January 20, 2017

Testing Intuos 3D and ZBrushCore

Concept artist, creature designer and animal anatomy instructor, Tony Camehl, working in the entertainment industry, did us a favour by reviewing the Intuos 3D with Pixologic´s ZBrushCore.

Tony shares his unboxing experience as well as creature design in ZBrushCore and ultimately printing the 3D design with Shapeways. This article is written by Tony himself and from his perspective.

Unboxing Intuos 3D

A few months ago Wacom asked me to review and unbox their new Intuos 3D and to test the software ZBrushCore included with the tablet. With this article I want to tell you about my experience of working with Intuos 3D and ZBrushCore. 

A list with the basic facts of the tablet shall give you a quick overview:
- The Intuos 3D is only available in medium size.
- The work surface amounts to 216 x 135mm.
- There are four express keys that can be assigned with various hotkeys.
- The Intuos is adapted to right-handers and left-handers.
- The pressure sensitivity amounts to 1024 levels.
- The tablet is sent with an Intuos Pen (a new version without the erasing function at the end of the pen).

In the process of unboxing I noticed the rough drawing surface. So far I have been working with the Intuos Pro whose surface is much smoother, so I had to get used to working on a rougher surface first.

Positively striking features are the engraved notes that explain the technical aspects, e.g. how to change the tip of the pen or how to insert the Wireless Kit (separately available) into the tablet and other helpful information.

The wrapping of the Intuos 3D is noble and of high quality. Also the weight of the Intuos 3D has been reduced distinctly, so as an effect it is much more comfortable to take with you and to work with.

Working with the software ZBrushCore

The software ZBrushCore is included in the price. In order to download ZBrushCore, the Intuos 3D has to be registered on the Wacom homepage. Then you receive the download link. Installing and activating the licence ran smoothly and quickly. In case of problems you can consult the handbook or Wacom´s customer service.
After a few minutes the software and the tablet (I already had a Wacom driver installed) were ready to work with. You can download a Wacom driver from here.

Regarding the software I would like to look more closely at its functions. ZBrushCore is a barebone version of ZBrush 4r7 and thus is cut down version. ZBrushCore is to facilitate the access to the world of 3D and to help beginners understand the main functions such as DynaMesh and ZSpheres.

Functions such as ZRemesher or GoZ are missing. Furthermore the maximum amount of polygons is limited to 20 million contrary to ZBrush where you can reach 100 million polygons per mesh. For further comparisons and which functions are not available in ZBrushCore you can visit this link.

For me it was no problem to adjust from ZBrush to ZBrushCore. I got accustomed pretty fast and had fun modeling the “Roman Sphinx”. There were no problems with Intuos 3D and ZBrushCore while modeling.

All in all ZBrushCore definitely is helpful for beginners that do not want to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of possibilities of ZBrush 4r7. You can find further information and instructive videos on the Pixologic´s Youtoube channel.

3D Printing

After finishing modeling the figure, it was time to get it printed in 3D. I had to adjust the thickness of the figure in ZBrushCore several times. Unfortunately, I also had to erase a few elements, such as the shirt and the thorns of the tail because they would not have been visible while polishing the printing.

With ZBrushcore it was no big deal to export the model into a .stl format and to upload it on the Shapeways website afterwards. Shapeways specialized in 3D printing and comes up with great online functions in order to check the model before printing, such as the wall thickness. Furthermore there is an online function that recognizes whether there are objects that are not linked to the model. You can easily change that so there won’t be any problems with the printing.

A few days later the printed figure arrived. It was wrapped nicely so that there could not be any damage done. I was very satisfied with the final product and positively impressed with the level of detail. It is a great feeling to hold the real figure in my hands since I could only look at it on my computer until now.

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