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ZBrush (Animation & 3D Modeling Dept.) Brookdale Community College, Spring 2020

I'd like to thank my students...

for a wonderful semester. I consider it an honor to have been your teacher.  I'm exceedingly grateful for all your hard work and creativity. I'd also like to thank you for granting me permission to display your artwork on my website.  I'm very proud of you and wish you best of luck in all your endeavors. 

Assignment 1: Replicate an Animal

Choose an animal as reference (preferably from high resolution photos). If you have drawings of an original character that you would like to use as your subject, please let me know. I'm open to discussing it as a possiblilty.  Pick a subject that you find meaningful and/or inspirational. It would be wise stay away from overly complex and intricate imagery for your first assignment unless you have prior experience working in ZBrush. Find images that convey the subject from multiple viewpoints; a complete set of orthographic images would be preferred.  Front and side views will prove to be the most critical. After you've been introduced to the basic functions of the Zbrush User Interface, you will replicate a head sculpt of your chosen subject using Zbrush. You are welcome , but not required, to sculpt a full body if you feel confident in your skills and time management abilities. This project will help acclimate you to the UI as well as the process of creating a 3D interpretation from a series of 2D photos.  Developing an understanding of surface planes will prove essential in translating your 2D images into a convincing 3D model. You may find that in developing the ability to sculpt the form, you achieve a more advanced knowledge of form language within your 2D artwork as well. 

Assignment 2:  Create a Human/ Animal or Human/Plant Hybrid (Original Character Design)

This assignment is designed to assess your ability to combine accurate anatomy with creativity and character design. Students are required to create a bust of an original character.  However, full body figures are welcome should you feel confident enough in your skill set. You must choose either a plant or animal to fuse with your human figure taking into account how the traits from each would successfully combine into a believable figure .  First, you must select a plant or animal whose characteristics you find appealing and will hold your interest for the duration of this project. Please be aware that you cannot choose the animal that you used for assignment #1. Make sure that you have images from multiple viewpoints allowing you to have a complete orthographic view.  You will only be required to sculpt a bust of your character utilizing dyamesh or zspheres.  However, should you wish to sculpt a full body character, you are welcome to do so.  In addition, if you would like to create sketches of your character as a means to prepare for sculpting, then please go ahead. I would be happy to take a look and offer any advice you may need. Please keep in mind that texture should be an integral part of your sculpt.  Polypainting the figure in not required, but could add dramatically to the overall impact of your work. While working on your assignmant, ask yourself these questions: What physical characteristics best define the animal or plant I've chosen? How can I integrate them into a human form in such a way that it makes sense to the viewer?


Writing assignment:  The writing assignment will help you zone in on your character design. As a result, your sculpt will directly reflect your character description.

Write a brief description (minimum of 3 paragraphs) that includes the following:

-What is the age of the character?

-If applicable, what is your character's gender?

-What is the character's physical appearance such as size, weight, hair and eye color if they apply?

-What is the species or type of character?

-What is the type of environment in which the character lives( be especially descriptive if the character

comes from an environment that you have created)?

-What is the temperament or disposition of the character (for instance: is it warlike or peaceful)?

-Does the character possess special abilities or specific flaws

-Is the character solitary or communal?

-How long does the character live?

-What is the character's story/ life experience?

-Does the character have friends or enemies that influence its story?

-Does the character have special attributes that help to distinguish it such as scars, tattoos, piercings, something abnormal or special?

-Does the character have a vehicle or other mode of transport?

-What type of clothing or costume does the character wear?

-What genre would the character fall into? Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi, or other

-Is the character cartoonish or realistic in style?

Assignment 3:  Original Character Design


  • full body character

  • strong character design

  • props that help convey the story of the character

  • costume that further accentuates the character design

  • textured

  • polypainted

Students will submit the following:

  1. ztl file of completed character: properly textured and painted

  2. character rotation sheet (instructions and video tutorial provided)

  3. character turnaround movie (instructions and video tutorial  provided)

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