ZBrush sets the industry standard for digital sculpting and painting. Its features enable you to use customizable brushes to shape, texture and paint virtual clay in a real-time environment that provides instant feedback. When you use ZBrush you’ll be empowered by the same tools employed by film studios, game developers, toy/collectible makers, jewelry designers, automotive/aviation designers, illustrators, advertisers, scientists and other artists the world over. In fact, we have even received an Academy Award for the technology that powers ZBrush.
In short, ZBrush is an art tool created by artists, for artists. It allows you to create models and illustrations limited only by your imagination, at a speed that allows you to stand out in today’s fast paced industry.
As with anything else in life, where you can go is usually determined by where you begin. Having a great finished model requires a quality base mesh. ZBrush provides an arsenal of tools to assist with this task, ensuring that no matter what you have in mind, there is a way to get the perfect base to then take to the next level. The best known of these systems are explained here.
DynaMesh is a perfect solution for free-form sculpting because it removes all need for focusing on topological constraints. Change the overall shape of the model by pushing or pulling, adding various pieces of geometry to combine into one, or even remove geometry in a manner similar to what can be done with Boolean operations. Where Sculptris Pro dynamically adjusts the triangles in your mesh as you sculpt, DynaMesh redistributes the model’s polygons as quads on command.LEARN MORE
While ZBrush is best known for organic sculpting, its hard surface capabilities should not be underestimated. The ZModeler system is designed specifically for low poly modeling with easily accessed and highly intuitive controls for creating holes, adding edge loops, extruding polygons and much more.LEARN MORE
Many models are really nothing more than a set of shapes that combine to form a more detailed shape. Live Boolean takes this concept and runs with it, providing a way to easily add models together, subtract one from another and more. What makes the system in ZBrush unique is that this operation happens in real-time, letting you see exactly what you’re going to get before committing to the actual merger. This provides both exceptional ease of use and unprecedented control.GET STARTED
If you’ve ever added clay to a wire armature then you know exactly how ZSpheres work. Draw a simple skeleton/stick figure and ZBrush will then flesh it out with actual topology.LEARN MORE
An evolution to ZSpheres is the Mannequin system. With a wide variety of both humanoid and animal figures in the library, Mannequins are an easy starting point as you explore the scene that you wish to create, before even beginning modeling.
As you have read through the features listed above you may have found yourself wondering about the kind of topology that is created. The beauty of ZBrush is that you don’t need to worry about that! Feel free to explore and just let your imagination take you where it wants with the knowledge that once you have your design ZBrush can nearly instantly convert its polygons into a usable base mesh with clean edge loops and polygon flow.
Whether created in ZBrush or imported from elsewhere, once you have your base mesh it is time to start detailing. ZBrush features a robust suite of tools to accomplish this. Those listed below are just the tip of the iceberg.
DynaMesh is a perfect solution for free-form sculpting because it removes all need for focusing on topological constraints. Change the overall shape of the model by pushing or pulling, adding various pieces of geometry to combine into one, or even remove geometry in a manner similar to what can be done with Boolean operations. Where Sculptris Pro dynamically adjusts the triangles in your mesh as you sculpt, DynaMesh redistributes the model’s polygons as quads on command.USER GUIDE
The main workflow for creating with ZBrush is based on a system of brushes which can also be modulated using pen pressure from a graphics tablet. ZBrush will reproduce the natural feeling of a real paint brush or sculpting tool, using the pressure applied to the pen tip to transform your digital stroke in a variety of ways. There are brushes to pinch, move, build up the surface, chisel into it, slice through the model and much more. You can even use other 3D models as brushes, inserting their geometry into your surface.LEARN MORE
Además de poder agregar detalles a mano, ZBrush proporciona un sistema para generar detalles de superficie de manera procedimental a través de patrones de ruido. Elija un tipo de detalle, ajuste algunos parámetros simples, luego aplique ese patrón a su modelo en su totalidad o restringiéndolo a una determinada región. Incluso puede combinar diferentes tipos de ruido para crear efectos altamente complejos. El sistema Noise es ideal tanto para trabajos de superficies duras como para detalles orgánicos.EMPEZAR
ZBrush is easily able to handle models in the range of 20 million polygons on most computers, and up to 100 million on a high end machine. That is more detail than can be held by an 8K map. But sometimes you want even more, and this is where HD Geometry comes into play. With this feature, ZBrush can work with models of up to 1 billion polygons. Let your imagination run wild!START LEARNING
Because ZBrush works with tens of millions of polygons in real-time, you can paint directly on the surface of the model without first assigning a texture map or UV’s. This offers significant advantages compared to a standard workflow. The resolution of the texture map does not need to be decided in advance. This is particularly valuable if you find you need more detailing on an area than you thought you would. Instead of repainting a new, larger texture map you can simply transfer the existing surface detail to that larger map without any reworking. You don’t even need to do UV unwrapping before you begin this painting. In fact, thanks to the way that ZBrush can project details (both sculpted and painted) from one model to another you can have a fully painted model before you even have a finalized animation mesh. Instead, you can copy everything to the final base mesh once it has been signed off on.
