The new ZBrush ZModeler brush is a mighty tool with many functions and possibilities. In this tutorial we want to show you how to use the Split action to cut a hole through a mesh.
You can find many tutorials in the internet on the ZModeler feature of ZBrush 4 R7 but many of them show a big variety of functionality so that you don’t know were to start. We want to bring tutorials about this feature to you that cover a special sub feature of the ZModeler so you don’t get lost in all the things you can do with it.

Start with a cube

Let’s start with a simple mesh, the QCube. Select a PolyMesh3D tool, like this one:

Tool selected on startup

Tool selected on startup

Now initialize the tool with the Initialize menu (select QCube):

Initialize ZBrush tool as QCube

Initialize ZBrush tool as QCube

Make sure to show the polygroups (Poly, hotkey Shift+F). Then you should have a QCube with resolution 2x2x2.

Our goal is to cut a hole through this cube.

Select the ZModeler brush

The ZModeler brush can be selected by pressing B key to show the brushes, then Z key to limit the display to all brushes starting with Z and then select the ZModeler brush with the mouse or by pressing M key.

Split point

When you hover the mouse over your cube you can see that the ZModeler brush is context sensitive. When you are over an edge, the edge will be highlighted, the same happens for faces and point. When you right click you get the menu in which you can select the actions and the target that are available for your currently hovered part (point, edge or face).

Turn on X-axis symmetry (x-key), hover over a point of the cube and press the right mouse button. After that select Split action for points:

Split for Point

Split for Point

Hover over the middle point of the front faces of the cube and press the left mouse button.

Split point

Split point

Move the mouse slightly while pressing the left mouse button and this should happen:

Point splitted

Point splitted

You splitted the point up to a circle, the same thing happens on the opposite side of the cube for you have the x-symmetry enabled.

Cut the hole

To cut all through the cube we have to use the QMesh polygon action. Hover over a face and press the right mouse button. Then select QMesh and as target choose Polygroup all:

QMesh for polygon actions and target polygroup

QMesh for polygon actions and target polygroup

We want to pull the circle inside of the cube. The circle is made of 4 faces but the circle is also a polygroup. When we select the inner circle now with he left mouse button we can drag it in and trough the cube:

QMesh for polygroups through mesh

QMesh for polygroups through mesh

Try it, you will be able to cut the hole into the cube, it’s very intuitive, you will see.

That’s it. Cutting holes by preserving a clean topology could be a difficult task when using other 3D tools and modelling programs, but in my opinion it is quite easy using ZBrush’s ZModeler as a time saver.

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