Wondering, what actually is ZBrush, and how is it used?
What features should I look for when buying a tablet to use ZBrush? Read on to our answers to your pertinent questions.
In the world of modelling & digital drawing, these are pressing questions, which, when answered, can significantly improve the productivity and the performance of an artist involved in digital modeling (3D & 2D), texturing & paintings etc.
So to all the budding aspiring artists & professionals out there, we present to you a guide on the Best Tablet for Zbrush.
Best Tablets for ZBrush Users
1. Wacom Cintiq 22
At 19.5 x 11in of active drawing area and incredibly smooth drawing experience, the Wacom Cintiq 22 is an ideal mix of screen size and ergonomics.
It is equipped with the Pen Pro 2, which offers an incredible 8,192 pen pressure sensitivity levels that will ensure you make the most accurate and precise illustration or animation when using the ZBrush.
In fact, the screen also has an anti-glare surface that adds to the level of drawing drag.
With a considerable price point, this is most certainly not the cheapest tablet on the list but there are other options for Wacom Cintiq as well.
2. XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro
The XP Pen Artist tablet has a pen that can rival the best of its contemporaries, offering 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity levels.
The active surface area for drawing at 13.54 x 7.62 inches and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 are also great features that can get your basic tasks done.
Agreed, that you do not get the preciseness and the additional functionalities as the Wacom and Huion tablets might have.
But the affordability of this tab makes it an easy choice for aspiring digital artists.
If you are a novice at drawing, this is the choice for you without you having to break the bank for an entry-level drawing tablet.
3. Wacom One (2020)
Sure, a lot of people cannot afford the above mentioned Wacom Cintiq 22 and still want you to use the products in Wacom’s ecosystem.
Do not worry, the Wacom One is also their most affordable release. It starts from $369.99
It does not compromise much on quality either, offering a resolution of 1920 x 1080, up to 4096 pen pressure sensitivity levels, and a Full HD display offering 72% NTSC color. This means your illustrations will be vivid and crisp.
It is certainly designed to compete with the cheaper brands like XP Pen. Standing at 13 inches, this product is also very portable.
One little drawback, however, is that its small size means that it only gives an active drawing area of 11.6 x 6.5 inches, which can be an issue for users of ZBrush wanting to go for more elaborate creations.
Other than that, this is a great option at a very economical price and the reliability of Wacom in the market of drawing tablets.
The Simbans PT another pretty decent budget-friendly pen tablet.
It has a great active stylus with 8,192 pen pressure sensitivity levels that can rival any high-end tablet.
This also offers an LPI of 5080. With a built-in microSD card, you can also easily store your ZBrush related creations.
However, it is not suitable for large illustrations considering it only has an active drawing area of 10 x 6.25 in.
It definitely cannot compete with the best from Wacom, but then again, it also costs significantly less.
5. Huion Kamvas Pro 13
We mentioned above how the 1060 Plus from Huion cannot compete with Wacom’s finest. This does not mean that Huion does not have an alternative.
The Huion Kamvas 16 is a top-end drawing tablet starting at $269.89.
At this price, it is definitely a better tool for the users of ZBrush as it offers 11.56 x 6.5 inches of active anti-glare drawing area, 8192 pen pressure sensitivity levels, and a resolution of 5080 inches.
It also has a screen that offers 120% sRGB color gamut, that gives your creations made using ZBrush, a richer and vibrant color.
What is ZBrush?
ZBrush is a modern used by professionals for animation and sculpting primarily, where they use multiple techniques like squash, scrape, adding textures, and other features, in order to create a vivid image.
This also allows for high-quality modelling and 3D visuals for basically anything you can think of in different industries, whether they are vehicles, jewellery, characters in movies and games, or statues in museums.
Its most significant advantage is that unlike other software like Maya and 3D Max, which are limited in terms of their choices of Polygons and Densities for creation, the ZBrush is free from such restrictions.
However, in order to make optimal use of the ZBrush software, you need an ideal drawing tablet.
Features to Look for in a Tab for Using ZBrush
Remember, the things listed below are contingent on your usage and need. Not all purposes can be adequately served by the same features.
The biggest the tablet, the more surface area you have to work with. However, this surface area is also somewhat proportional to the price of the tablet.
Depending on your usage, for a person who needs to focus on details rather than massive sculptures, a compact surface area might suffice.
But for people needing to make broader strokes and using features like the selection tools on ZBrush, a medium to large tablet is recommended that gives an active work area of at least 8 inches.
All drawing tablets offer different levels of pressure sensitivity, with versions ranging from 1000 to 8000 levels and various degrees in between.
In terms of tablets for ZBrush, levels above 1000 are quite decent in catching your nuanced strokes.
The good news is that two of the most popular brands in this field, Wacom and Huion, are already equipping 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity at the very least, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Lines per Inch
Also referred to as the resolution of a drawing tablet, the LPI determines the tablet’s ability to pick up tiny details and accurate strokes.
For ZBrush users, anything above 1270 LPI will be adequate to provide enough detail for your illustrations and sculptures. The resolutions in these graphic tablets can go up to 5080 lines per inch if that suits your requirements.
For Zbrush users and, in fact, for the users of the drawing tablets, a battery-free active pen is the best option.
These pens are powered by inductive current from the surface of the tablet, so you do not have to worry about recharging or replacing them.
These pens are also much more durable. Wacom’s entire collection of pen tablets and displays uses them, while Huion only does that with their KAMVAS line
Moreover, pens with tilt support are an added bonus as it allows for additional functionality on your drawing tablet.
Drawing tablets can be either wired to a computer for charging or wireless and use a rechargeable battery.
This is a choice for any buyer of a drawing tablet, not just the Zbrush users.
If your work is office or desk based, then you should go for a wired model. If you are looking for portability, then go for a wireless model.
Ultimately, your choice of a tablet for ZBrush tablet depends upon your usage and your affordability.
If you were to leave the decision entirely up to us, we recommend you these tablets from the list:
Budget-friendly: Huion 1060 Plus
Mid-range: XP Pen Artist 15.6 Pro
High-end: Wacom Cintiq 22