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Sketching Heads in Zbrush

Fundamentals, Practical


3-hour class covering techniques to properly sketch a head from a sphere in Zbrush using Dynamesh.
We’ll cover the following:

  • Good vs Bad References.
  • Proper Zbrush scene scale.
  • The concept of primary, secondary and tertiary details.
  • Simple exercises to improve our sculpting skills.
  • Techniques to improve our observation of proportions, planes and silhouette.

As these topics are complex and the subtleties important, expect us to continue covering them all the way throughout the Facial Sculpting block.

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  1. anh.nhv311 says:

    Hi Laura, looks like Part 2 lost the sound ?

    1. Hey Anh!
      Part 2 doesn’t have sound, it’s just the raw sculpting demo for those who want to see from beginning to end. Cheers!

      1. anh.nhv311 says:

        oh i see, thank you for the reply~ i saw it has cc enable so i thought it lost sound 😀

  2. Christopher says:

    Hi Laura, I had a question regarding the starting sphere. There is an option in the lightbox to start a dynamesh sphere at 128 res rather than going through the process of creating the primitive/converting to polymesh 3D etc. Is there any reason to not use this pre dynameshed option? Also should I edit the scale to make the sphere 15 units for every portrait sculpt I do or is that only if I plan to export it to another program like maya and keep it at 2 units for practice sculpts?

    1. Hey Christopher! That starting dynamesh 128 sphere is all good! Only reason I don’t use it is out of habit I guess. If you’re not gonna export your heads out of Zbrush it matters less that your heads be correctly scaled but personally I’d still do it, it takes a few seconds and then you’re set up to use the transpose tools to measure your distances if ever you feel like it. Cheers!

  3. Subatoi says:

    Hey Laura i couldnt get your ui to work but i manually created it. The only thing i havent been able to figure out is, the vertical height of your ui is narrow. How did you accomplish this?

    1. Aw that sucks, maybe there’s something I need to look into there. For the vertical height I just removed every icon on the top bar that I could to get the most vertical space possible.

  4. mohamed atia says:

    hi laura, i will start trying your method for compining clay buildup and clay tubes it looks great, if you mind can you provid your custom ui for zbrush 2022 ?

    1. Hi Mohamed,
      please excuse the late reply, I’ve been busy these past few days. I added my Zbrush UI as a handout so you can go download and use it :).

  5. Rouie Moran says:

    Holy Cow, Ive been having trouble with Zbrush Scale for the longest time…This info alone is Gem..Thank you.

      1. Rouie Moran says:

        Hi Ms. Laura, DO you try to capture some likeness during the planar stages? or just proper proportions and structures?

        1. As much as possible yes, but there’s a lot to think about during the sketching/planar stage so it’s fine if the likeness is a little off. Proper proportions and structure definitely come first.

  6. Larisa Beliaeva says:

    Hi Laura! Are there any not pronounced principles in 3D sculpting that are analogs to 2D artists’ principles of “stroke economy” or “line economy”? Thanks!

    1. You know that’s an interesting question and I don’t know of anyone who has really thought through what the equivalence of “stroke economy” is for 3d sculpting. It may show how young digital sculpting is as an art form. I mean, I think the concept of stroke economy translates quite well to 3d sculpting and there’s an interesting challenge at the heart of trying to sculpt better and better heads with less and less brush strokes. Like I said though, I don’t know if the topic has been discussed anywhere. If anyone knows of a digital sculptor anywhere discussing the topic, please share.

      1. Emmanuel Rahman says:

        Ryan Kingslien do mention something similar about doing the same thing better with less ‘stroke’ and caring about the process it was in one of his ‘Common mistakes when sculpting face’

        1. I’ve been thinking of challenging myself by sculpting the same face over and over while always trying to reach a lower and lower stroke count. If anyone undertakes that challenge, keep us posted!

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