Learning Zbrush – Character Sculpt

To learn Zbrush, I decided to attempt to sculpt a heavily stylised character.  This would allow me to concentrate on the sculpting and the tools used, rather than following strict anatomy.  Little did i know, creating a stylised character can be just as challenging as producing something more realistic.


The images I used for reference were created by a character artist named Borja Montoro in a Disney style.  I would use this as my guide, however not following it strictly to leave room for creativity.

I created the sculpt in separate components; the head, arms, torso and legs.  This allowed me to edit / manipulate each section easily, without altering any of the surrounding anatomy.  Then, once I had the major forms, I then merged each individual mesh into one to allow me to sculpt the way in which the anatomy joins together.

As mentioned in an earlier post, dynamesh allows me to sculpt and join meshes quickly and efficiently, however the topology is considered very “dirty”.  At this point I duplicated the mesh and re-topologised it to around 5000 polygons.  Furthermore, sub-dividing this till it was some-what near that of the poly-count of the dynamesh version of the model.  Zbrush then allows me to project the detail from the dynamesh version, onto the new cleaner topology, ready for me to sculpt in all the secondary / tertiary details.  Also, as I had sub-dividing the mesh a number of times, this provided various subdivisions levels from low to high poly.

Overall, I was happy with the start I made to the character.  I feel it has maintained a likeness to that of the reference images and the anatomy appears to flow together nicely.  However, I am not quite happy with the shoulder area and how it looks, something just looks a little off.  I will try and correct this when adding more detail into the anatomy, like muscle groups, into the character.

For a fist venture in Zbrush for creating characters, I am really pleased with where it is at.  The next stage is to continue to add the secondary details, then any smaller details like wrinkles to finalise it.


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