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Mikejensens Zbrush Techniques

Mikejensens Zbrush Techniques

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Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3

Page 04 | ZSketch

Page 24 | Quick Sketch

Page 34 | Hard Surface Sculpting

You can find the movie file and You can see the base imageslogo model for zbrush chapter 3’s and free brushes in the resources folder that folder inside the resources accompanies this ebook.

Chapter 1
ZSketch

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch Chapter 1 - ZSketch
Software Used: ZBrush 3.5 Fig 01

Introduction
Starting off, let’s 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. (Fig.01)

At this point you could simply click on the brush you want, but it’s much faster to simply use your keyboard. To get the brush you want, type the first letter of its name. In this case I’m using the Polish brush, so I pressed P. (Fig.02) Now you’ll 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 I’d press ‘bpo’. If I wanted the hard polish brush I’d 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.

Fig 02

Fig 03

Basics Of ZSketch
Here we’ll 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 04

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page 5

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
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. (Fig.05) Fig 05

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

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)

Fig 06

It’s 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)

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 08

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page 6

Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 09 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)

Fig 10

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)

Fig 11

Now let’s 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)

Fig 12

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.13)

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page 7

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
The Smooth 2 brush has the embed function enabled, but not the resize function. Again it’s good to take a look at the unified skin to see what’s happening. (Fig.13) & (Fig.14) Fig 13

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 14

The Smooth 3 brush simply has both the embed and resize functions turned off. It’s the most simple of the smooth brushes. (Fig.15)

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 16

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page 8

Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 17

Fig 18

I’m going to go over the other brushes that don’t so much smooth and draw, but modify what’s already there. Below is the messy mesh I’m I started with. The explanation of these brushes will be fairly quick, but it’s much faster to jump in and try them. You’ll get a better sense of what you can use them for by testing them out. (Fig.18)

Fig 19

The Float brush makes the ZSketch spheres float off the mesh relative to surface normal. (Fig.19)

Fig 20

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)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
The Bulge&Flush brush is very similar to the Bulge brush, with the added effect of flattening the surface. (Fig.21) Fig 21

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

The Flush brush flattens the surface of the ZSpheres aligning them to the camera. It also resizes the spheres. (Fig.22)

Fig 22

FlushDynamic flattens the spheres, but instead aligns them to surface instead of camera. (Fig.23)

Fig 23

FlushResize is the Flush brush with the added effect of resizing the spheres to equal sizes. (Fig.24)

Fig 24

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 25 The Fuse brush merges spheres into the closest stroke of spheres. It’s a bit hard to see in the image, but will be apparent when used. (Fig.25)

Fig 26

PushPull works to elevate spheres off their current spheres. When the alt key is pressed the spheres burrow into the spheres. (Fig.26)

Fig 27

One final function that is somewhat a smooth brush is what I’ll 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 28

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page 11

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
The bind function in the ZSketch pulldown is important for those wishing to change the pose of the original ZSphere. Below I’ve added a basic ZSketch atop an armature. (Fig.29) Fig 29

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

I turned off the ZSketch with shift+a, and rotated the arms upwards. (Fig.30)

Fig 30

But when the ZSketch is turned back on, you’ll 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 31

Fig 32

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 33 You’ll notice that a transparent “ghost” of the ZSketch now appears on the armature. (Fig.33)

Fig 34

Now when the arms are rotated, the ZSketch spheres follow the armature. (Fig.34)

Fig 35

Then ZSketch is again turned on to continue adding ZSketch strokes. Binding also works with the Move and the Scale functions. (Fig.35)

Fig 36

While Draw is usually operative in ZSketch, it’s 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)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 37

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Now we can move on to the ZSpheres and ZSketch. To create a character it’s best to start with the hip bone. This way you can use the ZSphere armature for posing. (Fig.38)

Fig 38

I keep going until I have a simple looking body. I put quite a bit of detail in the original ZSpheres, and the rest will be handled with ZSketch. (Fig.39)

Fig 39

After this I continue to adjust the proportions until it’s something desirable. Note that since we’re going to be using ZSketch, I leave the ZSpheres a bit thinner, so the final product I get is the thickness I want. (Fig.40)

Fig 40

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 41 I do my hands a bit differently than other people. Since ZSketch will be making the mesh and not the ZSpheres, it’s ok to have overlapping ZSpheres. The palm I create sides more with the skeleton of the hand. The wrist is a single ZSphere, but the palm is made up of the bones of the fingers. This allows the ZSpheres of the palm to be flat. If a single ZSphere was used here it would be a thick hand. (Fig.41)

