Other Additions & Changes

Other Additions and Changes

This section lists the various additions added in ZBrush 4R8 or changed since ZBrush 4R7 which are not covered elsewhere in this documentation.


Changes in the Default User Interface

The ZBrush default style has been updated with a “flat” design style. The default fonts have been replaced, using the Noto font from Google which is needed by the lo­calization system.
Some other functions have been added and replaced in the User Interface:

  • Projection Master button has been removed from the default layout but can be still found in ZPlugin >> Projection Master.
  • QuickSketch button has been removed from the default layout but can be still found in ZPlugin >> Quick Sketch
  • The 2D navigation buttons have been removed from the default UI but can still be found in the Document palette.
  • The HomePage button has been added where the Projection Master button was previously located. It will open the Home Page news system.
  • The Live Boolean Mode has been added where the QuickSketch button was previously located. This mode enables the real-time display of the Boolean operations.


Resizing of the UI

It is now possible to rescale both the ZBrush UI and the text found in the buttons and sliders. This is done by changing the Preferences >> Interface >> UI >> Buttons Size slider.

The default value is set to 48 and will fit most screen resolutions. On a low resolution screen, you can reduce this value to around 42.


Note: The Button Size slider doesn’t affect the size of the icons found in some buttons.


Home Page News System

The Home Page News system is a window that opens at each launch of ZBrush to display the latest news from Pixologic. This includes new ZBrush updates, new training videos, events, live streaming broadcasts and much more.

You can switch between each slide as you would in any website. Clicking on the buttons will open a new page in your default web browser.

As previously mentioned, the Home Page will appear at each ZBrush launch. How­ever, you may set it to only open when new information is available. To do this, click the small gear icon at the top right of the floating window and change the preference to “Show if news updated.”


The Home Page system, which opens in front of the ZBrush interface at launch. Notice the gear icon to access its settings.



The Alpha >> Streak sliders create random streaks simulating brush bristles. Modify­ing these modifiers gives an effect to alphas that is similar to a motion blur.


The Alpha Streak setting in action.



  • All creation and inventory functions for brush mesh content (Create, Copy Paste, Delete, etc.) are now grouped in the Brush >> Create sub-palette.
  • An Adaptive Map Size slider has been added to the Brush >> Alpha and Texture sub-palette. This allows for automatic MIP-mapping to be used to dynamically adjust the alpha or texture resolution for the size of the brush.
  • A Magnify Curve has been added to the Brush >> Alpha and Texture palette along with its associated Low and Hight Magnify sliders. This lets you apply a magnification effect to the current Alpha.
  • The Alpha >> Alpha and Texture >> Align to Path slider evaluates the orientation of the Alpha during a stroke. Increasing the value will increase the accuracy of the orientation along the path.
  • It is now possible to reset the current brush by clicking Brush >> Reset Current Brush (found at the end of the Brush palette).
  • The Brush popup (B Hotkey) has new shortcuts to useful functions like Reset Current Brush.
  • The icons for multi-content brushes show the number of sub-meshes/alphas included in the brush.
  • Morph targets will be ignored when the Brush >> Modifiers >> Fast Samples mode is on.



  • The Tool >> Deformation >> Relax Plane to Grid deformer only works when the model is based on a grid pattern. By increasing the value, the function will relax the topology while trying as much as possible to keep the shape of the geometry unchanged. This function is mainly used when creating Vector Displacement Meshes which are based on a grid. Please refer to the Alpha 3D chapter for more information.
  • The Tool >> Deformation >> Morph to Grid function only works when the model is based on a grid pattern. By increasing the value, the function will morph the deformed grid to a perfect flat grid shape. This function is mainly used when creating Vector Displacement Meshes which need to have clean borders. Com­bined with a mask protecting everything but the boundaries, you can make them perfectly square and aligned to a perfect grid shape. Please refer to the Alpha 3D chapter for more information.



  • All the Mask brushes except Pen-based ones automatically inverse the masking action if no masking already exist. As an example, if you do a negative mask (CTRL+ALT) with a Mask Lasso brush on a model which doesn’t already have a mask then everything will be masked except the part selected by the lasso. This new behavior saves steps by avoiding the need to create a mask and then invert it to create a selection.



