3D Character Sculpting in ZBrush
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bad management, its your job for stuff like that not to happen, dont put that extra weight on artist because management didn't do your job

by Robert Gardner
4 hours ago

It really is the best game of 2018, Thank you.

"We're saddened if any former members of any studio did not find their time here enjoyable or creatively fulfilling and wish them well with finding an environment more suitable to their temperaments and needs…" Or : We're saddened if any former members of our studio are not happy to have been exploited to enrich us. Awesome !!!! Ok, guys… you have lost one customer !

3D Character Sculpting in ZBrush
15 June, 2018
Character Art

Dmitriy Tityakov reviewed the process of making his recent wonderful character Nott with ZBrush.

The original character design was done by Becca Hallstedt! You can actually buy a print of the original sketch here.


Hello. My name is Dmitriy Tityakov, I’m a 3D Character Artist and live in Berlin, Germany. In 2014 I graduated from Games Academy Berlin. Since then I’ve mostly been working as a freelance artist.

Nott the Brave!

For me, the most important thing is to make an appealing character that will tell his/her story. From a technical standpoint, you need to know all basic rules and keep them in mind while creating your character.

Concept art by Becca Hallstedt


After finding all necessary reference for my Nott project I jumped straight into ZBrush and blocked out all existing parts to lay down the foundation. I prefer to block out body first, using basic geometry like cubes and cylinders, and slowly working on the silhouette.

I try not to focus on specific parts of the character and constantly jump from part to part. It always looks cheesy in the beginning, but this way I always know how much work is needing to be done. There is always a lot of stuff that must be re-done, so I’m never really attached to anything.

Nott was done entirely in ZBrush. It is way easier to stay in one Software and focus on things that matter. All small parts were made from basic primitives and then modified with ZModler Brush. It’s an amazing addition inside of ZBrush that makes the creation of such things very easy.

My Basic workflow looks like this:

Start with Primitive -> Modify with Move Tool -> Edit with ZModler brush -> Crease Edges -> Subdivide -> Add Details


All my baking was done in Modo. First of all, proper game topology and UVs will make your life easier. I have built custom preset to achieve the best possible results. I baked out Normal map, Ambient Occlusion, Illumination map, Slope map and Gradient map, Concave and Convex map with both small and large distances. I did some cleanup work in Photoshop and 3D Coat. Overall, this process took me a lot of time to set it properly, but it was worth it.


I laid out basic color and materials in Substance Painter. I could probably do it in Photoshop, but I chose SP. After the base was done, I moved to 3D Coat and made additional tweaks, added color variation, fake occlusion, and details, like scratches and dirt. I finalized textures in Photoshop, adding some sharpening and working on color harmony.


I tried different light set-ups. As for the workflow, I often find some useful tutorials on Marmoset site and stick to them. I added additional volumetric lights to make the character’s eyes pop and some light to brighten dark areas. 

I created the character in around 5 or 6 weeks, working in my free time. I wasn’t in a rush really. There are some things for me that were challenging. The character needed an appealing face that is kind of sweet but evil and ugly at the same time. It should have fully shown her attitude if that makes sense. Finding that balance was kind of tough. Also, texturing and rendering weren’t really my strongest points, I spent a lot of time on these two things. But overall, I’m satisfied with the result.

Dmitriy Tityakov, 3D Character Artist 

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev


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5 Comments on "3D Character Sculpting in ZBrush"


Sorry guys, missed this. We’ll credit the artist, sorry!

Technically, the artist needs to (and does) credit the author of the artwork he referenced and only mention what and where from the character is. Given that, this is a 3d/gaming/technical thingie-ma-jibs website that does not (and probably shouldn’t really) reflect on the circumstance of the character itself, but concentrate on creation and techniques used in creation. The name of the character is referenced, but nowhere on the original art the name Sam Riegel is mentioned. As much as critter community is nice and welcoming, this part of “CREDIT THIS OR CREDIT THAT” irritates me. IMHO, Credit is given where… Read more »

You need to make it clear that this is an interpretation of someone else’s character and credit them (Sam Reigel, from Critical Role).


As great as this is, it’s not actually “your character” so you should really credit Sam Reigel of Critical Role who created this character, and make it clear this is your interpretation of it, because you make it sound like it was all your idea.


You may want to credit Critical Role and Sam Riegel for the character creation.

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