When it comes to CAD software, ZBrush, like many other types of digital sculpting software, can oftentimes be compared to the odd friend in the group that nobody really knows well, but always wants to be better friends with. Most often used by character designers and conceptual artists, the extremely powerful digital ‘clay’ modeler is known throughout the 3D industry as the go-to software for developing digital sculptures both quickly and cleanly.

Paired with the eyeball-melting power of Luxion’s KeyShot rendering platform, the fast and accurate sculpting tool is capable of creating some of the most striking 3D imagery ever created…not to mention their latest hard modeling tools have made it more suitable for generating concepts in the realm of mechanical and industrial design (mechs, anybody?).

Today, both Luxion and Pixologic (makers of ZBrush) announced that they were taking their partnership a step further by introducing KeyShot for ZBrush and the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge. While KeyShot for ZBrush offers a standalone rendering solution with direct ZBrush modeling power inside of KeyShot, ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge offers the same powerful results with a LiveLink between both ZBrush and KeyShot applications.

“The feedback from artists has been instrumental in the development effort.”

This powerful new workflow system allows 3D content creators to visualize concepts, create light studies, analyze materials and more in real-time as they continue to digitally sculpt their ZBrush models on both Windows and Mac OS X machines.

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“The speed and realism KeyShot offers, compliments the ZBrush artist’s workflow perfectly,” said Pixologic COO Jaime Labelle. “The feedback from artists has been instrumental in the development effort, for a process that is faster than ever before. It’s this partnership with Luxion and the new modeling capability in ZBrush 4R7 which allow artists to explore beyond the limits of imagination.”

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To use Keyshot for ZBrush ($249), a user simply activates the link from inside of ZBrush when they have reached a stage in their workflow where they are ready to set lighting, material, color and other features in their scene. All of the Subtools are then sent directly to KeyShot.

For ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge ($149), users can apply materials and lighting while continuing to work on their model within ZBrush. Updates are made immediately in a separate KeyShot window when a user wants to preview their results.

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Features included within the $249 (limited offer pricing) KeyShot for ZBrush + Bridge package:

  • KeyShot for ZBrush + ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge
  • All KeyShot features, including material and lighting presets
  • Realtime viewing of material, lighting and camera changes
  • Custom materials and lighting environments
  • Unlimited output resolution
  • Import ZBrush mesh via the ZBrush to KeyShot Bridge
  • Maintain mesh size, position and structure on transfer
  • Retain all SubTools, Polypaint and MatCaps® on transfer
  • Update mesh through Luxion’s LiveLinkingTM technology

“The first time I saw KeyShot, I immediately realized how I could show my art, my models, my products
more effectively than other render engines,” said ZBrush artist Cki Vang. “For me the KeyShot Bridge is the cool feature of the year. Each SubTool can have a different material shader–light, glass, metal, etc.–It’s very useful for the designers, offering us the possibility to obtain final presentations faster.”

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Interested users can download a trial version of KeyShot for ZBrush here or find out more about ZBrush upgrade options and compatibility by heading over to Pixologic.

Author

Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.