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  • Chapter 2Page 24 | Quick Sketch

    Chapter 3Page 34 | Hard Surface Sculpting

    Chapter 1Page 04 | ZSketch

  • You can see the base images and free brushes in the resources folder that

    accompanies this ebook.

    You can find the movie file and chapter 3s logo model for zbrush inside the resources folder

  • Chapter 1ZSketch

  • page 5www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch

    Chapter 1 - ZSketchSoftware Used: ZBrush 3.5

    IntroductionStarting off, lets get used to the new brush

    selection method. This method is far faster

    to select brushes you want without having to

    move your cursor away from the mesh. Press

    the B key and your brush palette will come up.


    At this point you could simply click on the brush

    you want, but its much faster to simply use your

    keyboard. To get the brush you want, type the

    first letter of its name. In this case Im using the

    Polish brush, so I pressed P. (Fig.02)

    Now youll notice an orange character in the top

    left of each brush. Press that character to select

    the brush you want. So for the polish brush Id

    press bpo. If I wanted the hard polish brush

    Id press bh (since the hPolish brush is the

    only brush that starts with h, it will automatically

    select that brush without any further input.). It

    may be hard to get used to, but eventually it will

    be the fastest way to select any of the brushes

    since they all have a shortcut.

    Basics Of ZSketchHere well start with an example ZSphere

    armature. (Fig.03)

    To activate ZSketch mode either open the

    ZSketch tab in the Tool Palette and hit edit

    sketch, or hit shift+a. (Fig.04)

    Fig 01

    Fig 02

    Fig 03

    Fig 04

  • page 6www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Zsketch Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques

    By default the Sketch 1 brush is selected.

    Here we draw a line of ZSketch spheres atop

    the armature. This has not been smoothed yet.


    Hold shift and use the brush to stroke over the

    ZSpheres. They will smooth out your ZSketch

    stroke between the two insertion points of each

    end of the stroke. (Fig.06)

    Its important how the stroke is applied. Below is

    an example of two ways to add a stroke. If the

    stroke is applied fast, it will have less ZSketch

    spheres and will thus be less dense and easier

    to smooth. If your stroke is applied slowly, it will

    add many more ZSketch spheres, usually giving

    you a better looking result. The top stroke was

    fast, and the bottom was slow. (Fig.07)

    Notice that as you stroke along a base ZSphere,

    your stroke will have an affinity for its surface.

    However if you continue the stroke away from

    the surface, eventually it will break off and float

    freeform. When not attached to a ZSphere, the

    stroke will be applied to camera normal. (Fig.08)

    Fig 05

    Fig 06

    Fig 07

    Fig 08

  • page 7www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch

    There are three basic application brushes

    that are important to be familiar with. They

    are Sketch 1, Sketch 2, and Sketch 3. The

    difference between these is their embed values.

    Sketch 1 is the most embedded, while Sketch

    3 is the least embedded. Below you can see

    Sketch 1, 2, and 3, from left to right. (Fig.09)

    The Armature brush has less affinity for other

    ZSpheres and ZSketch strokes. It can be used

    to create extensions and digressions from the

    original sketch. (Fig.10)

    Now lets take a look at the smooth brushes.

    There are a few factors that change with the

    different smooth brushes. The embed value

    dictates whether or not (and how much) the

    stroke will sink into the sphere it is attached to.

    The resize function will dictate whether or not

    (and how much) the ends of a stroke will resize

    to the sphere with which it is attached. Here is

    the original stroke we have. (Fig.11)

    The Smooth 1 brush has both the embed and

    resize functions active. You can see when

    you smooth it out at the ends the spheres get

    bigger and fall into the ZSpheres on which it

    is attached. Looking at the unified skin it is a

    bit easier to see what is going on. (Fig.12) &


    Fig 09

    Fig 10

    Fig 11

    Fig 12

  • page 8www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Zsketch Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques

    The Smooth 2 brush has the embed function

    enabled, but not the resize function. Again its

    good to take a look at the unified skin to see

    whats happening. (Fig.13) & (Fig.14)

