1. 3D & Motion Graphics
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An Intro to ZBrush: Sculpting the Lion of Belfort

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Read Time: 4 min

In this tutorial you will follow Anush Tehrani through the process of sculpting the Lion of Belfort (as seen in his portfolio). You will go through the step by step process of creating the base mesh in 3ds Max (although any poly modeling application will work), exporting it to ZBrush, and then sculpting the final detailed result.

This tutorial is designed to be an introduction to 3d sculpting in ZBrush, and will only be focusing the most basic and essential sculpting tools and functions. It is not recommended for intermediate to advanced users.

Final Effect Preview

Step 1

First of all, any time you will be sculpting, it is always a good idea to have a detailed reference image available (you can usually find everything you need off the internet).

Step 2

Open up 3ds Max, and select "Customize > Viewport Configuration".

Step 3

Click on the "Layout" tab, select the "Top/ Front" layout, and click OK.

Step 4

Change the viewport by right clicking on its name. Change the upper one to "Left", and the other one to "Perspective".

Step 5

Click on the "Views" menu, and select "Viewport Background".

Step 6

Click "Files" and then select your reference image. Change the settings to match the image below.

Step 7

Zoom in, and create a plane in left viewport. Convert it to an editable poly, and move the vertexes.

Step 8

Go to "Edge" sublevel. Start expanding the mesh for lion's head, by selecting an edge and hold 'shift' while left click and dragging in the viewport.

Step 9

Continue moving vertexes and edges in the "Perspective" viewport.

Step 10

Create more polygons by extending edges and moving vertexes.

Step 11

Try to create one side of the base mesh by continuing the process.

Step 12

Finish the back part and move polygons..

Step 13

Continue modeling the back, and the opposite side of the base mesh.

Step 14

Cap the bottom part by extending edges and bridging them using "Bridge" tool.

Step 15

Make a hole in the mesh by moving some vertexes.

Step 16

Create the tail using the "Bevel" and "Rotate" tools. Cap it when you're done.

Step 17

Move some vertexes so that the head will be turned slightly.

Step 18

Create a box, convert to an editable poly, and then use the 'Bevel' and 'Move' tools to make the box look like the one in the image below.

Step 19

Make a cylinder, and a pyramid for the arrow part.

Step 20

Select all the meshes but arrow, and go to "File > Export selected". Save your file as an .OBJ, and select "Quads" for geometry faces.

Step 21

Open ZBursh, and import your OBJ file.

Step 22

Subdivide your model to level 3 by pressing "Divide" in the "Geometry" menu.

Step 23

Start forming the hands and legs by using the "Standard" brush, with "Z intensity" and "Draw Size" both set to '20'.

Step 24

Subdivide again, press and hold the "ALT" key on keyboard, and set the draw size to '10'. Sculpt the legs from the top.

Step 25

Do the same for the arms.

Step 26

Subdivide to add more polygons, and add more details to the sides.

Step 27

Press the "Shift" Key and "D" to go down to level 3. Select the "Move" tool, and try to form the lion's head.

Step 28

Press the "D" key, to go back up to level 4, and add more details to the head using the "Standard" brush.

Step 29

Subdivide to get a 5th level of subdivision. Use the standard brush with a small draw size, and sculpt the small details for the eyes, nose, and mouth.

Step 30

Sculpt more details for the stomach and legs.

Step 31

Subdivide one more time. Add more details to the head and begin to sculpt the mane from the front.

Step 32

Now add more details to the back of the mane.

Step 33

Use standard brush with and without the "ALT" key to complete the mane.

Step 34

Sculpt the claws with a small standard brush.

Step 35

Refine the claws and mane details using the move, standard, and clay brushes.

Step 36

Add more volume to the legs and the claws.

Step 37

Add more volume to stomach and arms.

Step 38

Start the detailing for the very small areas, and add the arrow by importing it, and appending it as a subtool.

Step 39

Subdivide one last time for a very smooth result. Add more small details, and use the clay brush to make the mane edges sharper.

Final Effect

To get that final metal look that we want, click on "MatCap Materials" and apply the "RS_BronzeAntique" material.

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