Zbrushworkshops.com videos observations


I decided to try a months subs of zbrushworkshops to get an idea of how well known artists work, as opposed to the strictly tutorial videos we all watch when starting to learn ZBrush. As a 3D hobbyist lacking in arts training, I want to learn a bit about how they approach projects. By the way, am I the only one who thinks Ryan Kingslien could talk til the cows come home before getting to the points, and his videos are almost like lectures what with writing on the screen and all that talking? But…the message does come across and that’s the main thing. I suppose he must know what he is doing. His voice is pleasant enough and his accent not a problem for me to understand.

Anyway, I digressed there. In a tut video by Magdalena Dadela where she makes a Napoleon, she digs up a starter male mesh and mentions that its common practice to use a generic mesh for games and then sculpt it to whatever character they want. I didn’t know that, but it does make sense.


I enjoy Ryan’s lecture about anatomy stuff a lot. Reminds me so much of my anatomy drawing class I had in collage.

Another thing you probably picked up is how the model falls into the right shapes so early on in his video. Even at very low res. That’s the main trait that separates video from the pro from video from amateur imo. On youtube you’d see so many videos where people start subdividing and apply surface texture details without their form even in place.


back in my day we started with cubes, in maya, with a mechanical mouse and one crt monitor. you kids have it easy! [/jk]


Ryan does talk a lot, but it’s all part of the learning. He gives an insight to how the professionals think, plan and work and he does it all while teaching you the ropes of ZBrush. One thing is for sure, you won’r ever get bored watching a Ryan Kinslien video.
My only gripes about zbrushworkshops is they don’t have enough content and don’t update it often enough. Also the user account has no adjustments, you can’t even change your password.


Yes that’s something that impresses. They are focussed on the form right from the start, get the maximum from one subdivision and know exactly when to bump up to the next one. Also if something isn’t working the way they want it, they have no hesitation about starting over.


Yeah my Dad had a huge crt monitor. In winter I used to heat my hands off it when I came in from playing outside. It weighed so much that he had to put a metal bar under the top of his workdesk to stop it bending. When he got LCD monitors, we had great fun smashing the CRT with a slingshot and some glass marbles.


ryan usually start with highres mesh too, and thats the part where i dont quite get it about his way on sculpt things. but hey, he is the pro and im the noob maybe he has some good reason to do with that kind of workflow.


It has its place.

There’s a difference between working off a high res mesh, and adding detail to one.
ZBrush working on the HR mesh will often be a bit too coarse, especially with smooths and alphas.
You can start right off with 4 or 5 mills and if your brushes are large enough you can still be doing rough work.

It’s more a matter of what type of responsiveness and workflow you like.

Of course if someone with no general shape roughed out starts adding skin pores, then they are setting themselves up for disaster, or at the very least for a helluva lot of reprojections with loss of detail following every remeshing and re-doing of work.


After watching some more of Ryan’s videos, I’ve concluded that the way he does it is very clever.
All the talking and pausing is I think deliberate, and it gives you time to keep up with him on a project. There is no pressure or rush to finish the project, and all his key points sink home. Then every so often an important moment in the project happens and you hit it very easily and sometimes almost unconciously.
Very well thought out I have to say.


I’ve never used zbrushworkshops.com but I have used some of his tutorials in the past and I’ve signed up for just about every seminar he puts on at the Visualarium. Ryan is a master at anatomy. He has studied it a long time and when he puts his pen to the sculpt he doesn’t have to waste strokes because he knows exactly what its supposed to look like at any subdivision level. Riven Phoenix described it as “your invention.” Basically, when you know it that well, you don’t have to think about it anymore. That’s the place I want to get to one day.

Ps. I’ll bet if you asked him, Ryan probably doesn’t think he’s mastered anatomy.


That’s probably a sign of someone who always strives to be even better.


Ryan seams to me to teach people as there a beginner.
this can lead to be a long out boring tutorial .
but then again if he skipped the beginner stuff then beginner would be asking lots of question he left out
some people have there own style, so chose the one that best fits you> beginner>intermediate >advance.
i know he likes to talk and draw all over the place like a chalk board teacher but thats his style.

personally when i teach i like to get to the point with a few tips and move on,
less confusing
and works for all 3, beginner>intermediate >advance


This is all well and good when you’re teaching people the tools: ‘click this to do this…etc’, but Ryan is a highly respected teacher(and in his words, student) of anatomy. Yes, he knows Zbrush like the back of his hand and has played an important role in it’s developement over the years, but his main goal is to further his, and in turn, our understanding of the concepts and ideas of the massively complex intricacies of anatomical study. He is deeply passionate about the subject and it really shows in his teaching methods. He is attempting to teach people something that takes years and years to learn using online workshop lectures. As most of the best, and most well-known, Zbrush artists come from a traditional sculpting background, he is using the ZbrushWorkshops as a terrific resource for those of use who will never benefit from that background.
To get the opportunity to learn from the likes of Cesar Dacol Jnr. and Krishnamurti Costa is a dream come true in itself…


wouldn’t that be the First thing you want to Learn?


Of course, but explaining in depth why/how Zbrush works(as Ryan does) the way it does is important to newcomers as alot of people get really frustrated with the UI/workflow if they’re already familiar with a traditional 3D app.


From my perspective as an almost 18 year old (next Friday by the way), I think both methods are important. If I want a quick tip on how to do or fix something in ZBrush, I will go hunting on Youtube or on the forum here or elsewhere. For deeper understanding of how/why and of course where to start I can sit out a longer tutorial.

At first I thought Ryan’s lectures were just like sitting in class in school, having to suffer all the boring talk and waiting for something good to happen while all the time the grass was growing under our feet. Like in metalwork when we were being taught to weld, we had to listen to 30 minutes of safety talk before we even got near the gas bottles. 30 minutes of torture and all we wanted was to get at the gas bottles and burn something!

So while I agree with the forums ZBrush guru Informerman, I can see how the loooong tuts have something to offer also especially for more mature and patient learners.

Bottom line is that while I like the educationsl/in depth tutorials, I prefer the short and to the point ones better.


Learning the tools is the easy part. Anybody can do that. And granted, Zbrush has a lot of tools that work in harmony and learning the toolset is essential for an efficient workflow, but once this is achieved it’s on to the long path of anatomical study. Learning to see forms. It amazes me when I see a really good artist effortlessly etch in a few landmarks on a really low-poly sculpt and see the forms emerge in startling clarity. That is the real skill; and one we can all strive for.


i think what hes saying is Ryan teaches in baby steps so everyone can understand
but then again some people are a little more advance and prefer not going threw the baby steps.
in other words dont teach a collage person starting out at as third grade level

   i disagree, most of the people i seen know zbrush and can [b]model[/b] Very well
   but far as really knowing zbrush how it really works is a small % percentage.
  zbrush is like a dictionary it has so much information but then again how much information can you take before you dont understand?
 if you could read a dictionary in a week how long would it take you to fully understand it?
Learning the tools is Not easy unless you fully understand it.
if you can model good in zbrush does not mean you know zbrush.
but then again im not the best modeler but i know zbrush very well, even taught Ryan a few thing when he worked for pixologic.

my down fall with zbrush is i been using it since it first came out and was one of my first 3d app’s
and i Learn backwards, i didnt know what good topology was or having good UV as long as my mesh looked good to me i didn’t see any problems but know zbrush has great utility tools to help fixs it.
zbrush is the first and one of a kind and if you haven’t noticed why other 3d apps are trying to copy it


Yes that’s it!


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