Data Types

Supported and Non-Supported ZBrush Data Types

The KeyShot for ZBrush Bridge allows you to produce high quality renders in a single click without the need for converting your models to a specific type of file. KeyShot will not only render your geometry, but also many of ZBrush’s proprietary functions like ZSpheres and ZSketch.

This list gives a quick rundown of the information types that are supported and not supported, along with various notes:


Geometry and Meshes

  • Geometry with or without UV’s: All of your 3D models displayed in ZBrush in Edit mode can be sent to KeyShot without restriction.
  • Geometry HD: This specific sculpting mode isn’t supported by the Bridge. Geometry HD supports up to 1 billion polygons, which is well beyond the capabilities of KeyShot.
  • ZSphere, ZSketch, Primitives: These procedural geometries (i.e., non-PolyMesh3D) can be sent to KeyShot and will appear as they do in ZBrush without the need to convert them to PolyMesh3D objects via Adaptive or Unified Skinning.
  • Partial visibility (hiding part of a mesh): Partially visible meshes are sent to KeyShot as they are displayed within ZBrush.
  • SubTools: All visible SubTools are sent to KeyShot. The selected SubTool will also always be sent, even if it is flagged as invisible.
  • FiberMesh: The FiberMesh feature is fully supported, from preview mode to generated FiberMesh.
  • MicroMesh: If MicroMesh mode is enabled in the Render properties of ZBrush, instances are sent to KeyShot as geometry.
  • NanoMesh: The different NanoMesh layers applied to a model will be exported to KeyShot as separate geometry.
  • Surface Noise: This feature is fully supported in KeyShot and is equivalent to what you would have with the traditional BPR render. Noise is converted to real geometry without any action being required from you.


Color, Textures and Materials

  • PolyPainting: KeyShot supports ZBrush PolyPaint. Models will keep their PolyPaint when applying different KeyShot materials as long as those materials support vertex shading
  • .

  • Color Textures: KeyShot supports the color texture applied on a mesh via its UVW coordinates. The user can keep the texture when applying different KeyShot materials as long as those materials support textures.
  • Normal Maps, Displacement Maps and Vector Displacement Maps: None of these maps are currently supported. KeyShot can easily handle the high resolution geometry generated by ZBrush, so using such maps would only increase render time while actually reducing render quality. In effect, these maps are useless for KeyShot renders.
  • Materials and MatCap: ZBrush materials — whether they are classic materials or MatCaps — are fully interpolated to KeyShot. Most of this information is transferred via a texture, which means that you won’t be able to tweak the material in KeyShot like you could do in ZBrush. However, what you see in ZBrush will be what you can expect to see in KeyShot.


Environmental Data

  • ZBrush Lights: The lights set in the Light palette are not supported in KeyShot.
  • LightCap: This is not directly supported. The effect of any LightCap is con­verted to be a part of the the ZBrush Material in KeyShot. This means that your material will look the same there, but if you change materials in KeyShot the LightCap “result” will be lost.
  • Background color: The ZBrush background color defined in the Document>Back color is supported by setting Environment>Background in KeyShot to “Color.”
  • Background image: Background images loaded in ZBrush are not transferred to KeyShot.



  • ZBrush camera: ZBrush uses a 2.5D camera while KeyShot uses a fully 3D camera. As a result, when going to KeyShot it is not possible to preserve the model’s position relative to the ZBrush camera.
  • References images and Grids: Neither feature is supported by KeyShot.
  • Grid level: The grid level (defined by Draw >> Elv (Elevation Grid)) isn’t supported in KeyShot.