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Pixologic™ ZBrush® v2018

Review:

  

The All-In-One Digital Sculpting Solution Designed for the Pursuit of Art

ZBrush sets the industry standard for digital sculpting. Its features enable you to use customizable brushes to shape, texture and paint virtual clay in a real-time environment that provides instant feedback. When you use ZBrush you’ll be working with the same tools used by film studios, game developers, toy/collectible makers, jewelry designers, automotive/aviation designers, illustrators and artists the world over. 3D Has never been this fun.


Highlights

Features

zbrush sculptris proSCULPTRIS PRO

We are pleased to introduce Sculptris Pro, a dynamic tessellation sculpting workflow that enables you to ignore the constraints of polygon distribution and just -- sculpt! Sculptris Pro makes it possible for you to begin with any shape or model, whether it has ten polygons or ten thousand. There is absolutely no need to worry about having enough polygons to capture details.

With Sculptris Pro you can simply brush across the surface. Sculptris Pro will dynamically add and reduce polygons wherever and whenever it’s needed, freeing you to focus entirely on the look you’re trying to achieve. Start with a sphere, cube, cone or any other mesh and have some fun with Sculptris Pro.

ZBrush 2018 with Sculptris Pro is the perfect tool for concept artists and creative users who simply want to get an idea formed without worry about things like polygon distribution.  It is also ideal for anyone using CAD, point cloud and other imported models without having to first retopologize the model or switch to DynaMesh.  It is also perfect for refining a model after Live Boolean has been used, where variation in polygon density and triangulation can be a challenge with traditional methods.  Additionally, it allows 3D printing users to edit models which have already been optimized before being imported back into ZBrush for quick edits.
 
The beauty of Sculptris Pro is that it is a mode that can be enabled whenever you want and is compatible with the majority of the hundreds of sculpting brushes that ZBrush is famous for.

Deformers Extended

ZBrush 4R8 introduced the Gizmo 3D manipulator system which included utilities such as FFD Box, Multislice and several powerful Deformers.  In ZBrush 2018 we are increasing this to a total of 27 deformers.  Each deformer has a unique feature set to allow quick shape alterations that would not be possible through brush strokes.
 
Of special note is the new Project Primitive deformer.  This gives the ability to use multiple primitives to reshape a mesh, cut into a surface, build up from another mesh and much more.  Not only does Project Primitive offer a new, unique way to blend multiple pieces of geometry together it also empowers you to take something as simple as a sphere and turn it into a rocket ship, automobile, plane, human bust, or nearly anything else you might imagine.

POLYGROUPIT

ZBrush 2018 provides PolygroupIt -- an entirely new way to create the polygon groupings that are so essential to a smooth workflow. PolygroupIt accurately evaluates the surface of a model in real-time, generating intelligent groupings with a single button click. Creating Polygroups has never been so easy. With PolygroupIt you can delete, add, copy & paste, grow or shrink, create Polygroups symmetrically and even use PolyPaint to trace out exactly what you want your Polygroups to look like.

zbrush polygroupit zbrush polygroupit zbrush polygroupit

ZBrush Artist Nacho Riesco

Other Additions

  • Elastic and Liquid options for Curve Mode.
  • Equidistant Mesh Duplication using the Gizmo 3D.
  • Remember Draw Size and Dynamic Mode for Brush options.
  • PolyGroup by Normals.
  • Increased output size for 3D Print Hub.
  • Snake Hook brushes for use with Sculptris Pro.
  • Option to save Startup Default Material.
  • Tessimate can also be used as a stand-alone feature, outside of Sculptris Pro.
  • QuickSaves can now be saved to any hard drive.
  • New Activation and License Management System, powered by our My Licenses web portal.

 
All ZBrush 2018 licenses are now dual platform for both Windows and macOS.
 
ZBrush 2018 will be available in the English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, German and French languages.


