In this tutorial, I’ll show you 6 methods to create feathers in ZBrush, using mesh, alphas, FiberMesh and a combination of them
During a trip to the northern territory in Australia. I spent over a week sketching and sculpting things in ZBrush as I was testing the portability of a Wacom Cintiq Companion. I took the Cintiq with me everywhere and I created a few pieces that you can find here along with a review of the Companion.
I started to sketch a creature inspired by the cockatoos and other birds from the region. Obviously, I needed to create some feathers in ZBrush so I tested a couple of tools and methods and I end up with a decent set of detailed feathers that I turned into an InsertMultiMesh brush. However, the number of polygons on each feather was really high and to cover something with this feathers would result on a very dense mesh. So after the trip, I spend two more weeks exploring methods and testing tools in ZBrush to produce variants of the feathers.
The quick guide to feathers in ZBrush is the result of that researching and testing process.
At the beginning of the tutorial, I also share some references to the type of feathers some insight to help you understand the anatomy of the feathers and their distribution on the wing of a bird.