Paths

ZBrush: Core Skills

Authors: Justin Marshall, Alex Jerjomin

ZBrush is a full-featured 3D sculpting and illustration application used widely in the media and entertainment industry. It is used to create highly detailed models and textures... Read more

Beginner

The courses in this section will teach you the basics of ZBrush, as you go through a few small projects. You’ll start by jumping in with a simple character, then you’ll start on a larger overall project. Concepts such as working with the interface, creating basic geometry, and basic sculpting concepts will also be covered.

1

Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 1

by Justin Marshall

Jul 1, 2013 / 1h 38m

Beginner • 1h 38m

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Description

Welcome to the Quick Start to ZBrush, a series of specially constructed courses meant to be followed in sequence and which include valuable exercises to reinforce learned concepts. The lesson format for these Quick Starts will be similar to other Digital-Tutors introductory training. We'll go through ZBrush in a very methodical, step-by-step way, making sure to cover the tools and techniques that are most important in enabling you to get up and running quickly. Each volume of a Quick Start will build upon the previous volume, enabling us to progressively build up a complex project into a finished state. In this initial volume, we'll cover the basics of getting started working in ZBrush. We'll discuss navigation and the interface. We'll cover methods of working with primitive geometry and subdividing geometry. We'll also learn about working with multiple SubTools, strokes and alphas, and masking. In the end, we'll end up with an organic piece of geometry for the base of our overall Quick Start project. While following along with these lessons and building a project together will provide you with valuable knowledge, the real power comes from being able to take the techniques you've learned and apply them in a different way to your own work. With this in mind, you'll be presented with an assignment immediately following each volume. These assignments will challenge you to take the skills that you've learned in a particular volume and apply them to a different asset. These courses are designed to be taken in sequence, so we really encourage you to start with this volume and proceed all the way through to Volume 5, taking full advantage of the periodic assignments along the way in order to get the full learning experience. See the full Quick Start to ZBrush Learning Path.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 36s
  2. Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 1
    1h 37m 20s
2

Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 2

by Justin Marshall

Jul 1, 2013 / 1h 50m

Beginner • 1h 50m

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Description

In Volume 2 of the Quick Start to ZBrush, we'll build on the concepts covered in volume 1. We'll start by talking about advanced primitive creation techniques. We'll discuss the important topic of polygroups and look at methods for modifying geometry in ZBrush. We'll also cover some character-specific sculpting techniques in addition to an automatic method for recreating a mesh's topology. We'll also learn about using Panel Loops, working with stencils and modifying our strokes in different ways. In the end we'll add to our Quick Start project by creating a character and mechanical elements for the piece. These courses are designed to be taken in sequence so we really encourage you to start with Volume 1 before continuing with this section. We also encourage you to take advantage of the assignments that follow each volume.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 11s
  2. Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 2
    1h 48m 53s
3

Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 3

by Justin Marshall

Jul 1, 2013 / 1h 35m

Beginner • 1h 35m

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Description

In Volume 3 of the Quick Start to ZBrush, we'll build on the concepts covered in volumes 1 and 2. We'll start by talking about applying and manipulating materials. We'll cover techniques for texturing, or polypainting, our models. In addition, we'll talk about UVs and go over the use of Shadowbox to create new geometry from masks. Finally, we'll learn to combine multiple pieces together using remesh and detail them using clipping brushes. In the end we'll add to our Quick Start project by texturing our character and new base pieces. These courses are designed to be taken in sequence so we really encourage you to start with Volume 1 and 2 before continuing with this section. We also encourage you to take advantage of the assignments that follow each volume. These assignments will allow you to take what you've learned and apply those tools and techniques to your own projects.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 11s
  2. Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 3
    1h 34m 18s

Intermediate

Once you have a strong grasp of the fundamentals, you will continue your ZBrush project by learning about using multiple subtools, looking at new ways to create geometry, and adding detail. You will also take a more in-depth look at ZBrush through a more extensive project-based course.

4

Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 4

by Justin Marshall

Jul 1, 2013 / 1h 35m

Beginner • 1h 35m

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Description

In Volume 4 of the Quick Start to ZBrush, we'll build on the concepts covered in the previous volumes. We'll begin by learning to use Insert Mesh brushes to quickly add geometry. We'll also cover the powerful Dynamesh feature and how it can aid in quick mesh design. We'll cover curve-based brushes and talk about some very specialized insert brushes, the Insert Multi-mesh and Insert Tri-part brushes. We'll also cover some of the topology tools in ZBrush as well as using Spotlights to project textures onto our geometry. At the conclusion of this volume, we'll have a finished base along with a sculpted and painted character. These courses are designed to be taken in sequence so we really encourage you to start with Volumes 1 through 3 before continuing with this section. We also encourage you to take advantage of the assignments that follow each volume. These assignments will allow you to take what you've learned and apply those tools and techniques to your own projects. See the full Quick Start to ZBrush Learning Path

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 14s
  2. Quick Start to ZBrush: Volume 4
    1h 34m 42s
5

