A fellow MFA candidate at AAU had a question for me recently, and a helpful resource. I paraphrase, but the question was basically, "You're not going to use the default zBrush stitching pattern, are you?" And the answer was, "No, I'm going to use some by Ryan Kingslien, and some I made. I was just using the default one to demonstrate techniques." He was concerned because you really want to get everything right and as professional as possible.
He also gave me this link, which shows five different stitching patterns and what they're used for. I created alphas for two of them, the Backstitch, and the Fishbone Stitch, both of which will be helpful in my thesis.
Still, I'm practicing doing the stitching. It's taking a bit of time to get everything looking right. Eventually (hopefully soon!) I'll get the hang of it and it will look good.
Here's the tip. It has to do with HD geometry in zBrush. What is HD geometry? Well, in zBrush, you can subdivide a mesh into as many polygons as your RAM will handle. The upper limit for my sub-tools is about 10,000,000 polygons. Lots, right? Funny enough, even at that resolution, details like stitching don't always come out sharp enough!
HD geometry is the zBrush solution. When you use it, it will isolate a section of the mesh and subdivide it further, but you can only work on a part at a time. The upshot is, you get to add in those fine details.
The drawback is that, if you want to delete higher resolution geometry and start over on those details, you can't.
So, what's the solution? How do you delete HD geometry from a mesh in zBrush?
The solution isn't obvious, but it's easy. Under Tool > Subtool, select the mesh you want to delete HD geometry from. Then click the "Duplicate" button. It will create a new sub tool without the HD details. Check both copies to be sure you know which is which, and then delete the one with HD geometry. Voila, you have a new copy, ready for new HD geometry and sculpting!
Oh! I forgot to mention earlier in this post, it looks like I have an instructor for my One on One Directed Study next semester! I'm excited. More as it develops!