Paula Sanders Report - Gnomon Workshop's Introduction to ZBrush

deemarie · July 18, 2005 6:13 am

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!
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  • 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

Article Comments

nemirc ( posted at 12:00AM Mon, 18 July 2005

I am not surprised Meats did this DVD... Thanks for the review. zBrush has been on my "to learn" list for some time.

moochie ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 19 July 2005

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.

Paula Sanders ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 19 July 2005

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.

Mechanismo ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 24 August 2005

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!!