Zbrush Lesson: Creating a Katana handle | Azariyah Radebe | Skillshare

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Zbrush Lesson: Creating a Katana handle

teacher avatar Azariyah Radebe, Digital Artist at Your service

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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

7 Lessons (1h 13m)
    • 1. Part 01 Introuduction

    • 2. Part 02 the Blocking in the shapes

    • 3. Part 03 Roughing the shapes further

    • 4. Part 04

    • 5. Part 05

    • 6. Part 06

    • 7. Part 07 Finishing it up

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About This Class

In This Tutorial we go into Zbrush and build a katana from scratch using the native tools within Zbrush. Through breaking down the process we are able isolate, rough out and fine tune parts of our Katana. We will be focusing exclusively on the handle as it is the most iconic.


At the end of this series you should be able to:

  • Use Pollygroups and the relevant tools
  • Create your own ornaments/ decorations using Using Alphas
  • Tweaking the surface noise filter and properly using masks
  • Optimizing your Subtools for better efficiency and memory
  • simplifying complex forms by breaking them down to simple shapes

Meet Your Teacher

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Azariyah Radebe

Digital Artist at Your service


Hello, I'm Azariyah, here to share some knowledge and fun tips

to help you improve in zbrush and digital art. I make resources and tutorials and have worked for studios around the world creating assets and characters. 

