One of ZBrush 2's many new features is a powerful and versatile way to make use of the foreground and background colors while painting. The key to this feature is the new Texture>Grad button, which makes it easy to create colored gradients. These gradients enable you to paint with foreground and background colors when using any paint brush that utilizes textures.
Let's take a look at how this works:
The first thing that you need is a grayscale gradient. The Alpha palette provides a ready source for these gradients, and thanks to the AlphaAdjust curve, you can quickly modify them to get the exact effect that you desire. For this tutorial, we'll begin with the straight gradient shown here (brush 27).
Turn the gradient into a texture by pressing the Alpha>Make Tx button.
Now we'll select our foreground and background colors. Simply choose the background color, then press the Switch button. Follow it up with your choice of foreground colors.
Here comes the fun part! Click the Texture>Grad button. This recolors your texture based upon its color values. Any part of it that is black is colored to match the background color. White becomes the foreground color, and everything in between becomes a gradient blend between the two.
Now all that's left is to select an alpha to define the shape of the brush and an appropriate Stroke type. You're ready to paint away!
Feel free to experiment with various brushes, alphas, and gradient textures.
A few tips:
Different brushes use the texture in different ways. For example, you'll get very different results using the Simple Brush, Directional brush, and Deco brush.
Some brushes don't use a texture at all. For example, the Single Layer brush.
If you use the AlphaAdjust curve to customize your alpha before making it into a texture, be sure to press the Make Modified Alpha button. Otherwise, the texture will be created from the unmodified alpha, as if you hadn't changed the curve at all.