WHAT IS ZMATS?
Are you like me? Over the last few years I've been using ZBrush and I've collected and created hundreds of materials. Some have become real favorites.
To manage these materials I depended on the wonderfully intuitive and versatile ZLIST, created by Pixolator for ZBrush 1.23 and 1.55. When ZBrush 2.0 came out I continued to use ZLIST but ran into chronic problems with the interface. (I suspected there were conflicts between old commands and new ones that were added to ZBrush 2.0)
About two months ago I began looking at the source script for ZLIST with the idea that I might be able to find the conflicts and fix them. Fairly quickly, I abandoned that idea and decided it might be faster and more useful for me to simply write a "work-alike" version from scratch. I would try to apply the "KISS" design philosophy.
The result is ZMATS, a very simple Materials Manager specifically for use with ZBrush 2. In a nutshell, ZMATS saves, loads and organizes your materials. Unlike ZLIST, ZMATS will only manage materials. Also, in ZMATS you can't delete - however you can overwrite materials. I managed to add a few new features...
- Multiple Bank Storage: There are five BANK buttons (A,B,C,D and E) and each bank can store four hundred materials. Total material storage for ZMATS is 2,000 different materials.
- Each material being stored is applied to a sphere. (The spheres are branded with a depressed "Z" to better display some characteristics of the stored material.)]
- Many times the character of the material depends on lights and color. Besides the material, ZMATS also stores the lighting setup and the RGB color in use at the time the material was stored. You can separately reload the lights and/or color by clicking on the mini-icons in the lower left and right corners of the material's window.
- An Undo button lets you recover a previous material if you accidently load a new material before saving the old. The Undo operation is one level only.
- The Help button provides a complete explanation of ZMATS button functionality.
- Material files from ZLIST can be copied directly into one of the ZMATS Bank directories. The file formats are exactly the same.
ZMATS comes in a .ZIP file. Unzip it into your Startup\Zplugs directory. When correctly installed you should restart ZBrush2 and you'll find a new button in the ZPlugin menu under the PSNAP group. It's called Zmats and it launches the ZMATS.zsc script. This button can be Control-dragged to one of the shelves on your interface and made a permanent part of your CustomUI by pressing Shift+Control+I. Then, anytime you need to load or save a material, just press the button.
The subdirectories for the installed version of ZMATS should look like this:
ZStartup\Zplugs subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankA subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankB subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankC subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankD subdirectory will contain:
ZStartup\Zplugs\Zmats\bankE subdirectory will contain:
As always, if you have any questions or problems, please post them in this thread. I hope you find ZMATS useful!