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In this tutorial I'll show you my approach to developing a stylized character bust, from basic 2D silhouette sketches through to the final rendering. Don't take it as a step-by-step tutorial. I'll not explain every little step I made during the whole process of creation because there are a lot of good tutorials out there which follow this path. This will be more a general overview of my approach.

Let's say I received a character design description with the following constraints:

1. Stylized character, bust, male
2. Strong, dauntless, tough, angry, bossy
3. Broad muscular neck, receding forehead, huge chin


With this information in my mind I started with some silhouette thumbnail sketching. For this purpose I used Autodesk's Sketchbook. After some minutes of doodling around I had a handful of good shapes... in my opinion (Fig.01)! Doing sketches like this gives you the opportunity to get faster feedback from clients in these early stages of design.


After a feedback meeting with my client, who gave me some notes, I ended up with a selection of shapes. I made myself some notes and drew lines over the sketches to keep focused (Fig.02).


In ZBrush I started with a simple sphere - not very original, I know, but everything starts simply. I'm always using basic shapes like cubes, cylinders and, of course, spheres at the beginning.

Ok, after I dropped my sphere into ZBrush's canvas I used only the Move brush with a higher Draw Size to establish the basic volume of my character bust (Fig.03).

Fig. 03

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 277331, pid: 0) AlexSvet on Mon, 26 May 2014 8:32pm
Perfect!! I want more!
(ID: 182666, pid: 0) Christian on Wed, 20 February 2013 9:57am
He guys! Thanks for all of the kind words.I really appreciate it! @Ivan: MP_CLAY07 and MatCap Skin04 from the other mat's did it by myself.
(ID: 182294, pid: 0) Rick Donovan on Mon, 18 February 2013 9:55am
Just awesome. Thanks for showing your process.
(ID: 182293, pid: 0) Ivan on Mon, 18 February 2013 9:50am
Hi, nice Tutorial, well done! Could you posts the names of MatCaps?
(ID: 182292, pid: 0) ZDEN on Mon, 18 February 2013 9:46am
Your tutorial is awsome ! Great job and good explanation !
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