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Creating Tertiary Details

Intermediate, Theory, Practical


A 4-hour class on the full process to create tertiary (surface) details for faces in Zbrush. We cover the following topics:


  • A breakdown of all the important types of skin details
  • How to polish a head without sacrificing expressivity
  • Procedural techniques to generate details quickly
  • The proper use of Layers and Morph Targets


We also talk about the tradeoff between efficiency and precision in your approach and discuss the usage of ready-made tertiary detail solutions like TexturingXYZ or scan data versus creating everything by hand.

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  1. Orsi says:

    Hey Laura, amazing course so far. Ive noticed that whenever i apply a noise surface, the wireframe can be seen, warps the noise aswell. Also noticed that details in the eyefolds become tiny and clustered, which breaks.

    Do you have any idea what might be causing this? Im working on lv 6 subdivision, as 7 is too much for my cpu.
    Heres a screencap on how it looks

    1. Hey Orsi, your issue is UV map related. I’ve seen this a few times before and it’s a pain to figure out why it happened, but one thing you can try as a fix is to go to your lowest subdivision level, then to Tool -> UV Map and click on Cycle UV. You might have to cycle the UVs a few times. Hopefully it fixes the issue, else you might just have to reproject your UVs from a head without the issue or transfer your sculpt to a new topology. Hope that helps.

  2. Shubham Prabhudesai says:

    Hey Laura actually I am having some trouble with applying the noise to the mesh which is
    as I click apply it smooths or takes out too much of detail even if smooth is on zero

    1. Hi Shubham,
      the smoothing *could* mean that your mesh isn’t high enough in subdivisions before the noise is applied. I’m just speculating here. I have observed though that the noise always winds up being less intense after a noise is applied. I sometimes make the noise a little bit stronger before applying so that it winds up being what i want it to be afterward, if that makes any sense.

  3. Jack Holland says:

    Such a great lecture, I learned ALOT from this. Thank you Laura

  4. Xuan Shang says:

    wow, this is my first time knowing the direction of pores. I always just apply some pore textures or just use texture xyz, but constantly feel there is something missing. Now, I know that I am missing directional pores! Thanks for this!

  5. Young_Googi says:

    Making skin directionality by using Smooth Directional is a really cool method. You are legend.

    1. Oh gosh haha! Thanks Young! It’s a really small tip but I’m glad it’s useful for you.

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