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Maxon has announced the release of ZBrush 2023.2, the latest version of its industry-leading digital sculpting software. The announcement was made during a livestream event, which showcased the new features and improvements that are now available to ZBrush subscribers.

| New Features in ZBrush 2023.2

One of the standout features of ZBrush 2023 is the new Anchors brush, which provides users with greater control over character posing. With the Anchors brush, users can set anchor points along the length of a limb and rotate or twist the limb around them. This feature enables more precise character posing and offers a quick and controllable way to repose limbs and other body parts.

Anchors brush unveiled in ZBrush livestream

The Anchors brush has a range of different modes, including Scale and Inflate, which resize the SubTool, and Move, Rotate and Twist, which repose it. This tool is particularly useful for character artists and animators, and it can also be used in conjunction with the new Proxy Pose system introduced in ZBrush 2023.1, which makes it possible to pose models with less-than-ideal topology.

Before (left) and after (right) of using the updated contact feature for snapping the hatch of a submarine to its hull in livestream

Another significant improvement in ZBrush 2023.2 is the updated Contact system, which opens up new workflows for snapping geometry together. Originally designed as a way to make clothing move with a character when the character is reposed, Contact can now be used to snap one piece of geometry to another. Users can draw out a transpose line between two SubTools to have ZBrush automatically move and rotate the first SubTool, using surface normals to align it to the second. By setting up to three Contact points, it is possible to control how the SubTool being moved is rotated.

Undo history

The Morph brush has also been updated in ZBrush 2023.2, enabling users to morph a model between any two points in its Undo history. In the past, users could store the current state of a mesh as a Morph Target while sculpting, then use the brush to selectively undo changes. Now, you can create markers at any point in the Undo history and morph between them. Maxon describes the workflow as providing "infinite Morph Targets: you can go back to any point in your history and make changes."

Spotlight MIdValue slider with alpha applied

Spotlight, ZBrush’s projection texturing system, has also received new controls in the form of two new slider controls. The new controls allow users to control how a surface is displaced when applying an alpha, with the new Spotlight MidValue slider clamping the maximum displacement and controlling whether the surface moves inwards or outwards.

In addition to the new features mentioned above, ZBrush 2023 also includes a number of other improvements. The release notes mention that there are enhancements to DynaMesh, ZModeler, and Live Booleans, as well as improvements to the ZBrushCoreMini and ZBrushCore features.

| Availability

ZBrush 2023.2 is available to subscribers only, and under Maxon’s new upgrade policy, users with perpetual licenses receive bug fixes and enhancements to existing features. New features are reserved for the next paid upgrade, which in this case will be ZBrush 2024.

The new version of ZBrush is compatible with Windows 10+ and macOS 10.14+. Subscriptions cost $39/month or $359/year, while new perpetual licenses cost $895.In terms of system requirements, ZBrush 2023 requires at least 8GB of RAM and an Intel or AMD processor with SSE2 support. It also requires a graphics card that supports OpenGL 3.3 or higher.

For more details of the release, you may click here to read a full list of new features in its official site.

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