This is the first tutorial here about zBrush which I am learning currently. My first project was creating a simple tree with the ZSphere-tool and sculpting. I also made my first attempts in polypainting with ZBrush which  I will describe here.

Let’s start by opening ZBrush and let the ZSphere be you current tool:

set ZSphere the current tool

Set ZSphere the current tool

The ZSphere is a sketch-tool which means that you can build up your mesh with it but you do not sculpt in the details at this state, you just define the base-mesh. You can use the Draw, Move, Scale and Rotate tools when using ZSphere:

draw,. move, scale and roatte

Draw,. move, scale and rotate

Using this methods I built up the basic shape for my tree. First I draw some new spheres and move them to new positions:

Draw with ZSphere

Draw with ZSphere

Always turn your model around the y-axis to prove were your newly created ZSpheres (Draw and Move) have been moved to in 3D-space. Finally I ended up with this simple tree:

Tree build with ZSphere

Tree build with ZSphere

Now you can choose Make Adpative Skin from the Adaptive Skin sub-palette which creates a mesh out of your ZShpere-objects. You can also choose a Unified Skin but Adaptive Skin creates most of the time cleaner meshes.

Use brushes like the Standard brush and Clay-Tubes brush with a grungy Alpha to build up some details for your tree:

tree_details

Details added with Clay tubes brush

tree_last

Tree Model after adding details in ZBrush

Always increase the subdivision and resolution step by step when adding details to the mesh. At a level of about SDiv 6 you can add finer details with the Rake-Brush:

Rake brush for details

Rake brush for details

At this stage you can change to Polypaint to paint onto the tree:

Polypaint by setting to Colorize

Polypaint by setting to Colorize

Remove the Zadd and Zsub and just enable Rgb:

Rgb for polypaint in zBrush

Rgb for polypaint in zBrush

Set the color to a brown tone and fill the whole tree with it:

Fill object zBrush

Fillobject in ZBrush

After you did this, you use can  a nice feature to highlight edges of the tree and paint the carvings a bit darker: Enable the Mask by Cavity, set a positive value for intensity (about 25) and select a lighter color:

Mask by Cavity zBrush

Mask by Cavity zBrush

Inverse the mask (Ctrl-I) and paint with the lighter brown to your model.  After that you set the masking to a negative intensitv (about -20) and paint with a darker brush.

After that your model should look something like this:

Result Cavity mask

Result Cavity mask

Now clear the mask and the result should be a cartoon-style tree like this:

zBrush Tree textured

ZBrush Tree textured

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