Review: ZbrushCoreMini 2021

Jun 17, 2021 at 06:00 am by nemirc

ZBrushCoreMini is a lite, and free, version of ZBrush, the sculpting software application from Pixologic. The idea behind ZBrushCoreMini is to allow everyone take their first steps into the world of digital sculpting and learn the basic concepts of ZBrush.

I have tried out ZBrush in the past, and I have found it a little confusing in all fronts, from navigation to workflow, and I need to mention I don’t quite remember a lot of ZBrush, for that same reason. In ZBrushCoreMini I found navigation to be a little more intuitive, because I noticed I could move the camera by dragging the mouse outside the frame on the viewport (and using modifier keys switches the camera movement).

Even without checking tutorials, I figured a couple of things on my own. For example, the toolbar has a slider you can use to change the brush radius and a symmetry button that you can toggle.

When I was trying out sculpting, I remembered Sculptris a lot. In ZBrushMiniCore you can display the wireframe of your model, and it adds more detail as you sculpt. However, detail is only added where you need it. However, you can also add more divisions manually if you paint with the Shift key pressed. This is a nice touch, since sometimes the extra polygons are not enough for what you need.

ZBrushCoreMini has a lot of different chisels to choose from. You can create eyes, noses, mouths, and other things to shape different kinds of creatures (this feature is also available on the full ZBrush application). However, there was a point when I reached the maximum amount of allowed polygons, and I was shown the message you see below.

You can also export your model for 3D printing in .OBJ format or export a turntable animation. I don’t own a 3D printer so I couldn’t test this feature, though. On the other hand, this app doesn’t have many of the features ZBrush has, like texturing, importing models for detailing and generating normal or displacement maps, and multi-level subdivision.

The application also includes a few materials you can apply to your model, although you are not limited to the color from the preset. For example, I applied the Gold material to my sculpture below, but then I used the color picker to turn it into green gold.

From what I know about ZBrush, the application doesn’t exactly use polygons for the 3D models (I could be completely wrong here), and that allows the app to subdivide 3D models a lot. However, ZBrushCoreMini uses polygons, as I specified above, so this puts this app somewhere between ZBrush and Sculptris. While this app feels more like ZBrush than the previous free application (Sculptris), I can’t completely say how easy it would be to transition to the full ZBrush. Still, it’s a very good app to get you started in your sculpting. My next step should be testing ZBrushCore.

Try out ZBrushCoreMini for yourself:

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