How to Create Goblin in Zbrush


ZBrush Tutorials

Fox Renderfarm, your best cloud rendering services provider, will share with you a ZBrush tutorial about how to create Goblin from 3D character artist, Hongmin Zheng. Hongmin Zheng is good at making realistic and stylized character models. In this tutorial, he made a Goblin that had stolen the king's gold coin. This work was inspired by the other 3D artist Jianxi Wang's amazing concept.


It is necessary to collect references to make the artwork more authentic and credible, especially the texturing, modeling and posing. I collected a lot of references first, then selected and organized them again.


The model was made with ZBrush, using a basic spherical shape as the basis to sculpt the overall model of the head, especially some facial features, such as its big nose, cracked mouth, ears, belly, and sparse hair.

I prefer to use SnakeHook in conjunction with SculptrisPro for quick styling in the Blocking stage, and also turn on AccuCurve to make the shape more rigid.

In this production, we can use any method to sculpt, such as using Curvetube to make the shape of the mouth, adding balls to make the eyes. And there is no need to consider lines or levels in this part. SculptrisPro is a great feature just like DynaMesh. They make creation more unrestrained.

The new version of the stroke preview function is great, which allows us to always pay attention to the outline of the model. The display of the outline is always the most important part of the model carving.

Using DynaMesh, this stage only needs to adjust the whole, ignoring all details. Take a look at the silhouette of the model from multiple angles.

I used clayBuildup to brush. Then I adjusted all parts of the model in the TPOSE stage.

Because it's not animation, there is no need to bind bones. As long as I confirm the shape of the model, I can start placing it. At the beginning, I tried to disassemble some joints that need to move as much as possible. This makes it easy to adjust POSE, silhouettes, etc..

A single SUB has a small number of faces, and the operation is more smooth. We can watch and test repeatedly. At this time, we pay attention to the parts you are interested in, such as the feeling of the head. We can also add a little material and color to preview.


I used Marvelous Designer to make the clothing. I made a shape, and then adjusted it manually.

Some of the props can be reduced in number of faces, or some simple models can be made instead. For example, the gold coin treasure in the Goblin bag can be replaced with simple geometry.

After checking that the silhouette and the structure were fine, I started to choose the place I was interested in or the visual center to start visual development. I spent a lot of time on the two areas of the head and hands. But the important point is that the primary and secondary models are separated. Silhouette is always in the first place, followed by level one and level two. The simple understanding of level is the volume of the object, the larger the volume, the more priority. BTW, don't focus on small details too much.


While grooming, we need to look for a lot of real references. The initial effect was not good. I repeatedly modified the hands and hair many times, and finally strengthened the hair level and added some long and short collocations.

When adjusting the model, I often think about how to make the model look more speedy and attractive. In the end, I added details such as falling gold coins on the basis of the fluttering of the pants. It is also interesting and reasonable. At this stage, I also consciously optimized each area, such as considering the character’s body fat percentage and skin texturing and so on.

Texturing and Rendering

When making textures, I use colors to distinguish the painting areas. I can use the method to quickly find the layers.

Because the character tends to be more stylized, most of the textures are directly painted with Substance Painter.

The last step is rendering when the model is completed. In fact, I prefer a more dramatic atmosphere and lighting. I originally wanted to build a small scene based on this atmosphere to do some interaction. The light uses 3 point light sources.

How To Sculpt A Stylized Character In ZBrush


ZBrush Tutorials

In this post, Fox Renderfarm, the best render farm in the CG industry, will share with you a ZBrush tutorial about how to sculpt a stylized character. Yuelun Ma is a 3D character artist, specialized in making stylized characters. In this tutorial, he used the character Yaoyao in "League of Legends" as a reference and used ZBrush to create a cute female character. Some of his works are as follows.


First of all, I need to look for some reference materials before starting. I found some images on the Internet, including the front, side, etc. of the character, especially the part behind the character. If there is no reference, it would be harder to make the hair and the clothes behind.


