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Meet the updated ZBrush 2021

Pixologic has finally officially unveiled the highly anticipated 2021 ZBrush update - 3D modelling software.


Pixologic has finally officially unveiled the highly anticipated 2021 ZBrush update - 3D modelling software. Our interest was fuelled for a long time by the official Sneak Peek video from Pixologic, where the novelties of this editor were so vividly presented that all digital sculptors simply did not have the patience to wait for the new version!

This release adds the latest development - a set of dynamics tools capable of performing a wide range of tasks, including controlled fabric sculpting, collision work and gravity. An improved sculpting system, with the help of dynamics tools, makes it possible for absolutely any surface to expand, swell, shrink under the influence of gravity. Creation of realistic folds on any desired surface, even when working in low-resolution planes, will now take much less time, and more importantly, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3! ZBrush is capable of draping a fabric mesh over any other visible mesh that you place alongside any available controls. All that remains is to choose the collision level and Voila! The draping takes place in real time, taking into account the laws of physics. The new physics-enabled fabric sculpting toolkit also includes MicroPoly to simulate the physical structure of rough fabric and various materials, creating a range of defined geometries to create structure. Users will also be able to sculpt fabric by hand using a set of interactive brushes similar to the physics Cloth Brush that we can see in Blender since version 2.83.

Also, this release boasts new features of ZModeler, which serves as a kind of assistant for retopology and high poly grids. To the already powerful system of brushes ZModeler, the developers have tried to add new useful functions.

While using the Edge Extrude tool, there has never been an easier way to construct a plane in whatever it is, or to create a completely new geometry inscribed into an existing sculpture. The new edge extrusion feature gives you advanced construction options with the number of edges you choose, full edge loops and/or polyloops — with interactive edge snapping. The SnapToSurface feature allows new edges to snap to an underlying surface in addition to an existing snap to an adjacent face.

Equal Distance Insertion guarantees the equal distance of the entire newly created topology from the previously created topology, regardless of whether it is a single polygon or a whole area of ​​polygons. As a result of these actions, you get a completely new set of polygons.

In addition to all of the above innovations, the latest version of ZBrush 2021 extends the already powerful NanoMesh instantiation tool. In the new update, the ability to edit the mesh of instances becomes available while it is in place in the scene. In combination with a split screen with a nano-grid, there is a wide field for experimentation in creation and tuning without the need to add a huge number of polygons, which also affects the decrease in response and increase the performance of the system as a whole.

A complete model with all its auxiliary tools is ready for further editing in ZBrush can now be stored in a single GIF or PNG file, giving us a completely unique method to share with others both the model itself and an image of the entire work simultaneously using the iMage 3D format. With this, the 3D model can easily be posted on the website, where it will be displayed as a regular 2D image.

With the help of Dymamic Subdiv, the user is able to preview the levels of subdivisions, while the number of polygons in the model remains unchanged, unlike the actual increase of the latter in previous versions of ZBrush. The function has been optimized and now gives us the ability to adjust the thickness of any single element of planar geometry. A piece of geometry can also be added to each polygon as a fully interactive instance. A fairly wide library of presets is presented to your use, allowing you to change the surface and make it look like canvas, jeans, chain mail and much more.

With developers revising the underlying systems for ZBrush, and the addition of a new Optimal option for intelligent multithreading, the latest update significantly outperforms previous Pixologic software. ZBrush 2021 sculpts smoother and also takes less time to complete operations across the board. Also, in the latest version, the response time has been significantly reduced when working with models with a large number of polygons.

The new version also introduces new custom brushes that use the dynamics engine to create a unique interaction with the fabric surface. Now you are free to choose a specific area where the folds will be, or by selecting the geometry with the "grab" tool, you are able to freely move it, creating folds in real time. The ClothTwister allows the user to curl the fabric. ClothWind provides directional movement functionality. ClothPinchTrails generates a seam with a realistic effect of tissue being pinched into it.

The SnapShot3D add-on now contains polygroups and color from the original texture, which makes it extremely efficient to isolate parts with ease, for example, when creating outfits. Color can now be applied to areas where holes would be needed to create clothing. These areas can then be hidden or removed altogether for processing using the dynamics tool to create clothes. Segments can now also be added to the SnapShot3D grid using the SpotLight watch face

Also, with the latest update, support for Alembic and Collada files has been added.

ZBrush 2021 is available for 64-bit Windows Vista and higher and Mac OS X 10.10 and higher. The cost of perpetual licenses is $ 895 subscription - $ 39.95 per month or $ 179.5 for six months.

ZBrush 2021 is a free update for registered users of any version of the software.

SoftwareWorld of Design


Daria is a fulltime artist with 5+ years of experience, based in Russia. In her free time she likes to paint.