Looking forward to the release of this Anatomy app:
Looking forward to the release of this Anatomy app:
Every now and then I receive an email asking where to start with ZBrush. Below is a copy of a recent email I sent in response to such a question. It is a basic outline of where to start your path of learning and some of the best resources to point your attention towards...
Before I ever had a website, back before I went Self Employed, I ran a blog over on Blogspot called DigitalWAX. The purpose of which was to document my transition from a traditional sculptor to mastering a digital toolset. I fell in love with ZBrush, was determined to switch career path and I began to embrace the concepts of a digital work flow. As life does, when we make plans, the option to go freelance sprung up and I haven't had time to stop since. Zbrush had to take a back seat to all the new priorities that my career twist presented. Untill now.
Back to ZBrush
ZBrush 4 was released late August, and with it came a whole new set of functions and smoothed out work flows. The beta-tester's images blew my mind and I updated my software and sat back down at the pc with a reborn passion for the digital sculpting techniques.
First thing I found was my general inability to use the program as I remembered. The interface had once again became an alien thing to me. Simple working methods had faded with time since I last used the program. I was once again a floundering novice. Time to start afresh.
So once again, I begin a transitional journey, and once again I plan to document the experience.
During my first foray into the ZBrush territory I attended an online sculpting class and as part of the work flow we first set up image planes. This is what I needed to relearn.
My first duty was gather some resources around me to get my knowledge back up and running. First stop is always going to be ZBrush's home at Pixologic.com and the galleries and forums of ZBrushcentral. Also, I picked up ZBrush Essentials Magazine but I found it skipped the essentials in favour of repeating the same project over, but with different artists. There is some nice work in there and a a lot of helpful advice but it was not what I needed.
Then I hit YouTube, to view the new ZB4 videos from ZBRUSHatPIXOLOGIC which got me exited again, but a search for 'image planes' led me to a great find: Canned Mushrooms ZB4 DVD series playlist. This is exactly what I needed to kick things off again, so I pressed play and had the first chapters play out while I was working, with intentions of re-watching whilst using Zbrush later.
his chapter on the skull sparked my attention and I immediately booted up ZBrush and followed along. Here's some images of my tinkerings...
The six steps above required two days to complete. This could be sped-up, but as I was refreshing myself to the process, much net trawling and deliberation was necessary.
Next I'll make a set of teeth and generate UV Maps, before moving into sculpting and detailing. I'll document these in the next post. Also I'll detail the procedure of setting up the 'Image Planes' in a dedicated post, a process that is hard to find a sufficient tutorial on, and tricky to figure out as a novice.
I'll be back in a few days.
I started this digital journey in September and have fallen for the process. The control over the character is the greatest asset of ZBrush. Utilising Layers many alternate versions of the character can be contained within a single tool.
ZBrush still has many features which remain either unused or barely explored. ZBrush combines the disciplines of drawing, painting, modelling and sculpting... and it does all well. Very well.
So I plan to:
1) build a base mesh.
2) Adapt this to get a male and female form.
3) From these two meshes adapt each further to make three specific but still basic body shapes. Which will represent the athletic, thin and obese forms. From these I could develop any amount of humanoid characters. These will give a good base of assets to begin with for further projects.
The three ideal forms are based upon the somatotypes (endomorphic, mesomorphic, and ectomorphic) a simplistic classification of body types, developed in the 1940s by American psychologist William Sheldon.
Below is an example of somatotypes from the book: Figure Drawing without a Model, Ron Tiner. David&Charles (27 Feb 1992)
Here are some images from first attempt at posing the beast within ZBrush using TransPose Master.
For the Transpose Plugin and a great demo of it in action, head over to Ryan's Blog: Sculpt Paint Create.... http://www.pixologic.com/blogs/ryan/category/transpose/
I've been slow with this recently.
I kinda hit a wall with week five. The making of UV maps and building the Minotroll's mech arm is proving to be a whole new ball game. In a nutshell I need to learn Maya. I so far have used 3ds max (I say 'used' but I mean opened, got frustrated and closed again) as an external 3D application.
All the advice I have been given and research I have done points to using Maya as THE 3D app. It is the industry standard for production and if Maya cannot do it... it is unlikely that any other app can.
So my next track of learning will be to grasp the fundamentals of Maya, and eventually get those elusive UV maps nailed down.
As far as my course goes I have sidestepped the UV process and began to colour the beast within ZBrush. Here's where I'm at so far...
and some quick teeth I knocked up (not very detailed but... they should do the job)