The Total Beginner to Zbrush

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For all of you out there who have heard of, but are unfamiliar with, ZBrush then this new 7 part tutorial series by Wayne Robon is for you. The Total Beginners Guide to ZBrush is an excellent starting point to get you into the world of ZBrushing “ZBrush’s brush set is arguably one of its most powerful features, along with its ability to handle truly staggering polygon counts”
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Thois is a great book for beginers of ZBrush.

Transcript of The Total Beginner to Zbrush

  • For all of you out there

    who have heard of,

    but are unfamiliar with,

    ZBrush then this new

    7 part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robon is

    for you. The Total

    Beginners Guide to

    ZBrush is an excellent

    starting point to get

    you into the world of

    ZBrushing

    ZBrushs brush set is arguably one of its most powerful features, along with its ability to handle truly staggering polygon counts

  • page 87www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 030 February 008

    Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    Created In:ZBrush

    Section TitleIn this series of 7 articles, I was asked to

    produce a beginners guide to Zbrush which

    assumed that the user does not know a whole

    lot about the program or how to use it. These

    articles arent meant to take the place of either

    the help files, or proper training, but should give

    you an excellent starting point to get you into the

    world of ZBrushing.

    In this series we will be working our way through

    the basic process of creating a creature bust,

    taking it to completion by the last article (Fig01).

    We will be starting with a basic Zsphere base

    mesh that we will create ourselves and well

    use this as our starting point for sculpturing and

    finally adding texture to. The reason Im splitting

    the full project into 7 parts is that we can take it

    at a beginners pace and cover as much ground

    as possible for people totally new to Zbrush.

    (Plus youll end up with a finished digital sculpt

    that will give you the confidence to approach

    you own projects in a similar manner.)

    I will be assuming that, at the very least, you

    have read the basics of navigating in ZBrush

    from the Zbrush help files. This will help us cut

    down the length of the series a little and will

    also make sure that as a new user you get the

    most out of these lessons. I would like you to

    practice what you learn in each lesson, either on

    the model we are doing, or on one of your own.

    It is important that you do this because the more

    that you use Zbrush, the more confident and

    at home with it you will become. Assuming you

    know how to navigate, well start by covering the

  • page 88www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 030 February 008

    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    basic concepts of some of the brushes etc that

    we will be using, before creating our Zsphere

    base mesh. In the next article we will start the

    sculpting proper.

    Basic techniquesShowing and hiding polygons

    There are many reasons why you might want to

    hide part of your geometry while working on it.

    These range from simply wanting to concentrate

    on a particular area you are working on, to

    wanting to improve the performance of your

    image at high polygon counts. To hide some

    polygons, first take one of the default models

    provided with Zbrush (a selection of them are

    available on the splash screen) to test with.

    Hold down Shift + Ctrl and drag over the area

    you wish to keep. This will then hide everything

    else on this tool. To remove more polygons

    from this area simply do the same as before, but

    before releasing your left mouse stop pressing

    the control key. The previously green selection

    box will now turn red to let you know that this

    area will be hidden.

    You can also have your selection changed from

    the default box dragging type to a lasso type.

    You can find this in some of the interface layouts

    and also in the Transform Palette. This then lets

    you select much more complex shapes than are

    available with the default box drag type (Fig02

    and Fig03).

    Masking off areas

    A mask can be described using a favourite

    analogy of mine: just think of them like the

    force fields on the star ship enterprise. When

  • The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

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    Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    you have an area masked off (or to continue

    the analogy, shields up), that area will remain

    unaffected by anything you do to the unmasked

    area. There are literally tons of ways to make

    masks in Zbrush, but the easiest is to simply

    hold down you control key and use your brush to

    draw the area you wish to be masked off. Masks

    are an essential modelling tool, as it can often

    be much easier to sculpt an area if other areas

    you do not want to be affected are masked

    off. For example, if you wished to close the top

    eyelids on a head model, you would simply draw

    a mask over the bottom eyelid so that when

    you used the move brush, the bottom lid would

    remain unaffected (Fig04).

    Brushes

    ZBrushs brush set is arguably one of its most

    powerful features, along with its ability to handle

    truly staggering polygon counts. There is a

    different brush for literally any job you might

    think of and many of them have more uses

    than they first seem to. Brushes are controlled

    by the ZIntensity slider - with 0 being no effect

    on the model and 100 being a massive effect

    on the model - and are used along with Zadd

    (this makes the geometry be pulled outwards)

    and Zsub (which pushes the geometry into the

    model). You can also change the way a brush

    reacts with your fall off, which is controlled by

    your focal shift.

    Which stroke you chose from the Stroke menu

    can vastly change what a brush will do when

    you use it; as well as more standard stokes,

  • page 90www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 030 February 008

    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    there are also a selection of scatter strokes and

    a drag rectangle one. When used in conjunction

    with ZBrushs different alphas, you can do just

    about anything. You can make and import your

    own brushes if you want to, but to be honest

    the ones that come with Zbrush are pretty damn

    good for 95% of the sculpting jobs you will do,

    if used correctly. I would recommend simply

    messing round with the brushes on a subdivided

    Polysphere for a while to get used to the feel.

    There are so many options that it is impossible

    to cover them all here, but as with everything in

    Zbrush, if you are not sure what something does

    just hover over it, press the Control key and a

    nice box will come up outlining what it is and

    what it does.

    There are some brushes that it is really

    important to know about from the get go.

    The smooth brush is one you will use a lot; it

    smoothes out areas you are working on to help

    you get the surface to your digital sculpture

    that you want without any nasty bobbling on

    it. It smoothes the transition between adjacent

    polygons, but really thats just a complex way of

    saying it does what the name implies. We will

    be covering the difference between some of the

    brushes as we progress through this series.

    Move Brush Vs Move tool

    This confuses new users quite a lot, so I thought

    it best to cover it in this article. There are two

    sorts of move in Zbrush: a move brush, which

    when selected will move areas of your model

    according to what stroke type, alpha ad falloff

    you have and a transform move, which uses

    action lines. There are also scale and rotate

    transforms as well, but we will go into those

    later in the series. For most sculpting jobs you

    will probably use the move brush found in the

    brush menu, so experiment with it (like the other

    brushes) for next time and well take things

    further (Fig05 and Fig06).

    The Birdman ProjectPart 1 the sphere base mesh

    First were going to create a base mesh in

    Zbrush, using Zspheres to quickly rough out a

    basic base mesh that will give us somewhere

    to start. Although you could obviously import

    a base mesh polygon modelled in a separate

    package, it is important to get to grips with the

    very basics of Zspheres early on if you are to

    gain total confidence in using Zbrush in the

    long term. Zspheres are a special type of tool in

    Zbrush that enable you to quickly and effectively

    block out your base mesh. They are also

    used for Zsphere rigs and are part of the core

    concepts of Zbrush. A Zsphere is a two-tone

    sphere that is used in a few different workflows

    in Zbrush such as retopology and Zsphere rig

    posing. Making a base mesh will save a lot of

    time (as well as space in this series), so as such

    well be using them (Fig07).

  • The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

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    Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    To create our base mesh, pick the two-tone

    sphere from your tool menu and press X to

    activate X symmetry (Y & Z can also be used

    to switch those types of symmetry on and off

    as well). Symmetry means that everything

    we do on one side of the model automatically

    happens on the other side as well, saving us

    time. As a symmetrical sculpture can often

    look characterless, we will be adding some

    asymmetrical detailing later to help to give the

    digital sculpture a sense of life and being.

    However, at the early stages of this article we

    will be keeping it symmetrical to make our job of

    sculpting it a bit easier (Fig08).

    Draw a Zsphere onto the canvas as shown.

    Then, by lining up the two brush icons at the

    top of it, draw another. You will notice that when

    they are totally aligned they turn green (you

    can also use the move tool at this point to move

    things into position so it matches what you see

    in the image). Set your draw size very low when

    dealing with Zspheres as this makes things a

    whole lot easier. A larger size brush will mean

    when you move a Zsphere you will be affecting

    more than the one you may want to, so it makes

    things less confusing to have a very small brush

    size (Fig09).

    Now we want to draw another Zsphere on each

    side, but we only need to draw one because the

    X symmetry will mirror our actions on the other

    side. Next, draw in your neck sphere and use

    your move brush to pull it up a bit. By holding

    down the Shift key you will now be able to click

    on this neck sphere and add another that is the

    same size. After doing this, pull it up a little as

    shown before finally drawing one for the head

    (Fig10 and Fig11).

    Save this, as later in the series we will need this

    rig to demonstrate one of the ways of posing

    our models using Zspheres (Fig12). If you now

    scroll down you tool palette, you can go down

    to the adaptive skin and you can preview the

    base mesh by pressing either A or the preview

    button. We can change the way that ZBrush

    generates mesh by using the settings below.

    (Be sure to experiment with this yourself to get

    comfortable with how they work). This will create

    an Adaptive skin base mesh that is no longer

    linked to our initial Zsphere rig. It is now a set

    of polygons and each set of Zspheres has been

  • give its own polygroup that you can see using

    the frame button (Shift + F also turns this on

    and off by the way) (Fig13).

    In the next article we will start to sculpt on our

    base mesh and begin the process of making

    it look more like a digital sculpt and less like a

    group of polygons. Your homework before the

    next article is to mess around with your new

    base mesh and subdivide it a few times (found

    in the geometry part of the tools panel). Try

    out some of the brushes and hopefully you will

    start to feel a bit more at home in preparation

    for next time. But make sure that you keep your

    adaptive skin tool (by saving in the Tool palette)

    and also your Zsphere rig for later use later in

    the series.

    See you all in Part !

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    http://www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

  • When moving areas such as limbs and other body parts, its always best to use long flowing movements with your mouse

    For all of you out there

    who have heard of,

    but are unfamiliar with,

    ZBrush then this new

    7 part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robon is

    for you. The Total

    Beginners Guide to

    ZBrush is an excellent

    starting point to get

    you into the world of

    ZBrushing

  • page 88www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 031 March 008

    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionIn the last article, after giving a very basic

    overview of some of the main features of

    ZBrush, we made our basic Zsphere base

    mesh. So in this section we will continue with

    the project by taking this base mesh and starting

    to sculpt it. This part of the series will introduce

    you to some of the common brushes used in

    ZBrush for low and medium resolution detailing

    (Fig01).

    ModellingFirst of all we need to make sure that we move

    some of the vertexes around on our base mesh.

    This will allow us to make sure that we have

    resolution where we need it, as opposed to

    where we dont. As the polygon count increases

    by a multiple of 4 each time we subdivide

    our model, we need to bear in mind that it is

    important not to waste polygons where they

    arent going to be needed. So we start off by moving some around the

    eventual eye area, using the move brush set to a size of 1. Its important

    to make sure that we do in fact have X symmetry enabled by hitting the X

    key. This allows us to move the exact vertex we want, without having to

    worry about interfering with others that we dont want to touch.

    Next we move some vertexes around the shoulder, neck and

    sternocladomastoid area so that we have the geometry flowing in the

    direction that we need it to be as we continue with the digital sculpture.

    This is an important step as it stops us having to go into very high polygon

    counts where its not needed and allows us to save some of those

    polygons for the final detailing. We can also do some very basic changes

    to the shape of the head, and get things so that it looks at least vaguely

    human-esque (Fig02).

  • The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

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    Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    At this stage I wanted to shorten the neck a

    bit, so I selected the Move tool (not the Move

    brush, the Move tool which can be found on

    your toolbar or in the transform menu), and

    with X symmetry still enabled, hold down the

    Shift key and draw in an upwards direction to

    just a bit above the collarbone. This will draw a

    mask for us on the area that we do not wish to

    affect. It will also automatically blur this mask

    to help smooth the transition of our moves.

    When moving areas such as limbs and other

    body parts, its always best to use long flowing

    movements with your mouse (where possible).

    The reason for this is that if you use a series

    of short strokes, you can end up with both an

    irregular looking posed area and loss of rhythm

    in the pose itself (Fig03).

    Now we need our action lines to be in place

    before making any moves on our geometry at

    all. An action line has a line with 3 circles drawn

    upon it; if you drag by the edge of a circle it will

    move the circle itself into a new position (moving

    the centre circle will move the whole action line).

    If you drag from the centre of any circle it will

    affect your geometry using whatever transform

    tool you have active at the time. As such

    you can use either the Move, Scale or Rotate

    transform tools with an action line.

    So start by drawing your action line from just

    above your masked area (making sure the line

    starts in the centre of the neck if looking from

    the side) and hold Shift as you draw slightly

    above the top of the head. Press X to turn off

    your symmetry for a moment and, by clicking

    and dragging on the centre circle, move it so

    that it is now in the very centre of the geometry

    when looking from the front. You can now

    gently move the neck down a bit and press X

    again to turn symmetry back on. After making

    sure that you are satisfied, press the Edit button

    on your toolbar to exit the transform tool.

    We are now ready to subdivide our model

    3 times by using either the Divide button in

    the geometry section of the Tool palette, or

    by hitting Ctrl+D. Make sure that you have

    the Standard brush selected and the default

    Dots stroke type. Hold down Shift and draw

    in the basic shape of the eye holes in a human

    skull as shown in the image. As this isnt a

    human bust, we do have a certain amount of

    room for interpretation. However, I would say

    that its always a good idea to have a number

    of human references for both the skull and

    muscles handy, as this helps to make your

    sculpt more believable. Just because were

    creating something from fantasy doesnt mean

    that we should ignore the rules of anatomical

    construction! (Fig04)

  • page 0www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 031 March 008

    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    Now click once on an empty part of the canvas

    to invert the mask, switch to the Move brush and

    pull the eye areas into the head a little. Once

    done, hold down Ctrl and drag on an empty part

    of the canvas to remove the mask completely.

    We can temporarily change to the Smooth brush

    when we have most brushes active by holding

    down the Shift key - do that and lightly smooth

    out the transitions around the eye areas a

    little. For those of you that find that the revised

    Smooth brush in ZBrush 3.1 feels a bit different

    to the older one in V3 and V , Ill provide a link

    to my own version, which works the same as

    the old Smooth brush. To set it as your default,

    simply open it up (or put it into your Start-up

    folder in the Brushes folder, and hold down the

    Shift key and click on it from the brush palette

    in ZBrush). It will now be your default Smooth

    brush whenever you hold down the Shift key.

    Should you need to, you can add any number of

    custom, alternative brushes this way (Fig05).

    Hold down the Ctrl key again and draw in a

    circle that will eventually become our eye holes.

    Dont make them too big at this stage as we will

    be doing a lot of work on them in the following

    articles. Switch to your Standard brush, press

    the Alt key and draw to push the geometry

    inwards as shown (Fig06).

    Now remove the mask you did before and gently

    move the eyes so that they are a little bigger.

    Again dont worry too much about them at this

    stage as we will be working on them more as we

    progress (Fig07).

    Having said that, you will want to move the

    centres of each eye now, so that they have a

    curve to them and the eyeball will be a better

    fit once we once we add it. You can do this

    best by holding down the Shift + Ctrl keys and

    dragging over the area you wish to keep around

    the eyes. Its much easier to add a curve to the

    eyes by looking from the inside behind them and

    above. (Do make sure that you have Double

    on in your Tools >> Display section by the way.)

    (Fig08)

    Shift + Ctrl and click on a blank area of canvas

    to show everything again. Quickly mask off the

    eye area and pull the eyes further back into the

    head (if need be). Be sure to clear the mask

    when you are done. If you find at any point that

    a mask has a little too hard a transition you

    can further blur it by holding down Ctrl and left

    clicking somewhere on the mask itself (Fig09).

  • The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

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    Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    Now taking the Clay Tubes brush, start to beef

    up some areas such as the jaw bone, cheek

    bones and eyebrows by running it in smooth

    strokes over these areas. A ZIntensity setting

    of between 10-13 should do nicely; adjust your

    brush size as needed. Smooth these areas

    out using the Smooth brush before continuing

    - you aim is to keep the forms that you have

    just created, but lessen any sharp transitions

    between different areas of the face. For those

    of you with traditional sculpting experience, this

    stage can be thought of as similar to setting up

    the planes of the face, although in this case we

    are only adding flatter areas of digital clay where

    we need them to define our main forms.

    Holding down the Alt key, use the same brush to

    hollow out the cheeks area slightly and smooth

    this out a little again. We now want to beef up

    the nose and mouth area, as we will be adding

    a beak at a later point. As you will have no

    doubt noticed by now, at this stage we are only

    concerned with getting our large shapes and

    forms blocked out in a fairly rough way. This

    enables us to go back over these areas and

    refine them later (Fig10).

    Using the Move brush, make sure that the

    mouth isnt flat from the side and he doesnt

    look like he has been hit in the face with a

    shovel. One of the main issues that people new

    to ZBrush have when doing a human-esque

    head, is that they make the front of the face too

    flat. The human face is not flat! The mouth

    area is like a flattened horse shoe shape. While

    its outside of the remit of this series to go into

    human anatomy in detail, I would urge those

    new to ZBrush to (at the very least) have plenty

    of references handy. This is also a good time to

    do some last major form changes, if need be.

    In the next article in this series, we are going to

    start making this model look a bit more pleasing

    to the eye and continue to block out the torso.

    Dont worry if you find it takes you a long time to

    complete this section, getting your initial forms

    correct is the most important part of a digital

    sculpture because without it, no matter how

    hard you try later it will still not look right. Your

    homework for next time is to practise what you

    have learned so far in the first two articles of

    this series and try and find plenty of reference

    photos on Google of human heads and torsos.

    If you have access to an anatomy book, that is

    even better. See you all next time.

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    http://www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

  • The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    if its to look believable then its vital to get the forms correct before going anywhere near the detailing stage.

    For all of you out there

    who have heard of,

    but are unfamiliar with,

    ZBrush then this new

    7 part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robon is

    for you. The Total

    Beginners Guide to

    ZBrush is an excellent

    starting point to get

    you into the world of

    ZBrushing

  • page 75www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 032 April 2008

    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionUp until now in this series, we have been

    creating what amounts to a fairly generic

    medium-resolution sculpture that could be

    turned into a whole host of different creatures.

    The advantage of knowing h+ow to block out

    common forms such as these is that each time

    you sculpt something in ZBrush that is human

    or human-esque, you will be refining what you

    learned the last time you did something vaguely

    similar. It is in this way that we improve as

    digital sculptors. Making mistakes is a positive

    thing, because without them we would never

    learn and improve. So an artist who never

    makes mistakes is an artist who never grows

    artistically (Fig01).

    Adding the EyeballsMaking Eyeballs from a Sphere PrimitiveAs we have taken this model about as far as we

    can in the eye area without the eyeballs being

    there, it is time that we added some (Fig02).

    These will help us when it comes to making sure

    that the proportions of the eye area correct, and

    theyll also help us to sculpt the upper and lower

    eyelids correctly later in the series. To add our

    eyeballs we are going to use the default ZBrush

  • page 76www.3dcreativemag.com Issue 032 April 2008

    The Total Beginners Guide to ZbrushThe Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush

    sphere primitive that is available in your tools

    menu by left clicking on your current tool. This

    will bring up a pane that contains many other

    primitives and tools (along with any others that

    you have currently loaded into ZBrush at the

    time). Select the sphere primitive and it should

    appear loaded into the viewport on its own. At

    this time we cant use this sphere because it is

    still a primitive and not a polymesh that we can

    sculpt (Fig03).

    To make this primitive into a polymesh, simply

    look at the very top of the tool menu and press

    the Make polymesh3D button. This will then

    generate your polymesh from the primitive

    sphere and load it into the viewport in exactly

    the same position as the primitive was. So

    it looks for the entire world as if nothing has

    happened! So now we have a sphere that we

    are going to make into not one, but two eyes.

    You may have noticed that the main model that

    we were working on is also visible in the tools

    menu near the top. If you click on this now then

    it will once again become active in the viewport

    and we can start putting the sphere into the right

    place as one of the eyes.

    Adding Them to the Main SculptFirst of all, go to your Tool menu and open up

    the section marked SubTool; this is where

    we will add the eyes, with each one being a

    separate SubTool. So look at the bottom of

    the SubTool section and click on the Append

    button. Once again, this brings up your pane

    with the other ZBrush tools in it. You should

    see your sphere polymesh on the very top line,

    so select that and it will then be added to your

    current model as a SubTool. You will notice that

    the size and position is all wrong at the moment,

    but dont worry as well be sorting that out next!

    Our next big job is to resize and position this

    eye in the correct place. Before we continue,

    let us recap again on how the transpose lines

    work for our transformation tools, such as Move,

    Scale and Rotate. At the end of each line you

    will see a circle with another in the centre of the

    line. By left-clicking and holding down we can

    drag the transform line into position by doing

    so on the edges of any of the circles. If you

    drag by the ones on either end then that end

    will move, with the other end acting as a pivot

    point. By dragging by the edge of the centre

    circle you will be able to drag the whole action

    line itself into place. Clicking in the centre of

    each circle works in a similar way. Clicking and

    dragging in the centre of either of the two circles

    on the ends of the action line transforms the tool

    in a uniform way (depending on the whether

    the Move, Scale or Rotate is currently active).

    Clicking and dragging on the centre of the

    centre circle will transform in certain directions.

    So if, for example, you had the Scale transform

    active with the action line vertically on the centre

    line of your model, and you dragged on the

    centre of the circle at either end, it would scale

    up or down the entire model in a uniform way.

    While dragging, using the centre circle would

    scale the model horizontally, but not vertically

    (Fig04).

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    The Total Beginners Guide to Zbrush Zbrush The Total Beginners Guide to

    Make sure you have the sphere polymesh as

    the active SubTool by checking that you have

    it highlighted in the SubTool section of the Tool

    menu. First of all, select the scale transform

    tool and then left-click and drag an action line

    outwards from the centre of the Sphere. (If you

    hold down the Shift key at the same time you

    can constrain it to the nearest surface and stop

    it whizzing off backwards in the Z direction in

    the viewport). Now, using the outer-most action

    line circle, left-click and drag in the centre of

    this circle and scale the sphere up or down, as

    needed, to an approximate size that looks right

    to you.

    We now change to the Move transform tool.

    You will notice that our action line stays in the

    same place that we left it before we changed

    from the Scale transform tool to the Move

    transform tool feel free to move your action

    line into a place that feels good to you. Now it is

    a simple matter of moving the sphere into place,

    as our eye. Be aware that when youve just

    started using action lines and transform tools,

    its perfectly normal for it to take a little while for

    you to get used to them. (Its much the same as

    switching from driving a right-hand car to drive a

    left-handed one - it takes a little time to adjust!)

    Once you have your sphere in the right place

    you may need to resize it again to make sure it

    fits comfortably into place.

    Using your move brush, and with your main

    model active in the SubTool palette, move the

    eyelids into position over the eye. Use your

    painted masks (made by holding down the

    Ctrl key and painting where you wish it to be)

    and get everything into the right place. Give

    yourself plenty of time; getting the eyelids into

    the correct position can take a little time when

    youre first starting out. Once youre happy

    that they are in the right place, and the lids look

    correct (as shown), make your eyeball the active

    SubTool. At the top of the tools palette you

    will see a button marked Clone; press this to

    make a copy of the eyeball, which will now be

    in your tools pane but not active. Add this as a

    SubTool, again by hitting the Append button.

    It will appear as if nothing has happened yet

    because both eyeballs now share exactly the

    same space. So open up the Deformation

    panel and hit the Mirror button to correct this.

    You should have two eyeballs in your sculpt

    now, so change back to your main SubTool

    again, ready to continue.

    Continuing with SculptingHolding down the Ctrl key, paint a mask for the

    clavicle (as shown), remembering that if you

    hold down Ctrl + Alt you can paint to remove

    an area from your mask (Fig05). Using your

    Standard brush (with the default settings),

    simply run it over the area to block this in.

