Teaching Myself And Learning From Others

The title of this blog post is “Teaching myself and learning from others”. This is the entire process of how I learn things. I plug away at a project and search for answers. I got stuck on this recent project and this incredible person Kevin Salki from the Facebook Zbrush forum came to my aid, and he even created a video to help. It is so incredible when you find someone who is willing to go the extra effort to assist you in your learning process. I thought I might take this entire post and document this learning process on this specific subject.

To recap- I’m working in ZBrush trying to put together a presentation for a traditional sculpture project by working digitally. For example -how I did with the Mad Hatter tea party “Move one place on” pitch to a recent client.

Mad Hatter tea Party sculpture titled
“Move one place on” a life size sculpture for a park.

I noticed that when I was working on Mad Hatter sculpture that the Metcap material that I applied to the sculpture to make it look bronze did not interact with the lights, and therefore I had a hard time lighting it. For those of you new to ZBrush , a metcap material can be applied to your sculpture. These are made available in many places. For example check out these metcap materials. However, if I can’t light the sculpture, or put it in a scene, then using a metcap can pose a problem.  I have posted this question in numerous places, and until Kevin came along, no one has helped me work through the problem.  I’m sure this is not going to be as easy as pushing a few buttons, so I thought I would document how Kevin Salki and I work through it.

Here is my post on the forum

Here is the project in question. The white 6 foot
man is placed to show the massive size of this life size sculpture.

ZBrush question. I’m posting everywhere I hope someone can give me guidance, I’m on a deadline.
Any Zbrush users out there? Question- I am creating presentations for a larger than life-size bronze and I am using a metcap bronze that I found on the internet. I like the look, however, if I understand it, metcap materials are not affected by lighting in the final rendering? If this is the case, how would I get the bronze look that I need in my presentations without the metcap?

Being that I will try and take the digital sculpt presentation and put into a photograph of the area that the client has provided, lighting will be essential.

And, In the case of the tiger, I need to add some darker bronze stripes. Now I’m very puzzled. Another problem. How can I add these stripes to the metcap or other solution that I’m sure you guys know, but I can’t figure out?

I had entertained using GoZ but I was not sure if that would work with the metap and I have never used GoZ with anything. If that is a solution, is there a good tutorial on using GoZ and photoshop? I looked everywhere. However, that still does not solved the problem with lighting and a metcap.

I’m posting a picture but it is very much a work in progress. This is a regular part of my workflow as a traditional artist and I would be very thankful if you could help me figure this out.

I can hardly believe that Kevin Salki went to all of the effort to record a video to walk me through this process. So, in light of his educational efforts. I’ll document my process of doing this with him on this blog post.  It may be a long one, nothing ever goes smoothly with this sort of thing, in fact, I might have to make it my next couple of posts.

STEP ONE- applying double shader- as I expected- I have to undo the stuff I have done before I can do what Kevin has asked me to do. As I apply a double shader (doubleshade1) in zbrush, this is what I come up with. Also, I started to paint the stripes in and hated it. Should have done it on a layer, but did not and so, I may have to backup to a previously saved version before I did this. Which means a ton more work, but hey that is all about learning. FYI- always save incremental versions of your work. Unfortunately, I have written over my incremental versions and will have to figure out how to undo all of this stuff. or erase the part of the gier where the strips have been put and start again.   Now Kevin, do you have any ideas how to make my image look like yours when saying apply double shader?

Stay tuned as we figure out this problem

YIKES! looks like I have a lot to undo before I can make double shader material.


Bridgette Mongeon-Sculptor, Writer and Speaker
Bridgette Mongeon is a sculptor, writer, illustrator and educator as well as a public speaker.

Her blog can be found at https://creativesculpture.com.

On the planning committee for 3DCAMP Houston 2012 http://www.3dcamphouston.com

She is also the owner and creator of the God’s Word Collectible Sculpture series

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