ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting Paperback – Feb 8 2011
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From the Back Cover
Become a digital Michelangelo
Learn to sculpt and chisel like the masters using ZBrush 4 and this beautiful, full-color guide. Sculptor and designer Scott Spencer blends cutting-edge technology with artistry to show you how to use ZBrush to create fascinating characters limited only by your imagination.
You'll learn new ZBrush 4 brushes and brush controls, how to sketch complex forms with ZSketch, cool ways to costume your characters, and much more. Above all, you'll master time-honored concepts such as sculpting gesture and sighting proportion—techniques that will help you become a better artist, no matter what the medium.
Bridge the transition from traditional to digital sculpting
Get familiar with ZBrush 4 sculpting tools
Learn valuable techniques for detailing, texture painting, and rendering
Explore ZSpheres, polygon meshes, and adaptive skins
Design a lion's head, a character bust, a biped figure, a raygun, and more
Create animations with the timeline, and export videos and highly rendered images from ZBrush
Gain valuable insights and tips from guest artists throughout the book
About the Author
Scott Spencer is a freelance character sculptor and designer. He is currently at the Weta Workshop in New Zealand, where he is working on Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. He has created creatures and characters for film, games, and collectible figures. His credits include Iron Man, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Golden Axe, and Species 3. He is also a leading digital sculptor, longtime beta tester, and consultant to Pixologic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
On top of this, Scott Spencer backs everything you read with video tutorials which are great! There you will find much much more than you find in the book (which is a lot) since you can hear his reflections while sculpting... you can see how he sees things when he designs and what his approach towards sculpting is.
Before I end this, I want to recommand the other two books and I STRONGLY advice you to start with his first book, which is Zbrush - Human Figure. The book was made back in the 3.5 days but nevertheless is such an amazing tool to learn the basics of sculpting and the basics of Anatomy. He is a master of Human Anatomy in Sculpture and here is the chance to see him in action.. to go and take a Maya box man with about 100 polys and transform him into what you can see on the book cover.
Basically, the three books work together... You get the basics of Anatomy and Sculpting in the first one, than you get all the additional processes explained in Character Creation (texturing, mapping etc) and than in the last one you go through several types of creatures and characters and you are concerned with more advanced stuff like rendering and lighting, composition etc.
Take this book, take the other two as well, remove all your distractions and get on with them. You will fly through what used to be walls of questions.
A real value for the cost. ~Q
Like others have mentioned, the chapter on displacement/normal map generation and use in other programs (specifically covers Maya, which was wonderful for me) is worth the price of this book alone. It even goes in depth about the Maya shading network setup, from scratch, needed to display the maps properly. The internet contains a lot of conflicting and dated information on these topics - primarily because Pixologic has been pumping out updates and revisions every few months that change the game again and again and a lot of the tools that people used to use have been replaced once or twice with new tools from Pixologic. This is the only thing i have read that has all of this information in one place.
That being said, with Zbrush being up to Z4r4 now, i would love to see a new edition of this book from Scott Spencer or a new book altogether including the massive updates to Zbrush since this book's publish date. It might be wise to wait for Z5 since that seems to be the next thing for Pixologic. Heed my only warning about this book, which is that it was written based on Z4 original release, and does not include any more recent topics such as dynamesh, insert brushes, fibers, noisemaker, qremesher from Z4r2 through Z4r4.
Author is great, examples are great, additional resources are great - If you like Zbrush, you should own this book, especially if you also use Maya. As usual, the concepts are not application specific, but it helps to have the actual menus and examples in Maya since I am currently learning.
Thanks Scott, this book is great.
By the time you finish it you really will have a strong understanding of the ZBrush interface and have the grounds you need to move further into the world of digital sculpting. Scott walks you through each step of the process one chapter at a time and everything is broken down into a logical, easy to understand order.
I am on ZBrush 4R6 and although this book seems to have been designed with an earlier version in mind, all of the knowledge transfers over seamlessly, especially the digital sculpture methodology stuff, which is really timeless and applies regardless of program version.
But... I have to knock off one star because some of the exercises appear to lack proofreading, are missing steps that you have to figure out yourself, or ask you to use materials on the included DVD that aren't actually there and you have to sometimes hunt them down on a supplemental website somewhere. It's nothing TOO bad, with a few minutes of puzzling you can usually figure out what's wrong, but it is a tiny stumbling block in an otherwise perfectly smooth learning experience. My recommendation is that you approach the exercises in this book as a learning experience, and not to create something that is as good looking or as perfect as Scott's exercise results, because while the exercises are excellent in concept, sometimes the steps Scott provides are a bit iffy.
That minor grievance aside, it's an excellent book and I will definitely be looking into Scott's other books.