POST PRODUCTION IN ZBRUSH
Over recent weeks I have produced a few images that have had a 2D look and feel. Some of the work has been heavily retouched in Photoshop so I thought it was about time I put the balance right and show that it is all possible in ZBrush. For the un-initiated - ZBrush is new, it`s not just a 3D painting application and it is not an Amorphium clone. There are a set of tools in the TOOL PANEL that would sit quite happily in any 2D painting application. These include smudge, blur, glow, shade enhance, sharpen, highlighter, saturation, simple brush,etc... Couple with this impressive array of tools are a little used set of post production tools (found in RENDER>ADJUSTMENTS> ) that include brightness, contrast, red/blue/green level sliders.
HOW TO WORK IN 2D IN ZB - MAKE THE IMAGE
To do post production work on an image you need to have modelled, colored and rendered an image. For the purpose of this exercise I used an existing `demon` model that I made some time ago. I made an document 1500x1500 with a dark blue background. The image below shows the first four stages.
-1. Take the head model and draw it into the document window. Work out a position that suits your needs before snapshotting.
-2. Colour the head in 3D or if you like after you have snapshot. I used a basic orange and white for the hair areas.
-3. Use darker versions of the colours you picked and darken deep areas like eye sockets.
-4. Create a new layer (LAYER>INVENTORY>CREATE) and make an eyeball. Now make another (if your aren`t sure how go here (http://www.southerngfx.co.uk/general/tutorials/7eye.htm
Now add a new light or two (LIGHT>LIGHT SWITCH)and render the scene (RENDER>BEST RENDERER).
TAKE THE 3D INTO 2D
To do the next stage you need to export your image (DOCUMENT>EXPORT) as a PSD or BMP.
Now, QUIT ZBRUSH - YEP, QUIT ZBRUSH
(if you want to save the document so you have it for later - we won`t need it)
-Set the document size to 1500x1500 (DOCUMENT>MODIFIERS>RESIZE)
-Set the material to FLAT COLOUR
-Load you saved document into the current layer (DOCUMENT>IMPORT and choose the image you saved earlier)
You now have a 1500x1500 canvas with your image visible using a flat material. Remember, there is no depth information in this image as it is simply a bitmap displayed on a layer.
WORK ON THE IMAGE WITH 2D TOOLS
The next four image show how I editied the image in 2D. The two main tools I used were the simple brush for adding paint and the smudge brush to move the pixels around. It is very much like using any standard 2D application from now on.
Rather than explain every brush stoke here are the main tips...
1. Hair is done with SMUDGE brush and by using different alpha brushes. Hair can also be apinted on with the SIMPE Brush set to size 2-3 and RGB Intensity about 10.
2. The skin was painted with different colours and different alpha brushes eg. Brush 7, Brush 4 and Brush 22. all with now depth.
3. Highlights done with Glow brush and shading enhancer and light colured paint with RGB Intensit down to 3 or 4
4. One very powerful brush is the Blur Brush. (If you have the Demo version -640x480 limit- and are getting a lot of jagged edges you can use this method of Blurring so that you may claim your image is 100% ZBrush)
MORE POST WORK USING RENDER PANEL
I mentioned at the start about an impressive array of tools found in RENDER>ADJUSTMENTS. These include brightness, contrast, red/blue/green level sliders. To achieve the different images below I used lots of variations in this panel.
I also used FOG on a number of these images.
Hers one version of the final image.....