Core Skills: ZBrushCore

Pablo Muñoz Gómez re­veals how prim­i­tives pro­vide an ad­di­tional method of cre­at­ing base meshes and a range of com­plex shapes

ImagineFX - - Contents -

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.

Selec­tion tool

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.

Sub­di­vi­sion lev­els

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.

De­for­ma­tion palette

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.

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