Pixologic ZBrush v4R6

Pixologic ZBrush
Inspire artistic expression and maximize your design process with enhanced brushes, masking capabilities, and Polygrouping functions in ZBrush 4R6

With each version of ZBrush we strive to include additions and enhancements that help you optimize your creativity. ZBrush 4R6 includes usability upgrades including Dynamic Brush Size control, Mouse Wheel support, Quick/Auto Save functions and much more. With ZBrush4R6, you’ll gain the ability to generate cleaner topology faster than ever before. Combine the new Panel Loops with the power of QRemesher (released earlier this year in ZBrush 4R4) and the possibilities for creating complex and efficient parts become endless. ZBrush 4R6 also includes powerful rendering enhancements, including a Posterization setting which creates illustration effects similar to a Photoshop painting.

Highlights

Our latest additions are designed to simplify the process of modifying and controlling basic topology. Build optimized base meshes with increased complexity faster and more efficiently with our Loops functions and Polygrouping features. Couple these features with the QRemesher and you get a design solution adapted to your artistic needs. 

ZBrush Overview

ZBrush is a digital sculpting and painting program that has revolutionized the 3D industry with its powerful features and intuitive workflows. Built within an elegant interface, ZBrush offers the world’s most advanced tools for today’s digital artists. With an arsenal of features that have been developed with usability in mind, ZBrush creates a user experience that feels incredibly natural while simultaneously inspiring the artist within. With the ability to sculpt up to a billion polygons, ZBrush allows you to create limited only by your imagination.

Designed around a principle of circularity, the menus in ZBrush work together in a non-linear and mode-free method. This facilitates the interaction of 3D models, 2D images and 2.5D Pixols in new and unique ways.

ZBrush gives you all of the tools needed to quickly sketch out a 2D or 3D concept and then take that idea all the way to completion. You can create realistic renders directly in ZBrush with lighting and atmospheric effects. With the many powerful export options, you can easily prepare your model for 3D printing or use within any other digital application.

Because ZBrush users are enabled by its powerful software processing, you can sculpt and paint with millions of polygons with out having to worry about purchasing expensive graphics cards. It is for this reason why ZBrush is used by everyone from art enthusiast to major film and games studios.

Leave technical hurdles and steep learning curves behind, as you sculpt and paint with familiar brushes and tools. Download a full trial today and see why ZBrush is a tool created by artists for artists.

Panel Loops

With Panel Loops you can convert your model’s PolyGroups into panels of polygons with or without thickness, or even as extruded surfaces. The edges of these panels are created with a custom bevel around them defined by an editable curve. This is a great companion to ZBrush’s existing Mesh Extract feature, providing advanced control over the final result. Borders will have clean polygons loops even on low resolution models. They can have inner or outer panels (or both) and can be created as an extrusion from the original surface or as entirely separate pieces.

Panel Loops are a remarkably fast way to create armor, machined surfaces or anything else where a panel shape is called for in your hard surface sculpting or product design. And because they are derived from your model’s PolyGroups you can take advantage of ZBrush’s many auto-grouping features to quickly and intelligently break your model into these paneled segments.

Delete Loops

The new Delete Loops command analyzes your model’s topology based on a user-defined angle setting. With a single click it removes all unnecessary edge loops – polygons that don’t contribute to the shape of the model. Not only is this a blessing for artists who must work within a polygon budget (such as game designers), it also allows you to push your high resolution sculpting farther. After all, unnecessary polygons add up quickly when you subdivide your model several times!

Incidentally, pushing the limits of the Delete Loops settings can be an interesting way to quickly explore alternate designs by producing original models derived from the original polygon structure.

Align Loops

A companion to the Delete Loops feature, Align Loops uses the same settings but doesn’t actually remove any polygons. Instead it moves them to what you would get if you’d used the Delete Loops function. In this way you can push the settings to their extremes in a non-destructive manner and quickly explore new directions. 

PolyGroups

As mentioned above, the new Panel Loop feature is the newest in a series of functions that work from your model’s PolyGroups. To that end, ZBrush 4R6 provides even more features for quickly and accurately assigning PolyGroups to your model. The new Merge Stray Groups function lets you “clean” the results of ZBrush’s automatic PolyGroup creation tools such as PolyGroups from PolyPaint.

You can also now automatically create PolyGroups based upon Surface Normals.

Creasing can be added to a surface or removed from it based upon PolyGroup edges alone. This ignores creases that are elsewhere on the model, running through the middle of the PolyGroups. 

Polish by Feature

The Deformation sub-palette now has Relax options including Polish by Feature, which intelligently improves your mesh’s shape without sacrificing volume. It produces beautiful by analyzing the model’s PolyGroups, creasing and split areas.

Improved Frame Mesh

The Curves Frame Mesh option can now create curves based on the model's PolyGroups, creased edges or outline. These curves can then be used with any of the curve-based sculpting brushes like Curve Multi Tube or even QRemesher Guides.

Posterize

ZBrush 4R6 puts Cell shading at your fingertips with new Posterize render features. Give your models a new look with full control over gradients and steps in real time!

Posterization in ZBrush 4R6 is computed in different ways depending on your needs. You can use it in 3D and build your desired effect directly onto your model, or it can be applied as a 2D effect to your renders in conjunction with BPR (Best Preview Render) filters. By applying Posterization to your model in 3D, you’ll expand the shape and depth dynamics of your image.

