ZBrush 2023 Complaints to Maxon

Topic for voicing concerns/complaints regarding ZBrush 2023 under Maxon’s stewardship.

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$659 to upgrade a perpetual license? Which doesn’t include Redshift.

All around a crock of shit Maxon.


I do have perpetual license for Zbrush 2022 and active subscription for Redshift. So I get subscription to Zbrush 2023 to try new features of rendering with Redshift.
When I’m trying to render I’m getting warning - rendered with CPU, get a subscription… should I buy one more? How many subscriptions should I buy to get GPU rendering?
Would appreciate any help

Please submit a Support ticket. With a Redshift subscription you should have Redshift CPU and GPU, both.

Include your diagnostic report in your ticket. (You get it by running the diagnostic utility found in your ZBrush 2023 installation’s Troubleshoot Help folder.)


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My message to Maxon :pray: Please give users free upgrades like Pixologic was giving. Disappointed this time :((((


Hello, I was really looking forward to this update and the main feature for me was Redshift. Not only you are not actually getting redshift (for that you need to subscribe additionally to redshift) with the update you are not actually getting much at all but the upgrade price for perpetual licence is incredibly high, as well as all individual subscription prices are evidently made for people to choose subscription option over perpetual licence. Pixologic gave free updates, not great for business I get it but to go from that to over 600bucks without actually giving much is just a spit in community’s face.

Extremely disappointed in Maxon.


The pricing is deliberately obscene. The reason Maxon, Adobe and Autodesk get away with this shit, is that the user base has been too weak to walk away. I know many of us have invested years of hard work mastering this software and others but just let it be known that you would rather not support their greedy business practices. Eventually, Studios will side with artists on this because it is hurting them too… There are better companies out there.


So we all knew it was coming, but there you have it :
A meh update with not so crucial / recycled additions and not as innovative as they were “before the disaster” and ridiculous upgrade prices for perpetual license people.

Yep…When i’ve purchased ZBrush Core back in the Pixo days, i had in mind to switch to Full ZBrush at some point and for the long run, subscription or perpetual.

Now it’s clear that i might subscribe every five months, if i really…REALLY need tools from the full version, but i’ll stay with my good old legacy Zbrush Core and study other solutions.

Shout out to the OG people of ZBrush nonetheless.
Thanks for these fantastic years of creativity you gave us.


I Love how the Perpetual upgrade costs literally DOUBLE the price of the Subscription. no “Valued Customer Discount” nothing. if i could get a refund for my Perpetual License, i would.


Yeah Aurik, what is with that INSANE upgrade price? That’s what I payed for my license new. So effectively you are now kicking hobby users into the groin 8(


This and at least the next 3 versions. I don’t know what Maxon thinks most people have available for a hobby yearly - Not everybody works with ZBrush at Hollywood movies… Ah well they did the same with us Amiga users of Cinema4D - Kick and left the people that got them going in the dirt :frowning:

Edit: @aurick, I always thought highly of the Pixologic team - Why are you just doing the dirty work for Maxon now? Can’t you say your mind on this insane price? Sure you can stay silent, then I will get my answer from Maxon HQ, it’s only 60km away anyway.


The Zbrush community is going to shrink a lot…

Since the first hour I have enjoyed every new version and spent plenty of hours with it. 99% for the joy of creative design without making money. Then came Keyshot with Bridge, which opened up new possibilities and was very fairly priced. Again, hours invested in training. I don’t want to start again with Redshift.
Now Pixologic is becoming a subscription company like all the others. I’m done with subscriptions. Except Adobe and 3dsMax for indies (After years of waiting now affordable) and smaller plugins …and even for Vray Chaos wants 500 € / year (VAT included) just for the render plugin. So I stop my Vray updates after decades. This makes more pressure than joy and let me think to end my 3D career after 30 years.
This no longer pays off for a single person (who does not have 10 hours a day 3D projects).

In a few years I will solve such projects with Midjourney & Co.

Goodbye Zbrush & Team! It was a great time…
Thomas, xspace Munich


Sorry pixo team I love you guys but the upgrade price is insane for what is being delivered.
I’d really wish instead of cramming the UI with even more buttons we’d finally get work spaces for different tasks to clean up / streamline the whole UI experience.

Most of the features here are nice quality of life additions and maxon really is trying to become the next foundry with an overprices pricing scheme on all their software packages compared to the competition out there.

Also PSA.
If you’re still on the old pixologic license and need to use your 2 activations don’t upgrade. If you upgrade your license will be migraded to Maxon and you’ll lose 1 of your activation because under Maxon you’ll only get 1.


It is still very easy to use ZBrush on multiple computers. Switching between machines only takes a minute or two. This article explains it, and also applies to perpetual licenses.

You can release the license while still at the computer you last used OR you can release it remotely via My.Maxon.net. If you forgot to do so before leaving home, it doesn’t matter.

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Yeah that article explains it now. It wasn’t mentioned on the official faq back when I struggled with it because I was forced into the Maxon license system without my approval. At that time I wasn’t always connected to the internet during freelance work when switching from desktop to laptop when i had to work on the go.

Whenever i am seeing this image a few lines are playing in my mind like a song … so here is my song.


♬♬ Oh Pixo why did you do this ? , ♬ You know we LOVE YOU so much ♬ I was so excited while watching Paul giving us the demo… ♬ but Maxon makes us fooool. ♬ :frowning:

Please :pray: Reduce the Subscription amount or Make it free for existing customers of Pixologic

Missing Pixologic :sob:


Below is an estimated calculation of what I would have to pay monthly as a generalist if I went along with all the subscription crap. That would be over €4,500 a year!
Plus costs for office rent , NI hardware, Wacom Cintiq, PC Workstation & iMax + Internet + Telephone, Smartphone, + + +.

Maxon, Vray and Native Instruments are now cancelled for me. I hope that other Zbrush users will not be driven into this subscription madness. If you stop paying, you can’t use the software that day and your investment is gone…very fair.

Monthly costs for generalist for Subscriptions 2D&3D

2D 3D

Adobe Creative Cloud (new price 2023) 73,49 €
Photoshop plugins 18,00 €
(Topaz and others)

AE and Premiere plugins 9,00 €
(Stardust, Plexus, etc.)

3dsMax indie 22,00 €
(available since 2020, after years of complaints and discussions finally a very fair price for individualists)
Vray-Solo (insane for an already programmed plugin!) 34,90 €
ForestPack & Railclone 35,00 €
Additional small plugIns 3dsMax 20,00 €

Maxon Zbrush 32,69 €
Maxon Redshift 22,85 €


Cubase 50,00 €
(+ additional plugins)
Native Instruments 50,00 €
(approx., no subscription but expensive updates)

MS Office 365 9,00 €

376 € * 12 = 4512 €

P.S. Most software updates (patches?) are cosmetic and not useful for all users.
The new symmetry feature of Zbrush 23 is rather a long needed patch than an update.
As well with Vray and their new scatter tools…I work with itoo and don´t need it.
Same with 3dsMax. Most updates are patches.


The pricing is clearly designed to push into subscriptions. There is no point debating why is that high. It’s designed as such.

  1. They offer half price Maxon One for first year. Just another push to get tied into the ecosystem.

  2. They integrated RedShift so if you desire GPU rendering, you have to pay another USD 22.00 monthly, which get you close to Maxon One (half) price, to lure more users in.

  3. The monthly price is 50% more expensive. They don’t have pay monthly, commit annually as many other companies. They force you to pay annually.

  4. The license is 1 per computer with a MANUAL release of license. If you’re out somewhere with your laptop, and forgot to release your desktop license you’re doomed. What’s the reasoning for this? AUTOMATIC RELEASE the licenses as every other company does in the industry.

  5. They intentionally not have an Indie license like everyone else. Even Autodesk finally provided one.

For me as much I like ZBrush, Cinema4D and RedShift, I am not going to stay.

  • A few years back I replaced RedShift with Octane (still subscription, but way more value and much much cheaper, and they have a free Blender version).

  • I never used C4D, but I am covering this with Blender + Houdini (still way cheaper than C4D, and we all know how powerful this thing is, and they have a free Apprentice version).

  • for ZBrush, I will just explore Blender and use my perpetual license for everything else.

  • For Adobe Creative Cloud, I have replaced it with the Affinity apps & Davinci Resolve.

I hope the days of companies that are just providing subscriptions are numbered, and all of us to vote with our wallets.

I am just a guy that loves 3D and have no desire to make money out of it.


Everyone involved should be ashamed. When most of us made our purchase we were told free upgrades. Thats one of the reasons the platform grew so fast. If new charges were needed, they should be reasonable and very affordable for those promises. And should also have value. Not an upgrade less than any free one from the past at almost the retail price of the program itself. Now they basically want to rob the long time users who made this company what it is. Pure greed. Myself and my company will never give another dime to Pixologic or Maxon for the kick in the balls introduction to their merger. I’m sure many more will be doing the same.


I was going to go ahead and pull the trigger on my Perpetual License upgrade but now I’m having second thoughts. I couldn’t care less about rendering since I am only interested in making 3D printable objects. A couple of the new features, especially the local symmetry update, sound useful though.

My issue is the 1 Activation, and uncertain amount of updates for what is essentially full price again. To make it worth our while, we would need at least 3 years of updates at no additional cost. Having to manually activate and deactivate every time I want to use zBrush in my down time on my Surface at my day job just sounds exhausting. And quite frankly a bit petty.

For a hobby user, who is not currently making money using zBrush, the future is definitely uncertain. I would happily pay $100-$200 US per year for updates. More than that, especially the $660 Perpetual upgrade cost is just not in the cards.

Seems like for what I need, investing in a better PC and learning Blender might be a smarter use of money.

Also, just as a note, this thread says it is in the Pixologic Announcements section but doesn’t show for me when I go there outside the link in the 2023 Announcement thread. Seems like the complaints are being collected and buried, hidden from general view.