Questions about the functions available in core/zBrush

So I stumbled upon zBrush after looking for a software that would allow me to create 3D relief type files that I will use with a CNC engraver.

The “mini” version definitely won’t do much for me as I would need to start with a flat block which doesn’t seem to be an available option. It does serve to show at least that this is a good looking software and is not laggy at all as far as I can tell. The way it works makes sense to me which is really important to lessen the learning curve. After this conclusion, I began comparing core and the full version. I have watched several videos and read through the documents, but I still cant sort out all of my questions in regards to brushes that are available and whether the core product can support some features I would be looking for.

Firstly, while I still have some confusion about the difference between a (IMM) multi-mesh and a “chisel 3d” brush, I was wondering if there is a list somewhere of all of the chisels or MM components that are included in each version? Maybe some screenshots?

Specifically I was wondering if there are any organic type brushes included with either version such as things like leaves, branches, vines flowers, trees birds etc?

My second question would relate to the creation of chisels or /or MM components. Lets say I create a pine tree model that I really like. Can I save this as a new MM or chisel in core? Full Version?

Lastly, in my search I ran across the plugins page and see that someone actually has a plugin specifically related to CNC machining, so I guess I am not the first person who thought of this. All the plugins only mention the full version. Does the core product support plugins?

I see I can demo the full version of the software so I could probably find answers there, but without having a demo available for the core version this really doesn’t help, because I’m not sure exactly what is included with core and whether or not I can add additional components/chisels.

Any thoughts you might have on this would be greatly appreciated.

Hello @lpaln ,

To be absolutely clear here, the full version of ZBrush contains the features that would better support what you want to do by a wide margin. Anything is possible with a bit of skill and patience, but this sort of specialized project will greatly benefit from the full ZBrush toolset.

Obviously I can’t pretend to be unbiased, or that I wouldn’t be thrilled with the up-sell, but I want you to have realistic expectations :slight_smile:

IMM or Insert Mesh brushes insert an actual mesh into the target subtool, separate and distinct from any other meshes grouped in that subtool.

This feature is on display in the this video.

Chisel3D is a VDM or Vector Displacement brush. It displaces the points on a mesh in the shape of the mesh embedded in the brush, but does not actually add a new mesh to the subtool.

This feature can be seen here.

There might be a few items included with the Chisel brush, but again most content like this will be found in ZBrush. ZBrushCore has a limited feature set designed around sculpting. You’ll get the best results by having strong sculpting skills.

ZBrush plugins will only work in ZBrush.

Good luck! :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for this info. It does clarify things a bit. There was one outstanding question that you missed that is pretty important to my decision. I understand now that chisel3d brushed contain a vector mesh that modifies the surface of the existing mesh and that the MM brushes basically cut and paste another seperated part into the workspace.

Can custom chisels be created in core? Full version?

How about MM parts? Can I sculpt up a cool tree and then use it as a brush to insert a bunch of copies all over a surface?


So after watching video #2 I can see this is definitely possible in the full version. I will assume if you can create chisel meshes that you can definitely create MM objects.

How about core? Can this be done?