Thursday, June 11th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Download ZBrushCoreMini: the new free edition of ZBrush

Pixologic has released ZBrushCoreMini, a free cut-down non-commercial version of its industry-standard ZBrush digital sculpting software, aimed at “new artists of all ages”.

The new free edition features key ZBrush sculpting technology Sculptris Pro, a highly streamlined set of brushes and materials, and a simplified user interface.

A highly streamlined entry-level edition of ZBrush’s sculpting toolset
Targeted at students and 3D printing enthusiasts, ZBrushCoreMini adds a new entry-level edition to the ZBrush product line, slotting in below ZBrushCore, the existing commercial cut-down edition.

It includes Sculptris Pro, ZBrush’s new dynamic tessellation system, so it should provide a genuinely clay-like sculpting experience, without the need to worry about subdividing a mesh manually.

However, mesh resolution is capped at 750,000 polygons, so it’s geared towards simpler, lower-detail forms.

Compared to either ZBrush or ZBrushCore, the toolset really is beginner-friendly: just eight of the really key sculpting brushes, including Standard, ClayBuildup, Inflate, Pinch, Move, SnakeHook and Smooth.

Similarly, there are just eight materials – the Basic material, the red wax and grey MatCaps, and plastic, metal and skin materials – and no 3D painting capabilities.

That makes the feature set rather smaller than mobile sculpting apps like Sculptura 3D, and considerably smaller than Sculptris, Pixologic’s own legacy software: still available free, but no longer updated.

However, it looks to be a quick, uncomplicated way to create simple sculpts, and a free introduction to the key tools for students learning ZBrush.

Export models in OBJ format for 3D printing, or in Pixologic’s hybrid 2D/3D iMage3D formats
Completed models can be exported in OBJ format – the software automatically decimates the mesh for 3D printing – or shared via Pixologic’s new iMage3D PNG and GIF formats.

Files generated in this way appear as normal 2D images, but contain a band of black-and-white ‘noise’ at the foot that enables ZBrushCoreMini to reconstruct the 3D mesh when they are loaded into the software.

There aren’t any native rendering capabilities, but users can also generate screen-resolution captures of a sculpt against a plain background, without the software interface.

ZBrushCoreMini can open project files generated in ZBrushCore itself, including surface colour data, though it isn’t possible to edit them: only to rotate the model. It doesn’t open files from ZBrush itself.

Pricing and system requirements
ZBrushCoreMini is available free for 64-bit Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.10+. It is only licensed for non-commercial use, not professional work.

New perpetual licences of ZBrushCore cost $179.95, while new perpetual licences of ZBrush cost $895.

Download ZBrushCoreMini for free from Pixologic’s website
(Requires a free Pixologic account)

See a feature comparison table between ZBrushCoreMini and ZBrushCore