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Soldier model being created within ZBrush

Introduction to Digital Sculpting using ZBrush

ZBrush has become the industry standard software for creating highly detailed models for a huge range of industries, with its approach to digital clay giving artists the freedom to create sculptures that push boundaries far beyond what was previously possible.

Course overview


Spring term
Thursday 27 January – Thursday 31 March 2022

10 Thursday evenings 18.00-21.00

Stuart Millar


Course details

The aim of this introductory course is to introduce you to the fundamentals of the software and allow you to create a finished sculpt of a multi-part organic creature with hard surface, painted and textured elements. By the end of the course, you have will gained an insight and practical skills in the basic use of ZBrush, to create a simple creature using the major elements and features of the software.

In this first section of the course, you will explore the ZBrush interface, tools, workspace layout, how the program works, its uses and applications. Through demonstrations of the program in action, you will model a base sculpting mesh in which to lay the foundation of your learning and use as a sculpting model throughout your course. You will become familiar with the tools interface and understand the design choices available to you, your tutor will explain and discuss the various types of modelling possible and demonstrate the software usage and its applications.

Your tutor will assist you in creating the base meshes that is used to create your sculpture, as well as utilizing sub tools and subdivision levels to add progressive detail to your sculpts. You will learn the various ways to create geometry to begin and refine models.

You will be introduced to Dynameshes and Zspheres that will form the understructure of your final sculpture. Here you will explore both digital sculpting, and traditional sculpting techniques, and how they apply to using ZBrush, whilst introducing texturing elements, and refining our organic forms.

Upon completion of your form i.e.; human head, bust, you will add hard surface elements (armor, helmet etc.) and explore several ways of achieving hard surface elements, which will be demoed and then applied to your sculpt.

You will understand how to build a rig under our sculpture that can used to pose and manipulate our sculpture into a final position, whilst understanding the simpler methods of masking and manipulating within ZBrush.

Using Polypaint features of ZBrush, will enable you to paint texture and details onto your finished sculptures, adding depth and shape. Once completed you will finalize your piece into a finished, painted, digital sculpture. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of preparing your sculpt for 3D printing, including cutting and keying parts for later assembly, should you wish to turn your sculpt into a physical product at a later point.

  • The Zbrush interface; navigating the workspace, menus and tools.
  • Creating models, adding subtools, adjusting geometry and adding details with sculpting brushes and hard surface modelling techniques.
  • Post-sculpting techniques including poly-painting, posing, simple rendering techniques and preparation for 3D printing

The course aims to:

  • Theory – Different techniques for approaching modelling tasks and the pros and cons of each, with reference to industry practice.
  • Demonstration – The tutor will demonstrate several techniques for each session goal.
  • Practical – The students will be free to create their own project using the techniques demonstrated, with support from the tutor.

  • The goal of this course is to give students an understanding and hands-on experience of the core aspects of Zbrush, providing the fundamentals to continue learning after the course.
  • All students with 100% course attendance will be issued with an official AUB Short Course Certificate of Attendance detailing course contents, and study hours.

The course assumes students have little or no knowledge of the software and will be focussed on fundamental aspects of modelling in Zbrush.

Access to Zbrush outside of the course will allow the students to practice between sessions and be more ambitious with their projects, but is not essential to achieve the course aims.

All course materials are included in the course fee.

All course materials are included in the course fee.

Important information about evening and weekend courses

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How to Enrol

Looking to book onto one of our Evening and Saturday courses? You’ll find everything you need to book your place here.

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If you have any questions about our Evening and Saturday Short Courses, you may find the answers in here.

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Short Courses Booking Terms and Conditions

Please read our Terms and Conditions before booking onto our Evening and Weekend courses.

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