Scared Silly Entry by Rory Little


My aim is to retain the freshness of the design sketch, without miring the final image in redundant detail. My first thought about this picture is that it should stay away from the highly polished, rendered look. ZB is after all a drawing package and, in the very limited time I have available I’d like to see what can be achieved without resorting to an external renderer, or illustration software.

For anyone who can’t recognise what’s going on in the sketch, this is a night scene of a bat sitting in a tree, scaring passing folk with a rubber bat. It was the first idea that popped into my head and I think it fits the requirements of the contest in being rather silly!

The sketch was drawn on a subdivided poly plane, with the standard brush, but with a J shaped curve. Rather than painting straight onto the canvas, scratching my marks onto a poly plane gives me the option of rotating the ‘paper’ to suit the angle of stroke I wish to make. Not many illustration packages stock that feature!

My weekends between now and the deadline are mostly already scheduled for non-ZB duties, so this is going to be a time keeping challenge as well as one of creativity.

Wish me luck!


I like the concept good luck with the schedule, most of all have fun.

Sweet idea! :+1:

Also I like your approach to drawing a sketch in ZB. I’ll try that sometime, thanks for sharing that info!


Excellent idea, both with your challenge concept, and the rotating sketch plane. Thank you for the tip.

And conratulations on focusing more on the non-photoreal aspects of ZBrush. I’ve been messing around with it’s render and the MatCap and agree that attempting an entire photoreal scene with photoreal lighting elements is a bit too time demanding.

Good luck and continue with your innovating techniques. :+1:

Here’s a quick lighting sketch, worked up in ZB, with a radial gradient thrown over it all in P’shop.

The smudge tool was used to get the feeling of motion and to break up the harsh, graphic lines of the initial drawing. An alpha I use extensively is one generated from a LightWave procedural texture called ‘smoky’. This in the brush alpha slot gave me the nice streaking I wanted.

I have to research bats next and hunt the Web for images of trees and rubber toys.




Love the concept sketch and the humor, viewing angle on this is great. Only thing I dont like is the highlighted eyebrows, can understand that to maintain the dark and moon lighting from behind it was needed to show the shock\surprise of the victim but it just seems a little, …off somehow.
Its probably just me ;p

Thanks, Effulgent3d. I can see what you are concerned about. Let’s hope that this image gets its problem points resolved in the end! For now, the bright eyebrows are, as you noticed, necessary for the representation of fear/shock. How this expression will be conveyed in the final illustration has yet to be determined, but I won’t forget your point and will pay attention to the eyebrows as I go on.

Here are a few collected bat reference images, trawled from the Net. They might save other contestants the trouble of hunting down their own.



silly and fun concept love that second drawing it would make a funny and silly halloween card. keep up the good work.

Starting the figures. Volumes have been begun with z-spheres and slightly edited as adaptive meshes. Here I’ll export the model to LightWave and add edges where required and then return that to ZB for further shaping.


Looks fun! I like your sketches so far and that method of sketching looks really cool. :smiley: :+1:

It looks good and I also like that second sketch a lot. Looking forward to see more.

very cute, it’s a good looking concept.

Here is a pic of the basic tree mesh, made from z-spheres, beside a posed version of the base human character, for use as a template for composition.



doing everything with Zspheres… I like!

Dynamic! Looking cool.

Is there a way to export .jpg files directly from Z-Brush? It does seem strange that I can’t upload any of Z-Brush’s export file types to the ZB forum!:confused:

Today’s been productive, as you can see.

I’ve modified the tree mesh, twisting the trunk and branches with Transpose and the Nudge brush and deleting redundant polys from the far side that we just won’t see; it’s now ready for subdivision sculpting.

The bat creature has been posed, using the base figure model; and it is now holding the stick and string, made from z-spheres.

The rubber bat was fun to make. Again, entirely z-spheres, massaged with the Move and Standard brushes and converted to an adaptive skin mesh. Moved into place with Transpose.

The grass was a side bit of a ZB cylinder, the unwanted polys hidden and deleted. Subdivided to level eight, it was masked with stamped instances of Alpha 07, (the spotty one) and then the grass blades were pulled out with a combination of Deformation/Inflate, the Move brush and one more application of the Inflate deformer, to fatten them up.

The moon is a z-sphere lozenge adaptive skin, smoothed, sphere-ized and subdivided. This makes a ball without any poles: no pinching!

I am concerned about my limited time and am trying to pull up all the elements of the image together at the same time. Should I run out of time, there won’t be any obviously unfinished parts. Fingers crossed!




Looken Good! I am definitely getting a sense of the seen and liking the composition. :+1:

Worked on the base figure model today, adding edge loops and sculpting the resulting mesh with the Move, Standard and Nudge brushes. Nudge is really useful for pushing edges around the mesh without damaging the object’s shape too much. Used in combination with Project Morph it solves almost all my topology problems.

It’s probably a forlorn hope, but I’m hoping that this base mesh can with not too much effort be moulded into both the scared figure and the bat character. I’ve put edge loops into the ears in such a way that I have confidence that I’ll be able to size them up to batty proportions. The wings are another matter!






Rory_L that is a fantastic base mesh, it should work great for both of your characters! Great edgelooping! :+1: What is Project Morph? :o

Thanks, Harmonic! I hope so.

Tools/Morph Target/ Project Morph is one of the new features of Z-Brush 3. If you’re still using ZB2 you won’t have encountered it yet, but when you do you’ll love it! It is like the Morph slider function of ZB2, but doesn’t take point order into consideration: only proximity is bothered with, so it will place points that you’ve shifted round from another part of the model, to positions that restore the mesh to its morph looks, but not its topology!.

I like the way your picture is turning out! Glad I could help.