Introduction to ZBrush 4R7

by Justin Marshall

May 5, 2015 / 4h 31m

Beginner • 4h 31m

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Description

In this ZBrush tutorial, we'll take an introductory look at this powerful sculpting, painting, and illustration application. We'll begin by exploring the ZBrush interface and covering the process of getting geometry ready to sculpt so you can jump in and begin creating. We'll talk about Pixols, the unique 2.5D workflow, and basic methods for creating and manipulating geometry on the canvas. How to subdivide your mesh and begin using the sculpting brushes to add detail will also be covered, as well as techniques for painting your models. We'll also cover topics like masking, polygroups, and several innovative methods for building geometry, including ZModeler, ZSpheres, DynaMesh and ShadowBox. We'll start with some simple geometry and then progress to more of a project-based approach as we explore sculpting, painting, using FiberMesh, lighting and rendering, and map creation. ZBrush is an extremely robust application, so we'll only be able to skim the surface of many of its tools in our time together. You can, however, find more in-depth tutorials on many of these topics on the site. Software required: ZBrush 4R7.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 9s
  2. Introduction to ZBrush 4R7
    4h 30m 44s
6

Texture Painting in ZBrush

by Justin Marshall

Dec 19, 2013 / 1h 45m

Beginner • 1h 45m

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Description

In this series of tutorials, we will go through the process of painting textures for our models in ZBrush. ZBrush is a great tool for painting textures for our sculpted models, but it works a little bit differently from other applications. We'll start the tutorial by talking about the basics of polypainting and how it differs from a map-based workflow. We'll then use a cool creature sculpt as our project as we go through the process of texture painting. We'll explore different strokes and brush settings to achieve different effects. We'll learn to use layers to blend multiple polypaint passes together. We'll use custom alphas to create detail and the noise function will allow us to add high-frequency detail quickly. We'll also learn about UVs and using masking to darken cavities in our mesh. Finally, we'll learn to create texture maps from our polypainted model and transfer those to other applications. As we go, feel free to have some fun with the color palette and really make the character your own. Once you're done, you'll have the knowledge you need to paint textures for your own models in ZBrush. Software required: ZBrush 4R6.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 8s
  2. Texture Painting in ZBrush
    1h 43m 52s

Advanced

The advanced-level courses will give you some tips and tricks for working faster and more efficient in ZBrush and will show you some of the other mesh creation methods available. You’ll finish up with a sculpting and painting project.

7

Mesh Creation Concepts in ZBrush

by Justin Marshall

Nov 22, 2014 / 57m

Beginner • 57m

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Description

In this ZBrush tutorial, we'll look at creating and modifying primitive objects. ZBrush is a great tool for sculpting and painting, but one of the advantages it has over other similar applications is its ability to create geometry. Instead of needing to bring in base geometry from another application, there are several methods for creating that geometry within ZBrush. We'll look at using ZSpheres to build up armatures and base meshes. We'll also learn about using the Topology tools to create meshes, as well as mesh extraction and remeshing. We'll also talk about ShadowBox and creating meshes using Morph Targets. By the end of this ZBrush training, you'll have a much better idea of the kinds of tools available for creating geometry. Software required: ZBrush 4R6.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    59s
  2. Mesh Creation Concepts in ZBrush
    56m 18s
8

Working Quickly in ZBrush

by Justin Marshall

Oct 1, 2012 / 1h 17m

Intermediate • 1h 17m

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Description

In this series of ZBrush tutorials, we will talk about a number of techniques you can use to speed up your ZBrush workflow. ZBrush is a powerful application, but once you begin working with large models consisting of many SubTools, the speed with which you can execute even simple tasks becomes even more important. In addition, each artist will often find different ways of setting up the interface or using tools that will enhance the particular way they like to work. This course goes over many of these workflow enhancements and interface options that you can use to speed up your workflow. Some of these may not save much time on their own, but depending on the frequency they're used, that time can really add up. We'll start by talking about customizing your interface so your tools and options are all easily accessible to you. We'll also cover changing the way the interface behaves and creating your own custom menus. Using and creating shortcuts will be covered as will placing assets for quick access when needed. We'll also cover some navigation tips, tips for dealing with SubTools, and useful plugins like SubTool Master. We'll finish up by talking about automating tasks using macros. In the end, you'll have a much better idea of your workflow optimization options in ZBrush and be able to set up your user experience so you can spend more of your time actually creating. Software required: ZBrush 4R4.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    1m 27s
  2. Working Quickly in ZBrush
    1h 15m 44s
9

Sculpting a Stylized Axe in ZBrush

by Alex Jerjomin

Nov 16, 2015 / 2h 6m

Intermediate • 2h 6m

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Description

In this tutorial, we will learn how to sculpt a stylized axe in ZBrush. We'll prepare our axe to be sculpted by blocking it out in 3ds Max. We will then do some in depth sculpting on different stylized materials such as cloth, wood, and metal. In conclusion, we will learn how to create a quick render in KeyShot for a final presentation. Software required: ZBrush 4R7, 3ds Max 2015, KeyShot 5, Photoshop CC.

Table of contents
  1. Introduction and Project Overview
    56s
  2. Sculpting a Stylized Axe in ZBrush
    2h 5m 24s

What you will learn

  • Basics & Interface
  • Sculpting Concepts
  • Painting Concepts
  • Working with Subtools
  • Sculpting and Painting Tools
  • Modifying Geometry
  • Project Transfer

Pre-requisites

This path is intended for beginners, but a basic understanding of 3D is recommended.

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