Make Eyes In ZBrush

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Times viewed: 81822   Rating: 4/10

In this short tutorial I will explain how to create an "eyeball" in ZBrush then paint onto it`s surface using the symmetrical mode. The final eyeball can be saved as a .ZTL (native ZBrush object) or you can export the eye texture and use it in any other 3D application.

- Fire up ZBrush and select a Sphere3D from the TOOL panel. Click anywhere in the document window and drag-out a sphere.

TIP: If you want to move the sphere around the document window press `W` to get the `gyro` as shown below. Then use the `gyro` colored ends to pull the sphere in the required direction.

- Go into EDIT mode by pressing "T".Edit mode should give you the red dot and red ring as shown below.


To begin work on the eyeball texture we can subdivide the mesh to give us more polygons to paint on.

- Set the mesh resolution to Hdivid=256, Vdivid=128.

Now we can start to apply color to the sphere.

- Go to TOOL > MODIFIERS > TEXTURE and select COLORIZE. The sphere will turn pure white (if it's not already).
- Go to TOOL > MODIFIERS > SYMMETRY and check "Z" then "R" for RADIAL SYMMETRY. Set the radial slider to 30. This should now give you a ring of red dots around the eyeball. We only want to color the eyeball and not effect the surface with depth.
- Go to the DRAW panel and click the green colored ZADD button to deselect it.
- Now go to the "COLOR" panel on the other side of the screen and select a black color. Bring the dots on the eyeball together and you are ready to draw your eyeball texture directly onto the sphere.


Begin drawing the eyeball texture by starting in the center/front of the mesh, where the pupil should be. (e.g.. Bring the red dots together at the front of the sphere)
Don`t for get the handy CRTL+"Z" undo.

When you have finished the pupil select another, lighter color for the iris (I used a couple of shades of gray) and draw the outer ring. Follow this with a thin line of black around the iris and then finish the eyeball with a cream/white color.

You can get different effects by changing the "NOISE" slider/curve in the TRANSFORM > MODIFIERS panel. (Figure 6, to the Right) This will give you the imperfections or striations in the iris.


At this point you can choose a material for the eyes. (This will only apply to the model if you use it in ZBrush as the materials are procedural.
To simulate a glossy wet appearance I chose the default `Toy plastic` from the MATERIAL palette. It will update as soon as you select it.

TIP: You can explore the material panel for months if you like but one tip would be to make the eyeball material reflective. You can increase the slider in MATERIAL > MODIFIERS up to 100% reflective and you can use a reflect map to your liking (the little window at the bottom of the material panel). If you adjust the `graph for reflectivity you can make just the black areas reflective or perhaps just the white.

If you want to further edit the texture in Photoshop (or similar package) or indeed use the texture for another 3D package, you need to export it from ZBrush.

To do this go to SELECTION > and press COL > TXT. This will unwrap the bitmap and leave a copy in the TEXTURE Panel

Go to TEXTURE > INVENTORY and EXPORT. This will give you the dialog to save the Texture out as a .BMP or .PSD. It map be a very small texture so you can change the texture size in the TEXTURE > INVENTORY > WIDTH and HEIGHT settings. Change the settings, use CLONE then EXPORT the clone.


When you have edited the texture and want to re-import it use the IMPORT button in the same window. To apply it to a ZTOOL, have the tool "live" and editable in the document window and select the texture that you have imported.

Important note: The author is not a natural English speaker and there is a high chance of mistakes in every way. Corrections and comments are welcome.
Times viewed: 81822   Rating: 4/10
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More ZBrush - Tutorials:
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