Log inBy CategoryBy Instructor

Introduction to ZBrush 2020

with Madeleine Spencer


Welcome to Introduction to ZBrush 2020 presented by Madeleine Spencer, the most comprehensive video training series available for Pixologic ZBrush.


With 54 chapters and over twenty hours of lecture, the series begins with a Quickstart tutorial for those entirely new to ZBrush. Madeleine begins by sculpting a character bust from a sphere while teaching core ZBrush concepts such as dynamesh, subdivision levels, the ZBrush interface, and navigation. Subsequent chapters offer in-depth lessons that cover virtually all aspects of the software, enabling the artist to create characters, creatures and props be them organic or hard-surface. As an artist's tool, ZBrush allows for the modeling and sculpting of just about anything one can imagine.


After the quick start lesson, Madeleine delves into myriad topics such as interface customization, hotkeys, various sculpting tools and techniques, 3D alphas, custom brushes, insert multi mesh, array mesh, nanomesh, Vector Displacement brushes, and much more! She demonstrates hard surface sculpting in ZBrush as well as the polygon modeling tools including ZModeler, topology brush, and Zremesher. ZBrush as a tool for 3D printing is also discussed, with a chapter devoted to exploring the process of preparing a model for print using the Decimation Master plugin.


ZBrush is not only a powerful sculpting tool, it is also a robust 3D paint program. Madeleine demonstrates polypainting, UV master and Spotlight through detailed examples of paint techniques drawn from her 20 years of experience in the film industry.


Rendering with ZBrush is explained using Lightcaps, HDR images, how to customize and understand the ZBrush material menu and then render images either internally in ZBrush or externally with Keyshot. We also examine how to extract maps such as displacement, normal and color for use in film, TV, and game pipelines. New tools in ZBrush 2020 are discussed and demonstrated including exciting new tools such as the Extractor brushes, Deco brush, History Recall brush, Adjust Color, Mask by Polypaint, sculpting and painting on Morph UV surfaces, and more!


For artists new to ZBrush, those looking for a refresher on tools, or users interested in an exploration of the new features in 2020, this series provides a wealth of knowledge organized into chapters that are designed to be accessed either sequentially or individually on an as needed basis. With Madeleine Spencer as your guide, the power of ZBrush is demystified enabling you to create in 3D using this immensely powerful artist's tool.

Duration: 1281 Minutes

Format: HD 1920x1080


Software Used


  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle
  • Conceptual Storyboarding: Storytelling and Struggle

Madeleine Scott-Spencer


Madeleine Scott-Spencer has used ZBrush extensively for over ten years as a Visual Effects artist as well as an instructor for The Gnomon Workshop. She has worked in visual effects, toys and collectible design as well as the creation of digital maquettes for concept design. Maddie has worked with Weta, Double Negative, Pixologic, Gentle Giant Studios, Activision, Hasbro, and numerous other major studios. She served as a designer at Weta Workshop on the Hobbit trilogy as well as working on design and textures at Weta Digital. She has worked on a variety of films such as The Hobbit Trilogy, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Life, Wonder Woman, and Valerian. Madeleine has taught classes for Gnomon since 2006 and has produced numerous video tutorials and manuals for the ZBrush community, 3D World Magazine, and others. Madeleine is also the author of the highly-regarded books ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting, ZBrush Creature Design, and ZBrush Digital Sculpting: Human Anatomy. She graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2005, studied classical figurative sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, and performed cadaver lab studies in support of multiple artist's anatomy projects. She currently resides in London, England.

  • Madeleine makes me want to pick up ZBrush and create some twisted, dark, evil creature because she makes it look like so much bloody fun. It is a rarity in this business to meet someone like Maddie who can communicate how they create their beautiful work in such an eloquent, easy and pleasurable manner. I have heard her teach many times and it always amazes me how masterfully she owns her craft but also her willingness to share her deep knowledge.

    - Neil Huxley
    Director and Diabolical Badass

  • Artists are not often good teachers, and teachers are not often good at art. Madeleine combines both talents; not only is her work flawless, she has the knack for making it understandable. These are everything tutorials should be' informative, concise, creative and fun. I've always admired her work, and i admire the way she makes it approachable to the rest of us.

    - John Howe

  • I have had the great pleasure of knowing and working with Maddie for a number of years. She is without a dought one of the finest ZBrush experts in the world. She is not only an incredible artist, but she also has the gift of being able to teach her skills to others by means of her numerous lectures tutorials, published books and live presentations.

    - Gino Acevedo
    Head of Textures Dept / Creative Art Director Weta Digital​

  • Madeline has proven time and again to have a mastery over ZBrush, but with any new version of the software comes new challenges and features to learn. Getting past not only the technical understanding of new buttons, features and workflow there is also a deep need for knowledge of the artistic side that can be overwhelming for most. Luckily for students and professionals alike Maddie not only has the skill to weave together the two schools of thought and craft awesome designs, sculptures and workable models for production, but the ability to pass that knowledge on to the student.

    - Ian Joyner
    Legacy EFfects