ZBrush Clothes Tutorial

In this short breakdown I will show you how I did the clothes on the “For the King” project. I think the first and most important step is that you start to familiarize yourself with the object you are trying to model and its behavior. I used and google for my research and searched everything related to fabric and cloth. It helps also to search for other artists work to learn how they handle the subject. Drawings and sculptures show an already “compressed state” of an object. The artist has left everything out that’s not relevant and reduced it down to the important features that are necessary to make the viewer believe that he is looking at drapery. Basically that’s true for every object you sculpt. You are not going to make real fabric; you are only going to make the viewer believe that it is what he thinks it is…

After I had collected a folder full of images I made a few quick sketches for a better understanding of folds and wrinkles. The brush-moves you are making in the 3d space of Zbrush or Mudbox are quite similar to the one you are drawing on paper. The understanding how folded parts of the fabric expand and overlay in space of course is different.

I aimed to make some really thin and slightly translucent fabric. It’s crazy how some of the great masters where able to create the impression of an underlying body, although you are looking at adamant stone. That is definitely much harder then recreating the same look with a combination of 3ds max and Zbrush with a complete body as a basis.

For the cloth basemesh I have exported a midres version of the character mesh out of Zbrush and brought it into 3ds max. I’m using the Polyboost tools for all kind of polygon modeling in max. The polydraw subtool is great for this kind of work or for retopologizing a whole character. With the imported midres mesh as a basis, it takes only a few minutes to model the first part of the robe. I have planned to split it in 3 pieces, so I can work with them separately later in Zbrush. As you can see on the screenshot below, it’s nothing more than simple polymodeling. Just try to keep the polygons as quadrangular as possible for a smooth subdivision in your sculpting package.

After I was done with the mesh, I have exported every piece as an OBJ and attached it as subtools to my main character mesh in ZBrush. Because I was going to do all the fine wrinkles and folds on the highest subdiv level, I subdivided the piece already at the beginning. I pushed out some intersecting areas with the clay brush (you can use the move brush, too) Then I stepped up on a midres level and began to project some of the character mesh details onto my cloth mesh. I have done that with the projection brush. Make sure that ZSUB is activated and the brush intensity is quite low. Try to work only on surfaces that are perpendicular to your viewport. (Everything else will cause strange mesh distortions)

After preparing everything for further sculpting I switched to the highest subdivision level and start working with my tweaked standard brushes. Basically I have just change the gravity strength options, brush mode and the alpha. You can download theses brushes and take a look at the settings. Copy them in the ZStartup/BrushPresets folder in your Zbrush directory and they should appear in your brush palette after restarting the program. For smooth transitions between the strokes I used a standard clay brush. I was more or less “free styling” when creating the folds. A good tip is to use the flatten brush from time to time. Not everything is as round as it seems…

Download Selwy’s cloth brushes + .ZTL file, 4mb (right click, save as)

Some people already asked me how to achieve the slight translucent look in ZBrush (the areas where parts of the leg and arm are shining through) This is just a fake 🙂 I have used polypaint and gave these areas another color as the rest of the mesh.
Finally I have exported the highres meshes and made a quick rendering in max. That’s all!


  1. Lokendra says:

    Amazing work and kind nature

    Thank you very much

  2. Jun says:

    Thanks for your tutorial
    As always,amazing job.

  3. jaime Labelle says:

    Great and subtle use of ZBrush brushes in the folds, natural movement and weight, linen feels thin and light the way it spouses the woman’s body, interesting pose! an overall 5 stars.

    Keep it up!!


  4. Wolfsoull says:

    hi selwy

    great tutorial, i a huge fan of your art

    Sergio Duarte

  5. Rafael says:

    This is just magic! amazing tutorial mate!
    just saw that you´re a chili peppers fan, just like myself hehehhee!!

    keep rockin’ mate!

  6. Longhi says:

    You’re a very insane inspiration for me mate.
    thanks for sharing your work and your studyes.
    this is very encouraging for me, to keep studying and studying, more and more.
    thank you a lot, you deserve the best.
    cya, keep going.

  7. exavi says:

    not just your awesome anatomy knowledge, but your sculpting technique is great also!

    thanks for these brushes! you rock!

  8. Agostinuke says:

    Great work!


  9. Toni says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge. Keep it up.

  10. Tomad.Kral says:

    Hi Selwy

    Great tutorial man! You are truly one of the GREATES modelers I know… You work is big inspiration for me.

    Keep it up!!

  11. AJ says:

    Every model you post is better than your last, fantastic work.

