Character Creation with ZBrush r7 and rendering in Keyshot 5
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Character Creation with ZBrush r7 and rendering in Keyshot 5

Create stunning concepts and animation ready characters in ZBrush, 3D can enhance your current work flow and business.
4.5 (7 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
104 students enrolled
Created by David Newton
Last updated 3/2017
Current price: $34.99 Original price: $49.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 10 hours on-demand video
  • 11 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Navigate ZBrush
  • Understand a modelling pipeline
  • Create Stunning Characters and Monsters
  • Sculpt confidently with ZBrush
  • Basic understanding of computers and software installation
  • It would be good for students to have a graphics tablet
  • Have ZBrush r7 and Keyshot 5
  • Some image editing program Photoshop or Gimp (Free)

This course 3D Concepts and Character creation will teach you how to concept in 3D with confidence - Software: ZBrush r7 for modelling and texturing and Keyshot 5 for high quality rendering

In this course we will be using ZBrush and Keyshot exclusively as well as final editing in Photoshop (but any image manipulation sofware will do as we will simply be compiling).

This course is intended for anyone wanting to know techniques for modelling and sculpting digitally, ZBrush is the premiere program for digital sculpting it is extremely powerful, we will be harnessing some of that power to create fantastic sculpt very quickly and also rendering out using keyshot 5, finally putting it together in Photoshop.

If your into ZBrush this is the course for you we cover all the main sculpting techniques as well as a few tips and tricks.

If you are learning Keyshot this course will be of great help to you as well.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is recommended for all levels
Course content
Expand all 80 lectures 10:04:05
+ Introduction and Files for ZBrush and Keyshot
2 lectures 07:19

This lesson will prepare you for the rest of the course I will show how to load the assets which are zipped into ZBrush and also show you how to customise your work area for a speedier workflow.

I have added in the next lecture all the files you will need including the final sculpt from ZBrush!

Preview 07:19
Please view the attached Word Pad doc for information about where to go for help and freebies!
Files and Info
1 page
+ Start modelling with ZBrush
44 lectures 05:10:14

In this course I will do a short intro as to what you will be expected to do, and the new work flow we will work with.

Preview 02:50

Lets show you how easy it is to Navigate in ZBrush

Preview 01:15

In order to start to create a sculpt in ZBrush we need to build a base mesh to sculpt on this forms the foundations of your Character

Creating our base mesh in ZBrush
Making an adaptive skin to work on our sculpt within ZBrush

Activating Symentry in ZBrush is easy follow this lecture

Working once to do both sides using symetry within ZBrush

Lets start adding shape and form to our basemesh

Adjusting and Moving our base mesh in ZBrush

In order to work effectively we will need to dynamesh our model, this is my workflow somes sculpter do not utilise dynamesh prefering to do a majoirty of work at the base mesh stage

The power of Dynamesh

ZBrushes dynamesh is a very powerful feature see it in action

Learn the beneifts of dynamesh in ZBrush

We will be remeshing our model a lot, the idea is to work low to high resolution building up slowly.
Imagine wood carving first we start with a block of wood and then carve our a rough shape then we carve more and more detail, tis is the same principal in 3D sculpting.

Low-resolution remeshing in ZBrush

Adding more form

Learning to Build form into our sculpt in ZBrush
What we have done so far

Moving on I need to inflate the fingers and toes to regain definition

Using the inflate and increasing the dynamesh resolution

Looking at the polish brush and how it effect smoothing on our model

Using the polishing and smoothing tools

First step into using masking to cover areas we do not want to effect, we will also use translation tools to move body parts

Masking and translating in ZBrush

Minor corrections and alterations

Slight masking modifications and smoothing our ZBrush sculpt

Adding the eyes, this will invlove adding a subtool to our model and mirroring and merging!

Ready to add a subtool in ZBrush?

In this lesson I will create a quick sketch to try to get my idea and goal across to you.

Quick Sketch

Just running through the tools I will be using for the time lapse video next.

Intro to time lapse

Sit back and watch the time lapse video, see exactly what you need to do next, we will run over this video next.

Preview 10:00

In this lesson I will go over a few things I did during the time lapse video, just to make sure it is crystal clear to you.

Explain timelapse

Lets make some modification to the front legs before we turn off dynamesh and go into traditional sculpting.


Using ZSpheres we will build our ambilicle cord.

Creating the Ambilicle Cord

Lets finish the ambilicle and also create the implant between the body and the ambilicle.

Joint hardsurface

Ok at the moment we have a pretty high res mesh, we now need to produce a low res version of the mesh and rebuild our subdivisions plus project the high res detail to the new mesh.

Remeshing for low res version

Using ZRemesher we also have the ability to force the remesher to follow curves for the toplogy of the sculpt, this is extremely usefull especially for animating your model, making sure you have great flow to your toplogy and the edge loops are in the right places is very important. ZRemsher makes this process much easier than ever before.

Using guides to reflow the topology

In this lesson I am now showing you some reference that i I am at this point taking into account, I have also done a pre render just to see how our skin looks like in keyshot as a basic render.


Lets now further add some skin folds, and some minor modification based upon our reference.

Creating Skin Folds

Its all about the wrinkles! in this lesson as a prelude to the time lapse next, I will show you how we can create wrinkles on our skin - Manually.

Creating Wrinkles

In this time lapse video you will see me using the techniques explained in the last video, just a bit quicker!

Timelapse Wrinkles

It is very important that we turn off our symetry when detailing the centre line of the sculpt, to avoid it looking very fake.

Out of Symetry

In this 1 of 2 detailing vlessons you will see me hand detailing and using alphas to add high level details to our sculpt.

Adding more details part 1

In this 2nd detailing lesson we will carry on adding even more detail to our sculpt including adding pores to our skin.

Adding more details part 2

This lesson is optional - I am going to create an inner version of the model that will show bones and muscles, my idea being that this will act as an inner core on the final render I might or might not use this in final output.

This lesson is entirely optional do it or watch along.

Preview 10:53

using ZRemodeller we will create the container and caps for the containers, please watch the recap lesson next on ZRemodller as it will go into a bit more detail on this awesome tool.

Building the Container

ZRemdeller is an extremely powerful tool within ZBrush allowing you to really easily create hard surface models, see this quick tutorial on it.

ZRmodeller recap analysis

Now I will add the liquid to the container, very simple stuff.

Creating the liquid base

In this lesson I will use the existing skin subtool as a base for creating the inside of the mouth.

Sculpting the mouth

With the mouth created we will now start cutting away the mough area to reveal the gums.

Sculpting the mouth part 2

Lets go ahead and create our teeth using a simple shape.

The teeth

Lets now create the flaps of skin and wrinkles, in this lesson I explain what is being done in the time lapse video up next.

Masking the deep wrinkles

Time lapse of detailing as described in the last lesson.

Timelapse for wrinkles

Just a quick look at fibre mesh, a great tool for adding hair and fur to your creations.

Fibre mesh a quick look

Lets create the whiskers for the sculpt.

Crteating Whiskers

OK now I am going to use fibremesh to create geometry (fur) for our model.

Create fibres for body
+ Texturing and UV Layouts
19 lectures 02:55:45

The first thing we need to do is put down our base colours, lets use polypainting to do this, something to bear in mind is that is you have not got good enought resolution in your model your poly painting will be very blotchy, as it is like sculpting resolution dependent.

Painting our base colour

We will now add what we call noodling to out model this will break up the temperature values we added in the last lesson.


Using layers gives us a powerfull advantage, when we use layers to paint it gives us the ability to reduce the opacity after we finish, or even scrap the changes altogether.

Layer painting

Lets now add our top skin colour to our model at this stage you will see what a great effect you get, and with the added ability of layers we can also set the opacity exactly as you like it!

Layer painting part 2

Another feature we will look at is creating darker and light areas using masking, in this case we will use a cavity mask.

Creating a cavity mask

Almost forgot the claws need adding!! let quickly add those now.

Adding the claws

Lets have a quick look at material and how we can add multiple materials to the same object, we will also see how the RGB, M and MRGB work together. and finally see how we can blend materials using the BPR blend setting.

Preview 03:33

Lets finish colouring up our part.

Colouring our parts

In this lesson we will use another tecnique for texturing, we can use images to project details from them onto our sculpt using spotlight.

Using Spotlight to add textures

Quick intro lesson on setting up UVs.

UV Master intro

Setting up your UVs correctly is so important that why I have lingered over this sections, again let relook at it.

UVs and our model

Ok let setup our UVs onto our model.

Lets now unwrap our model

Now we are happy with the polypainting we now will bake our layers down, this will mean they are no longer editable.

Baking our layer down

Now we have our UVs lets now set up our maps,

Setting up our maps

Quick look at our model so far.

Quick look so far

Quick intro to T-Pose, the plugin we will use for posing our model.

Posing our sculpt with T-Pose intro

We will now spend a bit of time posing our model and breaking the symetry of it.

T-Pose our sculpt

We are almost completed, we will now export our non UV model parts (parts that do not contain polypaint data).

Export out non UV parts

Finally we export all maps and model parts from ZBrush.

Exporting our UV parts
+ Keyshot Set up and rendering
15 lectures 01:49:55

Intro to Keyshot 5, a quick tour.

Preview 04:42

Lets add our model to keyshot and set up a base colour part 1.

Adding/Importing our Tools to Keyshot
Lets add our model to keyshot and set up a base colour part 2.
Adding/Importing our Tools to Keyshot part 2

Lets add our model to keyshot and set up a base colour part 3.

Adding/Importing our Tools to Keyshot part 3

In this lesson we will set up a group and look at the material liquid and glass and the refraction.

Setting groups and refractions

Setting up light sources in Keyshot.

Adding Light Sources

Intro to opacity maps.

Intro to Opacity maps

Creating our opacity map, back to ZBrush for quick map creation and export.

Creating our Opacity Maps

Lets create a specular map the same way as we did for the opacity map, and do some more setup,

Creating our Specular map

In keyshot you can set up custom camers and views basically lock the camera and render multiple shots based on different camera see this video and learn to create a camera.

Setting up our cameras

Lets set up the pre-render options.

Setting up and doing a pre check for our render

Final render output.

Our final render set up

Lets now alalyse our final out put and import the outputs into one file. In this case in Photoshop but you can use Gimp which is free google it online.

Importing Layers to Photoshop

Final lesson in this course we will have a final look at our image.

Thank you for taking this course and your feedback would be greatly received, please contact me through the course if you need extra help or just want to give me feedback :)

All the best David

Our Final Render

For those who have finished the course a massive "Well done!" for those still completing the course "Keep it up!" I just want to say thank you for choosing me and my course, it is really appreciated and means that I can produce more great courses for you in the future!

Stay up to date with the latest courses and development as well as offers from us by visiting me at my website.

Feel free contacting me for a particular course to be created I welcome student feedback and that way I know what you want!

I hope you had fun learning with this course and hope to see you at my other courses, please give me a review if you loved the course, if you did not like it also let me know, I take students opinions very seriously!

"Did you know Monster-Training is a sister brand of UK Online Training Centre, Monster is being phased out so all new courses will be hosted under UK Online Training, so if you want the same experience as Monster pop over to UKOTC, please note I have put all Courses on the UKOTC site so you have one place to get the latest news and offers!"

All the Best David