So here I am again, trying to learn something new and move along without stepping over too many landmines. ZBrush is luckily very much like Mudbox except for the interface, which I still find somewhat hard to navigate. The transform tools on the other hand are really neat and I like the large setup of many different tools. It’s really like a virtual paint studio with endless possibilities, I really enjoy it. At least so far, ask me in a couple of months again and I’m probably going to say I’m never going to make graphics again. Anyway, here is the progress so far on studying the anatomy of a human body for my first assignment. I sure got a whole new world to explore.

I started out by learning how to use ZSpheres, since they worked similiar to the joint tool in Maya and thus I could quickly create basic shapes.


I started with a full body approach, but it didn’t give me the basic mesh I had expected so I went and created separate parts. This turned out to give me better results as the bodyparts were merged together with dynamesh.


After using ZSphere to form basic shapes, the joints were converted to a 3D polymesh and then I followed up with some sculpting. Although dynamesh is useful to join together different subtools, it resets the UV-map and can drastically increase the polycount which is already at 2 millions for the entire character. I followed the same procedure for the legs and arms.



The Move Tool in ZBrush is one of the most flexible I’ve ever used. Each circle has one individual function so I’m able to stretch, compress and move the arm in a swift motion.


The body parts positioned and carefully joined together to progress towards the second phase in the assignment: the real sculpting. Luckily, I always have my trusty anatomy training book close at hand in my bag. That doesn’t always mean I know how to follow it, just to be clear with that. Also, the ideal human in this book is someone who lifts heavy junk 7/24 so I try not to follow it like it’s the official law of anatomy.

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The techniques I got to learn today was using the Clay Build Up to block out muscles and later define them by using the reversed effect of the same brush. I’m far from finished and I might return to the torso later in the assignment, but for now I’m going to focus on the legs and arms.


The back of the character, I’m trying to figure out how the different muscles work together and their direction. Going alright so far, but I’m going to watch out to not become sloppy with the final details.



Funniest thing so far in the process has been the sculpting of a face, I can’t wait to learn more about baking normals to use the details from the high poly mesh and apply it on top of a low poly mesh. Until that day, I’ll make sure to regularly practice sculpting. For example, the ears are a bit to big so I’ll need to resize them. This time, the looks are fine and it’s a good start but I could’ve easily decided for a better size at the beginning. So if I don’t screw up the appearance, I screw up something else. This time it was something simple, so I got to stop being so impatient getting to the details. It’s always been a problem for me but other than that, it was a good session 🙂