyframe on/off (shows/hides polygon grid on object)

VII. Technique: Preferences

  1. Default Document
    1. New Document with Auto-Fit Window Size (WSIze) enabled
    2. Document > Save as startup document
      1. To reset to initial settings - delete the ZStartup/StartupDocument.zpr file
  2. Default Material
    1. Click Material Button in Brush Palette
    2. Select MatCap Gray
    3. Material Menu > Save as startup material
      1. To reset to initial settings - delete the ZStartup/StartupMaterial.zmt file

VIII. Technique: File Management

  1. Saving
    1. Avoid "Save as Document" - does not save tools
      1. Exception: Establishing a starter document
    2. Project > Save As
      1. Saves a project (ZProject or ZPR) with all tools in the scene as well as document settings
      2. Avoid saving with undo history (files quickly become very large >1 GB)
    3. Tool > Save As
      1. Saves current tool and associated subtools (ZTool)
      2. Most commonly used save method when working on a single tool
    4. QuickSave (9)
      1. Saves currently active tool to QuickSave Window in LightBox
  2. Loading Content
    1. Project
      1. When loading a saved project back into ZBrush, the project will replace the current scene
      2. Alternatively, "load tools from project" will add tools from the selected project file into the current scene
    2. Tool
      1. When loading a saved tool back into ZBrush, the tool will be added to the current scene/project

IX. Technique: Tools

  1. Hot_keys
    1. Ctrl-N
      1. Clear Window (Clear Layer)
    2. Shift-S
      1. Take a snapshot of the current tool in its orientation and its current position on the document
  2. Creating a new tool
    1. Choose a Tool from the Lightbox or from the Tool Palette
    2. Select the DragRect Brush
    3. Drag out an object with the tool (shift-drag to orient object)
    4. Enter EDIT mode by clicking the Edit Button (or "T")
  3. Switching Tools
    1. Tools will remain available in a work session until ZBrush is closed or a new ZProject is opened
    2. Tool thumbnails in the Tools Menu/Panel reflect the currently selected subtool and its name
      1. Consider selecting the top most subtool (and giving meaningful name) before switching
    3. Save Tool frequently (iterating with number suffix as needed) to prevent data loss
      1. Alternatively, save ZProject to save all Tools worked-on in session
  4. Primitives
    1. In Tool Menu, select a Primitive (may also select from LightBox) and drag out on canvas as described above
    2. Enter Edit Mode ("T")
    3. Tool Window > Initialize to adjust primitive settings
    4. Click "Make Polymesh 3D" to convert primitive to an object that allows sculpting
  5. Object Editing
    1. Recently used tools with sculpting changes are shown in the Tool Palette Icons
  6. Magnify (Shift-M)
    1. Opens a magnifying glass at the cursor
  7. Tool > Deformations
    1. Includes object based deformations (e.g. inflate, smooth) typically performed on a masked region
  8. ZPlugin > Scale Master Tool
    1. Set XYZ = 2 for best results
  9. Mirror
    1. Mirror (in X, Y or Z)
      1. Under Tool > Deformation
      2. Creates a mirror image of the current object
        1. Example - left side appears as prior right side, and right side appears as prior left side
      3. May be used in combination with mirror and weld
        1. If the left side has the geometry to transfer, first mirror and the left side will be moved right
        2. Then mirror and weld, which will weld together the right side and a mirrored version of right
    2. Mirror and Weld (in X, Y or Z)
      1. Under Tool > Geometry > Modify Topology
      2. Mirroring is from negative side (left) to positive side (right), e.g. -X to +X
      3. If in X, replaces the topology right of center, with mirrored left of center AND welds the 2 together
  10. Gizmo (transpose, "W" to activate)
    1. Move and rotate the gizmo (hold Alt while modifying)
      1. Unlocks Gizmo to move orientation point
    2. Select and Orient Gizmo to Face (Alt-LMB Face)
      1. Click on selected face to center gizmo on face and assume face's normal
      2. Mask areas to fix position, then Alt-LMB the faces to move
    3. Resets
      1. Alt-Refresh button
        1. Reset mesh orientation
      2. Alt-Home
        1. Reset object axis position
      3. Alt-Unmasked mesh orient to center
        1. Center gizmo and reorient to unmasked region
    4. Copy
      1. Ctrl-LMB Drag Object
      2. Release Ctrl and continue dragging to place copies of additional objects
      3. Ctrl-Dragging a masked region or polygroup, and then releasing Ctrl, will set down edge loops
    5. Flatten surface
      1. Mask the surface to flatten and invert mask
      2. Alt-LMB a face on the surface to serve as guide for other faces to match
      3. Use Gizmo scale in axis perpendicular to surface (may need to repeat several scale drags)
    6. Customize
      1. Multiple deformation options which operate off a XYZ matrix
        1. Similar to FFD in 3ds max or lattice deformer in maya
      2. Requires model to be a single subdivision level
  11. Subtools
    1. Alt-LMB (or Shift-Alt-LMB while in edit mode)
      1. Select subtool
    2. N
      1. Select subtool dialog (then click subtool icon or type additional letters to filter)
    3. Expose
      1. Divides out subtools in space so they may be individually visualized
    4. Append
      1. Append another subtool object
    5. Multi-Append
      1. ZPlugin > SubTool Master Menu
    6. Mirror
      1. ZPlugin > SubTool Master Menu OR
      2. Tool Menu > Modify Topology > Mirror and Weld (Default = X Axis)
        1. See below under symmetry

