ZBrush 4R8 continues our tradition of creating digital sculpting tools that enable an artist to design with immediate response, even with digital sculptures that have vast amounts of detail. The list of new features in ZBrush 4R8 expands upon the digital sculpting workflow within ZBrush. Many new features will provide increased freedom while designing, foremost of which are Live Boolean and Vector Displacement Mesh.
ZBrush 4R8 introduces many other enhancements such as the new Gizmo 3D transformation tool, Lazy Mouse 2.0 and a new Text Creator that will allow the artist to create text and logos with real-time adjustments. It is also available in multiple languages, with the ability to create custom translations of your own.
For all their power, Boolean systems have historically required a lot of trial and error before finally getting a satisfying result. With Live Boolean, artists gain the ability to combine multiple sculptures together and see in real-time what the resulting mesh will look like. Any model can be subtracted from another, regardless of their polygon counts. You can even use Live Boolean with the existing instancing systems in ZBrush such as NanoMesh and ArrayMesh. While Live Boolean is active, you can actually sculpt on your models with immediate preview of the Boolean results. All of these options can be combined together to provide new sculpting workflows that are unique to ZBrush.
There is no guesswork, since you are able to dynamically see the end result before committing to the operation. You can adjust any part on a mesh and see it instantly impact the model. It’s 100% interactive, non-destructive, and works with any sculpt. While the preview gives you real-time feedback, it would be useless if you couldn’t turn it into real geometry. The Live Boolean process does exactly that, and in the process it changes the structure of your models as little as possible. Topology changes only take place where the source models connect to each other. Even with models that are comprised of several million polygons, the result can be generated in just a few seconds.
Vector Displacement Mesh
Expand your alpha arsenal with a new library of Vector Displacement Meshes (VDM’s). These are 3D models used as brush building blocks that will allow undercutting when drawing on a model’s surface. As an example, you can draw a nose complete with nostrils in a single brush stroke. Or an ear with complete front and back sides. Or a bent finger, scales with a raised angle, or even an open mouth. All of this is accomplished without loss of depth or detail.
Vector Displacement Mesh creates real overhangs as you sculpt. Push the details of your model with precise placement on sculpts with millions of polygons. Multiple VDM’s can be combined into a single brush and switched between at will using the new IMM selector. For example, one brush can be used for all the parts of a face, without the need to totally re-sculpt with every new model that you make.
The Gizmo 3D provides the artist with a new, simple UI element that will allow sculpts to be manipulated and transformed with precise control. Gizmo 3D can be easily placed at any location or orientation to perform accurate transformations. You can instantly change the pivot point for Move, Scale or Rotation. There are options to rotate relative to the surface normal or world axis and much more.
This powerful tool goes beyond what is possible with a TransForm Action Line. The Gizmo 3D allows multi-selection and manipulation of SubTools. Select as many SubTools as you want, then move, scale and or/rotate them as a unit. This makes it even easier to pose hard surface models. ZBrush 4R8 also makes large, broad adjustments of any sculpt easy with the new Deformation modifiers found in the Gizmo 3D. Bend text around a curved surface with the classic Bend on Curve modifiers. Twist a sculpt along any axis. Use the Free Form Deformation box (FFD) to completely adjust the silhouette of any model. Also included are unique, powerful deformers like Extender and Multi-Slice.
Another aspect of the Gizmo 3D is Interactive Primitives. This allows you to design rapidly using simple geometric shapes. Artists can freely adjust the geometry that defines the shape, even after the shape has been applied to the surface. Convert a smooth cylinder to an octagon. Adjust a sphere to have flat poles. Change a cone into a pyramid. These and much more are possible, all in real-time. Using this system, a few primitives can be turned into a whole library of sculptable shapes.
Convert any sculpture or shape into a 2D alpha with the click of a button. Once the shape or sculpture has been captured, you can reposition, adjust or even rotate the alpha to any axis. It’s a fast and interactive way to create uniquely different alphas for surface sculpting.
Lazy Mouse 2.0
Our Lazy Mouse system was designed to draw with smooth, precisely controlled strokes. Now an artist can guide any stroke’s angle and length before applying the result to the surface. You can even keep a stroke on a consistent elevation level with no buildup when the stroke path crosses back over itself.
