Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 | Posted by Matt McCorkell
We’ve got a video excerpt from Scott Spencer’s latest ZBrush Anatomy book! check it out
CG Elite and our guest host for Digital Sculpting Competition next month, Scott Spencer, is currently working as a designer and sculptor at Weta Workshop. If that wasn’t impressive enough he also the authored two books on digital sculpting: ZBrush Character Creation and ZBrush Digital Sculpting: Human Anatomy.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My background is actually traditional sculpture. After college I studied at The Florence Academy of Art. Before I started working at Weta I was an art director at Gentle Giant studios, where I helped to redesign the company’s workflow from traditional wax figures to an almost entirely digital sculpting workflow. I am passionate about art as well as learning. I believe that we are all students for life and I am always learning from my peers and expanding my own techniques and abilities while hopefully helping to further the goals of my fellow artists by sharing what I have learned.
With so much material out there in digital sculpting resources (your previous book included), how did you set out to make your new book different?
From the outset of planning out both my books I asked myself this same question.I always felt like many of the books I bought stopped just short of being what I wanted them to be. I always wanted a complete guided tutorial that begins with the basics and ends with a finished product at least as nice as the front cover image. Both of my books are in-depth tutorials on the technical aspects of using ZBrush but also on a more general level they are artistic manuals. I try and teach ZBrush by teaching the core artistic foundations that guide the decisions you make as an artist.
When I was starting out I was frustrated because e-tutorials would give a color choice or a sculptural decision but the artist was never clear on WHY they made that choice. I always felt I was missing some huge pieces of the puzzle. Well in my books I try to address how and why these core decisions are made. I don’t think its enough to just show where to go find a brush in the interface, I want to show how to use that brush to make a compelling sculpture. More specifically I want to show what you do with the brush to make shapes that are interesting and how those shapes combine to be a compelling character sculpture. I try and illustrate these lessons with core tenants of sculpture that have guided artists for centuries. There is no reason to forget them now simply because we are sculpting with tablets and not clay.
What are you currently working on in your free time?
Currently I am updating my previous book for the new version of ZBrush, I am finishing a DVD series for Gnomon on Human Anatomy as well as various other articles and tutorials for 3D world and Imagine FX magazines. I also have a new book in the works but its in the very early stages at this time. Otherwise I work on painting sculpting and prestidigitation.
Do you have any advice for students wanting to become digital sculptors or character artists?
Study anatomy, sculpture and life drawing. You will never ever loose out by focusing on the foundations. Everyone can learn software quickly – the important parts the real core of it is your foundations and that will take years so start now. We will never master it but we can control how far we go.
Read to the bottom of the article and you shall be rewarded. Here is the first chapter from the book!