View Full Version : ZBrush and Rendering

06 June 2010, 09:21 AM
I was wondering if someone could help a 3d newbie.

I am intending on buying ZBrush to use as part of a hobby (an expensive hobby). Even though I am an amateur artist, I would still like the possibility of producing nice renders of my work, maybe within scenes. I am not interested in animation, just renders.

I notice a lot of people mention Maya (in fact nearly everyone seems to own it). Looking on the Autodesk website, Maya costs over 3000 ($5000), so it's totally out of the question (and I refuse to pirate software).

So, what affordable 3d packages are there which will allow me to export ZBrush models into them and allow me to adjust lighting and produce a decent render.

I do own Poser 7, and have DAZ3d installed on my machine. I know these are the bottom end of the market however. I have looked at Vue as well, but am unsure how it compares.

Apologies for the total newbiness of this post... I'm very much at the beginning of the 3d journey (coming from 2d art) and the various stages of 3d are still a bit confusing, but I loved playing with the ZBrush trial and would like to explore further.

06 June 2010, 02:00 PM
There is no need for a separate rendering program, you can render within zbrush. Here ( you can find a good tutorial about rendering in zbrush/ compositing in Photoshop.

If you are looking for a good program to render with you could try Modo. It has a great renderer that I personally like a lot. Keep in mind though that you cannot import your zbrush model into Modo 1:1 since it can't handle such high poly counts. Export displacement maps from zbrush instead and apply those to your lowres model in Modo. The details of your model will then be created at render time.

06 June 2010, 02:43 PM
Thanks for the reply. Looking at the link you posted I think you're right, no need to get another rendering program.

I did look at Modo, mainly because it is often seen as a competitor to ZBrush on the basis that it also contains sculpting tools, plus other 3d modelling features. How do you think the sculpting compares to Zbrush (I know this is a separate question but I'd be interested in your opinion as a user of both)?

06 June 2010, 08:24 PM
As a zero cost solution there is blender ( which you can use for rendering or use with one of the many 3rd party (free and commercial) renderers. (

06 June 2010, 08:38 PM
Thanks to you both.

ezekiel66: I did post a response to you earlier, but because I had less than two posts it had to pass authorisation... and appears to have failed. I only asked your opinion on Modo's sculpting compared to ZBrush's.

06 June 2010, 09:07 AM
I only asked your opinion on Modo's sculpting compared to ZBrush's.

Sculpting in Modo is good, but fairly basic and no comparison to what possibilities you have in Zbrush. Also, Modo can't handle the poly counts Zbrush can by far, so you will never achieve the same level of detail there.

I mainly use Modo for (lowpoly) modeling and rendering, Zbrush for the details and XNormal to generate normal maps.

06 June 2010, 09:44 AM
Thanks for the info.

I will look more closely into Modo, as I had previously read the feature set and liked the sound of it. I'll get the trial and if I like it, do a bit of saving up. Shame the free demo's only 15 days.

CGTalk Moderation
06 June 2010, 09:44 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.