Most of the times people do their renders with the most common render engines of the industry like Arnold, Blender Cycles or Keyshot, among others. They offer in overall, more photo-realistic renders, but what happen when you are looking for a more stylized feel. Here is where ZBrush stands out with its potential.

Certainly you can create beautiful renders when you go deeper than the default render passes. ZBrush has a default Best Preview Render, better known as BPR, that you can use to render and generate few passes. But what if I tell that you can take it further in a few clicks?

By using the ZBrush to Photoshop CC Plugin, you can generate additional render passes that go beyond the default ones and allow you to have more control over the final composition on Photoshop.

To help you in the rendering process, here’s an easy tutorial on how to render in ZBrush using the ZBrush to Photoshop plugin.

Lock the Camera View

This is not an obligatory step but is always recommended to lock the camera transformation to avoid losing the perspective to an accidental miss-click. Make sure you are pointing your model in a good angle and then:

  • Navigate to Draw
  • Push the Lock Camera button

How to Configure ZBrush to Photoshop Plugin

To get started with the ZBrush to Photoshop plugin, first you will need to access it.

  • Navigate to ZPlugin > ZBrush to Photoshop

While BPR, Shadow, Depth, and Mask are the default passes, there are many more from which to choose. Lights, Spec, Wireframe and Preview are a few of the additional passes you can generate. All you need to do here is select all the passes you want.

If you want to learn more about what every render passe does please visit the ZBrush documentation.

Send the Render Passes to Photoshop CC

After you’ve selected all of the passes that will best work with your compo, you will need to:

  • Click on Send to Photoshop CC button

This will allow the app to do its job. The plugin uses Extend Script functionality to send the Zbrush BPR RenderPasses to Photoshop CC. In other words, whichever passes you select will be automatically processed and then sent to Photoshop, where the imported passes will be used as layers.

So, sit back and relax while the software does its thing, as most of the heavy work will be done by this plugin.

Adjust the Passes in Photoshop

Once it is finished automatically transferring all the passes inside Photoshop, you will get all these well-organized passes where you can start tweaking your image.

Keep in mind that for some reason the overall mask will be aliased. To fix it, you will need to export your own mask using the following steps:

  • Inside ZBrush, navigate to Render > BPR RenderPass
  • Select the Mask pass and save as a new file
  • Go to Photoshop and load the new mask

If you don't have any passe inside RenderPass menu, just push BPR button to to render your scene again.

In Conclusion

There you have it. Now you can generate many passes with the click of a button, compositing and tweaking your image layers as you see fit with what you had in mind, to create the most stunning renders!

With the help of the ZBrush to Photoshop Plugin, it opens the doors to your creative potential, allowing you to have more control over your final image.



I also attach a video from Danny Mac which will help you to complement the understanding of this process.

Now that you have come to the end of the process. Remember to save!