PLY format plugin for ZBrush 4R8

This plugin is a simple PLY format importer/exporter. It currently only supports meshes but point clouds may possibly be added at a later date. Vertex color (polypaint) is supported.


  1. Unzip the file to your Desktop.
  2. Open any folder created by the unzipping and find the PLYformat_4R8.ZSC file and PLYformatData folder.
  3. Copy the PLYformat_4R8.ZSC file and PLYformatData folder to the ZBrush 4R8\ZStartup\ZPlugs64 folder for Windows or ZBrushOSX 4R7/ZStartup/ZPlugs64 for Mac.
  4. Restart ZBrush and you will find a new PLY format sub-palette in the Zplugin palette.

Press the Export button to export the selected subtool. Turn off the bin (binary) option to export as PLY ascii format. To export polypaint make sure colorize is on for the selected subtool.

Press the Import button to import a PLY file. If the file has vertex color it will be imported as polypaint.

Download here: PLYformat_4R8_02.zip (89.4 KB)

Earlier version for ZBrush 4R7:PLYformat_4R7.zip (107 KB)

change log:
version 4R8 02 - Oct 20 2017 - corrected handling of ply files from Rhino with "vertex_index"PLYformat_4R7.zip (107 KB)PLYformat_4R8_02.zip (89.4 KB)

Thanks a lot for your work. This plug-in should be a regular one. I am using it a lot and I will install it right now. Thanks.


Thanks again for the plugin, you really helped me out with it! It works perfectly, import and export!
Great to see a 64bit version now too, I can go back to only using 64bit ZBrush now :slight_smile:

Well done and thanks again Marcus.

I love this plugin. It has become indispensible in my workflow

amazing, thanks marcus!

Absolutely great plugin that makes life so much easier :smiley:

Thanks !!
cool stuff !!

great plugin but for me it only works on ZBrush 4R7 32bit after an initial error message during Zbrush bootup which tells me that there is a conflict with the FBX plugin. After hitting OK, Zbrush starts.

On Zbrush 64bit, I can’t even get the software to start up.

after unistalling the plugin, I have no isues with zbrush startup either 32bit or 64bit.

this is all on a 64bit Windows 7 Pro install.


I’m sorry the plugin is giving problems. Could you post a screenshot of the error message you’re getting? There’s nothing in the code that would obviously cause a conflict with any other plugins.


No problems with your plugin. Thank you for your work.

I’d love to edit point clouds in zbrush, please? :smiley:

Thank you for the plyg-in but i have the same error of fata_morgana Immagine Degli Appunti.jpg
both on 64 and 32 bit.
If I press ok, zb 4r7 P3 loads, but i cant import or export in ply format.
thank you for your attention.

sorry i didn’t read " 5. Restart ZBrush and you will find a new PLY format sub-palette in the Zplugin palette."
now i can import and export ply thank you!

Are you still planning for the point cloud option?

This is definitely something that I’d like to do but implementation is not trivial and I simply don’t have the time at the moment. I’ll take another look just as soon as I can!

Thank you Marcus. :slight_smile:

Thank you Marcus :smiley: much appreciated.

Thanks so much man, this script is amazing, just saved me a lot of hassle on a project.

Hi Marcus, hopefully quick question…
How does one go about accessing the Vertex and Polypaint data of a Subtool through the ZScripting?
I assume it is through the MemoryBlock related functions, but the reference page doesn’t seem to give any information about how you specifically find the memory block for the Subtool you want and on top of that how to access that sub information like Polypaint.

Would you be able to give me at little hint at the least?

The only way is to export an OBJ and parse the file for the data. (Or using the GoZ format but you would have to apply to Pixologic for the GoZ SDK.) There’s no way to access the data from within ZBrush, unfortunately. :frowning: