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CGMaster Academy – ZBrush for Concept & Iteration

CGMaster Academy – ZBrush for Concept & IterationConcept & Iteration


ZBrush for Concept & Iteration : A 6-week intensive course on using Zbrush and integrating it as a powerful modeling tool; students will learn the skills needed to create hard-surface and organic models and problem solve for multiple areas of 3D asset creation

Learn to use & problem solve with Zbrush

This high-intensity class will focus on getting you up and running in ZBrush in as little time as possible! Students will focus on creative 3D problem solving complimented with a comprehensive overview of everything you need to begin using ZBrush as an integral part of your modeling tool set. Once you’ve completed the course, you’ll not only be comfortable in general ZBrush usage and terminology, you’ll also have developed a broader set of tools that will allow you to create almost anything you can imagine, from hard-surface props to organic creatures! Students will learn to problem solve for multiple areas of 3D asset creation, from concept visualization to final production modeling techniques!

*Note: This course is NOT meant to be an Intro to Zbrush course.


LECTURE TYPE: Pre-recorded

FEEDBACK: Individual recordings

DURATION: 6 weeks


SKILLS LEVEL: Intermediate

PREREQUISITES: Students who are new to Zbrush are required to watch Michael’s Week 0 content (over 6 hours available). Once you’ve enrolled, you will have access to the videos. Also available on Michael’s Youtube channel.


The more you know, the better.

Week 0 | Just the Basics! | Brush Basics | Material Basics | Zbrush Quickstart | UI, Hotkeys & Custom Menu

Get up and running with the basics of Zbrush. We will be emphasizing these fundamentals as we move through the class later on. It’s important as we continue that you get more and more comfortable with the basics, such as bushes, modifiers, gizmo functionality, and of course, navigation! Be mindful as you progress through the class of things you’re constantly hunting for in the menu system–if you do it more than a few times a session, consider putting it in a custom menu. If you’re doing it a few times an hour (or a few times a minute!) make a hotkey! It’ll take you a little bit to get those hotkeys and custom menu locations into muscle memory, but the more you do it, the faster you’ll get, and the more creative you’ll feel when you leave behind hunting through endless menu options and brushes!

Week 1 | Blocking out Organic Shapes

Dynamesh / Sculptris Pro (snakehook) | ZSphere / ZSketch | When to have subdivision history, and when not to | Polygroups | Insert Mesh Basics | Dynamesh Booleans | Polypaint Basics | Spotlight Reference matching and painting | Bend Deformer | Lattice Deformer | Matching Reference: — Auto Reference Image Ratio — Spotlight Camera Snapping –dropping image to canvas, kuadro, see through

Week 2 | Refine Organic

Curve Brush Basics | Custom Hair and Tentacle Brush | Mouthbags, Polygroups, ZRemesh, Project All, ZProject Brush | Fibermesh Basics, morph targets | Extract and ZRemesh, morph diff | ZSphere Topology | Topology Brush | Custom Alphas / VDM / Brushes (including hair stamps)

Week 3 | Blocking out Hard Surface

Hard Surface Brushes and Concepting | ZModeler Basics | Dynamic Subd, Creasing, QGrid | Clip, Slice, Trim, ZRemesh | Live Boolean Basics | Dynamesh Complex Slicing | Custom Hard Surface Brushes | Kitbash Libraries | Move Accu | Project Primitive | Kitbash Creation: –deformer extender –deformer taper Group by normals

Week 4 | Refine Hard Surface

Live Boolean Organization, live boolean master | Live Boolean Organization | Extract, slice, ZRemesh | ZSphere Topology | Group and Panel Loops, moving and splitting | Frame mesh and controlling curves (curve helper) | Custom Hard Surface Alphas | Match Maker | Arc Deformer, Text | Chisel Brush | Mesh Fusion | Deformer Crease and Bevel | Deformer Rotate, Scale, Offset, Stretch, and Skew | Reconstruct Subdiv

Week 5 | Bringing It All Together: Complex Creation

Controlling Curves | Shadowbox | UV master | Surface Noise, Noise Maker, Document Tiling | Nanomesh | Array Mesh, gizmo multi copy, replay last | Creating a Scene | Polygroup It

Week 6 | Posing and Rendering

Polypaint Refresher | Spotlight Texturing Refresher | Material Advanced | ZBrush Native Render (and IBL) | Stylized Rendering Basics | Lights and Cameras | Photoshop Compositing | Turntable movies | Layers (facial features)

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