Fig 42

The feet are done somewhat of the same way. I mass in the ZSpheres instead of ZSketch here to have more control over exactly where everything goes. (Fig.42)

Fig 43

Now it’s time to start fleshing the model. Press “shift+a” to enter sketch mode. I usually start by adding the biceps. This is because they insert under pectorals and shoulder muscles. I generally don’t add too much to the biceps since they look odd large. For this I’m using the Sketch 1 brush and the Smooth 1 brush. The Smooth 4 brush would work as well for better muscles. Since this is going to be more armor than body however, I went for Smooth 1. (Fig.43)

Fig 44

I continued to flesh out the model with ZSpheres. Sometimes it’s simply helpful to add spheres directly over the armature just to throw something on the model. Moving onto the triceps I just throw something on there and smooth it out. (Fig.44),(Fig.45) & (Fig.46)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 45

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 46

At times it’s good to lay in areas that might be separate parts. This is visible on the back below where I laid in a bit of an outline for the scapula. The chest was also laid in, as well as the clavicles. I’m still using only the Sketch 1 and the Smooth 1 brushes. (Fig.47) Fig 47

I keep adding strokes trying to find a good shape for the chest. The direction of the strokes also helps me to get an idea of shapes on the final mesh. (Fig.48), (Fig.49) & (Fig.50)

Fig 48

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 49

Fig 50

Fig 51

Now I started adding the shoulder muscles to the mesh. (Fig.51)

Fig 52

I didn’t like the upper back that I had at this point. It looks too similar to something else I’ve created, so I decided to erase it and focus solely on the shape and silhouette. Below the shapes appear to work together a bit better and the silhouette shows a character that is on the muscular side. (Fig.52)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
Again I keep modifying the chest and the back until I have something I like better. I haven’t used any brushes thus far except for the Smooth 1 and the Sketch 1 brushes. (Fig.53) Fig 53

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

I started adding layering to the chest. The method is quite simple. I simply draw straight lines until they elevate and to a new layer and then fill them in. (Fig.54) Fig 54

Now I flatten the chest out by using the FlushDynamic brush. This gives a good base for hard surface sculpting. The brush was simply used on each layer of the chests. (Fig.55)

Fig 55

I started fleshing out the sides of the torso, since I wanted him to be a bit wider than thick. I also fleshed out the bicep and shoulders a bit more. (Fig.56)

Fig 56

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 57 Again I’m segregating areas out of the mesh by adding ZSpheres. In the torso I want each of those areas to be a separate section of the torso. (Fig.57)

Fig 58

I started adding sharp areas to the legs. Since the torso is wider than it is deep, I thought it would look good to have the legs deeper than they are wide. (Fig.58) & (Fig.59)

Fig 59

Fig 60

I continued by filling in the torso and finishing up the upper leg. Notice the flow of the strokes on the upper leg. It’s not necessary to do this, but it does give me an idea of what I may want to do while sculpting the final mesh. (Fig.60)

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
Again I modified the back. It’s important to not be afraid to completely destroy what you’ve already created and try something new. You may stumble upon something you’ll like. (Fig.61) Fig 61

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

I added another shell on the buttocks that is similar to the rest of the torso. I’m keeping everything pretty basic because it’s better to explore shapes with the final mesh. (Fig.62)

Fig 62

Now I moved on to the lower legs. I didn’t want to fight the forms to get a diamond shaped lower leg, so I opted to add more ZSpheres. I backed out of ZSketch by pressing shift+a, and started adding ZSpheres around the lower leg. After I added a sort of wire frame for the lower leg, I entered back into sketch. (Fig.63) & (Fig.64)

Fig 63

Fig 64

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 65 After I added more armature spheres, connected them to the base legs to have a base to fill them in. (Fig.65)

Fig 66

I continued filling in the legs until they matched the upper legs. (Fig.66) I did the same with the forearms. Once filled in the were very angular like their counterpart limbs (Fig.67), (Fig.68), (Fig.69) & (Fig.70)

Fig 67

Fig 68

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 69

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 70

Here’s the final result. It’s not perfect, but after creating a unified skin we can modify proportions and other things on the resulting mesh. (Fig.71)

