Sneak peek: ZBrush 2021 | CG Channel
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Sneak Peek: ZBrush 2021

Thursday, July 23, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

Pixologic gave a little insight into ZBrush 2021, the next major update to the digital sculpting software.

The version, which will be free for registered users again, will add an interesting set of features related to fabric shaping and dynamics, as well as updates to the instance workflow.

A new physics-enabled tool set for fabric shaping
The most striking part of the demo video is the opening section, which shows new tools for shaping clothes and fabric in general.

This includes MicroPoly, which can mimic the physical structure of coarse fabrics and materials such as chain mail. Various preset geometries are used to create a weave structure.

The update also adds a material dynamics system that supports the gravity and collisions shown in the video.

Users can also manually shape fabric using a set of interactive brushes similar to the physics-enabled fabric brush recently introduced in Blender 2.83.

The video shows a ClothHook brush for shaping folds and ClothDimple, which is used in the video to shape the recesses in a pillow with buttons sewn on.

The features are currently geared towards creating clothes for static characters rather than a complete toolset for designing clothes in the Marvelous designer style. However, they form a good foundation on which to build.

More new physical functions
In addition to the fabric simulation, the video shows some other physically capable functions: FiberMesh with Dynamics and Unweld All with Dynamics.

Both are illustrated by simple destruction simulations – the kind of things you may see after running a shattering system on a model – so it will be interesting to see how Pixologic believes they will be used in practice .

Instance, polygon modeling, and performance improvements
Other changes include improvements to the instantiation of the workflow, whereby the existing NanoMesh system, which is currently mainly used to distribute small surface details, is shown when used with a much larger geometry.

The video also shows updates to the ZModeler polygon modeling tool kit and a new dynamic thickness system for thickening the edges of the geometry.

In addition, the option "Save as image, load as 3D model" is mentioned in the video. We imagine that this is the iMage3D export system introduced in ZBrushCoreMini, the new free entry-level version of the software.

You can also see a side-by-side performance comparison between ZBrush 2020 and ZBrush 2021 at 1:50 in the video. Pixologic doesn't provide any speed boost numbers, but 2021 is noticeably faster.

Pricing and system requirements
ZBrush 2021 is a free update for registered users. Pixologic has not yet announced a release date.

The current stable version ZBrush 2020.1 is available for 64-bit Windows Vista + and Mac OS X 10.10+. New perpetual licenses cost $ 895 and subscriptions cost $ 39.95 / month or $ 179.95 for six months.

More information about ZBrush 2021 can be found in the Pixologic thread on ZBrushCentral

Tags: 3D modeling, Blender 2.83. Marvelous designer, fabric brush, fabric shaping, fabric simulation, ClothDimple, ClothHook, clothing shaping, collision, destruction, digital sculpture, dynamic thickness, fabric, FiberMesh with dynamics, gravity, iMage3D, instantiation, NanoMesh, new functions, performance, physics, Pixologic, polygon modeling, Price, release date, system requirements, Unweld All with Dynamics, web structure, ZBrush, ZBrush 2020.1, ZBrush 2021, ZBrushCoreMini, ZModeler


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