 

ZBrush Comparison Chart
  ZBrushCore ZBrush
Base Mesh Generation
Dynamesh 
ZSpheres
Mannequin
Primitives
Mesh Extract
Sculpting
Max. number of polygons per mesh 20 Million 100 Million
Multi-Resolution Mesh Editing (Subdivision surface sculpting)
Insert Multi-Mesh
Number of Brushes 30 300+
Multiple-Mesh support (Subtools)
Surface Noise
Boolean-type operations with DynaMesh
3D Surface Effect ClayPolish
Reference Image support
Illustration
2D and 2.5D painting and drawing tools   
Document resolution Screen size Up to 8K
Texturing
3D painting capabilities (PolyPaint) Basic Advanced
Texture Map support  
Projection Painting (SpotLight)  
Rendering
Basic BPR 
ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge support
Render passes  
Material editing/import  
Import/Export
Export   OBJ, MA, STL*, VRML* OBJ, MA, STL, VRML, FBX
Import OBJ, MA OBJ, MA, STL, FBX
Bridge between major 3D applications (GoZ)  
Export settings for 3D printing Basic Advanced
Model hollowing for 3D printing
Opens all files created by ZBrushCore   **
Opens all files created by ZBrush  
General
Available on Windows and MacOS 
64-bit architecture
Number of activated machines (licensing) 2 2
CPU-based - no special graphics card needed
Graphics tablet support
Library of 3D startup models

Language localization - English, Japanese, German, French, Spanish and Simplified Chinese - in ZBruhCore and ZBrush once 4R8 is released.

Advanced Features
ShadowBox   
ZSketch   
ZModeler  
Advanced Brush/Stroke Customization  
User-made Brushes ZBrush can load brushes created in ZBrushCore, but ZBrushCore can not load brushes created in ZBrush  
3D Layers  
HD Geometry support  
Fiber generation (Fibermesh)  
Advanced copying and instancing tools (Array Mesh, NanoMesh, MicroMesh)  
Automatic retopolgy  
Masking capabilities Basic Advanced
Polygroup capabilities Basic Advanced
Crease  
Edgeloop  
Mesh projection  
Advanced split/merge of models  
UV Mapping  
Ambient Occlusion  
SubSurface Scattering  
Environment Maps  
LightCap  
BPR Filters  
Advanced 3D file export through plugins  
Advanced mesh optimization (decimation)  
Scripting / Plugins / Macros  

*ZBrushCore limits STL and VRML export file size to 200,000 polygons. Larger models must be decimated before these formats can be used.
**Once ZBrush 4R8 is released.


 

zbrush image 7

ZMODELER

The ZModeler brush is a new brush featuring a set of polygonal modeling functions that will allow for great freedom to take any shape and convert it into everything from an environment to parts for your next IMM brush. This new brush will give you the control to build just about any base mesh or object with as few polygons as possible. With its unique snapping ability you will also now find it even easier than ever to create holes, add edge loops or maybe even create your very own robot.

WORKFLOW

zbrush workflow

The workflow is quite simple and is based on two main principles: Target and Action. The ZModeler brush has a smart set of Targets, such as a "Single Polygon", "PolyGroup" or "PolyGroup Border". These Targets remove the need to manually set selections before performing a modeling Action.

As an example, if you wanted to extrude the whole side of a flat model which is comprised of multiple PolyGroups you would first select the Polygon Action Extrude, then select the Flat Island Target. Clicking and dragging any polygon located along the flat side of the model will automatically affect all polygons which are perfectly aligned with the initial polygon.

CORE FUNCTIONS

QMesh Action
The ZModeler brush contains most of the common functions found in 3D modeling packages and also has a few smarter ones like the QMesh Action. Not only does this offer you the ability to extrude but also to fuse the extrusion with any adjacent or crossed polygons. Or it can remove blocks of polygons. The QMesh Action will also move pieces of geometry or extract an area to create a new polygonal island. It's versatile and intelligent.

Repeat Last
Because some polygonal modeling actions are repetitive by their very nature, the ZModeler brush stores all settings and values used in your last Action. You can then simply click once on your selection to instantly reproduce that last operation. It works for all ZModeler Actions, saving both time and tedium!

Dynamic Subdivision
With ZBrush comes a new Dynamic Subdivision system. Traditional subdivision surfaces allow you to preview a more tessellated version of your model while editing at the base mesh level. Dynamic Subdivision provides a powerful alternative. It is comprised of three internal subdivision systems: QuickGrid, Flat Subdivision and Smooth Subdivision. These systems provide you the ability to create real-time bevel effects on your model or simply view a smooth surface aspect. Since it's dynamic, you can swap between or combine modes, even applying changes to the settings or density at any time!

