I'm Learnin' zBrush Ya'll

Trevor ConradComment

I'd posted this early talking about my desire to get into ZBrush, and the videos I watched and the process I had been going through trying to learn. What I failed to mention was the big inspiration behind my newest endeavor, watching our own Alex Dingfielder work. He began at Buck as an intern on our Keebler project, and has since gone staff as our go-to generalist for everything. Alex modeled side by side with some very tenured industry veterans. . . and crushed it! Not only was he learning ZBrush while modeling, he had that great artistic ability to take a simple 2D drawing and transform it into a 3D model with little need for orthographics or secondary drawings.

. . . that's what I wanted to do.

Since I felt bad hassling him 24/7 I decided that I should download a Gnomon Tutorial to help get me started. I got through the intro videos to get a feeling for the interface and how the tools worked. The later lessons had me modeling characters that weren't really my style. I wanted to be creating work more in line with Michael Defeo and Daniel Williams (aka Point Pusher). These guys do a little more stylized kind of work, and Daniel's work flow is super quick.

Daniel is very active on Vimeo and posts a ton of time lapse videos where he'll crank out a quick 'sketch/model' during lunch! I saw that he allows the download of his vimeo videos, so I figured I'd just follow him frame by frame through his videos.

Even though its not a straight tutorial, it was great exercise in understanding his workflow and techniques. Its a bit of a slow process, but I think well worth the time. After my first day of ZBrushin' I was excited about learning this new tool and happy with what I was creating. Below are my first two head models based on Daniels videos.

I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the program even though I still do bother Alex from time to time, I'm feeling confident enough to take on my own design. I haven't done any body's or hands or clothing. . . those I'll have to learn along the way.

Oh a bit of advice if you decide to follow Daniel's videos like I did, don't get too caught up making sure yours looks exactly pixel perfect like his. I did that at the beginning making sure every frame was identical to his, and then 10-20 frames later he'd totally erase what I just spent sooo long working on. Learned that the hard way...