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Creating a Detailed Forest Creature in ZBrush
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Released Oct 21, 2013
Brad Groatman

Guest Tutor

Brad Groatman
In this ZBrush tutorial we will learn a number of different sculpting techniques in order to create a creature made of a variety of materials and substances.

The idea here is to create a creature with a focus on using a variety of sculpting tools in ZBrush. We will create our own MultiMesh tools for efficiently sculpting elements such as vines, ivy and thorny branches, utilize the curve function to increase use textures – specifically, the luminance of textures – in conjunction with morph targets as a means of gaining finer controls over the creation of subtools.

We will look at nestling FiberMesh within FiberMesh in order to create various forms of vegetation, and we will also utilize ZSketching in order to create the complex structural makeup of this creature, which is comprised of many different kinds of materials, from moss and grasses to tree bark and rocks.

Texturing will combine the use of Spotlight and Polypainting, and we will go through the process of gathering the necessary reference for each. We will go through the process of establishing effective render settings, as well as creating a final composite in After Effects to give the sculpt a fitting final presentation.

By the end of this training, you will have developed a good familiarity with the variety of tools with which you can create diverse characters in ZBrush.
Introduction and project overview
1

Introduction and project overview

 
01:16
Using ZSpheres to block out the shape for our creature
2

Using ZSpheres to block out the shape for our creature

 
12:15
Creating a ZSphere armature for our creature
3

Creating a ZSphere armature for our creature

 
10:48
Using ZSketch to create the torso
4

Using ZSketch to create the torso

 
14:11
Retopologizing the torso and adding detail
5

Retopologizing the torso and adding detail

 
13:45
Blocking in the other side of the torso
6

Blocking in the other side of the torso

 
13:53
Blocking in the head
7

Blocking in the head

 
14:07
Adding initial details to the head
8

Adding initial details to the head

 
12:48
Continuing to shape the head
9

Continuing to shape the head

 
12:53
Blocking out the crown of tree branches
10

Blocking out the crown of tree branches

 
11:32
Adding limbs to the branches
11

Adding limbs to the branches

 
13:38
Beginning the right arm
12

Beginning the right arm

 
14:30
Adding the right forearm pieces
13

Adding the right forearm pieces

 
12:31
Detailing the right forearm
14

Detailing the right forearm

 
10:44
Adding bulk to the right arm
15

Adding bulk to the right arm

 
12:40
Starting on the left arm for our creature
16

Starting on the left arm for our creature

 
12:45
Sculpting the left arm branches
17

Sculpting the left arm branches

 
11:29
Adding tendrils to the left arm
18

Adding tendrils to the left arm

 
09:11
Adding mossy details to the left main branch
19

Adding mossy details to the left main branch

 
16:31
Roughing in the lower body
20

Roughing in the lower body

 
14:00
Detailing the rocks in the upper leg
21

Detailing the rocks in the upper leg

 
13:53
Our first pass at the left leg
22

Our first pass at the left leg

 
14:18
Blocking in the lower legs
23

Blocking in the lower legs

 
16:01
Refining the lower leg shapes
24

Refining the lower leg shapes

 
12:11
Adding details to the lower leg
25

Adding details to the lower leg

 
11:12
Continuing work on the lower legs
26

Continuing work on the lower legs

 
14:39
Using the Curve Tube brush to add roots to the leg
27

Using the Curve Tube brush to add roots to the leg

 
13:50
Adding leaves with FiberMesh
28

Adding leaves with FiberMesh

 
08:56
Creating moss with FiberMesh
29

Creating moss with FiberMesh

 
12:28
Creating FiberMesh pine needles
30

Creating FiberMesh pine needles

 
08:38
Using images as FiberMesh textures
31

Using images as FiberMesh textures

 
08:48
Creating a custom multimesh brush
32

Creating a custom multimesh brush

 
14:44
Using alphas to add detail to the head
33

Using alphas to add detail to the head

 
14:26
Sculpting with masks and alphas
34

Sculpting with masks and alphas

 
07:25
Detailing the torso
35

Detailing the torso

 
11:49
Sculpting details with layers
36

Sculpting details with layers

 
12:58
Adjusting and blending layers
37

Adjusting and blending layers

 
07:32
Final details on the left arm
38

Final details on the left arm

 
11:45
Using the curve lathe brush to create smaller details
39

Using the curve lathe brush to create smaller details

 
10:52
Using MicroMesh to add patches of fungus
40

Using MicroMesh to add patches of fungus

 
10:27
Adding lichens and fungus
41

Adding lichens and fungus

 
13:04
Creating additional details
42

Creating additional details

 
12:07
Detailing the eyes and mouth
43

Detailing the eyes and mouth

 
15:57
Using Spotlight for texturing
44

Using Spotlight for texturing

 
10:52
Texturing the head
45

Texturing the head

 
12:45
Finishing up the head texture using Polypaint
46

Finishing up the head texture using Polypaint

 
11:39
Using Spotlight to texture the torso
47

Using Spotlight to texture the torso

 
12:16
Finishing up the textures
48

Finishing up the textures

 
14:26
A quick lighting setup
49

A quick lighting setup

 
09:59
Compositing the final render
50

Compositing the final render

 
17:05