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Trail: ZBrush


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ZBrush is the only application that makes me think that 3d modeling could be alright afterall. The biggest problem with it is it’s ultra non-standard interface. Made by Pixologic
the ZBrush wiki -
the Zbrush docs -

see also: PaintingWithMaterials,

some shortcuts

after drawing a 3d object you must go into EDIT MODE for it to be treated like a true 3d onbect
3d tool used


Masking Things


you may leave EDIT-mode and safely clear your layer (layer > clear) // now go to TOOL and select your polymesh (the last object in the list) and drag it on screen. when you go into edit mode now you will see extra features in the tool menu for instance under GEOMETRY there will be a DIVIDE/EDGE LOOP button – and also abit lower the POLYGROUPS you are probably referring to.

clear the canvas with CTRL-N
Fill = CTRL-F

that damn Transpose tool

Quick tip: in Move/Scale mode, Alt+click+drag on the mesh (not on action line) to move or scale mesh

Inner (red/white) ring actions

These actions apply to the inner red or white rings of the action line. The terms center or end refer to the position on the line.

scale multiple subtools at once

To scale all subtools at once, do as follows

1. Turn on the visibility of all the subtools that needs to be scaled.
2. Then go to Zplugin > Transpose master > select ‘TposeMesh’.
3. Zbrush goes through the process and merge all the visible subtools to create a single subtool that can be manipulated as a whole.
4. After scaling the subtool as per required, go to Zplugin > Transpose master > select ‘Tpose>SubT’.
5. Zbrush transfers the transformation changes from the merged single subtool to all the visible subtools.

Markers (M key)


good to have

MatCap Baker plug-in



texturing with photoreference

creating a seamless texture


zbrush for environments.
perfectly tiling models.

how to paint 2d textures with a wireframe overlay

  1. You would need to import your template into the Texture palette, select a material that has the Transparency modifier (like the BasicMaterial) and then do a Crop And Fill function to fill the canvas with it.
  2. Now create a new layer and fill that with whatever color and material you want to use for painting your texture.
  3. Next, select the first layer (the template) and move it forward by setting Layer>Displace Z to a negative value. Then you have to make it transparent by increasing the setting of the BasicMaterial Transparency slider (or that of whatever material you’d used for the template). Finally, turn off Render>Flatten so that ZBrush can render the layers independently of each other, enabling the transparency effect.
  4. Now you can select the texture layer and paint to your heart’s content. You’ll be able to see through the wireframe of the template. You can turn the Template layer on/off at any time via the Layer palette. You can also change the opacity of the template layer by adjusting the Transparency slider.

topology & re-topo tools

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.
  6. When you are done, press Tool:Adaptive Skin:Make Adaptive Skin.
  7. If you are creating armor or helmets you may want to use the Skin Thickness slider to give your new mesh some depth.

general controls

  1. To add a point: LMB-click on desired spot.
  2. To delete a point: ALT-click on point.
  3. To set a new starting point: CTRL-click on point.
  4. To select a point: LMB-click on the point.
  5. To deselect a point: LMB-click outside your model.
  6. To move points: go from Draw mode to Move mode.
  7. To move more points together: increase the drawsize.
  8. To scale points: go to Scale mode. (works best with larger draw size)
  9. To delete a connection-line without deleting the connected points: insert a new point in the middle of the line and delete that point.
  10. Use Shift-LMB-click to convert the underlying geometry into the new topology. (area affected depends on brush size) Use Shift-ALT-LMB to unerase the geometry, or just SHIFT-LMB over an already painted area. (only deletes topology created with Shift-LMB)


“texturing made easy”

“texture baking”

  1. Download these lighting setups The first one is DefaultLighting, which is what you get when you start ZBrush. The second is UniformGlobal, which will come into play in a minute. Put them both in your ZLights folder.
  2. Create a large base texture and assign it to your model following these instructions. As with any other texture, it’s important that the texture be large enough to take the detail without blurring and stretching.
  3. Draw your model on the canvas and position it how you need it for texturing. Use TextureMaster to Drop it.
  4. Paint your color and material onto the model like normal.
  5. Adjust the material properties to get them looking the way that you want them for the part of the model being painted.
  6. In the Light palette, load UniformGlobal.ZLI. This will eliminate all shadows from the model (similar to what FlatColor accomplishes).
  7. Press TextureMaster>Pick Shaded (Be sure that TextureMaster>M is off, first)
  8. Switch back to DefaultLighting.ZLI whenever you want to see your model with regular lights again. In truth, this normally helps when you’re rotating and positionioning the model so that you can see its depth.

Just follow steps 3-8 as needed to continue texturing.



1. turn around 3 times and sacrifice a goat, hope this works