  12. Adam says:

    Awesome work man. Thanks for sharing your brushes and techniques. Cloth is a challenging subject to make convincing – but you did a great job.

    -Adam Carroll

  13. Drakelot says:

    Thanks for the brushes, the tuto and work is awesome. Thanks for the model too.


  14. Mattia says:

    Hello Benjamin,

    Compliments for your impressive work: it is an other piece of art of yours! Great Work!

    Thank you very much for the brushes!

    I’m waiting for an other great sculpture… 😉

    p.s.: … and happy 2009!

  15. Paul Large says:

    Your starting to surpass Alex Oliver as my favorite ZBrush artist. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  16. Dante_N says:

    you really professional.
    I hope to see more of your work. Thank you for sharing

  17. Preston Law says:

    Selwy thanks so much, will try your brushes they look great and perfect timing for me, thanks again

  18. Alex Oliver says:

    amazing, and really great inspiration!! i love your work!!

    Alex Oliver

  19. Obbi says:

    Awesome work man. Thank you very much for the brushes.

  20. Justin says:

    Very nice cloth. I love your work. That cloth is inspirational.

  21. jeet says:

    Amazing work, A real piece of art !!!

  22. Greg says:

    amazing stuff!! thank you very much 😉
    Is that possible to see how you building a basemesh ??
    would be cool to see that 😉
    of course it is just my dream 🙂
    I’m a big fan of your work and your personality.
    Your knowledge is amazing. You study so hard . You are big inspiration for me and I’m sure that not only for me
    thank you once again


  23. Ken says:

    Thank you for the tutorial. I had never used ZBrush until last week and I am really enjoying the software’s capabilities. Your workflow is both beautiful and ingenious. Congratulations!


  24. Mr Sauvage says:

    Thanks a lot, your brushes are top notch man, I’ve been fond of them straight away. I can’t go back and use my old crappy brushes anymore…

  25. Fabio says:

    And again I tell you how I just love your work.
    Thanks for sharing man!

  26. kirbi says:

    might be an stupid question but i’m still trying to wrap my mind around zbrush. i understand the sculpting and even the retopolizing process but so far i can’t find anyting about retopolizing a whole mesh (sub tools an all) is that possible?

  27. Alex Liki says:

    Amazing work man!

  28. Wyatt says:

    Oh wow, that is most impressive information to give away. Thanks much!

  29. ulf says:

    great sculpting, and thanks for sharing your brushes!

  30. Alshak says:

    thanks for great tutorial

    but it seems we have problem with vimeo

    is there any mirror available in youtube for videos?

  31. can akgül says:

    thanx Benjamin, great tutorial & modelling..i congratulate to u

  32. Avijit Chinara says:

    This is very helpful tutorial. I need comment on my modeling work. if possible please vesit and please provide your comment about my work through

  33. Rhangga says:

    Wow, U are revolusioner in 3d world. ten thumbs up!

  34. Ian says:

    I think your work its just amazing!!!

    beautiful work! congratulations you rock!!!!

  35. Ian says:

    and Thank you for your tutorial 🙂

  36. Noufeer says:

    it’s are work is beautiful.Thanks to say for helpful tutorial.

  37. aadegbenro says:

    A student of mine prompted me about your cloth brushes. I have downloaded and tried them out. Thanks for sharing, they sure saved me time and propelled me many steps.

  38. JinGwon says:

    Wow,Thank you for great tutorial

  39. praashant vasal says:

    thanks a lot ur brushes r a great help to me …………………really appreciate ur uploading the brushes thanks

    and ur work is awesome

  40. Rick Savage says:

    I must say that your work is absolutely brilliant. Thanks so much for the great brushes and the impressive Z-model of Arthur. Keep up the great work.

  41. Helder Pinto says:

    Amazing tutorial, and thanks for sharing the brushes.

    cheers buddy

  42. Darukin says:

    Thanks for these brushes and tutorials selwy!
    Amazing! Big fan of your works!

  43. Eduardo Flores says:

    The beautifulness of your models, and the skill necessary for creating them, are beyond my imagination, up to the moment I saw them!…

  44. Steven Sukianto says:

    trully inspiring me..
    nice tutorial!

  45. zhaorongsheng says:

    great masters 大师

  46. Jim St Ruth says:

    Brilliant tutorial, thanks for producing it! I use Maya and Zbrush and have struggled with cloth for ages. I realise the packages aren’t exactly the same, but it’s opened my eyes!

    Amazing work!

  47. Ammakk says:

    Thanks alot…you really helped me alot while I’m seing this work…’s really so great work…thanks again!

