ZBrush4R7 Everything You Want To Know…with a side of mech | UArtsy
ZBrush4R7 Everything You Want To Know…with a side of mech
Instructor:
Paul Gaboury

Learn the ins and outs of ZBrush 4R7 during this 10 module course with Paul Gaboury, with a special focus on the latest hard surface modeling tools for mech creation and tips for creating a stunning final render with the new Keyshot Bridge!

BENEFITS INCLUDE
Lifetime course access
Project based training
Community feedback
Email and phone support

In this 10 module course Pixologic's lead developer, Paul Gaboury, will take you through everything 4R7. Feature focused projects and live critiques directly from the makers of ZBrush!

The 5 most important lessons:

  1. Understanding how the actions and targets of ZModeler work together, and using QMesh mode for unique control of snapping and creating holes on the fly.
  2. How to create a NanoMesh brush and use NanoMesh to add an extreme amount of detail with out adding to the polygon count.
  3. Using ArrayMesh for hard surface scene creation, including buildings, tracks, staircases, and more.
  4. Using the new FBX plug-in to import and export items in one file to programs like Maya or Unity.
  5. Creating complex materials in ZBrush and creating realistic renders with the ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge, with finishing touches in Photoshop.
Course Outline
Project 1 : Intro To ZModeler

Basics of ZModeler

The strength of the ZModeler brush is in understanding how the actions and targets work together. QMesh mode is what gives ZModeler a unique control of snapping and creating holes on the fly. This gives a very organic feel to hard surface modeling.

We will start off with the basics of the brush to create a foundation to grow from.

Dynamic Subdiv

For the first time we have a method to subdiv the mesh with out actually adding the geometry to the mesh. Dynamic Subdiv is a preview mode that will allow you to use any feature in ZBrush, including the features that can’t be used with regular subdivision levels.

The following options will be covered through out this lesson.

  • QGrid
    • Bevel or Chamfer
    • Coverage Slider
    • What does the constant option control?
  • FlatSubdiv – simulates dividing with Smt off.
  • SmoothSubdiv – simulates dividing with Smt on.

Assignment

  1. Decide on what type of mech scene you’ll be sculpting through out the class.
  2. Gather reference images for your scene.
  3. Do some sketches of your hard surface and what the entire scene will consist of.
11 Lectures | 1 Assignment
Lecture 1  13:22
Introduction And Class Goals
Lecture 2  23:23
Reference And Insperation
Lecture 3  05:16
Q&A Session
Lecture 4  15:13
Importance And Function Of Intialize
Lecture 5  10:32
Subtool And Project Managment
Lecture 6  16:04
Getting Started With ZModeler
Lecture 7  19:42
Further Exploring Zmodeler
Lecture 8  13:58
Bridge And Edge Loop Techniques
Lecture 9  13:01
Dynamic Subdiv Breakdown
Lecture 10  10:15
Creasing Meathods
Lecture 11  11:22
Class Q&A
Assignment
1
Project 2 : Getting Advanced with ZModeler

Covering More Advanced Options of ZModeler

If your intimated from all of the options in the ZModeler brush, don’t be. We are going to visit all of the options that are very unique and just plan cool. For this lesson we are going to take a look at how the following options work, just to name a few.

  • Add to Curve
  • Polygon Bridge – Connected Polys/Two Polys
  • Crease modifiers
  • Insert Polyloops
  • Transpose--- how to center the transpose line to the mesh.
  • Edge Bridge – Edges/Two Holes
  • Edge Align
  • Point Stitch
  • Point Split and many more.

Understanding ZRemesher 2.0 for Hard Surface

The first version really changed how quick retopologizing can be done with just one click. This version has a focus on maintaining hard surface regardless of the underlying geometry. This version also has reduced spirals with in the geometry.

I’ll be showing several complex examples of how the new KeepGroups and SmoothGroups have improved the automatic hard surface retopology.

Assignment

  1. Begin creating the main attraction to your scene.
  2. Create a simple crate or weapon with the Modeler.
  3. Retopo some hard surface models that version 1.0 had difficulty with. If you encounter any models that would not maintain hard surface or remove spirals share that with UArtsy so we can take a look together at the next class.
16 Lectures | 1 Assignment
Lecture 1  07:14
Introduction
Lecture 2  08:26
Q&A
Lecture 3  14:53
Low And High Res Geometry
Lecture 4  07:38
Starting With A Cylinder
Lecture 5  10:11
Using Tranpose
Lecture 6  18:10
Tackling Complex Shapes With Zmodeler
Lecture 7  07:17
Slicing And Bridging Points
Lecture 8  09:57
Add To Curve Function
Lecture 9  07:32
Inserting Polyloops
Lecture 10  07:10
Edge Alignment
Lecture 11  13:25
DynaSketching
Lecture 12  13:56
Using Curve Snap Surface
Lecture 13  10:46
Using The Topology Brush
Lecture 14  06:04
Polish And Inserting
Lecture 15  06:18
Creating Reference From DynaSketch
Lecture 16  02:48
Outro
Assignment
2
Project 3 : Cleaning up the Dynasketch

Using the Topology Brush

The brush can be used to completely retopologize a whole character, it can be used to create parts or it can be used to clean up existing geometry. There are distinct ways to use the brush. I want to cover how to use the brush correctly.

