Learning the tool.

Wow. ZBrush is cool, but i’m still finding me lost in the menu structure. A couple of hours each night to learn, but there’s lots of concepts and notions… Given also my base anatomy semi-ignorance sometimes sculpting is a challenge :smiley:

Anyway, i wish to post mi first “acceptable” doodle for you to massacre it :lol:

Edit: exploring polypaint and materials

Of course, any hint is accepted. I really wish to learn this wonderful tool!

Thank you!




Another one. This time i tried to keep it smoother. Not much detail still.


Trying to play with fibermesh.
I managed to understand something about this feature… really cool, just need to understand all those parameters…


Edit: i managed to get something better out of fibermesh. I still don’t understand the aliasing effect that is visible on the image. Looks like the antialiasing algorithm for fibermesh interferes in some way with the remaining model polygons. Possible?!?
I’m trying to understand if qRemesher is the only way to retopo a model. From the documentation it’s not obvious.


Another rendering. Still that strange aliasing effect…


Well, i think that the alias effect was caused by the material shader. Now it looks smoother.
Started working on the body, using the extract tool.


Better proportions, better hairs (felt in love with FiberMesh!), started defining the suite.


Trying to obtain an “Evangelion like” style out of the suite. Perhaps i’m looking too forward for a “first model”, but let’s try it!


I’m in trouble…

I decided to rework in a “hard surface” way the suit, but i find myself in trouble trying to subdivide the model along the details curves (the white parts in the previous picture). AFAIK the only way to get razor sharp cuts is to use the slice tool (masking and extraction doesn’t work really well), but after few slicings i finish up with a poutpurri of polygroups and i need to regroup the pieces that i want to be a single surface. Anyway, after the regroup the surface contains the residual cuts on polygons.

Moreover the slice tool cuts the model on the entire Z axis so when i want to cut a detail i find it also on the reverse of the model.

Finally, i tried to apply panel loops function to each polygroup but after this operation each panel looks like it’s detached from other panels and trying to smooth edges causes an hole between them.

Am i missing something or is it only a matter of patience?

Thank you! Umberto

Well, found a way to sharp cut shapes on the suit.
But i still feel that there should be a faster way.

Mumble mumble…


Hi Umberto,

Nice start. I suggest taking a look at the panel loops zclassroom videos by Michael Pavlovich, if you haven’t already (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?175640-NEW!-Z4R5-Panel-Loops-Videos). They should answer a few of your questions.

Basically, if you want to make armour sections on a suit without getting holes, duplicate the suit and then add your polygroups. Hide the parts which are not armoured before doing panel loops. The suit part will become visible after, but will not have panel loops applied. Hide the suit part again and do a delete hidden to be left with just your armour panels, which you can pull/push/sculpt/polish as you wish.

As for slicing up the model, first of all, you don’t necessarily have to slice – if you just mask and convert that to a polygroup, you can use the polish slider in the panel loops section to fix the jagged edges, or the polish by features, etc., sliders in the deformation menu.
Joseph Drust covered some ways to quickly fix up panels in his jewelry tutorials (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?176967-NEW!-ZBrush-4R5-Panel-Loops-Videos-with-Joseph-Drust)

If you do want to slice, but you don’t want a slice to affect the back of the model (for example, adding a circular polygroup on the chest etc.), just hide the geometry you don’t want to be affected before you slice.

Hope that’s of some help!

Hi teeg! Thank you for your hints! I know that there is plenty of video tutorials in the zclassrom but it’s difficult to focus on the right things where there is so much material to study! Event ZBrush has plenty of weapons in its arsenal and for a novice it’s hard to match the right pieces to get the wanted result.

