Zbrush: Features And Its Functions

Zbrush: Features And Its Functions

Zbrush primarily aims to work with the so-called “digital clay”, from which you can literally sculpt objects using various tools. Analogues to this approach are practically unavailable in other 3D modeling packages, although some applications (for example, Maya) offer special carving tools.

This digital modeling is ideal for creating people, animals and all organic products in general. Still, ZBrush can be used for 3D modeling in semiconductors and is equipped with special tools. A huge set of special brushes aims to achieve maximum realism when creating 3D models, and tools for applying textures and visualizations complement the functionality of the program.
3D models created in this program are desirable primarily in the film industry and the gaming world, where details and realism are extremely important. With its help, characters and attributes of many famous computer games and movies, including animated ones, were created.


Our review of the ZBrush program will be based only on the main functions of the application. Without going into details, we will tell you about the most important and interesting features of the program, distinguishing it from other three-dimensional editors. What makes ZBrush different? In addition to traditional work with 3D graphics, it uses so-called pseudo-3D or 2.5D. Thanks to this unique feature, ZBrush practically does not use the capabilities of the graphics card, which significantly affects the speed of operation.
The main resource of the application is computer memory, the lack of which can affect performance. However, ZBrush is a very loyal package that allows you to create models with millions of polygons even on relatively weak computers. Simply the possibility of high-poly modeling is interesting in the program in the first place. Everything in it is designed for comfortable and high-quality work with complex objects without compromising on performance. As a bonus, it offers convenient integration with other 3D and 2D graphics packages.


As mentioned above, in ZBrush the user works with digital clay. The whole process is called “carving” for obvious reasons. The program is equipped with a number of convenient functions and tools for carving, most of which are presented in the form of the so-called brushes. With their help, the artist deforms the surface of the model at his own discretion, creating the desired object.
This approach is optimal for organic methods, but also suitable for solid surface modeling (Hard Surface). In addition to carving, the program offers the possibility of ordinary 3D modeling using a special tool ZModeler. This is a special brush that can perform a variety of functions that are used, for example, in 3DsMax, Maya or Blender.
ZBrush is a very flexible 3D graphics package that you can customize to your liking. The program’s interface is fully programmable, you can customize everything up to the font size. Along with such flexibility, the program does not have one algorithm for constructing models. In it, you do not work directly with the polygon mesh, but interact with it indirectly. It is a program that attracts 3D artists from around the world.


As mentioned above, the program is suitable for both creating organic elements and for solid modeling. Most often, models are built based on primitives – basic figures (cylinders, spheres, etc.). These primitives can be influenced by brushes. The standard version of ZBrush includes a basic set of brushes, which is sufficient for most tasks.

Let’s look at the most interesting tools of the program:
  • Aligns the polygon mesh, eliminating unevenness resulting from model deformation. It greatly simplifies work with complex 3D objects;
  • A tool for creating hair, wool, grass etc. It provides great freedom in modeling, allows you to “comb” the resulting vegetation and manage it the way you like;
  • Allows you to transfer details from the high-poly model to the low-poly model;
  • A convenient way to add many small parts to a 3D model, mainly with a hard surface. Provides the ability to scale, rotate, distribute and manage miniature objects on the surface of the model;
  • With it, you can paint the 3D model directly in the program (not to be confused with the texture overlay);
  • A special brush for 3D modeling, which has no equivalents in any program. Provides the ability to easily create solid objects;
  • And, of course, Alphas. According to the official definition, this is a map of intensity of shades of gray. Contains height, depth and offset data. In fact, it is relief data or, if easier, a volumetric pattern that can be transferred to a specific area or the entire model. The program allows you to create your own “alf” based on the image, texture, model, image, etc.


The ZBrush program overview is, of course, very superficial. We didn’t reveal much important information, we just “licked” the subject, but the features presented above already make it unique in the 3D world.

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