Fig 71

I then went to the unified skin tab and upped the resolution to the max. Then press “Make Unified Skin” at the bottom of the tab. You’ll then get a fully sculptable and workable mesh. (Fig.72)

Fig 72

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Chapter 1

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 1: Zsketch
Fig 73 And the result you get is something with a decent resolution that you can begin to sculpt. (Fig.73) & (Fig.74)

Mike Jensen
For more from information contact mikered@gmail.com

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Chapter 1

Chapter 2
Quick Sketch

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 2: Quick Sketch Chapter 2 - Quick Sketch
Software Used: ZBrush 3.5 Fig 01

Quick Sketch
Quick sketch is a great way for concepting in zbrush. The main feature of it is the symmetry of the painting, allowing you to quickly rough in silhouette of forms and not worry about perfection of each side. To enter quick sketch, press the “Quick Sketch” button at the top left of the zbrush window. (Fig.01) This will initialize the quick sketch function. Specifically, this will draw a high poly plane on your canvas, turn on a flat material, and pick one of the several pen brushes. Each of these brushes provides a different result when painting. Essentially what you’re doing is poly painting on a plane. When roughing in shapes I normally stick to the Pen A or Pen B brush (the first two strokes in the images below). (Fig.02) Fig 02

When first started, quick sketch begins in a symmetrical mode along the x axis. This can be turned off by pressing the ‘X’ key. Remember that this is still zbrush, and all the zbrush functions still apply. (Fig0.3)

Fig 03

The other axes can also be turned on in the transform palette to create some interesting patterns and results. (Fig.04)

Fig 04

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Radial symmetry can also be enabled. Radial symmetry is activated in the Transform palette by pressing the (R) button and enabling symmetry on the Z axis only. (Fig.05) & (Fig.06) Fig 05

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 06

Sketches can be roughed in and then faded back, enabling you to draw over them. This is done by hitting the FillObject button in the Color palette. The amount of fade is decided by the Rgb Intensity of your brush. (Fig.07) ,(Fig.08) & (Fig.09)

Fig 07

Fig 08

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Chapter 2

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Fig 09

Fig 10

Since this is still zbrush, all of the sculpting brushes are still usable. For an extreme example you can see the pinch brush used on the quick sketch plane. (Fig.10)

Fig 11

The color palette can also be used to pick colors and paint on the plane. Rgb intensity still affects the opacity of the brush stroke. (Fig.11)

Roughing In The Character
Fig 12 I know that I want to do a bulkier mech. For this I’m going to begin by using the Pen B brush to form some basic strokes to rough in the proportions. (Fig12) & (Fig13)

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Fig 13

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

At this point I don’t like the positioning and size of the arms. To erase, I simple press ‘C’ while holding my cursor over an area of the plane I haven’t painted on yet. This grabs the color of the plane and makes it the current color to be painted with. After doing this I simply paint over the arms. (Fig14)

Fig 14

I continue painting the character, using heavier brush strokes as I go along to define areas of armor I want to be separate. (Fig15) ,(Fig16) & (Fig17)

Fig 15

Fig 16

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Chapter 2

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Fig 17

Fig 18

Finally I start adding in some color. I start with a yellow and block in areas. Then to add a bit of variation I pick a close orange and paint some variation. I also add white to the silhouette to allow the character to pop from the background. I also use the pen wet solid to fill in some areas, such as the neck. (Fig18) ,(Fig19),(Fig20)

Fig 19

Fig 20

Finally I arrive at something that will work. This step doesn’t have to be too indepth, and is mainly used for quick concepting of shapes and silhouette.

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Quick Sketch

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

A Few Other Features To Take Note Of
There are a few other new features in 3.5r3 to take not of that aren’t applicable to the mech. One of these is the new tilt function in the brush palette. When turned on, the brush stroke will cause the mesh to rise at a tilt instead of it’s normal. (Fig21)

Fig 21

For an example, here is a mech brush I use for creating mechanical details. Tilt is set to 0 with this stroke. (Fig22)

Fig 22

With tilt set to 60, you can see that the mesh rises at an angle instead of by surface normal. (Fig23)

Fig 23

With the tilt set to -60, you can see that the angle is reversed, and the mesh rises in the opposite direction. This can be very useful to create organic scales for snakes or other reptiles. (Fig24)

