Getting to know the Spotlight tool in ZBrush is fun and frustrating but so far it’s the easiest polypainting tool I’ve found. Here is the beginning steps to set up Genesis followed by a link to learn more about Spotlight:
Spotlight is connected to Lightbox but you don’t have to learn how to use Lightbox if you don’t want.
1) Load up Genesis via GoZ or obj import. Then Tools>Polygroups>Auto Groups with UV to set up the UV’s in ZBrush for Genesis…
Next step is time consuming but important and will make your experience much more enjoyable since you will save this out as a reusable file.
2) Set up Groups: To set up groups:
Using your Ctrl + Shift and CLICK ... One click on the Head will hide everything else, right? If you’ve not tried this, try it. To get everything back just do the same key strokes and CLICK in an empty area of the workspace and it will all come back.
One important thing to remember is to make sure you have a full view turned on. To do this is in your Tools palette scroll down till you come to Display Properties, click the title and it will open up. Click the “Double” button and that will make sure that backfaces are turned on so when your setting up your groups you don’t miss some of the vertices’s.
OK… So lets set up the Inner mouth group first. Ctrl + Shift and CLICK the head, it will then be the only thing in the scene, Ctrl + Shift and CLICK again and it will disappear and the rest of the body will be visible. Ctrl + Shift and CLICK the back of the head, each ear and the neck to make them invisible, do this for all the rest… yea, even those damned finger and toe nails. (I told you this first part is time consuming). Once you have all the parts invisible you will have a choice. The inner mouth and eye parts will be left. You can either group all of these as one group making it easier to turn off or you can Ctrl + Shift keys + Drag Select with the cursor to select the Eye parts and they will disappear too….. Now to group the Mouth parts.
Tools>Polygroups>Group Visible. You will see the color of the inner mouth change to a unified color.
Ctrl + Shift and CLICK in a blank area to bring it all back. Now get those nails (toe and finger) grouped the same way. Hide all the other parts using the Ctrl + Shift and CLICK method EXCEPT leave all the nails showing. Then Tools>Polygroups>Group Visible. Do the same for the Eye parts. Then the Limbs. Then the Torso & Ears and then you have the Head left over.
3) Then Tools>Geometry>Divide up 3 times, 4 if your system is powerful enough.
4) Then go to Tools>Geometry HD and divide up 3 times.
5) Then Tools>Polypaint and make sure that the Colorize button is on.
6) Then Up on the main bar make sure your MRGB is on and the ZAdd is off or turned down to at least 3 or 5 (I use this to add detail so keeping it low like that will pick up bits of the highs and lows in the texture map)
7) Next lets put on a primer coat. First of all you want a nice neutral shader. Shaders palette flyout… choose the SkinShader4. Should be right there at the top. Next up to the Color drop down palette and choose Fill Object. NOTE: If you choose Fill Layer you will fill the entire work space with that color. Not what we are after here.
8) Now your going to save this out as a file….. Save As, browse to where you want to keep it, name it and save it out as a ZTL file. Mine is called GenesisPolypaintSetup.ZTL
9) Now making sure you change your MRGB to RGB up top. Go to your Materials and Import your desired texture (might want to practice with one that comes with ZBrush to make sure your getting before jumping in full board.) Double click the texture and that will load into the palette memory. Now go up to the Texture drop down palette and there is a set of 4 buttons. Hover over them:
Button 1: Transparent Texture
Button 2: Antialiased Texture
Button 3: Turn on Spotlight
Button 4: Add to Spotlight
You want to concentrate on Buttons 3 & 4. You will need to click on Button 4, Add to Spotlight. This will load the texture and turn on Spotlight. If it doesn’t turn on then click Button 3 and will turn it on.
NOTE: To turn Spotlight on and off learn Shift Z. To turn off the widget learn Z. Hiding the widget also activates the brush to paint. You will really need to learn how to use all the buttons on the widget. There are allot of them but it’s good to know what your doing.
10) Below is a link to Pixologic with a nice full list of vids to get you more familiar with Spotlight. SO please spend an hour watching the video’s in the order of which you see them listed so you get a good grasp of what each button does. Make sure you bookmark this link so you can refer back to the page to vids you really need to brush up on. I do all the time.
I’m still learning myself but I’m moving ahead with each day and time spent practicing. There is NO easy way to learn polypainting but I’ve found this is the easiest by far so far.
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