X. Technique: Geometry

  1. Geometry Subdivisions
    1. Geometry Divide (Ctrl-D)
    2. SDiv
      1. Maintains subdiv history (up and down to modify geometry at different division levels)
      2. Basic modeling at 3-4 subdivision levels, completed high poly mesh at 6-7 subdivision levels
    3. Smooth
      1. Modifier for smoothing geometry (similar to smooth mesh in Maya)
    4. Dynamic Subdivision (D, Shift-D)
      1. Subdivision preview
      2. Consider for hard surfacing modeling
      3. Combine with edge creasing (set crease to 1-2 divisions, set smoothing to 2-3 divisions; creased edges will be smoothed after first 1-2)
      4. Apply the dynamic subdivisions once appearance achieved
    5. Dynamesh
      1. Automatically adjusts geometry to evenly distributed geometry
      2. Set Resolution (start low resolution while blocking in, e.g. 32 > 64 > 128)
      3. Re-Dynamesh: Ctrl-Drag in open area (not on model, which instead draws mask)
      4. Consider "Project" modifier for hard surface modeling
      5. Subtract Objects
        1. Brush > Insert Mesh Primitive
          1. When ALT-LMB will create a subtraction object that cuts away from the main object
          2. Tool > Display > Double to view the subtraction object
          3. Reshape and position the subtraction object (or duplicate with Ctrl-Gizmo drag)
          4. Ctrl-LMB drag twice to dynamesh and perform cut
        2. Append subtool
          1. Append a subtool, and in the subtool list, mark as subtraction object
          2. Follow above instructions to cut out the object (Ctrl-LMB drag twice)
    6. Sculptris-Pro
      1. Subdivides mesh while drawing, dynamically tessalates in the region of increased topology
      2. Cursor with be purple

