Blog Entry 13/01/2017

New Greebling Technique and Render Program.

I’ve been busy lately with design masterclass work, so haven’t done any

dissertation work for a week or so now, but I’m back in the swing of things now.

I wanted to talk about my workflow; and really how I’m always trying to find the

most efficient method which yields the highest quality result. I’ve always

wondered how either spaceships used in game or film have such in depth detail

in the model, something which would take months to model and be incredibly

high poly. Casually searching for Zbrush tutorials, I found one by Glenn

Patterson called “Build a Ship in Zbrush 4R7” on a first quick skim watch, I

noticed three main areas that caught my attention.


Firstly the input model, either made in Zbrush or 3DS Max could be simple, with

only a need for a silhouette model of the ship. Secondly, after applying a noise

filter which uses a greebled alpha channel (Figure 1.(Image), the results yield an

entirely new unique model full of intricate detail, which,  if modelled by hand

would have taken months to model. But with this technique is done in the space

of 30 minutes. Thirdly and finally, for the sheer quality of the render which

followed. With me being fairly new to Zbrush and its various plugins,  the

program, KeyShot was new to me. But I was immediately blown away by the

quality of the renders its produced, and though they aren’t a comparison to

what they would look like inside an engine, it would make a fantastic showcase


Figure 1. Alpha Channel Greeble.

Currently, for my proposal, I said the Vray plugin for 3DS Max was going to be used

to produce my renders, but after using keyShot, I’m considering changing my

proposal on the matter and not using 3DS Max, rather KeyShot instead. Overall

I think this technique is one of the best improvements to my workflow I’ve

found in a while. Though I might not be able to use it for my dissertation, mainly

for going over my poly budgets, I’m going to work this technique into any future

workflow when it comes to spaceship modelling.


Here are some of my results in testing the technique on my USS Enterprise model and renders in KeyShot.


Figure 2. USS Enterprise Light Greebling.

Figure 3. USS Enterprise Heavier Greebling.

Figure 4. USS Enterprise KeyShot Render 1

Figure 5. USS Enterprise KeyShot Render 2



Patterson, G. (2017). Build a Ship in Zbrush 4R7. [online] YouTube. Available at: [Accessed 13 Jan. 2017].