Hard Surface Refinement Technique in ZBrush | Ken Brilliant | Skillshare

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Hard Surface Refinement Technique in ZBrush

teacher avatar Ken Brilliant

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

2 Lessons (15m)
    • 1. HardSurface technique Intro v02

    • 2. HardSurface technique v02

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About This Class


Hard Surface Refinement Technique in ZBrush is a quick, intermediate level, lesson that takes you through an easy process to achieve a high level of refinement and polish on your hard surface models.

If you do not have a hard surface model of your own yet, a base model is provided to try out this technique.

Meet Your Teacher

Hello, I'm Ken.

I am an experienced digital effects artist who specializes in character, hard surface modeling and texture work.

I love digital sculpting and the freedom of creativity it allows the artist. I hope you'll become inspired as you explore this amazing world.

See full profile

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1. HardSurface technique Intro v02: Initial our class I will illustrate a technique I use to achieve a high level of polish on hard surface models. If you've ever sculpted hard surface models in zebra u4 or using the pressures like H polish and clay buildup. You probably noticed that it's difficult to get a really clean look. It takes a lot of extra work and polishing and smoothing and pinching. This technique, technique I think will really mediate the process and give really clean results with a minimum amount of effort. If you don't want to start from scratch, I will provide the base mesh that I used in this demo so you can follow along. So if you're ready, let's get started. 2. HardSurface technique v02: So this technique involves actually creating poly groups on the model and polishing those with a feature called the Polish and the deformation tab. So right now if I click on my polyline and fill, you can see that this is just all one. Poly. Probably groups will find as different colors of polygons. And we're going to be really utilizing a plugin called poly group. It, it's in the Z plugins command menu, and it's going to be poly group ID from paint. So we're going to actually be painting outlines, blackout lines around the areas that we want different policy groups to be created. So to get started, I'm going to select my standard brush. I'm going to turn off Ziad and just make it RGB. Also going to just solo out my helmet there. And I'm going to go up to my color panel, make sure I'm on white. And I'm just gonna click fill object. So that filled it with a white color, which doesn't look like it did anything, but it's actually white now we could have picked another color and it would've been that color like red or blue, but we actually want it to be white. And so the next step, I'm going to modify this pressure little and go down to the Stroke panel. And you can see there's lazy nows is turned on and I do want that on. I'm going to turn off the lazy steps. Turn on, lay down. And I'm going to turn up the lazy radius or took to give us, help us, give us a nice steady strokes. For now, maybe I'll try it 50. The lazy steps actually creates. If that's up high enough, it will actually make your strokes look like dots. So I do not want that. So I'm going to now go down to the color panel and make this an absolute black color. We definitely want it to be black. And so now I'm going to be tracing along these borders, these kinda these hard edges of my model. And I want to create these enclosed areas and each one will be its own separate poly group. So just my brush size, imprecise doesn't have to be super fine unless you're really trying to get in a tight area. Let me begin my stroke. And you can see with the lazy now SON does steady stroke. It really helps create a nice clean drawing line. And you can turn it up even more if you want. Even smoother stroke, you're finding your stroke a little wavy, it'll give you that longer read trail that you can see. It really makes, it makes for a nice, clean, steady stroke, which is what it was made for. So we don't want any spaces between these borders. Otherwise, it's kinda like using the fill bucket command in the program like Photoshop. If you don't have a completely enclosed area, UDL leak out everywhere else. So I'm just going to quickly as I can go around. So a good way to check her. Your model to see if it's a completely encloses. I'm going to switch to a flat color. I'm gonna change my color back to white. And we can check out the model nature. There's no gaps in our lines. Alright, looking good. So right now, this, this model has multiple subdivision levels. You can see I go down. So I'm going to be working on a model with no subdivision levels from here on out. So I wanna duplicate this model. So I'm just going to click the duplicate button. And on this one I am going to delete the lower subdivision level. So I'm gonna go down to my geometry tab. Delete lower. Because this poly group, it only works on one level of subdivision. So I'm going to turn on my polylines. And if you don't want to see the wireframe, you just click on the word line and it'll get rid it and I will just see our poly groups. So I'm going to dock my z plug-in. I'm going to go over to Pauli group it from paint and click on that. And let's see what it gives us. And then we have it. So we could see now, if I if you can't see it already with the various colors, if you do control shift click, you will get your height, your