Pixologic ZBrush 3.1
- Transpose and real-time posing; mesh extraction; Subtools; HD geometry; local subdivision and layers; new brushes; precise controls; multithreaded multiprocessor support
- No equivalent Mac version yet; fairly steep learning curve; no animation capabilities
Experienced modellers will need to approach ZBrush with an open mind, but this version offers superior organic modelling, high speed and very high quality paint and materials facilities. Novices may need to consult the online help facility though, as there's definitely a steep learning curve involved.
Price$ 595.00 (AUD)
ZBrush allows you to sculpt and manipulate 3D models and paint and work with 2D images, but also combines both concepts in a unique '2.5D' workspace.
Some of ZBrush's functionality can be compared to organic modellers and high-resolution sculpting applications like Mudbox and Modo, but the very individual workflow and tool techniques mean it's an application that you'll either love or hate.
The new release has a host of new features, not least that it can take advantage of multi-processors and is multithreaded for speed. Sure enough it gave a speed increase of 25 per cent in our test on a 2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system. Unfortunately version 3.1 is only currently available for Windows (we tested it on Vista), with ZBrush for the Mac dawdling at version 2.0.
There's also the ability to apply real-world texturing, shadows and lighting by sampling directly from a photo or image using the MatCap tool. Samples are built up from various areas of the reference photo, creating a new lighting environment from the cumulative result. It will only capture basic material properties such as diffuse colour and specularity, though, not transparency or procedural colouring effects.
Real-time posing and deforming is another new facility, accessed via the new Transpose feature, with topological masks used to isolate body parts and object elements and an action line applied to control the transformation.
This works moderately well in practice, but you'll often need to use the associated mask blurring feature, which allows you to adjust mask intensity gradation around areas of your model prone to significant distortion. However, this is easily achieved by Ctrl-clicking on the masked area.
Other features like 3D layers and local subdivision -- so you can add detail only to areas you need it most -- are also useful. This seems to be a trend in sculpting packages, with Mudbox also offering similar facilities.
However, ZBrush also introduces HD Geometry with this version, which allows you to divide a model up to one billion polygons and work on an individual area at this high subdivision level. This isolated work mode means that the system can still be responsive while dealing with ultra-high resolutions. Clicking the Sculpt HD button renders the HD geometry and the results can be very impressive.
Modellers are also well served by Subtools, which let you break down a single mesh into numerous independent and therefore manageable elements. The mesh extraction feature makes it quick and easy to create new elements such as clothes from existing surfaces using selection by masking, visibility and layers. There are also several new brushes including the lazy mouse setting for jitter-free brush strokes and steadied control, as well as precise brush controls like gravity.
As before, experienced modellers will need to approach ZBrush with an open mind, but this version offers superior organic modelling, high speed and very high quality paint and materials facilities. Novices may need to consult the online help facility though, as there's definitely a steep learning curve involved.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Intel launches AI-driven anti-money laundering solution
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
- Dragon Gets NDIS Approval
- NAB go in on Google Assistant integration with new app
- Google marries AI, hardware and software with Made By Google
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- iPhone 8
- Canon 6D MK II: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic’s EX600U UHD HDR TV + HTB688 soundbar:
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCSolution Architect - WealthVIC
- FTAgile Business Analyst, website or mobile apps expOther
- FTSCCM SpecialistOther
- CCLead Service Designer - CANBERRA BASEDNSW
- CCMultiple Business AnalystsACT
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Risk and Compliance StreamOther
- TPStrategic Procurement OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- FTINCIDENT MANAGEROther
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCSAP WCEM/Java DeveloperVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCAgile Business Analyst - BrisbaneQLD
- FTGraduate C# DeveloperNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Business ArchitectOther
- CCContent WriterNSW
- FTProject AdministratorACT
- FTBusiness Information Security Officer (BISO)NSW
- FTPython DeveloperOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTInfrastructure Business AnalystOther
- CCSAP ABAP DevelopersACT