Part 2: MODELING
I used technique called KITBASHING, the idea is to take premade parts and put them together to create a unique piece of technology
All the tools used here were made from Zbrush’s native “startup 3d meshes”. The process is fairly easy. For red and blue parts (I used 2 colors so its easier to read the shapes) I modified the basic Ring3D. Inflate to make it more “chunky”, SFlatten to make it sharper. Scale, Bend etc to get the final shape. Be sure to try what each modifier can do to get the feel for it.
Yellow parts are made from Cylinder3D. To get the segmented cable shape MaskAll in the Masking menu, then based on the cylinder topology enter number for “Sell” (how many polygon rows/columns should be selected) and “Skp” (how many polygon rows/columns should be skipped). I used 5 and 4 respectively. Now click on “Row” button and you will have cylinder with 4 polygon rows selected/masked and 5 skipped repeating on the whole cylinder. Now play with Inflate and Smooth in Deformate menu to get the exact shape you like. Clear the mask and bend.
Masking is a great way to create very precise technical shapes in a Zbrush. We will also use it to create “cuts” in a geometry.
All the metallic grey shapes of mech were made from Cube3D. While most were just scaled, head and parts of legs and hands were “cut out” The process is quite simple, just mask the parts you would like to cut out (use hard square alpha brush), sharpen the mask, invert and Flatten -100%. The more polygons your shape has the sharper the cut will be. To add more polygons click CTRL-d be sure to have no mask on the object before you do it. To mask by hand edit draw on the object while holding Ctrl. To erase parts hold also Alt. (You can use Alt in almost any tool to get the “inverted” result)
Try different Deformation tools and mask shapes to get wide array of interesting shapes.
Finally, convert all the created shapes to Polymesh (Make PolyMesh3D button in Tool menu) and build the final shape with help of SubTool menu. Just click Append button to add another tool and then move it to desired place with Edit and Move checked on the main toolbar. This is a great way to combine different shapes. When I first started with Zbrush this tool was’nt available so I had to convert all the shapes to 2.5D to put them together and use the markers to remember their position.
Zbrush improved A LOT from these times, not only with tools but also with documentation. To get help about any tool just hold the control and point a mouse on it. And be sure to check out fantastic tutorial videos on the Zbrush.com site! I learned about SubTools there few minutes ago
To see the videos go to www.pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom choose the “Getting Started with Zbrush” in chapters choose Essentials, scroll far to the right and be sure to watch the Masking Primitives and Subtools videos to get all the details you need.