Fig 24

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page 30

Chapter 2

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Fig 25 The next important new feature is the ReMesh All function in the SubTool subpalette in the tool palette. This acts similar to a Boolean function you’d see in many 3d packages. There are a few options that can be changed. First off, notice in the ReMesh All button there is an ‘x’ highlighted. This means that the resulting mesh will be symmetrical across the x axis. To turn it off, simply click on the x. Symmetry also works along the y and z axes. The ‘Res’ slider determines the resolution of the mesh. The higher the slider, the higher the resolution of the Fig 26 resulting mesh. The Polish slider determines how smooth the surface will be. Next to the polish brush you’ll notice a little circle. When the outer circumference of the circle is highlighted, then the mesh will retain its edges more precisely. When the inner part of the circle is highlighted, the mesh will have a smoother result, but its edges will be less precise. Below is an example of this. (Fig25) & (Fig26)

Fig 27

There are three different ways to Boolean an object: union, subtraction, and intersection. These can be picked in each subtool. Next to the image of the subtool there are three circular icons. By default the first one is selected (union). This will add the meshes together. The second is subtraction, and is represented by a circle with a smaller circle cut into the larger circle. The third (intersection) is represented by two circles, with it filled in only where the two circles overlap. (Fig27)

Fig 28

Below there are two subtools. Each of these subtools is set to union. (Fig28)

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
With symmetry turned off, and the polish set 64, and the mesh resolution set to 256, the result below is attained. (Fig29) Fig 29

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

With the sphere set to union and the cylinder set to subtraction, we get a sphere with a piece cut out of it in the shape of a cylinder. (Fig30) Fig 30

With the sphere set to union and the cylinder set to intersection, we get a mesh only where the two subtools were overlapping. (Fig31) Fig 31

The final new feature worth noting is the new Mirror and Weld feature. This will mirror the subtool along any axis, and weld it together. It can also work on multiple axes at the same time. First, turn on the floor grid by going into the draw palette and pressing the Floor button. Check only the x axis so we can mirror along the x axis. Next to the Floor button you’ll see an ‘Elv’ slider. This determines where the grid will be with respect to your mesh. Set it to 0, so the grid goes directly down the middle of the mesh. (Fig32)

Fig 32

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Chapter 2

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 2: Quick Sketch
Fig 33 Then take the mesh you want, and place it somewhere along the x axis. It’s important to note that irror and weld only works from left to right. (Fig33)

Fig 34

Finally, in the Geometry subpalette of the Tool palette, click Mirror and Weld. Make sure the x axis is active, and the y and z axes are not active. (Fig34), (Fig35) & (Fig36)

Mike Jensen
For more from information contact mikered@gmail.com

Fig 35

Fig 36

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Chapter 2

Chapter 3
Hard Surface Sculpting

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting Chapter 3 - Hard Surface Sculpting
Software Used: ZBrush 3.5 Fig 01

Introduction
For hard surface sculpting there will be two types of brushes to be concerned with: Polish and Trim. Let’s start with the polish brushes. The polish brushes area all variations of the same brush. The three polish brushes to be concerned with are the polish, mpolish (medium), and hpolish (hard). These brushes with zsub activated will build up a mesh rather than subtract from it.The polish brush levels a surface in the direction of the stroke. Notice the edges it gives aren’t very hard. The harder you press with the polish brush, the harder the edge of the stroke you get. (Fig.01) If you press softer, you’ll get a smoother more even surface. (Fig.02) Fig 02

The mpolish brush is similar, but with more intensity. It also gives harder edges. (Fig.03)

Fig 03

The hpolish is still more intense. It also gives the most crisp edges. (Fig.04) The trim brushes are a bit more varied. The important ones to take not of are the TrimDynamic, TrimNormal, TrimHole, and TrimFront

Fig 04

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
TrimDynamic cuts into the surface of the mesh, but keeps the underlying structure. It acts similar to the polish brushes. (Fig.05) Fig 05

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Trim normal trims a plane into the mesh with its surface facing the normal of the origin of the stroke. The end of the stroke dictates how deep the trim brush will cut. (Fig.06)

Fig 06

TrimHole is good for cutting deep into a mesh, or for building it up high. The brush acts according to the camera normal. (Fig.07) Fig 07

Finally trimFront creates a plane that faces the camera. How deep the plane is cut depends on where the origin of the stroke is placed. (Fig.08)

Fig 08

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Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 09