We will take a look into how to do the following:

  • Using the brush to generate new topology.
  • How you can use the brush to change the existing topology.
  • Using the brush to create pieces of geometry like armor.

ZSphere Retopology

ZSphere topology is an older way to topologize a mesh. This way can take time as well. However, it’s still very useful for hard surface meshes in ZBrush. I find myself using this technique often because I can lie vertex points exactly where I want them.

Let’s take a look at what we will be covering:

  • Using the ZSpheres as a SubTool.
  • Editing existing topology with the ZSphere.
  • Building topology from scratch.

Assignment 3

1. Continue working on your mech. Use these techniques to start building the clean hard surface parts

10 Lectures | 1 Assignment
Lecture 1  06:05
Introduction
Lecture 2  15:55
Fundamentals Of The Topology Brush
Lecture 3  09:27
Creating Geometry With The Topology Brush
Lecture 4  05:55
Mirror And Weld
Lecture 5  18:42
Advanced Topology Brush Techniques
Lecture 6  18:49
Creating Complex Shapes
Lecture 7  12:10
Brief Q&A
Lecture 8  12:51
Utilizing ZSphere Functions
Lecture 9  15:30
Modifying Adaptive Skin Topology
Lecture 10  19:36
Q&A
Assignment
3
Project 4 : Adding Details

It’s all in the Details

Now that you’ve started a hard surface model let’s take a look at how we can add the finer details into a model.

  • Making lines on the model.
    • Using the SliceCurve brush.
    • Panel Loops are a nice touch.
  • Creating InsertMesh brushes for detailing.

Using DynaMesh with Panel Loops

Almost every artist uses Dynamesh somewhere along his or her pipeline. Let’s look at how we can use DynaMesh to create hard surface items with Panel Loops. I always find ways to use Panel Loops.

In this lesson we will cover the following:

  • What every option does in Panel Looping.
  • How to use Slice Brushes with the Polish By Features option.
  • Using the BRadius to create equally distance slices.

Understanding ZRemesher 2.0 for Hard Surface

The first version really changed how quick retopologizing can be done with just one click. This version has a focus on maintaining hard surface regardless of the underlying geometry. This version also has reduced spirals with in the geometry.

I’ll be showing several complex examples of how the new KeepGroups and SmoothGroups have improved the automatic hard surface retopology.

Assignment 5

1. Retopo some hard surface models that version 1.0 had difficulty with. If you encounter any models that would not maintain hard surface or remove spirals share that with UArtsy so we can take a look together at the next class.

2. Continue to work on your scene. You should be completed with the main character of your piece by next week.

12 Lectures | 1 Assignment
Lecture 1
Full Session 5/2
Lecture 2  06:51
Discussion: DynaMeshing Thin Surfaces
Lecture 3  11:08
Close Hole Methods: ZModeler Brush & Curve Bridge
Lecture 4  19:57
Insert Mesh vs Subtool Subtraction
Lecture 5  09:25
Creating Logos with an Alpha
Lecture 6  09:56
Insetting & Creasing a Hole
Lecture 7  15:26
Dynamic Subdivision & Crease Level
Lecture 8  20:28
Little Details: Creasing by Polygroup - Part 1
Lecture 9  16:54
Little Details: Bevels - Part 2
Lecture 10  13:29
Discussion: Polygroups, Symmetry & GoZ
Lecture 11  16:43
Utilizing the Topology Brush
Lecture 12  17:48
Assignment & Voting for Next Class
Assignment
4
Project 5 : Adding Detail Continued

It’s all in the Details

Now that you’ve started a hard surface model let’s take a look at how we can add the finer details into a model.

  • Making lines on the model.
    • Using the SliceCurve brush.
    • Panel Loops are a nice touch.
  • Creating InsertMesh brushes for detailing.

Using DynaMesh with Panel Loops

Almost every artist uses Dynamesh somewhere along his or her pipeline. Let’s look at how we can use DynaMesh to create hard surface items with Panel Loops. I always find ways to use Panel Loops.

In this lesson we will cover the following:

  • What every option does in Panel Looping.
  • How to use Slice Brushes with the Polish By Features option.
  • Using the BRadius to create equally distance slices.

