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Unleash Your Artistic Skills: Craft a Lifelike Skull in ZBrush Step by Step!

🟠Learn how to create a realistic skull in ZBrush with this step-by-step tutorial.

🟠Sculpt the features, carve out the eyes and nose, shape the jaw and teeth, and add details to the cheekbones.

🟠Perfect for beginners and those interested in digital sculpting.

- Workflow

  • Set up the reference image to be visible in the background while we open up our project and append a sphere into the workspace.

  • As usual, click on Edit then on Make PolyMesh3D, and change the material of the sphere.

  • Increase the See-through slider so the image is visible in the back.

  • DynaMesh the sphere on a medium resolution.

  • Make sure that the Perspective is turned off before we proceed.

  • Use the Move Topology Brush (BMT) to adjust the skull to the reference image.

  • Even though we don’t have a top or bottom view of our reference we still need to adjust the skull from those angles. From the top or bottom view, the front of the skull where the face is is always going to be more pinched than the back.

  • From the back of the skull, it’s only wide halfway to the end.

  • Make sure the skull is smooth from all sides.

  • Place the skull in the front reference and start sculpting out the nose with Alt + DamSatndard.

  • After making the outline use ClayBuild up + Alt to make a hole inside the skull.

  • Do the same thing for the eyes with the ClayBuild up brush.

  • Use the Move brush the shape the eyes, keep in my that the eye shape isn’t perfectly round but it has a square shape with round corners.

  • In the middle of the nose use Alt + DamStandard to create a line for the small bone sticking out from inside.

  • With DamStandard outline the teeth from the front and from the side.

  • With the Move brush grab the skull from the side while the skull is in front view and move the clay inward to create the gap for where the teeth are.

  • Use ClayBuild up to add more clay to the teeth, take away some clay from the cheeks and add more clay to the jaw.

  • With the Flatten brush flat out the jaw.

  • From the side reference place all the parts of the jaw in their place.

  • Make sure the jaw from the bottom has a “U” shape where it’s more pinched in the front.

  • Adjust the side of the jaw from the front reference.

  • From the side use DamStandard to draw out the jaw bone.

  • With ClayBuild up add more volume to the cheekbones.

  • From the side follow the reference to create the side of the skull using the same brush as before.

  • Smooth and DynaMesh the skull every so often when you add a good amount of clay or when you make a drastic change to the mesh.

  • Make the cheekbones stick out more from the side and flatten the sides so they’re not pointy.

  • Check the skull from the side to make sure it fits with the reference.

  • With DamStandard make two lines underneath the eyes and with the ClayBuild up take away some parts of the jaw bone to make it hollow in certain spots.

  • On the side of the skull use Alt + ClayBuild up to take away clay there as well as on the bottom of the jaw.

  • You can use the masking laso or the select laso for this step.

  • For this class we’re using the select laso to select and isolate the bottom jaw, once isolated mask it and assign a playgroup with Ctrl + W.

  • Mask the jaw once more this time using the mask laso and leave a little bit out from the original masking then assign a polygroup to the new mask.

  • Now we have two poly groups on the jaw, one covering the entire jaw and the other only covering the top edges or the inside beginning of the jaw.

  • Ctrl + Shift click on the polygroup that is covering the beginning of the jaw to isolate it, then Shift and drag on the side the reveal the rest of the skill now without that polygroup.

  • Go into Geometry, Modify Topology, and click on Del Hidden to delete the hidden polygroup.

  • Ctrl + Shift click on the jaw polygroup and while isolated go into the Subtool options, Split and Split Hidden to split the jaw from the rest of the skull.

  • DynaMesh the jaw to close up the hole.

  • Add the small crevices and bumps on the jaw from the reference and use the flatten brush to flatten out the surface.

  • DynaMesh on a higher resolution to make better details.

  • Mask the teeth using the mask laso and give them their own polygroup.

  • Isolate the group and separate it into its own subtool by using the Split Hidden option.

  • DynaMesh the teeth and smooth the edges.

  • Use the DamStandard brush to outline the teeth.

  • Adjust the jaw from the side and front reference with the Move tool.

  • The last thing we need to do is refine the top and bottom jaw.

  • Use ClayBuild up to make the bumps on the bone where the teeth are.

  • Use DynaMesh on a higher resolution to sculpt out these small details better.

  • On the top jaw use the DamStandard in between these bumps.

  • Carve out some clay from below the eyes and on the cheekbone.

  • And from the side add in and adjust the side of the skull to fit the reference by either adding clay or moving things around.

  • End Result.

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