From Zbrush to Blender for printing

Recently (about three months ago) I lost my job. The company where I worked closed for an incident and now I’m without a job. I worked in a studio specialized into action figures and collectibles (statues more or less little and some board game).

In our company we used Zbrush a lot. Every model done entirely inside zbrush, merged and decimated inside zbrush and fixed inside Netfabb. So I’m pretty comfortable with zbrush.

Now, I want becoming a freelance, and so, I choice to learn seriously blender (honestly have some financial problem and cannot afford soon a zbrush license). I must admit at the beginning I was intimidated by GUI, but now I think it work very well and, all in all, I like it. In poly modelling, even if working with wacom tablet is not so comfortable like zbrush, poly modelling in blender is superior, also I like cycles, it work well and is pretty intuitive.

What I cannot work with is blender sculpt. I’m pretty sure is a problem due my long years like Zbrush sculptor (from release 2), but cannot doing the some in blender and are pretty slow. The brush have something wrong, “less precise” (don’t know how better defining the actual feeling), in zbrush I don’t need to change brush parameter if not in some rare cases or some special need, in blender seems they need a lot of fine tuning, change curve value etc. etc. also zbrush workflow looking better. Again, I’m pretty sure its me the problem, but at the moment, in sculpt, I feel zbrush have a far superior workflow.
Another problem is viewport, is less robust and responsive compared to zbrush.

Anyone did the migration from zbrush to blender? There is some tutorial somewhere to learn about pro and cons of the two workflow or for making less traumatic the migration?

Another problem is netfabb. The autofixing feature of netfabb is great for complex models, but now the free version (the previous basic) is not more allowed for commercial use, so must found and alternative, any idea about?


I totally know what you mean… You can’t really compare Blender’s scultping capabilities with those of ZBrush. ZBrush focuses primarily on scultping (also texture painting, okay…) and Blender is an allround 3D package that has so many different functions that ZBrush doesn’t have. ZBrush is simply the king when it comes to sculpting and no other (even dedicated sculpting) software can compete (Not Mudbox, not 3Dcoat, to name just a few). That’s a fact. Don’t forget there’s now also ZBrush Core which is a lot less expensive - have a look at the feature comparison:
Maybe this more or less all you need…

I don’t know netfabb but if this corrects geometry issues that are problematic with/for 3D printing then you might have a look at the 3D print toolbox addon (as far as I remember it’s coming withh Blender by default, you just have to enable it)
It can correct issues as well…


Thanks for your comment Marco. I totally forgot about Zbrush core. Unfortunately the 200.000 poly limit in STL export is a problem for me. Maybe I can turn around exporting in blender and create the STL directly in blender (if GoZ working in Core I can use the GoB addon).

Also there is something cannot understood in core limitation, like number of brush (30 into the core edition), Polygon per mesh (I guess they mean polygon per subtool) 20.000.000 can be a problem (but didn’t know zbrush can reach the crazy ammpunt of 100 milion poly per subtool)

All in all, except these limits, is not so bad

Will give a try to blender STL fixing addon.

Anyway, I saw a lot of well done sculpt in blender, some very professional and evocative, so, for this reason, I’m pretty sure I’m the problem and cannot adapt my previous habits to blender workflow.

Here some notes about Blender from a blenderhead, who has never used zbrush and works with mouse.

-To sketch up some concept sculpt in Blender, use Dyntopo, divide your mesh into parts and use different layer will give some speed.

And welcome back home :slight_smile:

May be other sculptors want to share?

Blender is not zbrush, I use both as a professional level, both are great depending what you do.
If you don’t have money, deal with blender or sculptris.
If you don’t like blende, don’t use it.

Thanks, will check the links.

You can try patch about sculpt pressure.

Are you aware that you can create your own brushes in blender ?
If you are constantly changing one brush; maybe you could create several variations of it, instead.

A better viewport is a goal for 2.8 future release.

Of course, zbrush has a better workflow to sculpt. It is a software dedicated to that.
Blender is a more vast software. Currently, there is no developer dedicated to sculpt mode.
But when a volunteer developer or a paid one starts to work on this area, he is generally open to discussion about how to improve the workflow.

You have to be open to its proposal and accept that it does not have facility of pixologic team.

Thanks for the link Zeauro, seems useful.

I perfectly understood blender is a generalist software and zbrush is designed for sculpt, but in other field, blender totally substituted Keyshot (a software specific design for rendering) for me need, and doing very well the job.

Unfortunately the 3d print tool inside blender is not enough for my need, when automatically fix a mesh corrupting the shape. Will doing other test tomorrow, maybe need some fine tuning.

I know that this may sound strange but have you tried 3D coat in tandem with Blender?

3DCoat have 50 dollar 3D Printing version of their software you cannot render and it does not include all the features of 3D coat.

If you need all the features it will cost 279 USD. They also have allot of training material on Youtube and their site. :slight_smile:

I just saw that ZBrush is currently 20% off for a few days!

Hello, brushes in blender work differently. But I wouldnt say worse, or less precise. Actually, after some time working only in blender and getting back to zbrush I found zbrush way of sculpting a bit weird. So It is mostly what you’re used too I guess.
Main thing for Zbrush I would say is high density mesh performance. Zbrush totally destroys blender on that field.

Here are some great addons/resources for sculpting you may find usefull: $$$

Thanks to all for your reply.

[email protected] I totally forget 3dcoat! The price is surely interesting so I downloaded the trial and give a try. It crashed every time I imported a dense mesh (2 millions poly)… not a good start. Also I try to sculpt something inside and it look weird compared to blender (again, I’m pretty sure is a matter of habits, but anyway not a great first impression). Will continue to try during my trial time.

Great news Marcotronic! I paid the deposit for my new apartment yesterday, so not the best timing from Pixologic, but probably they will no discount again (as far I know they never discounting), will try to collect the money.

[email protected] totally agree with you, a matter of habits, I’m pretty sure about, but also Zbrush have some nice features is very hard to stay away (imm brushes with curve mode, in blender we have curve and array modifier, but sometime I had very ugly result and also workflow is a lot slower), a very large masking option, sculpt levels (even if I don’t use so frequently), or also, outside modelling, the polypaint allowing to create some fast illustration without the need to decimate and/or retopology, uv mapping, zbrush material have something odd like light and camera view, but is more enough for doing fast illustration (what about blender and ptex?). And yes, zbrush with dense meshes is unbeatable.

Thanks for all the links, will check all.

or also, outside modelling, the polypaint allowing to create some fast illustration without the need to decimate and/or retopology, uv mapping, zbrush material have something odd like light and camera view, but is more enough for doing fast illustration (what about blender and ptex?).

Try master builds, we recently have a fast vertex paint mode try it for fast illustration :slight_smile:

Something i forget on my first post, i believe you already know about multiresolution modifier. Be careful with it, it causes spikes if you move from high level to lower, so we using it remember “when you get high never get low”.

What build? On graphical I saw a lot of builds.


Just as side note keep playing with Dyntopo, you will see how fast blender can get you started. I believe since you have a background on sculpting, it wouldn’t be so difficult :wink:
All the best in your journey :slight_smile:

Avoid import meshes with nGons. 3DCoat can crash.
And dont forget at import to use the option without voxelizing.
Hope this help.

Thanks, ErikBlender, will test it. Also, will avoid multires.

Carlosan, thanks for your tip, but the mesh is without ngon, I’m pretty sure about. I’ll continue to testing next week