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.
Zbrush’s Advantages and Disadvantages
Even a cursory glance at work of Zbrush artists will quickly show the unbelievable potential this software holds for being able to create texture and sculpted surface detail on any CAD model.
What the Zbrush forums and website don’t tell you, however, is just how non-intuitive the interface really is for newcomers to 3D modelling, and how steep a learning curve this software requires. Once you finally get used to using the software, however, it is hard to underestimate just how powerful the texturing and sculpting tools in this software can be.
I know I’m not alone among 3D CAD jewellers when I say this may be the most powerful secondary software package you can get for creating complex jewellery. Assuming, of course, you’ve already become skilled at a first software package.
Of course, there’s more to it than just that. Contact me to discuss the advantages of Zbrush relative to other jewellery CAD programs, and whether Zbrush is the best jewellery CAD software package for you.
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, I can provide you with two options:
- I offer one of the few bespoke masterclasses in the world using Zbrush for sculptural and organic modelling specifically for jewellery. Contact me directly to find out more about bespoke private tuition in Zbrush to suit your business needs and timetables.
- Alternatively, I have collected a series of tutorial videos below which can both help you get a feeling for what the software is like to use, and also how to perform certain key tasks in the software.
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