- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (June 3, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047024996X
- ISBN-13: 978-0470249963
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 53 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,246,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting 1st Edition
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Amazon Exclusive: Scott Spencer's Favorite ZBrush Tricks
1. Move your light often. When sculpting try and use the basic material instead of the matcap shaders. The basic material allows you to interactively light the surface as you work. This makes judging your forms much easier since you can see shadows moving across the surface.
2. Use specular highlights. When working make sure you have some level of specular shine on the surface material. Specular highlights allows you to easily see the high points of the sculpt as well as pick out the fine details of the surface texture.
3. Store morph targets. When adding high frequency details it is a good habit to store a morph target of the model with no high frequency details. This will allow you to use the morph brush as a kind of "detail eraser", blending out the skin texture partially or completely as you work.
4. Use custom alphas. While ZBrush has many wonderful alphas preinstalled, get in the habit of finding useful images and storing them as your personal alpha library. You can quickly build up an in-depth and original collection of skin textures. Not only will this help you avoid clichéd alphas, it will also help you learn about the various kinds of wrinkle and scale patterns in nature by looking at the reference you collect.
5. Create and use custom menus.Use the custom menu options under preferences to group your most used buttons and options in one personal menu. This menu can then be mapped with a hotkey and called up at the touch of a button from anywhere in the user interface. This is an incredibly useful tool for speeding up your working time.
6. Create and use hotkeys. Another method to increase speed is using hotkeys. ZBrush has default hotkeys which can be found in the tool tip when hovering over a menu option. You can change these keys and set new hotkeys by pressing control and clicking on a menu option. ZBrush will the ask you to press the key combination you wish to assign as a hotkey.
7. Combine extraneous subtools. Your subtool menu can quickly become cluttered with extraneous parts. Two separate eyeballs for example are unnecessary and just add to the length of the subtool menu. Using meshInsert to take one eyeball and combine it into the other reducing two subtools into one. This can also be accomplished with the ZBrush plug-in SubtoolMaster. For this to work make sure the two tools have the same number of subdivision levels. This will ensure that both models retail their multiple levels of resolution when combined.
8. Frequent the ZBrushCentral website. The ZBrush user community is one of the most supportive user communities I have encountered. Visit ZBrush Central for updates on new tools, techniques, and plug-ins as well as conversations with other artist seeking critique on their work. If you have a question, posting in the forum will get an answer for you in no time.
9. Use ZMapper to check UVs. ZMapper's morph UV function is a quick and easy way to verify the UV set on a particular ZTool. This can be extremely useful in a production pipeline where you need to verify UV coordinates before proceeding. By simply loading the ZTool into ZMapper and activating morphUV you can check for the correct UV layout as well as visually can for any obvious overlaps or errors in the UV shells.
10. Sketch in ZBrush. Using a ZBrush primitive or a generic mesh, sketch characters often. These don’t have to be show reel pieces just little experiments in using the tools and learning about form. I do at least one sketch a day I never plan on showing publicly. This frees me to make mistakes and just relax. It also helps me learn new things about both using the ZBrush tools as well as sculpting form. Just like you may keep a private sketchbook for ideas and fragments, keeping a ZBrush sketch folder will help you stay active. It can also serve as a great source of inspiration when you want to pick up a rough character and take it to a finish.
11. Use reference. Always have reference handy when working. I personally use photo of real people as well as figurative sculptures when I work. It is hard to go wrong referencing how Michelangelo, Bernini, or Giambologna approached a particular problem in figure sculpture when you work. By referencing the masters you will learn while your work benefits. It is also a good idea to do master copies in your spare time. By trying to copy your reference exactly, you learn an amazing amount about how an artist thought and dealt with specific problems.
From the Back Cover
Break Free from the 3D Mold
ZBrush is taking the world of 3D modeling by storm, allowing CG artists to create spectacular organic models in a way that feels like traditional sculpting and painting. Like the software itself, this beautiful four-color guide perfectly blends technology with artistry to give you a thorough, hands-on tutorial in creating 3D characters with this revolutionary software.
Digital sculptor Scott Spencer guides you through the full array of ZBrush tools, including brushes, textures, and detailing. You'll learn how to sculpt in ZBrush, design a character bust, and dazzle viewers with your creations. Above all, you'll discover how to apply time-honored methods of traditional sculpting and painting to a digital formatand emerge a better artist, no matter what the medium.
Bridge the transition from traditional sculpting to digital
Explore the ZBrush interface and toolsets
Learn valuable techniques for texturing, posing, and rendering in ZBrush
Master ZScripts, macros, and other methods for customizing the interface
Transfer your ZBrush creations into Maya® and prepare for use in film, game, or other formats
Gain valuable insights and tips from guest artists throughout the book
VALUABLE COMPANION DVD
Support files for the book's tutorials are included on the DVD, so you can try out the techniques as you go. It also includes ZBrush movies to further illustrate the step-by-step sculpting process, as well as a trial version of ZBrush 3.1 for the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Top customer reviews
On top of this, Scott Spencer backs everything you read with video tutorials which are great! There you will find much much more than you find in the book (which is a lot) since you can hear his reflections while sculpting... you can see how he sees things when he designs and what his approach towards sculpting is.
Before I end this, I want to recommand the other two books and I STRONGLY advice you to start with his first book, which is Zbrush - Human Figure. The book was made back in the 3.5 days but nevertheless is such an amazing tool to learn the basics of sculpting and the basics of Anatomy. He is a master of Human Anatomy in Sculpture and here is the chance to see him in action.. to go and take a Maya box man with about 100 polys and transform him into what you can see on the book cover.
Basically, the three books work together... You get the basics of Anatomy and Sculpting in the first one, than you get all the additional processes explained in Character Creation (texturing, mapping etc) and than in the last one you go through several types of creatures and characters and you are concerned with more advanced stuff like rendering and lighting, composition etc.
Take this book, take the other two as well, remove all your distractions and get on with them. You will fly through what used to be walls of questions.
Like others have mentioned, the chapter on displacement/normal map generation and use in other programs (specifically covers Maya, which was wonderful for me) is worth the price of this book alone. It even goes in depth about the Maya shading network setup, from scratch, needed to display the maps properly. The internet contains a lot of conflicting and dated information on these topics - primarily because Pixologic has been pumping out updates and revisions every few months that change the game again and again and a lot of the tools that people used to use have been replaced once or twice with new tools from Pixologic. This is the only thing i have read that has all of this information in one place.
That being said, with Zbrush being up to Z4r4 now, i would love to see a new edition of this book from Scott Spencer or a new book altogether including the massive updates to Zbrush since this book's publish date. It might be wise to wait for Z5 since that seems to be the next thing for Pixologic. Heed my only warning about this book, which is that it was written based on Z4 original release, and does not include any more recent topics such as dynamesh, insert brushes, fibers, noisemaker, qremesher from Z4r2 through Z4r4.
Author is great, examples are great, additional resources are great - If you like Zbrush, you should own this book, especially if you also use Maya. As usual, the concepts are not application specific, but it helps to have the actual menus and examples in Maya since I am currently learning.
Thanks Scott, this book is great.
There's so much information on the web and tutorials galore to learn ZBrush, but it's nice to open a book sometimes. This is one of the best. I still refer to it, or just check if I've missed something.
For those just starting out in ZBrush, you'll do yourself some good by following through on some of these projects.
Scott Spencer teaches art in an 'artistic' manner that just makes sense.
This book is eye-opening, mind-opening and not only feeds, but nourishes the ZBeast within!