ZBrush is a 3D modeling tool that allows artists to sculpt high-definition characters. It further creates maps for other kinds of content creation software, such as Maya and 3D Max, which can apply these maps and use them to render details on models with low-polygonal counts.
- Terrific sculpting tools that have become an industry standard
- Can create maps of extremely high-polygonal models so they can be applied to low-polygonal ones in other programs
- Frees artists from the constraints of standard modeling programs
- Artists can create highly detailed characters models that have very low overhead
- The program has been around a long time, and it has a large user base, with lots of resources to draw upon
- The program now also has low-polygonal modeling tools as well
- While relatively expensive, upgrades have always been free
- Unusual UI requires some learning
- Relatively expensive
- Complicates the workflow of artists somewhat
Many programs in the past decade have tried to copy ZBrush in one way or another, but it remains the gold standard for sculpting high-definition character models. While it is perhaps not the easiest program to learn and use, with its unusual UI, artists can create just about any kind of character they can imagine with the software, and they can do so with brushes instead of the mechanical type of tools found in standard modeling packages. But what really makes ZBrush powerful is that no matter how detailed the model is, a map of it can be applied to a low-definition model with very little overhead, which is critical in certain environments, such as gaming. ZBrush also now contain tools for doing low-polygonal modeling as well. One drawback of the program is that it relatively expensive. Though, so far the company that makes it has never charged for an upgrade. Using ZBrush can also make a workflow a little more complicated, because models and maps typically needed to imported into packages such as Maya and 3D Max. Finally, because ZBrush has been around for so long and has so many users, it has a large community, which new users can draw upon when needing support.