Here is a short tutorial on how to create a muscular character using ZBrush. I start with a tool of an ordinary guy and transform him into an extreme muscle-monster;-)

Ordinary guy as basemesh

Ordinary guy as basemesh

This is the tool NickZ_humanMaleAverage which can be found in the Lightbox under the Tab Tools. Choose the tool, drag it onto the canvas and switch to Edit-Mode (T-key).

Okay, let’s add some muscle. Without subdividing I add clay using the Clay Buildup brush:

Clay Buildup brush with square alpha

Clay Buildup brush with square alpha

This brush is perfect for adding muscles:

Clay buildup without subdividing

Clay buildup without subdividing

In this stage of sculpting you define the basic shape without details. Add shapes of clay and if you added too much smooth them out again (Shift key). Stay in this level of detail until you are happy with the shape, then divide to a higher level:

Clay buildup 2nd subdivision level

Clay buildup 2nd subdivision level

Using the same brush you can add rough details now onto the character. Subdivide again and carve out more details, add muscles to the back, legs, arms… if you are not familiar with muscular shapes use reference images of bodybuilders to see how muscles look like and how these are formed. You don’t need to know the names of the muscles, just use images and try to sculpt what you see – it will take some time but you will become better and better.

When you are at a subdivision level of about 4 or 5 you can start adding veins. This is something called vascularity – when you see the veins through the skin. Change the brush to Standard Brush, use a Z Intensity of about 15-20 and a Draw Size of 3:

Addign veins with Standard Brush

Addign veins with Standard Brush

Draw the veins like you want, smooth them were necessary, and refer to images to see were these veins mostly appear – you will get the idea.

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