XI. Technique: Brushes and Sculpting

  1. General
    1. Brush window is at far left (double click the far left divider to open)
    2. Undo slider at top of document window
    3. Spacebar - quick panel (heads up display) of commonly used buttons
  2. Symmetry (transform panel)
    1. Leave Mirror Symmetry on
    2. X-Symmetry (X)
      1. Typical for body modeling
    3. Y-Symmetry (Y)
      1. XY Typical for ornamentals (front only)
    4. Z-Symmetry (Z)
      1. XYZ typical for ornamentals (front and back)
    5. Radial Symmetry
      1. Used in combination with X, Y and/or Z Symmetry to surround an object (adjust radial count)
      2. Example: Lathing an object (e.g. bowl or vase)
    6. Geometry > mirror and weld
      1. Duplicate object across specified axis (Default = X Axis)
      2. Copies negative (left side) to positive (right side)
      3. If mirroring right to left side
        1. First use Tool Menu > Deformation > Mirror (Default = X Axis)
        2. Exchanges the left and right sides (centered at the midline)
    7. Tool > Deformations > SmartResym
      1. Copies negative (left side) to positive (right side)
      2. Area to copy may be selected by masking a region
  3. Brushes
    1. Hot Keys
      1. Alt with brush to perform reverse of default brush behavior
        1. Default is typically to build up a surface (ZAdd)
        2. Inverse (alt) typically digs into the surface (ZSub)
      2. Smooth surface
        1. Hold Shift-LMB and brush areas (smooth algorithm 1)
        2. Hold Shift-LMB and start to brush, releasing the shift key (smooth algorithm 2)
          1. Stronger smoothing
      3. Modify Brush Characteristics (type hotkey and drag)
        1. Brush Draw Size (S)
          1. Left and Right Bracket keys will increase and decrease brush size
        2. Brush Z-Intensity (U)
          1. Lower intensities are typically used (3-25)
        3. Focal Shift or Brush Hardness Falloff (O)
          1. Typically set to 0
      4. Drawing straight lines
        1. Click LMB to start brush stroke
        2. Hold down shift while dragging
        3. Release the shift key, then release LMB
      5. Lazy Mouse (L)
        1. Adjust the lazy radius (larger radius, has a longer guide line)
    2. Soft Brushes (B)
      1. Standard Brush (ST)
        1. Default sculpting brush for details
      2. Clay Brush (CL) in addition to ClayTube and ClayBuildUp
        1. Builds up topology (or with alt, carves away) with broad strokes
        2. Typically, smoothing (shift) is applied after clay build-up
      3. ZModeler (ZM)
        1. Start with QUnit (Tool > Initialize)
        2. Use a small brush size (S)
        3. Hover over a face, edge or vertex and press space to select functionality
      4. Move (MV)
        1. Hold Alt with LMB to pull or push perpendicular to surface
        2. Curve > Accucurve for hard surface modeling (sharp edges pulled out in hard surface modeling)
        3. AutoMasking > Topological to adjust one portion model without affecting other parts
          1. Or use Move-Topological Brush
      5. Move-Topological
        1. Moves contiguous vertices without affecting nearby vertices (e.g. pull model's ear away from scalp)
      6. SnakeHook (SH)
        1. Allows for pulling out long segments of topology
        2. Best functionality when used with Sculptris-Pro setting on
    3. Hard Brushes
      1. Trim Dynamic (bevel edges)
      2. HPolish (smoothes while preserving edges)
        1. Best with a large brush size and a drawing tablet for pressure (e.g. wacom)
        2. Alternate between LMB (smoothes IN) and alt-LMB (smoothes OUT)
      3. Damian Standard (hard edge compared with standard brush)
        1. Draw cracks, and with alt, pull out sharp edges
      4. MAH Cut Mech A and B (cut brushes)
      5. Slash Brush (or Slash-L Brush)
      6. Pinch Brush (pulls 2 sides together)
      7. Orb Brushes
        1. https://orb.gumroad.com/l/nOkHw
    4. Insert Multi-Mesh Brushes (IMM)
      1. Brushes with tools within the brush
      2. Pressing M (material) brings up a dialog to select between brushes
      3. Allows appending of objects
      4. Brush > Modifiers > MultiMesh Select Modes
        1. On mode allows auto-looping through the meshes for the brush
        2. Adds meshes sequentially (forwards or backwards) or randomly depending on setting
      5. Hold down Alt, while dragging an object to create a subtraction boolean
        1. This will first mask all objects except the new IMM object
        2. Ctrl-Drag to unmask
        3. Ctrl-Drag again to perform boolean subtraction of object
      6. LMB at a location and add CTRL key to add an IMM with constant size based on brush size
        1. Remains constant as long as brush size > dynamic is on
      7. Hold W key while selecting different meshes and the one selected will change to the new selection
      8. Main object can not have subdivisions when inserting multi-meshes
        1. Append a simple subtool (e.g. star) and scale to small object and hide within main object
        2. Allows drawing on surface of an object that still has subdivisions, by using the simple small object
      9. May insert by dragging a curve on surface (e.g. rope)
        1. Consider drawing out an object to draw on (and then remove later)
        2. Turn on Stroke > Curve Mode (with Bend and Snap selected)
        3. Drag out the curve
        4. Can also drag the end and curve line to move and shape the curve
      10. Once curve line is defined, may then modify geometry
        1. Click Brush > Modifiers > Stretch (to stretch out geometry to fill spaces)
        2. Remove the underlying object used to shape the IMM (if needed)
          1. Mask the IMM object first (ctrl-click the interface)
          2. Click Tool > Visibility > Hid Pt
          3. Click Tool > Geometry > Modify Topology > Del Hidden
        3. Repair geometry with Dynamesh an Zremesher
          1. Clear Mask (ctrl-Drag interface)
          2. Set Dynamesh to high resolution (e.g. 1200) and Blur to 0
          3. Turn On Dynamesh to resample at high resolution and then turn off again
          4. ZRemesher with default settings
    5. Additional Brushes
      1. Morph
        1. First: Tool > MorphTarget > StoreMT
        2. Next, use any brush to modify the model
        3. Next, use Morph brush to revert brushed areas back to time of StoreMT
        4. Last: Tool > MorphTarget > DelMT
      2. Load brushes from LightBox > Brushes
      3. Save custom versions of brushes that you have modified settings (brush > save as)
      4. Download brushes online