After deciding on the reference, I started modeling the character with ZBrush. First, I used a basic head model from Zbrush and modified it. Because of the different genders of the characters, the facial features and proportions are also different. In terms of the reference, the proportions of the face and forehead of the stylized characters are very different from the realistic style. Compared with the male characters, the facial contours of the female characters will be smaller. And the proportion of the eyes should be larger. In addition, there is another important feature of the character's head, that is, the pointed ears and the horns on the head, which can be adjusted for these obvious features when sculpting.


We can make hairstyles with large waves according to the reference, and then make loose hairs based on the hairstyles. When making hair, first arrange the main part, and then adjust other positions and collocations on this basis. Pay attention to the direction of the hair fluttering, and don't flutter irregularly or appear disorderly. The point is to make the main body first, then add more details on this basis, and then exaggerate the arc to a certain extent or turn it into another arc that slightly changes from the original.

I want this hairstyle to have a very elegant feel, so after finishing the hair, I still need to do some trimming of the fine hair. Pay attention to the floating direction when swaying your hair, and don't let them look contradictory.


The difficulty of texturing lies in stylized eyes, because they are dark on the top and bright on the bottom. There will be some shadow and highlight processing, and the shiny feeling in the reference picture must be presented.

Lighting and rendering

The lighting part is simple. In order to highlight the outer contours of the character, I used a darker background and placed a light from the side. The cheeks are specially filled with a spotlight to make the cheeks look very bright. Finally, I also added a light on the top of the head to make the horns and hair look more layered.

ZBrush 2021.6 With New Features Is Available Now


ZBrush Tutorials

ZBrush 2021.6 is coming! The new features in ZBrush 2021.6 are combining with those from 2021.5 and 2021 to create an inspiring digital sculpting experience.

Version 2021.6 adds a new mesh from mask features that allow the user to build base meshes from an outlined shape, the ability to extrude an alpha shape along a curve, the ability to use SnakeCurve brushes in Sculptris Pro mode, true raytraced AO, USD (Universal Scene Description) format for export and import, Lazy Mouse support for Lasso stroke type, Closest and Farthest modes for Continuous Z Picker and more.

Let's take a look at the Michael Pavlovich's demo video that shows us the new ZBrush 2021.6 features,

To learn more about what’s new, visit the Pixologic website.

ZBrush Tutorials: The Making of Hard Surface Models(2)


Maya Cloud Rendering

Follow part one, Fox Renderfarm, your best cloud rendering services provider, still share the process of using hard surface technology to make a sci-fi style head model in ZBrush from 3d Artist ZX.

The following part explains the production process,

  1. Drawing reference

In this step, ZX uses the standard brush. First, remove the sculpting function of the brush, turn on RGB, select red, and draw the hard edge part of the helmet that needs to be made as a reference.

  1. Topology

When the reference line of the edge is drawn, you can refer to it for retopology. Personally, ZX likes to use Zbrush's tool topology. It is easy to use, fast and the final result is good, which can improve ZX's work efficiency. Of course, the explanation here is not about topology on ZSphere, but topology on the basis of brushes, which can also keep files concise.

The usage is simple, just use the brush to draw on the helmet model, simple and easy to use.

After the red line is drawn, we only need to click on the model part to generate a thick model from the red line.

For the hard surface model that needs to be made on the corners of the helmet, in addition to the thickness, it also needs to have a concave-convex structure. With a structure, it will be more abundant from other angles.

  1. Crease

We also need to add some lines to the corners of the crease to keep enough lines to support the hard surface. Then ZX used the ZModeler tool, selected the line mode, and selected crease.

In this process, we can select crease, Edge, EdgeLoop Partial, EdgeLoop Complete. Hold down the alt key and click to delete the edge.

The function used together in this process is the crease pg. If we don't want the effect of the crease, we can also use an increase to remove the crease.

  1. Preview

We can press the d key to preview our hard-edged effect, and we can cancel the preview by shift+d when we don't need it. Smooth Subdiv can be used to adjust the model smoothly.

