close window

Create a new dimension in video games with ZBrush

Gamers demand rich visual effects and realistic characters and environments without affecting the speed of game-play. Regardless of whether the game is played on a home computer or any of the Next-Gen consoles, Gamers are among the most discerning and jaded consumers of digital entertainment. So with every new hit game expectations are raised even higher.

ZBrush meets the challenge of creating breathtaking realism and gives you all the tools you need to ensure that every detail of your creation makes it to the video game screen. Each aspect of the virtual world within a game environment, from characters, to props, to vehicles, can be generated originally within ZBrush. And you can use ZBrush to edit and improve models generated in other 3D software packages.

Within ZBrush, artists sketch in 3 dimensions molding their ideas as they work. Starting from primitives that act as digital clay or ZSphere armatures or through ZSketches that are drawn out into space concepts can be drafted in less than an hour. Digital character maquettes can be realized in the same amount of time it takes to draw a sketch on paper. Art directors see results quickly, and once approved, the concept model can be retopologized to match the needs of the rigging and animation departments.

Clothing, and armor can be extracted directly from the surfaces of your character mesh. These can be detailed, textured, and retopologized as well. Using Surface Noise and digital sculpting brushes realistic damage can be added to props and environments. ZBrush places no limits on your creativity.

ZBrush Artist: Alessandro Baldasseroni
Courtesy of Blur Visit ZBC thread
Courtesy of Epic Games
Visit ZBC thread

ZBrush for your textures

ZBrush’s PolyPaint technology is designed to allow you to paint a digital model just like you would a real object. Creating UV texture coordinates can be done at any point in the process without affecting the work that you have done. Change the UVs whenever you need to, it won’t affect the textures, and you won’t need to worry about stretching or visible seams. Polypainting can be converted to texture maps on demand (and vice versa), these maps are exported for use, with the model, in your animation software.

You can import UV texture coordinates into an existing model or generate new ones in ZBrush. Using the free Pixologic UV Master plug-in, UVs are generated by unwrapping the model and in seconds you have a UV layout that is free from warping and is easy for texture artists to understand visually.

ZBrush can work hand-in-hand with your favorite digital paint programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter. Using the free ZApplink plug-in you can send the model to your paint program, use all of your favorite brushes and techniques and then bring the edited version back into ZBrush.

A Production Tool which fits your pipeline

ZBrush uses normal mapping technology to make the high resolution detail of a dense mesh appear on the low resolution versions of the model within the video game environment. This means the fast processing required by a video game console is not hampered by dealing with millions of polygons. And yet the model itself still looks as intricate and as complex as it does in ZBrush.

All the tools you need to create normal maps are found in ZBrush. A normal map generated in ZBrush can handle the detail of a billion polygon high definition (HD) model!

Other ZBrush tools, such as the free Decimation Master plug-in can optimize a dense mesh. This creates a “lighter” version of the model which retains all of the sculpted detail. This version of the model can be utilized by your favorite 3D software package’s baking tools to generate normal, ambient maps and more.


The leading video game studios are all using Zbrush

Thanks to its diverse capabilities and powerful time-saving features, ZBrush has been embraced as a production tool by the world’s top video game studios. Your favorite video games include characters and props developed in ZBrush.

Here's a small sampling of the studios using ZBrush: Epic Games, BioWare, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Crytek, SEGA, Naughty Dog, Namco, Midway, Sony Online Entertainment, Turbine, Cryptic Studios, NCSoft, Funcom and many more!

ZBrush Artists: Bernard Beneteau, Midway
View ZBC thread
ZBrush Artist: Dmitry Parkin

“ZBrush has become an industry standard and is here to stay. Learn it. The more knowledge of ZBrush you can master, the better prepared you will be getting into the industry."

Patrick Switzer, Character Artist - Pendulum

Video game inspirations and community creations

The ZBrushCentral community is also populated by gaming aficionados who produce fan art on a regular basis. Just as an example, check out these examples from a very well known versus fighting game:

Join us to post your best low poly creations and fan art as well as to comment on the artwork made by the best video games studios around the world!

"We use ZBrush on pretty much everything in the game. Our environment artists use it as much as the character artists. I would hate to go back to the days before ZBrush; it is an invaluable tool in our pipeline now."

Shane Caudle, Technical Art Director - Epic Games


© 2014 Pixologic, Inc.
All rights reserved, Pixologic and the Pixologic logo, ZBrush, and the ZBrush logo are registered trademarks of Pixologic, Inc.
Various patents pending. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.