So I started using ZBrush about 3 or 4 years after I purchased a license back when DAZ3D had a deal going on with Pixologic (the folks that make ZBrush). It was a great deal back then, under $200.00 but the UI and how ZBrush operated really confused me! So it just sat there for years. The really great thing about Pixologic is that they have NEVER charged me for an upgrade. I bought ZBrush when it hit version 3.0. We are now at ZBrush 2022. It's a great program but it's interface can be very confusing to .. well everyone .. The tools are complex and not always easy to use but once you get the hang of it your mind is the only thing holding you back from being your best and most creative self!
One really great thing about ZBrush is that you can customize the UI to your hearts content! Create your own menus (as you can see in the screen grab of the ZBrush UI above, if you look closely, I have a custom menu called RAMS Brushes, this is where I put most of the brushes I use when I'm working! All in one easy too access menu, I can then dock it over to the left or right side of the interface to get to quickly when I need one. On the bottom you can see there is another docked menu with more easy access tools that I use allot like the Unwrap engine tools rather than accessing them from the drop down menu!
So when I was finally ready to work in ZBrush Genesis 1 was popular and was the perfect jumping on point. I wanted to make morphs. For Michael 4, the predecessor of Genesis, I made a character I named Bruno. He was like this Italian based male morph and skin but was helped a lot by Jens Peters (Jepe), who was renowned for his male character packs that he created for Michael 4, I then added in allot of my own touches like eyebrows and the like. The morph for Bruno is what's called a "Dial spins" of morphs that came with or could be purchased for Michael 4 and the same for Genesis 1 but I wanted to break free of that and make my own morphs in ZBrush! Since then I've been going strong making morphs for various figures including Genesis all the way up to the current 8th generation as well as HiveWire 3D's Dusk and Dawn figures now I'm working with Poser's L'Homme! FUN! Dawn & Dusk 2.0 are both in the works and of course I'll be making stuff for Dusk 2.0! More fun to come, can't wait!!
I then wanted to expand my talents and so decided I wanted to make clothing too! So more questions, YouTube video's to fill my brain with as much knowledge as I could absorb. I remember Joe Quick helped me with my first set of shoes I ever made in ZBrush. I still have those in a folder somewhere. So I've also been making clothing but setting it up for use in either Poser or DAZ Studio can be very time consuming so it's not something I do allot of but love the idea! Making hair props is high on my to do list!
Another tool that ZBrush now offers is Fibermesh hair. That is a game changer for so many that wanted something more realistic than mapped hair which was flat and if wasn't set up properly in DAZ Studio could look SO FAKE. Often times it was set up poorly, even my attempts were not great but yea, Fibermesh was like real hair. Hair reflective and refractive qualities were now achievable. BUT the tools for this area are very TOUCHY at best. So it can be very labor intensive and a test of ones patience to get something that looks right to the human eye. ALLOT of what I've seen out there is ..... quite ugly. My attempts are acceptable and pretty nice but allot of cussing came forth during the creation and styling process!
Another new addition is ZBrush's very own Dynamics Engine! Works great!!! The new system allows any surface to be contracted, expanded, inflated or draped with gravity. There are allot of controls that DO take a little time to get one's head around but once you figure it out there is nothing you can't do with this engine. It's really another game changer!
To the left there is a ZBrush features vid from YouTube to give you a bit more info on the program and what it can offer! Also, here are some screen grabs from ZBrush I managed to find! WHEW, thought I lost them. I was making some pants for Dusk from Hivewire3D. I enjoyed the process of making them but back in DAZ Studio getting all the pieces of them rigged for Dusk was too much so I put the project away. There is a wallet with a chain and belt that went with the pants and getting them to play well together was more work than building them in ZBrush. Fun making them though!!
To the left there is a ZBrush features vid from YouTube to give you a bit more info on ZBrush 2022 and what it can offer! Also, here are some screen grabs from ZBrush I managed to find! WHEW, thought I lost them. I was making some pants for Dusk from Hivewire3D. I enjoyed the process of making them but back in DAZ Studio getting all the pieces of them rigged for Dusk was too much so I put the project away. There is a wallet with a chain and belt that went with the pants and getting them to play well together was more work than building them in ZBrush. Fun making them though!! Perhaps some day I'll figure things out more and get some clothing made available for my characters!