In this tutorial you'll go through the entire character creation pipeline using Zbrush, Maya, UVLayout and Photoshop. We'll go through the whole process of creating the "Warrior" character including texturing and rendering with Metalray. This tutorial is divided into 8 parts and in the first part, we'll start blocking out the character in Zbrush using Zspheres.
To start, open Zbrush and Right Click on the canvas, from the option box set the draw size to 0.
Now select "Zsphere" from the "Tool" menu and draw a new Zsphere onto the canvas. Then click on the 'Edit' button. This zsphere is going to work as the pelvis for our character.
Now press 'X' on the keyboard, so that whatever you sculpt/draw will automatically be projected on the X-axis. (This can also be done from "Transform" menu), click "Activate Symmetry" and make sure the X-axis is selected. From here you can also select any other axis you want to use symmetry on (X,Y.)
Now draw another Zsphere as shown in the image below.
Next draw a single Zsphere on the top of the original. Since it's exactly in the center, only a single Zsphere will be created.
Add one more Zsphere on top of the one we just created (as shown.)
Add another Zsphere to the top, and press ‘E’ on the keyboard (or select the Scale tool.) Now scale up the top Zsphere. This will become the chest part of the character. While working with Zspheres, you can preview the output mesh anytime by pressing 'A' on the keyboard.
Add another Zsphere on top for the base of the neck.
And add another as shown in the image below.
Add one more Zsphere for the face and scale it up (as shown.)
Add yet another Zsphere to the side of the chest, this will work as the base for the arm.
And another pair of Zspheres added on to those.
Add one more pair of Zspheres to the arm, and move it out to where wrist will be.
Insert another Zsphere into the chain for the elbow, and adjust it using the Move and Scale tools (to shape the arm.)
Add two more Zspheres, one before and one after the elbow zsphere, as shown in the image below.
Add another zsphere on the wrist for palm.
Add a chain of Zspheres for the finger as shown in the image.
Using the same method, add the remaining fingers and the thumb.
Now your ztool should look like this.
Now start working on the legs, add Zspheres and adjust them as shown below.
A few more zspheres to create the lower leg.
Add two more Zspheres for the feet, one for the ball joint and another for the toe (as show below in the image.)
Here is the complete Zsphere ztool for this character.
You can preview the mesh by pressing ‘A’ on the keyboard. Or by pressing the "Preview" button in the "Adaptive Skin" options of the Tool menu. You can see we have a problem where the arms and legs connect to the torso.
Now from "Adaptive Skin" options menu, set the "Mbr"
amount to 75.
Preview the mesh again, as you can see the problem has been fixed. Click on the "Make Adaptive Skin" button.
From the "Tools" menu, select the mesh we generated from the Zspheres.
Press 'Shift+F' on the keyboard, the different colors on the mesh show the polygroups that has been created from the Zspheres.
By pressing ‘Ctrl+Shift’ on the keyboard and clicking on any polygroup, we can hide all the other polygroup meshes except for the one we clicked on.
Now select the "Move" brush.
For selecting brushes hotkeys can be assigned. Press ‘Ctrl+Alt’ on the keyboard and click on the brush you want to assign a hotkey to (it will display the message shown in the image below.) Now press any key on the keyboard to assign a key. In my case, I’ve assigned ‘M’ for the Move brush, and ‘S’ for the Standard brush.
Now using the Move brush, begin to shape the head (as shown.)
From the "Geometry" options in the "Tool" menu, set the 'SDiv' amount to 2 and adjust the head further.
Define the head a little more as shown below.
Press ‘Ctrl+Shift’ on the keyboard and click anywhere on the canvas. The whole model will become visible, increase the subdivisions level of the mesh by pressing ‘Ctrl+G’ on the keyboard. Then further define the shape of head using the Standard and Move brushes.
Do the same for rest of the body.
While sculpting, always refine the shape at a lower subdivision level. And then move to a higher subdivision level for more detailed work. The shortcut keys for moving to a lower subdivision level is ‘Shift+D’ and "D" for moving up to a higher subdivision level. At anytime you can hide or unhide a particular area of the mesh to work on.
Now unhide the whole body.
Select the "Inflate" brush from the "3D Sculpting Brushes" menu, and inflate the mesh where required (as shown in the following images.)
I want the legs to be a little closer together, for this the "Transpose" tool can be used. Select the "Rotate" tool (or press "R" on the keyboard) and drag the mouse from the top of the leg to the bottom, while holding down "Ctrl" on the keyboard.
Now as you can see the entire body turns black except for the legs. The black areas signify they are being Masked. The masked areas will remain intact while making changes to the other parts of the mesh. The "Transpose" tool displays a line with three circles, position the Transpose line using the outer circles (as shown below). And bring the legs closer together by rotating the small inner circles.
Check the mesh from other angles, and refine the mesh if necessary.
To hide a specific area, drag while pressing ‘Ctrl+Shift’, and then press ‘Alt’ before releasing the mouse. The area contained within the marquee will be hidden. Follow this same process to hide everything but the hands.
Sculpt on the fingers using the "Move", "Standard" and "Inflate" brushes, to give them the proper shape. To inverse the effect of the selected brush while sculpting, press ‘Alt’ on the keyboard.
Select the "Scale" tool (or press ‘E’ on the keyboard) and resize the head as it seems a little large in comparison to the body.
Now make sure the arms length is proportionate to body. To do this, rotate the arms using "Rotate" and the "Transpose" tool. Here the arms seem a little too small.
Now to fix this, undo the changes made and resize the arms using "Scale" (E).
Now follow Step 47 again to make sure the arms length is proportionate to the body.
This is what we now have at the end of the Day 1.
To save the model, it needs to be saved as "ztl tool". That can be done using "Save As" in the 'Tool' menu. You can also save the ztool we created from the Zspheres after Step 23.