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1. Part 01 Introuduction: Hargon, man. On this time around, we are gonna be looking at creating a Catanha. Andi, essentially, what makes a katana stand out is the the three did handle. So I'm just gonna be taking you, um, a bit quickly. Process on how I got this time and as he concedes in different stages, and I'll show you how I also got this, uh, detail happening here on. As you can see, it's just like rough, simple work. All right, I'm once you figure out what to do, and then I'm also going to show you, Um, it's a cool that Zuba or the guard, All right. And I was able to pretty much not so much to tell in. And as you can see, it's 134 534,000 parties, and it still looks like a decent. So we're gonna be checking it out as well. And this is pretty much. But I'm gonna be, uh, focusing. I'm so I ask you 2. Part 02 the Blocking in the shapes: Okay, So the first thing that I'm gonna do is initialize z brush. And what it does is that it creates a keen slate. So sorry about that. So it's gonna happen now is just gonna sit my document background. Then I'm going to select a cylinder, draw it out and make sure that I can. You my are you afraid and stuff? Then I'm going to go to initialized on right till you see, um, age divide or horizontal subdivision counting verticals of division count. I'm going, Teoh. Uh huh. He's up to 60 on 60 right? Once that is done, I'm going to scale. Oh, yeah. Apparently the handle is called a souca. All right, let me just see. Um all right, let me start with the scab. Our first. Oh, sire. Okay. Before I do that, I'm just gonna make it into a car. Diminished. Cool. So I'm just good night. Duplicate this a couple of times as well. So this will become my SIA. I think this thing is Do you also? I'm not, um I'm not comparing it to any charitable. Oh, or scaling. It is anything. If you want to use a scale rather used the the ruler. I called it on, and it will give you sort of like an approximation on to set up your seen scale. It will go to Z plug in, um, scale. My stuff on it will say Said seen scale. And you will choose your unit of measurement. Ideally, people use millimeters to inches. This is if you're gonna be printing and stuff. So as you can see right now, it's sitting at two point something millimeters. So that's that's okay. I mean, I guess so. Now this is pretty much my my scab art. Andi. What I can then do is create what's a cool that Zuba. So summer. I'm just pretty much, um, locking in the parts that you have a news. No. So once again, this waas gonna be a life size print measuring according go down here, make this a bit narrow while see a native narrow on a different go. I like shooting it on. The X is the way I have this, um, Marah function the way that I wanted to be a cool and it looks fine now. So she up there, bring this down a little bit on see how thick it is. Speaking a bit thicker. There you go. Also, Katanas are Big Bend. And because we're not working on the scab art, uh, focusing more on the handle and stuff doesn't it? Doesn't matter. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna duplicate this guy, and it's going up on shrinking according to the and this is where it would be nice to have , um, measurements. So I'm gonna make this a bit picker while there we go. So it looks still a bit narrow. No. See how it looks from inside? Can we make this a bit bigger as well? So it's all about just working around your entire model. I'm seeing what looks good. Hadn't seen what that's not which floor. I think that looks decent, you know? So once I'm happy with this double quick save on creating these tutorials four people has taught me too quick. Say, because I had a disease there, I just didn't quick save. Okay, so now, um, in order to keep it in house, I'm going to start with okay, this guy I'm not gonna use, And as you can see, everything is backwards. But this right at the top. This comes next in. This is lost. Cool. So this will become my endo All my it. Here we go. Then this will become my guard. Suba Suba Oh, my gosh! This becomes my scab. Oh, my site Cool. And this is just all right, Get this quick. Safe again. There we go. OK, so now it's time to have some fun. One thing to note about, um, the handles is that they you have the handle and then you have the fretting on top. So one thing that we could do is duplicate this and then call this funding to help three whole traded. Then I'm just gonna solo this guy out and normally the diamonds that they know that they have different forms to sort. But on average, the ones I've counted looking at my reference is, from 10 to 15 so now we're gonna do is we're gonna select our slice curve to they're gonna press control and ship and then, uh, come up here to your brush options and incident. It's nice group. And what the slice group does is that it will slice your miss. And not only will it slice of Mashhad AAPL designated into its own Polly cheese. Once again you want. All right. And now we have an option to work from top to bottom or bottom to top. Says you can see this is my bottom, Andi. I will just work it upwards. And there is more than 11 tau approach this. But I I kind of figured that this one is less headache inducing from, and I think you could do is count your your squeeze, Andi going upwards. That will help. Bye for this example we're just gonna do bringing it. All right, So you go on to three, five, six, seven, eight. Even if they're not even, it's fine. Nine and heaven 14. 15. Andi, if I switch off the line function, you should have something like this, right? And now we're going to do is normally, like working with the line off. I am going to start doing my my diamonds. So depending on where your sword is facing, right and how your threads running, you could I have something like this? All right, then, uh, on. So we're gonna be aiming to, like, the for the farthest Harley, and it also have to switch off your your perspective as well. So it is a bit wide, but you can adjust it if you go on. And so they this you see the pattern again. That's the lady. No much too much again. It's just so much again and seek. It'll take a while, but eventually it will come, right. - Don't Pride of the tree. So I'm gonna do I'm going to do it up until the end So menopause it, yeah. 3. Part 03 Roughing the shapes further: All right, then. So now we should have something like this. All right. Nice. A beautiful mess off holly groups. And next thing that I'm gonna do now is gonna have my handles switched on. And while I'm still on my threading layer, I am now going to do its geometry today. Just gonna switch back to my rectangular select two by pressing control shift and then coming to my brush selection on selecting my wait. Thank you. Select. Like, yeah, right here. Then I'm just gonna She psinet these objects. Here you go, Andi, To modify topology and delete kidding. Then I'm going to scale this out just a little bit. Go, then. I am going to shrinking. Okay, Now, you should remember that because the diamonds are so huge, right? One thing that we're gonna do is we're gonna tweak the measure bit, then be when the shrinking to around this size. So this means that you have running about three. Who? Okay, depending on how tight off do you want to have a show, Okay. And still doesn't look like much now. So what we're gonna do is we are gonna duplicate this and merge or better yet we can work on, like, one section and driving 10 year completion. And then after that weaken duplicated over the other heart off scab off the handle. So now I'm gonna come to geometry. He switched his other parts geometry. Andi Manila T h on in panel groups. I'll make sure that my sickness is 0.1 And right now it 0.1 So they were playing their wine . Old series of tweets. I normally go between 12 and then I'm gonna get something like this. Okay, then I'm going to go to my inflates. Somebody go to the information. And in my inflate there are number one, number two sitting now one. Well, so do. And then now I can start are playing with my arrangements off. That's waiting. So number one, um always know that there is even one part of the stitch overlapping so the purple could be ago at the top or at the bottom. All right. And also these aren't always straight. There is some overlap under. So now what I'm gonna do is I moved to biological brush. Andi, sort of make this over there. And what I do? On one side, I do the exact opposite on the other side. So this was at the top this final b the bottom. So let me see if I can speak this up. Um, effective. It messed symmetry. He said, Okay. All right. So once again, this is at the top in this fight. You like that? So I'm going to speed this up, all right? Something oppose it here on. Just push it a bit. Okay, so now that we got it looking like this all right, going to inflate it one more time. There we go and think I'm but like, happy with that they now what I'm gonna do is I'm just going to drag, just going to see what works. First I drive this top four. Okay, so now I'm going to subdivide this, um, And then when they're coming with my standard brush and I'm green Teoh again emulating some off the variations with stitches. So I think in fresh work. Yeah, I didn't wanna dina mission first, but it appear and stuff I got so before I dina mission just been to see how it looks. Everything intact. Okay, that's cool. Um also been reluctant to Dina Mission. So I'm going. Teoh used to inflate brush first. You know, appears to be working a bit as long as it's not distorting. My mish is gonna make this feel more more natural, not even go, You know, there you go. So you should have something that looks like this before way we can begin to do the show animation using brush and now just switched to my standard brush and knowing you're starting to emulate a bit off that fabric. No, it looks like on material. It's twisting like that. So once again, I'm gonna pause it here and carry on doing 4. Part 04: right now. As you can see, I added some more off, you know? So, like, twisting or falling off the clock. Andi. Now I'm just gonna add some secondary, um, detailing and spot. So depending on the type of cloth it sees, it only act differently when it's been knotted and folded and stuff like that. All right, so I'm just going easy on this. And also tonight work, Step back, come back in. So I'm just using my standard brush and then, in my opinion, send it brush well, and I'm just switching between the two and also know that you your material or not, they don't know. You don't need to have these, because sometimes it can be so tight back it doesn't allow pouring cold. And that holds not some stuff like that. - No , sir. Remember, your wrinkles have your wrinkles aren't necessarily uniforms throughout. They sort of have, like, a beginning point. And then they go back home, and then they slowly so it's not just a straight line, my days, but it's something more like that. Some of these are too much. Just gonna come in. Yeah, here we go. And also remember that because I switched the orientation off my mirror function next Tuesday. Whatever that I'm doing in the front is what's happening on the back. Because that's how I orientated mine my sword. And I think this is almost pretty much it. So you can carry on, um, detaining your one and in the next segment. Okay, well, let's just Let's just do it now. Yup. So now what I'm gonna do is your on division, Okay? My number's up division, and what I could do now is decimated because I'm sitting at a 1,000,000 parties and I don't keep This is relative, you know, it's possible. So what I could do now is I can go to Z decimation Lost Mary. This is about 40% of okay and sitting next 1.2 million. It's decimated and see. Half a 1,000,000 my bad, bad. And it beginning areas like this where us and ages and stuff. I don't worry. We asked. Don't gonna diamond mission five or seven isn't bad. I'm just going to duplicate this, pull it up and try to match it. According it almost works. And also because we sort of don't have accurate measurements on this we might get more diamonds than anticipated. So I feel like I get more diamonds. It's cool, because on average, like I said, you get something like 10 to 15. I think on a rare occasion, you get more than that. So coming here, geometry, modified apology and elite hot stuff hidden. I'm gonna do it again. All right, There we go. I just want to isolate this part. Andi, I'm going to call this area to top. Here we go on. I'm just so so now we can merge down our handle. I'm just gonna merge it down. Then I'm going to disagree. Just a process it. And now I am going to disappear. Cool. So 601 bad. Just that areas, like, is to worry about smooth all that in and corrected at a later stage. Now we would just worried about people form on your form. Have a nice day. There we go. So begin. Also try find a different color. This, uh, looks I see. Like I said, another tutorials don't use for long back. There we go 5. Part 05: now with the guide, it's it's a bit different because we are now dealing with a hard surface. So our coach is slightly when a change with regards to what happens on the surface on on the side off the surface is well, so the first thing that I want to do is just see how my soul looks all right and mind You did speak about this. You name Andi. I think it's a bit too thick, so I'm just going to shrink it down. Not much. Scan it a bit more. There you go. It's just about right? Yeah. Okay. So now because this is the same cylinder that we have been creating everything else with, I'm just going to select middle area on it's gonna flip my mosque and just play around with how the shades no could feel. Before I do this, I can solo it out and look at it from the top on. Just kill the shapes bit. Make it something that become all more interesting and more stylized. Okay, so if you're mesh does that you need to remission. Somebody's going about geometry. The measure just same. And here we go. Now we have enough surface area sort of care. And also, if you are that much into detail, you can select your symmetry on, uh, just makes you have, um, radio symmetry. But this normally works better when you are rocking ace here. All right, So if you're working with this few anyone detail around radio symmetry, who will be what is gonna work best for you? So I'm just gonna meet this, feel a bit more organic? Yeah. Nothing special to fantasy. Okay, then. More shapes, ones and twos. Um, I'm gonna just a little bit more. Um, it's Yeah. All right. It's partnership if I smooth it too much. My detail. But for now, this makes me happy. And now I'm going to use and an Alfa. It's just been a bit like this. Why? Here we go. And the two wings of doing this number. I use a drag and dragon Alfa on like base. All right. And as you can see, it looks OK. Uh, bacon stand to be better. So this is my PC crying for mercy, And it crashed 6. Part 06: all right. Um, my machine crashed the last time, so I'm gonna you do the guard off the sword and hope at this time it doesn't crash. And because I'm pressed for time, I'm going to be using my mouse. But I'm going to try and minimize, um, clicking sounds. So right now, God is around on, and we can make the shape, but smaller. I think that's cool. And then just this thought you can distort shapes a bit more, Making more over as well. Then what I'm gonna do is I'm going to play with the overall shape transformed. Andi have explains it. Selected. Just gonna never look so weird. We can stand to make this a bit bigger again. Yeah. Okay. You transform. Make it cool. So now I'm going to Okay. Just gonna mosque. Whose here is? I see a cool Still giving those jagged lines, but it's fine. Let me know. Turn around. Let me go. No, sir. Here in Andi. Me. This is just pure me. Decorative. Ha ha. Kind of reminds me or bleach. So I'm just gonna divide this a bit more so that I have, um, nice smoothness happening and still a bit small. Gonna No you? Yeah, I think that's and then I want to add something on this part. So Okay, just my perspective off so that I have, like, a nice, clean cut more this Some just, you know, only this. No. My quality groups invisible. Andi. I also think this would look better if it was its own mesh. Because it's a top part of this nor and delete hitting. Right? And I'm going to be mesh it can you know, Andi, I'm going to go to the surface of it. Power. It's just divided up four million parties. No one about my surface, my noise on. And I'm going to get this far on now. I'm just enough. It'll off the scale in my string. Okay. I had to pause it and unwrapped the surface first. So now we can see what's happening. I don't want any basic noise mix. Put this zero and I want chris shop pages, you know? Okay. And I have something like this. So now what I can do is I can even mosque by noise and I'll get something like this. All right. Oh, I can come here to people nation and late. Okay, I need to select it first. So mosque by noise, it's still a bit is