Jamie's Sketchbook

Hi everyone, I’m Jamie.
I’m a girl from Canada living in the UK. I’m 25. I study at Futureworks in Manchester. I hope to one day get a job in VFX/Games.
I’m still struggling with some aspects of ZBrush… I find that when I try to sculpt, things get pixellated very quickly in ways most other people’s work that I see don’t get. I’ll get the hang of things I’m sure but I feel a little bit like I’m flying blind. I hope I can get some help and feedback. I watch tutorial videos quite a lot but it’s not the same as having someone to ask a specific question.

Because I’m so new at this I don’t really have a set process and I’m discovering things all the time, but I find I usually end up starting from a Dynasphere.

My school only teaches 3DSMax, but I really struggle with that program and find myself much more in tune with Maya and Zbrush, so that’s what I use most of the time. I do post production work in Photoshop.

I finished this today. It’s a character from an old cartoon ca 1995.

A few weeks ago I did this little dog as part of a university assignment:

And last year I did this little guy in Zbrush who got 3D Printed and won me a trophy. He’s one of the first models I made:

I hope to show lots of new works very soon and thanks so much for looking.
If you do DeviantArt or Twitter, my DA is http://laboratorymonkey.deviantart.com and my Twitter is @artlabmonkey





Love the dino, the flow of the shapes is really nice! Im a Zbrush beginner too, so I understand your struggles haha,
trying to learn retopoligizing, uff :smiley:

I’ve just gotten the hang of ZRemesher – I used to it to clean up that character. He ended up being less than 30k polys.

I’ve been working away. Always trying to improve. I feel I’m beginning to understand things but I’d really appreciate some guidance.

Chimp WIP.

Nice work, especially for a beginner, your designs are realy interesting, keep it up and if you have questions feel free to ask :):+1:

Thanks so much! I actually DO have some questions!

I finished up the proportions and then took the chimp out of dynamesh. I retopologised using ZRemesher, polydensity and curveguides, giving the most density to the face, ears, hands, and feet – basically places where the fur won’t cover. Projected details and all that, and ramped up the model to 5 million polys.
This is on SDIV3 which is 1.48 mil.


There is some REALLY GROSS stairstepping and pixellation going on here, and it persists to some degree even on the 4th subdiv level which brings the model to >5million. I just do not know what I am doing wrong. When I remeshed it, I gave it plenty of polys to play with and an edgeflow that looked alright, at least for sculpting:

Comparison at 1.45mil vs wires from lowest subdiv level


Body proportions just for fun.
Here are the hands, and a very human looking ape ass; I didn’t really want to sculpt the weirdness that actual chimps have going on back there.


So should I just retopo the dynamesh again? What should I do to get rid of this awful stairstepping? Am I supposed to do the majority of the major wrinkle work on the 5million poly level? My machine starts to get a little funny at me if I do.

hi Jamie…your ape caught my eye as i am making one as well…im also very new.looks good are you using alot of ref?

your lower res model looks ok are you smoothing as you increase your poly count…also what are your render settings in regards antialiasing. i think i can see what you mean.

I modelled a chimp’s skull first, then the rest on top. The skull ensures that the face stays within realistic proportions. I am using a lot of different reference, yeah.
As for the anti-alias I have it set to whatever it is by default. It’s a problem with the model’s topology I am guessing, not a graphics setting.

OK when you said that you " finished up the proportions and then took the chimp out of dynamesh. I retopologised using ZRemesher, polydensity and curveguides, giving the most density to the face, ears, hands, and feet"…

Where can I learn a bit more about this type of method. Im still learning. This model looks so smooth and detailed. Amazing work.

Thank you

“So should I just retopo the dynamesh again? What should I do to get rid of this awful stairstepping? Am I supposed to do the majority of the major wrinkle work on the 5million poly level? My machine starts to get a little funny at me if I do.”

