In 1999, Zbrush made its arrival into the digital art scene as a powerful sculpting and illustrating solution. 12 years later, Zbrush’s influence is evident in a multitude of blockbuster movies and video games. Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Gears of War, Assassins Creed and Uncharted all utilized the powerful toolset of Zbrush. Along with the movie and gaming production pipelines, Zbrush has been used by 3D printing, toy manufacturing, medical, and jewelry companies.
Zbrush is not a solution for animation, rendering, or rigging. You can do these things within the software, but Zbrush is better utilized for adding high definition details and texture to a digital 3D model. The workflow of Zbrush is meant to mimic that of a real sculptor. Rather than tweaking individual vertices as you would in other popular 3D programs, Zbrush allows the artist to “paint” on changes with the use of a variety of brushes and tools.
In this tutorial, I will briefly go over the Zbrush interface. I will then introduce you to the basics of the digital sculpting workflow within Zbrush. After exploring the interface and basic techniques, I will create a quick sculpt of a human head:
In conclusion, you should now have at least an understanding of digital sculpting. If you continue to practice the techniques of this tutorial, you will be on your way to creating your own digital sculptures.
- Collect, collect, collect reference material.
- Study anatomy and proportions.
- Always remember to work from big to small. Rough in the basic shapes first before attempting to tackle the fine details of your sculpture.
- Save often.
- Invest in a Wacom tablet!