Understanding ZRemesher 2.0 for Hard Surface

The first version really changed how quick retopologizing can be done with just one click. This version has a focus on maintaining hard surface regardless of the underlying geometry. This version also has reduced spirals with in the geometry.

I’ll be showing several complex examples of how the new KeepGroups and SmoothGroups have improved the automatic hard surface retopology.

Assignment 5

1. Retopo some hard surface models that version 1.0 had difficulty with. If you encounter any models that would not maintain hard surface or remove spirals share that with UArtsy so we can take a look together at the next class.

2. Continue to work on your scene. You should be completed with the main character of your piece by next week.

10 Lectures | 1 Assignment
Lecture 1  02:08
Introduction
Lecture 2  14:52
Q&A Part1
Lecture 3  18:22
Q&A Part2
Lecture 4  17:21
Using Polygroups For Detailing
Lecture 5  08:46
Slice And Clip Brush
Lecture 6  21:17
Exploring Panel Loops
Lecture 7  12:33
Slice Brush Detailing
Lecture 8  21:57
Modeling Front Light Housing Piece
Lecture 9  22:46
Approching Zremesher
Lecture 10  02:27
Outro
Assignment
5
Project 6 : What is this NanoMesh and Rendering Up a Toon Look NanoMesh – MicroMesh & InsertMesh Meet

NanoMesh is a feature that will allow you to insert one mesh that can be duplicated across the surface by polygon-by-polygon or even by polygroup. The unique aspect of NanoMesh is all of duplicated meshes will be treated as instances. This will allow us to add extreme amount of detail with out adding to the polygon count.

We will take a look into how to do the following:

  • How to create a NanoMesh brush
  • How to continue to edit the mesh even after it’s been added to the surface.
  • Cover how to adjust placement mesh with out NanoMesh moving and visa versa.
  • How to continue to adjust the NanoMesh with various sliders.
  • Using Tile to create unique patterns.
  • Convert the NanoMesh into editable geometry.

Using BPR to Create a Toon Look

Using a simple material with BPR filters we can create a very cool render that has a comic book look to our models.

In this lesson we will take a look at:

  • Turning a material into a posterize look.
  • Using the Outline options of a material
  • Using the Filter system to create line art

Assignment 6

1. Create and save out 5 different NanoMeshes. Upload at least 5 images of your Nanomesh. One image for each NanoMesh.

2. Create a final toon render of your model.

1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 7 : Array Mesh It Up

ArrayMesh concept is similar to the NanoMesh. It’s a duplicate system that works with instances. This system allow for any mesh to be duplicated several times along any axis, rotated along any axis and scale along any axis. This feature can create buildings, tracks and even something as complex as one continuous staircase or roller coaster tracks.

We will cover the following in this lesson:

  • Now to create a very simple ArrayMesh
  • Using the Transpose Line to adjust the ArrayMesh..
  • How to use the Transform stage to create complex ArrayMeshes.
  • The Chain option will allow for the original mesh to be used at the start and end of each stage. This will allow for items like a roller coaster.
  • Using MakeMesh to create closed surfaces.
  • Along with every slider and button in the menu.

Changes to Surface Noise

Surface Noise has been updated to allow you to combine two noises together to create one result. This will allow for you to combine curve noise with plug-in noise and/or alpha noise. There are now multiple combine options that will allow for various Surface Noise results.

We will take a look at the following new additions:

  • How to combine the two noises together.
  • Cover the 5 new overlay options.
  • Using the mix slider

Assignment 7

  1. Create at least 5 ArrayMeshes. Save each one of them out and upload an image for each Array Mesh. Try creating something like tank tracks, buildings and long winding tracks. See if there is a way for you use ArrayMesh in your scene.
  2. Continue to work on your hard surface scene. The main element should be complete and you should be detailing the rest of the elements in the scene.

3. Create at least 5 noises on the polysphere. Upload 5 images, one for each noise. Save out these noises.

Transpose Center addition will allow us to place the Transpose Line directly in the middle of any mesh. Even use masking and visibility to control what the Transpose Line will center.

1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 8 : Pin Up Girl Challenge

I’ve often wanted to open a contest where every one does their interpretation of what their pin up girl would look like during the 1940s. I’ve always been fascinated by this decade so let’s open this contest to you. The girl can be human, alien or some kind of mech girl. My pin up girl will be the pilot to my Gundam head.

Everything starts with examples. Let’s look at some great images of how the men painted their pin up girls on bombers during WWII. I also want to show how artist today use this same concept in their pieces.

Using Mannequins

Mannequins are a create way to kick around ideas for poses. I want to show you how quick we can come up with the idea of how your pin up girl will be positioned in the scene.

What will be covered:

  • How to use the default mannequins that ship with ZBrush.
  • I’ll show you how to create your own mannequin sets.
  • Using the Projection Shell to combine the Classic Skinning with non-Classic Skinning.

