ZBrush 2023 Complaints to Maxon

Maverick for Zbrush - render alternative.

Have a look at this render engine for Zbrush. Maverick (form. fryrender)
Material handling is similar to Keyshot. Redshift within Zbrush and Zbrush materials only is not a good idea - overload. I don’t like the material handling….

Maverick is here quite more comfortable and better structured similar like Keyshot (materials, lights, hdrs,…)

It is available for indies and have a Zbrush importer!

P.S. If you don’t work for the game industry or as a jewelry designer or sculptor… I don’t know how you can make money with Zbrush. Architectural visualizations, product design based on precise measurements…complicated to do with Zbrush.
Don’t get me wrong, Zbrush is a fantastic 3D playground, but its success is based on decades of free updates and fair pricing policy…which has led to a huge and passionate community. Without this, Zbrush would never have become so successful. And that’s going to show now. Maxon is thus encouraging illegal piracy.


When I was kid, we had in shops a thing called “Book of Complaints and Grievances”. Basically a notebook hanging on the wall. Every customer could write whatever he didnt liked about the shop. Nobody was using these notes for anything constructive but it was letting customer vent his frustrations and feel like he was listened to.

This thread reminds me just that.

Its a weak update with very few changes to the ZBrush itself and we all know it. RS is unnecessary bloat in sculpting app and it was added only to suck more money for its licenses. We all know it.
So what? We will be pretending now that “Maxon is listening”? Like Louie ignoring my questions on presentation and saying to Ian “no, there are no questions. People are just excited about it”.

You know well whats wrong. You cant change it because now you are Maxon employees. They say “jump!”, you say “how high?”. Sorry if thats harsh assessment but it is what it is.
If you could do something about it we would have another great update to ZB itself, with some awesome, new options. Who knows, maybe I could even cut a hole with knife?
But its not the case.
So in the fashion of Louie I will say “Complaints? There are none! People are just excited, dont you see?”.


I spoke about all this whit a friend 2 weeks ago. He told me: “How much do you think Maxon will charge the update?”
I awnsered: “Usually companies charge less than half the price, Pixologic would have charged 10-15% but Maxon will charge more than half to force annual plans.” What a frustration to be right.

I’m working in animated series/movies and I understand Maxon want to take money from these companies because they use Zbrush for many years for “free” now.
Pixologic always thought for the artists, not the business around them (and that was probably a mistake TBH).
But now Maxon only think about the business without caring about the artists.

To be constructive, I think Maxon should make an Indie licensing system with “real” discounted price so they can take big money where there are and not stomp artists that made Zbrush so popular by using it.


If the bridge is for free… I completely don’t understand this high price for perpetual upgrade without Redshift, while you offer a new subscription license for less price with Redshift. It looks like Maxon is forcing people to drop their perpetual licenses. I can’t accept this policy.

New upgrade for perpetual should be 100$ - 200$ maximum.

Bridge should cost around 150$ - 200$ in the same way you did it with Keyshot bridge for those people who want to buy a new renderer.

Many hobbyists and people who didn’t make money on Zbrush helped you create this community and you forced them to pay such high prices? This is a shame.

I love you guys, and your hard work and invetion, but I can’t accept the new pricing policy. Think about people and our community.


Don’t like Mini- Redshift within Zbrush…

I spent a lot of time learning Keyshot, gathering materials and setting it up for my needs. It was always a pleasue how easy it was.

And now?
Now let’s forget all about that invested money and start from scratch.

Rendering in Zbrush. Generally nice as a free addon, but this is a neutered version of Redshift with horrible material and HDR handling. Sorry, but the Zbrush UI doesn’t give that. How much more small sliders do we need in Zbrush in the future? Much more structured in Keyshot …or better in the cheaper Maverick. There I have my projects cleanly structured.

Besides, I haven’t heard anything about displacement maps, procedural maps, foam materials, a material node based editor, realistic natural materials (anyone can do glossy), fog, real bokeh camera post effects or general channel post color processing, etc… And to be lured into a subscription that doesn’t even include GPU in the base subscription model? No thanks Maxon….and don’t try to sell that missing features later as “subscription updates”.

