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Pen Pressure Sensitivity Not Working

When using ZBrush or ZBrushCore via Remote Desktop or on certain mobile devices (such as a Surface tablet), you may lose pressure sensitivity.  The ZBrush 2020.1.3 or ZBrushCore 2020.1.3 update fixed this issue and that fix has been carried through to subsequent versions.  However, beyond simply installing the update there are specific steps that must be followed.

Step 1

First, please update to 2020.1.3 or above.  You can do this by two methods:

  1. If you have ZBrush 2020 or ZBrushCore 2020 (any point number) you can browse to its folder on your computer and run the ZUpgrader utility.  This will locate the update and walk you through the installation steps.
    • If you have ZBrush 2021 you already have the necessary features and can continue to Step 2.
  2. Alternatively, you can uninstall your current version then download a new copy of the installer from My Licenses.  This will always give you the most up to date version of your software.

Step 2

After you have version 2020.1.3 installed, the following steps must be used to enable pressure sensitivity in the desired environment:

Usage with Wacom Device

  • It is recommended to Disable 'Windows Ink' in 'Wacom Tablet Properties'

Usage with Surface Pen

  • It is recommended to Enable 'Show cursor' in 'Pen & Windows Ink' settings

Remote Desktop Usage with Wacom Device

  • Client Machine:
    • Enable 'Windows Ink' in Wacom Tablet Properties
  • Server Machine:
    • Disable 'Show Cursor' in 'Pen & Windows Ink' settings

Remote Desktop Usage with Surface Pen

  • Client Machine:
    • Enable 'Show Cursor' in 'Pen & Windows Ink' settings
  • Server Machine:
    • Disable 'Show Cursor' in 'Pen & Windows Ink' settings

ZBrush 2021.1 and above have an additional feature to help:

Preferences >> Tablet >> Tablet Driver API to determine how ZBrush works with Windows Ink, affecting performance when using a tablet on Windows.  If you experience lag issues when interacting with models, trying one of these other settings should resolve them. 

There are 3 options:

  •     WinTab (default mode): Will not handle Windows Ink. This will operate like it did in ZBrush 2019.
  •     Stylus: Handles Windows Ink the same way it did in 2020.1.4.
  •     WM_Event: Handles Windows Ink the same way it did in 2021.0.

One of these three modes should resolve any issues with pressure sensitivity.


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Sours: https://support.pixologic.com/article/412-pen-pressure-sensitivity-not-working

You have finally come to the conclusion that although your mouse works great for Zbrush the allure of the Pen Pressure Sensitivity is too great. This is an inevitable and in this article I will walk you through your drawing tablet purchase for Zbrush and what you need to consider before investing in upgrading your tech.

In this guide I will step you through my personal considerations when I’m looking to buy my next drawing tablet particularly with the perspective of using it heavily for Zbrush.

What is a Drawing Tablet

A Drawing Tablet or sometimes referred to as a Graphic Tablet is basically a large touch pad that utilizes a pen. This tablet can be used to draw or in the case of Zbrush sculpt. 

The biggest advantage of having a drawing tablet over a mouse in Zbrush is what is referred to as pressure sensitivity. The harder you push the more effect you have on your sculpting. 

While pressure sensitivity is great there are various other advantages of a drawing tablet in Zbrush. I’d recommend you check out this article I wrote here. If you haven’t already done much research you would be surprised what they can do over just a mouse. 

Do All Tablets Work With Zbrush

The first consideration you probably need to work out is if your perspective tablet works with Zbrush. Unfortunately in this respect it isn’t always clear. More often than not they do. All of the more well known brands such as Wacom, Huion and XP-Pen do. However it is worth double checking before you purchase to avoid being disappointed.

Drivers in particular can be somewhat troublesome so it’s something to be aware of before making a purchase.

Drawing Space

While it may seem beneficial to get a large tablet I have actually found they are less comfortable. The big motions and reduced room on your desk to work can be difficult. It is also important to note the size of your table does not scale 1 to 1 for your screen. The tablet scales down so you don’t need a large tablet if you have a large screen.

Quite often in Zbrush I find myself using a small portion of the tablet as your usually sculpting fine detail or making small changes at a time. You are not sculpting on a large canvas like you would in Photoshop. Usually the only time you may use large gestures is to navigate the Zbrush menus. 

I’ve found a tablet about the size of an A4 piece of paper or usually sized as a medium tablet is perfect for Zbrush. Using a smaller tablet is certainly doable but I find you lose a little precision. I would personally recommend to stay away from large tablets.

Pressure Sensitivity

Most of the newer high end tablets will talk about having 8192 pressure levels and the lower ones 4096. For sculpting purposes in Zbrush it is difficult to tell the difference. While it is a nice thing to have it is not necessary.

Personally I do not believe this is a huge selling point. If you are using a tablet for drawing I could see the benefits, however for sculpting in Zbrush it is not as obvious.