FBX Plug-In

With the new plug-in you can import and export items even easier. We will look at all of the options of the FBX exporter and look at how you can send everything in one file to programs like Maya or Unity.

1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 9 : Painting Up the Pin Up

There are several ways to paint your model in ZBrush. With the 64BIT version more polygons will equal more painting details. Let’s look at all of the options for painting in ZBrush.

  • GoZ Photoshop
  • ZApplink
  • Spotlight
  • Painting on UVs with Uv Master

Assignment 9

  1. Continue to work on your pin up girl. Start blocking out the color scheme you’ll be using for the final render.
1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 10 : Using ZSphere Rig with Timeline

Let’s look at putting your pin up girl in her final pose. ZSphere rigging is a great way to move large movements where the Transpose topology masking can offer large movements but we will be covering how to use it for subtle movements.

Let’s look at how we can use the following:

  • Creating a ZSphere rig.
  • Using the rig with layers.
  • Applying the rig layering onto the Movie Timeline. This can be used to create a simple animation.
  • Using the Contact points with Timeline.
  • Converting keyframes to a rigid and slow transitions.
1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 11 : Creating Complex ZBrush Materials

Creating a complex material in ZBrush will give you several options to create more realistic renders. These materials can now be sent to Keyshot with the ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge..

What will be covered in this lesson::

  • Creating a MatCap Texture to be used in Photoshop.
  • How to create a multiple shader material.
  • Cover all modifiers in the standard material settings.
  • Using the HSV and Overlay Materials
  • Adjusting the existing MatCap Materials.
  • Using the LightCap system to create a material from scratch.
  • Anything else you can think of about ZBrush materials.

Assignment 11

  1. 1. Create custom materials for your pin up girl.
1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 12 : Zbrush to Keyshot Bridge

With ZBrush4R7 came the bridge to Keyshot. With having the capability to send everything to Keyshot for rendering we can create a unique combination of ZBrush elements with Keyshot elements.

Let’s take a look at the following with the bridge:

  • How to send models to Keyshot?
  • Cover how PolyPaint and Textures can be maintained in Keyshot.
  • Taking a look at what FiberMesh will do when you send it to Keyshot.
  • Using Surface Noise to send details instantly in Keyshot.
  • ArrayMesh and NanoMesh can be sent with out applying the mesh in ZBrush.
  • What Groups By Materials will control.

Keyshot

Keyshot is relatively simple software to learn. However, there are specific items you can play with to push the render. Let’s look at some of the items that will be covered in this lesson.

  • How to use the libraries.
  • Take a look at the ZBrush Content that is part of the ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge. The content offers great clay renders.
  • Using geometry as lights.
  • Moving the whole mesh into place with the transform tools.
  • Using the HRI Editor.
  • How to use backplates.
  • Using the render options.
  • Creating a 360 turntable with a HTML link to show off your work.

Assignment 12

  1. Send your hard surface scene into Keyshot and put a final render together. If you have your pin up girl mostly complete, give her a try as well. Upload any renders you have.
1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 13 : Using Zbrush Renders in Photoshop

Let’s keep this rendering thing going. Many of the 3D concept artists will use a combination of BPR with Photoshop. I’ve even seen some of them implement Keyshot into the same workflow.

Let’s take a look at setting up ZBrush to render out layers for Photoshop.

  • What materials to use and which material is for what pass.
  • Setting up the shadows in ZBrush to give you the best result.
  • How AO can be used to push the element.
  • How to use the depth render for SSS or even Depth of View.
  • What are the good blend modes to use with each layer?
  • And much more…

Review Time….

Let’s take some more time to cover the major items and cover any additional questions.

Assignment 13

1. Finish off your pin up girl. Do a final render of her in either Keyshot or by using the ZBrush Photoshop system.

Major Topics

· ZModeler

· NanoMesh

· ArrayMesh

· ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge

· ZRemesher 2.0 Hard Surface

· Dynamic Subdiv

Secondary Topics

· QuickMesh

· Update to Inventory and Replay Last

· Grid Projection

· FBX Plug-in

· Surface Noise update

· Transpose centering

· Crease Beveling

1 Lectures
Lecture 1
Full Class Session
Project 14 : Critiques
4 Lectures
Lecture 1
Critique Replay 1
Lecture 2
Crtitique Replay 2
Lecture 3
Critique Replay 3
Lecture 4
Critique Replay 4
Project 15 : Resources
3 Lectures
Lecture 1
Course Outline Download URL
Lecture 2
Star Wars Modeling Link
Lecture 3
Star Wars Blueprint Book
Student Projects
FAQ
Who should take this course?
This is an intermediate level course. As such, a basic understanding of ZBrush is recommended.
Can I download the lectures?
Absolutely. You have lifetime access to all your course content, which includes both streaming and downloadable course video lectures.