ZSphere Topology

Using ZSpheres, you can create new topology in ZBrush as well as shrink wrap that topology to your existing model.

There are several reasons you may want to adjust your model’s topology.

  • Remove Polygon Stretching and adjust the edge flow of your model.
  • Create an animation-ready low resolution base mesh.

Creating New Topology

To create a new topology, two sub-palettes are used: Tool > Rigging and Tool > Topology. These are only available when a ZSphere is selected.

When creating topology in ZBrush you do not have to close all of the polygon faces. ZBrush will automatically close many of these polygon faces for you. The setting that determines how many unconnected vertices that ZBrush will close is Max Strip Length. If ZBrush is closing holes that you do not want it to close, set this number to 4.

You can also use the topology option to create a new mesh such as armor or a helmet or something of that sort. Just create the topology and press Make Adaptive Skin. You can then import this into your model as a subtool. You could also keep it as a ZSphere model if you want to edit the topology later. If you plan on doing this it may be good to delete the mesh from the rigging palette (Press Tool > Rigging > Delete).

  1. First, draw a ZSphere on the canvas go into Edit mode.
  2. Go to the rigging tab and press Select. Select the model that you want to retopologize from the popup window. If it is not loaded you can press the Load button at this time.
  3. In the Topology sub-palette, press Edit Topology.
  4. Turn Symmetry on (if needed) and click on the model to begin creating new geometry. Note, your cursor may not show up until you click on the model. This will addressed in future updates. The orange circle represents the active vertex. When you close a poly face, ZBrush keeps the previous vertices active which allows you to more quickly build up poly faces on your model. If you want to connect another vertex than the one active to a another vertex, press Shift while clicking on the vertex you want to connect and then simple click on the other vertex.
  5. Press A on the keyboard or Tool > Adaptive > Preview to see the new mesh.
  6. When you are done, press Tool > Adaptive Skin > Make Adaptive Skin.
  7. If you are creating armor or helmets you may want to use the Skin Thickness slider to give your new mesh some depth.

Projecting Topology

  1. After you have laid out the topology, press Tool > Projection > Projection.
  2. Set Tool > Adaptive Skin > Density high enough to capture all the detail of your reference mesh.
  3. Press A on your keyboard to preview the transfer.
  4. Press Tool > Adaptive Skin > Make Adaptive Skin when you are ready to convert your topology to a polymesh object for sculpting and exporting.
  • If your model explodes when you press A, try setting Tool > Projection > Projection Strength to -1.
  • If there are flat spots in your projection increase Tool > Projection > ProjectRange.

Advanced Techniques