Creating fins using MicroMesh

I’m currently taking Paul Gaboury’s Zbrush for Production class at ZbrushWorkshops and one of the assignments we got was to create a mechanical hard surface animal.
It was my intention to create the fins with the curve stroke enabled for a custom Insert Mesh but found another way to create the fins using the TopologyBrush, MicroMesh and using the Transpose tool while holding the alt key.

I thought I’d share the process after a classmate asked how I did the fins.
Hope it is helpful.





Thanks for sharing Joe; very cool use of MicroMesh!:+1:

could you show how you created your scales? They look to be micro meshed but I can’t figure out how you got them to be interlocked.

Thanks for the tutorial.

Very nice layout and explanations. I look forward to trying this and appreciate your hard work setting up these examples.
Last but not least, your fish is well done too!

Hey Michael, you’re very welcome.
Thanks for dropping by.

VoxelTron, It was my intention to MicroMesh after I built one of the scales but decided to instead make it a tileable alpha.
After capturing the Alpha with the MRGBZGrabber, I then loaded it into NoiseMaker.
The fish body had UVs so I switched the setting from 3D to UV in NoiseMaker.
This allowed me to get the scales to shrink down by the tail end without adding extra geometry if I were to use MicroMesh.
Hope this sheds some light.


Artbot, it was my pleasure.
Thank you.


Thank you for the explanation, and tutorial. I l’ll have to learn that workflow. This effect is very cool.

Was dealing with the seam tricky?


VoxelTron, your welcome. The seam was a little tricky but that was before knowing the method Paul showed us in class. I need to try his next time. At the end of the day, you just want to enjoy experimenting.
If these notes help confirm or spark new ideas you might have, then it was worth sharing.

On a separate note, here are some observations of the Transpose +Alt key combination to show the type of deformations that are possible.
Some of these were useful for shaping the fins.


Nice way to demo Transpose.

Are you talking about the “Seam Attraction” method? I forget what menu that is in. I keep re-watching his videos. I have pretty good notes from most of them, but I still can’t remember all the steps to the lessons. I think these step by step picture stories and concise short videos, are the best way to demo a feature.

I apologize, VoxelTron, were you referring to UV seams or Tileable Alpha seams? I thought you meant the alpha seams which Paul covered last weekend. It should be 5:45 minutes into Lecture 7 of Module 13. The UV seams were laid out pretty much like a filet fish for the most part.

I know what you mean about visual aids for helping understand concepts. I’m glad they are helpful. I think they have the added benefit of overcoming language barriers as well so hopefully some ideas come across despite the added text.
The images just take a little more time to set up. :slight_smile:

Thanks for clarifying, we were thinking different topics.

I haven’t tried to make a tile yet. I am curious how exacting that method is. I studied pattern in making in school last year. In printing, the transition point from left to right boarder, are very important to make the tiles line up correctly.

I’ll give it a try this weekend and share it.