KnightBot: Testing ZBrush 2019

KnightBot: Testing ZBrush 2019

Mickael Lelièvre talked about his project KnightBot made during ZBrush 2019 Beta test and shared his thoughts about ZBrush 2019.

Mickael Lelièvre talked about his project KnightBot made during ZBrush 2019 Beta test and shared his thoughts about ZBrush new features.


My name is Mickael Lelièvre, I’m French. I currently live in Toulouse, France, but soon will move to Montréal, Canada.  I was Modeler and Lead Modeler at TAT Production (The Jungle Bunch) and did some freelance project beside for multiple companies around the world like Paramount, 21 Laps, Kreaturz, Wish Studio and more. I can’t say much because a lot of those project are currently under NDA.

I entered the world of 3D in 2008 when I started learning it at Bellecour Ecole D’art in Lyon France. TAT production gave me my first job in 2012. Since 2016, I work as a sculptor and concept artist in particular. Today, I accepted a job as Senior Sculptor at PureArts.


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KnightBot is one of the projects I did during ZBrush 2019 Beta test. I wanted to use some new features such as new Snapshot 3D and the new Zremesher plus keep to the old school sculpting, too. Multiple subtools and the new folder feature make the process so simple. My main goals were to use multiple passes in different software solutions thanks to the camera feature using folder and Snapshot 3D and see if it can be integrated into my workflow. And it can!

NPR Feature

NPR is a feature which appeared recently and it’s a powerful one because even without too many details you can create a great picture. As a concept artist, I would say NPR can be really efficient, too. For Knightbot, I wanted to make something really clean and just bring some details here and there. The sculpt was already detailed so the NPR Filters just worked well. I played with some contrast and dots as if it was in real Manga book. You can get a huge result and only need to know what you want because you can really change everything just by adding a new filter. My advice would be to play a lot with NPR and see how it works. Once you understand it you will be able to create the exact image you want.


Sculpting was done in an old school way as I said: dynamesh, extract and zremesh V3.0! The workflow is very efficient and very clean, the topology came out just nice for each part I cut. Some of the parts were done by using the new spotlight for holes or adding elements.

The thing I used a lot is the Boolean Folder. You can prepare boolean tools in a folder and get your boolean Mesh just under the folder! I think it’s one of my favorite new features.

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The cloak is really simple, I used the same technique as for hard-surface: duplicate, extract and Zremesh. From there I can sculpt on it. The best way to sculpt great folds is the standard brush with different round alphas and some patience.

Camera Feature

The camera feature is just awesome! I used it and I will use it a lot. The thing is that this camera allows you to move your angle and focal from ZBrush to any other software solution such as Maya, 3ds Max, Blender or Keyshot. So the best thing about it for me is that you can use BPR passes to compose with V-ray and Keyshot render.

For example, if you want to add a thin rim light on a render just make a thin Outline BPR pass and use it as screen mode in Photoshop. It’s a quick and really efficient way to make a good-looking picture.

The camera feature is more than just a camera, it allows us to experiment in Photoshop and have much more passes to play with.


The main light comes from Keyshot and Keyshot materials such as light emissive material, but we can add fake light and reflection by using matcap materials or standard material from ZBrush. Photoshop helps a lot too, of course.

Final Thoughts

My most favorite tools are Camera, Zremesher 3.0 and boolean folder. All of the features are really cool but those 3 are already in my future workflow. Globally, I would say that ZBrush 2019 is full of surprise and meets a lot of artists’ needs.

Mickael Lelièvre, Concept Artist

Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev

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Comments 1

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