Thumbnail or Silhouette View

Visualize a model’s thumbnail or silhouette in the ZBrush canvas

Being able to clearly visualize a model’s thumbnail or silhouette is essential for mak­ing refinements while designing in 3D, as well as for visualizing new shapes.
Thumbnail view is a small window located at the top left of the ZBrush canvas that allows you to view a mirrored thumbnail image of the model with its selected colors and materials, or to optionally use a Silhouette Mode to view the pure forms.

Thumbnail View at top left of image

Thumbnail in Silhouette Mode at top left of image

How Thumbnail Works

Draws a thumbnail window at the top left of the ZBrush canvas. This view uses the same dimensions as the ZBrush document. As you rotate and move the model around the canvas, the Thumbnail View model will update in real-time.
The Thumbnail View will have Silhouette Mode enabled by default. This assigns a black silhouette to the model, with a white background. This mode’s purpose is to let you see how the model’s overall shape reads, without any surface details getting in the way.
When Silhouette Mode is disabled, Thumbnail View will simply displays a miniature version of the model, complete with whichever colors and materials are currently as­signed to it, placed against a white background. This mode is especially useful for see­ing how the model’s details read from a distance.

Thumbnail Functions

All thumbnail settings can be found in the Preferences >> Thumbnail sub-palette.


Turns Thumbnail view on or off

Silhouette Mode

Turns Silhouette Mode on or off. When Silhouette mode is off, Thumbnail View will switch to using color and materials.

Size Slider

Controls the size of the thumbnail view.

Magnify Slider

Increases the pixel zoom in the thumbnail view.

Export Thumbnail

Exports the thumbnail view.


Imports an image into the background of the silhouette allowing for silhouette match­ing to reference.


Controls the background color of the view.


If you are using Silhouette Mode, click and drag the background color to pick from the color palette. This will automatically adjust the color of the model and the background as complemen­tary color tones.

Thumbnail Hotkeys

Thumbnail Magnify

Shift + click + drag thumbnail window to adjust magnification.

Import Thumbnail Background Image

Click once on thumbnail view to open the texture import window. In this view an im­age can be imported and will be assigned to the thumbnail view background.

Move/Pan Thumbnail Background Image

Alt + drag on thumbnail background to pan/move the image.

Scale Thumbnail Background Image

Alt + drag, while holding cursor down, let go of Alt key to enter image scale mode.

Assign Document Snapshot to Thumbnail Background

Ctrl + click on thumbnail view to take a snapshot of the ZBrush canvas and assign as a background to thumbnail view.