The above is an introduction to the process of making the entire model. If we are not particularly familiar with the ZModeler tool, this step can be made in 3ds Max or Maya. However, if time permits, please try Zbrush's topology tool, it is really good to use.

One of the most troublesome parts is that Zbrush does not support 5-sided, so many places need to be adjusted, which is more cumbersome.

ZBrush Tutorials: The Making of Hard Surface Models(1)


Maya Cloud Rendering

Today, Fox Renderfarm, your best cloud rendering services provider, is going to share a process of using hard surface technology to make a sci-fi style head model in ZBrush from 3d Artist ZX, and show the way of thinking in the production process and some points that need attention. This work is based on a reference that ZX saw on the Internet. And ZX decided to make it a 3D version. This is part one of the article.

Blocking the main forms

The first step is to create a basic sphere in ZBrush, and then use the Dynamesh function to make the head layout. The number of subdivision faces at the beginning should not be too high, otherwise, the adjustment of the faces will be troublesome. Then use the brush to make some shapes according to the reference image. The process is simple, and only some basic brushes are used, including Move, Standard, Claybuildup, Polish.

Adding detail

This part requires a lot of patience because the concept has only one front, and the side and back structures are not clear. Hence, we need to use our imagination, and some places need to be designed according to our own wishes in the production. So, in this process, ZX made a lot of trials and designs, and finally determined the result.

Next, ZX used the polish function of Dynamesh, which can make the surface of the model smoother under Dynamesh conditions. This function is very useful and the final effect is good. If you can, please try to use this feature.

In ZX's personal projects, many works have been redesigned and organized according to his own requirements, so this character only made a basic design to make the appearance look more reasonable, but did not have many details. The following are some highly variable models carved,

How to Make Realistic Characters in ZBrush and Maya(2)


Arnold for Maya

The best render farm Fox Renderfarm still shares with you the post about how to make realistic characters in ZBrush and Maya from 3D artist Yi Chen, and this is part two. Yi Chen showed us the workflow of his latest realistic female character. Software used includes ZBrush, Maya, Mari, Substance Painter, Xgen, Arnold, etc. About part one, please click here.


After the high polygon model was carved, I re-split the model's UVS into 6 UVIDs and changed it to 4K accuracy. This step is mainly to draw textures in Substance Painter and also to ensure that the high-poly displacement details will not be lost in the final rendering. If you are using Mari to draw textures, then I recommend using 2 sheets of 8K accuracy.

Before using Substance Painter to paint colors, we can still use Zwrap to use some scanned model textures as background colors to improve work efficiency, and then further describe the colors and details of various areas of the face based on it. In this step, I drew the Base Color, Specular, and Thinkness maps. The Thickness map will be used as the weight map of the SSS skin to locally control the intensity of the skin subsurface scattering.

Please look forward to the process of material setting and lighting rendering next time. Thank you for watching.

How to Make Realistic Characters in ZBrush and Maya(1)


Arnold for Maya

In this post, the best render farm Fox Renderfarm will share with you a tutorial about how to make realistic characters in ZBrush and Maya from 3D artist Yi Chen. Yi Chen showed us the workflow of his latest realistic female character. Software used includes ZBrush, Maya, Mari, Substance Painter, Xgen, Arnold, etc. This is part one of the tutorial, part two will be continued.


I am a 3D artist. Today I will share the production process on how to create realistic characters. The model is made using Zbrush and Maya; Mari and Substance Painter are used to make textures; Xgen is used to make hairs, and Arnold is used for rendering.

A Male character:

Gathering references

Before starting to make the model, I will analyze the concept map and collect a lot of pictures of women. Because this work does not refer to a specific picture, I could combine and match many of your favorite elements, including clothing, hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, etc. Then starting with simple sketching and compositing in Photoshop, it is better to have a concept map at least before production.


I’m used to determining the size and scale of the model before making the model. According to Anatomy, the vertical length of the head of an adult is between 22-24cm, and the diameter of the eyeball is generally between 2.4-2.5cm.