Hard Surface Technique
My technique for developing hard surface models is very simple. I start by building up the basic shape with mainly the claytubes brush. After I have the shape I want I use the hpolish and trim brushes to clean up the mesh. If the mesh needs further cleaning, I’ll break it up into parts to finish it off. Finally I’ll add details using stamps I’ve created. For this quick demo I’ll use a sphere. (Fig.09) First I use the clay tubes brush to rough in the shape I want. (Fig.10)

Fig 10

Fig 11

I also use the move, standard, and dam_ standard brushes to rough in the overall shape I want. (Fig.11)

Fig 12

Once I’m happy with the shape, I use the hPolish brush to smooth everything out and create my hard edges. (Fig.12)

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
At this point I could break up the mesh into polygroups. I do this by painting different colors on the mesh where I want the separate polygroups. Then under the Polygroups subpalette, I press “From PolyPaint”. (Fig.13) & (Fig.14) Fig 13

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 14

This gives the result below. (Fig.15) To clean up the borders of the mesh, we can use the Group Loops function under the Geometry Subpalette. (Fig.16) & (Fig.17)

Fig 15

Fig 16

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Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 17

Fig 18

In the brush palette, under the Auto Masking subpalette, there is a feature called mask by Polygroups. There you’ll see a slider. If turned to 100, the polygroup you start a stroke on will be the only part of the mesh affected. This is because once you choose a polygroup with your stroke; it automatically masks all other polygroups. The slider affects the intensity. This means if it is set to 50, other polygroups will still be affected by your brush strokes, but at 50% the true intensity of the stroke. (Fig.18)

Fig 19

This is one way to break up the mesh, but I prefer to actually break the mesh into the separate pieces I want to use. To show which areas I want to break up, First I use the dam_ standard brush to cut into the mesh and define my edges. (Fig.19)

Fig 20

Then I select the first area of the mesh I want to make into its own mesh. Hide the areas of the mesh you won’t use, and hit the Make PolyMesh3d button at the top of the tool palette. Then add the new mesh as a subtool. (Fig.20)

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Now I’m able to go in with the hpolish brush and clean up the edges. (Fig.21) Fig 21

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

I’ll do the same for the next mesh. I want. I’ll clone it off as a new mesh, and then add the clone as a subtool. (Fig.22)

Fig 22

Then I’ll push in the areas that conflict with my previously made mesh using the clay tubes brush. (Fig.23) Fig 23

If it’s hard to work on the underlying mesh, you can press ctrl+t to enable transparency. This way your brush is not influenced by other subtools. (Fig.24)

Fig 24

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Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 25 I then use the hPolish brush to refine the surface of the underlying piece and create it’s hard edges. (Fig.25)

Fig 26

To hide the imperfections of the underlying mesh, we can simply add a sphere for the sake of the tutorial. If this were a real mesh, however, I would make sure that mesh edges did not visibly exist. I do this by hiding them inside other subtools. (Fig.26)

Fig 27

Then I use some previously made stamp brushes to create mechanical detail. (Fig.27)

Fig 28

After that, I use the dam_standard brush to create the illusion of separate plates. For this it’s usually good to have lazymouse enabled. (Fig.28)

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Then I finish it off with some other stamp brushes I created. The result is a mechanically detailed 3d total logo. (Fig.29) Applying the Technique to an Armor Piece Now that the basic technique has been run through, I’m going to walk you how to apply this to a piece of armor. I chose to do a torso piece. For this part of the tutorial I’ll use the mesh made from the previous zsketch tutorial. The first thing that’s important to note is the new smooth algorithm. Since unified skin meshes produce very bad edge flow, the smoothing brush will create pinching in certain areas. (Fig.30) Fig 30 Fig 29

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

To smooth the mesh correctly, hold shift, start smoothing, and then release shift while your pen is still smoothing. Once you release shift, the smooth algorithm will automatically change to the more accurate one. (Fig.31)

Fig 31

For this example I’ve broken off the chest piece as a separate mesh, so I can focus on it. I’ve also broken off the shoulders merely for reference to their location. (Fig.32)

Fig 32

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page 42

Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 33 Here I start using the hpolish brush to try to find forms. Since I already did a lot of work during the zsketch stage I’ve already got a good start. (Fig.33)

Fig 34

I continue using the hpolish brush in both zsub and zadd to create straight edges. (Fig.34)

Fig 35

Using hPolish I go around the entire mesh and continue to refine areas into the shapes I want. The first thing I want to do is smooth out all the areas. At this point I’m still trying to figure out the exact shapes I want. (Fig.35)