In order create or use a texture map, a model first needs UV’s. These are 2D coordinates that tell all 3D applications how to apply a texture to your model. With most programs, creating those UV’s has been a time consuming challenge that requires a high level of technical expertise and has little room for creativity. With UV Master you are able to create very efficient UV’s for your model – in most cases with a single click. If you need more control over this automatic process there are features that refine where seams will be placed or increase the amount of pixel space given to certain regions of your model. It’s both intuitive and fast, letting you get back to being creative with minimal fuss.
Whether you are using ZBrush by itself as an illustration tool or as part of a production pipeline for animation, you will at some point want to show your work to others. ZBrush makes this possible through a powerful rendering system called BPR (Best Preview Render).
Use your favorite panoramic images as a background in ZBrush and integrate your model into the environment’s lighting and coloring at render time. Whether your image is 8-bit or full HDRI, using it as an environment is one click away.USER GUIDE
ZBrush has a wide variety of filters that can be added to a scene after it has been rendered, changing the way that the image looks without needing to wait for another render. All of these filters can be mixed and matched, instantly adjusting your rendered image without needing to use an external image editor. Adjust sharpness, depth of field, shadow colors and much more.GET STARTED
ZBrush has a wide variety of filters that can be added to a scene after it has been rendered, changing the way that the image looks without needing to wait for another render. All of these filters can be mixed and matched, instantly adjusting your rendered image without needing to use an external image editor. Adjust sharpness, depth of field, shadow colors and much more.SEE IT IN ACTION
An evolution of the BPR Filter system, NPR is a suite of special filters designed specifically to make your render look less like a photograph and more like an illustration. With this system your model can look like it was hand-drawn on paper, taken right off the page of a comic, or even appear as a blueprint.LEARN MORE
While ZBrush is able to be used from start to finish, in most cases it serves as part of a pipeline. This means that you’ll need to be able to get all of your details out of ZBrush and into another program, such as an animation package. To accomplish this, ZBrush makes it easy to create normal maps and or displacement maps (including 32-bit maps) which can be exported together with your base mesh. For this reason, ZBrush is THE go-to application for detailing models in today’s pipelines.USER GUIDE
ZBrush is not only a software, it is also one of the largest communities of artists gathered around any 3D software. Join ZBrushCentral.com and become part of the community. See other people’s works, discover new techniques, find inspiration, have your ZBrush usage questions answered, and of course post your own artwork.
Pixologic also organizes community events with its international ZBrush Summit (held annually in Los Angeles), ZBrushMerge in Japan, ZBrushLIVE seminars and user gatherings. Most of the live events are streamed globally and also recorded for later viewing, allowing you to be part of it no matter where you are located.
ZBrush also has its own official Facebook group, YouTube channel, Twitter and Instagram.
ZBrush is available for both Windows and MacOS platforms, and the licensing is dual platform so you can run on both or change between them at any time.
Thanks to its processor-based engine, ZBrush runs well on most modern computers regardless of their graphics cards.
A graphics tablet (such as from Wacom) is strongly recommended. It will give you more control and easier interaction.
Full system requirements can be found here. Be sure to read the entire page, as there is information at the bottom which is meant to help you better understand the reasons for the requirements as written.