One of the main focus points in developing ZBrush 4R7 has been to generate organically detailed models which look less "computer generated" or less "perfect." To achieve this, the Surface Noise system has been improved to combine noise sources. At the same time, two new functions have been implemented: NanoMesh, which goes beyond simply inserting meshes and allows the user to manipulate them on the fly, together with ArrayMesh, which is an advanced instance creation system.
Combined with ZModeler, the new NanoMesh system takes the process of using ZBrush's InsertMesh to a new whole level. The 3D models inserted into a mesh can be populated based on a specific ZModeler Target. This result can then be modified in real time by adding variations to instance scale, offset, angle and multiple alignment options.
If the default variations options are not enough, there is also a random distribution mode that propagates the NanoMeshes in a naturally random way across the surface of the model.
These NanoMeshes are all instances of the original mesh. With this system you can edit the original mesh at any time (such as with ZModeler or even to add UV's, textures and displacement maps). These changes are then instantly applied to all instances. You also have the ability to apply multiple NanoMeshes across the same surface, giving even greater variety and artistic freedom!
With NanoMesh, you will not only be able to quickly experiment with shape and form but also add tremendous amounts of detail in short order.
Duplication systems that allow you to copy instances of any initial mesh have become a classic feature in modeling programs but ArrayMesh adds another level. ArrayMesh operates in real time as you edit the content of the original mesh or use TransPose action lines to adjust placement, deform the mesh (along with its copies) and much more.
ZBrush 4R7 also incorporates into this a multiple stage system which will allows you to stack separate Array functions on top of each other. It's so easy to create complex designs like a tank track when you can build arrays from smaller arrays of parts!
Also, since ArrayMesh uses instanced geometry similar to how NanoMesh works, all objects are copied as instances. This means that you can edit the original object while your changes propagate across all the copies at the same time. Did you use an array of bolts to fasten those tank treads within the greater array that makes up its track? Edit the master bolt and every copy of it will update throughout the entire track.
Watch an ArrayMesh Demonstration
The ZBrush Surface Noise capabilities have been improved to support more than one noise source at any given time. Now, whether your noise is a grayscale texture or generated procedurally using the Noise plugin, all sources can be modulated with various mix modifiers and curve functions to create very unique results.
Build your own library of presets and reuse them in future projects to create rich and subtle surface details. It will be impossible for viewers to spot the repeating patterns which are inherent in noise generation systems, which means that your creations will look more real than ever before.
Whether you are using BPR or the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge, you can now see procedural and texture-created surface noise rendered as displaced geometry. This process is automatic; after designing your noise you no longer need to worry about applying it before you can view the result on your geometry. All you need to do is render!
This feature can also be applied to NanoMeshes. With this new technology, it becomes easy to render scenes composed of billions of polygons!