The Brush palette

Load Brush

The Load Brush button will load a custom brush into the Brush palette

Save As

Press Save As to save your currently selected brush. Each brush saves all of the settings in the brush palette as well the Stroke Palette, Alpha Palette and several settings in the Preference Palette.


Press Select Icon to capture the canvas and automatically use as the icon for the currently selected brush.

To  choose a new icon by loading a file from disk, hold Alt while pressing this button.  (The ZStartup/BrushPresets folder contains a sample icon PSD file for you to use as a starting point for your own icon.)


Press the Lightbox>Brushes button to get instant access to the Brush section of Lightbox.

Brush selection slider

Use the Brush selection slider to select any item in this palette by number.


Press the R (Restore Configuration) button when a large number of selected items cause this palette to grow too large.
All but a few items will be hidden; they can be retrieved by pressing the large thumbnail and selecting them from the popup palette.


Mesh Insert Preview

Press to select a mesh for use with the mesh insertion operations; only a polymesh may be selected, not primitives. Once a mesh has been selected it will show in the Mesh Insert Preview thumbnail (a cube is shown in the illustration above). Press the thumbnail again to select a different mesh.

MultiMesh Select

When an InsertMultiMesh brush is selected this slider can be used to select an individual insert mesh from the brush.


The Variations slider allows ZBrush to vary selection of the meshes from an Insert Multi Mesh. The slider value will set the total number of Meshes ZBrush will select from. Keep in mind that the current selected mesh will be the starting mesh.

For example, if you have eight meshes in total, including the selected mesh, and you want ZBrush to select from all of them then you should set this slider to 8. A setting of 5 will select from the selected mesh and the following four meshes.

To set the mode for mesh selection adjust the Variations Select Mode slider.

Variations Selector

The Variations Selector slider will set how ZBrush selects the multi meshes when the Variations slider is enabled.

0 = Static Selection
1 = Cycle Forward
2 = Cycle Backwards
3 = Random


Auto Masking


Press Backface Masking when working with thin-edged models. Backface Masking masks areas that are facing away from your sculpting. This will preserve details and form in areas usually not visible to you while sculpting.

Auto Masking - Backface Normals

When Backface Masking is on, then areas of the model facing away from the user will not be affected by sculpting. This can be very useful when, for example, trying to sculpt one surface of a thin model such as a piece of leather. Without BackfaceMask on, any brush radius greater than the thickness of the leather would also affect the opposite side of the leather model. Use the Intensity slider to adjust the effect. The Backface Masking Curve gives you even more control over the effect. Note that this is an AUTOMATIC effect; the mask will not be shown, and it will change dynamically as the shape of the model changes.


When BackfaceMask is on, this slider determines the maximum amount of masking that will be applied to auto-masked areas of the model.


Backface masking operates by automasking vertices depending on the angle they make away from the user. The default BackMaskCurve works well for the standard case where the goal is to ensure that sculpting does not ‘leak through’ to the other side of a thin model. However, by changing the curve, you can affect how strongly masking is applied to vertices, as a function of how much the vertices’ normals point away from the user. For example, flattening sections of this curve allows you to produce stairsteps in your sculpting, as ranges of angles will then be masked by the same amount.