Image Plane Transparency Problem

My apologies if this has been resolved somewhere else but I can’t seem to find an answer to my problem. It has to do with the reference views using Texture > Image Planes.

When I initially load an image into a view, it all seems fine. I line things up and hit Store View, go to the next view and repeat. When I go back to a saved view, it appears as though the image is gone. (Image 2)

However, if I turn the Model opacity down, I find that image is visible behind the model and only behind the model. (Image 3)

I do not recall this being the behavior of Image Plane before, does anyone know what is going on?

I am running ZBrush 2019.1 on a 2019 iMac running Mojave 10.14.5

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi, I’m unable to reproduce your issue using Windows 10.
Maybe is a Mac related problem?
Have you tried a clean reinstall of Zbrush 2019.1?

Yes, unfortunately this was done on a clean install. I Uninstalled 2019 fully before installing 2019.1. This happened right after set up.

Hmm, this is odd. I can’t reproduce this on my Mac but I don’t have Mojave. Can you tell me what your screen res is, and also what size the ZBrush document is? I’ll look into this.


Thank you all for trying to help me figure this out. I appreciate it a lot.

As for my screen res, it’s a 5k iMac so the screen res is 5120 x 2880.

However, this issue persists no matter what document size I use. I dropped the docs res down to 1120 x 840 as well as 560 x 420 and it acts exactly same way as I described in my initial post.

Did you have previously Zbrush 2018 / 2019 running without this problem in the same iMac?

Yeah, I had 2019 running without this issue on this iMac before updating to 2019.1

Okay, so here is an update on this issue for me. I did a full uninstall and made sure I got rid of any lingering preferences and such, then did a clean reinstall of 2019.1.

Here’s an interesting thing, during the very first launch after finishing installation, the Image Plane reference views work as they should. There is one thing I saw though. The default document still had the gradient background but when applying a Image Plane, the non-image, canvas area, appears solid gray. (image 1 & 2)

The problem is that after quitting ZBrush and relaunching, the original problem is back and no different than my original post.

I tried the clean reinstall process one more time with the exact same result.

It’s strange behavior and I hope I can get it resolved since I tend to use these Image Planes a lot.

background gradient is gone on Image Plane with Reference present, gradient is still there on all other plane views

I can confirm what you are saying that the gradient is replaced by solid gray color as soon as you load an image and hit the Store View button (maybe it’s the normal behavior?) , but besides that, the rest works ok.

Looking through some tutorials on Image Plane, the gray fill around the image does not appear to be the default behavior (at least not in older versions of ZBrush). I found several images and a few video tutorial that show a gradient behind the image. Not sure if this is something that was changed in newer versions though.

Interesting, I’ve checked this behavior using my backups of ZBrush4R8-P2 and 2018.1 and in those versions when I load an image in Front view the gradient remains the same after pressing the Store view button, then if I go to another view, (lets say Back view ) and then return to stored Front view the gradient is replaced by solid gray.
Now, in 2019.1 the gradient changes to solid gray immediately after Store view button is pressed.

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That is interesting. I wonder if it’s related to my problem or simply a change made on purpose. Thank you for checking on that!

The version for 2019.1 has slightly different behaviour, which is as you describe. This was to fix a display issue when moving the mesh where the background image would be degraded until clicking on the background refreshed the view.

Kylekane, clearly there is a new bug with your particular set up. We are looking into this. In the meantime I’d be grateful if you could try this version to see whether it works with 2019.1 or you get the same problem. (It’s the 2019 version.)

Download here: ImagePlane_2019.zip

To install:

  1. Download the file and unzip to your Desktop.
  2. Copy the ImagePlane_2019.zsc file to the ZBrushOSX 2019.1/ZStartup/ZPlug64 folder, making sure you replace the file of the same name already there.
  3. Restart ZBrush.


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Thank you for all the help! I downloaded and installed the 2019 version of Image Plane as you requested. It does stop the transparency problem but now I’m having the old documented problem of gray squares showing up behind the mesh but over the reference whenever using the Move brush or smooth. Doesn’t happen with Standard or Clay. I remember this being an issue before.

Yes, I’m sorry to say you will get that with the 2019 version.
I have now consulted with the team and we cannot reproduce the 2019.1 problem. The best thing now would be for you to submit a ticket to Pixologic Support where we can try and narrow this down.


Oh well, that’s a bummer, if you can’t reproduce it I’m not sure what can be done to help. I’ll try the support ticket and see if that goes anywhere. I guess I’ll just change my workflow to spotlight or floor grids for now.

Just wanted to give an update here. Marcus is awesome. He made a new version of the Image Plane plug in and this one worked perfectly! Issue is resolved!
Thanks Marcus!

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I’m having the same problem with windows , where can I find most recent plugin.


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I’m so sorry I didn’t get any notification of this response to my original post, SLORD. If you still are having this issue I can send you the version of the plugin that works for me. I’m on a Mac but the plugin should be the same as far as I know.

For ZBrush 2020, the ‘L’ button under Texture>Image Plane>Reference Views allows you to use Legacy mode so that subtool ghost transparency will work (though note that with this mode the problem where the image is temporarily erased when sculpting the edge of the mesh will return).