Paula Sanders Report - Gnomon Workshop's Introduction to ZBrush

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Paula Sanders Report - Gnomon Workshop's Introduction to ZBrush
One word describes this product, Fantastic! Back in the old days when the earth was young, I taught prospective teachers to "teach." I spent many hours describing how to present material. When called upon to review "teaching products," I tend to look at them from the instructor angle as well as the student angle. This 2 DVD set with 6 hours of instruction is so comprehensive that it actually seems to have more than 6 hours worth of material.

To take a program as different and complicated as ZBrush and decide how to present it is a task in itself. Meats Meier is the instructor on the DVDs. He has broken the topics into very workable units, where one topic builds on the previous ones. While using the DVDs on one monitor works great, if you have more than one monitor it is even better, because you can work along with the DVD.

The duration of the lectures vary from about 1 hour to 30 minutes. The topics of the lectures are:

  • Basics of ZBrush

  • Interface

  • 2.5D Tools

  • 3D primitives

  • 3D editing Mode

  • Alpha Skinning

  • Texturing

  • ZSpheres

  • Multi-Marking

  • Displacement Creation

  • Rendering Within ZBrush

  • Z Scripts

  • Preferences

While watching the program, one can pause the tape at any point. Also, one can go to the previous lecture, the next, or back to the main menu.

I have had ZBrush for many months now and found that I had trouble learning it. The different interface and the number of controls seemed too much to comprehend. Even though I followed the tutorials that ZBrush referenced online, I could not put it all together enough to use it constructively. Even after just a few lectures with Meats Meier, it was as if a light went on. Suddenly not only did I see the tremendous power of ZBrush, but I also realized that I could learn it. Soon I began creating objects for myself.

My only criticism of the whole DVD is that if one is using a 17" monitor, it would be hard to watch the DVD. When i tried to set the display to 1024 x 768, everything showed up on the screen but the controls.

I recommend this DVD to anyone who wants to learn ZBrush or wants to speed up the learning process. It really is great!

  • The minimum system requirements are: 1GHz or faster processor, 512MB Ram, 64 MB Video Ram, DVD-ROM drive,500 MB hard disk space, 1280 x 1024 display.

  • The minimum operating system requirements are: Microsoft® Windows XP Pro, Windows 2000, or Apple® Mac® OS X 10.2.

  • Introduction to ZBrush, Tools and Workflow by Meats Meier - $49.00 USD

  • The Gnomon Workshop

  • As always, I invite you to visit my personal website: Perpetual Visions

    All supporting images are copyright, and cannot be
    copied, printed, or reproduced in any manner without written permission from the artist.

  • The Paula Sander's Report
    is a regular Renderosity Front Page featured column, where Paula
    investigates and comments on graphic software, techniques, and other
    relevant material through her reviews, tutorials, and general articles.

  • July 18, 2005
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    Member Opinions:
    By: nemirc on 7/18/05
    I am not surprised Meats did this DVD... Thanks for the review. zBrush has been on my "to learn" list for some time.

    By: moochie on 7/19/05
    I highly recommend this title if you're really serious about learning ZBrush. It is so jam-packed with useful stuff, that after watching the first dvd I was modelling like a man possessed. A few weeks later I thought it would be a good idea to watch them again, and realised that I had never got around to watching the second dvd! Imagine my delight .. another three hours of solid gold tuition. My work has gone from strength to strength. A few of my ZB pics are in my gallery if you wanna see.

    My only issue with Paula's review is the repetition of the myth of how complicated ZBrush is. It's different from other programs, and it's very complex, but that's not the same as complicated. The program is very logical, rich and beautifully designed. Once you get the concept of 2.5D in your noggin, and learn where the main tools are, your progress then depends entirely on your own efforts and abilities. The program doesn't hold that progress back at all.

    By: Paula Sanders on 7/19/05
    I was not repeating a myth but my own and others experience. It is complicated for some people while for others it is not. Complexity is not a problem. I agree with your differentiation. I have used many 3D programs and I had infinite trouble learning ZBrush. The point I was trying to make is that for someone who found ZBrush complicated, this DVD opened the door to it. Now I can use ZBrush comfortably and it is no longer complicated. This DVD did it all.

    By: Mechanismo on 8/24/05
    yup ive seen these, they are brilliant, as im just learning zbrush myself! my problem was you definatly need 512 ram to play i had to borrow a freinds laptop! zbrush is a totally amazing organic moddeler and these dvds are definatly worth having!!

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