Fig 36

To define edges I use the dam_standard brush to cut deep into the mesh. (Fig.36)

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
I continue to refine all the places, not being afraid to mess up a smooth surface I’ve created with the claytubes brush. (Fig.37) Fig 37

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

At this point I don’t like the back much. So I decide to go in and heavily refine it. I start by carving into it with the claytubes brush. (Fig.38)

Fig 38

I break up the back into multiple parts using the dam_standard brush, claytubes, and the hPolish brush. (Fig.39)

Fig 39

Using the hPolish brush I clean up the top of the back. (Fig.40)

Fig 40

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Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 41 I want something similar to a scapula on the back. So I cut in the general shape of the shoulder blade. (Fig.41)

Fig 42

I continue by fleshing out the scapula a bit more to distinguish it from the surrounding parts. (Fig.42)

Fig 43

Using the dam_standard brush I search for other shapes in the back. (Fig.43)

Fig 44

I finally arrive at something I like on the back. (Fig.44)

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page 45

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
It’s now time to refine the front. I carve out a shape I feel works with the front. (Fig.45) Fig 45

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

I smooth it out and use the hPolish brush to clean it up and set it in with the rest of the mesh. (Fig4.6) & (Fig.47)

Fig 46

Fig 47

After a few refinements below is the final concept sculpt. Now it’s time to break it up into parts and clean the mesh up. (Fig.48)

Fig 48

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page 46

Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 49 I start with the chest for individual pieces. Using the hPolish brush I clean it up and make it smooth. Every once and a while I change materials to see how different lighting affects the mesh. (Fig.49), (Fig.50), (Fig.51), & (Fig.52)

Fig 50

Fig 51

Fig 52

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page 47

Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
I next move onto the lower front torso. After breaking it off I hide areas that aren’t supposed to show by pushing them below with the clay tubes brush. (Fig.53) & (Fig.54) Fig 53

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 54

I go around the entire mesh and clean everything up and making sure each piece fits well with its neighbors. (Fig.55), (Fig.56), (Fig.57), (Fig.58) & (Fig.59)

Fig 55

Fig 56

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Chapter 3

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 57

Fig 58

Fig 59

Fig 60

Here is the difference between the single mesh and the split meshes. (Fig.60), (Fig.61) & (Fig.62)

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Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Hard Surface Sculpting
Fig 61

Mike Jensen’s Zbrush Techniques

Fig 62

Finally I use the same technique described in the previous example to create details. I use the dam_standard brush to cut holes in the mesh and separate out parts, and some previously created mech stamps to add more details. Below is the result. (Fig.63)

Fig 63

Mike Jensen
For more from information contact mikered@gmail.com

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Chapter 3

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In this series we will be working our way through the basic process of creating a creature bust, then taking it to completion by the last chapter. We will be starting with a basic Zsphere base mesh that we will create ourselves and we’ll use this as our starting point for sculpturing and finally adding texture to. The tutorial series is split into 7 chapters so that we can take it at a beginner’s pace and cover as much ground as possible for people totally new to Zbrush. (Plus you’ll end up with a finished digital sculpt that will give you the confidence to approach you own projects in a similar manner.) Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: ZBrush | Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 52

Downloadable Tutorial EBook

Introduction:

The original character of the Swordmaster was created by Seong-wha Jeong and we had 3DTotal’s in-house 3d artist Richard Tilbury, re-create the character in 3dsmax as well as create the textures in Photoshop, in our new precise, step-by-step tutorial for highly polished, low polygon game character with detailed texturing for real-time rendering. We have also converted the tutorials into Cinema 4D, Maya, Lightwave and Softimage platforms. Even if you are not a user of one of them, the principles should be easily followed in nearly all other 3D applications. The Swordmaster tutorials is spread over 8 Chapters which outline, in detail, the process for creating the Swordmaster below are the details.

image by Seong-wha Jeong

Chapter 1: Modelling the Head Chapter 2: Modelling the Torso Chapter 3: Modelling the Arms & Legs Chapter 4: Modelling the Clothing & Hair Chapter 5: Modelling the Armour Chapter 6: Mapping & Unwrapping Chapter 7: Texturing the Skin & Body Chapter 8: Texturing the Armour & Clothing

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The series is split into 6 chapters and will endeavour to give you an insight into how a fully realised 3D scene may be arrived at from beginning to end. The tutorials will attempt to address the key issues and techniques appropriate in achieving this, from concept sketches through to building the 3D scene, mapping and unwrapping, texturing and eventually to lighting and rendering, culminating in a final render. The emphasis over the course of the series will be on the texturing and principally the aging and wear of materials. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: 3ds max, Cinema 4d, LightWave, Maya and Softimage XSI Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 38+