XII. Technique: Masks

  1. Hot-Keys
    1. Unmask (Ctrl-Alt Drag over region to unmask)
    2. Clear Mask (Ctrl-Drag over an empty area)
    3. Mask All (Ctrl-LMB with no items selected)
    4. Lighten and Blur Mask (Ctrl-LMB on masked area)
    5. Sharpen Mask (Ctrl-Alt--LMB)
    6. Invert Mask (Ctrl-i or Ctrl-LMB click in empty region)
    7. Draw rectangular Mask (Ctrl-Drag)
      1. Hold spacebar to move mask
    8. Group Mask into Polygroup and then Clear Mask (Ctrl-W)
      1. Groups masked items into a Polygroup and then removes the mask
      2. If no items are masked, then groups visible items into polygroup
      3. Polygroup may be polished on creation from mask (setting in polygroup menu)
  2. Useful Mask Brushes
    1. MaskPen (default)
    2. MaskCurve (solid line to gradient points to masked area)
      1. Press and release Alt (while holding down ctrl) to add a bezier point
      2. Press and release Alt twice (while holding down ctrl) to insert a straight point
    3. MaskLasso
    4. Transpose Smart (in brush menu)
      1. Useful for exactly placing alphas (e.g. text masks , 2d object masks) - use while holding ctrl button

