Introducing ZBrush 3rd Edition
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More About This Title Introducing ZBrush 3rd Edition


Learn ZBrush inside and out with this updated new edition

Get totally comfortable sculpting in a digital environment with the latest edition of this bestselling beginner's guide to ZBrush. Fully updated for the newest version of the software, ZBrush 4R3, this book dispels any fears you might have about the difficulty of using ZBrush and soon has you creating realistic, cartoon, and organic models with flair. Learn all the essentials, as you complete fun tutorials on painting, meshes, organic scripting, hard surface sculpting, lighting, rendering, and more.

  • Introduces you to ZBrush, the sculpting software that lets you create digital art with a fine-art feel, which you can transfer into Maya or other 3D applications
  • Covers painting, meshes, organic sculpting, hard surface sculpting, textures, lighting, rendering, working with other 3D applications, and scripting
  • Walks you through a series of fun and engaging tutorials where you can start creating your own work, including human, cartoon, and organic models
  • Fully updated for the newest version of ZBrush, ZBrush 4R3, including full coverage of its robust rendering tools
  • Includes a DVD with helpful video examples and files to help you complete the tutorials

Design remarkably realistic creatures, people, and objects with ZBrush and the new edition of this top-selling guide.

The DVD is not included as part of the e-book file, but is available for download after purchase.


Eric Keller has been a visual effects artist since 1998, creating animations for feature films, commercials, motion graphics, and scientific visualizations. He has been teaching digital sculpting at the world-renowned Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood for over three years and has created video tutorials for Pixologic's ZClassroom, working directly with the developers of ZBrush. He is the author of Mastering Maya 2011 and Maya Visual Effects: The Innovator's Guide (Sybex).


Foreword xvii

Introduction xix

Chapter 1: Digital Art Basics 1

An Introduction to ZBrush 2

Understanding Digital Images 3

Understanding Resolution 8

Understanding 3D Space 11

Resources 16

Chapter 2: Understanding the ZBrush Interface 19

The Zen of ZBrush 20

Trays and Palettes 42

The Title Bar 58

Summary 59

Chapter 3: Basic Digital Sculpting 61

Digital Clay 62

Working with Dynamic Levels of Subdivision 73

Creating a Sculpting Topology with Dynamesh 77

Masking 83

Insert Brushes 92

Summary 112

Chapter 4: Polymesh Editing 113

Selection Brushes 114

Polygroups 120

Polygroups and Dynamesh 128

Working with Subtools 132

ZSpheres 142

ZSketching with ZSpheres 162

Summary 180

Chapter 5:  ShadowBox and Clip Brushes 181

ShadowBox 182

Create the Car Body in ShadowBox 191

MatchMaker Brush 208

Clip Brushes 211

Summary 234

Chapter 6: Advanced ZSphere Techniques 235

Retopologizing a Character 236

Projection 245

Deforming a Mesh with ZSpheres 249

Mannequins 258

Curve Brushes 266

Summary 276

Chapter 7: Advanced Brush Techniques 277

Brush Customization 278

Designing a Brush 282

Alpha Textures 292

Brush Effects 307

Hard Surface Detail Brushes 312

Chapter 8: Polypainting and SpotLight 325

Polypainting 326

Polypainting Techniques 335

Image Editing with SpotLight 353

SpotLight Projection 363

Painting with Curves 374

Summary 377

Chapter 9: FiberMesh, Materials, and Rendering 379

FiberMesh 380

Rendering Basics 389

Standard Lighting 391

Advanced Lighting with LightCap 399

Material Basics 406

Designing Materials 410

Painting Materials 414

BPR Rendering Techniques 420

ZBrush and Photoshop 433

Summary 438

Chapter 10: Surface Noise, Layers, and the ZBrush Timeline 439

Surface Noise 440

Morph Targets 449

Using 3D Layers 454

Polypaint Layers 461

The ZBrush Timeline 468

Summary 477

Appendix: About the Companion DVD 479

Index 483