A quick introduction to ZBrushCore MINI with some ‘workflow tips and tricks’
The ZBrushCore MINI user interface is super simple and very straightforward. For the most part, you can quickly figure out what each button or switch does even if you have no previous experience with 3D apps. However, there are a couple of things that might not be as obvious such as the ‘rotate axis’ or the buttons to ‘optimize the mesh’, so here is a quick overview of the UI and a short description of the elements that might be slightly confusing for anyone new to the world of 3D sculpting:
Save as menu: When the save with pops up, you can actually save as a ‘.ZPR’ format is the ‘ZBrush Project’ format so that you can then use your meshes in ZBrush once you decide to upgrade. The default way of saving from ZBrushCore MINI is as a ‘GIF” file which will display a screenshot of what you have in the canvas but will have all the information of the 3D object embedded in it. You can download the sample mesh of the old man I created for the tutorial.
Optimise Mesh: or ‘Reduce the mesh’ buttons are simple shortcuts to reduce the number of polygons on your mesh while keeping enough points to describe the details you have added. This is a process called ‘Decimation’ which analyses the surface of a model and generates a topology that adapts to the volumes. For instance, in smooth or mostly flat areas (like the top of the head and back of my sketch) ZBrushCore MINI will create larger polygons, and in other areas that have smaller details (like the mouth or eyes), there will be more and smaller polygons to describe the crevices.
Rotate Axis: These two switches change between rotation around the ‘Y’ axis (like rotating around a vertical centerline) and rotating around ‘XYZ’ or ALL axis. This is a handy feature if you at some point need to rotate the model on 90 degrees to sculpt more comfortably.
QUICK TIP: as you click to rotate around the model, you can hold the SHIFT key to ‘snap rotate’ to the different views. You can also click on the colored red, blue and green arrows at the top right to switch views 😉
Local Transformation: or ‘PIVOT’. This is actually a pretty handy feature that allows you to switch the pivot. With this switch OFF, when you rotate around the model, ZBrushCore MINI will use the volume of the entire mesh as a ‘center point’. However, when you switch ‘Local Transformation’ ON, the latest point you affect while sculpting will become your ‘pivot’ point. This is really useful if you are working on details very close to the mesh because the rotation will happen around the last ‘stroke’ you did.