Aug 2, 2018

ZBrush 2018 Free Download – Is there a Free Full Version?

Looking for a ZBrush free download but don't want to commit to buying the full version of the popular CAD software? Here are the best answers to the question: Is there a free full version?

The correct answer to this question if there is a free full version would be “Yes, but …” or “No, but …” depending on your point of view.

ZBrush is an award-winning 3D modeling software that enables a workflow that is akin to sculpting with materials like clay. And of course, the full version isn’t free.

Luckily (here’s the but), there is a fully functional ZBrush free trial version for you to test before you buy it. Pixologic also offers a substantial discount for students and educators. In case you can make do with a streamlined version of ZBrush, take a gander at ZBrushCore.

And just in case the price tag of these paid versions is out of your budget, check out the best free ZBrush alternatives.

ZBrush Free Trial & ZBrush Core

ZBrush Free Trial & ZBrush Core Full Version

Pixologic offers a free full version of ZBrush for download that runs for a generous 45 days. The trial version lets you test drive all the exciting 3D sculpting features this software has to offer.

Even if you decide against buying ZBrush, you can keep the designs you made. The trial version lets you import, save and even export ZBrush designs. How great is that!

However, note that if you decide to purchase ZBrush, you will have to use a fresh installer. Since the free version of ZBrush you downloaded cannot be unlocked permanently.

ZBrush Free Trial & Budget Versions How to access the free trial?

The process to access the free trial is not quite straightforward:

  1. Register on the Pixologic website.
  2. Pixologic then sends you an email that contains the link to download the free trial version of ZBrush.
  3. In addition, you need to generate an activation file to unlock ZBrush. Follow the link provided to the Pixologic website and enter your email address and license key. Then download the activation file.
  4. Once you have both files on your computer, install the free version of ZBrush.
  5. When you first open the program, it will ask you to load the activation file. Once the file is loaded, click “Activate”.

Note that the free version of ZBrush requires an active internet connection to work!

ZBrush Free Trial & Budget Versions ZBrushCore

As the already suggests, ZBrushCore is a streamlined version of the famous 3D sculpting software that provides the same basic functionality. This lite version of ZBrush will only throw you back $149.95 which is a steal considering the $895 of the full version.

So what are the “Core” functionalities that Pixologic has packed into ZBrushCore? You get ZBrush’s popular brush system, you can sculpt with the acclaimed DynaMesh dynamic digital clay. ZBrushCore also offers mesh optimization for 3D printing and Pixologic’s own KeyShot rendering software!

To get beginners started quickly, Pixologic included a host of mannequins that provide the basic layout of humanoid characters and animals. Similarly, the program comes with templates that facilitates producing jewellry, pen holders and many more items. And many more features!

Explore this table to find out if ZBrushCore is sufficient for your purposes.

There is no harm in starting out with ZBrushCore. When you feel that ZBrushCore is not powerful enough for your work, you can always upgrade and receive a discount of $100.

ZBrush Free Trial & Budget Versions ZBrush Academic and Educational License

Pixologic offers educational licences of ZBrush to academic institutions and individual students alike. This version of ZBrush comprises the full feature-set of the regular version. To cut it short, there are no watermarks or other limitations of any kind. The only restriction Pixologic places on licensees is that that they may only use their copies for non-profit projects.

Educational licences of ZBrush are available via resellers. Check this website to find a reseller near you.

ZBrush Free Trial & Budget Versions Available Features

The developers at Pixologic have made their name with a series of handy techniques that simplify the 3D sculpting workflow. For instance, ZBrush is capable of creating a new model with a higher, uniform polygon distribution to counter the effects of polygon stretching.

The main concept that beginners often struggle to grasp that you don’t try to create a high-resolution mesh right from the start. Instead, you build up levels of detail step by step.

Unlike commercial competitors like Mudbox that rely on external programs to create base geometry, ZBrush is completely self-sufficient. You can block out your 3D model step by step quickly and intuitively.

Free ZBrush Alternatives

Although at $895 for a single user license ZBrush is reasonably priced when compared to other software, that price tag may still be out of range for many users. Luckily, there are a number of free 3D sculpting alternatives to ZBrush available for download that offer a comparable feature set. The most notable among them are Sculptris, SculptGL, and Blender.

For information on even more free 3D modeling software, check out our article, 24 Best 3D Printing Software Tools of 2018 (All Are Free)

In case you want to learn more about free and commercial 3D modeling software, take a look at our extensive list:

Best 3D Design/3D Modeling Software 2018 (15 of 30 are Free)

Free ZBrush Alternative Sculptris

Sculptris is a free 3D modeling software by the same developers as ZBrush. Pixologic acquired the program to integrate some of its features. The most remarkable feature is its automatic level-of-detail that frees users from the pains of manual subdivision control and re-meshing.

Understandably Sculptris has fewer features than Pixologic’s commercial alternative. On the other hand, even beginners can grasp the basic techniques of Sculptris quickly and create impressive 3D models.


Free ZBrush Alternative SculptGL

Anyone who wants to get a taste of the 3D sculpting workflow, should take a gander at SculptGL. If you want to level up, give Sculptris a try. The best thing is, the entire free 3D modeling software runs in your web browser.

This being a free tool, the complexity of objects are limited. SculptGL includes only the basic tools necessary to give you a sense of the sculpting workflow. But this should not stop you if want to get your feet wet in 3D sculpting.


Free ZBrush Alternative Blender

Blender is a professional grade, free 3D modeling software that is completely open-source. With its comprehensive feature set that covers the entire 3D modeling and animation pipeline Blender is a true jack of all trades.

Apart from the traditional 3D modeling functionalities, Blender can be used as a 3D sculpting suite that is comparable to ZBrush. The sculpting brushes allow to create complex 3D models. However, the learning curve of Blender is steeper when compared to the other alternatives on this list.

License: The text of "ZBrush 2018 Free Download – Is there a Free Full Version?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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