XIII. Technique: Visibility Selection, Clipping, Slicing and Trimming

  1. Hot-Keys
    1. Select visible and hide unselected (Ctrl-Shift-LMB drag)
    2. Select to hide and retain unselected (Ctrl-Shift-Alt-LMB, drag)
    3. Unhide all (Ctrl-Shift-LMB click in background, open area)
    4. Invert Visible, making visible hidden and the hidden visible (Ctrl-Shift-LMB drag in background, open area)
    5. Grow Visibility (Tool>Visibility>Grow or Ctrl-Shift-X)
    6. Shrink Visibility (Tool>Visibility>Shrink or Ctrl-Shift-S)
    7. Group Visible into Polygroup (Ctrl-W if no items are masked)
    8. Isolate Polygroup, making other polygroups invisible (Ctrl-Shift-LMB a polygroup)
      1. Does not work with SelectLasso tool (use selectRect tool for this)
  2. Common visibility selection brushes
    1. Selection
    2. SelectRect (default, rectangle shaped selection)
    3. SelectLasso
      1. Allows for free-hand drawing a margin
  3. Clipping brushes
    1. Clip compresses all geometry into the clip plane (see Trim below as a possibly better alternative)
    2. ClipCurve
      1. Places a cut through an object and smashes all of the clipped geometry into that plane
      2. Best used when clipping simple geometry (otherwise resulting topology is messy)
      3. Limit number of changes in direction of curve to <2-3 for each line drawn
    3. ClipCircle or ClipCircleCenter
      1. Clips polygons outside of the circle
      2. Hold down Alt (with Ctrl-Shift) to clip polygons inside the circle
      3. Behavior changes when the center point of the circle overlaps mesh (unless circle is entirely within mesh)
    4. ClipRect
      1. Behavior changes when the center point of the circle overlaps mesh (unless rect is entirely within mesh)
      2. Consider ClipCurve instead (more predictable)
  4. Slicing brushes
    1. Slice creates a new polygroup from beyond the slice line
    2. SliceCurve
    3. SliceRect
    4. SliceCirc
  5. Trimming Brushes
    1. Trim is an improved clipping brush that removes trimmed geometry and fills the hole with reasonable topology
    2. TrimCurve (best with straight lines without bends)
      1. Press Ctrl-Shift space-bar>polygroup to create a new polygroup from the remaining face after trim
      2. Press Ctrl-Shift space-bar>bradius to create an interesting cut-away and partially sliced surface
    3. TrimRect
    4. TrimCirc
  6. Pointers
    1. Visible objects may be deformed, rotated, moved, scaled as if the hidden geometry were masked
    2. Mask areas to prevent that area from being clipped

XIV. Technique: Polygroups

  1. Background
    1. Polygroups allow for consistent isolation of parts of a model (e.g. head, neck, arms, legs, torso)
    2. Polyframe (Shift-F) must be on to see Polygroups
  2. Creating Polygroups
    1. Tool > Polygroups > Group Masked (Ctrl-W)
      1. Mask an area (Ctrl-LMB and drag over an area) and press Ctrl-W to create a polygroup
        1. Colors are randomly assigned to new Polygroups
        2. Undo with Ctrl-Z and repeat Ctrl-W to assign a different random color
      2. If no area is masked, then the entire visible part of the subtool will become a polygroup
      3. Polish slider beside the Group Masked button allows for auto-polishing on polygroup creation
    2. Tool > Polygroups > Autogroups
      1. Creates Polygroups automatically based on polygon islands
    3. Tool > Polygroups > Group By Edges
    4. Tool > PolyGroups > Group by Normals
    5. Tool > PolyGroups > Group Similar
    6. Tool > PolyGroups > From Polypaint
      1. Allows painting with alpha and converting to polygroup
  3. Hiding and Showing Polygroups
    1. See Visibility above
    2. Ctrl-Shift while clicking a polygroup and the polygroup will disappear
    3. Ctrl-Shift an empty space to bring back the hidden polygroup
    4. Ctrl-Shift again to hide everything except the polygroup
    5. Ctrl-Shift drag an empty space to invert what is visible (hides visible, shows invisible)
  4. Masking with Polygroups
    1. See Masking above
    2. Activate the Move Tool (W)
    3. Ctrl-LMB a polygroup
      1. Masks everything except the selected polygroup
      2. Ctrl-LMB in an empty space to invert the masking
  5. Other tasks based on Polygroups
    1. Tool > Deformations > Polish by Groups
      1. Smooths polygroups edges, allowing for clean transformations (e.g. move/extract)
      2. Drag out the polish by groups slider (e.g. to 30) to smooth edges
        1. Click the circle to the right of slider to turn on and off alternative algorithm
      3. Isolate the polygroup (ctrl-LMB)
      4. Ctrl-LMB drag the polygroup for smooth extrude (creates a second edge loop)
    2. Tool > Subtools > Split > Groups Split
      1. Create subtools from polygroups
    3. Tool > Polypaint > Polypaint From Polygroups
      1. Create polypaint from polygroups

