Core Skills: ZBrushCore
Pablo Muñoz Gómez reveals how primitives provide an additional method of creating base meshes and a range of complex shapes
Pablo Muñoz Gómez creates a range of complex shapes using Primitives.
Arguably the most popular tools for creating a base mesh in ZBrushCore are Dynamesh and ZSpheres. However, the primitive objects mustn’t be overlooked: they have some amazing properties that enable you to create complex shapes in a matter of seconds, as this month’s instalment will explain.
When you click the Tool thumbnail, the 3D meshes that you can choose are all primitives. Choosing a Cube3D for instance, will load a seamlessly simple geometry into ZBrushCore. However, if you select the ClayBuildup brush from the bottom of the interface and try to sculpt on the cube, you’ll see a message stating you need to convert the 3D-Primitive into a PolyMesh3D.
You can turn any primitive into a sculptable mesh with the click of a button, but the real power of these basic shapes lies in their ‘ initial state’. By simply changing a few attributes you can drastically alter their entire shape. Every primitive has different settings, but here we’ll focus on the Spiral3D to create a horn-shaped object, perhaps belonging on the head of a fantasy beast!
The Initialize subpalette
To start the Horn, select the Spiral3D from the Tool thumbnail and expand the Initialize sub-palette, this is where the magic happens. You’ll notice that changing the Coverage slider will determine how much curl the spiral has. The side-byside sliders are for the start (left) and the end (right) of the spiral. Play around with the values and see what they do.
Turn primitives into sculptable meshes
Turn PolyFrame on so that you can clearly see the alterations to the geometry (such as Subdivisions and Twist).The most relevant sliders to create the horn are the Disp (Displace) and the Coverage slider. Once you’re happy with your base mesh for your horn, click the Make Polymesh3D button and you’re ready to start adding details.
Choose the SelectLasso tool. Hold Shift+ Ctrl to access it and click the edge of a polygon in the horn. This will temporarily hide all the adjacent polygons in the loop (do this for a couple of loops). Under the Polygroup subpalette, click the GroupVisible button. Hold Ctrl+ Shift and click the empty space to make everything visible again.
Now that our horn is a PolyMesh, we can subdivide it to add finer details. From the Geometry palette click the Divide button. This will subdivide each polygon into four polygons, giving you more geometry to add more details. You can click this a few more times, but I suggest you add new subdivision levels as you progress in the sculpting process and need a higher resolution for these extra details.
Masking and sculpting
With the SelectRect tool, hold Ctrl+ Shift and click the outer Polygroup to isolate it. Now mask the group (Ctrl+A) and make everything visible (Ctrl+ Shift, click an empty space). You can now detail the inner part of the horn.
The alignment switches change the starting position of the mesh, but you can always rotate it later with the 3D Gizmo.
To view the inside of the geometry make sure you turn Double on under Display properties. The Deformation palette provides additional tools to alter the overall shape of your objects. You can make the details in the horn a bit tighter, by moving the Inflate slider slightly to the right. To invert the mask hold Ctrl and click once on the empty space. To remove the mask hold Ctrl, and click and drag on the empty space.