Thursday, June 30, 2016

5 ZBrush Tools You Should Be Using

1.  Spotlight

While the Spotlight feature is primarily meant to be used to project textures, it's also great for setting up reference images.

To do this:
  1. Go to the Texture menu. 
  2. Import an image. 
  3. Select the image so that it appears in the Current Texture box. 
  4. Then hit the “Add to Spotlight” button. 

Now your image(s) should be in the document. Also, the Spotlight Dial will appear. The dial allows you to scale, rotate, and move your images as well as change the opacity, etc. 

When you are done setting up your images, hit Z on your keyboard to remove the dial and start modeling. (Z will also bring the dial back for further adjusting.) Shift-Z allows you to show/hide all of the reference images if you need to. 

You can also save your spotlight set-up at the top of the texture menu so that you don't have to redo it every time you reopen zbrush. 

For a more visual guide on setting up reference images using Spotlight, check out this tutorial: 

2.  ClayPolish

An important part of the modeling process is to define the planes. Clay Polish can help with that. It is located in the Geometry palette under the Tool menu, right above Dynamesh. This tool hardens the edges of your model while softening the rest. It's good for when you are starting to roughly add details and helps you see the forms better and make decisions about where your planes should be.

3.  ReplayLast

The ReplayLast button (under Stroke>Modifiers) re-traces your last brush stroke from mouse/pen click to release. This can really be useful when modeling in things like wrinkles or scratches. It allows you to start off with a more shallow brush stroke and then slowly make it deeper by just hitting ReplayLast as many times as needed. That way you get the exact intensity that you want, without having to undo or manually re-trace it yourself.

4.  ShadowBox

If you need a more complex primitive shape and you don't want to have to go over to a different modeling program, you could try ShadowBox (Tool>Geometry menu above the ClayPolish section) instead. ShadowBox is a tool that can create any kind of shape by projecting masks from the front, side, and bottom of an isometric cube. It will generate a shape based on the projection of the masks toward a center volume. This method of creation can be good for making props or accessories for your character. It's not meant to create finely detailed models, but rather as a starting point for more complex shapes.

5.  Lazy Mouse

Lazy Mouse (under the Stroke menu) is a tool that smoothes out your strokes by “averaging” them out. When activated, the stroke will be created by a virtual string (a red line) that follows your mouse cursor rather than directly under it. Lazy Mouse is especially good to use when modeling with a mouse, as it smooths away the jitteriness caused by your hand.

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Class Time with Hans Dastrup: Twinning

In this video clip of our online animation class, Hans Dastrup talks about twinning in a shot- when to do it and when not to do it.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

Rigging Eyebrows with Nico Sanghrajka

In AnimSchool's Advanced Rigging class, Nico Sanghrajka, Rigger at Atomic Fiction, shows how to take eyebrow blendshapes to the extreme in order to give the animators more flexibility.

To learn more about facial rigging from one of the best online animation schools, join us at

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

AnimSchool's Game Animation Student Showcase 2016

AnimSchool has released our new Game Animation Student Showcase for their work in 2015-2016!
We would like to salute our game animation students, recognizing the amount of work each one of these assignments represents and the level of talent they are achieving.

The quality of our students, our programs, and instruction is seen in this impressive showcase.

If you want to recognize their efforts, comment on the youtube section.

To learn 3D game animation skills with us, apply at Talk to an admissions advisor using our Live Chat, phone, or email.
(The work of AnimSchool's feature film animation students and amazing rigging and modeling students (Character Program) are featured separately in another Showcase.)