  • The ZSphere Adaptive skin has a new behavior as it will by default create a DynaMesh model when previewing it. For this reason, a DynaMesh resolution slider has been added to the Tool >> Adaptive Skin sub-palette when a ZSphere model has been selected. When set to 0, the classic Adaptive Skin will be used. Internally, ZBrush creates the default Adaptive Skin preview and then converts it to a DynaMesh. If you want smoother surfaces even if your DynaMesh Resolution is high, increase the Adaptive Skin slider.

On the left, the original ZSphere model. On the right, the Adaptive Skin previewed as a DynaMesh model.



  • DynaMesh has a new sub-projection algorithm which produces better results by locally adding polygons if needed. This process is done through multiple itera­tions which you can stop at any time by pressing the ESC key. The longer you wait, the more accurate the projection will be.
  • Projection mode is turned off by default.



  • The behavior of some functions has been changed when they are used to cre­ate new SubTools. Duplicate SubTool, FiberMesh creation, Mesh Extract cre­ation, or pasting a SubTool will automatically select the new objects.
  • The SubTool visibility switches behavior has been modified to only affect the entire list of SubTools when holding the Shift key while clicking on an eye icon. Before 4R8, only a click was necessary, leading to unwanted visibility changes.



  • GoZ for Maya 2015, 2016, 2016.5 and 2017 has been updated to support the most recent version of Maya. It also adds new features:
    • PolyPaint support to Maya.
    • All PolyGroups will be sent as selection sets.
    • GoZ can use Maya Selection Sets to create PolyGroups for ZBrush and vice versa.
    • Texture files will now be sent from Maya to ZBrush.
    • Increased speed: up to 10x faster on heavy meshes.
    • Maya NGons are correctly tessellated and exported into ZBrush
    • GoZ Maya will no longer look for the Mental Ray renderer.
  • GoZ for Modo has been removed. It is now supported be the Foundry rather than by Pixologic. To download GoZ for Modo, connect to your Foundry account and download the installer from there.



  • “Open File” allows you to browse your system’s folder to open a Tool (.ZTL), Project (.ZPR), .OBJ or.GoZ file without the need to select the corresponding Open/Load button in the associated palette.
  • The “Recent” category displays the latest files that you have loaded, regardless of their file types.
  • “Go to Folder” opens the location of the currently selected file while staying within LightBox. It is especially useful when you are in the “Recent” category and want to navigate to the selected file folder.
  • The bottom of the LightBox window displays the computer’s path to the cur­rently selected item, which can be useful at times.
  • Folder content thumbnails



  • The Maximum distance for the LazyMouse has been increased from 100 to 200.
  • ZBrush now supports larger file sizes, with up to 4 GB of 3D mesh data per SubTool. This does not include other data such as Undo History, textures, etc. This means that a ZTL or ZPR file can be more than 4 GB without the risk of corruption.
  • All functions that modify topology in real-time will force PolyFrame display, allowing you to preview the way the modification affects the mesh geometry.
  • LightBox folders now have a preview displaying thumbnails of the included files.
  • SubTool >> Project All better handles subtractive meshes.
  • When using Tool >> Make PolyMesh3D, any symmetry settings applied to the original mesh or ZSpheres will be carried over to the new model.
  • Import of RGB EXR files with short floats is now possible.
  • Shift+clicking the Tool >> PolyPaint >> Polypaint From Texture function will automatically adjust the X and Y sizes of the mesh to be the same ratio as the X and Y dimensions of the selected texture. This is convenient if you want to apply a texture to a grid without having a stretched image.
  • NanoMesh has been added to the animation Timeline to allow these values to be animated while recording a Timeline movie.
  • 360° background images loaded in Light >> Background can now be blurred.
  • A Quick Grid has been added to the Tool >> Initialize sub-palette, supplementing the existing QuickCube, Sphere and Cylinder.
  • The Focal Shift slider applies a full-strength value to the brush when set to -100.