separate poly groups. And this will come in handy later as well. But before I do that, I'm gonna go to my geometry tab. I'm going to click on mirror and well, it just so it's symmetrical on both sides with regards to the poly groups. Then what's helped me later in editing if I'm using these poly groups. Okay, so let's go down and I'm going to turn off the poly pain again. We're gonna go down to the poly pain tab and just click off colorize. Make sure in them my white color. So now let's go up to the deformation tab and we're going to be using the Polish by groups. So what that's gonna do is perform a smoothing polishing routine on all these separate poly groups. It will treat them distinctly. So if you notice to the right of it, there's a circle and the circle and can either be solid or open. If it's solid, it's just, it's not going to change the overall silhouette of your model. It'll. It'll be a more subtle polish. And if it's open, it'll perform a more aggressive polishing where it actually will slightly change the the silhouette or total shaping your model. I'm not too concerned about that at this stage because I can always bring back if any subtleties are lost and the shape. So let's see what it gives us some just going to slide it halfway. And you can see it's already much cleaner. So hopefully if we go back to the original, Let me turn off polly paint on this one and go back to the one we just did. You can see it's much cleaner. But we could take it even further. You can see it's still a little wobbly in some areas. So what we can do is I'll bring up my Polish. I'm gonna control shift. Click on that, this area which is its own poly group. And then I can use the H polish brush to really smooth that out or get it's sharper or cleaner. Whatever you're looking for. I could do that here as well. And then we can perform another Polish by groups. And it'll clean it up even more. So you can go around your model and see if there's any areas want to clean up individually. Another technique if you don't want to click and hide is the groups, is if you go down to here, if you go to your brush panel, open up auto masking and slideUp mask by Pauli groups to a 100. And what this does is it will respect each poly group as you paint. Meaning it's almost like it's, it's acting like a masking. And if I start with my age polish, it will not bleed over into the next poly group. So that's another way of, of cleaning up your model without having a high date. You could just polish it and it's not affecting the other edges. And at this stage, if you can do the more subtle Polish by making that a closed circle, is dragging that up a bit. A few times. There'll be very subtle. So again, hopefully you can see the advantage of this. If we go back again to the original and get down to this one and much cleaner it is and how quicker that is to get it to that stage. Now you can take this, apply this to your model, then has multiple subdivision levels. Like I said, this one, I can go back down and you can see the subdivision levels. So what I'm gonna do is do a project. So again, that's in the subtour panel. We go to project and it'll project onto whatever's visible, whatever sub tools are visible, even if you have it's soloed out down here. If there's a little eyeball icon over it, it'll project onto it. So this is the polished one that has no subdivision levels. This is the one that unpolished and doesn't doesn't have subdivision level. So I'm just gonna go down to my lowest do project all step up a subdivision level project all step up a subdivision level, reject all, do it one more time. And there we have it. So now my my mom with multiple subdivision levels also has these the polished surfaces that we got by using this technique. Another advantage of using these poly groups in conjunction with our brush mask bipolar group settings is you can give your model additional forms in details with very little effort because I have these polar groups, I'm using the Move brush. As soon as I touched down on a model, he could see its own effecting that poly group. And there I've just given my model a little more definition and forms. You can notice there is a bit of stretching there. So here's a technique to get around that. I'm going to go to these polygraphs here. Turn them on just to show you, I'm going to click control-click highlight them, highlight them, and go down to my geometry tab. And there's an edge loop panel. So I'm just going to click on the edge loop and it works on just whatever's visible. In this case. And click on edge loop. It does, but it doesn't look like much has happened. But if I zoom way in, you can see a gave me. It's see it's in a different color. A loop of polygons around that initial polygraph. So now if I use my movie press with the mask I poly groups, it'll give me a bit of a cleaner result because it has that extra loop of polygons around it. So here I'm creating some extras subtle forms on the model. So you can still go back down to your deformation tab and mass by Polish, by groups. I'm going to turn that two solid so it's not going to do as, as an aggressive smoothing on it. And that might help get rid of some of these jagged. So I turned it up. You can see it cleaned it up pretty nicely. Did okay. Job there, but it did a better job on the area that had the the edge loop around it. So there you have it. Some techniques for getting really nice, clean surfaces on your hard surface models. Thank you very much for listening. Please comment if you have anything this a or or have any questions and I'll see you next time.