A discussion of z-Brush and Blender Sculpt features.

As a hobbyist I was looking at possibly spending a little money to improve some of the artwork I currently produce in Blender.

After looking around and seeing the $3,495 price tag on programs like 3ds max etc I was throughly glad that Blender existed. After looking around at several options I noticed alot of artists reference and use zBrush and was curious to know would it be something that I could get good value for money on if I decided to fork out the $699 USD for it.

Currently I am using a variety of tools.
Adobe Photoshop (CS1)
Blender (2.49 stable, 2.5x series)
Shadermap Pro (inexpensive bump mapping)
Intuos 4 Graphics tablet

Opinions are welcome, and if possible current Zbrush users and comments on their expereince with the software.

Q: What am I planning on doing with it?
A: Mainly creating textures and character maps for game characters.

Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Try Scultpris. It really nice to sculpt with, and a good stepping stone to Zbrush

I bought the educational version of 3D-Coat. It’s available for hobbyists and non commercial work for €99.

It’s fully featured except for a max painting map of 2048x2048 and 7 layers in the voxel sculpt room.

They have a demo available as well.

If you can get Zbrush, go ahead. I have Zbrush 3.1 I do not use it that much since I try to use the new sculpt in 2.56. Plus I’m most aimed to animation.
Also, why do you use Shadermap Pro? You can create great Normal Map within Blender. Any difference?

If your main intention is to create textures and character maps for game characters then you don’t need something like ZBrush or Sculptris. I would then recommend GIMP as it will have the features you need for creating terxtures and character maps.

For sculpting, Blender does what Sculptris and Zbrush do, except in a much simpler way.