Alpha Bas Relief - Unable to successfully project

I am very very new to zbrush.
My main interest in utilizing zbrush is to create bas relief projects to further be 3d printed and used as molds for silversmithing.

I’ve watched countless youtube videos and cannot for the life of me emulate the results that look so easy.

My first question:
When creating an alpha, when I attempt to click and drag onto my object, I receive a prompt that says I am in 3d mode and asks if I want to switch to 2.5d mode.
When/if I switch, I’m only then dragging another tool onto the document instead of my alpha/bas.
If I don’t switch, I’m unable to simply click and drag onto my object to bring in said alpha/bas.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
If I can figure this out, this will be an absolute game changer for me.

Thanks in advance!

Hello @CM_Rutledge ,

I’m not certain what process you are using but it sounds like you may need to enter Edit mode with the tools you are using. By default, the Zbrush canvas is a 2.5 D space. You must draw a tool out on the canvas and then before doing anything else, enter Edit mode (T) in order to edit it as a 3D mesh. More information here:


As to applying an alpha to a normal sculpting brush you must select the alpha for the brush. Then select a drag rect stroke type. This will let you draw out the alpha from the center of the stroke to as large as you would like. The target must be a 3D mesh in Edit mode.

Hope that helps! :slight_smile: