IT’S A KNOCKOUT Hossein Diba forms a tag-team with a wrestling legend to reveal how to craft characters in 3D, before polishing in 2D
Hossein Diba doesn’t stray too far from the day job for the project in this ZBrush video. His choice of subject is ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, one of the all-time greats from the World Wrestling Entertainment circuit. The exaggerated physiques and costumes of wrestlers make them great real-world examples of the pumped-up anatomy you’d find on your typical fantasy warrior.
Hossein spends nearly all of the video’s four-and-a-half hours in ZBrush, with occasional forays into 3ds Max for prop-making and a rendering session in Photoshop to close. He adopts a workflow that will be pretty familiar to ZBrush artists – or any artist, come to that: block out the big primary forms, refine with secondary shapes, then work in the details.
Unfortunately, it’s this workflow’s familiarity that works against the video in its opening chapters, because even if you’ve only watched a few ZBrush training videos, the tools and techniques set out here don’t have much distinctive information to add.
It’s not until Hossein gets into the detailing stage that the video hits its stride. His narration becomes more detailed, and the useful tips flow thick and fast as the artist’s authority shines through. You’ll see how he expertly uses Alpha brushes to add skin textures, knowing exactly where the effect should be rough and where finer detail is called for. Extra touches like wrinkles and veins are applied, leading to a kind of hyper-realism that perfectly suits the larger-than-life subject.
The video as a whole will give you a solid grounding in ZBrush character processes, helping you understand how to manipulate Subdivision levels to work efficiently at all times and how the Transpose tool enables you to morph your sculpt into a more compelling pose before rendering. But it’s the section on detailing that will most reward repeat viewing.
Find out how ZBrush enables you to sculpt larger-than-life characters with the help of Hossein Diba and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. In the strongest section of the video, Hossein shares his knowledge of how to deploy ZBrush Alpha brushes to develop realistic skin. Posing the sculpt with Tranpose and adding clothes and props turns a static sculpt into a piece of character art.