And when making a model in Zbrush, we need to set the focal length of the Zbrush view camera in advance according to the picture material. The most commonly used portrait focal lengths are 85mm, 100mm, 135mm, and 200mm. Some original photographs usually include the specific focal length value of the picture. If it is a reference picture, we can roughly determine the focal length range by observing the leakage range of the front person’s ears. The gif below can be used as a reference basis. Of course, this is only a reference for the focal length of a portrait. If it is half-length or full-length, the focal length will be different.

To create the model based on the reference material, I directly used Zbrush to sculpt Blocking, and the number of subdivided faces was kept at about 50 million, level 7 so that the flow model used for rendering at the lowest subdivision level can be controlled at about 12,000.

After the model was modified, I continued to use the UV split tool that comes with Zbrush to make the UV, and then manually adjusted it to the appropriate position. Then I used XYZ pore material + Zwrap plane to project the pores, and then projected some undesirable areas in Mari. Next, it was time to output the grayscale images of the three channels of R, G, and B in Mari and extrude the bumps on the surface of the model through Zbrush to get fine pores. In this step, the model used a 16-bit 8K precision texture map.

ZBrush Tutorials: How to Build Facial Muscles and Facial Features with ZBrush?(2)


ZBrush Tutorials

Fox Renderfarm, the best ZBrush render farm in the CG industry, will still share with you the ZBrush tutorial on how to use ZBrush to build facial muscles and facial features. The tutorial we are sharing this time is how to use ZBrush to build facial muscles, ears, and eyes, and this is also part two of the shares, part one please click here.

  1. Facial muscle carving

The next step is to adjust the muscles of the entire face. This step of sculpting should be as precise as possible. First, adjust the direction of the facial muscles, and then refine the details in detail.

This part of the work focuses on the muscles, shaping the main muscles around the mouth and eyes. They look like circles and move with the other muscles attached to them to make various facial expressions and mouth shapes.

When sculpting, I try to understand the role of each muscle. For example, the small cheekbone muscles protrude, and the other major cheekbone muscles play the same role. Except for the corners of the mouth, this is why you smile or laugh them are essential, around the eyes. The muscles are used to close our eyes. We need them when we blink or close our eyes or smile.

Next, sharpen each facial muscle to improve the clarity of the facial model. This step can be achieved by using a brush with a smaller radius.

  1. Muscle definition and refinement

Next, make the muscles of the chin and cheeks. These two muscles are very strong, and people will use them when chewing and talking. Next are the areas of the skull and temples, and then the main muscles of the neck. If you feel that the number of polygons is not enough, you can use the DynaMesh function to increase the resolution of the polygon and update the mesh (Ctrl-click and drag the canvas).

In some cases, the Lazy Mouse option may also be activated, which can help us carve very smooth and precise lines.

  1. Beautiful eyes

In this step, continue to perfect the eye and face part, use the Append button to import a sphere as a new sub tool, then hide the face, select the skull, place the sphere on the eyeball position, check the grid and adjust the eye face on the sphere.

  1. Nose carving

The final processing focus is on the muscles near the nose. You need to draw stripes for each muscle to make the muscles more morphological and remember the function of each muscle.

Now continue to perfect the entire face, draw bigger stripes of muscles in stronger areas, such as the jaw, it will help you understand and better understand the entire muscular system.

Carve the main cartilage on the nose. If you feel that you have done something wrong or do not meet your requirements, you can re-carve the muscles. The nose is composed of bones, muscles, and cartilage.

Finally, adjust the final sculpted muscles and add stripes, and the face model is completed.

ZBrush Tutorials: How to Build Facial Muscles and Facial Features with ZBrush?(1)


ZBrush Tutorials

Fox Renderfarm, the best ZBrush render farm in the CG industry, will share with you the ZBrush tutorial on how to use ZBrush to build facial muscles and facial features. If you want to make the sculpted characters real and believable, then the bones are the most important part. Improving knowledge of planning is a very important skill. Muscles, bones, and cartilage are the basic parts of the head. The tutorial we are sharing this time is how to use ZBrush to build facial muscles, ears, and eyes, and this is also part one of the shares, part two please click here.