XV. Technique: Materials

  1. Background
    1. Paint Brush is similar to Standard Brush (except for defaults to Rgb and Alpha On, and zAdd off)
      1. Used for painting material or RGB (or both) onto objects
    2. Clicking a material changes default material for all subtools
    3. To Paint a material on an object
      1. Turn on M (and turn off alpha, Zadd/Zsub) from top panel
      2. Select a foreground color
      3. Select a material (from left panel)
      4. Color menu > Fill Object
    4. To reset object material
      1. Assign Flat Color Material
    5. Modifying available materials
      1. Materials can be downloaded from pixologic resource center (and loaded via material menu)
      2. Material > Modifier menu allows for changing material attributes
  2. MatCap Materials
    1. MatCap Red Wax (default zbrush material)
      1. Best visualize sculpting details with exaggerated shading
    2. Mat Cap Gray
      1. Realistically visualize sculpting details with neutral shading (digital clay)
  3. Standard Materials
    1. SkinShade4
      1. Ideal base for polypainting
      2. Difficult to visualize sculpting details
    2. Flat Color
      1. Ideal for visualizing model silhouette
      2. Apply to object to reset material after it has been filled with another material

XVI. Technique: Polypaint

  1. Background
    1. Painting on polygons requires adequate resolution
    2. Even when exporting to Substance Painter, applied polypaint can be used to subdivide sections in Substance Painter
  2. Start
    1. Select Subtool to paint
    2. Apply material (e.g. SkinShade4)
    3. Move the Color menu to the right or left panel
    4. Select a color (e.g. Skin Color) or press C to pick up the color under the hovering mouse cursor
    5. Click Color > Fill Object
  3. Painting
    1. Select Paint Brush (see above, defaults to Rgb On, zAdd/zSub off)
    2. Reduce RGB Intensity (e.g. 50)
    3. Alphas may be used to modify the stroke
    4. Stroke is typically Dots or Freehand (but other options include Color Spray or Spray)
    5. Hold down shift when painting to smooth/blur the paint strokes
  4. Colors
    1. Select colors from palette or with eyedropper hovering over a color (press "C") and paint with that color
    2. Click Color > Syst Palette, and add custom color to the palette
  5. Spotlight
    1. Loading Texture into Spotlight
      1. Texture > Import, then Add To Spotlight
    2. Moving Spotlight
      1. Move the spotlight dial (acts as pivot) by dragging inside the circle
      2. Move the spotlight image by dragging outside the circle
    3. Resizing Spotlight
      1. Hover over the scale icon on the Spotlight dial and LMB drag up and down to resize
      2. Spotlight may be resized to fit over the subtool, then shift-z and transfer spotlight colors to model
      3. Spotlight may also be resized to a part of the screen and used to sample colors from the image
    4. Hot Keys
      1. Z
        1. Turns on and off spotlight
      2. Shift-Z
        1. Hides Spotlight but it is still active and will paint underlying model
      3. C
        1. Hover over the spotlight image and press 'C' to select the underlying color (eyedropper)
    5. Painting
      1. Use Paint Brush (see painting above)
      2. Turn on RGB and turn off zAdd/zSub
      3. Painting base colors
        1. Use scatter alpha and spray color (or spray)
        2. Set Stroke > Scale and Stroke > Color to low levels (0.1 to 0.3)
    6. Masking
      1. Paint masks to protect specific areas from painting
      2. Use Paint By Cavity

