Pixologic™ ZBrush® v4R8



An all-in-one digital design sculpting solution, designed for the pursuit of art.

Pixologic™ ZBrush® 4R8 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.


Signature features in ZBrush include: ArrayMesh, NanoMesh and ZModeler with QMesh. All of these features are useful throughout the creative process, from initial creation of your model to beautifying your artwork. They allow you to stay within for more of your workflow, doing things that were either impractical or even outright impossible to accomplish before now.

By purchasing or upgrading to ZBrush you will add another set of tools to your arsenal, expanding your artistic freedom and creativity.


With ZBrush comes the ZModeler brush. This smart polygonal modeling system is designed to simplify your creation process. Quickly and dynamically create new shapes, doing so more easily than ever before possible: fuse polygons, delete full blocks of geometry, connect parts with advanced paths, and repeat your actions with a single click!

With the ZModeler brush, ZBrush takes a quantum leap beyond the organics that it is already relied upon for. You can refine the shape of your model in real-time to revolutionize how you create hard surface models, architectural structures or highly detailed environments. The possibilities are endless.


Instances and Details

zbrush instances
ZBrush Artist: David Schultz

With the new NanoMesh and ArrayMesh features, you as the artist can bring more complexity and detail to your work while still maintaining a low polygon count. Both NanoMesh and ArrayMesh will allow for multiple instances of any object to be created and then adjusted in a matter of seconds.

Render with Complete Details

zbrush details
ZBrush Artist: Stefan Morrell

With ZBrush the BPR Render system will now render all Surface Noise as displacement, deforming the mesh to match the attributes of any procedurally created noise. It is like having a displacement map without needing to actually create the map. See extremely detailed results at render time regardless of polygon count.


zbrush to keyshot

With the ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge1 you can seamlessly connect ZBrush® 4R7 with KeyShot 5 to produce hyper-realistic and high quality images. If you don't already own KeyShot 5 or if its price is simply out of your reach, a "special edition" KeyShot for ZBrush® 4R7 is also available2.

The KeyShot to ZBrush Bridge changes your Best Preview Render (BPR) button to instead send your models to KeyShot with a single click. All associated data transfers automatically, including materials, displaced geometries, procedural noise, PolyPaint or textures -- and of course the new NanoMesh and ArrayMesh. If ZBrush can display it, KeyShot can render it!


64-Bit Support

Push the boundaries of your imagination with the ZBrush 64-bit Preview Edition3. ZBrush can now tap all available computer memory and processing power for more details, even more complex models and faster operations.

ZRemesher 2.0

Retopologizing has never been as artist-friendly as with ZRemesher 2.0. With a single click, you can automatically produce organic or hard surface topology without spirals. If one-click topology isn't the right answer for every situation, you can intuitively take control of the re-topology process with curves to assist in determining polygon flow.

FBX Import/Export

To continue improving its integration with the artist's pipeline, ZBrush introduces a new free plugin: FBX Import Export. This supports texture, normal and displacement maps, blendshapes, smoothing based on normals and much more!

As with past updates, ZBrush doesn't stop at major features. It also includes numerous other additions which will improve your productivity and creativity. A few are:

  • Replay Last can now be reapplied to any portion of the model.
  • Background images applied with the Grid system can now be projected onto your model for a painted guide in your newest creations.
  • Start any sculpt with the new polygonal Cube, Sphere and Cylinder primitives.
  • Automatically center the TransPose line on any unmasked, partially visible or symmetrical piece of geometry with one click.
  • Copy and Paste between Tools, SubTools and even Projects.
  • And whole lot more!


ZBrush Comparison Chart
  ZBrushCore ZBrush
Base Mesh Generation
Mesh Extract
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
2D and 2.5D painting and drawing tools   
Document resolution Screen size Up to 8K
3D painting capabilities (PolyPaint) Basic Advanced
Texture Map support  
Projection Painting (SpotLight)  
Basic BPR 
ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge support
Render passes  
Material editing/import  
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  
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
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
Mesh projection  
Advanced split/merge of models  
UV Mapping  
Ambient Occlusion  
SubSurface Scattering  
Environment Maps  
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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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!


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!


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!


feature enhancements

Complementing all of the major ZBrush features are a number of improvements and functions requested by our users, as well as various smaller additions and new functions.


ZBrush is available in two separate applications:

  • The official release ZBrush  application, which is a 32-bit program.
  • A second executable, 64-bit Preview.

While an official 64-bit release will have to wait for ZBrush 5 due to the complex nature of this migration, we are providing 64-bit version of ZBrush as a "developer preview" of this update which you are welcome to use as you wish. This preview edition has exactly the same features as the official 32-bit release and has been tested on a wide variety of systems. However, there is no substitute for real-world testing by thousands of artists. In order to guarantee that no problems arise as part of the transition to 64-bit coding -- especially for those of you who are using ZBrush for mission-critical projects! -- we will continue to treat the 32-bit version as the official release until ZBrush, at which point ZBrush will exclusively be available as a 64-bit application.

Feel free to use the 64-bit Preview today! You will find it already installed in your ZBrush folder, next to the 32-bit version. It is already faster than the 32-bit version and of course you can push ZBrush to the limits of your computer's RAM and processing capabilities! But at the same time, rest assured that in the unlikely event that an issue is encountered you will still have the trusty reliability of the 32-bit version to fall back on.


