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Modeling Fundamentals

Lesson 2 in Vehicle Concept Art

Lesson Information

This lesson will be all about getting comfortable in your 3D software. You'll go over UI, tools and useful concepts before building your own kit of small details which can be added to your vehicle design in the next lesson. 

Note: Pablo focuses on ZBrush in this course, but the overarching concepts he covers can be applied to any 3D software. Pay attention to how each idea might apply to your own technique, and adapt it to work for your personal style. After all, great artists aren't defined by their tools! 

Personalize Your Space

Create your own custom UI. Whether you start from scratch or use Pablo's as a jumping off point, keep in mind which tools and features will likely be most useful for your own style.

Build the Kit

Now you will create your own InsertMesh Brush. Create 10 distinct small details, which you will be able to add to your vehicle design in the next lesson. 

Extra Credit

Create another 5 items to add to your model kit.


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Really wish that Pablo had used a keylogger in these recordings. Sometimes he is moving so fast with the keyboard shortcuts that, as a new user to zbrush, it's very hard to tell exactly what's happening.

Hey Carlos, I thought this happened to me as well. It seemed only some of my changes in the UI were there. As soon as I selected a project, like dynamesh sphere for example, the whole UI came back. Some parameters seem to not appear when not within a project.

Hey Pablo

In "Adding to the kit," around 0:45 secs in you change the cube primitive to a H cyliner exte primitive, how did you do that? I doesn't switch for me, it just starts putting the primitive on top of my other primitive. Also the H cyliner exte primitive has no backside to it. I am in the latest Zbrush version.

( via google-translation) :-)

Hola David

Pablo puede intervenir con una solución mucho mejor para usted, pero cuando intenta replicar directamente una barra de herramientas de interfaz de usuario específica, a veces no hay soluciones alternativas directas 1: 1 en lo que respecta a la diferencia en la resolución del monitor, aparte de simplemente ingrese lo que considere que son los botones de caso de uso más importantes y priorice la ubicación dentro de su espacio de pantalla disponible, sobre los que se usan con menos frecuencia, pero realmente no los sabrá hasta que los haya gastado una cantidad de tiempo decente en el programa en sí. (tenga en cuenta, sin embargo, no olvide las barras de herramientas "ocultas / plegables" a lo largo de los lados superior / inferior / izquierdo y derecho de su vista 3D).
Un par de opciones alternativas adicionales para combatir esto serían crear un menú emergente personalizado en "Preferencias" y llenarlo con los botones que desee (junto con una tecla de acceso rápido personalizada incluso), o puede incluso utilice una función que es fácil de olvidar ya que incluso está disponible dentro de Zbrush, donde puede ir a cualquiera de sus barras de herramientas de botones, y una vez que alcance los límites para agregar más botones, simplemente coloque el cursor cerca de la parte superior o inferior de esa barra de herramientas, hasta que vea una flecha blanca que apunta "arriba / abajo", o "izquierda / derecha" (la dirección de la flecha depende de la barra de herramientas personalizable en la que esté haciendo clic), una vez que vea esta flecha, simplemente "ctrl + clic izquierdo "para acceder a una especie de desplazamiento infinito que le permitirá continuar agregando botones, donde antes parecía que había alcanzado los límites de la interfaz de usuario.

Por último, cuando necesite configurar una interfaz personalizada más compacta, puede considerar jugar con el 'Tamaño del botón' y los 'Botones anchos', que se encuentran en la configuración de la interfaz de usuario en su menú Preferencias.


Hey David,

Pablo may chime-in with a much-better solution for you, but when attempting to directly-replicate a specific-UI toolbar, sometimes there are no direct 1:1 work-arounds as it comes to difference in monitor-resolution, other than simply keying-in on what you find to be the most important use-case buttons and prioritizing those for placement within your available-screen space, over your less-often used ones, but you won't really know these until you've spent a decent-amount of time in the program itself. (mind you though, don't forget the "hidden/collapsible"-toolbars along the top/bottom/left, & right sides of your 3D-view.)
A couple-of additional, alternate-options to combat this would be to create a custom pop-up menu under "Preferences", and fill it/them with the buttons you desire (along with a custom-hotkey even), or you can even utilize a function which is easy to forget as even being available within Zbrush, where you can go to any of your button-toolbars, and once you reach the limits to add more buttons, simply hover your cursor near the top, or bottom of that toolbar, until you see a white-arrow pointing "up/down", or "left/right" (the arrow-direction depending on which customizable toolbar you are clicking-on), once you see this arrow, simply "ctrl + left-click" to access a sort of infinite-scroll which will allow you to continue adding buttons, where previously it seemed you had reached the UI's limits.

Lastly, when needing to set-up a more compact, custom-interface, you might consider playing-around with both 'Button Size', and 'Wide-Buttons', found under the UI-settings in your Preferences-menu.


Pablo took advantage of his "polygroups" within that 'subtool', wherein you might assume that the object he moves had it's own distinct "polygroup" established beforehand, in order to keep it malleable with respect to the rest of the mesh, and as any need may arise.

The overall-character, although it exists as a single-subtool, was likely grouped/merged-together, after being-constructed efficiently from a number of different-subtools, each able to be defined with unique-polygroups which Pablo would-have established prior to merging every subtool-layer/folder into a singular-subtool, or mesh. (The groups themselves are defined by their colors under the "Draw Polyframe" button which is found default on the right-hand toolbar of the ZB-UI)
These of course can be arbitrary in nature, and based on any number of specific-relationships, or otherwise (i.e. different materials, color-sets, detailing-elements, etc....)

In order to take advantage of polygroups as he does there, you only need to have your "Gizmo3D", or "Transpose"-tool selected, decide which polygrouped-object you wish to move, and (assuming your on Windows) tap "ctrl + left-click" on your target-polygroup.

Performing this action will mask any other parts of the subtool, and provide you access to only the piece selected for your editing-needs. (Apologies if some of that comes across as high-elementary, just want to cover some initial-bases in case you are still early into studying the program.) :)

Lesson Plan