ZBrush 4.R8 Available Now!
Staff Writer By: Pixelogic
ZBrush 4.8 continues our tradition of creating digital sculpting tools that enable an artist to design with immediate response, even with digital sculptures that have vast amounts of detail. The list of new features in ZBrush4.8 expands upon the digital sculpting workflow within ZBrush. Many new features will provide increased freedom while designing, foremost of which are Live Boolean and Vector Displacement Mesh.
ZBrush 4.8 introduces Lazy Mouse 2.0 and a new Text Creator that will allow the artist to create text and logos with real-time adjustments. It is also available in multiple languages, with the ability to create custom translations of your own.
For all their power, Boolean systems have historically required a lot of trial and error before finally getting a satisfying result. With Live Boolean, artists gain the ability to combine multiple sculptures together and see in real-time what the resulting mesh will look like. Any model can be subtracted from another, regardless of their polygon counts. You can even use Live Boolean with the existing instancing systems in ZBrush such as NanoMesh and ArrayMesh. While Live Boolean is active, you can actually sculpt on your models with immediate preview of the Boolean results. All of these options can be combined together to provide new sculpting workflows that are unique to ZBrush.
There is no guesswork, since you are able to dynamically see the end result before committing to the operation. You can adjust any part on a mesh and see it instantly impact the model. It's 100% interactive, non-destructive, and works with any sculpt. While the preview gives you real-time feedback, it would be useless if you couldn't turn it into real geometry. The Live Boolean process does exactly that, and in the process it changes the structure of your models as little as possible. Topology changes only take place where the source models connect to each other. Even with models that are comprised of several million polygons, the result can be generated in just a few seconds.
Image courtesy Pierre-Oliver Levesque
Vector Displacement Mesh
Expand your alpha arsenal with a new library of Vector Displacement Meshes (VDM's). These are 3D models used as brush building blocks that will allow undercutting when drawing on a model's surface. As an example, you can draw a nose complete with nostrils in a single brush stroke. Or an ear with complete front and back sides. Or a bent finger, scales with a raised angle, or even an open mouth. All of this is accomplished without loss of depth or detail.
Vector Displacement Mesh creates real overhangs as you sculpt. Push the details of your model with precise placement on sculpts with millions of polygons. Multiple VDM's can be combined into a single brush and switched between at will using the new IMM selector. For example, one brush can be used for all the parts of a face, without the need to totally re-sculpt with every new model that you make.
Image courtesy Ashley Adams
The Gizmo 3D provides the artist with a new, simple UI element that will allow sculpts to be manipulated and transformed with precise control. Gizmo 3D can be easily placed at any location or orientation to perform accurate transformations. You can instantly change the pivot point for Move, Scale or Rotation. There are options to rotate relative to the surface normal or world axis and much more.
This powerful tool goes beyond what is possible with a TransForm Action Line. The Gizmo 3D allows multi-selection and manipulation of SubTools. Select as many SubTools as you want, then move, scale and or/rotate them as a unit. This makes it even easier to pose hard surface models. ZBrush 4R8 also makes large, broad adjustments of any sculpt easy with the new Deformation modifiers found in the Gizmo 3D. Bend text around a curved surface with the classic Bend on Curve modifiers. Twist a sculpt along any axis. Use the Free Form Deformation box (FFD) to completely adjust the silhouette of any model. Also included are unique, powerful deformers like Extender and Multi-Slice.
Convert any sculpture or shape into a 2D alpha with the click of a button. Once the shape or sculpture has been captured, you can reposition, adjust or even rotate the alpha to any axis. It's a fast and interactive way to create uniquely different alphas for surface sculpting.
3D Text & Vector Shape Creator
ZBrush now comes with a complete generator for creating 3D text from your system fonts in real-time. This makes it possible to create individual words or small phrases in 3D. You can also use an SVG file to create your own custom logo for placement on any surface.
Combined with the new Live Boolean system, this 3D Text Creator is an easy way to engrave or emboss your surfaces with text or logos. Thanks to the new deformers you also have powerful ways to adjust the text, or even change the silhouette of your logo.
New LightBox with 3D Content
LightBox now gives an artist the capability to cycle through the files worked on in previous ZBrush sessions. Also added is the Go To Folder option: a one-click solution to navigate your file system directly within LightBox. Folders show previews of several items found within them. A number of new brushes and materials have also been added that are excellent to use with the other new features in ZBrush
Image courtesy Pawel Libiszewski
For a complete list of what's new in ZBrush 4.8 check the Pixologic link: