Creating Seamless Alphas and Painting Bump Maps


Hopefully these quick tips will help you tap into the power of ZBrush any time you need a custom alpha or to paint a bump map for your work! In fact, the power of bump maps will become even more apparent once ZMapper has been released. That plugin will allow you to create normal maps for your models by incorporating details that are generated from a bump map – details that would require a mesh with millions of polygons more than even ZBrush can accomodate as geometry. Stay tuned!






Sweet… Thanks for sharing.

on german keyboards use the [ö]-key to scrolling the canvas

Neat Aurick

but_ I can’t find the bumpviewer material in the Z2 material palette. Dose it have a different name or can you state the position in the materials dialogue?

It’s not in the palette. It’s included in the ZMaterials folder in your ZBrush 2 folder.

Thank you Aurick_ found it!
I’m looking forward to experimenting with this.:slight_smile:

Thanks for the tips, Aurick! That way I made some textures some months ago. With the help of cameoys great ZPlace script, some simply calculating and patience you can creat very high quality textures - also without using the ~-key and so without irregularities. ZBrush is simply great for making own alphas - especially those which are seamless in one direction for the use with the decobrush :wink:

[![example.jpg|512x512](upload://wzUFcNUpNPnyyvDlEdkKZqdEhy4.jpeg)]![example2.jpg|512x512](upload://v25ZvVYggfsaRe76Ga2rz04RNYu.jpeg) [color=Black]Edit: You can download all these textures for free at [color=DarkRed][Turbosquid.]( (everything allowed except reselling!)


Very informative, I learned something new and useful.


Great tips Aurick, cant wait to see zmapper as well:cool:

this is great, I just happened to be working on a creature with scales and i’ve been wondering how to go about doing so… only one problem…

when i tried to use the deco brush in projection master on the spiral (Zadd @5) I get ‘seams’ on the edge. I tried very hard to draw with the deco brush so it’ll fit correctly, but its not really working. any tips? I noticed that in aurick’s test there really isnt any seams. Am i doing something wrong or forgot a step? (I’ve never really used the deco brush either).




Have you tried turning the RadialFade (RF) to something other than zero on your alpha? perhaps that will reduce the seams for you.

Radial Fade won’t work because it would turn the result into a series of dots. What you need is to use an alpha that is white in the center and fades to black at the top and bottom. When putting this tutorial together, I created one on the fly simply by using a 512x512 canvas and the Cylinder3D tool.

Here it is for you.


Remember that you can control the amount of fade on the fly using the Alpha Adjust curve.



Thanks for this great tutorial. Very clear and easy to follow. Can’t wait to try this one !

Yeah ! An another Zplace fan User :cool:

Every day that I use ZBrush it seems that whole new features unfold. I guess that’s pretty natural, but when you add the wonderful people of this forum adding their expertise, the experience is magnified.

wow thank you very much! so silly of me to not thought of that. I’ll post my creature on here once i’m done! :smiley:

how exactly do you use the deco brush so that what you apply is not being stretched insanely?

Check out the Tool modifiers. There’s one there for tiling the texture.

For italian Zarmy the key is [ò] the one used to get @ using the Alt Gr modifier :slight_smile:

and italian keyboards [ò]