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How to Stylize and Model 'Toon Humans - Chapter 1: Concept and Modeling

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Date Added: 18th January 2013
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ZSpheres 2

When you put the cursor on top of the ZSphere, two little red circles will show up. That is where the new ZSpheres will grow from symmetrically (Fig.02). However, if you place the cursor at the center of the ZSphere a little green circle will show, meaning that a single ZSphere will grow from there as we are at the mirror plane.


- Click in the center (green cursor) on the top of the ZSphere and drag to create a new ZSphere.
- Change to Move mode (press W), click and drag on the new sphere to move it up. You can also scale the ZSphere by changing to Scale mode (press E) and dragging on the ZSphere.
- Now change to Draw mode (press Q) and repeat the same procedure to create a new ZSphere below the original ZSphere. We have just created the center of the body.

We will keep using this procedure to create a stick figure.

- Create new ZSpheres from the top ZSphere to create the shoulders and neck.
- Create new ZSpheres from the bottom ZSphere to create the origin of the legs.
- From the shoulders, neck and hip create the head, arms and legs (as in Fig.02).

ZSpheres 3

If you click in the middle of a chain of ZSpheres while in Draw mode, a new ZSphere will be created at that point. Let's use this to detail our skeleton. Keep changing the point of view to make sure that the ZSpheres are well positioned in space (Fig.03).


- Click in the middle of the leg to create the knee. Position and scale it.
- Do the same to create the elbow, wrist, chest and chin.
- Create a new ZSphere originating at the bottom of the leg to create the feet.

Now the main features are recognizable. Let's add a few more ZSpheres to those chains to create a bit of a natural curve in the arms and legs. You can press the A key anytime to view the Adaptive Skin mesh that will result from the ZSpheres. Press A again to go back to the ZSpheres.

Please have a look at Fig.03 to add the following ZSpheres:

- Add two more ZSpheres at the head area, one ZSphere at the neck, one ZSphere right below the shoulder to define the deltoids, one at the middle of the upper arm for the triceps, one at the forearm to define its shape. Add one more right below the wrist to give more detail to that area.
- Add one ZSphere at the thigh and two at the lower leg to define the calves. Also add one in the middle of the foot.

ZSpheres 4

We will now model the fingers.

- Click and drag on the ZSphere representing the hand to create the origin of the fingers and thumb. Make sure those ZSpheres are not too big, leaving some space between them.
- Click and drag on top of the origin of each finger and press Shift. This will create a ZSphere of the same size as the one in which you have clicked. Move the ZSpheres to represent the fingers as shown in the figure (Fig.04).


By adding a few more ZSpheres we will add density and correct the topology in some specific points.

- Create a new ZSphere originating at the chin. Press A to see the mesh. Notice that now we now have a higher mesh density at the chin.

< previous page continued on next page >

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
Johnny on Wed, 27 February 2013 8:44pm
Hi, I love this tutorial and i'm learning so much, however, im worried, when i click "unified skin" parts of my mesh (knees, wrists, neck etc..) all vanish, the smooth, resolution and polish settings are all the same as in the screen shot. Please help :-( and a big thankyou to Mr de silva for the tutorial.
Thijs on Fri, 18 January 2013 12:06pm
Wow! This is really interesting, can't wait to get to work with ZBrush again, and understand more about what I'm actually doing/trying to do. :)
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