    The Smooth 3 brush simply has both the embed

    and resize functions turned off. Its the most

    simple of the smooth brushes. (Fig.15)

    The Smooth 4 brush has a resize function

    that is good for creating muscles. At the ends

    of a stroke it resizes them to be significantly

    smaller than the sphere it is attached to. Below

    is a before using the brush and after using the

    brush. (Fig.16) & (Fig.17)

    Fig 13

    Fig 14

    Fig 15

    Fig 16

  • page 9www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch

    Im going to go over the other brushes that dont

    so much smooth and draw, but modify whats

    already there. Below is the messy mesh Im I

    started with. The explanation of these brushes

    will be fairly quick, but its much faster to jump

    in and try them. Youll get a better sense of

    what you can use them for by testing them out.


    The Float brush makes the ZSketch spheres

    float off the mesh relative to surface normal.


    The Bulge brush inflates the ZSketch spheres.

    Alt will deflate them. This works very similar to

    the inflate brush. This is sometimes useful for

    muscles. (Fig.20)

    Fig 17

    Fig 18

    Fig 19

    Fig 20

  • page 10www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Zsketch Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques

    The Bulge&Flush brush is very similar to the

    Bulge brush, with the added effect of

    flattening the surface. (Fig.21)

    The Flush brush flattens the surface of the

    ZSpheres aligning them to the camera. It also

    resizes the spheres. (Fig.22)

    FlushDynamic flattens the spheres, but instead

    aligns them to surface instead of camera.


    FlushResize is the Flush brush with the added

    effect of resizing the spheres to equal sizes.


    Fig 21

    Fig 22

    Fig 23

    Fig 24

  • page 11www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch

    The Fuse brush merges spheres into the closest

    stroke of spheres. Its a bit hard to see in the

    image, but will be apparent when used. (Fig.25)

    PushPull works to elevate spheres off their

    current spheres. When the alt key is pressed the

    spheres burrow into the spheres. (Fig.26)

    One final function that is somewhat a smooth

    brush is what Ill call the Straighten Brush. It

    works by pressing shift and clicking on a sphere.

    Then stroke along the existing spheres towards

    one of the termination spheres. All of the

    spheres will be aligned into a straight line.

    If the initial origin of the stroke is in the middle of

    an existing sketch stroke, that point will act as a

    vertex, allowing two straight lines to be created,

    see below. (Fig.27) & (Fig.28)

    Fig 25

    Fig 26

    Fig 27

    Fig 28

  • page 12www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Zsketch Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques

    The bind function in the ZSketch pulldown is

    important for those wishing to change the pose

    of the original ZSphere. Below Ive added a

    basic ZSketch atop an armature. (Fig.29)

    I turned off the ZSketch with shift+a, and rotated

    the arms upwards. (Fig.30)

    But when the ZSketch is turned back on, youll

    notice it was not affected by the rotation of the

    arm. This is because binding is turned off by

    default. To turn it on, go into the ZSketch tab

    in the tool palette, and click the Bind button.

    (Fig.31) & (Fig.32)

    Fig 29

    Fig 30

    Fig 31

    Fig 32

  • page 13www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch

    Youll notice that a transparent ghost of the

    ZSketch now appears on the armature. (Fig.33)

    Now when the arms are rotated, the ZSketch

    spheres follow the armature. (Fig.34)

    Then ZSketch is again turned on to continue

    adding ZSketch strokes. Binding also works with

    the Move and the Scale functions. (Fig.35)

    While Draw is usually operative in ZSketch, its

    worth noting that move and scale also work with

    ZSketch. Rotate does not work so well. Take

    care to note that both scale and move functions

    operate on the base ZSpheres as well as the

    ZSketch. (Fig.36) & (Fig.37)

    Fig 33

    Fig 34

    Fig 35

    Fig 36

  • page 14www.3dtotal.com Chapter 1

    Chapter 1: Zsketch Mike Jensens Zbrush Techniques

    Now we can move on to the ZSpheres and

    ZSketch. To create a character its best to start

    with the hip bone. This way you can use the

    ZSphere armature for posing. (Fig.38)

    I keep going until I have a simple looking body. I