    Then smooth the bottom area of this where it

    intersects with the chest area (Fig06).

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    We now paint another mask, this time to define

    where the sternocleidomastoid muscle runs

    from behind the ear (on a human) to the ends

    of the clavicle beneath the bottom of the neck,

    as shown. Depending on how well-built and

    muscular your character is, you may also

    want to add a mask for the tendon running

    from the bottom part of the previous masked

    area to the end part of the clavicle as well (the

    sternocleidomastoid muscle splits into two parts

    where it meets and joins the clavicle). Now

    change to your Clay brush and select the first

    round alpha (alpha number 01) and run it over

    these areas with a ZIntensity of 50 and a size of

    74 (Fig07 and Fig08).

    Hold down your Shift key to take away any

    sharp edges and lightly smooth the area youve

    just done. Remember the idea is to soften these

    areas, not to wash them out. Using the same

    brush, lightly build up the back of the jaw area

    (as shown) and remember to smooth things out

    again a little afterwards. If you spot any other

    areas that you feel could do with a very light

    touch, feel free! Just dont go mad; well be

    going back to the torso again later.

    Blocking Out the TorsoAgain, I want you to mask off the areas

    shown, as these will help us to define where

    each muscle group will be and as such make

    the job of blocking the torso out a bit easier.

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    Remember that because this is a series for

    beginners, Ive somewhat simplified the forms.

    The more advanced readers can feel free

    to change this area on their own sculpts to

    something more complex if they want to (Fig09).

    Once the masked areas for the deltoid are

    drawn on your ZBrush sculpt, use your Inflate

    brush with a ZIntensity of 10 and a size of 54

    to increase the volume of them. For any areas

    that require a lot of volume to be added, such

    as the back where the shoulder blades are, use

    the clay tubes brush and smooth the area out

    afterwards. This will save considerable time

    when blocking out (Fig10).

    Next we need to add some volume to the

    pectoral area of the chest, so for this we will use

    a new brush: the Magnify brush. The magnify

    brush will magnify an area under the cursor

    to help us add volume. In this case, we want

    a ZIntensity of 25 and a size of 84 and a very

    light tough. If you have too heavy a hand he

    will end up looking like hes taken way too many

    steroids, so be careful and remember to use the

    undo button! Smooth this area out, as shown,

    and make sure that there is a slight indentation

    next to the upper part of the deltoid/clavicle

    intersection area (Fig11).

    If you now flip to the underside of your model

    and use the Move brush, you can start to add

    some shape to the pectoral area and correct

    any mistakes before we continue onwards in the

    next part of the series.

    In ClosingNow we have our digital sculpt looking a bit

    more interesting (Fig12), in the next part we can

    start to refine him to some degree. Although it

    can be tempting at this stage to go crazy with

    alphas and add masses of detail, I would urge

    restraint (using a straight jacket if need be!).

    The main reason is that, as Ive mentioned

    before in this series, if its to look believeable

    then its vital to get the forms correct before

    going anywhere near the detailing stage. For

    next time, practice all that you have learned so

    far and make your first sculpt of your own design

    using the things you have learned so far from

    this series. Catch you next time!

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    http://www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

  • For all of you out there

    who have heard of

    but are unfamiliar with

    ZBrush, then this new

    7-part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robson is

    perfect for you!

    This complete

    Beginners Guide to

    ZBrush is an excellent

    starting point to get

    you stuck into the

    world of ZBrush-ing.

    This month Wayne

    brings us Part Four

    enjoy!!

    The head is not a beach ball! This may seem an odd thing to say, but beginners usually treat the head as a large rounded shape with the face put on the front, looking far too flat!

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    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionBy this point weve got to the stage where we

    have the more important things, such as the

    head shape, eyes and part of the chest, blocked

    in. So now its time to start the process of pulling

    everything together. Hopefully you have been

    practicing the steps that weve done so far

    and have created your own characters, so you

    should start to be feeling a lot more at home

    with ZBrush by now. There is literally hundreds

    of direction this model could take from this point,

    from a design point of view alone. The beauty

    of using such low resolution bases, such as

    the one we made using Zspheres, is that we

    arent walled into any decisions made during the

    polygon stage of modelling.

    We need to start moving on towards the back

    area of the sculpture and start to roughly block

    in the forms we need, before adding some

    details to make him look a little more like our

    final character. You will notice I dont go into

    fine detail at this stage as Im basically only

    concerned with the main forms, masses and

    medium resolution forms. Any corrections I

    leave towards the end, once the main design

    and character has been nailed down. If any

    areas are hard for you to get right then dont

    worry, as at the end of this series 3DCreative

    will be making a free video of the modelling

    sessions I did on this character available!!

    Back to ModellingPick up your clay brush with no alpha active and

    Zadd set to 50. Well be using the Dots stroke

    type and Ill be stepping the brush size up and

    down as I need to. Lets start this session by

    adding some mass to the shoulder blades. As

    this sculpt doesnt have the benefit of arms to

    tell us where they should be or orientated, well

    start by making them fairly neutral and we can

    change the latter once hes posed near the end.

    Once youve beefed this area up, as shown, its

    time to beef up the area between the shoulder

    blades running up the neck and round to the

    front. The Trapezius can be tricky to get right for

    those without some anatomical understanding,

    as it inserts into the top of the shoulder blade

    and runs in a diamond-like shape up to the base

    of the skull, and also wraps around to the front

    of the Clavicle. I would strongly advise having

    some sort of anatomical reference handy when

    doing anything human- or animal-based. You

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    cannot make up anatomy without some basis

    in reality; if you do, its going to look bad! Every

    monster or creature, no matter how fantastic or

    ugly-looking, must have some basis in real-life

    anatomy!

    Beef up the Trapezius in the diamond shape

    leaving a notch just below the neck for the 9th

    vertebrae. Run your clay brush around the

    shape of the Trapezius and make it attach to

    the front of the clavicle. Add some mass to the

    very base of the skull, just above where it meets

    the neck, and follow this around to the sides of

    the skull before smoothing the areas out a little

    (Fig.01).

    Back to the FrontThe head is not a beach ball! This may seem

    an odd thing to say, but beginners usually treat

    the head as a large rounded shape with the face

    put on the front, looking far too flat! The sides of

    a human skull are pretty flat indeed, so as our

    creature has a basis in human anatomy we must

    make sure that those areas are flattened. In

    this case I also hollowed them out with the clay

    brush, as shown, to add a less human feel to

    him. Also add more mass to the arches, running

    the length of his skull from the area where they

    intersect the brow part of the skull. As a result

    of changes to the head, pay attention that the

    Sternocleidomastoid muscle doesnt start to look

    out of shape. This should run from behind the

    ear (if he has any ears, that is!) to the end of

    the clavicle in the centre, below the neck. These

    basic landmarks help to keep your human-

    esque digital sculptures looking a little more

    realistic, although no one expects you to make a

    masterpiece first time out (Fig.02)!

    Facing Up Add more weight to the cheekbones, lower chin

    area and the fold of skin between the chin and

    base of the neck. You ideally want him to look

    almost as if he has a larger lower jaw than upper

    one, as shown. Lets isolate the head area to

    make it easier for us to work on it undisturbed.

    So, turn on the frame mode (a shortcut of Shift +

    F toggles it on and off, by the way!), press down

    Control + Shift and left-click on the head area of

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    the mesh. This will hide every other part of the

    mesh (although it doesnt affect other subtools,

    such as the eyes). If you do the same shortcut

    again, only this time outside your model, it will

    reveal the previously hidden areas (Fig.03).

    Using your Standard brush with its default

    settings, carve a line into the face that will make

    our mouth area and then start to build up the

    lips. Add some mass to the upper and lower

    eyelids and, to help make them look less like

    holes in the mesh (although well address that

    a bit later), paint a mask by holding down your

    control key near the outer edge of the bottom

    lid and then adding some mass to the top lid

    over this, to give us a nice demarcation line. Do

    the same with the inside of the lower lid, near

    the nasal, until it looks as shown in the image

    (Fig.04).