And There's More
The ZModeler brush contains thousands of Action and Target combinations, putting astonishing power behind something that is so easy to learn and use. With just a little practice, ZModeler and QMesh will undoubtedly become a new favorite in your arsenal for creating low-res geometry assets in ZBrush.


INSTANCES AND DETAILS

zbrush instances

One of the main focus points in developing ZBrush has been to generate organically detailed models which look less "computer generated" or less "perfect." To achieve this, the Surface Noise system has been improved to combine noise sources. At the same time, two new functions have been implemented: NanoMesh, which goes beyond simply inserting meshes and allows the user to manipulate them on the fly, together with ArrayMesh, which is an advanced instance creation system.

NANOMESH

Combined with ZModeler, the new NanoMesh system takes the process of using ZBrush's InsertMesh to a new whole level. The 3D models inserted into a mesh can be populated based on a specific ZModeler Target. This result can then be modified in real time by adding variations to instance scale, offset, angle and multiple alignment options.

If the default variations options are not enough, there is also a random distribution mode that propagates the NanoMeshes in a naturally random way across the surface of the model.

These NanoMeshes are all instances of the original mesh. With this system you can edit the original mesh at any time (such as with ZModeler or even to add UV's, textures and displacement maps). These changes are then instantly applied to all instances. You also have the ability to apply multiple NanoMeshes across the same surface, giving even greater variety and artistic freedom!

With NanoMesh, you will not only be able to quickly experiment with shape and form but also add tremendous amounts of detail in short order.

ARRAYMESH

Duplication systems that allow you to copy instances of any initial mesh have become a classic feature in modeling programs but ArrayMesh adds another level. ArrayMesh operates in real time as you edit the content of the original mesh or use TransPose action lines to adjust placement, deform the mesh (along with its copies) and much more.

ZBrush also incorporates into this a multiple stage system which will allows you to stack separate Array functions on top of each other. It's so easy to create complex designs like a tank track when you can build arrays from smaller arrays of parts!

Also, since ArrayMesh uses instanced geometry similar to how NanoMesh works, all objects are copied as instances. This means that you can edit the original object while your changes propagate across all the copies at the same time. Did you use an array of bolts to fasten those tank treads within the greater array that makes up its track? Edit the master bolt and every copy of it will update throughout the entire track.

SURFACE NOISE

The ZBrush Surface Noise capabilities have been improved to support more than one noise source at any given time. Now, whether your noise is a grayscale texture or generated procedurally using the Noise plugin, all sources can be modulated with various mix modifiers and curve functions to create very unique results.

Build your own library of presets and reuse them in future projects to create rich and subtle surface details. It will be impossible for viewers to spot the repeating patterns which are inherent in noise generation systems, which means that your creations will look more real than ever before.

DISPLACEMENT RENDERING

Whether you are using BPR or the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge, you can now see procedural and texture-created surface noise rendered as displaced geometry. This process is automatic; after designing your noise you no longer need to worry about applying it before you can view the result on your geometry. All you need to do is render!

This feature can also be applied to NanoMeshes. With this new technology, it becomes easy to render scenes composed of billions of polygons!


ZBRUSH TO KEYSHOT

zbrush knives

Offering an alternative to ZBrush's powerful BPR powerful rendering engine, you can now seamlessly use the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge plugin to transfer your models from ZBrush to KeyShot with a single mouse click. One advantage is that KeyShot can become a second screen for ZBrush, with your render continuing to refine and improve itself even while you are working on new elements or other projects!

HIGH QUALITY RENDERING

KeyShot is well known for combining fast speed with high render quality. Whether updating the point of view, changing the lights, swapping backgrounds or modifying the real-world-based materials, you can see the results with a speed that approaches real-time. The KeyShot workflow is also designed for ease of use, mainly based on a drag-and-drop system that bypasses the need for elaborate shader trees.

KeyShot is not a replacement for BPR but rather a supplement to it. If you don’t have KeyShot you will still have the full power of ZBrush's native renderer. If you do have KeyShot, you can switch between it and BPR at any time, depending upon your needs.

