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Project Overview: Tough Guy

By Rudy Massar
Web: Open Site
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| Comments 5
Date Added: 31st May 2013
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In this tutorial I will explain some of the ZBrush techniques I used to sculpt the tough guy bust from my image's Chihuahua Tough and Love, but also explain fixing some minor issues I came across.

The proportions of this cage fighter are a bit Hulkish and exaggerated. Although ZBrush has some really cool technical solutions and exotic brushes for sculpting, for this image I used a basic approach. The sculpt process was pretty straight forward and could almost be compared to practical sculpting. Hopefully you'll find bits and pieces of my approach useful for your next project.

Before I start, please let me point out that there are many ways to create a bust like this one. This could be for many reasons; for example, when it has to fit in a certain production pipeline. Luckily this was a personal project so I used my own preferred path. However, that doesn't mean I create all my characters the same way. Okay let's get going, I hope you will enjoy the tutorial.

Base Mode and Preparation

When you start a project it helps to have the idea sketched out. Also, make sure to have a library of reference pictures that are useful for the project. Even when you are an experienced character modeler and know your human anatomy very well, it is still highly recommended to use references that add character to your character.

When sculpting a human, I prefer to use a base mesh that already has logical and simple topology. I start making polygroups right away. For this I use the Lasso Selection brush. While holding down Ctrl + Shift you can click the active brush icon in the upper-left of your screen to see all available brushes you can use with this key combination (Fig.01).

1727_tid_01 lasso.jpg
Fig. 01

First make sure you have symmetry turned on, by hitting the X key. Now hold down Ctrl + Shift to draw-select the index finger.

Instead of isolating the selected, let go of the key combination, hold down the Alt key (Option for Mac) to invert the action, and hide the selected. Now hit Auto Groups. This will create a polygroup that's visible, but also group separate objects, in this example, the hands.

Repeat this for each finger. Every time you hide a finger, that polygroup id color gets preserved. And every time you hit Auto Groups, ZBrush assigns a new color to the groups.

When all fingers are hidden and you are left with only the hand palms, you can unhide the fingers. With Ctrl + Shift pressed, click once somewhere on an empty space on the canvas so the entire ZTool is back on screen again (Fig.02).

1727_tid_02 creating polygroups.jpg
Fig. 02

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