Digital Tutors: Modeling a female hero in zBrush and Maya


Here’s a proposed workflow to work in zBrush and Maya:

1) Start by placing two planes using the plane3D brush just like you would in maya to place your reference images using texture.

2) Now append a zsphere to the subtool and start drawing some zspheres to match the reference.

3) Once we get the shape we want, hit the A button to preview the skin. Then make adaptive skin and append it to the subtools. We can delete the zsphere subtool.

4) Polygroup everything once. Then use masking to polygroup the eye region and facial(mouth) region separately.

5) Under geometry, turn off triangle and use groupsloops with loop set to 1 and polish to ~5  to add resolution to the regions.

6) Shape the skin using move tool. Use smooth by holding shift. Make polygroups for arms etc. so we can shape each area easily.

7) Subdivide a few times, maybe 500000 polys. Then use the claybuildup/move/standard brush to start adding details. We could switch to special brushes like damstandard to add creases.

8) Always lower down to the lowest subdiv to sculpt a raw part. Sculpting involves a lot of knowledge of anatomy!

9) For the nose, ear and chest, we need to edit the topology in maya using split polygon tool and extrude. Use the GoZ plugin. Take the chance to fix edge loops too!

10) We should reduce resolution to places like the fingers while keeping some at the joints. Use offset edge loop and delete edge.

11) Make some eyelids by increasing the resolution and extruding faces. Put an eyeball for reference so the eyelids rest in place.

12) Now we can put it back to zbrush. Remember to mirror geometry and check it first.

13) We need to first project the subdiv details from the original sculpt to the mesh we brought in from maya. Firstly, mask away the eyes, nose, ears and the tight regions of the fingers on the new mesh. Have the mesh roughly match the polygon count of the original. Now unhide the original mesh, click project all.

14) Start smoothing the areas. Sculpt some more! Use the inflate brush for things like breast.

15) Put our mesh back into Maya when we are ready to make some clothings. We could use duplicate face to make the base shape of the clothings from the body mesh.

16) For clothings we might want to extrude some thickness as well as add resolution to the edges to tighten things up. Same for props.

17) Bring them back piece by piece and start sculpting again! mPolish and clipping brushes are great to flatten or cut stuff.

18) We can also make objects in zbrush, like buttons and stuff. Use masking with deformations etc. Matchmaker brush allows us to match the curvature of a subtool by projection.

19) Shadowbox is another awesome method to make stuff by masking. Choose any 3d tool, use shadowbox and start getting a shape with the mask brushes easily.

20) Continue to add details. If we need to push things in, just hold the alt key on standard brush. Standard brushes can also do wrinkles. Use subtool master to mirror things over.

21) We could use mesh extraction to make things like armband.

22) We could use spotlight to place an image on top of our mesh in zBrush, paint the image down to our mesh, then mask by intensity so the polypaint defines the mask. Inflate the masked area to create the brow!

23) We could make something like this for the eyelashes, using transparency maps, or we could further smooth it and cut geometry out.

Take full advantage of both maya and zbrush to make your character!


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