The ZColor plugin is your new color manager for any digital painting tasks. It features a set palette of colors, chosen to best express the mood you wish to create and allowing for consistent results. ZColor files can also be shared with others, helping teams to create a cohesive look across projects.

The plugin is located in the Zplugin palette. Open the ZColor sub-palette and click the ZColor button to launch the interface. The ZColor interface is a floating window and can be kept open and moved about while you work.

File menu

ZColor File menu

File menu

From the File menu you can:

    • Create a New blank swatch set
    • Open a previously saved set
    • Append a set to the current set
    • Import ACO or ASE files
    • Save the current set

The Swatches folder located in the ZBrush 2019\ZStartup\ZPlugs64\ZColorData_2019\ folder contains two example ZColor *.zco files. The file named ID-colors.zco contains colors that are separated numerically, making it suitable for assigning material or color IDs as used in some other programs.

Swatches list

Swatches list

Swatches list

From the Swatches list you can:

    • Select a color from the swatch set by clicking on it
    • Click+drag to move a swatch up or down the list
    • Double+click the text entry to rename a swatch
    • Right+click to Delete a swatch

Below the Swatches list is the Filter. Enter a search term to filter the swatches by name.

Color display

Selected Color

Selected and ZBrush Main Color display

On the right is the color display. The top rectangle shows the ZBrush main color. The bottom rectangle shows the selected color.

    • Click+drag from the selected color rectangle to anywhere on screen to select the color under the cursor.
    • Right+click the selected color to add it as a new swatch to the swatch set

Expert Tip!

As the ZColor interface will stay on top, colors can be picked from programs other than ZBrush.
Note that colors picked from ZBrush are shaded colors. To pick unshaded colors, turn on the Flat Renderer in the Render palette.


On MacOS Catalina, in order to allow ZColor to pick color from anywhere on the screen you need to go to your Mac System Preferences>Security & Privacy>Screen Recording and in the section where it says “Allow the apps below to record the contents of your screen even while using other apps” make sure you check “ZColor.app”.

Set Color

The Set Color button will make the selected color the ZBrush main color.

ZColor Direct mode

Direct mode ON

Direct mode

With Direct mode on, clicking a swatch will immediately make that color the ZBrush main color. Note: Swatches cannot be drag-and-dropped when in Direct mode.

ZColor Fill mode

Fill Object mode ON

Fill Object mode

Fill Object mode: When turned on, the selected subtool is filled with the selected color, as well as setting the main color. This mode will work with Direct mode.

Extended Interface

Click the up-down arrows to show or hide the extended interface.

HSV sliders

– adjust the selected color by adjusting Hue, Saturation or Value.

RGB sliders

– adjust the selected color by adjusting Red, Green or Blue.

#HEX entry

– adjust the select color by entering the HEX value.

Color Selector

ZColor selector

Color Selector

Click and drag the Color Selector to select a color. The color wheel is adjusted from standard RGB to be perceptually balanced.

Color Harmonies

ZColor Harmonies

Color Harmonies

A selection of color harmonies are provided to help with creating color palettes:

    • Analogous
    • Shades
    • Monochromatic
    • Complementary
    • Triadic
    • Split-Complementary

Right+click a harmony row to add it to the swatch set.

Harmony Lock: when the padlock button is turned on, the color harmonies are locked and are not affected by changing the selected color. To select a single color from the harmonies, turn on the lock and click+drag from the selected color display.