A Super ZBrush Sculpt

This blog is getting a bit dusty, so I feel compelled to post something.  While I had a bit of a break, I decided to take on a short project in ZBrush just to get used to the workflow between it, Topogun and Maya.  I wanted to see if I could create a super hero human figure faster using that workflow than the traditional one.

To start off with, I created the basics of a human form using ZSpheres.  These little do-hickeys are used for lots of things, including being able to generate meshes from scratch in a short amount of time.  Once I got the spheres in relatively the correct place and size, I used the Adaptive Mesh command to basically create a skin over all of the ZSpheres and create a base mesh.

Starting off with this base mesh, I could then subdivide the model a number of times to get a high resolution mesh and be able to sculpt all of the fine details of the muscles.  One of the things that came in handy with this was the Dynamesh feature of ZBrush.  Essentially, it is a voxel sculpting feature that allows you to re-mesh your model and avoid distortion from stretched polygon edges.

Mind you, this was just in a matter of a few hours I was able to get to this point.  If I was just creating a digital sculpture, I could probably leave it at this level and call it good.  However, one of the things about creating from scratch in ZBrush is that you don't get good topology on your model.  Dynamesh, especially, is a culprit in this because it needs to use triangles to to do the voxel operations (at least that's what I can surmise from my experience with it).  Therefore, once I got it to this point, I could take it into Topogun and retopologize the base mesh.

In Topogun, I imported the high-resolution mesh and began to draw out the correct basic topology of the base mesh.  I would start off simple in patches, then add edge loops where they were needed on the patches to then line things up.  That whole process took about half a day, although I can see some things that need to be better the next time I go forward with something like this.

Once I reimported the base mesh into ZBrush, it adjusted the subdivided geometry accordingly and after a few cleanups, I was able to have a mesh with all the correct topology lines.

I was then able to redefine a few important anatomical features and wound up with a final sculpt, ready to be used to pose or extract clothes from.  It was a good exercise, and in total took only about three days versus a week doing it the old fashioned way.  If I was a good experience and I can see a lot of potential for character creation from it.

The anatomical proportions need more attention in this, but since it's an exercise, I am not too worried.  I'd increase the volume of the legs and maybe the hips.  Overall, though, not a bad start.

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