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ZBrush 2021.6

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ZBrush 2021.6

ZBrush 2021.6 provides enhancements that affect many areas of your workflow, with a focus on innovative features that are designed to fuel exploration and inspire creativity. As always, ZBrush 2021.6 is a free upgrade for all registered users of ZBrush.

ZBrush 2021.6 Features Overview

Watch artist Michael Pavlovich demonstrate how the new features in ZBrush 2021.6 combine with those from 2021.5 and 2021 to create an inspiring digital sculpting experience.

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For an in-depth look at all of the new additions in ZBrush 2021.6, don't miss Pixologic's Keynote Presentation.

Sketch Your Mesh!

Mesh From Mask is an amazingly fast and simple set of brushes (MeshExtrude, MeshBalloon, MeshSplat, and MeshExtrudePropDepth) for creating base meshes that you will then sculpt using the rest of the ZBrush feature set. Simply outline your desired shape with the masking lasso. ZBrush will instantly turn that outlined shape into an editable mesh. You can then either jump directly to sculpting or you can continue to refine the outline -- adding to it, subtracting, or cutting holes. As you modify the shape, the generated model updates in real-time so that you never have to guess what the results will be.

Mesh From Mask Armor
ZBrush Artist :: Paul Gaboury · Full Image

This feature offers two distinct modes. One creates precise flat shapes with a uniform thickness and controlled bevels, as shown above. The other mode creates soft, organic shapes in a balloon-type of effect that is thicker where the enclosed shape is wide and thins near corners, as demonstrated below.

ZBrush 2021.6 Mesh From Mask : Balloon
ZBrush Artist :: Pixolator · Full Image
ZBrush 2021.6 Mesh from Mask : Balloon
ZBrush Artist :: Paul Gaboury

Lasso, circle, rectangle, and curve stroke types are supported, as are alphas. The Selection brush now also supports the smooth control and precision of Lazy Mouse.


30+ Extrude Profile Shapes

Cloth Ball Brush
Cloth Dimple Brush
Cloth Fold Brush
Cloth Hook Brush
Cloth Inflate Brush

Curve Alpha

Cloth Move Brush
Cloth Nudge Brush
Cloth Pinch Brush
Cloth Pinch Trail Brush
Cloth Pull Brush

2D Alpha Extrusion Along a Curve

The new Curve Alpha brushes take any 2D alpha and extrude it along a curve as real geometry! This is ideal for quickly creating stylish strands of hair or horns, twisting and tapering along any curve you create. That curve can then be edited if you wish to refine the shape. IMM Curve brushes have also been updated so they can use a flat mesh as the extrusion profile to create a similar result.

The new ExtrudeProfile brushes work in a similar way except that they use the "Flat" option in the Alpha palette to convert any 3D mesh into a silhouette to be swept along the curve.

Extrude Profile from Any Mesh

Discover New Shapes

ZBrush 2021.6 SnakeCurve Brushes ZBrush Artist :: Pixolator

Give your imagination a boost! The new SnakeCurve brushes work with Sculptris Pro mode, allowing you to draw out a curve on the model and then pull it out from the surface to create beautiful organic extrusions. Depending on where you click on the curve to move it and how quickly it is pulled, the curve will twist organically as it moves to cause variations in the extruded geometry.

True Raytracing Ambient Occlusion

ZBrush Artist :: James W. Cain

ZBrush Artist :: Zhelong Xu

Ambient Occlusion is a rendering feature that follows beams of light as they come into contact with your model’s surface, bouncing directly off to reach your eye or being caught by variations in the surface -- specifically nearby details. This causes shadows to pool in areas that near other surface features. It can be very subtle but has a tremendous effect on the realism of your lighting.

With Improved AO, it makes the details on your model truly pop. This improved version of Ambient Occlusion masking is simple to use with just basic controls for intensity and smoothing. It even respects other SubTools, which means that you have total freedom to break your model up into parts that best suit your sculpting needs while enjoying the confidence that you’ll get a great-looking render when you’re done.

And yes, as with the legacy version of Ambient Occlusion you are able to use these shadows to generate masking, which you can then use with deformations or brushes to further sculpt your model!

More Updates

Sticky Hotkeys: Any hotkey that triggers a slider can now be held down. Moving the cursor then adjusts the slider until the hotkey is released. This means fewer clicks to get the same result.

The last saved project will now be opened when ZBrush starts.

USD (Universal Scene Description) format added for export and import.

"Flat" mode added to "To Mesh" in the Alpha palette to allow the creation of a flat mesh that can be extruded along a curve. IMM Curve brushes will automatically use flat meshes as an extrusion profile.

Lazy Mouse support for Lasso stroke type.

Closest and Farthest modes for Continuous Z Picker have been added.

Updates to Curve Stroke options allow more advance behavior:

  • "Repel Strength" and “Repel Falloff” to Curve Stroke modifiers.
  • Split the "Bend" stroke/curves option into two sub-options: "Bend Start" and "Bend End."
  • Improved control of curve editing.
  • Curve projection range to allow zero value.