How do I get high detail on a low poly mesh, like those life like images on here?

Hi, I am a noob at zbrush but can sculpt with it. Problem is I want to create a low poly head mesh for animating, but also get a life like skin detail like the pros on here. I’ve seen some fantastic images on here with low poly base meshes but don’t know how to achieve the high detail, How do I do this?

You use a displacement and/or normal map.

In ZBrush, store a morph target at subdivision level 1. Then divide your model and sculpt as necessary to get the detail that you want. Return to level 1 and switch to the stored morph target. Now create a displacement map to export for use with your low resolution model in your animation package. That way the low res model will render to have all the high res detail.

If you want to use displacement for medium frequency detail and normal map for high frequency detail then you would follow the same steps above. But after sculpting you would drop down a couple levels and create the normal map. You would then delete the higher levels before returning to level 1 and switching to the stored morph target to create your displacement map.

Obviously, you want to save your work at the highest level before you go deleting anything.

There are other options for how to restore the base mesh before calculating the displacement map: importing the original model into level 1 again, or using the Cage feature. You can find more info on both in various threads here. But the info above should get you started.

Never knew about the morph target trick, thanks aurick :slight_smile: