Paul Bannon 27 July 2020

Creature Block Out Using ZSpheres in ZBrush

This tutorial goes through the process of creating the basic block out of a creature in ZBrush using Zspheres, then move onto the detailed sculpting.

Creature Block Out Using ZSpheres - Sadan Vague

ZBrush Veteran Sadan Vague goes through the process of blocking out creatures form with the aid of ZBrush ZSpheres.

What Are ZSpheres?

Before we take a look at the tutorial, we thought it would be good to explain what a ZSphere is. This is an advanced tool within the ZBrush which enables artists to quickly and easily build out block out assets using spheres, which can later be converted to a sculptable mesh.

A Moodboard created with the clients supplied references

Getting Started

To get started, begin by adding a ZSphere into you subtool palette, so you have something to work from. This can be done by adding the ZSphere from the Tools menu.

Creating the first ZSphere

Adding more ZSpheres: 3:15 mins

Next we can expand on the ZSphere by adding more ZSpheres. With symmetry enabled, click and drag on the bottom of the sphere to start adding appendages.

Adding more Zspheres on the base

Experimentation

Feel free to experiment with shapes when starting your design. Use the Draw manipulator to add more ZSpheres and the Move manipulator to adjust length and position of your ZSpheres.

Experimenting with different shapes and forms

Symmetry

Having the symmetry tool enabled, you can start to add in legs/arm shapes. Symmetry can be disabled later on to allow for a more asymmetric look if required.

Using symmetry speeds up the creation process and can be disable to add asymmetry later

Fingers and Thumb: 10:50 mins

Using the same techniques shown, add in each separate finger as a separate ZSphere.

Creating fingers and thumbs

Scaling ZSpheres: 21:40 mins

Use the scale manipulator to resize selected ZSpheres, broadening out areas like the shoulders and thorax.

Creating fingers and thumbs

Final Positioning Adjustments: 22:00 mins

Do finally positioning of body parts, moving fingers and feet so they are flat to the grid plane.

Adjusting the position of of the limbs before moving onto the detailed sculpting

Adaptive Skin: 22:47 mins

Open Adaptive Skin tool menu and click make Adaptive Skin to convert the ZSpheres into a mesh you can begin to sculpt on. Once you have done this then select the newly created tool from the tool menu.

Applying the adaptive skinning

Dynamesh: 25:40 mins

Enable dynamesh and begin to sculpt in the muscle groups and forms.

Converting the ZSpheres to Dynamesh

Detailed Sculpting

Now use any tools available in zbrush to detail your creature design.

Detailed scuplting on the back of the creature

Detailed scuplting on the underside of the creature

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