Isaac Oster - Sketchbook (breakdown Pg. 10)

Hello ZBC -

I wanted to start a sketchbook with some recent work. There are additional views and some 2D stuff on my personal site at www.IsaacOster.com. If you like the layout of the site, there’s a link to download the template. I built it specifically for people who don’t know anything about building websites, so it’s really easy to use. There’s even a spot to put a link to your ZBC account!

Looking forward to any questions or comments about the work. Thanks for looking!

This is the latest. Every time I do a model I encounter new challenges and learn something new. After watching the Zclassroom tutorial on how to bake a material into a texture, I built a displacement map in photoshop and used it to get a head start on the horns. I also used the morph brush and r3’s surface noise feature for the first time. Jon Rush has a great tutorial on how to use the retopo tools, so this has decent geo as well - Thanks Jon!

This was a weekend project. There must have been a Meerkat Mansion marathon or something.

Another weekend project.

I previously posted this along with some other views on ZBC here. I was really honored when the folks at Pixologic chose this model for the turntable gallery. You can check it out on the second page.

This is the dragon from Willow. That thing was awesome. This model was a little challenging as the normal symmetry stroke didn’t work with the two heads. I built the body normally, but ended up having to hide one of the heads and use local sym and copy the sculpting over at the end with smart resym.

A weekend project. This was done not too long after I learned about zspheres. Seriously, this software is amazing.devil.jpgmeerkats.jpgcats.jpgalien.jpgwillow_dragon.jpgfat_guy.jpg

These are great, man, your poses kick a**!

Thanks man, I really like your studies. The moon-head alien is fantastic as well.

Awesome work! Now you got me wanting to do a Willow sculpt…

Hey Capa, thanks for the kind words. There’s a lot of great source material from that movie. I looked around but couldn’t find anything - do you have some work posted?

Ha! No not yet - I am a bit anal about my work. Currently I am using an Intuos2 … Just ordered the Intuos4 yesterday. It should be here in the next day or so at which point my time will be spent touching up my models. You can expect a mass dump soon… :slight_smile:

Also man - no thanks needed! I speak only the truth!

loved your games industry mentor, and some great work.
The free site template will also help people alot, I hope to be redesigning my site to make it a whole lot simpler too!

Keep it up!


Thanks for listening! I hope it was useful. Aaron has done a lot more of these, so check out his site if you haven’t already:

Games Industry Mentor

Is your site up now? If not, are you planning on using the template or doing one from scratch?

My site is up http://www.sam-griffiths.co.uk , though (excuses incoming) I coded it around 5 months ago, I no-longer like the layout and I think it has numerous viewing problems from anything other then Firefox. I have a load of new work to go up and older pieces to remove once I sort my new layout.

My new site will be something like this ( attached photo )newsite.jpg

hey man i love your’s brush style !=) :+1:

This is the initial zsphere mesh.

This is the main mesh. It was retopologized early on.

These are all the props I added over the course of the project. I used a combination of Topogun and 3DS Max for the low poly meshes and Zbrush for the high poly detail. More on that process below.

This is what the low poly looks like.



I’ve been interested in trying to figure out a good hard surface workflow in zbrush for a while. I decided to try out the new zspheres as well. This model started off as a 10 minute experiment, but ended up consuming several months. You can see the initial mesh above - it’s pretty rough. I tossed the arms and legs early on, but a lot of the initial strokes survived on the head and torso through to the finished product.

I used the following brushes for this project:
dam standard at an intensity of 10-20
flatten with a tight falloff and the square alpha

This is a diagram of the composite process. Grubby and Cobalt are available at Pixologic’s download area.

The following images show my workflow for adding panels.

I start out by building low poly planes over a relatively high detail mesh. Zbrush has a retopo tool, but I prefer some of the features available in Topogun. I wanted a raised bevel running down all the sections, so I made sure there was a loop in the low poly to extrude in the next step (indicated by the green arrows).

Here is the geo imported into Max. I had the main mesh visible while working, but it’s hidden here for clarity. Note the edge loop highlighted in red. I extruded all the faces, then extruded the higher faces, using this edge loop as the boundary. Way easier than trying to sculpt it in. Then I built little latches to fit onto one side of the pads. These kinds of details help to add a sense of mechanical reality to the model. It’s always a good idea to ask yourself how something might actually work. You can see I didn’t put a lot of effort into the latch or the rivet geometry. It’s not always necessary to go nuts on everything.

I use the crease smoothing groups plugin a lot. I set the border faces to one group, and the surface faces to two separate groups. It’s ready to be exported to zbrush. Rivets needed to be added to every new panel, so rather than having a lot of rivet subtools cluttering up my subtool menu even more than it already was, I reexported all of them into one subtool whenever I had a new batch. I wanted to emboss a pattern on the pads, which calls for a high poly density. The latches look fine after only 3 or 4 divisions, so to spare myself the extra geo, I exported the latches separately as well.

Here it is subdivided. I usually set the crease level to 3 or 4. The higher you go, the sharper your crease edges become. To get the result on the right, I masked off the lower area of each pad one at a time. The HPolish brush is pretty convenient for masking off planes as it tends to ignore non-planar geo. Using the standard brush at a Zintensity around 15, the drag rect stroke, and a modified alpha I laid down the pattern. I found the alpha at pixologic and made it bigger (SW_AlienSkin_16). This is actually only a small piece. If you find you want to cover a lot of area with the drag rect stroke, you may need to alter the alpha. The little line was carved using the MAHcut Mech B brush. Once this was complete I imported the latches and rivets.

This is the alpha.

The finished product.

There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t talk about above, so if you have any questions about technique or workflow or whatever please fire away. Thanks for looking!


Wow!! This is an awesome model. Great design and modeling work. And thanks for the step-by-step.

looking good, the hands and feet don’t really feel as good as the rest of the body. but the over all feel of the rest is really interesting.

This is a cool looking character man! woo hoo!

Just incredible. The Awesomest. Top Row, IMO.


Top Row, love the workflow on the panels! and thanks for explaining your techniques and material!

Very nice model m8. Thanks for sharing your workflow

Man this is fantastic! Give as much info and videos as you can. Top row!

Great Work Awesome Thread.

I was really interested in learning how you put the fiber material between the gaps in the metal. Thanks for sharing the technique. I hope to learn it.

cool 加油!!