With over 30 startup brushes to sculpt with and the ability to create an endless assortment of your own custom brushes, it’s easy to see why sculpting in ZBrush is not only powerful but incredibly easy as well. The wide range of brushes were created with real world sculpting techniques in mind and the natural feel you get when sculpting millions of polygons is as if you were working with a real pices of clay, or wood, or stone.
SubTools permit a single model to be treated as many independent objects. SubTools increase the number of polygons you can work with by allowing each SubTool to have as many polygons as your system can handle. For example, if your system can handle 8 million polygons for one SubTool you can have a model equal to 32 million polygons by having 4 SubTools of 8 million polygons each.
ZBrush 2019 introduced SubTool Folders. Far more than an organizational tool, this feature also makes it possible to apply actions to all contained meshes at once such as Move, Scale, Rotate, Duplicate, Delete, Hide/Show PolyPaint, Live Boolean and more.
Layers allow for a non-linear workflow. Artists are able to work with a model at many different stages of development simultaneously. Artists can add details such as a reptile’s skin scales then turn those details off and refine the major forms underlying them. If a director is calling for more damage on a piece of armor simply dial up the intensity of that layer. If you want to see that same mesh with out any damage at all just turn that layer off.
Surface Noise and NoiseMaker
Surface Noise gives you control over the look and feel of your 3D surfaces. You can apply a rich variety of noise types directly to any surfaces regardless of polycount while maintaining the strength, size, and color of the noise you want to work with.
Surface Noise gives you the ability to create looks that would be impossible or too time consuming to model. You can apply noise to your whole model or only to the selected areas. Creating rusted metal, stucco, chipped paint, battle damage and more is just a click away with Surface Noise.
The NoiseMaker plugin adds more power to Surface Noise creation with a wide variety of parametric generators. Take the surface detail of your models further with camouflage, scales, hex tiles and more inside this powerful enhancement. Use NoiseMaker to affect sculptural changes too. When using NoiseMaker in conjunction with features like masking and alphas, the possibilities are endless. Load images to be applied as alphas inside the surface noise maker preview window. Gain an unparalleled level of refinement, and generate surface texture in a fraction of the time.
Creating realistic poses to abstract deformations has never been so easy. Transpose lets you quickly isolate parts of your model which can then be deformed, positioned, scaled and rotated with incredible accuracy. No need for complicated rigging or tedious painting of weights, just select and pose! Achieve realistic muscle deformation as you bend a limb into a flexed position, then quickly return your geometry back to its original position. Transpose gives you the freedom to explore 3D sculpture in a new and natural way.
Vector Displacement Mesh
Expand your Alpha arsenal with a new library of Vector Displacement Meshes (VDM). These are 3D sculpts used as brush building blocks that will allow undercutting when drawing on a model’s surface. As an example, you can draw a nose complete with nostrils in a single brush stroke. Or an ear with complete front and back sides. Or a bent finger, scales with a raised angle or even an open mouth. All of this without lost depth or detail.
Vector Displacement Mesh creates real overhangs as you sculpt. Push the details of your model with precise placement on sculpts with millions of polygons.
Convert any sculpture or shape into a 2D alpha with the click of a button. Once the shape or sculpture has been captured, you can reposition, adjust, or even rotate the alpha to any axis. It’s a fast and interactive way to create uniquely different alphas for surface sculpting.
Similar to the Insert Multi Mesh (IMM) brushes, the new Multi Vector Displacement Mesh system allows you to build custom brushes with a variety of vector displacement meshes and switch between them on the fly.
Not only can a brush chisel into the surface to create overhangs, complex objects can be drawn – complete with back surfaces – in a single brush stroke. Imagine being able to texture a dragon with overlapping scales, or draw a fully formed ear without needing to re-sculpt it for every model.
Lazy Mouse 2.0
Our Lazy Mouse system was designed to draw with smooth, precisely controlled strokes. Now an artist can guide any stroke’s angle and length before applying the result to the surface. You can even keep a stroke on a consistent elevation level with no buildup when the stroke path crosses back over itself.
Ever want to apply a pattern continuously around a sculpt without any break in the design? The new LazySnap addition to Lazy Mouse makes it possible to start a stroke, stop to rotate the model, then continue the brush stroke from where you left off without breaking any pattern associated with the brush.
The deformations features inside ZBrush allow you to easily apply twist, stretch, bend, and a variety of other unique changes to any 3D mesh. with over 20 powerful deformation types that can be applied in any axis, you have the ability to create advanced shapes with just a few clicks. By using the power of ZBrush to deform millions of polygons with ease, you don’t have to worry about how complex the shape you want may be. Just deform it any way you like!
HD Geometry is the next evolution in digital sculpting. With the ability to divide your model up to a billion polygons, now your limits are based only on what you can imagine. You can focus your attention on specific area of your 3D creation while ZBrush handles the rest of your model in a very system friendly way. This is why you can achieve a billion polygons without having to worry about purchasing expensive graphics hardware. ZBrush’s powerful memory handling allows you to sculpt with out limits!
With ZBrush 4R3 your models will benefit from having real sculpted geometry, and exportable hair and fur! With this amazing new feature, you can even grow plants, weeds, shrubs and other amazing environment details. Simply mask an area to define where the fibers will grow. Use the various FiberMesh features to quickly define your look. Best of all, you can even use Polypaint information to generate a wide range of colored fibers.
MicroMesh will allow for ZBrush’s rendering system to replace a generated FiberMesh, or a models individual polygons with any other 3d mesh. That being said, you can already start to imagine the creative potential at hand. This new feature will no doubt open doors to previously undoable operations and design elements. Now you can “grow” complex plants with the help of FiberMesh or place real scales on your creatures.
Instances and Details
With the NanoMesh and Array Mesh features, you as the artist can bring more complexity and detail to your work while still maintaining a low polygon count. Both NanoMesh and ArrayMmesh will allow for multiple instances of any object to be created and then adjusted in a matter of seconds.
Cloth is one of the most difficult things to create in 3D. The folds and the way the cloth lies on a surface can challenge all of an artist’s ingenuity and talent. But with cloth simulation and dynamic collision detection the process is made a whole lot easier. The ability to control the effect by running a simulation that can be stopped and restarted at any time, or alternatively by using the new cloth brushes to affect the result directly, makes the whole process easy and fun.
- Read more about Cloth Simulation here.