    Lets use our move brush now to change the

    shape of the head a little, especially in the

    mouth area. Step down a few subdivision levels

    and pull the edges of the mouth outwards a bit.

    Then, from a side on view (remembering you

    can hold down the Shift key to snap it into a

    proper side on view), pull the mouth edges back

    a touch (Fig.05).

    Step back up your subdivision levels again and

    paint a mask over the eye socket areas, then

    blur this mask by holding down the Shift key

    and left-clicking on part of the masked area.

    (You can also blur the mask from the masking

    section of the tools palette.) Using the move

    brush again, pull the brows into an angry-looking

    position, as shown before unmasking the area.

    If you find the transition of the brow to the upper

    eye area a bit too harsh, use your smooth brush

    on a lower subdivision level before stepping

    up again and smoothing out any areas that still

    need it (Fig.06).

    Again, paint a mask over the eye socket area

    and then invert it by either going into the

    masking section of the Tool palette or by holding

    down the control key and left-clicking outside

    your model. Then, using a smaller move brush,

    start to pull the eyelids into a more pleasing

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    shape. We are looking for realism but also

    something that helps the model to have some

    personality. Smooth the transition from the lower

    lid to the cheekbone out a bit, as skin stretches

    over this area and the fat there. We want some

    definition in his anatomy, but we dont want him

    to look anorexic (Fig.07)!

    Mask off the lower jaw and make sure you are

    totally masking the lower lip, and then pull the

    upper lip down to meet it. As we are closing

    the mouth hes not going to need any teeth.

    Then start to pull the almost-beak shape of the

    front of his mouth area out, as shown. Do this

    in a combination of a side view and a view

    (Fig.08).

    Back to the ChestSelect your clay tubes brush but change the

    alpha from its default to Alpha 01, which is the

    1st round alpha. I save this out and have it set

    as a custom brush on my set up as I find I use it

    a lot at this stage in the modelling process. Its

    not as harsh as the square-shaped clay tubes

    and less washed out than no alpha set at all,

    as in the clay brush (when its set to its default)

    (Fig.09).

    Use this to beef up the front of the Deltoid and

    carve some indentations into the Pectoral area.

    These striations arent technically correct

    but they do help the chest area to look slightly

    more interesting until later on. Start by carving

    the area in and then add mass between these

    carved in areas, as shown, and smooth things

    out as they travel towards the deltoid. Taking

    the Slash1 brush, carve in some lines, as

    shown, beneath the deltoid where the Pectorals

    intersect under the deltoid (again, as shown).

    The Pectoral muscles are in 5 strip-like sections,

    and I often pull a line in near the armpit on

    the Pectoral area to help add a bit of interest.

    Smooth these out a fair bit once done (Fig.10).

    The nest bit is hard to describe but it will make

    total sense in the video when you see it On

    the front of the chest and shoulders, carve some

    light lines in using the Slash1 brush and then

    smooth them out about 90% until they are barely

    visible. These help the process of detailing later

    on to look a little more real, and are done by

    feel to a large degree. Go to the face and do

    a similar thing, only this time you are carving in

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    stress wrinkles where the skin is stretching or

    regularly moves. Only smooth them out 50% this

    time. Use the images shown as reference to see

    where Ive added them and try to work out why

    each set is in the place that it is (Fig.11).

    The wrinkles and stress lines on the brow area

    are worth special attention as they will change

    from person to person, creature to creature and

    from expression to expression. In some ways

    they are a bit like a fingerprint. If, for example,

    you put the wrinkles from Yodas forehead

    and put them onto another creature, it not only

    would look strange but it would also be obvious

    they were Yodas wrinkles. Such character

    defining areas as these are best to sculpt to fit

    the character or creature that you are doing and

    not a one size fits all approach. If you do then

    it will only end up with a string of fairly identical

    looking models with very little variety (Fig.12)!

    Slashing AwayChange to your Slash2 brush; this brush is

    rather special in that it not only slashes like the

    Slash1 brush but also makes one side of the

    slash protrude while the other stays level. So,

    as such, its a very versatile brush that many

    overlook I use it on just about every model

    and never cease finding new ways to use it from

    hair to clothing folds to adding some harsher

    fine detail (as we are about to do) (Fig.13)!

    Take it down in size till its fairly small (theres a

    certain amount of trial and error to this part so

    have your Control + Z undo keys ready till you

    have it set the way you want!) and start to gently

    carve in fine lines over the top of the ones you

    previously carved in, using the Slash1 brush.

    After carving in each group, smooth them out

    towards the ends until they fit in with the forms

    of the model correctly. The effect is subtle but

    will help our end result a great deal.

    Weve done quite a lot this session and hes

    starting to resemble our final sculpt quite a bit

    more closely than he did at the start. As ever,

    practice what you learned this session and the

    previous ones on models of your own design to

    get as comfortable with them as you can. Were

    going to do a lot of work next time so make sure

    you are comfortable with the tools weve used

    so far before next month (Fig.14). Catch you all

    in part 5!

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    http://www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

  • The Total Beginners Guide to ZBrush

    the better you know your anatomy the more you can use it to bend and shape it to your will and create believable-looking models!

    For all of you out there

    who have heard of

    but are unfamiliar with

    ZBrush, then this new

    7-part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robson is

    perfect for you!

    This complete

    Beginners Guide to

    ZBrush is an excellent

    starting point to get

    you stuck into the

    world of ZBrush-ing.

    This month Wayne

    brings us Part Five

    enjoy!!

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    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionNow that we have our forms blocked out from

    the previous articles, we can now move onto

    adding some finer details to help bring this bust

    to life! Load up the model that weve been

    working on so far and set the Slash2 brush as

    your active brush, with the dots stroke selected.

    A Short Anatomical Diversion Its time to start taking into account human

    anatomy now, especially now that we are in the

    detailing stage. While you can use a selection

    of alphas on your model to give it some skin

    detail, the problem I personally have with this

    is that anyone with the same set of alphas as

    yourself will have a similar look to their models.

    So I prefer to detail by hand and use only default

    alphas available in ZBrush itself, for a couple of

    jobs here and there. The plus points of this are

    that you end up with a unique look to your skin

    texture, and its also very good practice (Fig.01)!

    One area of anatomy that I do want to cover,

    at least in passing for those of you unaware

    of it, is the pectoral muscles that fan out in 5

    sections from the clavicle (collar bone), all the

    way down the sternum. In our model we will be

    exaggerating these quite a bit to give a more

    interesting look to the chest area. As mentioned

    before in this series, the better you know your

    anatomy the more you can use it to bend and

    shape it to your will and create believable-

    looking models (Fig.02)!

    Abreast of the SituationWith your Slash2 brush active, start to make

    some very light lines where these 5 sections

    join to the sternum. Once done, wash them

    out again about 70% by smoothing out, holding

    down the Shift key. We need to start taking into

    account where the skin will fold and be under

    stress so that we can add folds in these areas.

    This isnt a simple concept to grab at first and

    comes with practice and observation. Theres

    no short cut to be totally honest and its

    something every organic artist is always striving

    to improve (Fig.03)!

    So start to hunt out areas where the skin will

    stretch from one area to another, or be under

    stress, and use your Slash2 brush to add some

    stress wrinkles to denote stretching skin. Areas

    that I added these wrinkles to include the area

    where the 2 sections of the clavicle come

    together, where the skin stretches near the

    sternocladomastoid, and the centre of the neck.

    Now make some deeper slashes to show the

    different sections of the deltoid muscle. In most

    humans this isnt very visible, unless theyve

    done some quite heavy training. But in this

    case, as its a creature were making up, we

    are allowed to go as nuts as we like! After

    essentially dividing up the deltoid, smooth

    things out again a little to help the forms to work

    together (Fig.04).

    Add now some slashes on the back of the neck

    to help us give the impression of folding skin

    under compression. We can work on these

    further, although in the case of this model, as

    its meant to be seen front on, wed be doing

    this only for practice. Add more light slashes to

    denote the stretching and movement of the skin

    down the spine area and around the shoulder

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    blades. Try to imagine where the skin will be compressed or stretched.