ZBrush's automatic retopology tool has evolved. In this second version, ZRemesher now generates better automatic retopology results with only limited spirals or none at all. The updated version generates improved surface quality, has an automatic helix removal system and has far better support for hard surfaces. In addition to these improvements it is now also a 64-bit process


Replay Last Relative
Repeating your most recent stroke on another part of your model is now possible by using the Replay Last Relative function. For example, a lightning bolt alpha that is drawn in one location can be identically reproduced at another location as long as the point of view remains the same.

Projection of Grid Background Images
Background images applied to your scene's floor and wall grids can now be projected onto the model. This adds an extra layer of help when using reference images to accurately produce a specific design.

Initialize PolyMesh 3D
With the arrival of ZModeler, it was also useful to add a PolyMesh Initialization feature for primitives. With just a few clicks, you can define the X, Y and Z resolutions to build cubes, spheres and cylinders ready for use with ZModeler and other features.

FBX Export/Import
A new plugin has joined the library of free ZBrush plugins: FBX Import-Export! It is automatically included with a default ZBrush installation.

You can now import and export FBX files using the FBX v6.1 and v7.1 standards. This FBX plugin will support embedded maps (Displacement, Normal and Texture), blend shapes based on layers, smoothing based on normals and more!


ZBrush is also packed with numerous minor additions and changes:

  • TransPose now has a “Center on Selection” mode. This places the Action Line at the center of the unmasked model, visible mesh or current PolyGroup.
  • Creased Edge Beveling: Any creased edges on the model can be converted to a bevel, offering an alternative to ZModeler’s own bevel function. ZBrush remains committed to providing flexibility by giving multiple paths to your goal!
  • Copy/Paste: You can now copy your Tools across Projects, SubTools, or even geometry.
  • Grid Divide is able to uniformly tessellate/divide a model, based on a grid pattern.
  • The technical information for a model (its PolyFrame or PolyGroup coloring) can be enabled or disabled individually. This offers alternate ways to display the model's topology.
  • The Mask Adjust function allows you to alter an existing mask beyond what can be accomplished with the regular sharpen/blur functions.
  • Texture transparency now has a Tolerance slider to bring a higher quality of transparency by supporting more than just pure black.
  • At creation, 3D Primitives can be oriented along the three different axes, avoiding an extra rotation step after the fact.
  • All radial-based primitives (like the Sphere3D and Cylinder3D) now have the center points welded. They also align the segments to the world axis when possible.
  • The Make Insert Brush function now stores UV's, Texture and Displacement Maps. This allows the ZModeler "Insert NanoMesh" function to create NanoMeshes with UV's and textures already assigned. InsertMesh Brushes will now hold UV's.
  • The UV Tiling function is now interactive.
  • All Curves now have a Tile parameter to duplicate the curve value multiple times.
  • The Weld Point function associated with the Modify Topology feature now has a maximum distance.

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


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

Patch 2


  •     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.


  •     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.


  •     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


  •     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.

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 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.


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


  •     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.


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


  •     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.


  •     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.

ZBrush - Windows 32 bit

Highly Recommended

  • OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 32-bit/64-bit
  • CPU: Pentium D or newer (or equivalent such as AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer) with optional multithreading or hyperthreading capabilities.
  • RAM: 2048MB required for working with multi-million-polys. 6 GB recommended. (ZBrush is a 32-bit application, but can use up to 4 GB of system RAM)
  • HDD: 16GB of hard drive free-space for the scratch disk.
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution or higher (32-bit color)

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista, or newer, 32-bit or 64-bit.
  • CPU: P4 or AMD Opteron or Athlon64 Processor
  • RAM: 1024MB (2048 MB recommended)
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution (32-bit color)

NOTE ABOUT GRAPHICS CARDS: ZBrush is software rendered, meaning that ZBrush itself is doing the rendering rather than the GPU. Your choice of GPU will not matter so long as it supports the recommended monitor resolution.

ZBrush - Windows 64 bit

Highly Recommended

  • OS: Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 64-bit
  • CPU: Pentium D or newer (or equivalent such as AMD Athlon 64 X2 or newer) with optional multithreading or hyperthreading capabilities.
  • RAM: 6 GB recommended.
  • HDD: 16GB of hard drive free-space for the scratch disk.
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution or higher (32-bit color)

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista, or newer, 64-bit.
  • CPU: P4 or AMD Opteron or Athlon64 Processor
  • RAM: 1024MB (2048 MB recommended)
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution (32-bit color)

NOTE ABOUT GRAPHICS CARDS: ZBrush is software rendered, meaning that ZBrush itself is doing the rendering rather than the GPU. Your choice of GPU will not matter so long as it supports the recommended monitor resolution.

ZBrush - Macintosh 32 bit


  • OS: Mac OSX 10.7 or newer
  • CPU: Intel Macintosh
  • RAM: 2048MB required for working with multi-million-polys. 6 GB recommended. (ZBrush 4 is a 32-bit application, but can use up to 4 GB of system RAM)
  • HDD: 16GB of hard drive free-space for the scratch disk.
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution set to Millions of Colors (recommended: 1280 x 1024 or higher)

ZBrush - Macintosh 64 bit


  • OS: Mac OSX 10.7 or newer
  • CPU: Intel Macintosh
  • RAM: 2048MB required for working with multi-million-polys. 6 GB recommended.
  • HDD: 16GB of hard drive free-space for the scratch disk.
  • Pen Tablet: Wacom or Wacom compatible.
  • Monitor: 1280x1024 monitor resolution set to Millions of Colors (recommended: 1280 x 1024 or higher)
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