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I'm new to Zbrush and after a ton of hours I feel like I'm finally making some progress in actually understanding the hotkeys and temperaments of this godforsaken program, but I'm still really bad at it. Even when it comes to simple shit like this.

Here's an example of a WIP I'm doing. It's Tapu Koko from the new Pokemon games. The only thing I've really worked on here is the wood part, the rest of it is just roughs I blocked out in Maya.

To get that wood texture I just put a couple of wood alphas onto a brush and tried to make it look good. Added some scuffs here and there. I feel like I'm doing something wrong here, and I can't figure out how to get the alphas to go UP the mesh, rather than around it, if that makes any sense. I'm used to things like photoshop where the workflows are non-destructive, in Zbrush it sort of seems like you're just doing everything on one layer, so to speak.

I might even just try redoing the shell again since the current one I have on has about 2.5 million polygons on it and it still looks lo-res to me. It looks the same at low and high res which I'm sure isn't correct.

I tried to do a realistic version of hair, but I deleted my last 3 attempts as they looked way too shitty. Trying to make strands of hair and moving them only for the things to go in completely different directions than I anticipated just makes me want to throw my keyboard out the window. I honestly can't tell how much of this is just me being an idiot or the program being made by gorillas.

Anyways...ideas for better workflows?
i don't think you should sculpt pokemon's, its simply a matter of style.
pokemons have lot more emphasis on color and less on form so handpainted style is the best way to do them.

try something more defined like faces/busts. will also boost your zbrush skills for the long run
Zbrush is just for sculpting.
And so you need ... sculpting skill and knowledge.

People who jump into zbrush and expect to be able to just transition from other packages have no clue what they are into.
It will take you weeks to learn the basics of the software and years to really learn it.

Also stuff you do here can be as well slapped in onto the texture, no need to project such simple detail from a texture and back into texture only to lose half of its information.
Anon above is right, ether use it for more or dtop it form your workflow and optimize your current one.

Did you use the drag rect brush stroke for the wood alpha. Zbrush is very destructive alright the layers dont even function as proper layers. You have to plan ahead because I find if you get stuck into something you realize hours later you fucked up along the way and have to start over.
I have limited knowledge of Zbrush, but, can't I import a model made with 3dmax,Maya or Blender into this program just to give the finishing touches like the wood texture?

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