Sorry ZBrush Team…this is not a complaint against you. Presentation was wonderfull, entertaining and cool as always.


You asked this in your previous post but it seems they don’t get the message. However,
this is so clear. Guys I already paid my license for Zbrush around 800 dollars and I bought this license because a that time they had said that this license was an unlimited license, I trust you, I trust the Pixologic team, and all behind this but suddenly Boom, I yearly plan to appear in front of me… I don’t want Maxon stuff, I only want to stay with Zbrush alone. I m a sculptor, I just want to sculpt not anything else, at least as Krysztof said you can put a minimal charge such as 100 or 200 dollars maximum. So that we can be as happy as before. Please Aurick take this into consideration and give us a clear message please.
Let the Zbrush soul rise even further.


That was never what Pixologic said. That was what users often said to each other, when talking about ZBrush but it is NOT what Pixologic said.

This is what Pixologic said:

Pixologic Upgrade Policy

It was on the store page where ZBrush was added to the cart for purchase, and on the knowledgebase. Prior to Pixologic offering subscriptions, this text was still there. It just didn’t have the extra part at the beginning that explained the difference between subscription and perpetual entitlements.

There were also at least three different times over the course of Pixologic’s history when they either stated that “X will be the final free upgrade” or “THIS version is the final free upgrade.” The most recent time was with the release of ZBrush 4R7. They obviously changed their minds after that, but again, they patently never said that they were selling lifetime or “unlimited” licenses.

Pixologic did the best they could to help users understand the true policy. It is not Maxon’s fault that people ignored that messaging.

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…but it is Maxons fault to kill our Keyshot investment, to try to push us in overpriced subscriptions, to sell a lousy Redshift version and separate them in CPU and GPU - ridiciolous!

As already said from Louie…we are all totally exited!

Thanks as well for moving us in an invisible complaints section…better you rename it in “excited maxon users” section. :wink:


I love Zbrush but the new aggressive marketing directives is a flaw that keeps artists away. If they want to give one more option with Redshift, that’s fine, but Maxon should leave the intention of killing other renderers like KeyShot, which is wonderful together with Zbrush. This update is not to my liking!


The fact that the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge crashes ZBrush on the Mac is a bug. By definition, that is not by design, and I know that a fix is being worked on.

Maxon has in fact made the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge free for all users. It is no longer necessary to purchase it separately. It’s included automatically with all new purchases (without even requiring a separate license key) and is available retroactively to all legacy users via a special button on My Licenses.

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Zbrush’s old upgrade policy.

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I am also just a hobby user of ZBrush!
Let’s be honest!
Everyone knew that after the takeover by MAXON the prices would go through the roof!
I understand that companies like this want to make money, but you can also overdo it with the prices!
This subscribtion stuff is the last shit, no matter where you look!
It’s all about telling the user that he has to pay, regardless of whether he will use the update for the software or not!

Even I, as a hobby user, would be willing to pay for updates if I could then choose what I pay for and choose what I want and what I don’t want.

So it’s eat or die!

MAXON … pffffff


Here are my complaints…

Watch Them Here:


Was very excited to see that Redshift would be accessible through Zbrush 2023. In fact, I was so excited, it became the deciding factor in my purchase of a second perpetual license for Zbrush. In addition to the one I initially purchased through Pixelogic in 2016, I now have Maxon’s Zbrush 2023, AND YET, I still cannot use Redshift because now I need to subscribe to a subscription for Redshift. This was not as advertised. Honestly, If you offered a perpetual license for Redshift, I may have bought that too, however, I am so very tired of subscriptions all around, as are many. I fell for this purchase wanting to believe Maxon would be a worthy possessor of Zbrush, but this is not the case. I refuse to fall into the subscription entrapment scheme.

We are required to use subscriptions to meet the most basic of functions. I think the average artist will find themselves drawing a line between their current subscriptions and Maxon. We already have to worry about streaming services, cable, gaming services, educational subscriptions, adobe subscriptions, ect.

The younger students have their finger on the pulse of this business, may be time to leave Maxon behind and learn Blender to meet our needs. The fact of the matter is that the average artist cannot continue to afford all of these subscriptions.

