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Sculpting a Stylized Axe in Zbrush

In this tutorial, the instructor demonstrates how to import a previously created axe into the Zbrush.

They explain the process of exporting the file from Maya and importing it into Zbrush. They then discuss the need to add details to the axe by using brushes and dividing the polygons. Various brushes are used to create scratches, indents, and other details on the axe. The instructor also explains how to fix a problem called back face mask and demonstrates the use of the mask and extract functions to create cloth wraps around the handle. They show how to adjust and sculpt the wraps to add more realism. After detailing the axe, the instructor explains how to color it using vertex paint, allowing for different colors on different parts of the axe. They also demonstrate how to apply different materials or shaders to specific parts of the axe to achieve desired effects such as shininess or matte finish.



- Workflow

  • In today's class, the instructor demonstrates how to import a previously created axe into the Zbrush.

  • They explain the process of exporting the file from Maya and importing it into Zbrush.


- Import

  • To Import a file into Zbrush you click on the Import button in the Tool Tab.


  • Once Imported just click and drag the object in the viewport.


  • You can adjust the background to a flat grey color by lowering the Range.


  • To make our Axe smooth we can Divide it. The Divide option is located in the Geometry Subtool.



  • To see how many times you’ve Divided the topology on the axe, check the slider above the button. If it doesn’t have enough divisions the model will have pixelated edges on the brushstrokes we make.

  • To prevent this just add more divisions.



  • You can download different brushes and put them in your Zbrush through the main Zbrush file inside your PC.

  • There are many different brushes out there that can help you out with your modeling.



  • In this case, you’ll be working with some scratch brushes.

  • Add in scratches and imperfections on your Axe to make it look more realistic.


  • To make the Axe look more interesting we’ll be adding straps around the handle.

  • We can do this by masking out the handle where we want a wrap to be and using the Extract options in our Subtool.

  • Make sure you click on the Accept Button to add the extract.



  • To clean up the extracted part use DynaMesh and the smooth brush.



  • Add as many straps as you want to your handle.



  • To make our Axe look better we can add in some color.

  • Make sure that the RGB is turned on before proceeding.



  • Choose whatever color you want from the color wheel then click Fill Object.

  • Now your color will be permanently added to the selected part of your axe.



  • Do the same thing to the rest of the parts.



  • You can do this same process with Materials as well. For it to work you need to enable the Material.



  • Pick out a Material for your axe then click on Fill Object to lock in the material.



  • To add more detail we can paint some parts in using the Paint Brush.



- Alpha Masks

  • Alpha Masks are black-and-white images that you can use to create patterns with the inside of Zbrush.

  • They can be added to your Paint Brush or any other Brush inside the program.

  • To add in an Alpha mask click on the Alpha square below the Brush Icon and select any of the given alphas.


  • To create more interesting patterns you can use an Alpha on the STandard Brush and drag the patterns on your model.

  • If the patterns aren’t turning out well make sure you have enough divisions added.

  • To fill in the cavities we’ve made using our carve and scratches brushes we can use the masking options inside of Zbrush to quickly select all of the cavities in our model and add in the color.

  • In the Masking subtool click Mask By Cavity while the intensity is on 100%.

  • Reverse the masking by holding down the Left Ctrl key and pressing on the side on the empty space inside the workspace.

  • Now we can add in the color only to those places using the Paint Brush.

  • To smooth out the color we can use the smooth brush. Repeat this process on the cloth.




Watch the YouTube Video here CLICK ME



📍If you want to learn more about ZBRUSH, check out our Self Pace Programs📍





Advanced knowledge is NOT REQUIRED and the event is FREE.


💻 WHERE? - online and live at the M3DS Academy of Visual Arts.


WHEN? - you choose a day, from June 15 to July 6, 2023 The final award ceremony will be held on July 7, 2023.


💡WHY? - Each participant receives a free course in the Unreal Engine Program - Each participant receives an international certificate of participation. - Each participant receives a discount for enrollment in the M3DS Academy.




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