Learning Zbrush: My sketchbook

Hi! Made this today after I told myself to stop browsing and start making something:). C&c are welcome.

Oh and this is WIP. I need to work more on the mouth and if I’ll have the energy I’ll add a body.

I made the fangs for the mouth separately with zspheres and added them as subtools. Added some WIP images too.
with fangs upload.jpg


fangs WIP.jpg

thumbnail copy.jpg

2d to 3d, Cookie Cutter approach.

Hi folks! I wanted to try this 2d to 3d approach for modeling
for quite some time.I do like Zspheres but you need to be a little
more patient to convert the adaptive skins they make into something you
like. In this approach all I did was draw different parts of the character
in profile in photoshop and convert them into chunks of geometry
that I could start pushing around in Zbrush.This isn’t the best approach,
but it gets the shapes blocked out easily.Of course the topolgy is bad.
Make 3d and unified skinning do create artifacts and produce the odd vertex that points out randomly, so there are both pros and cons to this.
I will really appreciate it if someone could suggest ways to
improve this technique.


  1. Create 4 layers ( head, arm, torso, leg ) in a square photoshop file ( alphas in Zbrush
    should be square to avoid distortion), slightly smaller than A4. Draw using a hard brush.

2)Keeping one layer in PS on and hiding the rest, get each part into Zbrush separately
using the make 3d button. Adjust the width of the extract depending on how much thickness you want( more for the torso, less for the arm and leg)

  1. Rotate the arm and leg a bit . clone, append and mirror them.

  2. Using Subtool Master ( makes things easier) merge the arms and legs so that you are left with 4 subtools. You can merge them all if your system can manage.

  3. Start sculpting by activating Zaxis symmetry or whatever axis symmetry works.

The advantage in this is that you get a good silhouette right from the start. The challenge then is in building the model from other angles, for which you have the clay, move, snakehook ( moves things faster ) and inflate brushes.

Once again, I will welcome feedback on this and will be grateful for suggestions to improve this technique.


evolution copy.jpg

Very interesting technic actually!
Thx to share!

Thanks Sebastien! I love your work. Gives me a lot of inspiration.:slight_smile:

Dude…thats my problem exactly…I so much want to get stuck in…but I like you said browse everybody elses work and pictures…:smiley:

Excellent work by the way…

Cool idea with the cookie cutter concept. I never thought of that.

After trying this, and making a Sillouette of a hand in photoshop, I imported it into my alpha’s and made it 3d. But The only problem is, it was quite distorted. The 3d image was awful. The fingers looked liked stubs and and the detail was all off.

I tried resizing it up and down in size. It still looked the same. I litereally gave up after a good 2 hours of trying this to no avail and went back to Assembling Zspheres.

I have a hard time working with Zsperes do to the fact I am a very new user of Zbrush. I would love to adopt this technique. I just wish i could import and create a 3d image of my alpha that actually resembles it more then a blob. =/

Either way, Very nice work and good idea’s . Thanks for the insight.

thanks AgentEnigma! yes it is time we got our hands dirty in them Zthings. There is some jaw dropping stuff here at ZBC, but I like to see all big things as made of smaller parts. Small steps…small steps…till we get there:)

Cool technique. Thanks very much for sharing :+1:

Hey there! I think you need to try a few settings in the Alpha> mres ( mesh density ), mdep( thickness ), Msm ( smoothness ), Dbls ( double sided) sliders. I set the Mres to the highest ( 256 ) to get a close match to the Alpha I import from photoshop. the smaller details do get smoothed out, but it is 90% accurate. import your alpha and try different settings to find something that best suits your design. You’ll get a hang of it soon.

Another tip. You can add a little inner shadow to your alpha in photoshop or whatever application to give a more rounded side on your Make 3d extract.

thanks for stopping by and trying out this technique. Hope it works for you.

Captain Sensible, thank you.:slight_smile:
inner shadow.jpg

Oh wow. It worked. Thank you so much for the info. I did not even know you could adjust the Mres of a imported alpha. I get lost sometimes with all the options. but I am learning more and more with each visit to the forums and by watching and reading tuts on Zbrush.

Now if you pardon me , I have to go explore this new aspect of Cookie cutting . lol =P

Thanks again and keep up the great work. =]

Hi! I tried learning a little bit about render passes with this model. managing the lights, renders and tweaking materials was time consuming. But i kept petient. No polypainting in this one. the polypainting and the shader weren’t getting along for some strange reason. So basically this is a Zbrush render with just the shader and a single color and the rest of the coloring and compositing of light passes in PS. crit and comments are welcome.



ZBC post.jpg

Wow, that’s a beautiful end result… great creature design too.

Will have to give the cookie cutter technique a go and see what happens, just to find out for myself.

Top work

Thanks for the appreciation RawSunlight.:slight_smile:

01 thumb.jpg


01 for ZBC low.jpg

Love the head!!! Another great alien creation… dare I say. more interesting than the Avatar creatures :wink:

Thanks RawSunlight. Such encouraging words help a lot. :slight_smile:

exelent model and colours.:smiley:

well done :+1:

Thank you z-m@n. Love your work. Specially the Jester.