Creating insect wing veins with triplanar

I was in awe when I saw Spork Fu Masters fairy.
Nomad thread
The Wings let me wonder how he did it. Cylinders & scaling moving, he said.
I thought it would be so lovely to have splines for tube generation in nomad. But sometimes it makes sense to have a look on board tools.

The triplanar objects gives some nice result.

  1. Create a triplanar object.
  2. It’s helpful to activate “camera snap” in interface menu.
  3. Choose “Orthographic” in camera menu.
    4 load reference pic and place it in background (attention, pictures with other ratio than 1:1 are gonna be distorted when rotated.)
  4. Move camera and reference till triplanar covers reference.
  5. Play with resolution settings in topology settings to find what is working best for you, and your device. I had divisions and smooth on max, which caused a delay. (iPad Pro 10,5”) Less could have given may be already a good result.
  6. When drawn all veins switch to other triplanar plane and draw one line.
  7. Switch to last left empty plane and fill it with selMask and square tool.


This is just a few minute example, with no clear separation of both wings. This should be better done in two Geometries, I would say.

The only thing I couldn’t figure out was to switch off mirror painting in triplanar masking?


Ok, together with some nice alpha it becomes a game changer.


Really nice!

I removed the symmetry by mistake, it will be added back in the next release.


Cool. I don’t know exactly what you did, but I never had so much fun with shadow box in zBrush. So cool.

I would recommend to do these difficult alphas in a painting app and not in Nomad.

The result is very worth it.

Its cool! But i think u should make a YouTube tutorial on this to make others understand.

It looks great!

Really fun!
This time I drew my alpha in Infinite Painter from reference photo.
The workflow is super easy now. Ok, takes a bit more time than first result, but satisfying. Two objects, one for skeleton, one for wing, both done with triplanar. Skeleton first, duplicate triplanar, lasso for filling wing and a thinner line. And some painting fun. Still missing some painted structure in wing material.

@3Deity Here is a zBrush tutorial but explains all basics.

That’s quite satisfying now.
Don’t you think so? :grinning:



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Thanks for sharing this looks really nice !!

Absolutely lovely!

Wonderful work!

From a Silhouette, only extracted.
Polycount 24k

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