Ever want to apply a pattern continuously around a sculpt without any break in the design? The new LazySnap addition to Lazy Mouse makes it possible to start a stroke, stop to rotate the model, then continue the brush stroke from where you left off without breaking any pattern associated with the brush.
It is now even easier to select any mesh that is saved with our Insert Mesh brushes and Multi Vector Displacement Mesh brushes thanks to a new content browser. Appearing along the top of the canvas, this selector provides smooth cycling between meshes. It addition, the selector allows an artist to swap out any inserted mesh with another in real-time with a quick swipe to the left or right.
If you’re someone who enjoys creating brushes, you can now copy and paste the contents from one brush into another or delete specific items from a brush.
3D Text & Vector Shape Creator
ZBrush now comes with a complete generator for creating 3D text from your system fonts in real-time. This makes it possible to create individual words or small phrases in 3D. You can also use an SVG file to create your own custom logo for placement on any surface.
Combined with the new Live Boolean system, this 3D Text Creator is an easy way to engrave or emboss your surfaces with text or logos. Thanks to the new deformers you also have powerful ways to adjust the text, or even change the silhouette of your logo.
New LightBox with 3D Content
LightBox now gives an artist the capability to cycle through the files worked on in previous ZBrush sessions. Also added is the Go To Folder option: a one-click solution to navigate your file system directly within LightBox. Folders show previews of several items found within them. A number of new brushes and materials have also been added that are excellent to use with the other new features in ZBrush 4R8.
ZSphere DynaMesh Mode
Creating a base mesh with ZSpheres has become even more streamlined for sculpting. In ZBrush 4R8, creating a polymesh from ZSpheres will now default to using our popular DynaMesh system with equally distributed polygons for easy sculpting. Generate a quick bask mesh with ZSpheres and continue to push or pull the surface without having to worry about technical barriers and stretched polygons. Of course, if you prefer the original Adaptive Skin system for a specific model it can still be used.
Give any existing alpha a new look with the Alpha Streak mode. By applying random streaks to the alpha an artist can create a unique brush stroke that is similar in effect to motion blur. Alpha Streaks also give any alpha that perfect “paintbrush” feel.
Adjust any alpha’s magnification with the pressure of your pen. Keep a constant alpha pattern with a light touch, then add magnification to the alpha with stronger pressure. The reverse is also possible. This functionality allows you to create one alpha and vary the pattern along a surface with pen pressure, alone.
3D Print Exporter has been replaced with the new 3D Print Hub plugin. This plugin now gives any 3D printing enthusiast the capability to save and share those perfect export settings, or even export to FormLabs PreForm software with a single click. When updating export size, make sure it’s just right with a new Dimension Check Window.
The new Scale Master has also been added, making it easy for setting ZBrush to use real world measurements of CM, MM, Inches or Feet. It can also resize an entire sculpt with a simple click, including all SubTools.
Enhance your BPR render passes with the new ZBrush to Photoshop CC Plugin. This plugin gives you freedom to select various render passes and several material options that will be exported into Photoshop CC as individual layers.
Send your models to the Sculpteo 3D printing service with the new ZBrush to Sculpteo plugin. It can include PolyPaint as vertex color if desired. The plugin also supports multiple user accounts or anonymous uploading.
These are all automatically included with the default ZBrush 4R8 installation.
GoZ has been updated to support the most recent versions of Modo and Maya.
The following versions of Maya are supported: Maya 2015, Maya 2016, Maya 2016.5 and Maya 2017. Many additions have also been made to Goz for Maya. Pixologic will continue to provide any updates or support to GoZ for Maya.
GoZ for Modo will now be updated and supported by The Foundry. Log in to your Foundry account to download the most recent update to GoZ for Modo.
Multiple Language Support
ZBrush 4R8 is now available* in several languages: English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish. You can switch from one language to another at any time. Beyond the officially supported languages, it is even possible to create your own custom translation which can be shared with others. An intuitive, yet powerful system has been developed to accomplish this within ZBrush itself.
Updated User Interface
Unicode text is now fully supported, letting you use non-English characters for your file names. An added benefit is that scaling the UI will now also scale the text size, which is especially beneficial for today’s high resolution displays.
ZBrush 4R8 is a free-of-charge upgrade for all registered users of ZBrush on Windows and Mac OS X systems.