    Feel free to stand in front of a mirror and see how your own skin moves

    as your body is in different poses. You may feel strange doing it at first,

    but its surprising how often your own body can give you more information

    than any anatomy book. You are your own life model thats available 24

    hours a day, 7 days a week (Fig.05)!

    Continue to work your way around the entire torso and neck area adding

    these stress wrinkles until youre happy that they look right. Take special

    care in the area where the pectoral feeds under the deltoid, as you can

    add some nice wrinkles and folds in this area.

    Heads Up!Now weve started to add some early details to the torso (and are by no

    means finished with it yet!), we can also make sure that the head area is

    just as detailed to keep things in balance. I personally prefer many times

    to nail the head area personality and looks-wise as it gives me lots

    of ideas and information as to what sort of look the body area needs. But

    keep in mind that every artist works their own way to achieve the look that

    they personally want as part of their style (Fig.06).

    The first area I want to address to give the

    character well, more character, is the eyes.

    At the moment they are a bit too wide open and

    surprised, so use masks (as detailed earlier in

    the series) close the eyes a bit to give him more

    of a mean look.

    One of my secret tips is to not only take

    inspiration for eyes and eye poses from

    humans, but to also be sure to look at animals...

    Youll be surprised how much more human

    an animalistic eye pose can make a character!

    Hold down Shift + Ctrl and left-click on the head

    area to isolate it (thus making things easier

    for us to work with). Right now the face is still

    effectively just a number of sections that do not

    meld into one another at all and needs a fair bit

    of work to tighten it up. So take your clay brush

    with alpha 01 and start to melt the lower eyelid

    into the cheekbones area a little more. Far too

    often, sculpts (including my own) can end up

    looking as a collection of facial parts taken from

    a shelf, and not like a living breathing being.

    This is often due to them not working in unison

    and no effort being made to working out how

    one part would affect the skin in another part.

    So in this case the cheek bones have rather

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    taught skin, so this will naturally pull the skin a

    little tighter over the bottom lids. This way we

    wont have as big a chance of large, droopy eye

    bags (Fig.07)!

    Switch to your elastic brush with alpha 27

    selected and switch on lazy mouse by hitting

    your L key. Start to draw a line (while holding

    down the Alt key) around the insides of the

    upper and lower eyelid. We do this as a sort of

    an illusion, to add some shadows and highlights

    to simulate the look that you get by the many

    complex forms in the eyelids. As this is a

    beginners guide to ZBrush (added to which an

    in-depth study of the eyes and eyelids would

    take a long time and a lot more space!), on this

    occasion well use a number of optical illusions

    and shortcuts. As you learn more about ZBrush

    and digital sculpting, youll use these less often,

    unless you are speed sculpting (Fig.08).

    Drag some lines out from each corner of the eye

    as this is always an area where skin is under

    stress. We blink and move our eyes a lot in a

    single day, so as a result the area is one of the

    first to form wrinkles. Add a few lines above the

    eye to let us make them into skin folds later on

    in the sculpting process.

    This time were going to use an alpha to help

    us its one well be using a lot in the rest of

    these tutorials and one I find very useful for skin

    detailing! Alpha 58 is simply a number of wavy

    vertical lines, but combined with the Freehand

    stroke type and any of a number of the brushes,

    and you have some instant fine wrinkles! So set

    your ZSub to about 54 on your elastic brush and

    start to drag out some fine wrinkles. Start with the eyes before moving on

    to the area where the brow meets the nasal area (Fig.09).

    Please make sure that you follow the direction of the skin. Skin, like a

    tree, has a grain go against it and it will give you nothing but badness!

    However, work with the flow of the skin and the anatomy and youll get

    mush better results each time. Work between the brow on the fine folds

    there, as well as the main folds on the brow itself.

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    The details well be adding from now onwards

    can be hard to see in a screen capture, so Ive

    again changed to my favourite B+W matcap

    I made an age back. (Ill make this available

    along with the video once the series is complete.

    One word of warning is that all Matcaps can

    exaggerate the forms, so take care not to rely

    on them too much for your sculpt to look good!)

    When using Alpha 58 and a freehand stroke, try

    to very slightly change angles and go over the

    same stroke again. This gives a wonderful cell-

    like, almost cross-hatching effect to the skin that

    is easy to do and looks much more impressive

    than it actually is to do. Later, well go over the

    entire sculpts head using this same technique,

    so bare that in mind for a later article (Fig.10).

    Mask off the nasal and mouth area and slightly

    inflate around it to add more of a feeling of skin

    folding over the edges of it. As he is a sort of a

    birdman, my idea was that this area would still

    be somewhat hard, like the beak on a bird, and

    so skin would fold around it. Using the Standard

    brush, carve out some very wide and very

    shallow curving lines to help with the main form

    of the beak area. These will not be very visible

    in the images as I am talking about a very subtle

    (but very important) look.

    Unhide the rest of the body of the model and,

    using the smooth brush, start to smooth out any

    areas that you feel need either to be merged in

    better with the surrounding anatomy, or that do

    not work. Be ruthless: sometimes you have to

    give up some part you like for the good of the

    model (Fig.11)!

    Now that we are getting towards the end of

    this section of The Beginners Guide to ZBrush,

    lets make those spheres were using for our

    eyes look a little better, eh? Take one of

    the eyes and subdivide it to level 4 to give

    us enough polygons. Then select alpha 12,

    which is a sharp-edged round alpha, and the

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    Drag rectangle stroke with the Standard brush

    selected (you can also use the layer brush for

    this turned very low down). Using a ZIntensity

    of 14 and in ZAdd mode, drag this circle out in

    the centre of the eye. I should warn you that the

    chances of you getting this bang on the money

    first time are slim, so have your Ctrl + Z undo

    shortcut keys handy! This gives us a nice effect

    on the shape of the eye itself and provides us

    with some nice highlights. Like a lot of things

    in digital sculpting (and traditional sculpting),

    subtle things can really help with the look of a

    sculpture.

    You are now free to either mirror it across using

    either the method we used in one of the earlier

    articles or even the subtool master plug-in that

    is available free from Pixologic. But if you are

    more confident you can simply eyeball it (pun

    intended!), and do it by hand on the other eye

    (Fig.12)

    Now that its time to wind up another section

    of this beginners guide, Ill point out that in the

    next (and last) two sections, this model will

    suddenly get a lot more detailed. So far Ive

    outlined what amounts to (for me) 38 minutes

    work. Although the parts we are to do in the last

    two articles take up the same timeframe, they

    are much more repetitive and hence a lot easier.

    So practice what weve done so far and keep

    experimenting!

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    http://www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

  • For all of you out there

    who have heard of,

    but are unfamiliar with,

    ZBrush, then this new

    seven-part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robson is

    perfect for you!

    This total Beginners

    Guide to ZBrush is an

    excellent starting point

    to get you stuck into the

    world of ZBrush-ing.

    This month Wayne brings

    us Part Six enjoy!!

    Pay particular attention to areas with a lot of detail, such as the eyelids; if you feel that a fold, crease or wrinkle needs to be added then go ahead and do it, using the same techniques that weve used up to this point in the series.

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    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionIn the previous articles in this series we have

    gone from a very simple base mesh generated

    from ZSpheres, to the stage where we now

    need to start adding some fine detail. Although

    this takes the most time by far, for the most

    part it is very repetitive. Im not a big believer in

    simply dragging out alpha with detail already in it

    all over the model, as this does not give you the

    required amount of control. It can also end up

    giving us a very samey look. So to help further

    your ZBrush skill set, we are going to add the

    skin detailing by hand in this article. This is by

    far the most rewarding way to do it, and gives

    the added benefit of letting us add the detail that

    we want (rather than the detailing that we may

    be stuck with from a set of alphas) (Fig.01).

    Tidying UpBefore we start the skin detailing in earnest, Id

    like you to go over all of your medium resolution

    forms and make sure that they are tightened.

