Then I started sculpting the scales and details I wanted on my dinosaur. Once the details had been sculpted out, I went into the Alpha panel and clicked GrabDoc. ZBrush automatically created an alpha brush with perfect Z-Depth data that I used to paint those scales faster and on broader surfaces (Fig.12 – 13).
This way of sculpting scales was good for some areas of my model, but I didn't use this method everywhere. I manually sculpted the more detailed and important areas, like the head, arms, fingers and legs. It took more time, but it gave me a better effect, without a doubt. It's important to remember that if you overuse a custom alpha on a single model, or even a certain area/body part of that model, it is likely it won't look as good.
I mentioned manual detailing before and I'll now explain the technique I used in this particular case.
Most of the scales on the head, portions of hands and legs, especially fingers, were created by painting masks in the shape of the scales on the desired area. After I was happy with the painted masks, I inverted the masked area and got a "mask free" area that I textured using the Move brush (Fig.14 – 16).
I additionally polished each scale with a standard brush and standard ZBrush alpha 39 over the edges, with Gravity under Brush > Depth > Gravity set to 45-60. For the head scales, I used the Displace brush with the ZBrush alpha 39 to get the pointy scales look that is most noticeable on the top of the head (Fig.17).