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Advance sculpting and texturing for the Scientific Illustration

In recent years the use of 3D animation and advanced digital sculpting has exploded in the field of scientific visualization. Scientists around the world are learning how to get their messages across using illustrations and diagrams created with ZBrush. Combined with animation packages such as Maya, ZBrush has helped to create illuminating animations that can convert complex scientific concepts into a visual language a general audience can understand.

Accurate and realistic anatomical diagrams can be constructed and rendered within ZBrush. From bones, tissue, and organs right down to the cellular level. ZBrush’s intuitive sculpting tools have found their way into the hands of talented medical illustrators. The same tools that allow Hollywood artists to create realistic creatures are being used to digitally craft accurate anatomical models.

Advanced features such as 3D layers allow medical illustrators to dynamically adjust levels of detail. Using SubTools, systems of the body such as blood vessels, lymph nodes, muscles, and nerves can be turned on or off to highlight particular areas of interest. A model created for a single illustration can be reused and altered non-destructively to show numerous variations demonstrating a variety of scientific principles.

ZBrush Artists:
Marc Boulay & Sylvia Lorrain
ZBrush Artist: Javier Tapia Guadix - Juice
ZBrush Artist: Matt Briggs

Rich and accurate content creation

ZBrush’s Pixol technology lets you blend 2.5 and 3 dimensional elements within a single illustration. Create cut-away views of your scientific models in a way that would be difficult, if not impossible in other software packages. Using the free ZApplink plug-in you can combine the power of ZBrush with any digital art program that supports PSD format files. You can send your models to Photoshop for editing, using all of your Photoshop brushes and techniques, and then send the model back to ZBrush. This essentially turns Photoshop into a ZBrush plug-in!

Edit your scan data

ZBrush’s HD Geometry feature supports models made up of up to a billion polygons. This means that you can import 3D scan data, regardless of how dense it may be, and use ZBrush’ intuitive sculpting tools to make edits and refine models. Color information, acquired through advanced scanning techniques, will be retained and can be edited using ZBrush’s Polypainting techniques.

Models created and edited in ZBrush can be exported as STL or full color VRML formats using the 3D Print Exporter. These can be sent to 3D printers to create prototypes and actual models. Imagine an illustration you can hold in your hands!

ZBrush is making inroads into every scientific field that relies on visualization. From dentistry, to archeology, cell biology, geology, medicine and more. The ease with which ZBrush can manipulate massive amounts of 3D data and its natural and artistic editing tools put the ultimate power of visualization in your hands.

For this Volcano illustration, Arran J Lewis used a combination of 3D objects and 2.5D pixol-based brushes to achieve the result. View the step by step process of creating this illustration at ZBrushCentral.
Illustrate the muscle structure on the top of a skull by using ZSketch. With the Move brush or the ZSketch brushes you can edit your model and easily change the proportions of each element, making your result realistic or illustrative. Illustration by Ty Shelton.
Use SubTools to construct your model in separate parts and hide them as needed to create your illustration, showing any desired element. Illustration by Christan Bull - 3DFramework.

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