ZBrush Tip: Enhancing ZBrush Workflow: Tips for SubTools and Layers Management

April 01, 2024 2 min read

ZBrush Tip: Enhancing ZBrush Workflow: Tips for SubTools and Layers Management


Welcome to today’s professional tip for all ZBrush artists! Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, understanding and managing SubTools and Layers can dramatically increase your efficiency within ZBrush. Here are insights to help you streamline your sculpting workflow and maintain organization in your projects.

  • Maintain a Clean SubTool Panel: Keep your SubTool list manageable by merging down parts that do not need to be separate. This will not only help in navigating through your SubTools but also in reducing computational load on your system.
  • Label Clearly: Always rename your SubTools and Layers to reflect their content or function. This habit will save you time when you need to find specific parts of your model quickly.
  • Use Folders: Organize related SubTools into folders. This is particularly useful when working on complex models with many parts, such as characters with multiple clothing items and accessories.
  • Master Visibility Shortcuts: Learn the keyboard shortcuts to show and hide SubTools and Layers. For instance, Shift + Click on the eye icon beside a SubTool will isolate it, hiding all others.
  • Utilize Solo Mode: Solo mode allows you to focus on a single SubTool. This is incredibly helpful for intricate detailing without the distraction of other model parts.
  • Employ Layers for Non-Destructive Edits: Use Layers to make changes or explore design variations without permanently altering the base geometry. Remember to bake the Layers down before exporting or moving to another application.
  • Use the 'Merge Visible' Wisely: When you need to combine SubTools for tasks like exporting, use 'Merge Visible' to create a new tool with all visible SubTools combined. This keeps your original SubTools intact and untouched.
  • Leverage 'Insert Mesh' Feature: You can quickly add pre-made assets to your model by using the 'Insert Mesh' feature. This is a huge time-saver for commonly used elements like buttons, screws, and eyes.
  • Micro-Manage with PolyGroups: Create PolyGroups within your SubTools to easily mask, hide, or manipulate sections of your mesh. This is especially useful for complex sculpting tasks.
  • Link SubTools with 'Transpose Master': When posing or making large-scale adjustments, use 'Transpose Master' to treat multiple SubTools as a single entity for more coherent edits.

Implementing these tips can significantly enhance your modeling process within ZBrush, making it cleaner, more efficient, and less time-consuming. For purchasing licenses or further assistance with ZBrush, consider NOVEDGE, an excellent resource for your software needs.


You can find all the ZBrush products on the NOVEDGE web site at this page.

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