3D Artist

Top tips for striking characters

Tips & Tutorials

Kurt Papstein leads a fantastic step-by-step tutorial in issue 47 – here’s a taster of what’s in store…

Leona for 3D Artist by Kurt Papstein

Kurt explains how he creates a helmet attachment in ZBrush 4R4. This is a simplified version of his character tutorial, showing how you can take the same steps and apply them to a simple object or prop. 

Concept with DynaMesh

To start this piece off, I simply append a sphere into my Tool to act as the helmet. I move it into place on the character’s head and turn DynaMesh on. Because of its size in space you may need to turn the resolution of DynaMesh up to get the information you need. You still want to keep it as low as you can, because you only want to capture the general shapes. I use brushes like HPolish, Clay Buildup, and Dam_Standard to define the design.

Top tips for striking characters
Use DynaMesh to concept, with Polish, Clay, and Clip Curve to cut away at the shapes

DynaMesh with Groups

I turn Groups on in the DynaMesh drop-down menu so I can add additional meshes without fear of DynaMesh fusing them together. This is a really powerful way to stay organised in your SubTool palette by keeping things together with PolyGroups, without sacrificing the freedom of DynaMesh. I add some additional shapes using Mesh Insert primitives like the cylinder and the cube, and cut them into shape with Clip Curve.

Top tips for striking characters
Insert Mesh primitives with Groups turned on for our DynaMesh helmet to keep it separated

Finish up

Once we are happy with the design and the overall shapes we can commit to it, turn DynaMesh off and begin subdividing the mesh if needed. I will now add detail with our usual sculpting brushes, as well as alphas. This is also a good time to use some of our other Insert Mesh objects to add more tech detail like plugs and straps.

Top tips for striking characters
Use alphas and Insert Meshes to finalise the design of the helmet

For an exclusive interview with Kurt Papstein and to follow his in-depth tutorial to uncover the hottest features in ZBrush 4R4 for ultimate results when creating characters, check out issue 47 of 3D Artist magazine – available now!

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  • Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content
    seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon.
    Many thanks