Monday, October 2nd, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

See the new ZBrush features from ZBrush Summit 2023

Day 3 of ZBrush Summit 2023. The section on the new features in ZBrush starts at 06:56:15.

Maxon has previewed some of the upcoming features in ZBrush, its industry-standard digital sculpting software, at ZBrush Summit 2023.

Changes include a versatile-looking new Replay option in the Undo History, updates to the Anchors brush and Transpose system for posing sculpts, a new DragStamp stroke type, and the option to use any stroke type with InsertMultiMesh brushes.

In addition, all of the native noise types from Cinema 4D have been added to ZBrush.

Maxon hasn’t announced in which version of ZBrush the features will become available, but if it sticks to its current version numbering, it should be either ZBrush 2023.3 or ZBrush 2024.

New Replay system makes it possible to edit sculpts non-linearly
Arguably the biggest new feature shown at ZBrush Summit is the Replay system, seen at 07:09:45 in the recording.

It enables users to choose a point in a project’s Undo History, edit the model, then replay all of the subseqent changes from the history on the edited version.

Examples shown include updating all the rivets on a model of a submarine by picking the point in the Undo History at which the original rivet shape was chosen, choosing a new shape, then replaying all of the changes made to distribute the rivets over the submarine’s surface.

It also looks like a quick way for environment artists edit repeating structures like bricks or tiles: another demo showed Replay in use to make the same change to all of the bricks in a column.

Updates to character posing with the Anchors brush and Transpose
The Anchors brush added in ZBrush 2023.2 also gets an update, making it possible to use it to repose part of a sculpt without the need to manually create a mask to isolate the part.

In addition, the older Transpose feature has been improved, with the control gizmo now automatically repositioning itself as a mask is updated, so that the sculpt is reposed from the correct center of action.

IMM brushes support all stroke types, including the new DragStamp stroke
It is also now possible to use every ZBrush stroke type with InsertMultiMesh (IMM) brushes, making it possible to control the position of the instances they generate more precisely.

Suggested use cases include using the DragDot stroke to position an individual instance.

In addition, the IMM brushes now support ZBrush’s Lazy Mouse feature for smoothing wobbles in freehand strokes.

There is also a new stroke type, DragStamp, intended as a more controllable alternative to the existing DragRect stroke: at 07:05:00 in the video, you can see it in action to sculpt scales of varying sizes on a creature without having to adjust the Z Intensity setting.

All of Cinema 4D’s noise types added to ZBrush
Finally, all of the noise types from Cinema 4D, Maxon’s 3D modeling and animation software, are being added to ZBrush.

The change should open up new options for adding random surface variation to models when sculpting details on their surfaces, or painting them inside ZBrush.

How soon will you get the new features if you have a perpetual licence?
Maxon hasn’t announced whether the new features will be part of ZBrush 2023.3 or ZBrush 2024, which will make a difference to how early you can use them if you have a perpetual licence.

Under Maxon’s new upgrade policy, the new features in ZBrush 2023.3 will be available to subscribers only.

Users with perpetual licences receive bug fixes and enhancements to existing features, but new features are “reserved for the next paid upgrade” – that is, ZBrush 2024.

Price and system requirements
Maxon hasn’t announced which version of ZBrush the new features will be released in.

The current stable release, ZBrush 2023.2, is compatible with Windows 10+ and macOS 11.5+. New perpetual licences cost $895; subscriptions cost $39/month or $359/year.

Read more about ZBrush on the Maxon website

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