In this ZBrush polypainting tutorial, you learn how to create a metallic look for areas of your pirate’s journal sculpt that should be metal. You will learn how to use an alpha brush to add scratches and highlights of color to your color base. This technique adds a polished effect to give your metal some shine.
- [Voiceover] So now with my second layer of color, once again I'll paint a swatch in the back that I can grab later, I want to begin making this object look a bit more metallic, and there's a little bit of a trick that I do to achieve that. The first thing I want to do is increase, once again, my color. But I also want to change my alpha, working with alpha 58, which is sort of scratched lines.
Now, what that does, I'll demonstrate on the back of the ring the effect it creates. What I'm able to do is get a nice cross-hatched effect with this brush. The way it really works, however, when I'm working on an object such as metal, it's almost as though I have a piece of steel wool or sandpaper, and I'm scratching the metal and I'm burnishing the highlights out. So it has the same effect, however, you can't keep a high intensity.
So if I went over this right now with the alpha, you can see that's not really the effect I'm looking for. It's polishing it too much, but it's also leaving too many scratches, and that's not what I want. So I want to reduce my brush slightly, but I also want to reduce the intensity setting quite a bit. And I'm just going to work on a small area, and the way that I like to do it is I run the brush in all different directions.
Maybe a little hard for you to see that initially, I'll zoom in. You can see what I'm getting is this mottled pattern that's showing through. I'll increase the intensity just a little bit more, so now I'm at a level seven. And I'll focus just on the top portion. I'll also follow any areas that I have, such as these slice marks, so that I'm polishing or highlighting the edges.
You can see from a distance how that really starts to polish out the metal. So here you can see how flat everything is, and how the metal is starting to show through and get brighter. Typically there's four layers to this technique, so what I'm doing now is, of course, the polish effect. And then when I'm finished, I'll go over the ring with some form of either complimentary or contrasting color, also with the scratch alpha, and that will bring up the overall visual or intensity of the object as a whole.
So you'll see what I mean by that when I get to the next step. So this is obviously step three, and I'm painting over not only the slashes, but I want to also just hit the circular areas too, just a little bit. Anywhere that there is a raised level or rim around an impression. Now I'll just hit the flat surface a little bit now just to scratch the surface a little bit.
And again, I'm running my stylus in somewhat of a X pattern back and forth, so it's a bit of a criss-cross pattern that I'm running it in. Now, I can always come back and hit this again with another burnish pass for the highlight, but at this time I'm ready to move onto filling in some more color.
To learn how to sculpt the 3D pirate journal featured here, check out Michael's previous course, ZBrush: Stylized Sculpting.
- Setup and preparation
- Painting a metallic object
- Adding base and highlight colors
- Refining sculpt details
- Using masking
- Adding a stippled texture with Colorized Spray