A Mini Tutorial on Zbrush 4.0 UI customization (windows)

Here is a quick mini-tutorial related to customizing the Zbrush 4.0 UI on Windows. Hopefully this helps some folks out.

You can also download the UI I’m using in the video from here:
www.pointpusher.com/prefs/zBrush/4.0/ZStartup.zip (please, make sure you check out the readme file)


Great tutorial for those who weren’t familiar with Zbrush customization…but afaik, you are not allowed to share those RS_ shaders (if i remember the author was selling them on gnomon web page and didn’t share them).

Yes, that’s right. They’re still being sold here.

(You need to select the Textures tab if you click on the link)

qsort, great catch, thank you. I amended the link and sent Ralf a note to let him know what went down as well. I thought the RS matcaps were incorporated in to the matcaps in the download center here: http://www.pixologic.com/zbrush/downloadcenter/library/

But, it appears I was wrong. Thanks for catching it.

Great tutorial pOiNtPuShEr, thanks. (I’ve moved this to the tutorials forum so that it’s easier for people to find.)

Very professional tutorial.

Hey pOiNtPuShEr!

So I followed along with the tutorial, I ran into 1 problem. When accessing the brushes from the Brush menu at the top of the screen I don’t have the full list of brushes available as you do in the video. …there are a limited number of brushes in there with the defaul configuration. I have tried using the same technique pulling from the full list in the shelf when hitting “b” but it didn’t work. Any tips?



While we are talking customizations:
Anyone know how to assign a Hotkey to the Alpha Palette ? Much like pressing B brings up the Brush Palette, I want the same for Alphas-- preferably of course with the quick sorting that is in the brush palette (press B, press T press A for Trim Adaptive etc.).


The default hotkey for the Alpha pop-up is F4. You can assign a different hotkey (without affecting the default one) by Ctrl+Alt+clicking the large Current Alpha thumbnail.

There’s no way to get the quick sorting of the brush palette though - that would need hard coding.

Yaaay! Changing the interface no longer scares me! (and I moved that danged quick sketch button that I kept hitting by accident:p ). Thanks for the great video. I’ll be referring back to it alot.

If you want a neutral colour scheme no need to change all those individual colours just use the saturation slider in the icolour palette.
Took me ages to work that one out, just never noticed it.

Is there any trick to saving brushes and matcaps that aren’t in the default options? If I load clay_polish or dam_standard from Lightbox (or a custom material) I can place them in the UI just fine, but after saving the custom UI these buttons wont be there the next time I load it.

Hi Cryrid,

After you load a brush, material, texture or alpha (via spotlight or in one of the “load” buttons) save them in the Zstartup directory in the appropriate subfolder. My Zstartup directory is here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Pixologic\ZBrush 4.0\ZStartup\

Inside that directory, you will see other directories labeled like this:

BrushPresets <== Save brushes here for load @ startup
Materials <== Save materials here for load @ startup
Alphas <== Save alphas here for load @ startup
Textures <== Save textures here for load @ startup

If you download brushes, matcaps, materials, or alphas, you can just save them in the appropriate directory in windows and restart zbrush. They should load right away. Whenever manipulating your Zstartup directory, you should save backups of your previous versions in case anything gets corrupted. Hope this helps.

Worked like a charm, thanks!

@ Toddd, can you post a screenshot of the brush palette?

@handlebar Thanks for the tip! I will use that from now on for sure.


Brushes will appear at the top of the Brush palette after you have selected them, so in order for it to be easy to add them to your custom UI select them first as you would for sculpting. With the Brush palette open in the right or left tray it’s then easy to Ctrl+Alt+drag them to where you want.

great vid, cheers
I think I’ll go tear my interface to bits :smiley:

Hello pOiNtPuShEr,

Thanks for sharing this little tutorial with us.
While I was already farmiliar with how to customize the UI and how to write scripts for startup etc, your layout was pretty inspiring to me.
The right handed argument made a lot of sense and I’ve always scratched my head thinking about all those pretty much unused buttons and elements cluttered all over my late UI.
In the end though, the beast’s name is just…your workflow habits, I guess.

So, thank you once more for sharing.
Feels refreshing to look upon so much canvas to fill with pixols and polys, rather than borders, buttons and…mindless riffraff.

Great tutorial. I have to say I liked your UI so much that it prompted me to go out and buy a widescreen monitor. :slight_smile:

I have a problem though, at the resolution I have it at (1920x1080), I can’t quite use the Transpose Master buttons on the right hand side. Problem is, when I go into customise/move them, I can get to them. Is there a way to get to them in order to move them?

Excuse me if I answer this…:slight_smile:

Any button on the interface (custom or standard) is a duplicate of the original in the relevant palette. You can open the right palette by Alt+clicking on the button. Obviously you can only do that if you can get at the button, so some hunting around or asking would be necessary in that case. For Transpose Master, you’ll find the buttons in the ZPlugin palette, Transpose Master menu.