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Our first tutorial on the creation of our Hi-Res model for our Stegosaurus.

Posted by AshtonAndersen on Feb 3rd, 2010
Intermediate Players Modelling.


Lukewarm Media

Making of Stegosaurus

High-Res modeling in Zbrush

By Rasmus Warming

Alright, here is a little walkthrough which follows my process of making the Stegosaurus for Primal Carnage. I hope you find it useful.

Images 1 and 2

At first, I made a quick Zsphere setup, to get started on blocking in the forms as quick as possible. You can see the progress from the left picture to the right. The use of reference pictures is important to get the main shapes and forms right at an early stage.

Images 3 and 4

In these next two pictures, I added a couple more subdivisions to the mesh, leading on to the blocking in of more and more of the shape. Detail is not of the highest importance at this point, however, I do try out certain shapes or ideas that I have in mind.

Images 5 and 6

Here I added the back scales, the tail spikes, and the eyes.

Back scales: I subdivided a cube and shaped it as I wanted. In Zbrush I cloned and positioned all the new subtools on one side. Then, I merged all those subtools and mirrored it. Lastly, I repositioned the new ones, as the scales are offset along the spine.

In picture 6, you can see that I have started experimenting with some of the more distinctive features of the creature.

Images 7 and 8

I am gradually adding more weight and details to it.

Images 9 and 10

Here, I start to add the skin texture. I produced a few different layers containing different wrinkle styles and folds. I tend to use alpha maps for this, at least as a base. Sometimes, I go over parts which require greater definition.

I have gathered a fairly large collection of maps to use for this stuff. I got most of mine from and others from

As you may have noticed, I still need to define the hind legs. I delayed working on them, as my idea of what they should look like was based on the appearance of the front legs.

Image 11

Here is a quick pose using transpose master, just for fun!

Images 12 and 13

And there you have them, with the hind legs done (picture 12). In picture 13, you can see the shapes becoming more and more defined.

Images 14 and 15

Here, I have gradually added a great amount of detail. Despite this, I still aim to keep all the major shapes well-defined and clear. Also, in picture 15, you can see that I've added a tongue.


Here is the final model, with details added to the back scales and spikes on the tail. I hope you have found this walkthrough useful. If you have any questions or comments, then please eMail me at ''rasmus(at) Finally, I'd like to give a big thanks to the Lukewarm Media crew.

To see more of my work, please visit

Post comment Comments
angelcs Feb 3 2010 says:


0 votes     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN) Feb 3 2010 says:

High Poly would be probably better term, than High Res.
(polygons are used in models, and resolutions are used in textures.)

Good tutorial anyway, thanks.

+1 vote     reply to comment
M@ty Feb 3 2010 replied:

Zbrush use Pixols not triangles, so high resolution in this case is the correct term :).

+3 votes     reply to comment
Killed_By Feb 3 2010 replied:

True that.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Elementalist Feb 3 2010 replied:

"With the ability to sculpt up to a billion polygons, ZBrush allows you to create limited only by your imagination."

"Because ZBrush users are enabled by its powerful software processing, you can sculpt and paint with millions of polygons..."


I mean, it's not a huge point, but I guess either would work, if Pixologic is claiming you're messing with polygons.

Cool dino. :)

+3 votes     reply to comment
grinnock Feb 3 2010 replied:

Arg. You haven't used it, have you? Because your work surface is defined by it's resolution. l2p kthx?

-1 votes     reply to comment
Elementalist Feb 3 2010 replied:

Yes, I have used it, and I know that. I'm just pointing out the company uses the term polygons as well, thus it is either a high resolution OR high polygon model. Otherwise you're saying their advertisement is incorrect in terminology as well. Not sure why I was downvoted for doing so, but... Eh. *shrug*

+1 vote     reply to comment
godpan Feb 3 2010 says:

no wonder all stegosaures had shoulder problems...

+3 votes     reply to comment
tadmod Feb 3 2010 says:

Sure, this method will create a detailed model, but most of the detailing will have to be done again as the model hasn't had it's UV's layed out... so the blocking-out part I understand, but further than defining overall shape, the rest of the tutorial seemed kind of void :S

Sorry to be such a snoot, but in my experience, this would lead to either ridiculous UV maps, or a reworking of the high-resolution details...

Aside from my little rant their, top-notch artwork!

+1 vote     reply to comment
myles Feb 3 2010 replied:

The detailed/high res model doesnt need a UV map. Once the high res model is finished they would redo the topology and UV map the low poly model.

+3 votes     reply to comment
pone Feb 3 2010 replied:

Modeling flow fail... Fortunately you don't need to UV-map the hi-res model. Hi-res can be rendered with materials in the modeling program. You need UV maps just for the low-res model since you want to use it in your game.

+4 votes     reply to comment
geostigma Feb 3 2010 replied:


because you know how the edge flow of a dinosaur is going to look like since its commonly done.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AVittoz Jan 6 2011 replied:

You can with GoZ, you can change topology, uv's ect in another 3d package and bring it back into Zbrush and it will ask if you want to project the high res details on to your altered mesh.

Or you could use UV Master plugin to create human readable UV's from within Z-Brush :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
M@ty Feb 3 2010 says:

@ tadmod I don't think you've used this workflow before, eh? :) UV's arent a problem here, and even if they were going to be, you can generate the normal maps in external programs and export the high and low resolution meshes! :)

Interesting workflow, although it would be nice to see a step-by-step or video demonstrating how you make use of ZB tools precisely etc! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Feb 3 2010 replied:

Would be better though to get the normal map done in the app itself instead of exporting it when the app itself already operates on pixels.

@OP: Little something I noticed. Your links are broken. They add in front of each link yielding stuff like which obviously won't work.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk] Feb 3 2010 says:

Awesome, I really want zbrush.

+1 vote     reply to comment
pkyrkos7 Feb 3 2010 says:


+1 vote     reply to comment
cheesemoo0 Feb 3 2010 says:

You should walk through the process all the way until it is in-game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
AshtonAndersen Author
AshtonAndersen Feb 3 2010 replied:

Well, if you want to see more images, updates on this game then you have to sign up to our forums. We are always showing sneak peak WIP.

+1 vote   reply to comment
EVILSPACEMONKEY Feb 4 2010 replied:

lol cheese, this game looks sweet doesnt it?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Mars_3K Feb 4 2010 says:

holy ****! :o

+1 vote     reply to comment
(themadhouse) Feb 4 2010 says:

Awesome stuff.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kattevoer Feb 9 2010 says:

Nice sculpt!
I think earlier on in the process of sculpting you missed an important stage... basically defining the muscles and bones. In one of the later images i can see a hint of ribs under the flesh around the chest area, but they are lost once you added the skin detail.

What helps me a lot for character modeling is doing a fairly rough sculpt of the creature without a skin, just modeling the muscles and visible bones (ribs, vertebra, scull, bones in the arms, hip, feet and knees) and then layering on the fat, blood vessels and as last the skin. This will give you more natural base to detail on and result also in more natural body proportions...

I'm not saying that it isn't looking good as is, just giving an idea of a modeling stage in between modeling the rough form and going into details.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DOLBYdigital Feb 16 2010 says:

Amazing work!
I can't wait to be feasting on that in game :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
t_hargro Feb 21 2010 says:

Some of you guys make it sounds like you have only just now heard of zbrush because of this tutorial. It has been around a while and the stuff they can do w/ it is far more amazing than that dinosaur. Gnomon has awesome videos as does pixologic's website.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GabeTheKid Nov 15 2011 says:

this section iss not quite "up to date" ^^ too bad i wanted to see the mesh :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
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