Extra Operations


Extra Gizmo 3D Operations

The Gizmo 3D inherits most of the core functions from TransPose. Using these can drastically improve your productivity.


1. Extruding Topology

When you need to add more topology by creating an extrusion or inserting an edge loop, use the Gizmo 3D combined with masking.
Activate the Gizmo 3D and then hold the Ctrl key while dragging the Gizmo move arrows. This will extrude all non-masked parts of the model.
This operation will only work with a model that does not have subdivision levels. However, the Freeze Subdivision Levels feature can be used to temporarily drop to the base mesh level for extrusion, then return to the highest level and re-project its details.

To create an extrusion, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure that your model is a PolyMesh 3D or DynaMesh. This function will not work with Primitives or ZSphere previews.
  2. Create a mask on your model. The masked areas will remain unaffected while the unmasked areas will be extruded. If you wish to only extrude a small area, a good tip would be to mask the area you want to extrude and then invert the mask before continuing.
  3. Activate the Gizmo 3D and place it at the best position to perform the manipulation.
  4. While holding the Ctrl key, click and drag one of the Gizmo 3D arrows. This will move the entire Gizmo 3D in the direction of your movement and at the same time will extrude the unmasked polygons.
  5. When you release the mouse button or lift the tablet pen, ZBrush will update the mask to include the new geometry created by the extrusion. This allows you to continue the extrusion without needing to manually update the mask.
  6. When done, clear the mask.


When performing an extrusion in symmetry mode, you must first activate Transform >> Local Sym.


2. Duplicating a Mesh with Gizmo 3D

When no portion of the model is masked, holding Ctrl while using the Gizmo 3D Move manipulators will duplicate the mesh. One way in which this is quite useful is when using the Insert Mesh brushes.
This action requires a PolyMesh or DynaMesh with no subdivision levels. (The Freeze Subdivision Levels feature can be used to prepare models that have subdivision levels.) When duplicating with the Gizmo 3D, ZBrush will simply add the new mesh to the already selected one. It will not create a new SubTool.
If your SubTool is an assembly of multiple independent meshes, you must first fully mask any meshes that you don’t wish to be duplicated.
To try an example of this mesh duplication feature, follow these steps:

  1. Start with the Dog sample project or a DynaMesh.
  2. Activate the Gizmo 3D.
  3. While holding the Ctrl key, click and drag the Move manipulator of your choice to duplicate the current mesh.

Expert Tip!

After duplicating a subtool, lifting and re-pressing the Ctrl key, and dragging the same Move manipulator will create a second duplicate of the mesh with the same spacing. This action can be repeated as often as you wish.

3. Duplication and Negative Mesh

When using the Gizmo 3D for mesh duplication, it is possible to tag the duplicated mesh as a negative mesh. This additional function is specifically for use with DynaMesh and will not have any effect without re-Dynameshing your object.
The negative mesh’s volume will be subtracted from the mesh it was inserted into. An example of this feature’s use is to create a duplicate copy of the same mesh that can then be used to create a shell. (See the DynaMesh section of this documentation for more info regarding shell creation.)
The steps to create a negative copy with the Gizmo 3D are the same as for duplica­tion. The only difference is that you hold Ctrl+Alt when dragging the Move manipulator.


4. Working with Duplication and the Mesh Insert Brushes

While a PolyMesh 3D or DynaMesh is in Edit mode, select one of the Mesh Insert brushes.

  1. Use Brush >> Modifiers >> Mesh Insert Preview to select the object that you wish to insert into your SubTool. Alternatively, press the M key to open the IMM popup window or use the Mesh selector at the top of the user interface.
  2. Click and drag on the model to insert the new mesh into the original one.
  3. To duplicate the inserted mesh, mask all elements which you do not want duplicated.
  4. Using the option explained above for quickly masking by PolyGroups is an easy way to mask everything except the newly inserted mesh.
  5. Switch to the Gizmo 3D.
  6. While holding Ctrl key, freely move the Gizmo 3D to duplicate the unmasked mesh and position its copy.
  7. Upon releasing the mouse button (or lifting the tablet pen), ZBrush will update the mask to leave only the new copy unmasked. This allows you to continue creating and positioning duplicate instances of the inserted mesh without needing to manually update the mask.
  8. When done, clear the mask.


Notes: Be very careful when masking your model to perform this action. If any portion of the model is missed (like a part hidden by another mesh) performing the copying action will instead create an extrusion. We strongly recommend using the new way to easily mask by PolyGroups. This will ensure that no points are missed.


5. Gizmo Soft Deformation

Gizmo deformation with on the left, Focal Shift of -50; on the right, Focal Shift of 50.

The Gizmo can apply soft deformation with its falloff adjusted by Focal Shift. Any value above -100 will result in soft deformation – move, scale or rotate. Masking can be used to further control the results.


Note: When Focal Shift is set to -100 the Gizmo will behave as in earlier versions and will not deform the mesh.