    Be sure to sharpen them up and make sure

    that they look correct to your eye before

    continuing with this tutorial. Its a lot easier to

    do this now than to come back later (although

    not impossible). So please make sure that you

    are happy with the direction that your model is

    taking, and that you feel you have gone as far

    as you can in the time that you have allowed so

    far. Pay particular attention to areas with a lot

    of detail, such as the eyelids; if you feel that a

    fold, crease or wrinkle needs to be added then

    go ahead and do it, using the same techniques

    that weve used up to this point in the series.

    (Fig.02)

    Using the Displace brush, with the freehand

    stroke type selected, add in some finer wrinkles

    between the eyebrow in the forehead area and

    under the eye bags, as shown. This is your final

    chance to get things as you want them before

    moving onto the final stages of detailing. (In

    the last article in the series well then pose our

    model and set it up for rendering!)

    Detail Pass 1Select your Inflate brush with ZAdd set to

    a ZIntensity of 10, alpha 58 active and the

    freehand stroke type. We are going to use this

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    random lines out and hope for the best, as 99% of the time this isnt going

    to look right. To detail skin of any type right, its worth putting the effort in

    to make it believable.

    Now add your cross hatching at a slight angle (between 5 and 15 degrees

    or so seems to look best for me). Once youve done this, the skin in that

    area shouldnt look as shiny and boring as it did a moment ago. But,

    rather importantly, the detail is still flat. Theres no life to it at all because

    real skin isnt uniform in nature, nor does it have all wrinkles of the same

    depth. It varies and its that randomness that helps to give it a sense of

    realism. Its that random nature of raised and recessed areas of varying

    depths that we need to capture in any high frequency skin detailing.

    So to do this, change the alpha on your Inflate brush to alpha 35 and turn

    brush to add our first pass at the skin detail. I

    find it best to add high frequency skin detailing

    in a number of passes, as this allows me to

    create highly complex skin effects easily by

    mixing simple default ZBrush alphas together

    (it also shows that custom alphas arent a

    requirement to add this sort of detailing as it can

    be done using ZBrush out of the box) (Fig.03).

    Our technique for this first pass at the skin detail

    will be to drag across our model to create a sort

    of cross-hatching effect. My approach is to

    do a stroke from one angle and then, starting

    from a similar place, drag out another stroke

    with maybe a 5-15 degree difference. A light

    hand is needed to do this; it gives a wonderfully

    good effect very easily and provides us with a

    fantastic base detail to work with (Fig.04).

    So start with the mouth and cheek area and

    drag some lines out as shown - although dont

    do the cross-hatching just yet. It is important to

    make these lines go with the flow of the skin,

    and remember that wrinkles most often go

    against the grain of the muscle flow. A good

    example of this are the horizontal lines on your

    forehead; while the muscles flow up towards the

    scalp, the wrinkles on your brow go horizontally.

    Try to work out where the skin would be pulling

    and stretching and in which direction it would be

    travelling. This allows us to make sure that our

    skin detail always goes with the flow of the skin

    in a believable way. Do not simply drag some

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    Up until now weve kept the clavicle very visible

    to act as a reference point, but now, using our

    Clay brush and Inflate brush, we can get the

    pectoral muscles to run into it a bit better. Keep

    smoothing and stepping down the subdivision

    levels if you need to. This will suddenly help to

    pull the design together a whole lot more. Again,

    go in and tighten the skin folds that run from

    under the deltoid to keep all the detail in synch

    with each other. We are aiming for the model

    to have detail of the same density all over, with

    a few spots having tighter detail. To add more

    the ZIntensity of your ZAdd to 13 or so. To add

    a little sense of life into the skin detail weve just

    added, use your Inflate brush to add mass, of

    varying depths, between the wrinkles that weve

    carved in. Take you time with this and keep a

    steady hand; concentrate on each stroke and

    area on its own. This not only helps to stop

    you from getting bored as you detail the whole

    model, but also reminds you mentally of the

    importance of this step. After doing this, select

    your Slash1 brush and lightly carve in some

    very, very fine wrinkles - again between these

    inflated areas. This helps to tighten the detail up

    a bit as we go. This technique is one that well

    continue to use over time to cover the entire

    model for our first detail pass.

    Use your Inflate brush now to add a sense

    of stretching skin running from the back of

    the cranium towards the top of the back and

    shoulders. As you will have guessed by now,

    digital sculpting isnt just modelling something

    and adding detail, but rather a process of

    continual correction and refinement. If you feel

    you can improve an area, do it! If you feel it

    needs to be further tightened up, then again,

    go and do it! Thats what digital sculpting (and

    traditional sculpting) is all about this search for

    the elusive perfection (Fig.05).

    detail to the neck, use your Displace brush and

    draw out a few lines running towards the deltoid

    and clavicle (Fig.06).

    Now work over the entire model and tighten up

    every line and medium resolution detail. This is

    actually easier that it sounds; its just a matter

    of taking areas that have become washed-out-

    looking and sharpening them a little. Due to the

    length of this article I cant cover every single

    line, although the free video released in the next

    article in the series covering the whole workflow

    will help you if you find you get stuck!

    Using the cross-hatching technique again, start

    covering the entire model, beginning with the

    throat area and making sure that the detail you

    are adding is in scale with the area you are

    detailing. The biggest problem many newcomers

    to digital sculpting have is that the fine detail

    they add at this stage is all the same size. They

    make the wrinkles, which should be finer in

    areas such as the covers of the eyes, end up

    the same size as larger areas, such as the neck.

    So try to keep the scale of your detail consistent

    with the size of the feature that you are working

    on. This is another way to assure that you

    produce believable-looking, high frequency skin

    details (Fig.06).

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    Now use your Slash1 brush to tighten areas up again, especially on the

    front of the torso. I know this can get repetitive, but its important not to

    leave the tightening stage out after each set of detailing, otherwise the

    mode will end up looking washed out and the details and forms muddy.

    Finish off the pectorals by going back over with your Inflate brush and the

    lines alphas from before, and drawing some very fine (almost invisible)

    details on them (Fig.09).

    Once youve used these techniques all over the model and taken it to a

    level with which youre happy, we can call this part of the modelling done.

    In the next article (and the last in this series) well pose our model and

    then correct the anatomy to better fit the pose before rendering it out.

    Remember to keep practicing what youve learned and try to apply it to

    your own models (Fig.10).

    If you want to try another style of skin detailing for high frequency skin

    details, take a look at my site (www.dashdotslash.net) and youll find

    a two-part video on a different type of detailing that you can do. Its

    approached in the same two-layer way, but with a totally different skin

    texture. See you all next time (Fig.11)!

    Wayne RobsonFor more from this artist visit:

    www.dashdotslash.net

    Or contact:

    [email protected]

    After you have covered the entire torso with this cross-hatching effect, its

    time to go in with your Inflate brush again. Start to inflate and add mass

    between these wrinkles - being careful not make each one identical. This

    is going to take you a bit of time, but the final effect is worth it and its also

    great practice to get used to the feel of the brushes in ZBrush. We will go

    back over these again to add mass to the very small wrinkles once the

    model has been posed in the next article, so for the moment dont go into

    too much fine detail with your Inflate brush (Fig.07).

    Detail Pass 2This is where we add the important second layer of skin detail to really

    help the model to look better. So take your Displace brush, with the

    DragRect stroke type and alpha 22 selected, and start by dragging a

    couple of areas out on the brows. The ZIntensity of our ZAdd is set to 11

    for this. Now start to spread this detail back (making it smaller as you do

    so) towards the back of the head (Fig.08).

    Turn the ZIntensity down to 4 and drag some larger areas across each

    deltoid, as shown. Then continue to add this detail all over the back of the

    torso and back of the neck (if you find you lose some definition after this,

    feel free to add it back in again).

  • The Total Beginners Guide to ZBrush

    everything from humanesque monsters, to more warped and strange ideas, can be created using this

    method ... theres no limit to what you can make the only limits

    are the ones you impose on yourself!

    For all of you out there

    who have heard of,

    but are unfamiliar with,

    ZBrush, then this new

    seven-part tutorial series

    by Wayne Robson is

    perfect for you!

