“ZBrush is hard to learn because of its UI; it took me years to get over the fear for that reason”
ZBrush is a wonderful sculpting tool for modelling, texturing and painting. It’s great for creating high-res models for 3D characters, clothing content and props for illustration, games, movies, and animations.
However, as expressed by many artists in our community (such as above), the learning curve appears dramatic and the interface is daunting to new users.
Studying ZBrush can be overwhelming if you don’t have the right steps to follow. There are tons of questions to answer and decisions to make. It’s easy to waste weeks or even months struggling to sculpt content, only to find out that you haven’t handled your geometry properly.
With all of these questions in mind, that’s why we have created the “ZBRUSH FORGE : Live Sculpting and Solutions for ZBrush” held on a weekly basis, with other valuable learning benefits layered on top.
Who ZBRUSH FORGE is for:
- New ZBrush users struggling with the interface
- Existing ZBrush users wanting to sharpen their skills with a live group
- 3D artists wanting to model content in order to sell
- Character creators needing guidance on anatomy for realism
Here’s the ZBRUSH FORGE Experience
Each month we’ll have a new imaginative theme, a “container” to create at least one character and/or amazing prop. We’ll do this from start to finish and include some attractive texturing for the models to come alive.
The membership has NO subscription. You join for a month on a sculpting topic that interests you and take away 8 hours of live teaching with a completed project done at the end.
During the month, John Haverkamp, who has been creating and teaching with ZBrush for over 12 years, will host live webinar sessions every Wednesday starting at 20:00 EDT (New York).
These weekly meetings include 2 parts:-
a) ZBrush “clinic” for up to 30 minutes (free entry) – at least twice a month
- John will resolve one or several pain points experienced by ZBrush users.
- He’ll share a few tips, ideas and discoveries from the current monthly project.
b) ZBRUSH FORGE live sculpting for members only (separate webinar room) : 1.5 hours
- This is where John will be engaged in creating his themed character and props. He’ll also encourage you to follow along and build something similar.
- He’ll allow screen sharing of your desktop to help you move along your project.
- He’ll go into depth on exactly how he is creating his models.
- He’ll share his expertise on anatomy to help you create realistic characters.
- He’ll dive into all the learning points listed below.
Private online group chat to interact between Zoom calls
Any time you need some input or encouragement, you can turn to our ZBRUSH FORGE private chat group to connect with other ZBrush creatives.
We’ve found that group chat is a powerful connecting tool to keep the conversation (and motivation) going between the weekly meetings.
Perpetual membership of private chat group : once you’ve joined us just once for a month’s membership, you have lifetime access to the private chat group.
The VIP membership level gives you one-on-one time with John with additional resources:-
- Include a one-on- one Zoom coaching session with John per month (up to 1 hour)
- Portfolio critique : John will zero in on your strengths and weaknesses
- ZBrush tutorials library : Full access to a growing set of tutorials on sculpting swords, spacecraft, dragons, faces, orcs and more. Over $500+ worth of education.
NOVEMBER 2020 : Sculpting and Texturing Spacecraft
Was designing a spaceship the real reason you got into 3D? Many of us did, as we didn’t quite have the sticking power at physics to become real rocket scientists!
Making a good spaceship is the hard part. Inventing a spacecraft that people really believe exists and has an identifiable purpose, and above all looks ‘cool’, is where your talent and artistry comes into play.
These four live classes utilise ZBrush to model a number of spaceship designs and John Haverkamp will walk you through his processes of design and sculpting to accomplish some eye catching spacecraft hardware. He’ll finally texture the ships with Substance Painter.
Week 1 : Wednesday November 4th
- ZBrush explained and ZBrush Basics
- The overall sculpt technique with the paintover process
- Adding and Subtracting: standard brush, clay build-up brush and dam standard brush.
- Smoothing and trimming: smooth brush, trim dynamic brush and trim curve brush
- Use of the move brush, move topological brush and snake hook brush.
- Spaceship body ship design and sculpting
- Design considerations
- Blocking out forms with dynamesh and basic scupting brushes
Week 2 : Wednesday November 11th
- Polygrouping for panel-loops with an eye toward design
- Refining the panels with polish functions and by hand
- The Details
- Using shadowbox to create basic shapes
- Zremesher and retopo to build low poly insert meshes.
Week 3 : Wednesday November 18th
- Setting up custom insert meshes
- Detailing with insert meshes
- Using curve functions with insert meshes
Week 4 : Wednesday November 25th
- Making custom greeble alpha’s
- Light box texturing
- Using Zbrush’s automatic UVW to create greeble detail.
- Rendering materials
- Texturing with Substance Painter
- Final image compositing in Photoshop
ZBrush : Grow with these Learning Points
John will help you to…
- Navigate you past the technical tangle and just get you sculpting!
- Learn the ZBrush “lingo” or terminology
- Simplify what you need from the interface
- Focus on the essential brushes
- Provide you with a collection of tips to manipulate your meshes faster
- Understand muscle structure and anatomy to create believable characters
- Create hard bodied props
- Handle your geometry with confidence,
- Understand layers, Dynamesh and the extract tool
- Figure out Deformation, Panel Loops and Polygroup
- Learn Alphas, Subtools, Masking, Transformation tools
- Be alerted to new features and functions in ZBrush that will make your sculpting life easier.
- Learn detailing for skin or other surfaces for realism
- Include coaching on Substance products : PBR texturing
John Haverkamp : Proven Experience with ZBrush
John Haverkamp was born in Ohio and then moved to the pristine Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia at a young age. There he spent a semi-isolated childhood re-enacting the Lord of the Rings and being corrupted by Dungeons and Dragons. Always with the fondness for the fantastical and medieval, Art school drove him deeper into Luddite territory by granting him the skills of a traditional metal-smith. This meant post-college jobs making copper fountains, welding and steel fabricating, casting and finishing bronze sculptures, and working for an architectural blacksmith throughout his twenties.
Digitally, John got sucked into cyberspace and the arcane mysteries of 3D studio max. The perfect software match for John was Zbrush discovered over 12 years ago. Now he teaches digital arts and ZBrush, constantly endeavouring to improve his craft as a digital-sculptor and visualizer through personal work, illustration and indie game projects.