View Full Version : Learning to Model (zbrush)
11-11-2009, 11:31 AM
I've been working as an animator for a long time now but have very little artistic background (terrible at lifedrawing etc) but wanted to learn to sculpt as I'm always incredibly inspired by the things I see here like the Dominance War.
So, I got myself a nice graphics tablet and a copy of Zbrush and picked up the "Intro to Zbrush 3" DVD from Gnomon and figured I could upload things here for critique and comments.
Here's Day1 (1 hour)
Heres Day2 (1 hour)
I've picked up a Burne Hogarth book called Dynamic Anatomy but would recommend advice on other good books that will help me out a bit
All advice welcome and appreciated :)
11-11-2009, 01:03 PM
I used Zbrush - Character Creation by Scott Spencer for my learning. It has some nice advice in there, and teaches you by making you sculpt a skull, then the muscles on top of that, and finishing with the skin.
11-11-2009, 02:52 PM
Awesome thanks Mathes, I'll see if I can pick up a copy on Amazon in the morning (although I've still 6 hours of this Gnomon DVD left as well!)
11-11-2009, 03:02 PM
I highly recommend loomis how to draw the human head. His heads are awesome and in the book he breaks down many different techniques that will greatly improve your understanding of how to construct a head. The best part is the books are free.
That, and practice practice practice.
11-11-2009, 05:07 PM
Some books !
So I love 1 book in particular
"Anatomy Drawing School"
Buy it and keep it on your side for the rest of your life :):thumbup:
And 1 HUGE DVD
11-11-2009, 11:03 PM
Millah: Thanks! I remember someone recommending some of the Loomis stuff for general lifedrawing before so I'll grab those - free is always nice as well :)
Jinxx: Ahhh nice, I actually worked with Richard at Free Radical, didn't realise he had made a DVD though!
Girlfriend wakes up at 5am for work so I got to do a little bit of tweaking to the last head, I think this is as far as I'm likely to take it as I should probably carry on with the DVD tutorials - I'll gladly put some more time into it if there are major things wrong with the anatomy though so comments and critiques still welcome :)
11-11-2009, 11:36 PM
I'd recommend checking out some of the resources as mentioned above but it looks like you're definitely making some progress and you seem pretty eager to do well so I think you'll be fine. Good luck on your quest dude.
Hey this is looking good, especially for your first lesson. Not sure on what direction the tutorials are taking you first, but I would recommend focusing on volumes.
For example, the eye region looks flat. I would recommend starting with a larger spherical mass and then 'scooping' away from that, concentrating on retaining that initial shape. The skin above the lid would be flowing downward and bulging out a little, especially with an angry expression. It's good to have a pocket mirror at the desk to double check with your own face, or make an expression and then feel along your face to feel where the skin is displacing.
Thanks for that link Millah.
11-12-2009, 05:15 AM
Thanks a lot for the feedback!
Tim Deneau: Yep I can see what you meant about the eye now so I'll take a look - the tutorials mainly seem to be about the tools rather than the anatomy so this is something I'll try to improve as I'm learning the package as well :)
11-12-2009, 06:09 AM
cool improvement from day 1 to 2 :)
seems like things might be getting a little too smoothed out, volumes getting lost and all that. Keeping your div lvl as low as possible at all times can be handy, helps to focus on the larger structural masses first (though things are looking bettah in the second head already)
as far as books go *glances to other side of desk* hogarth's dynamic anatomy and figure drawing, bridgeman (everything more or less ^^), loomis is always good. Bammes rocks too if you can find it online (it's all in german tho ^^;)
I always recommend kchen's figure drawing stuff (make sure you select the right galleries), really cool volume and form on his drawings: http://www.characterdesigns.com/index.php?sitepage=tutorials
anyways, cool stuff man, keep on sculpting
11-12-2009, 12:56 PM
I have Hogarths Dynamic Anatomy and am reading through and trying to make some of this work better but it feels like its taking steps backwards now so I should just stop and move onto something new I guess.