  48. Mihai Daranga says:

    Hi selwy ,
    I love your work 🙂
    A small question : Can you do the fold brushes to work on z-brush 4 ..they are amazing 🙂

  49. Digital3d says:

    Thanks a lot for brushes.
    I mostly used your brushes in my sculpts.
    And these are really very nice while sculpting cloths and wrinkles..

  50. Michael Taylor » Blog Archive » ZB4: Custom UI says:

    […] Adds Damien Standard, Clay Polish, Ryan Kingslien’s Hair Fly Away, and Selwy’s Cloth Set […]

  51. anil says:

    its a very good tutorial for me.It is very use full to me,thanks for this tutorial

  52. Rudy says:

    These brushes are fantastic, thank you so much for sharing them with us!

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  54. Systemek says:

    Thanks man, very generous!

  55. Hotaru CMS says:

    Clothes Tutorial including Video, Brushes + .ztl file…


  56. Manuel Aquino says:

    Beautiful sculptures, awesome anatomy, very inspiring!!!
    Thanks for the brushes!!!

    More Tutorials plz!!!

    : )

  57. nagacharan says:

    wow awesome tutor …thx

  58. slashpot says:

    Hi Selwy, I actually dropped in to grab your great brushes, but hell you have some great stuff here! I love your trad sculpture and drawings, all great artists draw well!
    See ya round ZBC mate, although I’ll be keeping an eye on this site, excellent!

  59. Tallooriravi says:

    Thank you verymuch

  60. James REBUILD - CGCore says:

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  61. arie says:

    It’s amazing sculpture you make. your brush really help me to make great cloth.

    thumb up….

  62. wpwloo says:

    I can’t see the video Tutorial ,who can send the Tutorial to my email,I have search the Tutorial by google but no download can be use。thanks。

  63. ZBrush Clothes Tutorial by Selwy « Truong's blog says:

    […] post: Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  64. naveen says:

    ultimate creations !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  65. walkingbrush says:

    I imagine that he will be laborious for you, but to all we would like that you returned to make a new tutorial advanced in HD and all the process in Zbrush, if you could.
    If you know some link with more tutorial of how to make dresses in Zbrush would be to be thankful.
    Of all the ways a million thanks for the gratuitous contribution. Greetings to all.

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  67. jing_hoo | Pearltrees says:

    […] ZBrush Clothes Tutorial Some people already asked me how to achieve the slight translucent look in ZBrush (the areas where parts of the leg and arm are shining through) This is just a fake I have used polypaint and gave these areas another color as the rest of the mesh. Download Selwy’s cloth brushes + .ZTL file, 4mb (right click, save as) Finally I have exported the highres meshes and made a quick rendering in max. That’s all! […]

  68. Gambuto says:

    very nice tutorial thx!!!

  69. Joan says:

    Thank you a lot for that tutorial and that brushes.

  70. Đặng Duy Quang says:

    Thanks! really great and helpful!

  71. Swajith says:

    Its really a GREAT work… by the way how much time did u took to finish it ?

  72. weishanzhang says:

    Hello, works very well!I was a university student from China, I would like to ask about the method of learning artistic anatomy, times Thank you very much!

  73. DimitrisLiatsos says:

    Simply …you made my life easier.Thanks.

  74. Boobs says:


  75. Swapnil says:

    Very Nice Tutorial….


  76. Szabolcs says:

    Selwy, do you have any update to your brushes to adopt the recent releases of ZBrush? They are so amazing, I’d not left them out from my library of brushes!

  77. Shirt and Jeans | Christopher Gibbons says:
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  79. Zbrush practice | dstort - online portfolio says:
  80. gaurav gupta says:

    hello selwy,
    i like ur cloth sculpt.Its awesum please help me out
    in zbrush i m a beginner.i want to create a weapon stripes of cloth like mummies wrapped bind with bandages.Please let me knw how to create and with wchich brush.

  81. Tutorials | Philip Larsén says:
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  83. mike rusby says:

    been loving no 2 fold brush of late. turned down the gravity a bit and having great success with cloth at the moment
    still trying to figure out why it works so well:)


  84. Kayla says:

    Can you please make a mudbox version? 🙁

  85. shaunie says:

    Wow, absolutely stunning work and your brushes have helped me so much with my projects.
    Thank you so much!

  86. Ivan Mendicutty says:

    thx a lot budd,I’m proving simulating cloth on this great program and your contribution has helped me a lot , thank you very much.

  87. Renan says:

    You are the best!

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