Zbrush Watch created using Zmodeller

Hi everyone,

This is a personal project for a watch modelled using ZBrush with the Zmodeler for all of the subtools. A series of breakdown shots are shown below for the isolated elements and development work as it was created.

For the higher res details, alpha maps were used for the detailing work and the move/trim dynamic brushes were very helpful in softening the watch straps. The writing that is shown on the back of the watch was created using an alpha map of the text and then ‘Zsubbed’ into the geometry.

With references for the watch, spotlight was used for photographic references which were placed on-screen whilst working alongside the various grid views for proportion of the watch whilst modelling.

For the final render, this was created by importing the subtools as fbx files into 3DS Max and rendering with V-Ray.




Holy smokes, I have seen folks up here paying attention to detail, but you sir, took the cake (the little scratches on the metal of the tiny knobs… are you kidding?) Wow, I just keep looking and looking and cannot believe the work you have put into this ‘simple watch’, Kudos.

Hi Dragon,

Thanks a lot for your message and kind comments on the watch model and having a look at all the breakdown elements, much appreciated! :smiley:

The scratches and details were created using high res alpha maps and the standard brush to apply them over each of the subtools. It was definitely great fun adding in as much as possible - it gets addictive detailing in ZBrush!

Thanks again!

WOW , That’s an awesome body of work , well done. It’s cool that you showed us some of the steps to make the model. What was the poly count when you were almost finished ?

Thanks blueferret! No worries at all! I was thinking of adding the watch model as a link on my site for anyone to download - I will try and drop it on in the near future.

Looking at the polycount, the finished model of the watch for the lowest res version was about 400K - When working I always try to keep the subtools as low res as possible for easier adjustments at a later stage but with enough detail that I am happy with. For the high res details shown, this was created by subdividing the subtools into millions of polygons to apply alpha maps of scratches/dirtmaps, textures/painting etc to bring all the definitions out. The subtools may may have 6-7 levels of subdivisons and then the highest levels are used to create displacement maps and applied to the low resolution meshes - the high res maps do most of the work for the detailing and the mesh remains at a much lower polycount.

Sometimes I will use HD geometry but find it a little trickier to work with over the usual high/low divisions method. I generally try to add more definition to the more visible subtools but do enjoy detailing every little screw and tiny part when working!!

For the displacement maps used on the watch I exported the maps with quite basic settings - ‘map size’ 1024 or 2048, saved as 16bit tiffs with ‘flipV’ the ‘DPSubPix’ set to 0 and no ‘adaptive’ or ‘smoothUV’ enabled. I tend to send the finished lower res models into 3DS Max or Unreal Engine etc with fbx and then apply a smoothing/turbosmooth modifier on them to render and smooth any aliased geometry etc.

With a lot of my personal projects, I try to keep the geometry at a sensible level without worrying too much on polycounts etc, but if it starts running very slowly on my computer, I will definitely optimise or retopologise! If the scene has a lot of elements in it too I would definitely consider polycounts more especially for viewport and overall performances/growing file sizes!


  • Ed

ZModeler is alien technology and you did a splendid job with it. Hope to see more of your work here!


Thanks Erik! More work on the way soon - I really love the Zmodeler tool but it took a little time to wrap my head around it, now I would be lost without it haha!


  • Ed