5 Million isn’t that high, check is the Preferences/Mem/Maxpolypermesh option is set at a high level enough (mine is around 20 on my ****ty pc), and from what’ve read I would work quite the same, I use zremesher by polypaint in order to have the highest density on the part i need and the result is equal to your wire frame, and if you want to avoid edgy details you’ll have to work on the highest subd. It can be easier to handle if you hide parts unnecessary for the sculpt as you do the wrinle, you don’t need the whole body to be shown when dealing with the face, for exemple. :wink:

@cydethan - Thank you. Sometimes it’s just good to know that I’m on the right track. I’ll have a look at what the memory settings are. My machine has a 2GB card with 8GB RAM so it should be able to handle a fair bit.

@rmaize - I started this sculpt on top of an existing one that I made of a chimp skull. I created a Dynamesh sphere overtop the skull, and push/pulled it around, redynameshing as necessary. I masked out portions of the shape and used the Move transpose tool to pull out sections from which I formed the neck, shoulders, torso and limbs. I used Zspheres to create the hands and feet, then merged them into the body. Once everything was more or less where I wanted it to be, I turned off Dynamesh. I went into the ZRemesher options and painted red on the model where I wanted it to be more dense. I used the ZRemesher guide brushes to direct the polyflow, and remeshed. Then I projected the details of the old model onto the new one, repeating the projection with each subdivision level. Now I am at the point where I am beginning to carve in wrinkles.

Here are some old shots:


Okay… Last update for today… Haha.
I retopologised the whole thing again because I was dissatisfied and felt I could do better. So I did better.
I’m also trying out a different approach to the wrinkles on the face and I think they are working much better.
Excuse those bumpy looking brows. After staring at some reference photos I’ve found a lot of chimps have bumpy, calloused skin there, so that’s the beginnings of that. Dam Standard and Slash3 were used to make initial cuts, then I used Inflate to give the skin volume.

I also extensively reshaped the nose. It turns out I had done it completely wrong. Chimp noses are weird. They are like noses within a nose.


so funny coz i started mine with the skull as well…i will post mine soon…
the hard thing about this process is the tendency not to build up enough muscle//then important fat. between the skull and the skin.

what age is your chimp… i would say quite old due to the lack of cheek…if this is the look your going for great job!!

if younger i really recommend i quick?little inflate behind the mouth before the masseter.

keep up the good work.:+1:small_orange_diamond:+1:that nose looks amazing spot on!!!

@Manther: Thank you! And thanks for reminding me about that masseter muscle; you are right, it was far, far too sunken in.
Adding just a little bulk like you recommended has done wonders:


I haven’t been able to do much else on it today. Life and all that. But I hope to be able to spend some time with it tomorrow! I really hope to sort out the brow ridges. They are supposed to be creased and calloused but they just kind of look silly right now. They’re going to need some serious work.

Here is today’s work. Primarily, I spent the time I had to model today figuring out how to do an eye with proper transparent corneas and etc.

I made the eye, a pupil backing and a cornea in Maya, then brought it into ZB where I polypainted it and futzed around with material values until I felt it looked about right.


Here’s an early test version of the eye. I did a little more detail work on the texture once I placed it into the head.


Did a quick paintover in Photoshop of the head so far for volume checking.
I think I want to make the muzzle slightly slimmer. It’s a bit too wide for my liking right now, as are the mandibles. Easy fixes.


Awesome render!! Great sculpt as well! Poor guy must be a scrapper…:cool:

Have you given fibermesh a try on this yet?

Made a dolphin for a university project.

Low poly is ~5300 tri.

I recorded the process of me sculpting it from a Dynasphere all the way to polypaint. I’ll edit the videos together soon, in case anyone wants to see.


Going to teach myself to rig using this. Hipoly ZBrushed, manual retopo in Maya and render in Marmoset.

I’m back from outer space, and by outer space, I mean university and by that, I mean I graduated BA Hons Game Art with a 2:1.