I tried to smooth out some areas and make the volumes a bit more pronounced but it didn't work too well - also I tried to get the eyes right but I'm really struggling to make them feel like orbs? I tried building up a big mass for the eyes and then used claytubes (I think its called) to cut out the eye so it had lids but... yeah, big fail :)
I'm going to carry on watching some tutorials, hopefully theres a way to have a seperate polysphere for the eyes or something I can model the lids over as it would probably be less confusing!
P.S. I'm also getting stretched areas everywhere, the tutorials say to smooth it out then rebuild so the polys are distributed nicer but its not working so I must be doing something dumb :)
I SHALL CONTINUE!
11-12-2009, 01:33 PM
more than learning anatomy, i personally value just choosing a face that interests you, and sculpting it. a lot of anatomy courses are just really theoretical and exaggerated, and give you shapes that don't actually show in a final sculpt. i.e. pieces that end up showing every muscle in the body, when in fact an actual person has very few muscles showing. humans are very imperfect, and i think the most fun you could have is by just trying to capture the "feel" of what you're doing, and using references when you think it looks off. that's just my opinion though, and i'm heavily outnumbered on this particular topic
11-12-2009, 01:59 PM
Model a skull it gives you a good idea of the form and shape of the head.
11-12-2009, 02:05 PM
Calabi has it right, its always good when you are first starting out to do the skull and build it up from there, later you can skip this step, but you need to get used to the proporitons and where the tissue is thicker/ thinner first. goodluck!
I would also recommend picking up a box of clay and a simple scoop/cut tool at your local craft store. This helps in figuring out how to apply and remove mass, since the computer abstracts this you are bypassing some of the more basic concepts.
It will also give you an enormous appreciation for symmetry mode and edit undo.
11-12-2009, 03:07 PM
Thanks again for all the feedback, I skipped ahead a bit on the tutorial videos so now know how to transpose and add meshes together so I figure I can just have an orb for eyes then sculpt the eyelids over the top of that object (had a quick play around with it and seems to work alright)
Am going to call it a night now and sleep and then start on a skull in the morning :)
11-13-2009, 04:04 PM
Day 5 (about 20 minutes)
Didn't have much time to put into this today as it was a long day at the office and I've a headache *whinge*
Somebody lent me a skull I could use as reference so I've been just handling it loads and touching my face trying to figure out the relationship between the two :D
Still loads left to do so I'll be carrying on with that tomorrow, hopefully can put in a bit more time at the weekend than I've been able to during weekdays, not a lot of visual progress but I can already see where I was failing with the jawline on the other sculpts so its a little bit of progress nonetheless :)
Tim Deneau: I'd like to give that a go actually, we have a sculptor at work so I'll see if I could borrow some of his stuff. Lack of undo would probably drive me insane though
11-14-2009, 06:10 AM
Small update just trying to make it right, am going to start on another normal head and then come back to the skull later.
I can't seem to find a way to really carve holes so I'm guessing thats something you can't really do with zbrush maybe?
11-14-2009, 07:12 AM
Here's a skull tutorial which helps with some workflow, how to use masks, etc.
11-14-2009, 09:00 AM
haha thanks Calabi, wish I'd known about that sooner :D
11-15-2009, 06:55 AM
Day 7 (1 hour)
Started on another headtest (the skull isn't finished and I will be going back to it) to try and think more about the muscles and the skull underneath. Mixed results I think, some bits I like and others look much worse than before.