Taking this concept further, BPR Posterization can dynamically unify your model with a background image. This means you can use photos and integrate your 3D models with even more accuracy and still retain an interesting Posterization effect that stays uniform throughout your composition.

Usability Improvments and More

Quicksave

Saving your work has been streamlined with the addition of Quick Save. This feature supplements your regular saves by creating uniquely named backups which can be made with or without the Project History. Each time a QuickSave is called for, it creates a new project with incremental numbering. By default, ZBrush will cycle between ten QuickSaves but you can change it through the Preferences settings to as many as one hundred!

Auto Save

If you have ever become so focused on creating that you’ve lost track of time and forgotten to save your work (and who hasn’t had this happen?) you will appreciate the new Auto Save feature! If you step away from your computer or switch to another application for a few minutes, ZBrush will add a new QuickSave to the existing series. This turns QuickSave into an Auto Save process!

This feature isn’t limited to inactivity either. You can also set ZBrush to automatically perform a QuickSave after a specified amount of time has passed since your last save. This gives you total freedom to save when you wish, but also security for those times when you simply forget.

See-Through Mode

Sometimes as you work you might find yourself searching for reference images on the internet or maybe referring to an image already loaded into another program. Or maybe you’ll be working through an online tutorial and don’t want to constantly switch back and forth between ZBrush and the instructions. Whatever your reasons, the new See-Through option lets you make the entire ZBrush window partially transparent so that you can see what’s in the other windows behind it.

You can now save time by skipping the need to switch between windows, print stuff out or even load reference images into ZBrush to be able to work against them!

Mouse Wheel Support

Scrolling your mouse wheel up or down can now be assigned to any slider in place of a hotkey. Simply assign the hotkey like you normally would but scroll the mouse wheel instead of pressing a key.

Switching Between the Mask and Selection Brushes

To improve your workflow when using the Selection and Masking brushes, you can now use the Ctrl/Cmd key to between the various Selection and Masking brushes without the need to cancel your current stroke.

Dynamic Brush Size

Makes it possible for the brush size to dynamically change as the model moves closer or further away from the camera. This becomes extremely helpful when sculpting items such as bolts, alpha pattern, scales, and etc. No matter the distance the model is from the camera the bolt, alpha pattern and scales will remain the same size due to the brush dynamically changing.


Features in 4R6

  •  ZBrush 4R6 continues to improve and enhance ZBrush functionality by giving you access to an enriched toolset of new features which will increase your creativity and productivity. The new ZRemesher provides entirely rebuilt retopology system to give even better automated and user guided topology. There are also new brushes and functions to improve your workflow for both organic and hard surface sculpting.

ZRemesher

  • ZRemesher is the next evolution in our automatic retopology solution. ZRemesher has been designed with an artist’s point of view in mind. With a single click, ZRemesher produces ideal new topology based on your original mesh.
  • The new functions in ZRemesher are smarter, able to analyze the curvature of your model with the precision of a computer, but with he subtlety of the human eye.
  • Add more polygons locally where needed, changing their shape to create perfect topology flow. As with most ZBrush tools, ZRemesher also lets you take control over the automatic process and give your own guidance to the core algorithms. It is easy to drive the flow of polygons with the help of curves. You can also define where you wish to have more or lower polygon density. You can perform local retopology to a specific part of your mesh while keeping a natural connection with the support model.
  • By default, ZRemesher gives the Adaptive Size setting higher priority than the Target Polygon Count because of the Adaptive Density mode which is enabled by default.  But when this mode is disabeled, ZRemesher will adjust its topology calculations to give equal weight to your Target Polygon Count value.

New Brushes

  • ZBrush’s powerful creative toolset is largely based on its brush system. With each release we add new brushes that can transform your way of working or simply make your daily sculpting easier. With ZBrush 4R6, we continue this long tradition.
  • The new Trim Curve brushes cut your models in a way that is very similar to the Clip brushes, but deletes the affected polygons rather than pushing them to the stroke line. And as you can imagine, these new brushes will be DynaMesh’s new best friends!

  • Creating holes through a mesh has been possible since the introduction of DynaMesh and more recently enhanced with Mesh Fusion. Now ZBrush adds another option for this purpose with the Bridge Curve brush: select an opening, PolyGroup border or crease edge and connect it with another to generate a bridge of polygons. And because this new topology detection is so useful with the Frame Mesh feature, we went ahead and enabled it for all brushes that use curves. You will love it as much as we do!

Other Additions

The new additions and improvements don't stop there! Here is a brief summary of other noteworthy new functions:

  • DynaMesh now preserves PolyGroups. This makes it so easy to do Panel or Group Looping on a DynaMesh after having used Mesh Insert or Mesh Fusion! The Slice brushes now only operate on the curve position and won't propagate. What you see is now exactly what you get! Group Front -- a new PolyGroup creation function -- detects all polygons which face the camera and assigns them to a single group. This tool will let you create special effects by using your point of view, such as deformation of only the parts of your model that are visible to the camera.
  • The new Solo Dynamic mode keeps only the current active SubTool visible when manipulating it in front of the ZBrush camera, in order to improve 3D navigation. Internal UV Smoothing has been updated to freeze the UV borders. And of course, a lot more!