ZBrush 2020 announced

ZBrush 2020 has been announced. The new features can be viewed here:

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This is purely my personal opinion, but once again I’m not very impressed by the new features, just like I wasn’t very excited about the additions in ZBrush 2019.

I think some additions are not exciting at all, such as the camera icon to switch views. This is pretty standard stuff, and has been a part of other 3D editors for years.

The ‘ZeeZoo’ dusts off the ancient but still useful ZSpheres. Personally I think Blender’s Skin modifier is easier to manage than ZSpheres, and is more powerful, offering non-uniform scaling.

In my humble opinion the XTractor brushes, History brush and the Sculpt & Paint in Morph UV function are the most exciting additions.

Other features are convenient and useful, such as the Infinite Depth option, 3D print tools and the color adjustment editor, but I see no real heart-rate-increasing game changers. Pablo Dobarro is single-handedly adding more interesting features to Blender’s Sculpt Mode in one month than ZBrush does in one year. I’m starting to get a slight Autodesk taste in terms of stalled innovation.

Then there’s once again the absence of the UV texturing toolset that was already showcased before ZBrush 2019 was released last year. What happened with that?

Of course, ZBrush is still the king when it comes to sculpting on meshes with many millions of polygons, and its sculpting feel is still unequalled, but in terms of sculpting tools and features, Blender’s Sculpt Mode is rapidly catching up.

As a final note Pixologic deserves a big pat on the back for keeping upgrades free for existing users.


Try 3DCoat. Newest version will surprise you.

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Thanks, I’ll check it out. Haven’t looked into 3D-Coat for a while, although I own it. Blender is developing so rapidly lately that it takes up a lot of time to keep up with all new changes and features

Same here, I also had hoped for an UV update.

I also get more and more the impression that they are in a phase of stagnation somehow.

Like they don’t know where to go from what they have accomplished by now.

But then again, everything I needed was implemented in Version 4R8 and 2018,

so I have what I need and the updates since then were free, so I get more

for free from Zbrush than from most other Software.

As for 3D Coat, I don’t like companies who don’t respect my privacy

and/or freedom of art.

So 3D Coat is not for me, even if it were the better software, what I doubt.

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Thanks for the update, Metin. Haven’t used ZB for a bit, and haven’t been paying much attention to what they’ve been up to. This one completely slipped by me.

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As for 3D Coat, I don’t like companies who don’t respect my privacy

Can be more detailed.

Check this out… :wink:

Oh, interesting. Thanks!

The extractor brushes look fantastic. And the history thing ? Wow.

There’s some pretty cool stuff in there, the sculpt and paint in morph UV, extractor brushes, the history thing… color adjustment options look cool too but the UI for it doesn’t hehe.

Anyway, even if Pixologic doesn’t do much on each new release, Zbrush will still be king. There’s just too much functionality and tools they’ve added over time that still no other software can even get close to, and they know it. Even the brush engine is still the best.
The moment a real contender appears for Zbrush is when Pixologic will have to worry and start to bring real innovation to the program.

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While I do find it a overall confusing statement, I don’t really see the privacy aspect ?


wow i had no idea about that … that the team is hardcore christians. A bit odd to put a statement up about it on their official webpage. Most professional companies keep it strictly business.

I agree, ZBrush is still a force to be reckoned with, and it’s still my second-favorite 3D tool, but in my humble opinion the shininess of ZBrush is starting to gather some dust. An important part of the new features consists of tools that reuse what has already been there for many years (like ZSpheres), instead of really innovating with new tools that significantly raise the standard for (potential) competitors. And I think this was already the case with ZBrush 2019.

I bought ZBrush around the release of 4R7, which introduced ZModeler. I think this was the last major innovation for ZBrush (ofcourse all other 3D editors already offered a polygon modeling toolset, but ZBrush is a sculpting tool, not a polygon modeler).

Right now I think Blender has much more development momentum than any other 3D tool. Blender is where the action is at the moment, proving the potential of open source more than any other piece of software. I’m eager to see where Pablo Dobarro and his fellow Blender developers will take Sculpt Mode.

They demoed all these features back in Sept at Zsummit and I wasn’t all that impressed. The standout feature for me here is sculpt/paint on Morph UVs. Of the last few releases Snapshot3D is probably the most powerful, but it is using the crazily designed Spotlight wheel and is pretty much a more refined version of the old Shadowbox feature. The Split Screen and real cameras are 2 very welcome features for me.

Th new history brushes workflow is the kind of genius concept that only the minds at Pixologic would devise and the ZSummit demo was very impressive.

As for the future of the program, there are some core workflows that are screaming for an overhaul. Priorities, for me:

A proper scene/subtool outliner like Max/Maya/Blender. The Subtool list system is a pain in the arse and the new folders doesn’t do much to change that(I’m sure this is a limit of the architecture as a saved .ZTL file fails to load unless you have a subtool not in a folder at the top of the list when you save) Organising your scene can be a fiddly nightmare when you have a ton of subtools. Also, you can’t even create a custom floating panel called by hotkey to help with this and the subtool list entries are huge so you have to keep scrolling up and down(I try to spend as little time as possible in ZB panels as I have everything assigned to custom floaters)

True paint/sculpt layers. Mudbox does this perfectly and in a very intuitive and familiar way that any person that has ever used Photoshop is used to. The old layers system in ZB is just another example of the weird design that is both ZB’s strength and weakness. Polypainting on layers is has been bugged for years to be avoided. Sculpting on layers is great and I use it all the time, but again, it is a weird workflow and new users won’t have a clue how to properly utilise it.

Having said all that, the power in ZB is IMMENSE. I spent a few days last week coming to terms with sculpt mode in Blender and then hopped back in to ZB and the difference in sculpting is just night and day. Zbrush’s Clay engine is just that: virtual clay. The feedback from the brushes is just beautiful and even though I’ve been using the program since V1.52B :laughing: I didn’t truly appreciate just how good a sculpting environment it is until spending some time in Blender Sculpt Mode. Not saying SM is horrible, but it is nowhere near ZB in terms of what an artist expects in a sculpting program.

So, even with all the bells and whistles being added to Blender SM, at its core the sculpting engine is just not up to scratch, imo.


They would have to pay me 1000$ to use their software again and not the other way around!

I prefer staying in one single application instead of playing the export/import nightmare with all the issues that come with them.

My workflow has improve a lot since i am modeling and sculpting in the same application.

For my work i don’t need all their gadgets and Blender is more than enough powerful for my current need.

Maybe someone working in high resolution for movie is going to be better off using it but if you are in gaming there is no real need.

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GoB. Boom! :laughing:


That’s a nice bridge to this subject, please feel free to join the discussion:

I don’t think this is a case of ‘feature fatigue’ though, it’s a case a creating an entirely new brush engine. Something I don’t think is going to happen. I’ll definitely check out the thread though.:+1:

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It has yet to become a thread, so I need your help. :wink:

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