Mastering the ZProject-Brush (Tutorial by Rastaman)

Mastering the ZProject-Brush

The ZProject-Brush is another cool new feature in ZBrush3.

As you can read in the Wiki (http://www.zbrush.info/wiki/index.php/Brush_Palette#ZProject_Brush), there are various uses for this brush-type.

My Tutorial is focused on its use as a transfer-tool for geometry from one surface to another (For use to transfer texturing-informations please refer to the other tutorials provided by the wiki-link above).
Although there already exists a tutorial in the Wiki (‘ZProject and SubTools’ from Sebastien Legrain), there might be some left questions and missunderstandings of how to get good results with this type of Brush when you use it to transfer geometry-information.

So, if you did not succed with it so far, let’s take a look if this can help you to master the ZProject-Brush :wink:

What does the ZProject-Brush do in the use of transfering geometrys ?

In short terms, the new ZProject-Brush enables you to adapt the form of one surface (the target) from a sample surface (the source) by simply painting on it with the ZProject-Brush.
There are various ways to do that, the easiest and most common used is what I call the ‘vacuum-technique’, where you place a target-model over or better completely around a source-model.
I that case you partially ‘evacuate’ your target-mesh with the ZProject-Brush.
Imagine this works as like your target-model is a soft plastic bag that you put over the hard source-model. Now evacuate the air out of this ‘bag’. The bag will at least lay closely on the surface of the underlaying model.
That’s the way the ZProject-Brush is mostly used and therefore here descriped step by step.

In this tutorial, I want to show you the basic steps to get clean and good results as well as some solutions for problems that commonly appears when working with more complex or dismatching meshes than showed in the wiki-tutorials.

For that, we will give Mr.SuperAverageMan (he looks a little boring, don’t he?) a cooler snoop-dog-face. :wink:
May sound easy, but is has some traps.

Here is the result:


One note:
The pictures above are only intended to show a more final-looking result at the end of the tutorial.
I 've done the muscleling and the skin-structure in about 5-10 minutes, so it is not absolutely anatomical correct (f.i. M.sternocleidomastoideus is here straight, not diagonal like in reality) nor a really elaborated work.:o





thanks for taking the time to do this and share it, Rastaman! :slight_smile:

downloaded and will have a looksee.




I am thoroughly enjoying your enthusiasm and desire to share what you are learning with us. I would if I could
like to make one tiny little request…that is that you save your .pdf files with a relevant name and either your name or nick in the title…something like…Rastaman’s ZProject brush tutorial.pdf

this way we aren’t accidently overwriting any of your other wonderful tutorials by accident and we will always know who to thank for taking the time to help us!

EDIT…maybe I am a dork but if I load it …it comes up as attachment.pdf and if I just right-click save as…as attachment.php …so maybe I am missing something?

@ animuts:


Also the direct PDF-view should work now. :smiley:
Was maybe a server-error.

Thanks Ralf. The extra discussion of topology and other techniques used in conjunction with ZProject is useful. :+1:

Thanks Rastaman…

I still have the same problem…and since no one else mentioned it…I think it’s me…so don’t worry…just keep doing what you are doing! I’ll figure it out eventually…

head to top-heavy from all this new zb3 stuff I guess :smiley:

First of all: a big thank you for this superb tutorial. I love the way you make mistakes on purpose and then afterwards shows how to correct them.

Second: When I try to save most pdf’s here from the server, they bear the name “attachment” when saved from the acrobat save button, but when I save from within Firefox (save page as), they have their correct names. This must be the server.
Many forums don’t allow right-click and save.

@aminuts & aeneas:

I use the normal MS Internet Explorer under XP and have no problems. Both, right-click+save and left-click and show works without problems. Also my download-manager works with the server.
Maybe you have MS Vista or some more restrictive security-settings in your browsers ?


I’ve mirrored it here if you’re still having trouble:


(Rastaman, hope you don’t mind…if so, you should be able to
report it as ‘abuse’ and they’ll delete the link—or I can edit it
out of my post :wink: )



No. Firefox will be the culprit I guess. But no problem: I save from firefox, not from reader and it’s ok.

Probably the best ZBrusher tutorial I’ve seen. It really tells the ZProject Brush story. Many thanks Rasta.


p.s. Not sure if you know this one (some others may not) but it might be interesting to try: Normally, Shift puts you into the Smooth Brush. However, ANY brush type can be assigned to the Shift simply by holding down Shift and clicking on the brush you wish to use. One neat idea is to set a Morph Target after you’ve setup your source model in the general shape of the dog head, then make the Shift brush = the Morph Brush so you can precisely undo any ZProject Brush stroke immediately by pressing Shift and morphing.

Very cool tutorial, good tips… thx!

@WailingMonkey: yes, ok, I have no problem with that.:smiley:

@ Sven: Thanks a lot.:smiley:
Yes, I also noticed this feature concerning the new assigned smooth-function to every brush via shift + brush.
I thought a moment if I should take it into the tutorial, but was unsure if this wasn’t already commonly known.
But you are totally right, the possibility of directly accessing the smooth-brush while you work with the ZProcect-brush is a very usefull feature.
It made the workflow-process with the ZProject-Brush a lot faster and smoother. I also toggled frequently between both when I worked out the dogman’s head.
Btw, Sven, also a big thanks for sharing your very good plugins & knowledge with us.

@ All: Thank you.:smiley:
I hope it can help most of you a little bit in your work with this cool new feature.

Very useful and helpful tutorials. Thanks very much. :smiley:

I think the word you are looking for in your description is “VacuForm”, widely used in Hollywood and the toy industry.

note; I had no problems with downloads using Safari.

forgot to mention, the latest version of Firefox on Mac is broken for downloading. I re-installed the older version.

I made some minor updates and included Sven’s hint with the Shift -> smooth-feature.

I was just trying to figure this one out myself! Thanks for the great tut and saving me the hassle! This works great for when you create a head from a sphere and like it enough to want to create a full body with it.

You’re welcome.:smiley:

Glad that it’s usefull for you.

10x for the tuts man i owe you 1:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:small_orange_diamond:D:D:D:D

hello everyone! i’ve been testing this Zproject to integrate it into my workflow and your tutorial was really appreciated but ran into a problem i cant solve :frowning:
basicly, i got all of your tutorial right to the point where i can start projecting but instead of taking the shape of the model underneath, it slides on it???
i’ve tried all the “hints” (move mode,etc…) butnothing seems to work…anyone had this before or have a suggestion?
here is a screen grab of the bug

As you can see,my old model isthe one on the left with no arms, then i made this new topology (thanx to another of rastaman tut :wink: ) and tried to get the model definition on the new one but it doesn’t let me…
funny thing, is that i had it working while i was testing the feature, but cant make it work properly now that i need to :(:frowning:
any help would be more than appreciated :slight_smile:

hehe! find out what was causing those trouble…the PERSPECTIVE mode…it seems to give some trouble to the zproject brush…it works fine now that im out of persp mode :slight_smile: