ZBWS – Hard Surface Fun!

I’ve been pushing on the hard surface side of things during the holiday period. I tried another attempt at a spacecraft sort of design utilizing hardsurface techniques. I’m getting the hang of it now and I’m getting a better handle on polishing tools. Through Ryan’s Zbrush Certification course, I was also exposed to IMMs. (Insert mesh brushes). I’ve been exposed to these guys for a good while now but it’s been recently that I’ve started to figure them out better, both for kit bashing and adding details. I must say, I didn’t think I’d be creating hard surface models within Zbrush anytime soon! I had a lot of fun designing the main hull with panel loops etc. The undercarriage design on this ship was fun to, I used nothing but IMMs for that. The whole piece is 100% Zbrush.

ZBWS.HardSurface.IMM_v1.0_GloryRenderShip Design Concept. (WIP)


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ZBWS – Creature Design with Peter Konig – update

This creature has gone through its paces! It’s gone from ‘GoatTroll’ to a sinister larve/insectoid ‘thing’.  I’m still working out the main forms currently and playing with its design. Not sure what this fella’s background is yet, I’m making it up as I go along. I know this however, he/she will NOT let go once it grabs hold… so, watch out! More to come soon.


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3D Print – Successful Preliminary Bench Test (via Shapeways.com)

I Received a parcel !   … I wonder what this could be??


I’m totally delighted with the outcome of my very first 3D printed creature. I’ve taken some snapshots of the 3D print ( Please See below).

It has maintained more detail than I thought despite being polished. Pointed areas (barely one pixel thick!), such as the teeth and the tops of the main horns,  I’ll need to make sure in future they are slightly wider, the 3D printer needs more to chew on in that area. One of the reasons I chose this creature for a print test was because of his plethora of teeth and skinfold detail, it seemed like a good candidate for a print test.

Overall I’m happy. This was a successful bench test and he’s a good size to! The next thing I’ll be experimenting with is hollowing out the inside of the model. This means cheaper costs since essentially you use less material. 3D colour texturing and colour printing is another area I want to explore further.

The Creature design is in my Shapeways ‘shop’ currently, but private. I’m so excited and happy with the results so far. It’s very cool being able to handle something physically, that was sculpted inside the computer.  I’m now thinking about making a series of creatures for my Shapeways Shop specifically. Exciting times lay ahead!

Some key aspects to be mindful of when 3D printing through Shapeways is:

– The model should be less than 1 million Polygons.

– I aimed at around 400,000 polygons for my creature bust

– The file size should not exceed 64mb

– I used the .STL format, utilising both Zbrush and Lightwave 3D

– There should be no overlapping polygons. Intersection of objects is ok, so long as they are water tight and ‘manifold’

– Decimation master in Zbrush is perfectly suited to getting polygon count down to where it needs to be regarding preparing for print.

The following images show my creature in it’s full 3D printed glory. I used the ‘Strong and Flexible’ plastic material via Shapeways, but it feels much more like a ceramic material. Sounds like it to when you give it a good tap. I had this fella polished. The detail was maintained well. He needs a display stand. I had a 3D stand built into the original geometry of the creature, but to save on printing costs, the stand had to go. I’ve also been told I should give this guy a paint job.

For reference to my earlier creature design that this 3D print is based on, see my post from back in late November. I’ve been told he looks like a Goat Troll, Nice!

Following invaluable crit time with the amazing Peter Konig on Zbrushworkshops, this particular character concept has gone through a radical redesign regarding his fundamental forms,  expect an update on that very soon.

Enjoy the pictures!  (I’ll look to get better ones up soon, these are alittle on the blurry side)


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ZBWS – Zbrush Certification Course – MOD8

Hard surface project work on a space craft orientated design. I’ve forgotten how much I love designing hardsurface vehicles. Conceptualizing in Zbrush, creating all sorts of shapes and forms is fast and fun. I’ve still much improvement to make, I’m going to work this design further and polish it’s hard surface edges further. I’m still adding details. It might be time to start playing with insert mesh brushes.



ZBWS – Zbrush Certification Course – MOD8

More hard surface design fun!

I sculpted a character quickly for the purposes of this exercise. I guess he’s turning into a warrior of sorts. He’s a belly, horns, two eyes (behind what will be a visor) and a heavily armored crotch. I’ll need to think up a story background for him.

I played alot with polygroups and polishing workflows and had some good experiences utilizing panel loops. I’m happy with the direction he is going in. I’ve still more to do, but now that I have foundations to work on, I can push forwards. I’m getting addicted to hard surface work in Zbrush! I’ve recently received a Shapeways 3D print on an earlier creature design I did as a test. I’ll post the results shortly. I’m tempted to make a quick figurine series based on this fella.


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ZBWS – Zbrush Certification Course – MOD7

Hard surface sculpting and modelling in Zbrush.

The key focus on this project was mesh extraction and working with polygroups. I used Shadowbox to draft out the initial shape of a cowboy boot. Using masking and mesh extraction I was able to pull out the individual parts of the boot to be assembled later. I added a few secondary details. I used a lot of smoothing, standard and Soft and hard polishing methods. I have ticked off the key areas of this exercise, but if I was going to push it forward I’d starting adding detailed to the sculpt such as creases, stitching and decal designs. One of the reference images I used was crocodile skin, so might be interesting to see that implemented in future.


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ZBWS – Creature Design with Peter Konig – Module One | update

This is creature concept version 2.0.

I wanted to integrate some of the techniques Peter showed us during one of our previous classes. During my recent crit, it became clear I’m going to need to work back into the design and streamline some areas. The horns for example are perhaps too sophisticated relative to other parts of the creature. I’m also toying with the idea now of taking away the eyes completely. Peter’s guidance was fantastic. I’ll be reworking this guy, so an update will follow soon.


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ZBWS – Zbrush Certification Course – W02


Kit bashing exercise utilising Insert Sphere techniques.

I wasn’t too focused on attaining perfectly accurate anatomy for this exercise. I wanted to get the overall forms down and fundamental shapes in place.
The head on this guy is an earlier sculpt I did for the head sculpt exercise previously. Really loved working like this, blocking out the main forms quickly was a joy.
If I go forwards, I’ll be utilising a little dynamesh sculpting fun. I’m pushing forwards none the less. Some reference I used was from Michael Hampton’s book, ‘Figure Drawing | Design and Invention.’ I also borrowed reference from Gottfried Bammes book, ‘The Artists Guide to Human Anatomy’.
I’m going to try this exercise again soon, but this time taking alittle George B. Bridgman as my source of reference.
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ZBWS – Zbrush Certification Course – W01


Still pushing on facial anatomy. Learning lots of new Zbrush workflows. This fella is based on John Hurt and he needs work. It probably didn’t help that I used several different reference images, based during different times in John’s life. The reason for this in part was to figure out his key architectural areas, namely the jaw and overal facial proportions. The Doctor Who 50th is coming up, so why not?! 😀  Polishing techniques need work, but I’m improving. I’m beginning to use both Soft and hard polish brushes along with different in-bed settings. There are still subtle plane changes going on despite some of the more defined details.

I’ve been advised by Nate at Zbrush Workshops to try a slightly younger subject for my next exercise. Good advice I reckon. I’ll return to this fella soon enough.

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