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Secrets of Zbrush Experts: Tips, Techniques, and Insights for Users of All Abilities 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1435458970
ISBN-10: 1435458974
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Editorial Reviews

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Sample Art from Secrets of ZBrush Experts

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Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Cthulhu Final
Chris Nichols,
"Cthulhu Final"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Showtime
Mariano Steiner,
"ShowTime_Front"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Vase
Alexey Kashpersky,
"Vase"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Eddie
Christian Fischer,
"Eddie"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Procedurally Shaded Plums
Jeremy Engleman,
"Procedurally Shaded Plums"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Bill
Bonus: Maarten Verhoeven,
"Bill"
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Dragon Age
Bonus: Jason Martin,
Dragon Age Production Still
Secrets of ZBrush Experts art - Weaponized Model
Bonus: Andrzej Kuziola,
"Weaponized Model"

Review

1. Movie/VFX. 2. Illustration. 3. Character Design. 4. Figure Creation. 5. Concept Design.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (October 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1435458974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435458970
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent companion for an intermediate and up zBrush artist. It goes beyond the usual "instructibles" (for which there are already plenty available, so this doesn't clutter the space) and delves into showing you the styles, techniques, tips and tricks used by other, very experienced zBrush users, all of them veritable experts all their own.

There are the needed how-to steps, but also includes interviews with the profiled artists, including background information that you don't usually see in similar books (such as what their preferential brushes or tools are, what other software they use in conjunction with zBrush, unique perspectives and methodologies, etc.), as well as recommendations that can improve your own workflow.

Excellent does not necessarily mean perfect, however. Part of this book's strength also contributes to its weakness. For example, while it isn't a "how-to manual" type of book, some the how-to's are still so sparse that you're left wanting more. An example is a featured "expert" who uses zBrush for printed art (instead of the usual film or game pipelines), but not much detail is provided on that particular genre and what specifics and "secrets" can be gleamed from the perspective of that medium (as opposed to say, the silver screen or a computer monitor or a TV set for console games).

Another beef is the interviews, which seem contrived and generic, applied to almost all profiled "experts" featured in the book, and quickly beefing it up in a way that most magazines are already doing all the time. Something that should be meatier in this type of book instead of a "one size fits all" type of interview questions. It leaves you wishing there were more insightful "secrets" to be had.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book because it said that it had tips and techniques for "users of all abilities," but it's definitely not for beginners. Zbrush is a very complex program with a very steep learning curve (at least for me) and this book is not suited for learning how to use the program in any way. I'm still trying to learn the simplest tools and for the techniques here, a good working knowledge of Zbrush is required.

For more advanced users of the program, however, the tips look fairly good. Each chapter portrays a different artist, who details one technique that he uses in the creation of a 3D object. It's not completely step-by-step, but there are a lot of (tiny) illustrations and most of the artists do a good job of explaining their steps. Most of the techniques require extra software or plug-ins, too, so keep that in mind.

Each chapter also includes a portfolio of work by the artist, and this portion of the book is really inspiring. The work is really incredible and really made me want to try to learn and use Zbrush more.

There is an "Insights" section which was pretty bland. A lot of the questions seemed pointless or asked about functions of Zbrush or other software that I don't have or know about. The short "resources" section in each chapter was very redundant, most of these artists use the exact same websites for their list so I think it should have just been in a bibliography section at the end.

Each artist gets a little "info" section also, which is basically their resume, which makes the whole tone of the book seem more like it's a vanity portfolio of artists looking for work. I did like the little section where they detail what hardware/software they use with Zbrush, though.

A huge downside for me was the size of the book.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It probably ought to go without saying that if you know Zbrush inside and out, you're going to get less value from this book than people who are relative newcomers or who have not moved beyond the superficial in their relationship with this product. There are undoubtedly some "Tips, Techniques, and Insights for Users of All Abilities", but there is probably a sweet spot in the middle where readers will get most benefit. True newcomers may be lost by the lack of foundational instruction (no fault of the book that these are missing; this isn't a basic "how to") while true experts will have twigged to some of these approaches themselves. If you hit that sweet spot, this book could be fantastic to help you make masterpieces with this flexible digital sculpting tool. Otherwise, it might fire a desire to reach that sweet spot or, if you've already passed it, tweak a few new ideas.

The book does have inspirational value beyond its instruction. The artwork is gorgeous and gives some idea of what ZBrush can do in the hands of a master, and the interviews with the artists are interesting support material. It does seem like the title might better have reflected this mix if the book were called "Interviews with ZBrush Experts: with tips etc." As it is now, it's altogether too focused on one aspect.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is an adequate addition to your library if you have substantial background with ZBrush. In no way is this book suitable for newbies. I wish the illustrations were better integrated with the text and that the explanations were more logical. In short, this is a good book to round out your library but will not suffice as your only reference.
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