I don’t mind purchasing Zbrush, a second time, but the fact is you are alienating a built-in audience by doing this Maxon. Honestly, it is understandable to charge an upgrade fee even, but maybe a reasonable number like 99.99 to 200.00 for an annual upgrade BUT $600 for an upgrade is completely non-sensical. I would expect $600 for the entire software but as an upgrade it is nothing short of absurd. This is the equivalent of buying a pair of shoes at full retail price, then paying 80% of the retail value for a shoeshine.

When you purchased Zbrush, you also bought into a customer base. A customer base that is uniquely resourceful and will flock to alternative means if they feel their limited income is being taken advantage of. Up until today I had given Maxon the benefit of the doubt and hope that they could prove naysayers wrong. At the end of the day, it seems Zbrush was acquired by Maxon to be a key tool in their subscription entrapment scheme.

Bring back the perpetual license for Redshift
Don’t extort your new found audience and respect your customers wallet.


Aurick, thank you for what you do. I can’t imagine moderating this page kindles joy.


Sad times indeed.

It’s just saddens me that Zbrush went from the best sculpting software gathering artists from around the world to pure corporate greed treating customers like they don’t exist (Like Louie said “no questions, people are just excited” even though there were dozens of unanswered important questions on the chat) within one update since pixologic sold it to maxon.

It makes me sick to think that Zbrush won’t be the Zbrush I know and love for so many years and it’s not just because of free updates but because people who were developing it actually cared about the artists and software.

I know that no one from maxon would care about what it’s being written here because what matters is money, not some puny artists.

659 dollars for update this small with just few improvements here and there it’s just outrages. Instead of listening to your customers you just decided to put time on some random feature updates instead of focusing on what artists actually need.

Rendering in Zbrush with botched Redshift that you need to pay on top for is not a good idea and it will never be for dozens of reasons. Instead of forcing Redshift in Zbrush you should write simple gpu path tracer with some nice materials and it would be more than enough for simple clay renders with vertex paint.

What is Zbrush actually missing you may ask? Let me write it down for you then. There is no particular order.

  • Real scale - this is what drive most people working in vfx industry crazy including me. I can’t count how many times zbrush would just reset scale values on export messing displacements and model size. Tools that are suppose to help with this are just not intuitive and buggy.
  • Improved hand retopology tools - zremesher is good but sometimes you just need control. Current retopology tools are not cutting it anymore. We need smarter precise tools that will fill the gaps and bring zbrush up to speed with current modern tools on the market.
  • UV Peel - hehe - but seriously, good UV unwrapper and layout with UDIM support is needed. Going back to Maya to create nice UVs then bringing back the models to zbrush to copy and paste UVs is just time consuming and annoying if you have hundreds of subtools.
  • Full UDIM Support - from importing textures, displacements, to UVs and exports.
  • Improved Painting tools - Let us create actual textures if models have UVs. Painting on vertex is very 1990 and limiting. Zbrush should have painting layers with mixing modes and filters. Let us use baked textures from zbrush directly. It does not have to be as advanced as Substance Painter or Mari.
  • Topology projections like zwrap - Not sure why such feature is not being implemented in zbrush already, seems so obvious to have.
  • Materials and HDRI in the viewport - would be great to get an actual preview of the surface and shapes with physically plausible materials and lights while sculpting.
  • Layers - this feature needs update and proper support for sculpting and painting.
  • Displacement projections - yes, zbrush does not support displacement as good as it should, wonder why. You can’t just bring in displacement and project pure values into your sculpt. I’ve been talking to Paul about this 2 years ago but sadly nothing has happened.
  • Support for 32bit exr, tif files - Turns out if you export 32 bit displacement texture from zbrush, you cannot load it in zbrush.
  • Support for UDIM import - How many times you wanted to bring in your textures to zbrush but couldn’t because of UDIMs? I struggle with this every single day.
  • Scalar zero slider in Displacement tab - right now zbrush reads only 16bit displacement with 0.5 mid value, you have to go to photoshop/nuke any other editing software to adjust your mid value if you want it to be correctly displayed in zbrush.
  • Hard surface tools - precision, selecting and UI could use improvements. Non destructive workflows for hard surface would be amazing.
  • Non-destructive blend shapes features with physics. Let us make blend shapes and skin sliding with ease and precision.
  • Curves as sliding muscle deformers - actual curves with tangents drawn on mesh to manipulate the surface.
  • Support for animation shot sculpting - Let us bring alembics or usd with baked animation to sculpt and simulate muscles, skin wrinkles, skin sliding and so on.

