Cloth, Module 03

Developing Form & Class Sculpt-Overs

I want to start by offering this list of common problem areas to look for when evaluating your own sculpt. The first step in improving the quality of your work is to be able to identify its shortcomings. After all, if you can’t identify them, it is nearly impossible to fix them. 

  • Avoid tangents and equal spacing of details
  • Identify the proper type of fold for any given part of your design before you sculpt it
  • Look for and accentuate your Straights and Curves
  • Make sure the cloth is “reacting” to what it comes in contact with
  • Find points of tension in the cloth to make your design more dynamic

Sculpting Structured Cloth and Another Way to Approach Thickness
Module 04 awaits!

Sculpting structured cloth is…..

Video: Sculpting and Designing Structured Costumes

  • Techniques for developing your forms
  • Structure
  • Holding an edge
  • Built in corners *When looking to hold a corner in ZBrush, you can do something similar to the technique showcased in our video by creasing the edges in ZBrush before you subdivide the mesh. I chose to do it in my poly modeling package to take advantage of the added control.

*There will be more on retopologizing in ZBrush in our next Module.


Since many of us are still wrangling our design sculpts we are going to use this week to finish blocking in our base meshes- in addition to showcasing the coming sculpt-overs of your work. As we create the sculpt-overs of characters from this class, please enjoy these examples from previous classes. Each video contains an assortment of different ideas geared towards helping you improve the overall quality of your own character’s costume sculpt and design. You will also find a few added sculpt-overs aimed at improving the character’s rhythms and gestures.

Video: Sculpt-Over, Costume Gesture

  • “Plusing” your reference
  • Define material types
  • Make sure you have edge rings around boarders
  • Form follows function design choices
  • Mix cloth types in your design


Video: Sculpt-Over, Costume Gesture

  • Use lower levels to straighten edges
  • Make sure you have edge rings around boarders
  • Areas of interest
  • Find out how the cloth would behave


Video: Sculpt-Over, Rubber Suit

  • Areas of interest in the folds
  • Gravity and fold compression
  • Tightening structured boarders
  • Developing zig-zag folds


Video: Sculpt-Over, Costume Gesture

  • How the costume influences gesture
  • Finding costume silhouette “hits”
  • Areas of interest


Video: Sculpt-Over, Costume Gesture

  • Working the gesture under the costume
  • Areas of interest
  • Defining the overall form silhouette


Assignment: Evaluate the dynamic relationships of your cloth design. How are all the individual components relating? In addition to focusing in on the final design intentions of your costume, begin to focus on the overall refinement of detail in your design-sculpt. Remember, if you are short on time, feel free to only tackle one or two of the cloth elements from your overall design. In our next module we will cover several different techniques for creating structured costumes and refining your topology.




Video: Research and Build Process

  • Creating a low res mesh pattern
  • Find two points of inspiration
  • Research your world
  • Defining the overall form silhouette
  • Create your block-in mesh


Video: Sculpt-Over, Stylized Cloth

  • Areas of interest in the folds
  • Compression and tension sides
  • Tightening structured boarders
  • Edit out extra details


Video: Sculpt-Over, Structured Jeans-Jacket

  • Truing up the form
  • Use real world reference
  • Weight of material
  • Letting panels drive folds


Video: Sculpt-Over, Character Stance & Leather Jacket

  • How the costume influences gesture
  • Stance influencing fit
  • Arm bend to set up half-lock