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. I got a great deal back then, under $200.00 but the UI and how it was set up really confused me so it just sat there. 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 2020 which I think is like 5.0 or something like that. 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!
So then along came the first Genesis figure from DAZ3D, now deemed Genesis 1. It was/is a figure that could be morphed into either a male or a female shape. Or an alien or a monster or what ever you could think of. It was praised by the user base but it was reviled by the content makers that made clothing and accessories. They really wanted a separate male and female base to make clothing more properly I guess. I'm getting ahead of myself here... So I finally wanted to do something and Genesis 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 set that I was helped with by Jepe, who was renowned for his male skins he created for Michael 4, I then added in allot of my own touches like eyebrows and the like. The morph for Bruno were just what's called "Dial spins" of morphs that came with or could be purchased for Michael 4 and the same for Genesis but I wanted to break free of that and make my own in ZBrush! And I've been going strong making morphs for various figures including Genesis all the way up to the current 8th generation and now I'm working with Poser's L'Homme! FUN!
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.
Then came along another tool that ZBrush offered: Fibermesh hair. That was and still 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 to style it was, still are, quite daunting to get ones head around. So it's a 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 that I offered with my character for Genesis 8 Male, Gino, are acceptable and pretty nice but allot of cussing came forth during the creation and styling process! LOL
One really great thing about ZBrush is that you can customize it, create your own menus (as you can see up top there in the image of ZBrush, 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 in ZBrush all in one easy to 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 menu but most of it is blank as I don't have anything in the scene so most of those are hidden but you can see the UV menu items are showing (Unwrap, Unwrap All, Enable Control Painting (for creating unwrap seams). So there are good things about the UI as it can be, with time and patience, set up to be something easier for you and your work flow!
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!!