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ZBrush 2021.5 Notes

Major Features

Thick Skin

For the true sense of adding, removing or moving clay across a surface use Thick Skin. This gives any mesh the appearance of having been sculpted as a fine art piece.  Thick Skin can also be used to establish a specific plateau from which to build upon a surface to create scales and other features with consistent height or depth.

Sculptris Pro Enhancements

Sculptris Pro performance has been improved, further empowering it as a system for true creativity without limitations.


Didn’t sculpt those wrinkles deeply enough?  Need to enhance the details of those fish scales for a 3D print? The Contrast slider provides you with the ability to globally enhance all sculpting details while the Contrast brushes make it possible to focus on specific areas to heighten your sculptural details. Specific depths can be applied on an individual basis and even be adjusted in real-time, giving true freedom to experiment.

Contrast doesn’t just bump the details.  It can also be applied to smooth a surface back towards the original state before any sculpting details were applied.

Curves Helper

Need to tie a knot around that character's waist, create a flow of wires through a mech or apply laces to a shoe or boot? Curves Helper is your answer! It’s simple: draw any shape with ZSpheres and adjust it to fit your needs.  Then with a simple click, convert the ZSpheres into an editable curve that will now allow any surface to be applied along the curve.

Continue your edits in Curve mode, including swapping out the geometry being applied along the curve.

Preview Ambient Occlusion

Sculpt with real-time render accuracy that captures every stroke applied to your mesh. Real-time ambient occlusion gives you the ability to quickly see which portions of your model might need that extra touch. Bring your creations to life in real-time with the Preview AO (Ambient Occlusion) feature.

ZModeler Additions

Don’t let the walls of your topology restrict your creative process. Slice your topology along an edge, face or point to control the direction in which you want to take the construction of polygons. Once you’ve got everything in place, apply a crease to multiple edges with two clicks to maintain that crisp edge needed for your next hard surface model.

Use the Fill PolyGroup option to mark the faces where you will add an extra layer of topology to create a suit of armor or the right touch of detail on a utility knife.  

Axis Rotation

Lock your model to one rotational axis to give you that real world feeling of working on a sculpture stand, just like the clay masters did. Use the Axis Rotation option to specify a degree of rotation for your model during a presentation meeting or limit your viewing area of interest to just one portion of the model.

3Dconnexion Mouse Support

Navigate in a way that frees you from a keyboard. Using the line of [3Dconnexion]( mice gives you the ability to navigate with just a slight touch of the navigation knob. Rotate and zoom at the same time or pivot around the point of interest without breaking your sculpting stride.

And More...

  • Two new Render Presets have been added.
  • A new Radial Overlay filter lets you focus your render on a specific part of the scene.
  • Various plug-ins have been updated.
  • Four new demo projects have been added to be used as a base for many sculpts.
  • Several brushes have been added to take advantage of the Thick Skin feature.

 2021.5.1 Update

This update focuses on fixes and tweaks to improve the overall ZBrush 2021.5 experience.

  • SubTool saving updated when using SculptHD mode
  • Resolved HD Geometry stability issue
  • Dynamic Subdivision with FiberMesh no longer causes visual artifacts
  • Material Transparency rendering issue resolved
  • Dynamic Subdiv causing artifacts when rotating has been updated
  • ZBrush To Photoshop CC updated to fix a layer issue
  • Scale Master updated to work with Dynamic Thickness and will now detect hidden geometry
  • Decimation Master updated
  • Axis Rotation updated
  • Maya BlendShapes updated
  • Maya .ma ascii file export fixed
  • Option Added: When adjusting the slider the Shift key can now round to a whole value
  • Poseable Symmetry returned to 2021.1.2 functionality and works with multiple subdivision levels
  • Inflate brush updated to take advantage of Thick Skin
  • DemoHead project restored
  • Default UI tweaked
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  1. Matthew Yetter

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