There are many different brushes you can sculpt with in ZBrush. Each brush has a unique feature that allows it to do something that other brushes cannot. Brushes in ZBrush can also be customized using several controls to achieve different behaviors.
First of all we must know that even if it is an IMM brush, VDM brush or Multi-Alpha brush – they can be imported the same way as long as the file extension is .ZBP.
EASY WAYS TO IMPORT BRUSHES INTO ZBRUSH
One of the ZBrush basics we have to know is that there is not an unique way to import a brush, in fact, in ZBrush it is normal to have the same option on different menus. In this article we’ll show you the most common ways to import your new brushes to ZBrush and start working with them.
OPEN BRUSHES DIRECTLY FROM WINDOWS
The first method is really easy, let's assume that we have recently acquired a copy of the Hair Salon IMM Brush.
First, you’ll need to download the .zip file from your “Download Library” here in S3ART Store. In our exemple:
While the file is being downloaded, you can open the ZBrush software if you haven't done it yet. Then uncompress the downloaded file and navigate to the folder where your new brush has been extracted. Now you can double click on each .zbp file, this should load the brushes directly to ZBrush. In our exemple:
Make sure the brushes are compatible with your ZBrush version, to do so, please read the product description. If the brushes have a weird behavior, it may indicate that you have to update ZBrush to the latest version.
THE BRUSH DROP-DOWN MENU
As it’s usual on the software made for Windows, at the very top-left of the screen, we can see an horizontal list of items which each one is a drop-down menu. Here we’ll open the "Brush" menu.
This will open a panel box with various options to interact with the brushes themselves, plus some of the brushes that are preloaded inside ZBrush. One of the options we can see here is "Load Brush" – click on it.
A window will open, just navigate where your brush is located and double click the .zbp file to import it.
IMPORT BRUSHES TO THE BRUSH PALETTE
Another way to do so is by going on the left bar where by default, you can find various boxes. Select the first box which will open the brush palette.
This will open a panel box with all the brushes available in ZBrush.
At the bottom-left of the panel, there is a button called "Load Brush", just click it to open the navigation window.
Now you have to do the same as before, find where your brushes are located and double click to import them.
HOW TO AUTOMATICALLY LOAD A BRUSH WHEN ZBRUSH STARTS BY DEFAULT?
For those of you that found an indispensable brush that complies with your expectations, and would like to be loaded automatically every time you start ZBrush. You can permanently install your brushes by moving them in the ZBrush installation folder:
- C:\Program Files\Pixologic\ZBrush 20XX\ZStartup\BrushPresets
For now on, the brushes you moved to the location above will appear on the brushes palette each time you start ZBrush.
USE LIGHTBOX TO ORGANIZE YOUR BRUSHES
The last method is for more advanced users. What we want to show you has to do with a feature called "LightBox". This is an integrated browser which can display the content located in the installation folder of ZBrush. Here we can find content organized by categories: Documents, Tool, Brushes, Material, Alphas, Textures, ZScript and Other – Ofcourse this may help you when organizing your brush palette.
Let's find out how to import brushes to ZBrush using LightBox.
By default, the LightBox will also open when starting ZBrush. But if you already started a project, the panel surely will be closed. To open it again, you must search for a big button called “LightBox” at the top-left of ZBrush, or push the coma key " , " on your keyboard.
Once you have opened the LightBox, at the top of this panel you will see the categories – click on the "Brush" category. You will see a bunch of folders where there are some digital brushes inside each one.
If you want to add several brush files and organize the folders as you want, we recommend doing it on windows. To open this folder navigate to:
- C:\Program Files\Pixologic\ZBrush 20XX\ZBrushes
Once you have all the brushes moved to the folder above, you can also organize the files inside the LightBox by holding "Ctrl + Alt" while drag & drop the files inside folders.
OUR DIGITAL BRUSHES
In S3ART Store, we have specialized in the creation of custom brushes suitable for different art styles and bring photorealistic, cartoon, or stylized art pieces to life.
Discover the most complete all-purpose brushes for sculpting, sketching or modeling. Speed up your artwork creation process with our user-friendly digital tools. Give a side the annoying and time consuming process of developing each part of your project and achieve affordable deadlines.
Now that you learned how to import brushes to ZBrush, we made a selection of some of our best brushes down below:
HAIR SALON - IMM BRUSH
Creating stylized hair, defining its shape, and making it look natural can be tricky and time-consuming. With minimal effort, position individual strands as desired – make hair loose and flowing, tightly braided, or bouncy and curly to suit your characters’ styles.
Doesn’t matter if you are working in ZBrush or Blender, the HairSalon utility pack will help you with the task.
FAST N’ FURRY - IMM BRUSH
The Fast N’ Furry Brush is one of the fastest ways to create stylized fur in ZBrush for your creatures, humanoid characters and props. Create leafy lion manes, cover bodies, or make amazing Viking cloaks – this brush may help your fantastic furry beasts come to life, looking cute or fierce depending on your stylized character’s mood.
This digital brushes makes it easy to create fur and becomes a great tool for sculptors and 3D concept artists who want to quickly sketch an art piece, or even conclude your final artwork, as the base-meshes have a well-made topology, using quads on the overall shape but ending with tris for a sharper tip.
SEAM MAKER - VDM BRUSH
As if it was a sewing machine, this VDM brush will provide you with over 30 seam strokes that range from a simple cutting seam shape, to more complex and detailed sewing patterns.
Create pockets, sew edges or make patches. Give depth and realism to your clothes by simply stroking the chosen shape onto your model.
GEO MAKER - VDM BRUSH
Make your planet’s terrain more authentic with this VDM Brush. It’s a versatile tool with which you can add a few rocks or design the surface of an entire mountain. Position stones on your sculpt meshes or create otherworldly texture all over.
Simply drag your chosen shape onto your model to give depth and realism. The various shapes range from flat with subtle, grainy texture to rough and ridged with cracks and cut edges.
THE CONCLUSION IS
We hope this article has made it clear to you on how to run brushes into ZBrush. If you are currently thinking of creating a character for a video game, for a movie production, or just to have a good time sketching – we can help by providing you with the best resources out there. Let us help you create amazing game characters.
Download our ready-made digital resources and put your unique ideas into practice.