As with ZBrush, KeyShot relies on your system's CPU and RAM so that there is no need to invest in a high end video card to get quality renders. If ZBrush can display your model, KeyShot can render it!

ZBrush TO KEYSHOT SEAMLESS INTEGRATION

True One-Click Transfer
When the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge is enabled, KeyShot becomes a substitute for ZBrush's BPR render. Clicking the BPR button in ZBrush will now send all data to KeyShot automatically. You won't need to worry about selecting your models, converting your noise to real geometry, generating displacement maps or anything else. ZBrush will do it all automatically!

ZBrush Data Support
The ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge supports: ZSpheres, ZSketch, MatCaps, PolyMesh 3D, Surface Noise and more. If you can generate it in ZBrush, it can be sent via the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge!


New Features and Enhancements in ZBrush 2018

  • Elastic Option for Curve Mode
  • Liquid Option for Curve Mode
  • Equidistant Gizmo Mesh Duplication
  • Remember Draw Size
  • Remember Dynamic Mode for Draw Size
  • Tessimate Geometry
  • New PolyGroup by Normals Algorithm
  • Added Draw Transformation Border option to hide transformation border
  • Increased OBJ Import file size capacity
  • Increased Output Size for 3D Print Hub
  • New Snake Hook Brushes for Scultpris Pro
  • Option to Save Startup Default Material
  • QuickSaves Can Now be Saved to Any Hard Drive
  • New Activation and License Management System with Unique Login Support
  • Create Displacement Maps from the highest subdiv level if HD geometry levels are present
  • OBJ Import will not accept Color Vertex information
  • Presets added to Decimation Master

New Features and Enhancements in ZBrush 4R8

  • Gizmo 3D
  • Transform Multiple Subtools at Once
  • Deformations
  • Interactive Primitives
  • Alpha 3D
  • Multi Vector Displacement Mesh
  • Lazy Mouse 2.0
  • IMM Selector: Brush Content Management
  • 3D Text & Vector Shape Creator
  • Multiple Language Support
  • New Lightbox w/ 3D Content
  • Updated User Interface
  • ZSphere Dynamesh Mode
  • Alpha Streaks
  • Brush Magnify
  • Plug-in Updates

Updates

Please read these instructions carefully in order to determine the proper upgrade steps for your system.

Patch 2

LiveBooleans

  •     Masking applied to active SubTool will now be visible while Live Boolean is active.
  •     Mesh dimming for unselected SubTools will now be visible while Live Boolean is active.

Brushes

  •     Resolved various Brush issues involving Morph Target usage. (Such as the interaction of the ClayTubes Brush with Morph Targets.)
  •     Fixed Brushes not maintaining settings.
  •     Standard Brush now has Adaptive Size set to 0 by default.
  •     Brush Draw Size 'Dynamic' mode will now be stored per Brush.
  •     Dynamic Brush Scale (in Preferences) now allows a wider range of values.
  •     Updated GroomClumps Brush to eliminate rendering artifacts.
  •     Curve Brushes using the 'Dots' stroke now work with Lazy Mouse.
  •     Brush Classic Axis-lock (Shift modifier) will now be used when Lazy Mouse is toggled Off.


3D Print Hub

  •     Exporting textures with a VRML now supports 'Selected' mode.
  •     Resolved issue with the functionality of 'Move Bounding Axis to Origin.'
  •     STL import now correctly imports color STL files.

Other

  •     Restored missing Material shaders such as: DoubleShader, TriShader and QuadShader.
  •     Resolved issue of Best Render not working if a BPR render was canceled.
  •     Fixed UV stretching when creating Planar UV's on a model.
  •     LightBox now supports OSX Aliases.
  •     Material Blend Radius now functions correctly.
  •     Restored TransPose Inflate functionality.
  •     Restored TransPose Clip functionality.
  •     Gizmo3D 'TransPose All Selected SubTools' now turns off interlaced rendering when not active.
  •     Tray Dividers now require a double-click to open or close. This should prevent accidental clicks closing the trays. (This will affect ZScripts that open/close the Trays. See ZScripting Help forum for more info.)
  •     ZScript command [LoopContinue] now functions appropriately. (ZScripts using [IConfig,4.8] or higher.)
  •     Exporting Displacement Maps in EXR format now support unicode characters.
  •     SubTool palette scroll bar no longer creates a blank SubTool List.
  •     Fixed Ghosting when manipulating models in 3D.
  •     Eliminated Layer artifacts when going in and out of Record mode.
  •     Drawing meshes in 2.5D will now respect Classic Axis-Lock (Shift modifier.)
  •     Fixed custom palette issues pertaining to sliders and shortcuts.
  •     Fixed BPR rendering issues with FiberMesh and edge detection.
  •     ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge is now compatible with Keyshot 7.

