View Full Version : newbie could use some tips

12 December 2009, 11:20 PM
I am still learning zbrush. I am trying to add a lot of detail to a medium-level piece of Geometry. Here is the bas mesh:

I made it in MAYA.

I used a standard brush to block in my detail, then I used the rake to rough out my structure as can be seen here:

Then I hit a wall. I tried smaller and smaller rakes to smooth out my geo but in the end wasn't getting anywhere with it. So I used the smooth brush. I got the following:

I cannot get a satisfying overall surface smoothness, I cannot get a good feel to the area where the Sterno-mastoids meet the sternum or where the throat meets the sternum. I tried pinching, but the results of that brush were terrible.

Also, I cannot get satisfying wrinkles near the forehead either. I haven't yet done any alpha stencil work, I was hoping could anyone offer any tips before I mess this up?

How can I refine a raked model with smaller rakes?
Should I have used the smooth brush?
How can I get better skin smooth results?
How can I refine the sternum bone area?
How can I make better wrinkles?

Any help would be appreciated.



12 December 2009, 02:56 AM
For a beginner your face looks pretty good.

Some suggestions since you say you are a beginner.

-If you aren't already using a tablet. Use one. The pressure sensitivity really speeds things up and gives you an extra level of control.

-smoothing can sometimes be slow on higher levels of displacement. If you want to smooth out larger areas faster. Move down in your subdivision level. If you are using 3.5 r3, you can use the stronger smooth tools.

-be careful with topology. zbrush doesn't handle certain types of topology too well. Usually when many many polygons share the same vertex. Zbrush won't be able to smooth this with smooth brush, it'll turn it into a protruding dimple. You can fix this with flatten. Don't worry, you'll know when it happens.

-I like the rake brush but only when I'm being experimental.

Hopefully, ambient whisper can drop in and give you some pointers. Also you could the zbrushcentral forums.

12 December 2009, 05:26 PM
the way i tend to refine things is to modify the rake brush to make it act more like a rasp.
start with your rake brush, then change the alpha tile to 9, keep the brush mod low (around 3 or lower). then save it as a new brush (clone it, save as, save to zstartup> brush presets.). the smaller the brush size you use, the more delicate the result will be. it's normally very easy to smooth after using it. or in some cases, the pattern it makes can make a nice, rough skin, effect.

when things aren't working, try experimenting with other brushes, or combinations of brushes. for example, with the forehead wrinkles, i tend to use a combination of the dam_standard brush (if you don't have it, you can find it on pixologic's site) and the inflate brush.

also, for detailing and smoothing, one of the first things i do is change my material away from red clay. the way it displays cavities is far from ideal (in my opinion) at that stage of sculpting. try one of the basic materials, or sample all of them, when you find one you like, dive back in.

for the sternum situation, i would say to turn on perspective, if it's not already, and look at the sculpt from different angles. above, below, etc.., and make sure you're pleased with the anatomy. sometimes we get tunnel vision on one angle and upon rotating it a bit, notice it's flat, or not flowing properly. don't be afraid to make the move brush really big and start pushing and pulling things around. just do a save as before you start, and if you don't like the result, you can always step back.
okay, hope this all helps!

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