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  • Introducing ZBrush®

    T h i r d E d i T i o n

  • Introducing ZBrush®

    T h i r d E d i T i o n

    E r i c K E l l E r

  • A c q u i s i t i o n s E d i t o r : Mariann Barsolo

    D e v e l o p m e n t E d i t o r : Lisa Bishop

    Te c h n i c a l E d i t o r : Louie Tucci

    P r o d u c t i o n E d i t o r : Eric Charbonneau

    C o p y E d i t o r : Linda Recktenwald

    E d i t o r i a l M a n a g e r : Pete Gaughan

    P r o d u c t i o n M a n a g e r : Tim Tate

    V i c e P r e s i d e n t a n d E x e c u t i v e G r o u p P u b l i s h e r : Richard Swadley

    V i c e P r e s i d e n t a n d P u b l i s h e r : Neil Edde

    S u p e r v i s i n g P r o d u c e r : Rich Graves

    M e d i a A s s o c i a t e P r o d u c e r : Doug Kuhn

    M e d i a Q u a l i t y A s s u r a n c e : Marilyn Hummel

    B o o k D e s i g n e r : Caryl Gorska

    C o m p o s i t o r s : Chris Gillespie, Kate Kaminski, and Maureen Forys, Happenstance Type-O-Rama

    P r o o f r e a d e r s : Jen Larsen and Louise Watson, Word One New York

    I n d e x e r : Jack Lewis

    P r o j e c t C o o r d i n a t o r, C o v e r : Katherine Crocker

    C o v e r D e s i g n e r : Ryan Sneed

    C o v e r I m a g e : Eric Keller

    Copyright © 2012 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

    Published simultaneously in Canada

    ISBN: 978-1-118-24482-1

    ISBN: 978-1-118-33329-7 (ebk.)

    ISBN: 978-1-118-33046-3 (ebk.)

    ISBN: 978-1-118-33113-2 (ebk.)

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    Library of Congress Control Number: 2012936418

    TRADEMARKS: Wiley, the Wiley logo, and the Sybex logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates, in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. ZBrush is a regis- tered trademark of Pixologic, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.

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  • Dear Reader,

    Thank you for choosing Introducing ZBrush, Third Edition. This book is part of a family of premium-quality Sybex books, all of which are written by outstanding authors who combine practical experience with a gift for teaching.

    Sybex was founded in 1976. More than 30 years later, we’re still committed to produc- ing consistently exceptional books. With each of our titles, we’re working hard to set a new standard for the industry. From the paper we print on to the authors we work with, our goal is to bring you the best books available.

    I hope you see all that reflected in these pages. I’d be very interested to hear your com- ments and get your feedback on how we’re doing. Feel free to let me know what you think about this or any other Sybex book by sending me an email at If you think you’ve found a technical error in this book, please visit Customer feedback is critical to our efforts at Sybex.

    Best regards,

    Neil Edde Vice President and Publisher Sybex, an Imprint of Wiley

  • For my best friend, Travis

  • I’d like to thank all the people who worked so hard on this project, most especially the editors, Lisa Bishop, Eric Charbonneau, Louie Tucci, and Linda Recktenwald. I’d also like to thank Mariann Barsolo and Pete Gaughan. I really want to thank all the folks at Pixologic, including Jaime Labelle, Ofer Alon, Louie Tucci, Melissa Zalinksi, Solomon Blair, Ernest Lee, and of course, Paul Gaboury. The folks at Pixologic welcomed me into the exclusive ZBrush 4 beta programs and went out of their way to help me create the best ZBrush book possible.

    I want to thank my students, teachers, and friends who provided the images for the color inserts, including Scott Spencer, Mark Dedecker, Louie Tucci, Jared Krichevsky, Padhia Avocado, Sabra Haskell, Jamin Joseph Lackie, and Ara Kermanikian.

    I’d like to thank the following artists, teachers, and authors for their inspiration over the years: Gael McGill, Alex Alavarez, Mark Dedecker, Scott Spencer, Dariush Derakhshani, Kevin Llewellyn, John Brown, Drew Berry, Diana Zeng, Max Dayan, John Mahoney, and everyone at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects.

    Naturally, all the programmers and designers who work so hard to develop this soft- ware deserve special recognition for their hard work. They are the true artists who allow the rest of us to create such fantastic things.

    Extra special thanks go my wife, Zoe, for tolerating my nonstop talk of subtools, ShadowBox, and unified skins, as well as my pals Daisy and Joe, who force me to go outside. And as always, special thanks to little Blue, whose hungry ghost still haunts the kitchen.


  • Eric Keller is a freelance visual effects artist working in Hollywood. He divides his time between the entertainment industry and scientific visualization. He teaches the Introducing Digital Sculpting class at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood and has authored numerous animation and visualization tutorials for the Harvard Medical School course Maya for Molecular Biologists, taught by Gael McGill. Eric was hired by Pixologic to create over 20 video tutorials demonstrating the new features of ZBrush 4, and participated in the beta programs for version 3.5, version 4, and version 4 R2, R3.

    Eric started out as an animator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, where he cre- ated animations for science education for seven years. In 2005, he and his wife moved to Los Angeles, where he could study and learn from the masters of visual effects. His goal is to bring the artistry and technology of Hollywood computer graphics to the field of scien- tific research in the hope that it can inspire and inform the scientific community and the general public.

    Eric has worked at some of the best design studios in Los Angeles, including Prologue Films, Imaginary Forces, Yu and Company, BLT and Associates, and The Syndicate. Projects include feature film title animations for The Invasion, Enchanted, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, and Dragon Wars. He has also contributed to numerous commercials, television shows, and design projects. Currently, Eric is the visual effects supervisor for E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth project for the iPad.

    Other books by Eric Keller include Maya Visual Effects: The Innovator’s Guide, Introducing ZBrush (first and second editions), Mastering Maya 2009, and Mastering Maya 2011, all published by Sybex. He was a contributing author to Mastering Maya 7 and Mastering Maya 2012. He has authored the video series Essential ZBrush 3.1 for as well as numerous tutorials and articles for 3D World magazine. Many of his tutorials are available online at and

    About the Author

  • C O N T E N T S