2D and 3D navigation

As explained in the introduction, ZBrush mixes both 2D and 3D; as a result it has both 2D navigation and 3D navigation.

On the top right of the default ZBrush user interface you will find the 2D navigation, which is close to what you will find in photo and other image editing software:

  • Scroll: Click and drag on this icon to pan across your document.
  • Zoom: Click and drag on this icon to magnify in and out your document interactively like in other 2D editing packages. Note: some beginners use

this tool to zoom in 3D, which is not its purpose. At high zoom the pixels of the document are very visible.

  • Actual: Click on this icon to returns the canvas to its actual size, or 100% magnification.
  • AAHalf Mode: When this icon is pressed, it sets the zoom factor for the canvas to exactly 0.5, or 50%. ZBrush treats this scale factor in a special manner; when the zoom factor is exactly 50%, the canvas contents are antialiased which reduces the “jagged” effect that can appear along edges in a computer-generated image. Many artists create their documents at twice the desired export size, then activate AAHalf before exporting the rendered image.

ZBrush also has a Best Preview Render (BPR) mode that does not need AAHalf and produces spectacular effects like SubSurface Scattering and ambient occlusion. See the BPR page or more information on this powerful feature.

Underneath these buttons and those for perspective and grid display, you will find the 3D navigation buttons. Some of them are just modes while others are direct actions. They will only be active when a model is in Edit mode.

  • XYZ Rotation mode (on by default): When set, rotation of the object is unconstrained so that it can be quickly spun on any axis.
  • Y or Z Rotation mode: When set, moving the mouse horizontally will cause rotation only around the model’s Y or Z axis. Moving the mouse vertically will cause the object to be rotated around the screen’s horizontal axis. This makes it easy to rotate around the model’s Y or Z axis, while still giving flexibility in positioning the model.
  • Frame: When this icon is pressed, ZBrush will scale the current Tool in order to make it fit the viewport space. The shortcut is F.
  • Move: Click and drag on this icon to move your 3D model inside the document. This operation is similar to a 3D pan in other 3D software.
  • Scale: Click and drag up or down on this icon to resize the model within the viewport. This allows you to show the whole model at once or two scale

it higher so that you can get a good view of fine details. This operation is similar to moving the camera closer to or farther from your object in other 3D software.

  • Rotate: Click and drag on this icon to rotate your 3D model inside the document. This operation is similar to orbiting the camera or point of view around an object in another software. It won’t affect the real rotation value of the vertices of the model (the model’s local coordinate system). When doing a rotation, you can press the Shift key to do 90° constraints.