I will keep working on this today and try to sort out the eye area and make proper eyelids and things - I did have a few quick goes but they were all giant fails :)
I started using the xray brush to increase the look of the muscle bits which seemed to work pretty well, I also started to do some changes on a layer which was great although I haven't figured out how to remove the layer and keep the changes (kind of like flattening layers in photoshop)
After 7 days of using Zbrush I've learnt that the interface is actually genius, everything I need is on handy hotkeys or all on the right mouse menu.... at the beginning of the week I was wondering what on earth they were thinking :)
The mouth and cheekbones were annoying me on the last one so a quick fix, still annoying me but blah :(
11-15-2009, 09:41 AM
at the beginning of the week I was wondering what on earth they were thinking :)hehe, i still kinda say that but you do get used to it, yeah :P
cool improvment man. Last dude is looking good tho i think could use a more refined skull (less sphericle)... i had a pic here somewhere but can't find it :\
also on the anatomy v photo thing, photo's are super important but it's really good to build a base on the underlying structure and get some generalities to work from... hence anatomy studies = good =D
anyway dude, hope you keep posting, studies ftw ^__^
edit: just remembered, loomis has got a cool head structure thing, basically take a sphere and cut both sides/edges off, creates a squarer shape... there's more, liek the side view should look like somthing else but can't remember :P
11-15-2009, 12:18 PM
Thanks for your comments Nizza_waaarg! I have the loomis book here and have tried to make the head a little less round - the loomis book in general seems just brilliant, he has some sketches of human heads with the skeleton drawn on top and it's really been an eye opener for me.
I know I need to work on my anatomy lots which is why I started on the skull, but at the same time I need to keep myself motivated and I just have more fun jumping in and trying to get something cool out of a sphere so I'll probably be bouncing between the two quite a lot :)
Added some eyelids in (I know they aren't right, I need to look up the eyelid stuff on loomis and see what I need to fix) and it really changes the way I look at the overall head, makes him look a lot more human I think instead of the weird bugman he was before.
Also toned down the cheekbones and made the mouth a bit smaller.
I hope I'm not posting too many updates here, if its annoying people I'll just make a single post at the end of each day with any work I've been doing. Thanks again for all the help!
11-15-2009, 01:58 PM
wow theres been a marked improvement since ur first attempts keep it up. only crits i can come with for now is the chin area. The chin itself seems to be sunken in and the w crease under the lip comes to sharp in the middle. Also at the side of the eyes it could use a little volume try extending the brow into that area.
11-15-2009, 02:09 PM
go go go!))
11-15-2009, 02:43 PM
Thanks a lot for the crit raiskul, I shall fix those things tomorrow and start on making a rough ear as well :)
11-17-2009, 10:27 AM
Tried to fix the lip issues that were mentioned, also tried to add some ears in but have massively failed - it looks awful :/
I've tried several different versions but am struggling with how to get all the geometry at the back of the ear... either i mask and pull out the small bit where the ear connects to the head and then try to stretch out the rest of the ear shape - or try to mask and pull out the whole ear and try to keep cutting the flesh back.
Either way it always seems to have no volume and looks like the ear is made out of a sheet of paper. I'll keep working on it
I'm going to have a look around and see if I can find some info on making ears somewhere :)
Someone suggested I should be doing these from a zsphere basemesh that has the neck as well as it would probably be better to work from - so I could give this a try next (once I've conquered his ears)
you could just build his ears in, even if it just a 'nub', then re project the high res.
i always build a finished looking base mesh to sculpt from rather than trying to do it from a sphere.
why make extra work for yourself
good improvements BTw, coming along nice
11-17-2009, 11:44 AM
Thanks for the comments Ruz, I don't know anything about projecting - I know the Gnomon DVD has a chapter on that so I'll skip ahead a bit and check it out :)
I think I found a basemesh on here which I could take a look at, Arsh basemesh or something? I'd like to learn to use the zspheres as well for other stuff but I'll try both and see which I find gives a better result
This one came out a little better, I actually left it on the high division and drew it in, masking the ear and then tucking the head geometry back into the ear. Looks kinda ok, although when I turn frame on the geometry is a total mess.
Did a search for making ears in zbrush and found some links on zbrushcentral so will check those as well.
Last update from me for the day as I puked on my shiny new graphics tablet midway through the sculpt - this is what I get for going to a thai restaurant for lunch and ordering a "chicken burger".
Question: Which would be most beneficial to me, making lots of quick sculpts (2 or 3 a day) without putting too much detail in (just to the level this one is I guess) or concentrating on a single one for a couple of days and trying to put all the wrinkles and detail like that in?
11-17-2009, 02:03 PM
My guess would be making lots of quick sculpts, well not neccesarily, quick sculpts but perfecting the forms would be more beneficial as adding the details is reasonably easy(comparitively).
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