This is just few off the top of my head. I know for sure non of those will be ever implemented because many users already asked for similar improvements for many years and we did not get anything back. Now it will be even worse with maxon holding the leash.

Overall I am disappointed with the update after 14 months of silence.

  • antialiasing viewport is still missing in 2023

This list of yours should be the roadmap. Really great list. I would just add an outliner to it.

@Krzysztof_Gryzka From what the Maxon CEO has been saying on the discord, he sees the perpetual as ‘buying the software’ as a finished product every single year, rather than the usual upgrade system that we a re all used to from 3D programs. This is a pretty ridiculous concept and makes no sense with 3D software. He uses the analogy of buying a new bicycle every year and then having to pay extra for new wheels, a saddle, etc. :thinking:

It’s obvious though that the nonsensical pricing for perpetuals is simply a clumsy attempt to purge their business model of perpetuals and force us all to subs. It’s an insult to the collective intelligence, really.

As for the Redshift CPU/GPU carrot and stick, well, that’s just outright blackmail. Laughable. CPU rendering in 2023? :rofl: :rofl:

This is what annoys me more than anything. It would have been so easy for Maxon to just bundle a custom GPU version of Redshift in with the ZB install, instead of utterly shafting the userbase with ANOTHER sub. What the f ** k were they thinking? Is it really that important to squeeze every single penny they can?

OG Pixologic. We love you. We just wish you had started charging us 10 years ago and we wouldn’t be in this mess. :smiley: Thanks for giving us all these amazing tools and endless hours of creative joy over such a long and exciting journey.


As a hobbyist, I bought a one-year license for ZBrush back in May of 2022 because I wasn’t sure I would ever get my head around the user interface and didn’t want to invest in a perpetual license until I’d had a chance to spend more time with it. (I still find the UI to be mostly mystifying but I’ve watched enough videos to see that, with practice, folks can be very fast and produce results that are just astounding).

At the time, I thought the benefit to the perpetual license was that it could continue to be used for as long as it takes operating system updates to break it. I hadn’t realized that folks had been upgrading their perpetual licenses since the late 90’s without paying an upgrade fee. I can definitely understand the pain that this change would cause among folks that have invested decades in the software.

From a new user point of view, the 2023 update is not super-compelling. In fact, it might be a good argument to get a perpetual license and use it for 3-4 years before paying for an upgrade - assuming that, in that amount of time, enough new features (or a UI redesign :slight_smile: ) have been added.

Again, I am a hobbyist and I totally understand that professional users would not want to have to ingest 3-4 years of updates in one fell swoop and might lose potential creativity and productivity by waiting.

Welp, that’s it for me, especially when a incremental yearly upgrade costs nearly as much as a full new license used to. OUCH.

I mean, maybe $300 a year would make more sense. But paying basically full price every year is just too much.

People are just gonna pay the GPU tax ( now that prices have cooled ) and probably will see more effort poured into Blender.

Also, fix the UI, if you’re carging so much year over year, you guys really need to fix the UI and stop the endless threads of “I can’t edit anything” or “How do I clear the screen” we always see.

The biggest problem too is the 2023 release just isn’t THAT BIG to justify the $695 price. Oh, we have goo now.


I‘m not making any money out of my digital stuff. I‘m doing it just for fun, to learn and to improve my skills. I was a longtime subscriber to Maxon‘s MSA for Cinema 4D. Then they started using subscriptions and I made the decision to stay at C21 because I couldn‘t justify the price increase yet along their upgrade price.
I was willing to upgrade my ZBrush licence though, if they‘d asked like 400-500€. Not gonna happen now.
Sorry Maxon, but your pricing policy is unacceptable, especially considering the current economic situation.