Painting a Head


This tutorial will show you how to get started with polypainting a model.

First Steps

  1. Select your model in the Tool palette.
  2. Click on the canvas and drag downwards.
  3. Press Edit on the shelf or “T” on the canvas.
  4. Select MatCap Skin05 in the Material palette.

Set our model up for Poly Painting

  1. Press Tool > Polypaint > Colorize.
  2. Press RGB on the shelf and set RGB Intensity to 100
  3. Unpress ZAdd on the shelf

Painting Basics: Covering The Surface

  1. Select the Colorized Spray Stroke
  2. Set the color swatch to a dull skin tone or something close to it
  3. Set Draw Size equal to 150
  4. Set your model’s Tool > Geometry > SDiv to its highest level
  5. Select the Standard brush in the Brush palette
  6. Paint away on your model!

In the beginning be very gestural. You just want to cover the surface with color. This is not the stage to be refining or worry about anything beyond covering the surface.

Painting Basics: Establishing Color Zones


Once you have the surface colored start to experiment with different color zones on your model. If you analyze old master paintings, you’ll see that the forehead is usually yellowish, the muzzle of the mouth is reddish and the ears have a slightly purplish tint. Think in terms of warm and cool color combinations. Follow the steps below:

  1. Lower the Draw Size to 100 or less
  2. Increase the brightness of your color in the color swatch by dragging the color selector in the swatch upwards
  3. Increase the saturation by dragging the color selector in the color swatch to the right.
  4. Adjust the hue to be yellower or redder or purplish by dragging your cursor in the color selector border around the big block of color.
  5. Select Alpha: Brush 25 for a good spatter type effect
  6. Set RGB Intensity to around 30 or so
  7. Paint away on your model!

Painting Basics: Unify It All

Once you have a good range of color on the model you can begin to pull it all together with a light wash of a very light skin hue.

  1. Set the color swatch to a lightish skin hue. Go as near white as you can.
  2. Select Alpha: Brush 07
  3. Select the Colorized Spray stroke
  4. Set RGB Intensity to 10 or so
  5. Paint lightly on the model. Try to use this color as a ‘wash’ over the model. Try not to over do it or make it too opaque in any one spot.

Converting Poly Painting into a Texture Map

Your model must have UVs. Assuming you have assigned UVs:

  1. Set the size you want for your final map. For 2048 by 2048, follow the steps below:
    1. Set Tool > UV Map > Width to 2048
    2. Set Tool > UV Map >Height to 2048
  2. Press Tool > Texture Map > New From Polypaint

If you wish to continue PolyPainting simply press Tool > Texture: Map > Texture Off and continue painting. When you want to convert your new painting onto a texture map simply repeat step 2 above. You can use the same texture. It will simply overwrite the information that was there before.

If you do not have UVs you can create them inside of ZBrush by pressing Tool > UV Map > PUV or use UV Master.

Congratulations! You have now completely textured a model.