Default brush acts faint after a couple of strokes


I have recently encountered this issue, where I will be in the middle of sculping and my default brush or masking brush will suddenly become really faint. It makes painting masks very difficult, needing many strokes to become 100% and just being too soft. I thought it was maybe some settings that changed, but I caught the behavior in the middle of a stroke, so no settings could have changed.

The still image shows it mid-stroke changing.


I could not capture this behavior on GIF, but I can show how the clay brush seems normal while the default brush is very faint. Once again, I have not changed any settings, in fact to record this I restarted Zbrush several times. (there’s some compression, but basically the clay stroke is 100% opacity, and default brush stroke is 10%-ish opacity, while opacity for RGB is on 100%, and the same happens to masking)


Any ideas what could be causing this?

(I also noticed the Gradient option was on and causing some weird colors, when I don’t remember enabling it myself, but that was an easy one to turn off)

Hello @Jackdaw ,

Given the symmetry failure I’d be inclined to suspect your mesh is either off-center or not actually symmetrical. This could account for both the symmetry failure as well as the difference in marks from side to side.

Even if a mesh is topologically identical from side to side across it’s own center, if it is off-center from the global tool center it is not a mirror image on either side of the global center and therefore not symmetrical. Unless you are using local symmetry, the points of the mesh must be an exact mirror image on either side of the world center or the mesh is not symmetrical and symmetrical operations will vary from side to side.

You can force a mesh into global symmetry with Geometry> Modify Topology> Mirror and Weld.

Likewise, make sure to unify your mesh at the beginning of a project to ensure it is the proper working size for ZBrush, as well as centered in the worldspace. Meshes that are abnormally large or drastically offset from center when imported into ZBrush may experience any number of issues.

Another possibility is that you have a marked history state on your Undo History bar that is influence your surface information. If you see any solid white or red (the marked state is for another subtool) blips on the Undo History bar you have a marked state, Ctrl-click once anywhere on the bar to mark a new state then Ctrl-click again to clear it.


That is not the issue here at all, I am fully aware the mesh is not symmetrical, hence why in the GIF I disable symmetry to show the issue.

I am talking about the default and masking brush becoming very faint in the middle of a sculpting session in the whole of Zbrush.

The mesh size is unlikely to be the issue because:

  • this brush issue happens mid-session, sometimes mid-stroke
  • this is made on a basebody I have made dozens characters on with no issue