For users of ZBrush 4.0 through 4R7, upgrading to ZBrush 4R8 is through the full installer. This will ensure the best installation of the new version.
The Auto Update feature in 4R7 was not built for an upgrade of this magnitude and should not be used!
Pro tip: Disable any antivirus software that you have running before you start your download. Leave it disabled until activation of 4R8 has been completed. Many antivirus programs don’t yet know that 4R8 and its components are safe, and can create difficulty if left turned on.
If you have forgotten your ZBrush 4.x serial number/license key, you may retrieve it at the My Licenses page.
For users of ZBrush 4R7 with limited bandwidth, it is possible to upgrade using the ZUpgrader application found in your ZBrush 4R7 folder. This should only be done if downloading the full installer is not possible.
If you have ZBrush 3.5 or below, you will need a new serial number. Submit a Support Ticket.
No upgrade to the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge is required at this time.
For our floating license users, the upgrade paths above will not work. In order to ensure that our largest clients receive the most stable version possible, we are delaying the floating license release for approximately 10 days. This will allow it to include any required patches from the outset. Please subscribe to our RSS feed on our Support Portal to receive automatic notification when the floating system is released.
Upgrading from ZBrushCore
With the release of ZBrush 4R8, we are making it possible to upgrade from ZBrushCore directly through the My Licenses page. Simply log into the page and you will see the upgrade option by your ZBrushCore serial number. As an owner of ZBrushCore you will receive a 100 USD discount off the purchase price of ZBrush 4R8.
You will also be able to keep your ZBrushCore license. While it is not possible for ZBrushCore to open any native-format files from ZBrush, you will be able to bring all of your work from ZBrushCore into ZBrush 4R8.
Purchasing ZBrush 4R8
ZBrush 4R8 Win and Mac is available for sale in the Pixologic online store, for immediate download.
Pixologic will continue to offer ZBrush 4R8 at its current price of USD 795. BUY NOW
Learning the New Features
Documentation for the new version is installed with ZBrush 4R8. You will find a Documentation folder within your ZBrush installation directory, containing PDF files covering the new features in recently released versions. Online documentation is available at docs.pixologic.com. New movies are being added to the Learn ZBrush section at www.pixologic.com to demonstrate the new features and their use.
FAQ and Troubleshooting Thread for ZBrush 4R8
Questions or troubleshooting posts within this announcement thread will be deleted.
Special thanks to all those involved in the making of ZBrush 4R8, including: the beta team, artists, and ZBrushCentral members and the staff at Pixologic around the world.
The Pixologic Team
Q: How do I get my serial number?
A: All releases in the ZBrush 4 series have used the same serial number. If you no longer have a record of yours, you can get it at the My Licenses page, where it will be listed as your License Key. If you have never logged into the My Licenses system before, you may need to register on that page. So long as you register using the same email address that your serial number is associated with, the page will then be able to display your serial number for you.
Q: Do I need to deactivate my current version?
A: While it is not necessary to deactivate your old version, it is recommended that you do so. In that case, please deactivate your current version before upgrading as waiting until after 4R8 has been activated will cause an error in your serial number that will create issues for you if you ever need to reinstall ZBrush.
Q: Why is the Auto Updater not recommended?
A: The auto updater was designed for smaller, incremental updates. With a major upgrade like 4R8, it can introduce problems due to the fact that it first makes a copy of your ZBrush 4R7 folder and then converts that copy to ZBrush 4R8. This means that you will have files left over for the 32-bit version even though one no longer exists. You also won’t have an uninstaller, which can create problems down the road. We strongly recommend that unless your internet connection is simply too slow for the full installer and you have no other way to download, you do not use the Auto Updater for this upgrade.
Q: Is there a 32-bit version?
A: No. 32-bit support for ZBrush has been discontinued. If you are one of the few people still using a 32-bit operating system, please do not upgrade from ZBrush 4R7. When you upgrade to a new computer, you will still be able to receive the ZBrush 4R8 upgrade at that time.
Q: What are the minimum OS versions that are required for ZBrush 4R8?
A: On Windows, ZBrush still requires Vista or above. On Mac OS X, the minimum required version is now 10.8.
Q: Do I need to upgrade KeyShot or the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge?
A: No. Neither requires an upgrade at this time.
*While the ZBrush interface is now available in multiple languages, support continues to be in English, only.