This is the first part of a ZBrush tutorial series in which we will create a cartoon character that will be polypainted, retopoed and ready for using in 3D games. In this first part I will show you the sketch I have painted (very simple) and I will describe how to create a first mesh using ZSpheres.
The sketch on paper
Some character designers leave out the sketching on a piece of paper and develop the idea of a character right in their mind. I think that sketching with my pencil helps me a lot to let my character come to life and it is also a great reference during the 3D design and sculpting. So here is my sketch of a dog cartoon character standing on 2 feet:
Base mesh with ZSpheres
I am using the ZSphere approach to create a first mesh for my character cause they are really handy. You can follow my video here to see how I created the mesh:
When working with ZSpheres it is very important in my opinion to know the keyboard shortcuts for changing between Draw, Move and Scale. Draw is Q, Move is W and Scale is E. Knowing these speeds up your work a lot and you can better focus on the model because of fewer mouse-interaction with the menus of ZBrush. I started with the belly and upperbody, added the legs and feet, then the arms, hands and finally the head. I always do it in this order when creating a character with ZSpheres, don’t know why but it gives me the best results:-)
Where to go from here?
After the mesh fits my needs I will press the button Make Adaptive Skin. Then I have a mesh that I can work with and the next step will be to change to Dynamesh to block in some features to the character. This will be covered in the next tutorial which will follow in a couple of days – stay tuned.