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Concept Sculpting in ZBrush

A 10 week course where you learn how to design and sculpt concepts using the powerful ZBrush program

Student Artwork by Juan Pablo Uribe

Teacher Artwork by Jarrard Lee

Concept Sculpting in ZBrush

ZBrush is an amazing tool for concept artists and illustrators, especially for characters, creatures and other organic concepts. You can use Zbrush to both quickly sketch out concepts and then bring them to a highly developed state. After that, you can render them with Keyshot and export the renders for compositing in Photoshop. You then apply the finishing touches and create a breathtaking ultra-realistic production painting or portfolio piece. This is exactly what you will learn in this class!

You don't have to have any prior experience in 3D or be a technical wizard to use Zbrush. If you can use Photoshop and imagine objects in 3D, then you have the necessary technical skills to add this powerful tool to your arsenal and acquire one of the most efficient pipelines in this rapidly evolving industry. Once you have integrated digital sculpting into your workflow, you will never again be limited to working in just 2 dimensions!

In this course, you will learn the basics of ZBrush so you can efficiently sculpt your concepts. Classes usually consist of about 90 minutes of explanation and teacher demonstration followed by 90 minutes of practice time with individualized coaching from the instructor. You will learn 3d concept sketching, digital sculpting, applying textures and materials, posing, lighting, rendering and compositing.

By the end of this class you will be proficient in the basics of Zbrush for concept design. You will have a new and amazing ultra-realistic portfolio piece that can you be proud of. And what's more, you will have the skills and confidence to take an organic concept to a highly finished state and present your art director or client with both incredible beauty shots and a 3D model of the concept (which you or they could then have 3D printed)! By learning these tools and skills, you will be dramatically increasing your market value as a concept artist and illustrator.

  • Course Type Concept Art and Illustration Courses
  • Duration 10 weeks
  • Skill Level
    Level 3
    Level 3

    These courses are for people who can already draw and paint realistically, and can create complete digital illustrations.

    Level 3 classes will help students to give a new edge to their images, properly render their digital work, and bring them to a professional level.

  • Language English


Note: This class will be offered online only

Class Timings: Saturdays from 3 PM to 6 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT or UTC -4 h)

Date of first class: July 11th

Duration: 10 weeks

If you are unable to attend the class during the times listed above, you will still have access to video recordings of the class lectures and will still receive personalized feedback from your instructor.



You should have completed our Digital Painting class or have equivalent experience to take this course. It is also recommended (not compulsory) that you complete our Intro to Concept Art and Constructive Figure Drawing classes before taking this course.


Having basic knowledge of ZBrush would be an advantage for this course but is not required if you are fast at learning software. To prepare for this course, if you have little to no ZBrush experience, it is recommended to play around with it and watch some YouTube tutorials at least a few weeks before starting class.

Language requirements: You need at least intermediate level English to take this class (the teacher will use many visual examples and can help you if you don't understand something).


Required Materials

You must bring your own laptop equipped with a Wacom tablet as well as ZBrush, Keyshot* and Photoshop.

*Please note that Keyshot will only be used for the last couple weeks of the term so a trial version is sufficient for purposes of this class


Tech Requirements for Attending Syn Studio Online Classes

Minimum Requirements

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 600kbps bandwidth (up/down).
  • A Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a single core processor (at least 1 GHZ processing speed) or a smartphone/tablet with equivalent processing capabilities
  • Good speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser - IE7+, Safari 5+, Firefox, Chrome
  • Operating System - Windows XP, Mac OS 10.6, Linux distro based on 3.0 kernel, Android 5.0, iOS 10


Syn Studio Recommendations

  • A strong uninterrupted broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE) connection with a minimum 1.5Mbps bandwidth (up/down). You can also connect to the internet directly using your ethernet cable to improve your experience.
  • Laptop/Desktop computer equipped with a dual core processor with at least 2 GHZ processing speed and a 4 GB RAM
  • High Quality speakers/earphones to listen to the classes
  • Browser & Operating System - We recommend using the latest version of the browser and operating system for an optimal online classroom experience.

Course Outline

Please note that this course outline is currently being updated

Part 1: The basics of ZBrush

Week 1 - Learn the UI of ZBrush and obtain a simple and powerful Zbrush workflow. Understand how and why to use brushes, tools, sub-tools, symmetry layers, UI shortcuts and morph targets so you can work efficiently and effectively in 3D.

Week 2 - Learn the basics of organic sculpting, using the sculpting from sphere technique and working with a variety of brushes.

Week 3 - Acquire the basic techniques for rapid mechanical sculpting, working with hard surface brushes as well as the clipping and slicing tool.


Part 2: Creating a concept with ZBrush

Week 4 - Learn how to sketch out quick ideas in 3D using Zbrush. Understand the concept sculpt pipeline.

Weeks 5 - 7 - Sculpt your concept in Zbrush while receiving one-on-one feedback and correction from the instructor.

Week 8 - Learn how to apply materials and textures so you can bring your concept to the next level of realism.

Week 9 - Become proficient posing your character and lighting in ZBrush so you can create an epic hero shot.

Week 10 - Learn to render, using KeyShot, and composite your image in Photoshop to produce a jaw dropping finished piece you can be proud to use in your portfolio.

Check out the entire outline


Syn Studio offers the highest quality education at the most affordable prices.

This is one of our most popular classes and tends to fill up well before the deadline.

The Registration Deadline is Wednesday the 10th of June at 11:59 PM

This class is being offered at
$499.00 $360.00 USD
for a limited period of time (save $139!!) *All Prices Shown are in US Dollars

You will soon receive an email receipt for your purchase.

Please bring a photo ID for the first day of class.

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Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 514-998-7625
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