  1. Create ears

Next is to create the ears. Almost all of the ears are made of cartilage, which can be made using some basic brushes in ZBrush. Click the B button to open the brush selection menu, select the IMM BParts brush, continue to click the M button, and select ears in the pop-up menu.

Click to move the side of the head and stop at the position of the ear. In this stage, ZBrush will mask the entire head in order to move, rotate, or measure the proportions of the ears, as if it were a brand new sub-tool, without worrying about the head.

After placing the ears, use the moving brush to adjust the main shape of the scalp, and update the mesh through DynaMesh (Ctrl-drag outside the mesh) to merge the ears onto the head model.

  1. Location

Next, you need to smooth the synthesized area and sculpt the bones of the ears. In order to make the sculpting effect closer to the accurate reference image, some corrections are needed.

Ear carving is not difficult if you are familiar with deconstruction and deconstruction. Another easy way is to use reference pictures or look for a mirror to observe the deconstruction of your ears. What needs attention is the proportion and position of the ears.

How to Build a Mechanical Warrior in Zbrush(3)


ZBrush Tutorials

To continue with part 1 and part 2, Fox Renderfarm, the No.1 cloud rendering services provider, will still share with you the tutorial from the 3d artist Dong Chao of part 3 about how to build a mechanical warrior with Maya and ZBrush.


Adjust a simple POSE, and then add a scene used in the previous project to test the light rendering. A total of 5 lights were used in this project, 4 VRay Area light sources and one Dome light source. The Dome light source is mainly to add an HDR map inside. Normally, you can check Dome Spherical in the settings, and then add an HDR. Because the final effect is more to highlight the main body, so the intensity is reduced to 0.5.

The other light sources are all adjusted in size and intensity color. One is the overhead light source, the other is the main light on the side and the two backlights. The final lighting effect is as follows.

The final renderer uses VRay, and all elements in the scene use VRaymtl material. VRaymtl is very easy to use, it only needs simple adjustment to get good results. Especially for the character body, I used a VRayblend material and FastSSS+Vraymtl. In addition to the SSS texture of the character itself, I also wanted to adjust the highlights more delicately, so I superimposed the highlight texture directly on the highlight color of vraymtl. In order to speed up, I used the completed Normal texture to convert it with the Ndo plug-in, and converted it into a concavity and Ao texture, Then I copied the concavity to highlight the concave effect of the skin, and superimposed the previous color texture and adjusted it again can. And the Scatter texture in the SSS material is not drawn, only the color texture is used to modify. The following are the settings of the head body part and the shader of the highlight map,


In the final rendering, I improved the lighting quality and rendering quality, and replaced the body with a 3-level subdivision model in ZBrush, and then used a normal map. In the test, the normal details are displayed better and faster than using displacement maps.

Finally, the rendering is divided into channels, and then adjusted using Photoshop. The resolution of the final image is 2.5K * 3K, and the rendering time is about one and a half hours. The following are the renderer settings, and the red box is the place that needs special attention.

In the compositing stage, I added all the channel renderings to Photoshop for adjustment. I used the channels to refine the final effect, adjusted the depth of field blur, color adjustment, and superimposed a layer of dust and shadows.

Final render:

How to Build a Mechanical Warrior in Zbrush(2)


ZBrush Tutorials

To continue with part 1, Fox Renderfarm, the No.1 online render farm, will still share with you the tutorial from the 3d artist Dong Chao of part 2 and part 3 about how to build a mechanical warrior with Maya and ZBrush.


Now use the QRemesher function or the face reduction plug-in to reconstruct the topology of all required models. I imported all the biological models into UVlayout to make UV. I used 3 parts of the body, one for the head and body, one for the arm and foot, one for the tail, and the UV for the mechanical body. ZBrush's UVmaster automatically created it, saving a lot of time and the effect was quite good. Finally, it was divided into different UVs in Maya, and the armor used about 5 UVs.


