ZBrush’s unique sculptural approach is a natural target for a 3D mouse.
Pixologic and 3Dconnexion have announced a customized integration of their products ZBrush and SpaceMouse. 3Dconnexion has had support for ZBrush, but the difference here is that the companies have worked together for “full integration.” The kind of sculpting and modeling that ZBrush enables seems custom made for something like the SpaceMouse and really, that’s the trick.
3Dconnexion’s 3D input devices have been around for a while. Long enough that the company can claim to support over 300 applications. The company is strongest in the CAD market and in fact, the company has a product called the CADmouse. The idea of the product is to enable two handed workflows, allowing 3D modelers to “hold” the model with one hand and edit it with the other.
There are plenty of reports that confirm the efficiency of 3D input devices for creative tasks by virtue of the natural interaction but even more benefits can be gained by optimizing the device for specific, repetitive tasks. 3Dconnexion helpfully offers documentation on the ergonomic benefits of the products. Programming the mouse’s buttons is also key. The companies say they have worked together so that the mouse directly supports ZBrush’s commands and commonly used interactions with shortcuts. The SpaceMouse offers 12 programmable buttons. In addition, users can save custom viewpoints. Many keyboard modifiers such as enter, delete, escape, etc., are built in.
From our experience, which is admittedly way in the past, it’s the direct support for specific applications that makes the difference in the long-term usefulness of a 3D input device. In this case, there are plenty of resources on both the Pixologic site and 3Dconnexion.
As an inducement to try out both products, there is a promotion on the 3Dconnexion site offering a free short-term license for ZBrush 2021.5 with the purchase and registration of a SpaceMouse.
The company’s press release follows:
Norwalk, Connecticut, May 26, 2021— 3Dconnexion and Pixologic have joined forces to offer digital artists the best digital sculpting and painting experience through a meticulous integration of the 3D SpaceMouse line and ZBrush. 3D artists can now experience working with natural and fluid navigation, revel in intuitive immersive zooming, and enjoy fantastic tool manipulation and interaction from every angle.
The SpaceMouse line simultaneously allows artists to interact with their model while combining all these activities and keeping their cursor free, to avoid interrupting their flow and concentration and let their creativity run wild. The SpaceMouse line is the only 3D purpose-built and specialized product on the market, delivering intuitive, effortless, and high-precision 3D navigation.
ZBrush is famous for being behind the sculpting renderings of popular animated films like Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Despicable Me. It is also used by game developers by companies such as Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and Activision.
The combination of 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse and ZBrush also lets artists seamlessly add textures and shapes to environments with a click of a button, create macros for favorite sculpting brushes, materials, and alpha effects to refine characters and props, and create models and illustrations at an unmatched speed, all while smoothly navigating at the same time.
“In development, especially asset creation, you often don’t get the luxury of using one 3D program with one method of navigation – from 3D poly modelers to modelers specializing in UVs or retopology, to cloth simulation programs to particle effects to renderers to game engines to CAD modelers to material and texture programs…you’re probably looking at at least 2 or 3 completely different methods of navigation in any given day. Having the ability to use a single navigation tool that is as intuitive as turning, rotating, and moving an object in your hand can make transitioning between applications much less clunky,” explained Michael Pavlovich, a highly influential director of Character Art and a fervent ZBrush endorser who has a gigantic following on social media.
Adding that he gets “Freedom of movement, and freedom to put more of your brain toward creating rather than having to stumble through your muscle memory searching for the correct navigation input depending on what 3 or 4 programs you might open that day”, he concedes that he finds satisfaction “knowing how much more fulfilling creation can be with the right tools.”
Antonio Pascucci, 3Dconnexion’s CEO, explains why he embraced the new market segment “The 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse offers a two-handed working style, which makes creating digital content easier in every 3D environment, from Product engineering to Architecture design and especially Media and Entertainment. Navigating the detail of digital content is critical to understanding the complexity of the geometry and third dimension of the plastic creation.”
“Artists using the SpaceMouse tend to navigate frequently and continuously because it is effortless with no dominant hand and does not interrupt the modeling process. They get an immense number of views of their creation. This means they discover a new immersive tri-dimensional experience that definitively enhances their creative inspiration.”
“As soon as we noticed a significant number of ZBrush users wanting to use SpaceMouse, it became our priority to start technology cooperation with Pixologic. Today we are happy to have achieved a great SpaceMouse navigation within ZBrush for the benefit of our joint customers. We are grateful to the Pixologic senior management and engineers for their commitment to the project’s success.”
Ofer Alon, the founder of Pixologic, tells “When I saw the SpaceMouse for the first time, I was genuinely impressed by the high quality of the device and the functionality which it can offer to ZBrush artists. I, therefore, opted to collaborate with 3Dconnexion and integrate this fine tool into ZBrush. I am very delighted with this integration, which offers the ZBrush artists fluid navigation in 3D space and by doing so, a more intuitive and efficient art creation process.”
By the way, last month, 3Dconnection and Intellicad have announced their collaboration to support CadMouse and SpaceMouse
Pixologic is the maker of ZBrush, the leading digital sculpting application aimed at simplifying the science behind generating computer graphics. ZBrush is widely used by film studios, game developers, toy/collectible makers, jewelry designers, automotive/aviation designers, illustrators, advertisers, scientists and other artists the world over. ZBrush was recognized and awarded an Academy Award for its technology and empowering tools that give users intuitive and visual control over the digital images they create.
3Dconnexion creates the world’s most advanced, precise, and comfortable peripherals for design and engineering professionals. Optimized for over 300 software packages, our products help people across industries produce better designs more efficiently.