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  1. 3D & Motion Graphics
  2. ZBrush
Cgi

Creating a Super Girl Character: Part 1

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

1. Sculpting the Head

Step 1

Start Z Brush. To start sculpting the head, go to LightBox > Project and double-click on DynaMesh_Sphere_64 as shown in the following image.

Start Z Brush
Start Z Brush

Step 2

Press the X button on the keyboard to mirror the actions across axis X. You'll have two red dots when the cursor points on the model.

Press X
Press X

Step 3

Turn off the perspective view to avoid distortion. Alternatively, press P key on the keyboard.

Turn off the perspective view
Turn off the perspective view 

Step 4

Select the Move brush from brush palette (shortcut key: B-M-V). 

Select the Move brush
Select the Move brush

Step 5

Rotate the model to side view, press the Shift key to snap it to a full orthographic view as you rotate it towards the side view.

Rotate the model to side view
Rotate the model to side view

Step 6

Pull out the jaw and establish the main angle of the face. Ensure everything looks fine in every angle of view as it may accidentally out of shape when you only focus on one side.

Pull out the jaw
Pull out the jaw

Step 7

Rotate to front view, push the face inwards.

Rotate to front view
Rotate to front view

Step 8

Rotate to bottom view, press and hold the Ctrl button and mask out the neck area.

Rotate to bottom view
Rotate to bottom view

Step 9

Hold down the Ctrl button and mouse primary-click on the canvas outside of the model to invert the masking.

Hold down Ctrl button
Hold down Ctrl button

Step 10

Rotate to side view and drag the neck downward as shown in the following image.

Rotate to side view
Rotate to side view

Step 11

Hold down the Ctrl button and drag a small box on the canvas outside of the model to unmask everything.

Hold down Ctrl button
Hold down Ctrl button

Step 12

Expand Geometry on the right, expand DynaMesh tab and click on DynaMesh button. This helps fix the uneven topology. Alternatively, you can press Shift-F.

Expand Geometry
Expand Geometry 

Step 13

Smooth out the surface by holding down the Shift button and brush on the model.

Smooth out the surface
Smooth out the surface

Step 14

Continue shaping the neck and jaw by using Move brush (B-M-V) and Smooth brush (hold Shift).

Continue shaping the neck
Continue shaping the neck

Step 15

Push the eyes inwards a bit as shown in the following image.

Push the eyes inwards
Push the eyes inwards

Step 16

Select ClayBuildUp brush (shortcut key: B-C-B) from the brush palette, hold down the Alt button (to carve into) and sculpt out the eye socket. Hold Shift to smooth the surface.

Select ClayBuildUp brush
Select ClayBuildUp brush

Step 17

Continue with ClayBuildUp brush (shortcut key: B-C-B) for the nose. Use the Move brush (shortcut key: B-M-V) to shape the nose.

Continue with ClayBuildUp brush
Continue with ClayBuildUp brush

Step 18

Use the Move brush (shortcut key: B-M-V) to shape the nose.

You can use Move brush
You can use Move brush

Step 19

Now, the polycount is not enough to sculpt more details. You have to subdivide the model by clicking the Divide button under Tools > Geometry on the right. 

Alternatively, press Ctrl-D. You'll see the subdivide level is now 2.

Subdivide the model
Subdivide the model 

Step 20

Select Pinch brush from the brush palette (shortcut key: B-P-I) and brush around the eye socket’s edges to sharpen the edges. 

Select Pinch brush
Select Pinch brush

Step 21

Select DamStandard brush from the brush palette (shortcut key: B-D-S) and draw out the double eyelid line.

Select DamStandard brush
Select DamStandard brush

Step 22

Use Pinch brush (shortcut key: B-P-I) to make the double eyelid narrower. Hold Shift to smooth the surface. 

Continue with DamStandard brush (shortcut key: B-D-S), hold down Ctrl button (to build up) and draw around the edge of the lower eyelid for sharper edges as shown in the following image.

Use Pinch brush
Use Pinch brush

Step 23

Create a sphere from Subtool > Insert on the right side for eyeball.

Create a sphere from Subtool Insert
Create a sphere from Subtool> Insert 

Step 24

Place and scale the eyeball to fit your eye socket by using move tool.

Place and scale the eyeball
Place and scale the eyeball

Step 25

Duplicate the eyeball by clicking the Subtool > Duplicate. Expand Deformation and press Mirror.

Duplicate the eyeball
Duplicate the eyeball

Step 26

Now you have 3 objects in the Subtool, combine the left and right eyeball by clicking MergeDown from Subtool > Merge.