XVII. Technique: UV Maps

  1. Creating a UV Map
    1. Select the lowest subdivision level of model/subtool for unwrapping
      1. ZBrush will not be able to unwrap tools with millions of polygons (decrease subdivision level)
      2. If no lower subdiv levels
        1. Use ZPlugin > Decimation master (but any polypainting will be lost)
        2. Duplicate subtool and use Tools > ZRemesher to create a low poly version
          1. Choose project all, to copy polypaint from other model
          2. Subdivide, project all, and repeat until adequate level of subdivisions
    2. Subdividing the UV Map with Polygroups
      1. Create polygroups (mask and Ctrl-W) for each part of the UV Map you wish to separate
    3. ZPlugIn > UVMaster
      1. Set Symmetry on
      2. Enable Control Painting (allows painting protect and attract regions on model)
      3. Work on Clone (if the model has subdivisions)
      4. Click Unwrap
    4. Visualizing the Unwrap
      1. ZPlugIn > UVMaster > Check Seams (texture, polypaint must be off to see seams) OR
      2. Tools > UVMap > Morph UV OR
      3. Tools > TextureMap > Assign Texture19 (UV map with numbers and letters)
  2. Polypaint
    1. Select the highest subdivision level of the model
    2. Polypaint the model (see above)
  3. Saving UV Map with polypaint
    1. Select the highest subdivision level of the model (or whatever level you want to generate UV from)
    2. Tools > UVMap > Set Map Size (Default 2048)
    3. Tools > Texture Map
      1. Create > New From Polypaint
      2. Clone Txtr
    4. Click on texture preview in on left side of screen
      1. Texture dialog opens, click export
      2. Export as psd (or jpg, tif, png)
    5. Exporting other maps
      1. Displacement Map and Normal Map may be saved in the same manner

XVIII. Technique: Caricatures

  1. Start with Demo Head Tool
    1. Go to Subdivision 1 and delete higher
    2. Hide teeth and eyes
    3. Dynamesh set to low resolution to start (e.g. 32)
      1. Increase resolution to 64, 128, 256 while adding detail at each level (see above)
      2. Alternatively, switch to subdivision levels after 64 or 128 to maintain a low poly base for export
  2. Position references images (e.g. grid, image planes)
    1. Sculpt with object more transparent to visualize the reference plane behind
    2. Work with consistent views (e.g. grid front, top and left OR in Document > ZAppLink > Set View)
  3. Sculpt
    1. Turn on symmetry (X)
    2. Constantly check topology while rotating model during sculpting
    3. Establish overall form with move and move topological brushes
      1. Turn on Back Face Masking to avoid deformities
    4. Use clay buildup alternated with smoothing to build up forms
    5. Use damian standard to develop creases
  4. Add Details
    1. Turn off symmetry
    2. Add Wrinkles using damian standard brush
    3. Apply skin texture using layers
      1. Tool > Surface noise, followed by smooth peaks brush OR
      2. Alpha mask (SW_pores alpha from pixologic resources)
    4. Add other details to break symmetry
  5. Retopologize a low poly mesh for export
    1. Use subdivision 1 clone
    2. ZRemesher to low poly topology (directing location of poly loops)
  6. Create UV Maps
    1. Use ZPlugins > UV Master
    2. Turn on symmetry
    3. Draw regions to protect and others to attract (putting seams in less visible areas, e.g. back of head)
    4. Apply to the UV Map to the high resolution model

XIX. Technique: Hard Surface Modeling

  1. Create an object with a consistent thickness and geometry
    1. Polygroup by normals
    2. Ctrl-Shift select the surface to keep (may need to invert) and then Modify Topology > Delete Hidden
    3. The remaining plane will have no thickness and will be invisible on one side (unless Display Properties > Double is on)
    4. ZRemesh the remaining plane
    5. Option 1 using dynamic subdivisions
      1. Turn on dynamic subdivisions and turn off smoothing (or add creasing and turn on smoothing)
      2. Under dynamic subdivisions, adjust the thickness slider until desired thickness is reached
      3. Apply dynamic subdivisions
    6. Option 2 using Zmodeler
      1. Use extrude function on polygroup or similar region

XX. Resources

  1. Zbrush 3D Sculpting, Udemy (Millivoj Popovic)
    1. https://www.udemy.com/course/sculpting-in-zbrush/
  2. ZBrush Intro 1 YouTube Playlist (Michael Pavlovich)
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLkzopwqcFevYqrk_0MKIaUwrWYILzYsp6
  3. ZBrush for Ideation, YouTube Playlist (Michael Pavlovich)
    1. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkzopwqcFevbxxNfZtq1ae09h1dht4S6M

Images: Related links to external sites (from Bing)

Related Studies