    This total Beginners

    Guide to ZBrush is an

    excellent starting point

    to get you stuck into the

    world of ZBrush-ing.

    This month Wayne brings

    us Part Seven enjoy!!

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    Created In:ZBrush

    IntroductionWell here it is: the final part in the ZBrush series

    for beginners. It doesnt seem too long ago that

    we had part one, does it? In this series so far,

    weve taken a very low polygon base mesh,

    made with ZSpheres, and turned it into a digital

    sculpt that is within the reach of most people

    starting out (although I have made the model a

    little bit of a challenge, too, so that it helps push

    you to your limits as a new ZBrush user!).

    In this last article we will be taking the sculpt

    that we completed in the last article (Fig.01) and

    posing it. After weve done that, we will need

    to fix the anatomy a little to help it flow with the

    pose. Once thats done Ill then give you a quick

    outline on the theory behind the preview panel,

    so that you can export out some nice renders

    of it. The knowledge within the seven articles

    in this series contains everything that you need

    to know in order to create your first completed

    digital sculpture. I hope that youve enjoyed

    following this tutorial series as much as I have

    writing them for you.

    Posing the ModelWe are going to pose the model using the

    Transpose Master plug-in, made available

    for free by Pixologic. If you havent got it

    already, just head over to Pixologics website

    and download it (it comes with full installation

    instructions). Transpose Master, by default,

    steps each subtool in your model down to its

    lowest subdivision level to enable you to pose

    the entire model, including its subtools at the

    same time (Fig.02).

    With our model this would give us a problem; as

    it stands at the moment, the lowest subdivision

    level of the bust itself is too low to pose. If you

    take a look at the image provided, you can see

    that, although subdivision level two is better,

    it still lacks some geometry around the neck

    areas to enable it to deform correctly. So step

    up to subdivision level three and then delete

    the lower subdivision levels. We do this so

    that we arent going to have any issues when

    Transpose Master steps each subtool in our

    model to its lowest level (we can always get

    these subdivision levels back again by hitting

    the Reconstruct Subdiv. button in the geometry

    section of the Tool palette) (Fig.03 and Fig.04).

    As a habit, I always step each subtool down to

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    its lowest subdivision level by hand anyway,

    mainly because Im a big believer in helping

    a computer out by not making it work too hard.

    Go to the ZPlugin palette and open up the

    Transpose Master section, and then hit the

    TPoseMesh button.

    All of the subtools have now been temporarily

    grouped together in one mesh for us to pose,

    and this does have a particular quirk that Ill

    outline in a moment. Transpose Master makes

    use of the transform functions (move, scale

    and rotate); by using topological masking we

    can mask off, along the polygon flow of the

    model, different sections and then pose them.

    You will notice that Transpose Master also puts

    your model in orthographic mode, instead of

    perspective. For some models this can be a

    good thing (for example, when you need to line

    up a full body pose), but for our model its no big

    deal, so we can turn perspective back on again

    by hitting the P key.

    Action Lines As actions lines are the one thing we must

    know how to use in order to pose our model, it

    is worth covering them briefly in this tutorial. An

    action line is a line with three circles on it and

    two of these circles act as a sort of pivot point.

    To move an action line itself (as opposed to the

    geometry), left-click and drag it by the edge of

    one of the circles. If you do this with either of

    the end circles, then that end will be moved as

    you drag; however, if you left-click and drag the

    outside of the centre circle then the entire action

    line can be moved (Fig.05).

    Action lines are used with masks that mask off

    areas we dont want to be affected by whatever

    transform we do on our mesh. These can either

    be masks painted by hand (or from a texture

    intensity either for that matter), or we can use

    topological masking to help us move faster.

    Topological MaskingSimply put, a topological mask is a type of

    mask that we can create in ZBrush that will

    follow the topology and edge flow of our model

    as we create it. To create a topological mask,

    simply hold down the Ctrl key while in one of

    the transform modes (move, scale or rotate),

    and drag along the geometry (Fig.06). You will

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    see (and this is especially obvious if you turn

    your PolyFrame on by pressing Shift + F) that it

    follows along the topology of your model (hence

    its name topological masking).

    Posing the ModelWith all that theory out of the way, we can finally

    start to pose the model. We will start off by

    posing the head in a two-stage process. In my

    experience, rather than simply going for it all

    at once, breaking down a pose into two or more

    parts makes it much easier to get something

    dynamic. Drag your action line from the base of

    the neck to up above the head, as shown. Now

    drag a topological mask by holding down the

    Ctrl key and dragging it until its at the base of

    the neck (Fig.07).

    We arent ready to roll just yet, as right now

    we have two action lines and were only going

    to need one of them. So go to your Transform

    palette and turn off the X symmetry (or hit the

    X key to toggle it off). The rest of our work will

    all be asymmetrical, so we wont need it again.

    Now that weve got only one action line, we

    need to line it up with where the vertebrate

    would be in our model; this will create a realistic

    pivot point. Hold down Shift and snap your

    model to a back view. Press Shift + F to turn on

    the PolyFrame and drag the centre circle by its

    edge, moving it into the centre line of the model

    (if you have trouble, the PolyFrame helps a lot

    with lining this up) (Fig.08).

    If we were to rotate our head right now, wed

    hit that quirk that I mentioned earlier. The

    eyeballs are still masked and so are not affected

    by the action lines. Why is this? Well, as they

    are separate geometry (and by this I mean no

    vertexes from them are attached to the other

    subtools), the topological mask has masked

    them off. To unmask them, simply hold down

    Ctrl + Alt and drag over where the eyes are, as

    shown.

    We are now finally ready to pose the model.

    Making sure that you are in rotate, left-click and

    drag in the centre circle (not the edge, but inside

    the circle this time). This will allow us to make

    the head look to one side. This will also throw

    the alignment of the action line out, so drag

    each end into place again, ready for the next

    part (Fig.09).

    While the head looks OK in its current pose, to

    my eye it doesnt really say anything or convey

    any emotion or feeling from within our model.

    So hold down the shift key and drag your model

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    to get it into a front view, and then just rotate the

    head to one side a little, as shown. This gives

    a feeling of puzzlement/thought to the pose, as

    anyone who has ever owned a dog can probably

    confirm (Fig.10).

    Press Ctrl and left-click outside the model in

    order to invert the mask so that we can start to

    pose the torso of our model. Rotate it to one

    side from a front view a little, before aligning

    the action line along the spine and left-clicking

    and dragging in the centre circle to finish off our

    pose. Go back to your plug-in palette and hit the

    TPose > SubT button, and ZBrush will do all

    the work for you and will put each subtool back

    into its own place posed and ready! Step each

    model up to its highest subdivision level and

    take a look at the pose (Fig.11 and Fig.12).

    Correcting the PoseYou will notice that, as we modelled our digital

    sculpture in a front facing pose, some parts

    of the anatomy are now off after the posing

    (Fig.13 and Fig.14). A good example of this is

    the trapezium; at one side it is slightly bulged

    out when it would actionably be extended. So go

    to these areas and put things right to match the

    pose itself. Work out if each muscle should be

    extended or contracted, and correct accordingly

    (Fig.15, Fig.16 and Fig.17).

    Setting up a Nice Preview RenderThe model is finished now, but you can refine

    it further if you wish to tighten up any areas

    that you feel need it. Now theres not a lot of

    point making a nice digital sculpture if no one

    can ever see it but you, so lets set up a quick

    preview render and explain how the settings for

    them in the render palette work (Fig.18).

    While this is covered in detail in the video that

    is now available free to accompany this series

    (more of that later!), Ill cover the basics for you

    now. Open the Preview Shadows section of

    your render palette, as this is where we will set

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    the look of the preview render (all Matcaps have

    lighting basked in, and as such, although you

    can use best render most times, its best to set

    up a good preview as this makes best use of

    them. However, beware of mixing Matcaps as

    the lighting baked into each matcap can be very

    different!) (Fig.19).

    Length: A longer shadow is softer; a shorter one

    is harsher and doesnt have the same length. So

    for outdoor-type lighting