Zbrush vs. Blender sculpting

Hi Guys,

I’m hoping to start a discussion comparing Zbrush and Blender in general and sculpting in particular. I have no experience with zbrush and since you cannot get a demo I don’t plan to gain any soon.

But I would like to understand the differences. I know that the zbrush interface is very different but is it really all that much better a software package? If you have any experience with both packages I would appreciate your thoughts on the subject.


If you take Dyntopo out of the equation, it’s very hard to compare the two. You have to keep in mind that ZB does sculpting and ONLY sculpting, and it does it incredibly well. Speed, poly counts, and toolset all dwarf Blender’s sculpting toolset, but this is to be expected. Some people hate the UI. I love it. It feels like a physical workspace, and everything can be made entirely custom. Tooltips are always available and are incredibly descriptive. The whole package is designed around tablet use as well. There are also literally thousands of courses and tutorials out there.

Blender has a decent sculpting workflow, but there are some glaring issues. Multires is in need of a total overhaul. The current modifier can permanently break meshes without the user being aware for hours until they drop and re-raise subD levels, by which point it’s possible that an unbroken earlier sculpt is long overwritten. The lack of an option to delete lower multires levels is also unfortunate. Reprojection with the shrinkwrap modifier is okay at best, and often requires a lot of manual vert tweaking to fix, which isn’t always reasonable or possible with heavy meshes. I also really miss the presence of ZRemesher and Dynamesh when I’m working in Blender. Ditto for transpose tools and easier masking workflow.

What does Blender do better? Dyntopo. The ability to not have to worry about topology at all makes it an invaluable tool for concept sculpting. It’s recently gotten to the point where the speed and automatic topology cleanup make it a real contender for one of the best sculpting tools. If we had an improved retopology workflow (fingers crossed for the future of Contours) it would one day be the ultimate concept sculpting tool. Until the issues above are addressed it will still just be average for general sculpting though.

There are many video tutorials showing you what you can work with ZBrush on the Pixologic site http://pixologic.com/zclassroom/homeroom/

I’d like to bring Sculptris (free) into that :slight_smile:
It has dynamic subdivision and polygon relaxation but performs a lot better than Blender and feels more like an artists tool.

Thanks guys - that’s some good stuff!

The addition of Sculptris is a good one too. I have played with that a little bit and it seems like a good tool but it crashes on me a good bit.

M9105826 - thank you especially for the detailed info.

Hay m9105826, you are mistaken ZBrush not only does sculpting but anything for example cars, boats, homes furniture you name it.

Wow, a 5 years old discussion has been dug up. :smiley:

Let me add that I switch to ZBrush a lot less since the availability of the OpenVDB Remesh Blender add-on by @ambi, and the Mask Tools add-on by @anon92502066 and @Bookyakuno. Those add-ons effectively replace ZBrush Dynamesh and the ZBrush masking toolset for me.

The only killer ZBrush feature I still miss in Blender is a really good auto-retopology tool like ZRemesher. I am eagerly waiting for a coding genius to take on that challenge.

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Yea Zremesher is the best auto Retopo, I’d buy it if they just released that as a separate Software lol.

On a side note, the reason Zbrush didnt lag too much with high poly meshes was maybe because there was no Dynamic topology sculpting, since they added Sculptris Pro, Zbrush has been lagging much more easier.

ZB2018 has sculptris mode. Dynamic tessellation/decimation

Also, ZB doesn’t only do sculpting. It has extensive boxmodeling and boolean tools.

Edit: Haha! Just realised that this thread is ancient