Below is a list of the Array Mesh settings that can be modified for greater control over the duplication process.
Most of these settings are fully interactive, letting you freely experiment with advanced multiple stage creations.
LightBox > Array Mesh Presets
The Array Mesh Presets button opens LightBox to the Array Mesh tab. You can then double-click on a saved Array Mesh preset file to apply the settings to your current mesh.
Open and Save
Save allows you to save the current Array Mesh settings in a file.
Open command of course loads any previously saved Array Mesh file and applies the corresponding settings to the current model.
An Array Mesh file does not contain the geometry that is being instanced, but rather the settings for the array itself.
Array Mesh enables or disables Array Mesh mode for the current Tool or SubTool.
When Array Mesh mode is first enabled, it creates a copy of the current model. This copy is positioned in the same location as the original model.
If an Array Mesh already exists, disabling and enabling Array Mesh mode will simply hide/unhide any transformations that have been applied without changing any settings. This function allows you to temporally turn off the array so as to make isolated modifications to the original Mesh.
The TransPose switch allows you to use the TransPose system to manipulate your Array Mesh interactively.
When TransPose is enabled, switching to Move, Scale or Rotate will turn on the TransPose Action Line and let you use it to modify the Offset, Scale and Rotate values for the Array Mesh. (The X, Y, and Z Amount sliders.)
TransPose mode with an Array Mesh also lets you interactively set the pivot point for the transformations. To change the pivot, simply click and drag the yellow circle located at the start of the TransPose line. The pivot is always freely manipulated relative to the camera working plane. For accurate placement, it is advised to switch to an orthographic view and carefully choose the desired point of view before moving the pivot indicator.
Upon changing the pivot point, the Action Line will automatically be repositioned to fit the new pivot location.
Lock Position, Lock Size
Lock Position and Lock Size prevent the position and/or size of the existing Array Mesh instances from being changed.
By default, transformations are applied to the initial model and the instances then move or scale accordingly. By activating these locks, the size and position of the existing instances won’t change.
These locks affect all stages associated with the array.
Switch XY, Switch XZ, Switch YZ
Switch XY, Switch XZ and Switch YZ transform the current axis orientation, based upon the current working plane from which you are viewing the model.
These functions are useful when you want to apply transformations that may not be in the desired direction relative to the world axis.
The Transform Stage slider lets you navigate between the different Array Mesh stages. To create a new stage, use the Append New or Insert New functions.
When an Array Mesh is first created, this slider will be greyed out because there are no additional stages to choose from.
Please refer to the Array Mesh Stages section below for more information about stages.
Append New creates a new stage after all existing stages in the list. So if you have four stages and are currently at the first, this button will create a 5th stage.
Insert New creates a new stage immediately after the currently selected stage. So if you have four stages and are currently at the first, this button will create a new stage 2 with the remaining stages each incrementing by one number. With this function, you can insert a new stage in between two existing stages.
Reset sets all parameters for the currently selected stage back to their default values.
Delete removes the currently selected stage. If that is the only existing stage then the Array Mesh is deleted and all the settings are returned to their default values.
The Copy and Paste functions let you copy the settings from the current Array Mesh stage and paste them into another stage or even to another Array Mesh.
The Repeat slider defines the number of instance that will be created from the current model. This value always includes the original model, so to create a single copy the slider must be set to 2.
Chain makes the next stage start at the end of the previous one. This allows you to generate advanced curve structures using a single instanced mesh across multiple stages.
When enabled, the Chain function turns off the Alignment and Pattern functions.
The Smooth slider applies a smooth transition between each stage.
Align to Path
Align to Path changes the orientation of all instances to follow the array path.
To change the orientation of each instanced mesh along the path, you can change the axis orientation modifier in the Align to Path button.
Align to Axis
Align to Axis orients each instance with the world axis rather than along the array path.
To change the orientation of the instanced meshes to use another axis, click the desired modifier in the Align to Axis button
Pattern Start, Pattern Length, Pattern On, Pattern Off
The Pattern Start, Pattern Length, Pattern On and Pattern Off sliders define when each instance of the Array Mesh starts and how many are visible (On) or invisible (Off).
