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Pixologic team asked several talented artist to be a part of the beta team for the 4R8 version of ZBrush. The participants are now sharing their thoughts on the newest version on the official forum, breaking down the new features.
For example, user A_Cubed wrote about the tools he found useful:
-Custom VDM brushes galore for the scales, teeth and spiky bits. Playing with these brushes speeds up sketching SO MUCH!
-Continuous stroke with the lazy mouse using the chisel brushes. Used it on the mechanical jaw to achieve super clean quick lines~ What’s great is that because you need to create a morph target for this feature, I was able to erase anything I did not like, perfectly, by using the morph brush!
-The Gizmo. This new gadget is amazing, I was able to easily move the jaw around at different, easy to place, pivot points and play around with deformers on the overall shape of the concept to get the silhouette I felt was interesting. You’ll really enjoy how easy it is to move multiple subtools around together too.
-Booleans! I combined the Boolean feature with nanomesh to get a quick pattern for the antennae. I also used it for the spinal bits which was incredibly fast.
The two [capabilities] I found as huge time savers and enablers of iterative design were the gizmo, and the deformers. I also found the boolean modeling tools to be a great way to desgn both organic and hard surface subjects.
My main focus for the beta was the Mantis mech, but I will be sharing some of the other projects I started with you all soon.
The mech was modeled 100% in ZBrush using the ZModeler brush, the Gizmo, deformers and booleans and rendered in Keyshot 6.
I believe the new Boolean Feature is the biggest thing to happen since DynaMesh. It’s incredibly easy to create complicated forms that would have normally taken much longer to construct and organize.
For my Mechish Concept, I explored Live Booleans, Frame Mesh and the Deformer Feature.
The Head, Torso and Arms were created using ZModeler, Live Booleans and Frame Mesh.
The Tentacles were created with ZModeler, then I Decimated them before duplicating them out in a straight line, at which point, I used the Deformer to slowly pose them. I was actually really surprised at how well the Decimated tentacles retained a clean surface, even after heavy decimation and deformer distortion.
Once I finished creating a straight Tentacle, I proceeded to jump into the Deformer Tool! This feature is similar to the Lattice feature in Maya, for those who are familiar.
I created the maximum size Deformer in Length, then proceeded to pose them starting from the Limb’s connection to the body. One after another, I slowly manipulated the Decimated Tentacle, which withstood the angles rather impressively for how heavily Decimated they were. (Thanks Pixologic!) As you can see, this can create rather smooth and controlled curving angles and has great potential!
As you can see, I created a simple tube shape to figure out my plan before starting the real Tentacles, as I didn’t want hit any snags in the pose half way through, which I recommend.
My favorite Gizmo was the 7th Preset, and I look forward to customizing it a bit further, but I believe everyone is going to greatly appreciate the new Gizmo!
You can find more opinions on ZBrush 4R8 here.