ZBrush for Jewellery
ZBrush was originally designed as a digital painting tool with 2.5D features which allowed illustrators to use 3D models and relief tools to enhance the realism of their digital imagery. They patented a “pixol” architecture which stored 3-dimensional information with colour pixels for easier and more sculptural relief editing. However, as time has gone on, the 3D sculpting tools enclosed within this 2.5D program have become the main feature most users seem to be interested in, so its use has expanded into CGI and digital effects, and eventually into product design.
With each new version and service release, its digital clay sculpting tools have become increasingly powerful and easier to use.
Only recently has Zbrush started to appear in the realm of CAD jewellery design, but since it has appeared it has become one of the tools of choice for the purpose of adding texture and sculptural forms to jewellery.
It’s worth noting Zbrush is not an interface designed for newcomers to CAD, but once you get used to using the software it is hard to underestimate just how powerful the texturing and sculpting tools in this software can be. It also may well be the most powerful secondary software packages you can get for creating complex jewellery.
The British Academy of Jewellery offers private tuition in Zbrush for Jewellery design, focusing on using Zbrush’s construction, sculpting, and texturing for CAD jewellery design.
Selected Tutorial Videos
Zbrush’s own Zclassroom is a good place to start learning the basics of Zbrush functionality. It is, however, very much focused on character modelling for games and movie CGI. There is only one jewellery tutorial in that entire set, and it’s not an easy one.
- Basic Object Creation with Zspheres
- Lasso and Curve Masking Basics
- Making a 2D Relief From an Image
- Sculpting a 2.5D Relief Pendant Using an Alpha Map
- Introduction to Sculpting for Rapid Prototyping in ZBrush
- Making a Basic Sculptable Ring Shape
- Converting ZBrush meshes to T-Splines subdivision surfaces
- Version 3R6’s Zremesher Command
- Making a Pendant with Panel Loops
- Making Twisted Braided Rope
To Learn More About Jewellery CAD/CAM
If any of these tutorials whets your appetite for learning more about how to use ZBrush for your CAD jewellery design and manufacturing, take a look at the CAD courses or one-to-one bespoke training offered at British Academy of Jewellery.