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A Quick Look at Zbrush 2018 by gmuxx

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· @gmuxx · (edited)
$15.09
A Quick Look at Zbrush 2018
<center>![xpixologic_Zbrush2018_feat.jpg.pagespeed.ic.y-FdBybGuA.jpg](https://steemitimages.com/DQmaEzg6VdP1a7w6VF7x7yVJ4yFphyH5YwEgLFpKmgRDHS8/xpixologic_Zbrush2018_feat.jpg.pagespeed.ic.y-FdBybGuA.jpg)
[Source](http://pixologic.com)</center>

# What is Zbrush?
&nbsp;
Zbrush began life as a hybrid 2D / 3D painting app in 2002, created by Pixologic. As it improved and more 3D features were introduced it very much became like sculpting with digital clay and was soon the industry standard for digital sculpting. 

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmPArmCydrgpwPUMCg759gwZEzH65Lukka9urKkr3EpKVf/Capture.PNG)
*Zbrush with demo project loaded*</center>

Although Zbrush's interface can appear over complicated and non standard, it is aimed at artists rather than techies and is a great tool for concepting - artists can produce 3D sculpts and designs without worrying about the technical aspects, accommodating and encouraging their creativity rather than bogging them down with questions such as is the underlying topology correct?
# Dynamesh
&nbsp;
Zbrush 4R2 was released late 2015 and introduced a feature called dynamesh. Previously there was a limit to how far you could stretch polygons before they became unworkable.

As an example, here I have loaded a default polysphere and, with polyframe switched on, you can see the individual polygons that make up the form.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmXsmwPLqrtJQkzYYyJue7u6wXjtbK9bCC8mjHTSm2tegq/Capture.PNG)</center>

Next I use the move brush to pull out some geometry, and again you see the polygons, now stretched.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmRPwMjcmYyrrFv716HcZnkMLGKfHKX5aeQH2jE3eSS1wE/Capture.PNG)</center>

Even if I tessellate the mesh (add more polygons) - once I start sculpting detail on the stretched part, it is obvious that there is stretching as it doesn't hold the details like on the left side of the sphere.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmRT2Fu6ARiqWUbQi93GvnoPArudDRiczDyjygzyw2iRmt/Capture.PNG)</center>

With dynamesh enabled however, artists can remesh their sculpt - redistributing polygons throughout the volume to enable further sculpting. So here I have gone back to where I first stretched the polygons, and then dynameshed it. As you can see, there is now an even spread of polygons throughout the volume.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmehk1ypFwSsEG2b7iEfwyn5TUK2zDTpB44DqwEnkxkabU/Capture.PNG)</center>

Now when I make brush strokes across the mess, they all hold the same detail.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmQGifp2JzkAze7yQAtxc5X5aNbEurMPya9HuR5Xuukdwu/Capture.PNG)</center>

After a sculpt is complete, the artist can then recreate the underlying topology more suited for animation, and then reproject the details of the sculpt upon this improved topology.

As great a feature as dynamesh is, it is not without its problems. Firstly, every time you want to remesh your sculpt you need to implicitly tell the software to do so. Second, dynamesh adds polygons across the entirety of the volume, even though you may not need the extra detail everywhere. Dependant upon how much memory your system has, Zbrush can accommodate millions of polygons. Eventually though, as the poly count increases, your system will start to slow down. What is needed is a way of allowing the artist to add detail to a mesh only where it is needed.
# Enter Sculptris
&nbsp;
<center>http://ashleywalters.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/sculptris.jpg
[Source](http://ashleywalters.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/sculptris.jpg)</center>

Tomas Pettersson is the original creator of Sculptris, a free application that allows the artist to sculpt digitally, adding detail - and further triangular polygons - only to areas needed by using a technique called dynamic tessellation. It was seen by Pixologic as a perfect accompaniment to Zbrush and in 2010 Pixologic employed Pettersson and took over development of the project. Not much changed with Sculptris however and many people treated it as a curious toy to play with, resigning it to app history.
# Zbrush 2018
&nbsp;
Last month Zbrush's latest incarnation was released and, along with other notable improvements, Pixologic introduced Sculptris Pro mode: no longer a separate application, Sculptris has been integrated into Zbrush 2018. In order to show what it does, I shall again load a demo project.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmfDEGgGa4KnArUXgaPb4daaXHZCXRhz6gmHmgBRWXR9ww/Capture.PNG)</center>

To be able to hold the skin details, this mesh has 1.241 million points already. Let's stamp a brush on the surface.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmRh1BgN6VwGLkE7FYJD67c2r9araGo97rBPGe3yuzc9PV/Capture.PNG)</center>

There is not enough geometry to hold the detail of the stamp, causing the faceting that you see. We could subdivide the mesh and try again:

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmczGEXz1KEL4ncjEzNratJHqgeCdeZQY8rCcJKdZNBCDw/Capture.PNG)</center>

While it's looking better, the density of the mesh is now multiplied by a factor of 4 and now sits at just under 5 million points! Dynamesh would not help us here as the density is already very high and, every time you dynamesh, the process smooths out small details like the wrinkles and other skin details you already see. Now I will go back to the lower density, enable Sculptris Pro mode and show you the result.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmd3zjeuLu3bP6y9EJ1xo3ZMb7ozpLkroUQhArQ9APcGpW/Capture.PNG)</center>

Looking at the polyframes now, you can see that detail was only added where that stroke was made. Not needing to divide the entire mesh means we now sit at 1.25 million points.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmNUzzE7VJSyqFBhtK7cSw8DKGCXXDEZgT7sHh8vi7nCWh/Capture.PNG)</center>

Going back to my previous example with the sphere, now with Scultris Pro mode switched on, we can keep pulling shapes out of the mesh without fear of it stretching.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmX4h2SjdnpBkHJjrjZC3KGFtJxWL9bFyCQGF45PpiwTBZ/Capture.PNG)</center>

I can even zoom right in and etch my name into the mesh. Again, detail is added only where it is needed.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmUiJpFTwk7vz87X96VvTn5gRzwXbJzAsPTqEPhhFWq8S7/Capture.PNG)</center>

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmSZFcjTnfvoUDgKhnzBxeYD5PL9hRqV1pbSFd8oXiULcN/Capture.PNG)</center>

Each new version of Zbrush offers such improvements I am very excited to see where its further development takes it in future.

Over the coming weeks I will dive back into Zbrush, as I have not done much digital sculpting for a while, concentrating instead on modeling with Modo. Here's a little something I started sculpting last week, trying out the new version of Zbrush.

<center>![Capture.PNG](https://steemitimages.com/DQmVDqv6SBXWapXEdMmy1hHXzLXnjJMoJPukRkDRBmCaovr/Capture.PNG)</center>

<br>

---

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@rhondak ·
$0.04
I must have this tool. Must. WAOW.
👍  
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@dziobitv ·
zbrush is a heavy program :/
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@gmuxx ·
Heavy how?
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@n7reny ·
I add from myself Zbursh is much more optimized than his autodesk rival "Mudbox". But Zbrush is harder to learn, when autodesk apps always come up with simple and easy to understand interface, i cant found myself in Zbursh one. Its good to metion that this program cost nice:
Zbursh have expensive life-time licence (795$ at this moment)
When Mudbox come up with subscription 10$ per month
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@gmuxx ·
I found it helps to limit yourself to the features you use and reorganise the interface to suit you, building it around your own specific needs. Yes, there are tons of options and buttons, but you don't need to use them all. For example, I created my own pop up menu with my favourite sculpting brushes and features, removing those that I don't need.
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@n7reny ·
Thatsy why i stick to sclupltris interface ;]
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