Customising The Interface

ZBrush Customisation


Changing The Interface and Color Scheme

Preset Customizations
Buttons up the top left hand corner.
“Load Next User interface Layout” I prefer the 2nd layout with brushes down the bottom
“Load next user interface colors” I prefer a lighter grey colour scheme
To Save the interfaces when you restart be sure to
Preferences > Config > Store Config

Loading Customizations
Preferences > Config > Load UI (find file ending in .cfg)
My UI Config can be downloaded here.

Customising The Interface Manually
To Manually Customize the interface you can “Enable Customize” and ctrl+alt hold click and drag any elements of the interface around. I grab a lot of UI elements and put them onto the main shelves. I will do a video about this in the future.
You can also click drag other brushes/UI elements around, say to add new brushes to the bottom shelf.
To do this
– Preferences > Config > Enable Customize (on)
– go to the brush menu ( >Brush ) and select a brush
– hold ctrl+alt together and click and drag the brush at the bottom of the list down and onto the shelf.
– to remove do the same but drag into the canvas
– Preferences > Config > Store Config (to save)60


Disable Lightbox On Load

To disable the lightbox on load go
1. Preferences > Lightbox > Open at Launch (off)
2. Preferences > Config > Store Config60


Customise hotkeys

Assign A Button to a Hotkey
– Hold ctrl+command (alt) and click on a button, ZBrush will ask you to specify a hotkey, hit the key you want. Your hotkey will be assigned.
Save the hotkeys
– Preferences > Hotkeys > Store
To save hotkeys to a file
– Preferences > Hotkeys > Save
To Load Hotkeys
– Preferences > Hotkeys > Load


Hotkey Change Suggestions

I recommend my hotkeys, especially for those familiar with ZBrush and Mudbox. You can download those here. (rightclick download)
To install the hotkeys go…
Preferences > Hotkeys > Load (find file ending in .txt)

Hotkey Changes
Rotate = e (to match Maya)
Scale = r (to match Maya)

Added Brush Hotkeys
Standard = 1
Move = 2
Snake Hook = ctrl 2
Dam Standard = 3
Clay Buildup = 4
Clay Tubes = ctrl 4
HPolish = 5
Trim Dynamic = ctrl 5
Pinch = 6
Insert Sphere = 7
Insert Cylinder = 8
Clip Curve = 9


Changing The Background Canvas

Canvas size can be adjusted by going
Document > Width/Height
To Set the Canvas to the available window size go
Document > New Document (this will create a new document with the canvas set to the available pixels)
To get rid of the gradient background go
Document > Range = 0 (Document Background Range)
To save the startup doc go
Document > Save as Startup Doc


Creating a Default 3d Scene

1. Click on Lightbox
2. Create a Dynamesh Sphere
3. Click on Persp
4. Click on Y (to constrain the Rotate)
5. hit the hotkey “x” to turn on mirror, this is a toggle on/off60


Changing The Lens Zoom

For most portrait sculpts we’ll be wanting a longer lens, in ZBrush smaller numbers are longer lenses. The default 90 is too wide. 50 or 60 is much better and less distorted.
Draw > Angle of View > 50
Preferences > Config > Store Config


Navigation Basics In ZBrush

rmb = orbit
alt rmb = pan
alt rmb (then release alt) = zoom
shift (hold) will snap the model to right angle views.
To spin perfectly around a model, double click the frame button or hit “f” twice. Then orbit by clicking in the canvas area, not on the model


Brush Settings

Brush Menu = b
Brush Size = s
Brush Intensity = u
All Adjust Modes = spacebar
Invert Brush (eat in/add subtract) = hold alt
Smooth The Mesh = hold shift


Common Brushes In ZBrush

In ZBrush we have a set of standard Brushes that most people agree are the most common brushes used.
1. Standard
2. Smooth (hold shift)
2. Clay
3. Clay Buildup
4. Move
5. Dam Standard
6. Trim Dynamic
7. hPolish
In Addition the following brushes are worthy additions to know
8. Clip Curve – deletes planes with apple/shift (Mac) ctrl/Shift (PC)
8. Clay Tubes
9. Snake Hook
10. Pinch
10. Insert Sphere
11. Insert Cylinder
Extra Brushes
Smooth Directional – Wont suck in your mesh so much, smooths in the direction of the stroke
Snake Hook – (great for extruding out spikey hair)
Slash3 – (cuts into the mesh)
Curve Tubes – (draws tubes extruding out of the mesh)
Insert Sphere – (creates Sphere’s easily, for eyes etc)
Topology brush – (good for making hair strips) (
User Created Brushes
There are Loads of User Created Brushes that you can install for free
Crease Brush – a brush that needs to be downloaded, a good knife cut variation…

Crease Brush For Zbrush Video Link

Stroke Brushes

Organic Custom Brushes

Zbrush IMM Hair strip brush (missing link)


Installing Custom Brushes

1. Close Zbrush if it’s open.
2. Find your zbrush program folder on your hard drive, then navigate to the following folder within:
3. Pixologic > ZBrush (version#) > Zstartup > BrushPresets
4. Put *icon.psd, *alpha.psd and *newBrush.zbp directly in the BrushPresets folder. Don’t make a new folder within BrushPresets.
5. Re-open zbrush and you should find the new brushes in your brush palettes60


Installing Custom Shaders



Andrew Silke

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