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Zbrush Character Creation is a comprehensive look at the techniques and tools used to sculpt a variety of physical characteristics specific to several character types. The lessons on offer show how to transform a general base mesh into a definitive character class and explains the tools used to not only create the details and unique facial features, but also how to manipulate the overall proportions and head shapes. There are nine chapters in all, five of which cover the human condition and four of which cover creatures with human characteristics including zombie, werewolf and Frankenstein’s monster. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: ZBrush | Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 091

Michel Roger’s famous ‘Joan of Arc’ tutorial re-written for Maya by Taylor Kingston, Cinema 4D by Giuseppe Guglielmucci & Nikki Bartucci, Lightwave by Vojislav Milanovich and Softimage by Luciano Iurino and 3DCreative Magazine.com. If there has been one single tutorial that has educated and inspired more budding 3d artists than anything else, this complete step by step project by Michel’s must be it. The community is in debt to him.

Introduction:

These 120 plus page, Downloadable PDF’s are designed for ease of use to help beginners and intermediate level of artist alike in the creation of a female character. The tutorial takes you through the process of modelling, texturing and mapping to finally adding bones. Chapter 1: Modeling of the Body - Body Chapter 2: Modeling of the Head - Head, Ear & Assembly Chapter 3: Modeling of the Accessories - The Sword & Armour Legs Chapter 4: Modeling of the Accessories - Armour Bust, Hair & Glove Chapter 5: Modeling of the Accessories - Accessories & UVW Mapping Chapter 6: UVW Mapping - Sword, Clothing, Armour & Body Chapter 7: Texturing & Hair - Eyes, Skin & Hair Chapter 8: Bones & Skinning - Bases, Hierarchy & Skinning

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Image by Michel Roger

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This e-book provides a detailed account of building, texturing and lighting the interior of a Gothic Church based upon a concept painting. The ebook is available in five different platforms. Chapter two however is dedicated to creating a gargoyle in Zbrush – the focal point in our scene. Here the author will start by creating a rough body form using ZSpheres and move through the numerous sculpting phases and modeling the details for each part of the character, highlighting the various brushes and tools used throughout. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platforms: 3ds max, Cinema 4d, LightWave, Maya and Modo. Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 47+

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The tutorial eBook will begin by creating and applying materials for the various parts of the car, such as glass, chrome and tyres, as well as texturing some simple geometry that will make up a scene. It will then move onto lighting where the focus will be on setting up a lighting rig and the various parameters connected to this. Finally the series will culminate with a section on rendering, where the aim will be to finish with a polished image. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: 3ds max, Cinema 4d, LightWave, Maya and Softimage XSI Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 44+

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This series of ZBrush tutorials orientates around speed and efficiency and how to achieve detailed sculpts within a few hours. Each of the ten chapters focuses on a different character topic ranging from mythical creatures such as the Minotaur and Cyclops to Pirates and monsters. With over seven hours of video footage and covering ninety seven pages this e-book provides an insight into the working methods of eleven professional artists. Each individual showcases their particular approach to the subject and treats us to an exhibition of both their artistic and technical skills that form the backbone of their creative process. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platforms: ZBrush | Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 97

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This six chapter eBook aims to show the value of post-production and more specifically the ways in which Photoshop can be used to aid the 3D pipeline. Over the course of six chapters we shall focus on the various tools and techniques on offer in Photoshop that are frequently used to improve 3D renders. Compositing passes, adding particle effects, improving lighting and making general colour adjustments are a few of the topics covered, as well as ways to create backgrounds that both complement and enhance characters. The methods presented within this series can provide an efficient alternative to lengthy render test. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: Photoshop | Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 049

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Manimal is a Zbrush tutorial series divided into six parts, covering nearly 70 pages and addressing the process of transforming a generic base mesh into an original creature design. The notion behind the series assumes the task of genetically splicing a human being with a different animal class and sculpting the resultant character. Each of the tutorials adopts a different animal class as its theme and walks through the stages of developing a concept and sculpting the overall proportions through to the individual features and particular anatomical mutations. Original Author: 3DTotal.com Ltd | Platform: ZBrush | Format: DOWNLOAD ONLY PDF | Pages: 067

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