3D Resource: The Difference Between Mudbox and zBrush

Mudbox and zBrush

Mudbox and zBrush are both sculpting programs that allow 3D artists to add details that would not be as easy to create through traditional modeling.

When asking which is better, Mudbox or zBrush, its like comparing 3ds Max and Maya. They are both programs that are meant for the same thing and can generally accomplish the same thing. Asking which one is better is completely relative to what you need it to do.

To keep it short and simple, zBrush is significantly better at sculpting and Mudbox is significantly better at painting textures. At least so, this is what quite a few of our mentors have experienced.

Here are a few reasons why each is better for that reason.

Sculpting in zBrush

1. zSpheres – zBrush allows you to create a base mesh using zSpheres and then add all your details on top of that. If you don’t want to use zSpheres you can still go ahead and just import .obj files from 3ds Max.

2. Dynamesh – Dynamesh allows you to sculpt without having to worry about the topology. It automatically regenerates your geometry as you sculpt so you don’t stretch polygons or have an uneven topology.

If you really want to know all of zBrush’s amazing features, check out pixologic’s site: http://pixologic.com/zbrush/features/overview/

Painting in Mudbox

1. 3D Painting – Mudbox allows you to paint directly onto 3D models over multiple channels. It does it with much more precision and detail than zBrush. It allows you to paint in layers similar to what we are use to in Photoshop.

2. Ease of Use – Mudbox is known to be really easy to pick up. It has a similar look to Maya and 3ds Max so especially for us students at MICA who are use to 3ds Max, it might be a less stressful place to start.


Luckily as MICA students, we have access to both zBrush and Mudbox in Room 204 and 205 in Brown. Be sure to take your time out to try both these programs and experiment. As students, we have access to a lot of tools that we sometimes take for granted.


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