I need a 'Sensei' - jokes aside, I keep getting stuck on little things and could use advice

My name is Karrie and I’ve just started out with zbrush, its my first time using a 3D modeling program.
I’m trying to follow along with online tutorials but I keep hitting road blocks, when I find a tutorial that explains what I need I get halfway through it only for it to be an outdated method. A lot of little buttons seem to change with each updated version of zbrush.
Today I’ve tried to follow along with the making a prop blade tutorial on the website, got stuck because all the zmodeler buttons have changed. this is incredibly frustrating because I can’t just skip over a section of the tutorial (90% of it probably still works fine) its just 1 button that I have no idea where it is, so I have to spend hours looking for a different method or find the answer of where the button has gone hidden away in a different tutorial.
I’m getting stuck on really basic things, where a 5 minute conversation with someone experienced would probably clear up all of my questions.
I’ve watched all the beginner tutorials on the website and extras on youtube
(Michael Pavlovich, while brilliant, talks waaayyyy too quickly)

But is there a course with a teacher? where I could ask basic questions instead of trawling the internet?
Or is anyone willing to help me out on sporadic occasions? (I don’t want to flood this forum with random questions)

Thanks in advance!

Hi, ZBrush is a different kind of beast…
I’ve been working on Custom UI’s for years now. I hadn’t quite finished redoing the UI for 2021.1 when 2021.1.1 came out…
There’s more than one way to do some things. Good Luck, welcome to the Forums. :smiley:

Hello @Karrie

Welcome to the forums.

The Pixologic website has a list of some third party instruction and schools. While you’re there make sure to visit the Pixologic Classroom.

You can always advertise over in the community forum for a tutor arrangement, though I can’t promise anything.

That’s what we’re here for! But maybe try to limit your questions to the most specific issues possible, rather than impossibly broad inquiries that cant really be covered in a thread. Questions like “how do I texture” is a general 3d question, and a huge subject. But we can help you with “how do I export a texture from ZBrush”. Always hit the Documentation first.

As an experienced user who’s been involved in many of those conversations, I can promise you it isn’t the case. :wink: There are always more questions. It’s a process of time, study, and exposure.

You won’t learn ZBrush in 5 minutes, and nobody would possibly expect you to. But it won’t be forever, either. Just keep studying the tools and practicing, and the questions will be fewer as time goes on. Compare yourself in 30 days from where you started, and then another 30 days, etc. You’ll see the progress.

Good luck!

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I know that’s right :wink:

Karrie, what is it that you want to do with ZBrush? Are you making characters, 3D prints, jewelry, 2D artwork? That might help point you in the right direction.

I’m not ashamed to say that this program literally made me cry in the beginning. I’d used other CAD programs in the past (I did the YouTube help tutorials for Google for SketchUp years ago), but ZBrush is a different kind of beast.

Hang in there…the program is literally life-changing. Please let us know what you’re hoping to learn. Also what kind of hardware you’re using.

And welcome!

@katadair @Doug_Jones Spyndel Thank you for all the replies

Yes, I think I just got overly frustrated spending hours on it the other day and feeling like I got no where.
Ideally I want to make props (3D print) that I can then mold and cast, or jewelry pieces etc

Unfortunately it seems like I’ve come at a bad time to try and learn what I want to do with hard surface modeling, with 2021 just being released, its changed the setup of the zmodeler buttons which means I can’t actually follow along “step by step” tutorials at the moment until ones for 2021 are made.

For example the zbrush classroom tutorial linked here >

at the 10 minute point when space bar is pressed to go into zmodeler, all the buttons are now different. All the basic tutorials for bladed weapons on youtube all use the same or similar process as well (some start with a flat rectangle and use the move brush to organically manipulate the shape, but my preference would be to stick to proper shapes)

I’ve tried clicking on buttons in the new zmodeler that looked like they might be similar to the old one, but frankly I have no idea what I’m doing, and the combinations I’ve tried haven’t worked the way they did in the tutorial video that still used the older zbrush version.
I can’t move on with the rest of the tutorial until I know how to get past this point.
So I spent I while searching the depths of youtube for alternative ways to create a blade, without much luck, any that used a different method were a lot more organic or advanced.

Then I thought I would try something simple, I just want to make a cylinder with one end slightly bigger than the other (cone) eg. one side 3cm dia. the other side 2 cm dia.
I tried to do it with the gizmo to expand one end and not the other, could not get it to work for the life of me. Spent ages trying to find more information on youtube on what I was doing wrong. Like for the love of god in any other CAD program that would be simple.
(As an engineer trades person I’ve had some experience with CAD/Solidworks)

On the other hand, The natural clay sculpting for characters is a lot of fun to play with, so that helps me to get used to the UI and masking patterns for jewelry is a lot of fun.
I’ve kind of temporarily given up trying to actually do anything at the moment, and just watching random tutorials about other parts of the system and slowly piecing information together about zbrush as a whole.
But knowing what the next steps would be for the blade tutorial would be great, if anyone can fill in the blanks.


There has never been a better time to hard surface model in ZBrush. The ZModeler buttons are mostly the same except to where they relate to the new functions, and the new functions were pretty well covered in the 2021 Live Stream.. Concentrate on learning what each of the functions for ZModeler do. Functions don’t often change much, even if the button placement does. The ZModeler functions are pretty well covered in the Pixologic classroom linked above.

ZBrush has been around for close to two decades now, and unfortunately people don’t always remove outdated content from the internet. Many of those tutorials are still going to feature useful information, however, even if it might take a trip to the documentation to see how it works these days.

:warning: Please don’t overlook the documentation–if a question you have is clearly answered there, you’ll probably just get linked back to it, so save yourself some time. I strongly recommend starting with the “Getting Started” and “Basic Concepts” section, and learning the fundamentals of the program as a basis for further learning, rather than just jumping blind into random tutorials at first. If you don’t understand the program fundamentals, everything else you try to do will be much more difficult. Many of the most common new user questions are answered in the Basic Concepts section.

Try to watch a couple “Ask ZBrush” videos every day–they cover commonly asked questions.

Again, I think you have unrealistic expectations for yourself. Your learning process in ZBrush will take place over weeks and months, not days. Nobody “learns” Zbrush their first week. So just relax, and set achievable goals for yourself every day. “Today, I will learn how to create a simple texture”.

And I strongly urge you again to focus your posts into very specific questions. Don’t ask every question you have in a single thread. Try to avoid editorializing as it just clutters your thread, and may drive away users who would have otherwise answered your question. Remember that every user you think of as “experienced” has gone through what you’re doing now, so while they might be sympathetic to a point, they know it’s well within reach to do this, out of date tutorials and all.