All the details of the character itself are sculpted in ZBrush. You can directly draw textures in ZBrush, and then use different brushes to make various color changes. There is no superimposition or mapping of other textures. This method is produced. The textures are not too messy and the speed is faster. The armor part is only distinguished by some colors in ZBrush.

The production of the body has been completed, you can export the texture directly, and then import the model of the mechanical armor into Mari together, use a few textures to simply draw some damaged edge effects and some patterns, and finally superimpose a layer of color changes. The texture does not need to be particularly shabby, and in order to save production time, I only made half of the texture, and the other half was changed slightly to break the balance.

Finally, I baked the texture of the whole body in ZBrush. I baked the normal map and displacement map, which are needed in the quick test rendering that needs to be carried out. The next step is replacing the displacement map according to the test results. Hence the displacement and normals here are baked from small details.

Stay tuned for the part 3.

How to Build a Mechanical Warrior in Zbrush(1)


ZBrush Tutorials

This time, Fox Renderfarm, the best cloud rendering services provider, will share with you a ZBrush/Maya tutorial from the 3d artist Dong Chao, about how to build a Mechanical Warrior.

Hi, this is Dong Chao. In this tutorial, I will show you the production process of making a mechanical warrior. The focus is on the combination of organic and inorganic matter in the model.

Software used: Maya, ZBrush, Mari, UVLayout, Photoshop, and Ndo.

The overall production time is about 3 weeks, of which the model production took 2 weeks, and the texture and rendering took a week.


The collection of references is an important step. When creating this model, I collected the works on the Internet as references, mainly of various mechanical characters. In the design stage, I made a rough stitching diagram using these reference pictures, and then quickly carried out the detailed design of each part and character in ZBrush. Because there are many small parts, each part keeps as simple as possible. The coordination of completeness and proportions hopes that the roles will be integrated so that the post-production will be relatively quick and simple.


Now you can start to create the model, I made it in ZBrush. Because there is no specific reference picture, I had to use ZBrush's DynaMesh to start production from Zsphere. Starting with a simple shape, I made a basic body of a monster, and then slowly added details after determining the proportions. The next step was to copy the body to make the outer armor. The following were the brushes that I use frequently. Some of the brushes have been simply modified and then saved as default for use next time.

The early sculpting process is relatively simple, especially ZBrush is a very easy-to-use software for me.

In this step, I carried out some overall carvings on the pre-planned content and element structure, and then cut the model into different subtools, hiding some invisible places, so as to facilitate further conversion into ordinary multi-deformation for fine-tuning. As shown in the figure below, different colors represent one subtool.

The body model is subdivided, and then the body part is directly carved into the final effect. And the mechanical part can be made according to your requirements. I didn't waste too much time in this step, because in the end, I have to use the hard-edge function to perform the topological conversion. The following is the final ZBrush design drawing.

The final model in Zbrush and Maya

There are many ways to make mechanical armor because I have already made a shape in ZBrush, so I chose the appropriate method and used ZBrush for topology. And I modeled the small parts in Maya so that it can be copied and aligned conveniently, and most of the armor on the monster body will be hard-edged after topology in ZBrush.

Firstly, add a ZSphere to Subtool, and then hide other objects, select ZSphere for topology. Do not use too many turning faces, just use the model to outline the shape, especially where hard edges are required. Precise the line, and then set the appropriate preview thickness. Remember to subdivide the preview to 1, and then you can get an object with a thickness similar to armor during the preview. Create the cut surface that needs hard edges, gives a polish smooth bottom edge at a relatively high subdivision level, and that's it. Finally, you can get some desired details through some methods such as Alpha, eage loop, or extrusion.

Before making the details, I usually put these mechanical models into the Keyshot for metal texture adjustment and simple GI rendering tests to see if there are any problems with the model. The most important thing at this stage is not the details, but the turning point. The combination of some objects that are troublesome to make with hard edges in ZBrush can also be put into Maya for refinement. Of course, you can also operate according to your own habits.

Final effects of the details,

Stay tuned for part 2 and part 3.

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