The first object is always visible, even if you set Pattern Start to a value other than 1. However, in this case selecting another SubTool will cause the first instance of the previous SubTool to disappear since it’s no longer the active instance. This is similar to how SubTool visibility works, where the selected SubTool must always be displayed even if it is set to “Off”.
X Mirror, Y Mirror, Z Mirror
X Mirror, Y Mirror and Z Mirror apply a mirror transformation to the Array Mesh, based on the chosen axis.
Mirroring can be individually set for each Stage.
X Align, Y Align, Z Align
X Align, Y Align and Z Align apply a positive or negative offset to the axis of transformation, making the various alignments easier.
The Offset mode works in association with the X, Y and Z Amount sliders and curves. When enabled, modifying the sliders will increase the distance of the copies from the source. The Offset value is the distance between the source and the final instance generated by the current stage.
Modifying the curve will affect the acceleration or deceleration of distance between copies along the length of the array. The curve is interactive and any manipulation will provide real-time visual feedback.
When the TransPose mode is enabled, manipulating the TransPose line in Move mode will interactively change the Offset values.
The Scale mode works in association with the X, Y and Z Amount sliders and curves. When enabled, modifying the sliders will increase the scale of the copies relative to the source. The Scale value is the size of the source relative to the final copy being generated by the current stage.
Modifying the curve will affect the acceleration or deceleration of the scale between copies along the length of the array. The curve is interactive and any manipulation will provide real-time visual feedback.
When the TransPose mode is enabled, manipulating the TransPose line in Scale mode will interactively change the Scale values.
The Rotate mode works in association with the X, Y, and Z Amount slider and curves. When enabled, modifying the sliders will adjust the orientation of the copies relative to the source. The Rotate value is the angle of the source relative to the final copy being generated by the current stage.
Modifying the curve will affect the acceleration or deceleration of the rotation between copies along the length of the array. The curve is interactive and any manipulation will provide real-time visual feedback.
When the TransPose mode is enabled, manipulating the TransPose line in Rotate mode will interactively change the Scale values.
Pivot mode works in association with the X, Y and Z Amount slider and curves. When enabled, modifying the sliders will change the position of the pivot point used by the different transformations (Offset, Scale, Rotate).
Modifying the curve has no impact on the pivot location.
When the TransPose mode is enabled, being in TransPose Move mode and dragging the yellow circle found at the source position will interactively change the Pivot values.
Please refer to the TransPose and Pivot section of the documentation (above) for more information about the pivot.
X, Y, Z Amount and X, Y, Z Profile
These sliders and profile curves work in conjunction with the Offset, Rotate, Scale and Pivot modes. Please refer to these sections just above for more information.
Convert to NanoMesh
Convert to NanoMesh transforms each Array Mesh to a NanoMesh structure, creating a separate placement polygon for each instance.
Please refer to the Array Mesh with NanoMesh section above and to the NanoMesh documentation for more information about NanoMesh manipulation and creation.
Make Mesh converts the Array Mesh into real (non-instanced) geometry. After conversion, the resulting model can be freely edited with any ZBrush sculpting and modeling tools.
Extrude converts the actual Array Mesh results to a new mesh and generates between each former instance, based upon its PolyGroups.
In order to perform this function, the Array Mesh objects must share PolyGrouping on their opposite sides. When Extrude is turned on, the Make Mesh function will look at this PolyGrouping and create bridges between the same PolyGrouped areas. This function is useful when creating environment items like stairs or organic models like snakes where you want the gaps generated in between the repeats to be filled.
If your instance repeats are close to each other, ZBrush will fuse them. If this is an undesired result, change the Repeat Value of the array to add more space between each instance and then click Make Mesh again.
When using cylindrical arrays, the Close function will attempt to fuse the final instance of the array to the start, creating a contiguous circle.
The Angle slider works with Extrude when it generates bridging geometry on the Array. This slider will look at the surface normal of the corresponding PolyGrouped faces. Changing the Angle slider may fix bridging problems but can also generate undesirable results. Adjust this setting only if the default values don’t work well.