Patch 1

NEW

  •     Floating License Clients have been released with Patch 1.
  •     Added a "Modulate By Color" slider to NanoMesh.
  •     Boolean preference was added to allow user control to delete the temporary Make Boolean Mesh files.
  •     A Claytubes-Constant brush has been added. This will allow constant depth to the surface when a morph target is applied.
  •     A Brush3D Template Project has been added with a polygroup outline. This will make preparing VDM's easier.

UPDATES
IMM Viewer

  •     Updated the IMM viewer to update instantly when inserting or deleting items.
  •     IMM Viewer to turn off /on immediately as user changes the preferences settings.
  •     IMM Viewer Preferences to save with any UI config.

Brushes

  •     Brushes that have been saved with older versions will have the "Adaptive Map Size” in the Brush>Alpha and Texture menu set to zero in order to be compatible with earlier versions of ZBrush.
  •     ClayTubes brush will now have Fast Samples on by default in order to be compatible with earlier versions of ZBrush.
  •     The new shift-to-Line stoke will be auto-disabled when using Smoothing brush.
  •     Updated to turn off the new Shift Line when the Shift key is pressed before touching the surface.


ZModeler

  •     Brush Edge action inserts by default a single edge loop instead of multiple loops.


UI

  •     Custom palettes may now be deleted and the UI will immediately reflect the change.
  •     Button Size can now be set to max 120. This will allow for large text and buttons. Ideal for larger displays.
  •     Custom palettes can now be deleted.
  •     The font on Mac OS X should now be easier to read.


GoZ

  •     All visible SubTools are now sent to the target application.


Plugins

  •     3D Print Hub will now export textures when a VRML is exported.
  •     3D Print Hub can send to Preform and will send all visible SubTools.
  •     FBX Export now has merged UV's.


Other

  •     Make Union Mesh is now support on OSX Mavericks 10.9
  •     The Subtool-Track of Timeline will be disabled by default in order to be compatible with earlier versions of ZBrush.
  •     The Inflate with Right Click on the Transpose Line has been removed (this will be replaced by future deformers).


This list is not comprehensive. It shows only the most significant updates. Other, smaller updates have been made as well.

WINDOWS

Recommended:

  • OS: 64-bit editions of Windows Vista or newer.
  • CPU: Intel i5/7/Xeon technology or AMD equivalent.
  • RAM: 8 GB required for working with multi-million-polys. 16+ GB recommended.
  • HDD: 100 GB of free hard drive space for ZBrush and its scratch disk. (SSD drive highly recommended.)
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible. (WinTab API.)
  • Monitor: 1920x1200 monitor resolution or higher (32-bit color)
  • Video card: All types.

Minimum:

  • OS: 64-bit editions of Windows Vista or newer. (32-bit operating systems are no longer supported.)
  • CPU: Pentium or equivalent AMD.
  • RAM: 4 GB (6+ GB strongly recommended)
  • HDD: 8 GB of free hard drive space for ZBrush and its scratch disk.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution or higher (32 bits)

MACINTOSH

Required:

  • OS: Mac OSX: 10.8 or above.
  • CPU: Intel i5/7/Xeon technology
  • RAM: 8 GB required for working with multi-million-polys. (16+ GB preferred.)
  • HDD:100GB of free hard drive space ZBrush and its scratch disk. (SSD drive highly recommended.)
  • Pen Tablet:Wacom or Wacom compatible. (Carbon API.)
  • Monitor: 1920x1080 monitor resolution or higher with millions of colors.
  • Video card: All types.
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