Sculpt your con­cepts in 3d

In part one of a three-part se­ries on get­ting started with ZBrush, dis­cover the tech­niques John Mahoney uses to de­sign an alien pi­lot

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ZBrush is closely re­lated to sculpt­ing in real clay in many ways. You can start with a ba­sic lump of vir­tual clay and fully re­alise your de­sign con­cept com­plete with all the de­tails.

The main dif­fer­ence with sculpt­ing tra­di­tion­ally is that ZBrush en­ables you to sculpt sym­met­ri­cally. You can make mi­nor and dras­tic changes to your char­ac­ter through­out the en­tire sculpt­ing process. Once you learn its ba­sic tools, you’ll be able to sculpt port­fo­lio-wor­thy cre­ations in a frac­tion of time it would take in other pro­grams. You can push and pull vir­tual clay, you can carve away,and add all kinds of bits ‘n’ pieces. You can du­pli­cate any­thing you cre­ate and add com­plex at­tach­ments ef­fort­lessly. I was tra­di­tion­ally trained and swore that I’d never at­tempt 3D sculpt­ing, be­cause I couldn’t imag­ine giv­ing up the tac­tile na­ture of clay and paint. But af­ter work­ing with this pro­gram for sev­eral years, I can see the in­cred­i­ble ben­e­fit of sculpt­ing in ZBrush.

A lot of the re­fined forms that I ad­mire in clas­sic sculp­ture, I can now em­u­late in 3D, which would take me for­ever to do tra­di­tion­ally. An­other ben­e­fit is I can ex­port my im­ages to Pho­to­shop or even 3D print my cre­ations.

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