Array Mesh and NanoMesh are two functions that can work together in two different ways: Duplicating a NanoMesh with an Array Mesh or using an Array Mesh as placement polygons for Nanos.
Duplicating a NanoMesh with an Array Mesh
A NanoMesh is considered by ZBrush to be true geometry. This means that it can become the source of an Array Mesh, without the need to first convert the NanoMesh instances to geometry.
Because both NanoMesh and Array Mesh are based on the principle of instanced geometry, editing the source object of the NanoMesh will modify the result of the NanoMesh and then copy that result across the Array Mesh.
Converting an Array Mesh to a NanoMesh
An Array Mesh is a fantastic tool when it comes to generating parametric shapes based on instanced copies of the initial object. However since an Array Mesh generates exact copies of the source object, the resulting figure will look very uniform. By converting each copy of the Array Mesh to a NanoMesh, you can capitalize on the variation parameters within the NanoMesh system to break the design up and make it look more natural.
When converting an Array Mesh to a NanoMesh, each array instance is isolated and applied to a single placement polygon. Once the Array Mesh is converted to a NanoMesh it can use any of the NanoMesh features — from replacing it with another NanoMesh to editing the original model or applying randomizations.
A simple workflow could be:
- Create an Array Mesh, in either single or multiple stages.
- Convert it to NanoMesh. After conversion you will not be able to change the number of instances or use any other Array Mesh modifiers.
- Select an Insert brush, Insert Multi Mesh brush (IMM) or NanoMesh brush. (When using an IMM brush or a NanoMesh created from an IMM brush.) Press the M key to select the 3D model of your choice.
- Click Tool >> NanoMesh >> Inventory >> Replace NanoMesh from Brush. The 3D model associated with the placement polygons will be replaced.
- Use all the NanoMesh settings to interactively refine the results.
Please refer to the NanoMesh documentation for more information about NanoMesh creation and manipulation.