Subtool Merge
Subtool> Merge

Step 27

Back to Draw tool by pressing Q. Use Move brush (shortcut key: B-M-V) to shape the eye socket to fit the eyeball.

Use Move brush
Use Move brush

Step 28

Using DamStandard brush (shortcut key: B-D-S), sculpt out the nostril as shown in the following image.

Using DamStandard brush
Using DamStandard brush

Step 29

Subdivide your model again (shortcut key: Ctrl-D) when you feel that the poly count is not enough to form the shape. 

Shape the nose by using either Move brush (B-M-V), ClayBuildUp brush (B-C-B) or Standard brush (B-S-T).

Subdivide your model again
Subdivide your model again

Step 30

Using DamStandard brush (B-D-S), draw a deep line for mouth as shown in the following image.

Using DamStandard brush
Using DamStandard brush

Step 31

Now, draw an outline of the lips by using DamStandard brush (B-D-S), shape the lips with ClayBuildUp Brush (B-C-B), Move brush (B-M-V), Standard brush (B-S-T).

DamStandard brush
DamStandard brush

Step 32

From the side view, pull the lips outwards by using Move brush (B-M-V). Ensure the upper lip is more protruded than the lower lip as shown in the following image.

Pull the lips outwards
Pull the lips outwards

Step 33

Go to Subtool > Insert > Cube3D to insert a Cube to make the ear.

Go to Subtool Insert  Cube3D
Go to Subtool> Insert > Cube3D

Step 34

Place and scale the cube to ear position. As the ears are not precisely 90°, rotate about 10° on Z-axis, 25° on Y-axis and 5° on X-axis.

Place and scale the cube
Place and scale the cube

Step 35

Hold down Shift button to smooth the hard edges of the cube and form a basic shape of ear.

Hold down Shift button
Hold down Shift button

See from front.

See from front
See from front

See from side.

See from side
See from side

Step 36

Duplicate the ear and mirror to opposite side. To combine the ears together, follow the same steps from Step 25 to Step 26 that created the eyes.

Duplicate the ear and mirror to opposite side
Duplicate the ear and mirror to opposite side

Step 37

Go to Geometry > Dynamesh and click on Dynamesh to fix the topology.

Go to Geometry  Dynamesh
Go to Geometry > Dynamesh

Step 38

Remember to press X key to mirror your actions and Ctrl-D to subdivide the ear model. Using Move brush (B-M-V), push the front of the ear inward to a concave shape.

Remember to press X key
Remember to press X key

Step 39

Subdivide again (Ctrl-D). Using DamStandard brush (B-D-S), draw an outline for the ear structure.

Use DamStandard brush
Use DamStandard brush

Step 40

With the Alt key pressed, use ClayBuildUp brush (B-C-B) on the ear for carve into (red region), and brush for build up (blue region) as shown in the following image.

Use ClayBuildUp brush
Use ClayBuildUp brush

Step 41

Smooth the surface by hold down the Shift button.

Smooth the surface
Smooth the surface

Step 42

Use DamStandard brush (B-D-S) to make the structure more obvious and neat. Then smooth the surface by pressing Shift key. You can also use Polish brush (B-P-O) in case the smooth brush is not desirable as per your expectation.

Use DamStandard brush
Use DamStandard brush

Step 43

Don’t forget about the back of the ear. Press Shift-D multiple times to go back to the lowest subdivision level. Hold down Ctrl and mask a region.

Dont forget about the back of the ear
Don’t forget about the back of the ear

Step 44

Hold down the Ctrl button and click on the canvas outside of the model to invert the mask.

Hold down Ctrl button
Hold down Ctrl button

Step 45

Use Move brush (B-M-V) to pull out the unmasked region to attach with the head surface.

Use Move brush
Use Move brush

Step 46

Hold the Ctrl button and drag a small box on the canvas outside of the model to unmask all. Press D multiple times to go back to the highest subdivision level. 

Use Move brush (B-M-V) to shape the ear. Use Pinch brush (B-P-I) to make the ear thinner.

Hold Ctrl button and drag a small box
Hold Ctrl button and drag a small box 

Step 47

You're now done for the head.

The final head
The final head

Tips

1. You can always turn down the opacity of Z Brush window by sliding the See-through slider. Put the reference image under the Z Brush window, this help compare the model with the reference images.

2.   Useful brushes shortcut key summary:

  •  B-M-V: Move brush (good for sculpting the basic shapes)
  •  B-C-B: ClayBuildUp brush (good for sculpting the detailed shapes)
  •  B-D-S: DamStandard brush (good for making sharp edges)
  •  B-P-I: Pinch brush (good for shrinking the model)
  •  B-P-O: Polish brush (good for polishing the surface)
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