ZBrush 4R8 BETA testing

Some of the images I made while BETA testing ZBrush 4R8

I had the pleasure to be part of a fantastic group of artists during the ZBrush 4R8 Beta testing phase. So I had a chance to take the new set of tools for an early spin, which was awesome … I think the VDMs and the new deformers are great new additions, but the real-time booleans and the 3D Gizmo, are game changers! I still can’t decide which one is my personal favourite… but VDMs are an absolute joy to work with while developing concepts and organic sculpt.

In here, you’ll find a bunch of images that I produced while testing the new ZBrush 4R8 features. some of the images are merely screenshots or WIPs that I never got to polish or render, but I think they illustrate the use of some tools in an interesting way, that might give you ideas for your own projects.


For this image, I used a few ZBrush processes in combination with the Live Boolean system, like the new 3D text plugin and the ArrayMesh feature… and they work really well together. Everything was done within ZBrush 4R8, I used Keyshot and the ZBrush to Keyshot Bridge to render the image. I used Photoshop for the final pass and to create some of the text and logo labels on the device.(scroll through the sliders for alternative renders).


Making this character was a great opportunity to test some custom VDM brushes as well as the Boolean system within a more organic workflow. Another incredibly useful set of new tools are the deformers that can be accessed from the 3D gizmo… I used them to explore shapes and tweak silhouettes. With this Character, the key of using Booleans, was the ability to integrate them with Dyanamesh.

Portrait of the dead king

This was another interesting test. For the actual ‘painting’, I played around with the new alpha modifiers and stroke settings to recreate that oil painting look (I first made the picture in photoshop, ZBrush was just to give it volume to the strokes with a bit of polypaint).

The real focus of this piece was the wooden frame. I used some standard tools like the move brush and DamStandard brush to set the base for a wooden plank. I then used the Live Booleans with some stretched spheres with extra details, to create the rotten and scratched parts on the model.

VDM Cave

I proved to myself with this project, that VDMs are the ultimate weapon In ZBrush for speed sculpting and concepting scenes and characters. Combine VDMs with Dynamesh and custom IMM brushes and you’ll have at your disposal everything you need to smash some quick concepts that look great.

Working on this piece also gave me the idea for the UPDATE to the Rocks Advanced Brushes Pack. You can see more about the use of VDMs to create environments HERE

Honey Bear

This character was a great opportunity to explore the use of VDMs to create details on a more stylised character. The creation process for the base mesh of the bear itself was a relatively standard workflow… I used Dynamesh to block it out, ZRemesher to clean up the topology and then polish the shapes.

Where the VDMs started to shine, was at the detailing stage where I use a custom VDM brush to insert those clumps of hair to give him that particular look.

Mushrooms Diorama

In this piece, I tried to combine the use of booleans and VDMs together with another organic model. One of the things I wanted to test here, was the use different strokes with a VDM brush and the combination of Live Booleans and Array mesh to produce intricate details such as the gills of the mushrooms.

I also created a custom VDM brush to create the details on the mushroom cap and the little flicks on the ring around the stem. In the same brush, I also included a simplified version o a full mushroom that I added to the diorama later (the bluish ones).

Some other random tests and WIPs

Some links to ZBrush 4R8 related stuff that you might find useful

Here is an introduction to the new ZBrush 4R8, along with a review and potential used of the new features.
Here is an introduction to the new ZBrush 4R8, along with a review and potential used of the new features.
Here is the link to the UPDATE of the Rocks Advanced brushes Pack I mentioned on the picture of the Cave