“Just learning the user interface and getting down the terminology has been a bit rough”
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.
You’ve tried absorbing recorded tutorials, but sometimes there are missing pieces or it doesn’t simply feel like a good fit for your learning needs. You get sucked down a rabbit hole from hell dealing with the technical parts of ZBrush. You get bogged down trying to figure out what went wrong.
Do some of these questions sound like you?
- How do I ignore all the technical stuff and just become a better organic sculptor?
- Should I start from scratch or use a base mesh?
- Which options do I use for geometry and when? Dynamesh / Sculptris Pro / Zremesher?
- There’s three different re-topology methods? Arghh!
- How do I get good UV maps?
- There are so many brushes! Which do I use and when?
- Hard surface strategies : which approach should I use?
I hear all of these frustrations and more every time I talk to artists wanting to use ZBrush and enjoy the powerful benefits of this top creative tool.
Another question is your learning style. Do you learn best alone or with a community? Better still would a live community help, led by an experienced ZBrush artist?
Your learning style is very much augmented with frequency. If you’re connected with a motivated group on a daily basis and meeting with an experienced teacher every week, that’s going to give you a higher creative output and provide you with stronger chances of completing projects. Remember all those half completed meshes you’d told yourself you’d finish one day?
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.
The live classes are led by John Haverkamp, who has been creating and teaching with ZBrush for over 12 years.
ZBrush / ZBrush Core and ZBrush Core Mini Covered
Each month John will provide a new imaginative theme and host 4 or 5 lessons, leading you through a complete project, where you’ll enjoy creating new characters or props to take away and use for your own purposes.
ZBrush Forge : Grow with these Valuable 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
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
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.
ZBrush Forge Experience
Here’s the ZBRUSH FORGE Experience:
Each month we’ll have an imaginative theme, a “container” to create at least one character and/or prop. We’ll do this from start to finish and include some attractive texturing for the models to come alive.
Every Wednesday, John holds a ZBRUSH FORGE live webinar meeting composed of two parts:-
a) A ZBrush “clinic” for up to 30 minutes (free entry)
- 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 the other 13 learning points listed above.
Private online group chat to interact between Zoom calls
Any time you need some input or encouragement, you can turn to the private group to connect with other ZBrush creatives.
We’ve found that the a group chat is a powerful connecting tool to keep the conversation going between the weekly meetings.
This extends the benefits of the live ZBRUSH FORGE meetings.
ZBrush Tutorials Library
Full access to tutorials created by John on sculpting swords, spacecraft, dragons, faces, orcs and more. Over $500+ worth of education.
Evergreen library. Each week’s live FORGE meeting is included in the library.
John has a collection of ZBrush related information that he often passes onto his students.
The VIP membership level gives you one-on-one time with John with additional coaching and resources.
- Include a one-on- one Zoom session with John per month (up to 1 hour)
- Portfolio critique : John will zero in on your strengths and weaknesses
- Coaching on Substance products : PBR texturing
- Coaching on 3D printing : best practices and recommendations