ZBrush is a digital sculpting tool that combines 3D/2.5D modeling, texturing and painting. It uses a proprietary "pixol" technology which stores lighting, color, material, and depth information for all objects on the screen. The main difference between ZBrush and more traditional modeling packages is that it is more akin to sculpting.
ZBrush is used as a digital sculpting tool to create high-resolution models (up to millions of polygons, and theoretically unlimited) for use in movies, games, and animations. It is used by companies ranging from ILM to Electronic Arts. ZBrush uses dynamic levels of resolution to allow sculptors to make global or local changes to their models. ZBrush is most known for being able to sculpt medium to high frequency details that were traditionally painted in bump maps. The resulting mesh details can then be exported as normal maps to be used on a low poly version of that same model. They can also be exported as a displacement map, although in that case the lower poly version generally requires more resolution. Or, once completed, the 3D model can be projected to the background, becoming a 2.5D image (upon which further effects can be applied). Work can then begin on another 3D model which can be used in the same scene. This feature lets users work with extremely complicated scenes without heavy processor overhead.
ZBrush 3 gives you access to unparalleled power and control previously unknown in digital art creation software. Controls enable sculptors to create with a stylus and a tablet as intuitively as if they were using their hands on a block of clay. ZBrush further extends the creation experience, harnessing technology and providing artists with a multitude of creation-enhancing tools.
* Posable Symmetry
* TransPose with topology masking
* HD Geometry
* SubTools with Project All, GroupSplit and Extract
* 3D Layers
* Brush Palette with Many new brushes, Mesh Insert, Alpha Tiling and Wrap Mode, Gravity, Cavity Masking, Backface Masking and Color Masking
* Polypaint with or without UV's: Real-time painting on the model
* Perspective while editing models
* Real-time Preview Shadows
* New Masking Options: Blur and Sharpen
* Most stroke types can be used with any sculpting brush, Lazy Mouse and Roll Mode
* Make 3D
* Disable/Enable UV's, Switch U<>V, Cycle UV
* Movie creator with turntable capability and Quicktime export
* Tool Palette with a new organization of the pop-up window, new icons for the non-3D brushes
* Interface Customization with Custom Palettes and Menus, Wide or Narrow Buttons, Scalable Buttons, Gradient Canvas Background, Custom Hotkeys, Macros, Alpha, Material and Texture pre-loads, Color presets with easy selection buttons in the title bar and Title bar buttons for rotating between interface layouts
* Preferences Palette with Import material zones as polygroups, Group NSided Polygons and Support for over 100 processors/cores