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ZBrush Digital Sculpting Human Anatomy Paperback – January 7, 2010

42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Create memorable human figures for movies and games

To create compelling characters, you need to make them realistic, and ZBrush by itself can take you only so far. You also need solid artistic skills. This full-color, illustrated guide teaches you the basics of human anatomy, so you can create captivating human figures that really come to life on screen.

Using ZBrush 3.5 tools, you'll sculpt a heroic male figure, learning each body part as you go, including head, neck, torso, arms, legs, bones, and muscle. This book emphasizes concepts that have guided artists for centuries, such as gesture, form, and proportion, helping you develop foundational skills you can draw upon throughout your career. Transform your animation into professional-level artistry with this must-have guide.

  • Understand the basic tenets of form, proportion, gesture, and rhythm
  • Master basic anatomical terms for skeletal regions and muscle groups

  • Break down the regions of the body into simple geometric shapes

  • Begin roughing in your figure with Claytubes and other tools

  • Create the impression of flesh over underlying muscle and bone

  • Learn ZBrush remeshing and color-mapping techniques

  • Flesh out your figure with fine detail and costuming

  • Repurpose your figure for film, video games, Web, or digital output

  • Build skills you can also apply to Maya®, 3ds Max, Blender, and Photoshop


Enhance your learning with video instruction that walks you through the projects in the book. You'll also find anatomy models to use for practice.

Use ZBrush tools to perfect the fine detail of muscle construction

Sculpt different kinds of fabric to clad a heroic character

Lay the groundwork for believable facial expression with a solid foundation

About the Author

Scott Spencer is a freelance character designer and sculptor currently working at the Weta Workshop in Wellington, New Zealand. Scott has worked on titles such as Iron Man, Golden Axe, Species 3, and others. His work can be seen in film, video games, and a variety of collectible figures.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (January 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470450266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470450260
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Creature creator, sculptor, author, caffiene enthusiast.

Scott Spencer has worked extensively with ZBrush for visual effects, toys and collectible design and digital maquettes. Currently Scott is working at Weta Workshop as a designer on the film "The Hobbit." Scott has taught classes at Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, produced numerous video tutorials and manuals for the ZBrush community, and is the author of the highly-regarded ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting and ZBrush Digital Sculpting: Human Anatomy, and ZBrush Creature Design. Scott graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design and studied classical figurative sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dan Mihaila on August 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hey there!

I don't have enough words to describe what this book is! Where should I start? The book is perfectly structured! The way Scott Spencer is explaining is not dumbed down like you see on some learning sources, but in the same time is clear as tear drop. He is not wasting any word, instead he manages to touch upon every aspect you might think of. While reading some chapters, certain questions were poping in my mind, but every and each of them were answered eventually later in the book.
The videos are made in the same manor. Clear, on spot, supporting you with everything he can (models, Ztools, reference images, proportions literately drawned by him ready for you to take them into Maya or Zbrush with you while you build your base mesh and many many more).
All in all, I must reiterate this, it is the bible you need when you start learning Zbrush and modeling. It is a resource that you will use to start with and, I'm sure, you will get back to later on just to use as a reference to whatever you might sculpt.
Now, the DVD issue. I know some people complained about Sybex quality on the DVD... I share your opinion in some way but I found a solution and it worked for me without any problem. Here is what I did: Inserted the DVD, opened the autoplay, clicked on Chapter 1 which opened a window with the files allocated for the given chapter. I selected them and copied in a folder on my hard disk. After this, I did the same with everything. When I was done copying all of them, I extracted the files on every chapter and there it was: good to go and being on my hard there was no waiting time what so ever. I saw some guy complaining about the sound... There is no sound issue!
Read more ›
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Isdom24 on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent follow up to all previous zbrush books. Why?, two reasons...One, it refers to zbrush version 3.5 which has some major changes from previous zbrush versions. But the greatest joy is in following the tutorial of a "realistic hero" character. My lady friend always asks me about all other zbrush books..."why do all the characters look ugly?" the answer is simple. It's far easier to create an alien or an ogre. But now Scott Spencer enables us non academically educated artists to create a somewhat life-like character. This is no easy task, but Mr. Spencer enables even a non artist like myself to do so. I no longer have to create aliens and ogres and can actually create a character that is aesthetic to the layperson's eye! BASIC KNOWLEDGE OF ZBRUSH IS A MUST! So keep that in mind. But once you understand the zbrush interface and you are comfortable with the basic standard, clay, inflate, and flatten brushes, you will love this book. Hopefully, the next version will be of a "life-like" female superhero.

THIS BOOK IS A MUST HAVE along with "The Essential" by an author who now advocates mudbox. ZSpheres have come a long way with v.3.5 zspheres2 so he might regret leaving zbrush. BTW...There is no info on zsketching in this new Scott Spencer book, but nevertheless, your skills will grow leaps and bounds as an artist (digital sculpturist) as he does a great job explaining gesture and form as well as detail.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ted on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book appears to be excellent. However I realized as soon as I opened it that I made a serious mistake ordering the Kindle edition. The book is quite dependent on the CD that comes with the paper edition, and there is no web site to separately download the CD files. Thus you pay almost as much as the hard copy and lose much of the functionality.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Damian Huntley on July 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm new to zbrush and indeed any 3d application, so suffice to say, I really needed a resource that would hold my hand through the process of getting to grips with zbrush. Scott Spencer doesn't assume you know everything and he also assumes that people will jump in to random chapters and expect to understand how the software works. Thanks to Scott's careful handling, even if you do jump in too deep you will soon find yourself on firm ground as Scott reiterates keystrokes and mouse clicks needed to perform exercises. Two notes of caution: firstly, the book is based on a previous release of zbrush so users of zbrush 4r3 or later would be WELL advised to couple this book with Zbrush character creation 2nd edition also by Scott Spencer. Secondly, zbrush is addictave; don't buy any books on zbrush unless you are prepaired to cease functioning as a normal human. I would also highly reccomend Introducing zbrush 4. If you buy the ebook, zsupporting Dvd can be downloaded from thankyou for a hugely enjoyable learning experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert on April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This books shows you the whole process including proportions in detail in written and video form how you should approach character modeling. If you want to have proper reference and advise from the best this is the book to buy.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ara on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Whether you are sculpting human or alien characters with ZBrush, your ability to create convincing results with an efficient workflow is extremely dependent on your knowledge of sculpting anatomy. As any established character artist will tell you, the education you get through sculpting your first human body following anatomically correct guidelines is one of the most important learning processes you will go through. Scott's book is an indispensible companion for you on this journey.

The book thoroughly covers the head, torso, arms and legs, all the way from the skeletal regions and muscle groups to fatty tissue and skin. It also covers how to sculpt them with top level ZBrush expertise. If that's not enough, the book's companion DVD has videos of Scott going through and showing you how to do the steps in the book, base models from you to start your human sculpture, and the results of his work that you can study.

If you are struggling with the gap between your creations and the ones you see on ZBrush Central or CG blockbuster movies, the content of this book will get you closer to making top shelf characters. It is extremely well written with excellent step by step instructions you can follow. I wish I had it during my journey of sculpting my first anatomy figure; however, I am thankful to have it now because it is extremely useful as reference when I am struggling with a certain area in my character work.

An absolute must have for any character digital sculptors library.
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