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LinkedIn Learning

ZBrush: Sculpting Portraits

via LinkedIn Learning


Join digital artist Ryan Kittleson as he demonstrates how to sculpt engaging 3D human portraits with ZBrush.

Join digital sculptor Ryan Kittleson as he shares his approach to sculpting realistic faces in ZBrush. By combining traditional anatomy with observation and digital techniques, this course provides a foundation for sculpting engaging human portraits. Ryan will show you how to interpret a photo reference, build the basic facial structures, achieve the likeness of the subject, sculpt facial expressions, and much more.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know before watching this course
  • Using the exercise files
  • Installing the custom brushes
1. Working with a Photo Reference
  • Understanding the limits of a photo reference
  • Taking your own photos for reference
  • Preparing photos for use as references
2. Starting to Sculpt
  • How I approach digital sculpture
  • Blocking out the proportions
  • Establishing the underlying structure
  • Blocking out the ears
  • Making the mouth cavity
  • Taking a second look at proportions
  • Placing reference photos on the grid
  • Aligning the sculpt with the photos
3. Working on the Midrange Details
  • Placing the eyeballs in the sculpture
  • Working on the lower eyelids
  • Making the upper eyelids
  • Sculpting the basic ear structures
  • Working on the nose
  • Shaping the mouth
  • Using ZRemesher to create new topology
  • Projecting detail to a remeshed model
  • Organizing the mesh with PolyGroups
  • Using transparency with reference photos
4. Making Teeth
  • Making the gums
  • Extracting the teeth
  • Sculpting the teeth
  • Finishing the teeth
5. Sculpting the Hair
  • Masking the scalp
  • Creating the hair volume
  • Styling the hair
  • Detailing the hair
6. Refining the Details
  • Breaking symmetry
  • Sculpting small details
  • Making fine wrinkles and pores
  • Detailing around the eyes
  • Creating a facial expression
  • Adjusting the pose with Transpose Master
  • Finishing the sculpture
  • Next steps

Taught by

Ryan Kittleson


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