About the slicing… too bad now the model is compromised as i didn’t keep an earlier backup. Now it’s all sliced and diced. I tried to retopo it but i got really bad results, i suppose because of the slayer work i did on the surface. I got also some unwanted micro holes on the mesh that i could not address from within ZBrush (the weld points function seemed not to work as expected) then i needed to goz it to Modo to weld them. (About Modo… the same model that in ZBrush works smooth as butter makes Modo coughing… don’t know what ZBrush does to work so smooth, but it does it well!)

Anyway, i’ll try to bring this mesh to the final stage, hoping to learn something else. Starting on the next model i’ll remember to duplicate the subtool before slicing!

Thank you again! Umberto

Well, well, well…

I managed to restore the sliced body mesh. Instead of trying to keep “same” resolution when retopologizing, by choosing “half” i got a pretty good result! Now i think i roughly found a way to go!

Some older details need to be reworked anyway, but i’m so happy!

Thank you again for the hint!


Ok, i think i’ve enough of slicing.
The mesh should now be ready for further sculpting.

Some slicing does not convice me too much (example: the legs) but i found difficult to accomodate the panel after they were created. I miss some kind of “tangent move” brush. Maybe there is something similar but i could not find it :frowning:


Hi Umberto,

Looks like you’re getting there. For a “tangent move” brush, my best guess would be the “slide” brush. I don’t use the slide brush much myself, though. I’d usually align the view with the tangent I want to move along and just use the move brush. Remember that you can also hold alt while using the move brush to move perpendicular to the surface normals :+1:

Hi Teg! Woah! Here it is!

I found slide brush more confortable than move, but i think it’s only a matter of taste (i suppose that under the hood they’re similar). Now i been able to fix some annoying curves. Ready for the detailing!

Thank you! Umberto


Added some details to the armor. Changed the neck. It was originally part of the suit and the head was another subtool but there was an annoying discontinuity between them so i removed it from the suit and molded the neck out of the head. Now it’s smoother.

I also tried to smooth the ear with the head but i had no luck. The ear is an insert mesh. I watched a ZClassroom video explaining insert mesh and the teacher was merging the inserted meshes by double CTRL-drag on the paper (like the Dynamesh recomputing stroke) but i tried with no luck. I am missing something obvious but i cannot understand what.


I managed to blend the ear with the head! And managed to create my first insert mesh brush! I still don’t understand because i cannot merge my insert mesh the same way of the bundled ear element.



Congrats on your success!
If you’re trying to use the “InsertEar2” brush, it won’t merge it with the mesh because it’s a closed mesh. Has to be open to merge. If you use the “IMM BParts” brush, press “m” and then select the ear, that one should work…but I think it’s better to make your own anyway:+1:

Yep! You’re right! It took me a bit to get accustomed with the mechanics but now it’s ok.

I tried to remove the bracelet that looked a bit wonky to me and since it was molded from the body mesh and a restore seemed impossible (the smooth brush didn’t do the trick) i tried with insert mesh brush. Sliced away the hands, made an insert mesh brush then i was able to merge the upper arm with the hand again, bypassing the bracelet mesh.

Now im’ struggling with hands, trying to rework them in symmetry mode sometimes brings to unespected results, especially when using the transpose tool!


Well… i think i’m stuck with the pose.

Instead of digging further into modeling/texturing/rendering i decided to give a try to a rig.

But my mesh is really dense and after various slice/split/merge and so on i lost lowest subD and the possibility of rebuild them because of triangles into the mesh.

Transpose master is an help but the mesh keeps always too dense to decently work with on a pose.

I tried by dynameshing all at low res, retopology, remeshing/projecting and so on but the character has some fine details (fingers and so on) that get lost after this operation and divide+project doesn’t correctly rebuild the original shape.

So it looks like my hopes to pose a low res mesh are lost.

Is it possible to get a “surrogate” of the original mesh as i did, pose it, then in some way replicate the pose on a completely different (by topology) mesh? This way i could pose my low res mesh then re-apply it to the final mesh.

Can macros/scripting help in any measure? Tried to use them but perhaps i didn’t understand the mechanics.

Thank you! Umberto