Getting Started Sculpting Heads

ZBrush Sculpting

This page will get you up and sculpting in ZBrush quickly. The goal of this page is to get you sculpting heads quickly.
You’ll learn how to

– open and save files
– use different ZBrush file types
– create new scenes
– divide and subdivide meshes
– tweak the UI simply
– use the main sculpting brushes
– use subtools (objects)
– change camera settings
– place reference images
– start sculpting heads from base meshes


UI Basics

Changing the UI Colours
Changing The UI Layout
(To setup ZBrush with my fully customised settings see this page)


3d Vs 2d in ZBrush

3d Objects in ZBrush are called Tools. To view the Tools in 3d we have to be in edit mode (t).
To build a tool.
Select the tool and click and drag in the canvas to draw it out.
To load an .obj (generic 3d file format) as a tool, under the tool menu click import.
Hold Shift as you draw the tool to snap it to stand straight up.
To Enter Edit Mode (3d mode)
Click edit or press “t”
Now you will be able to navigate around your object.
Changing The Background Colour
We can switch the gradient background colour off by going
Document > Range (hard to see) take the slider to zero
To change the colours

1. click the right hand colour in gradient on the lower left side of the screen.
2. click Document > Back (colour button)

The colour will change to your foreground colour.
To clear the scene make sure you are not in edit mode and hit
ctrl n = clear canvas


Opening And Saving File Types

There’s three different types of object/documents in ZBrush. Make sure you get your head around the differences. Note*** if you save your file as a “document or .zbr” you will loose your 3d model as it will save a screenshot of your model only.

1. Document = 2d canvas “.zbr” We rarely use “.zbr” in 3d.
2. Tool = 3d object or a collection of 3d objects (sub tool) .ztl
3. File = Project canvas and tool .zpr

Saving a “tool” is simply saving a 3d object.
Saving “projects” will save the 3d object/s and other data such as the canvas size and tool settings.
Quick Save hotkey = 9
Quick Saves are located
Windows = C:Users\Public Documents\ZBrushData\AutoSave
Mac OSX = Users/Public/ZBrushData/AutoSave
To load an .obj (generic 3d file format) as a tool, under the tool menu click import.


Camera Settings

Persp vs Orthographic
Changing the Camera Lens


Document Settings

Change the background colour
Setting a Default Canvas Size


Navigation Basic Sculpting

Navigating Levels
Move Brush
Clay Buildup


Canvas And Camera Lense

Background Colours
Setting a Default Document Size
Changing the Camera Lens


Main Brushes

Clay Buildup
Dam Standard
(For a full breakdown of the brushes I use see this page)


Masking Basics



Subtool Basics

Showing Layers
Reordering Layers
Deleting Layers
Duplicating Layers
Appending Objects to Layers


Setting Up a reference Image

Spotlight Projection Off

From Thomas
There are a few ways of doing it. one is through spotlight. 1. go Texture>Import, then import your image then press Texture>add to spotlight.
or 2. go Texture>ImagePlane>Load Image
or 3. you can put your image behind the zbrush interface and in the top right hand corner you can adjust the “see through” attribute of the entire Zbrush.
also just for camera angles, if you place your mesh in the position it is for reference, you can save that angle by going Document>ZappLinkProperties>Cust1. this saves the angle, and if you press it again later itll take you back to that exact position.
hope it helps, soz for the essay


Sculpting Heads: Base Mesh Workflow



Andrew Silke

Leave a reply