Anything like Sculptris' "reduce brush" in ZBrush"?

I’ve used both Sculptris and ZBrush on and off for a few years. I like them both, but seems in one area Sculptris has the advantage with the “reduce brush” allowing reduction or increasing the meshes in a given area, rather than the entire model or subtool.

Decimation Master in ZBrush will reduce an entire model or just specific subtools, but I really like the ability to control that in specific areas where a bunch of polys are not needed…

Any info/opinion or suggestions on a way that can be done in ZBrush?
I have the most recent versions of both
Running Windows XP 32 bit with 12 gigs of virtual memory available (on separate drive)


My WIP of a happy hillbillyredneck2Z01.jpg

In Zbrush, the key is to keep your subdivision levels, then you can export a texture and a normal map baked from the high-level to the low-level. There were some Youtube vids for getting subdivision levels after using Dynamesh, Zbrush also has retopo tools.

That has its advantages, I’m sure.
Seems overly complex if you just want to sculpt - but great if you’re going for the extreme
Most of mine is concept work for figurines, usually with a bronze patina - simple

You have to understand how decimation master works (excellent tool BTW)
Smooth as much as possible the areas that you like to be more decimated. The smoother they are, the less vertices will remain.
On the other hand, how much different is the sculptris method? The more decimated these areas are, the smoother they appear after rendering.

Thanks, Michalis -

I’m taking an in-depth look at all the features of z-brush, never had the time to do it justice before.
Your tip on smoothing is definitely one I will experiment with - I was thinking that smoothing increased the number of vertices.
Always too many irons in the fire before - the past few days I’ve been going through the documentation and running ZB through its paces - amazing software for sure - worth the effort.

organized vs. unified mesh:

i always start my zbrush lectures with this topic; it is important to understand, that zbrush requires a mesh as unified as possible - meaning the faces are equally distributed over the surface and as quadratic as possible, allowing the same amount of detail all over the model.
unified meshes usually consist of quads.

in contrary to the unified mesh the organized mesh will react to the amount of detail required in certain areas. this kind of mesh uses triangles and ngons as well.

in zbrush the workflow usually goes like this: you create a unified base mesh (using an external 3d app, zbrush zspheres or dynamesh) as a starting point; then you sculpt it, adding subdivision levels as you need more detail.

after having finished the sculpt, you can make a retopo, either using zbrush, 3dcoat, topogun or whatever tool you like.
the amount of time that you invest in the retopo depends on the purpose; if you want to create a games asset, you will have to do it properly; if you want to just render out some shots in zbrush, you don´t need it at all;

cheers m

Indeed Michael. We’ll go for some kind of retopo after all, on a zbrush or sculptris or whatever mesh.
But, trying to bake a displacement map on an “organized” mesh, we my face some trouble. On these low density triangulated areas…
Evenly distributed meshes is the best option, especially having this zb excellent engine that can handle huge poly meshes.

I would love to see a zbrush feature, that allows you to bake whatever highres mesh into whatever lowres mesh - thus the lowres doesn´t have to be a lower subdivided version of the highres mesh (like baking in maya, max etc.)

I would love to see a zbrush feature, that allows you to bake whatever highres mesh into whatever lowres mesh - thus the lowres doesn´t have to be a lower subdivided version of the highres mesh (like baking in maya, max etc.)

I may missed something.
But, you can!
The basic principles of retopology exist, even in this silly method.

Or, I misunderstood what you’re asking.
You probably need a retopo cage with UVs on top of the hidef mesh and just bake maps.
3dcoat can bake normal maps this way, xnormal also can.
But non app can bake displacement maps this way. They all have to subdivide and project.

Um … it’s already there …


He’s talking about baking … like with XNormal … but here you can get Subdivision level from any low-poly … and then Bake


This tutorial is… how can I put it? Completely wrong? Not at all, it’s very complex when you do the same with just two clicks or something. And this guy misses the UV mapping too.

So, the only needed is
to just click duplicate under tools menu
to use decimation master on the one of these tools, as in the video.
to divide it to a few poly groups and run uv master / keep polygroups
to subdivide as needed and reproject.

Why this guy involves zsphere/retopology is something I can’t understand. Can you?
Except of editing the low cage, maybe he implies it.

The method in the vid starts the low-poly as lowest subdivision, then subdivides it’s way to the original. I would think this could preserve poly-painting and Material info as well in the highest sub-D, and Zbrush uses it’s subdivision levels for “Baking” to texture.
Subdivision levels would the first concern of anyone wanting to export a “low-poly” for use in a game or such. Without them, Dynamesh would be useless for this.

Thanks for all the great input… To get back to the original question I posted…
I’m not getting into baking, retopoing,and probably never into animation

Primarily, I “sculpt” with intentions of turning some into 3D prints. So most of this is way beyond the scope of my question, but very useful anyway.

While sculpting in Sculptris, I can move a slider for more or less detail (ie tris) in a specific area, or I can do the overall model by subdividing all. I realize that tri’s are not the best, but I have taken the models to a program that preps for 3D print, closing holes, eliminating excess detail and have had successful 3D prints made. I’m particularly pleased that Sculptris Alpha 6 has the ability to import quad .obj files. I have made quite a few with the old renegade program Hexagon, imported them into sculptris and added detail (a royal pain in Hexagon).

All of this without running through all the hoopla in ZBrush, its plugs, or external programs. I mix and match some of the lowbrow programs to build different parts (Rhino, Carrara, etc.) and get some passable results that probably would never pass muster with the average ZBrusher purist.

I’ve had ZBrush for years and a coupla weeks ago upgraded to 4R3 to see if it was any better or different…
It is, but with some issues like support telling me (after I’ve been using it for two weeks or more) that it does not run in Windows XP… :lol:

I thought that was cute and was something I looked for when I did the upgrade and found no mention of it in system requirements… anyway, I plan to up the system to Win 7 64 pro soon, meanwhile I still fiddle wit it on my system that can’t run it

Primarily an illustrator, I use 3D for certain projects, sometimes for fun and am working through some channels toward marketing figurines similar in character to the work I’ve done for Leanin’ Tree greeting cards since 1980 . It’s all about marketing and distribution… otherwise I really love the 3D stuff, but in my own unconventional way. :sunglasses:

You guys are great, obviously out of my league with the high-tech hollywood stuff… I’m just a country boy who likes to doodle and have had enough fools supporting me to earn a living at it for over 40 years

Keep it up, I’m learning a lot and enjoying all of it… I use what I need and marvel at the rest;)

Leanin’ Tree stuff =
Figurine Concepts = http://issuu.com/nateowens/docs/licensingconcepts?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222

Sorry for reviving this old post , and poor English.
I drafted from google search.

In Zbrush2018 with Sculptris Pro, you can make “pseudo Reduce Brush”.

  1. Clone Smooth Brush
  2. Z density to 0.
  3. Brush-> Sculptris Pro-> uncheck global option
  4. uncheck combine mode
  5. modify specific option till what you want.
  6. Save name as ReduceBrush.

this is not my original idea, made by another.
I just want to share this solution who is stranded to this thread like me.