My first sculpt attempt... please criticize ;)

Well, I’m new to ZBrush, and am in the process of sculpting for the first time. I’ve been using LW for a long time, but never had good results with organic modelling… so here I am, new tool, new results. Anyhow, here’s a turntable clip of my first sculpt - unfinished. Would love to hear your thoughts - to see if you spot any technique or anatomical issues… aside form the fact that he has no face (yet) or privates. :stuck_out_tongue: lol

OK, without further ado, hoping to learn a lot from you guys (so don’t hold back please - if your input makes me a better artist, then let me have it!!)… here goes:


EDIT: For the sake of those that may not want to download a 22MB video clip:



Just realized I messed up loading the file to my site… my bad… link works correctly now. :slight_smile:

No takers? Any comments will do, good or bad. :slight_smile:

Hi Robb, I am no expert in anatomy but it looks like a very good start to me. :smiley: I do much more abstract pieces myself because I don’t have the courage that you do, but i am working on it.

I would say to get yourself a good book on anatomy and lots of reference material and practice, practice, practice. There is so much great work here to inspire you! :+1:


Hey there Robb,
You’re doing great. Keep at it! :+1:

Some notes on your anatomy:

Your legs are tapering off a bit so that your ankles and feet are looking a bit small.

It looks like you have been studying anatomy and that you recognize the different muscle shapes which is great, however, it is feeling a bit rigid, as if you are sculpting one muscle at a time instead of moving around the whole form and bringing it up together. It gives it a very compartmentalized feel.

I recommended these two books to someone else here recently, but they really helped me.

Michael Hampton’s Figure Drawing: Design and Invention is a great book that looks at gestures, which I think will help you, at it also breaks down the anatomy into simplified forms.

Scott Spencer’s Sculpting Human Anatomy for Zbrush is a great book and he really emphasizes bringing all parts of a sculpture up together and giving the anatomy a natural flow.

Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing how it’s coming along.


Thanks David - and I agree… there’s so many amazing artists and work going on here - truly inspiring!!

Thanks much :slight_smile:

You know what, I didn’t even notice that until you pointed it out, lol. THANk you!!

WOW… incredible observation - I did sculpt each muscle independantly!!! I am extremely impressed that you picked up on that! I’m sure with more experience I’ll see the difference too - I’m very new to this type of modelling - fun, but practice needed. :wink: Anyhow, my “anatomy background” is from bodybuilding, which is a hobby I picked up the past year or two as part of a long term weight loss solution - so I know the muscles really well, and how to work them ;). That’s a good start in my anatomy education I think, but I can see the value in getting an artistic/less clinical view of anatomy too, especially since (as you mentioned) it would probably help me learn to learn the process of sculpting anatomy and develop good habits, like bringing up the piece as a whole, as you mentioned… so thank you for that so very much, and for the book recommendations. Good stuff :smiley: I’ll look at them both - do you recommend one over the other? (Limited budget)

Happy I could be of some help :slight_smile:

Hmm, if I had to choose one I thought might fit you better for the moment, I would say go with Scott Spencer’s Zbrush Digital Sculpting Human Anatomy. It will carry you from the early base mesh all they way through texture painting and it includes video tutorials for all sections of the book. It’s a book that you can go through again and again and each time your skills will improve.

It’s 40 bucks on amazon but you might check ebay as well.

Good luck and have fun with it! :+1:

Thanks a bunch! :smiley:

So, I gave what you said some good thought, studying my piece a bit, and I almost tossed it to start something new, building it up bit by bit. I will do that on my next sculpt, but for now, I think I’ll continue with this one, and try to address some of the issues… although my noob approach (lol) may have caused the issues, in studying what I did, I think the reason the muscles looked compartmentalized was that they didn’t flow into each other nicely (as they should), and they also had some blockiness to them around the edges. I think the reason I did that was to accentuate definition, but I think the mesh is too immature to introduce that level of detail, so I think it’s just an issue of rushing it. So I made some adjustments to address those particular issues - reshaped the muscles a good bit - focused on how they wrapped into each other, etc., and upsized the feet a bit and roughed out some facial structure too, lol. Let me know if you think any of this is much of an improvement. Thanks!! :smiley:


I don’t know if it is camera angle or his arms are a little bit smaller than they should be.

Hey there Robb,

I’m not the best teacher but I’ll do my best to try and help.

I don’t see a problem with continuing to work on this one. What I will say about that though is when you are working on something that doesn’t have strongest base in place, adding details or changing those details on top of that base will not improve the piece. I would recommend you drop down in your subD levels and work on the overall silhouette.

I would also recommend you check out a book from your local library on artistic anatomy. I like Atlas of Human Anatomy by Stephen Rogers Peck. This will give you nice front and side images to look at while you are working the silhouette and looking for “valleys” and “peaks” (also something that is covered in the Spencer book) which are the areas are highest and lowest on the form. You want work the larger shapes before you worry too much about sculpting in the muscles. Periodically fill your model with the flat color material so you can see your silhouette more clearly.

Can you post a front and side view of your character? That might help people to point out some problem areas a bit better. How many subD levels are using now out of curiosity?

CyberJoe is right, your arms are too small. It looks like you might have smoothed out some of the mass from last time.

Remember that everyone had to start somewhere and you’re doing great, so don’t get frustrated. Anatomy is hard and you are going to be really happy with yourself later for going through the pain of it now. Good luck!

Yeah, that’d be the camera angle - the arms look a bit more normal in length in the frontal non-perspective view. I’ll post images in a sec…

Unfortunately, there are no SubD’s at the moment. My sculpting experience started with Sculptris a couple weeks ago - after one or two “experimental” sculpts in Sculptris (which were absurd “what can this tool actually do” kind of sculpts lol), I set out to do something serious - this guy… and then about 60% of the way through I realized in poking around the Pixologic site that ZBrush was going to be far better suited to what I want to do, so I moved this guy into ZBrush and to get the topology to be “ZBrush friendly”, I turned it into a Dynamesh. As such, there are NO Subdivision levels - yet. I was going to get this guy to an acceptable level at his current resolution, then turn off Dynamesh and start working on the details in lower subdivisions. It’s currently at 143k points.

Duly noted… added the book to my Amazon wish list. In fact, I’m REALLY glad you pointed it out - it’s way cheaper than some of the others in that list. :wink:

No problem… I put them at the end of this post, no perspective, no shadows (no BPR)

YES… absolutely. In looking over him - I realized that his biceps were far too big before… and the bulk of their mass carried far too much into the elbow pit. On the arm, biceps might be the “showcase” muscles, but guys with “big arms” always have much bigger tris than bis. So yes, mass was lost. (He must not be happy with me right now, haha. :wink: lol) Anyhow, I feel the shape is more correct now. More realistic. That said, I used transpose to bring the arms down (also posted at the end) and it was a ROUGH transpose (I didn’t tweak it for appearance, just to test arm length) and I think the arms might actually be a touch short. But that might have more to do with the fact that the arms and shoulders aren’t “relaxed”, and kinda hunches… well if I need to change that, it’s easy enough to do. In the meantime - I think the arms need to be beefed up all around to be in proportion to the rest of this guys muscular development - just not “blocky” like they were.

Oh, I’m not getting frustrated… far too early in this journey for that. :wink: Honestly, I’m amazed at the results I’m getting, and how quick I’m getting them. My only modelling experience prior to this is doing some stuff in Lightwave, and game world design for Quake (years ago lol) You can see my gallery of stuff I did in Lightwave here if interested: http://www.ryniak.net/robb_art/index.php?category=6 …I had always thought I “couldn’t do” organic modelling… at least not well or easily, and figure attempts were gastly at best. My only modest success was a skull that came out “okay-ish” but had a lot of bad geometry issues. And I seldom do any modelling at all anymore until recently (just been the occasional hobbyist in recent years) due to the extreme time requirements to get something suitable. That violin scene in my gallery took me TWO MONTHS, and it’s no where near as complex a model as this guy is. I’ve put a total of about 3 or 4 days into this guy so far… and given that this is a new tool to me, I’m expecting I’ll get even faster yet as I get more practice. ZBrush is just bringing the organic modeller right outta me. :wink: So, I’m still very much in my honeymoon phase… which I’ll leverage to it’s fullest potential! :smiley:

Honestly, I’m having so much fun with ZBrush, just in awe out how much faster I can get shapes out of it - I’m actually considering a career change… if I can get my work to a level that inspires others, then I’m certain to do just that. What was once “impossible” or a “six month project” is now feasible to do in a couple weeks, and that was the only thing stopping me from pursuing this professionally in the past. (No one would be willing to pay for months of work for one or two models!) Exciting times :slight_smile:

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the other shots, perespective off. (And I know the butt cheeks are too far apart - thanks to Dynamesh not letting geometry get close to each other without blending them in together :stuck_out_tongue: I’ll bring them in once I’ve turned Dynamesh off.)


Ok, so I beefed up the arms a bit, and I’m glad I did… now they’re the right proportion, but without the original blockiness. I also refined the head & face as good as it can get at this Dynamesh resolution… I think I have enough here to turn off Dynamesh and lay into it… you think? Any other comments before I commit to this as a base mesh? (I’m anxious to fix the toes hahah… they got all blended together when I took it in from Sculptris and turned it into a Dynamesh… REALLy wishing they had some kind of control painting feature to tell Dynamesh where you do NOT want it merging parts. That’d be crazy helpful.)


very nice man,you’re getting there…keep sculpting:+1:
Gud luck…!

Thanks, man! :slight_smile: This is some of the best fun I’ve had in a long time. :smiley:

Hey man, it’s a good start for sure:sunglasses:

I think you miss some proportions. Look like you are aiming for a heroic style character.
He has very wide back but thin arms. Also comparing to the rest, calves are very thin as well.

Take a look :

You should use some references pictures. Doing only from head, it’s easy to mess things up
(been there, still am :roll_eyes:)

Good luck man:+1:

Good muscle development. Will make a great super hero character or something along those lines. Let’s see some facial detail and more direction to finished sculpt. Good work so far.

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on this project - it’s been such a crazy month (or so)… my home server died and needed rebuilt, a video project for the local elementary school, a several week brush with the flu, and so I haven’t had nearly enough time to work on this. :frowning: ON THE UPSIDE… at least I got the most out of my trial and just purchased ZBrush. Couldn’t not purchase it… you all know what that’s like lol. Anyhow… in spite of the busy-ness I managed to make a LITTLE progress on my first sculpt, as well as creating a set of two dozen or so skin detailing brushes and fingerprint/palmprint alphas… which I have yet to use on my character. (There’s still more work to be done at this level before I go to town on those fine details.)

Here’s some fairly recent images… still very much a WIP… let me know what you all think! :smiley: I’ve really appreciated everything everyone’s said so far… so I would love to continue to hear all thoughts, comments, criticisms, etc.