to subdivide. Here we go. Now we got ourselves a tighter mosque. I think this is because my subdivision level was a bit low. So I can even flip this around and then coming to my D formation and then in late and if it doesn't work the way we want to, we are just going to, um, reverse the mosque. But there you go. So we have a nice little on the mental peace that's gonna go on top off sword. So now I'm gonna come back. Yeah. Turn it around. In the isolated days, delete lower, modify topology hidden. You know, just hide. It's this and this. So now what we can do that we can just simply take this and take it over to this side Well away. We have a nice, consistent ornament. Happy. So you can also I select besides, as well. Andi work on it, but more. But this is pretty much how I did. The scab are at the beginning and the sword as well 7. Part 07 Finishing it up: all right in this part, we are going to wrap everything up, and we are just going to be, um, tying this end up right? And then we are going to look into adding decorative, more more decorative ornaments is about to toward more ornaments in between the handle of the sword and the weaving or threading off it. So the first thing that I'm gonna do is I've already isolated this and essentially what I done waas just duplicated the threading, and I converted to autopilot groups and then isolated. These four have been, like, start working. No. So I'm going to He's gonna have this three just running like this, using my move brush. It's other bees to place. No switching to my moved up a logical. And also also remember, because this this sort of, like moves in from decide to keep this area tight. Okay, Gonna have more like a closed you offering so you can see that duplicate another piece and just have it run through here away. You can go to your handle physically, move these back so we can try any more. So it looks like it's pulling. - No , go on. And once we combine and, uh, dynamic. All right, We can just come, because right now it's sitting at 26. 26,000 Holley's. I can still get away with a bit more detail ing. - Here we go, and I'm switching to flat brush. I just want to try something I haven't. No, it's It's gonna look any good. - Who's this? Can be also fixed at a later stage. Well, for now, it's mostly blocking in details and then no being it up in a major state. Mostly, OK, switching to the Damien standard brush, creating some dick cool. Just to make sure that it pops in. Probably. Yeah. And you know, So we have a nice little makeshift. Not. And then what we're gonna do is just, um we can either, Dina mish this and detail it even a bit mawr. But it looks fine for now. All right? And then we can go about decimating. So this is what we have so far, and it looks cool, so I'm not gonna copy it over to the side yet. I just want to make sure that this part is done and dusted, and I'm happy with it, and then I can focus on trance very to the other side. So I just want to show you guys quickly, um, this page that I came across on Facebook it's a graphic design page on. They have really, really awesome illustrations that they've done. And this is just some off stuff we can use or that So this is your some of the stuff that we can use for making ottomans. Andi, it's called, uh, graphic Arts, And I'm just going to be sampling some of the images on be used as a quick example. So how would normally do it is I find an image that I like, Um, this will do and open it in and you tab And then I will save image as just called then. And then I opened it in Photoshopped. Cool. And I only need one. So any move okay, like this one, So I'm just going to cut it all, And my approach this is normally, uh, to work non destructive, and by non destructively, I mean that I would have a layer for almost everything that I do. So now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to be saturate image, and then I'm going to play with the levels. Also we could do is in, um, illustrator, But for some odd reason, illustrator, it's just choking the life out of my machine. And if I was to do that, my recording would be very, very, very small prepping nous anything in verse. All right, um, I want to pop this against a white background, my brush, then my pattern. And then I'm just gonna save this on my desktop as being back. Yes. Cool. So now in the brush, I am going to pick on up this. I'm just going to settle it up. And as you can see, a man 6000 Polly's. So divide that a bit more, um, three million pies and then in oneness, which my brush to, uh, drag. And then I, um, going to get my ding bat pst. And then I am going to trying to mesh this. I think I need to remesch this first just gonna do, uh, nowhere. Um, a tree zero. Misha, make sure that it's the same who So now we got this almost even surface, and I'm just going to divide it a bit more for multi now. Cool. so I'm gonna drag this on top. Andi, As you can see, this is I will get which is not that, Andi. I could most of the things I don't 12 offense If I I'm just dabbing my pin on the back. Um, okay, then everything that I do that I will go to let's leave as well and same story before I am going to remesch it. And then I'm going to work on this side, just gonna invited to see how it looks with one million. Also, I want the same thing to happen at the back. If this is different now, just smoothing again. Like dabs. So I'm gonna find more, uh, patterns in that group or on Pinterest is while and then and this looks horrible. All right, It's gonna only on the one side. Like I said before, I'm gonna find more patterns either on that group or on countries, and I will treat them Photoshopped and bring them in as all of us