Add DynaMesh to Your Sculpting Workflow for Flexibility

In a traditional sculpting workflow, you normally create a base mesh that reflects the eventual shape of your model. If you're working from artwork and you know exactly what your model should look like, this method may work fine. If you use this method, you'll be making some large design decisions very early in the process and it might be difficult to change them later on. If you'd like a little bit more flexibility when working in ZBrush (and maybe avoid the initial base mesh modeling) you really should take a look at DynaMesh. DynaMesh is a tool in ZBrush that allows you to change a model's shape and then immediately recalculate an optimal topology for the new mesh. Working with DynaMesh removes many restrictions, letting you change your model's shape drastically, cut it apart, or reassemble it into different seamless configurations. DynaMesh will then recalculate the topology to reflect the new shape or details of the model. DynaMesh can be an asset to any sculpting workflow, but let's look at a few specific scenarios.

Generate concepts

dynamesh_concept DynaMesh is great for building up initial concepts, eliminating the need to build detailed base meshes. In ZBrush, start from a simple shape like a sphere. Activate DynaMesh with a specific resolution and then begin pulling out the forms of your model. When you pull out new shapes, quickly remesh the model by CTRL + dragging on the canvas. Move around the model often and don't be afraid to make major changes- you have complete freedom. If you feel like adding limbs or other shapes, try using the Insert Mesh brushes and then remesh. You can also cut parts of your mesh off using the Slice Curve brush. You can either get rid of those pieces or move them around and recombine them. If you're cutting apart a mesh that already has some sculpted detail, try using the Project button to retain the sculpted detail in the new DynaMesh. Be aware that your DynaMesh resolution will have an impact on how much of your detail transfers.

Create difficult shapes

dynamesh_emblem There are many methods for creating geometry in ZBrush. DynaMesh can be a great option when you have a complex model that has cut-out shapes or pieces that need to be merged together. By using the Boolean buttons, you can decide whether to combine objects seamlessly together, subtract one object from another, or create a mesh that is the result of two objects intersecting. Depending on the objects that you use, you can get specific shapes that might otherwise be difficult to achieve. You can use Insert Mesh brushes to create these Boolean shapes or you can use existing subtools. Curve-based brushes can also be a great way to add complex curved detail that is seamlessly integrated into the mesh.

 Make some art

dynamesh_art ZBrush's tools make it a great option, not just for production assets, but to create your own custom art as well. If you're more interested in creating cool art than generating models, DynaMesh can help you to generate some really fun images. Try using the Slice Curve brush to cut apart your DynaMesh model. Then activate the Groups buttons before remeshing and you'll see the new pieces remeshed into new, closed objects. You can also create polygroups with masking or face selections and remesh those into different pieces. Have some fun and experiment with different methods to create something unique. If you're using ZBrush in your pipeline but you haven't checked out DynaMesh yet, give it a try. It will add a lot flexibility to your workflow, allowing you to explore different ideas and get to your best result as quickly as possible.