Hotkey and shortcut keys is where having a tablet for Zbrush can really come in useful. The need for keys to navigate, masking, smoothing and even undoing soon add up.

In my personal opinion the more keys at your disposal the better. You will be grateful when you don’t also have to rely on a keyboard taking up room on your desk. Or when you would rather just chill on the couch and do some sculpting.

The Pen

The pen is one of the biggest factors to consider when purchasing a tablet. It has to be comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. It needs to feel natural and fit in with your workflow. 

The pens come in 2 types. Battery-Free Electromagnetic Resonance pens which as the name suggest do not require to be charged and pens with batteries requiring charging. Personally I prefer the battery free pens as they just feel better.

You will also note that a lot of the pens have tilt support. This is irrelevant in Zbrush as it is not supported so don’t be concerned over this function.

Personal Recommendations

I would recommend the following tablets as they tick all the boxes when it comes to the functionality needed for sculpting in Zbrush. You can find them all at Amazon through my affiliate links below.

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

Huion Inspiroy H1161

XP-Pen Deco Pro Medium

Wacom Intuos Pro Medium

This is my top pick and my personal driver it ticks all the boxes. Wacom truly is the leading brand when it comes to this technology. Its proven quality driver support and functionality are hard to match. Of course this comes usually at a little bit more of a premium compared to other brands. 

The Intuos Pro Medium is the perfect size with plenty of room to work without being to big. It has 8 programmable keys and a wheel that I usually use to scale brush size in Zbrush.

It comes with Wacom’s latest Pro Pen 2 with the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. It can also be Bluetooth wireless if you would rather sit on the couch and sculpt.

One addition to this is Wacom have also released additional products that are compatible with the Intuos Pro series. Both of which are great for 3d artist in Zbrush. There is the Express Key Remote which gives you access to another 17 buttons (I love my buttons) and its bluetooth so you can hold it in anywhere that is comfortable.

The second is the Pro Pen 3d. This has all the functionality of the the Pro Pen 2 but the eraser at the top which is usually aimed at drawing is moved to the grip, where you can have access to an additional button. I find this really useful as I never use the eraser in Zbrush.

Huion Inspiroy H1161

The Huion Inspiroy H1161 ticks all the boxes is a considerably cheaper option to the Wacom Intuos Pro. Its the perfect sized medium tablet and has 10 hard press buttons with a further 16 soft press programmable function keys which are really useful.

The pen utilizes battery free technology with 8192 levels or pressure sensitivity.

Huion has a proven record of working great with Zbrush so you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues.

With the introduction of the FY 21 model it now has Android compatability. While you cant have ZBrush on a tablet this is great if you also like to draw in programs like Procreate.

Previously my biggest issue with this tablet is while it has a lot of buttons it lacked the wheel type button the Wacoms have. With the new model this seems to have changed with a sensitivity strip. These tablets are now a very close second to Wacom in my opinion for a fraction of the price. The only sacrifice in my opinion is quality.

XP-Pen Deco Pro Medium

The XP Pen Deco Pro is in the same price range as the Huion H1161 with a few differences.

It has less buttons however I think ergonomically it makes more sense. All the buttons are on the side of a raised portion, so you are les likely to accidentally drift and push buttons. Best of all it has not one but 2 WHEELS!! I like this design as you are less likely to accidently push buttons.

Like the others on this list it has the 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support and is battery free.

Like the Huion it has Android support so you can connect it to your tablet or phone.

This is a solid tablet and I love the dials I’m almost tempted to ditch my Wacom for this.


Hopefully now you have some idea what to look for when choosing a tablet for Zbrush. 

While most of the requirements are similar to those required for digital 2d art there are a few differences you should consider. If you take anything from this article its that bigger isn’t always better. Finally the more programmable buttons the better. 

Good lck with you modelling and have fun.

Categories 3d Modelling, ZbrushSours: https://cgobsession.com/guide-to-buying-a-drawing-tablet-for-zbrush/
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Wacom Bundle - How to Get the Copy of ZBrushCore

  IMPORTANT:  As of Aug 1, 2020 Wacom has discontinued inclusion of      ZBrushCore with their Intuos 3D tablet.  When you register your tablet with  Wacom, you now receive a free copy of another software that is not  published by Pixologic.

 Unfortunately, if Wacom does not provide you with a code to receive  ZBrushCore there is nothing that we can do to help.  Even though the box  that your tablet arrives in most likely says that you receive ZBrushCore, we  do not have the ability to honor that.  Wacom is responsible for the packaging  and for any claims on it, as well as for honoring those claims.  

If Wacom provides you with a CD Code for ZBrushCore we will gladly honor it.  Simply go to https://pixologic.com/CD to redeem your code.  It will give you a copy of ZBrushCore, which you can then immediately upgrade to ZBrushCore 20xx via the My Licenses page.  Once upgraded, you will be able to download from that same page.

WARNING REGARDING SECOND HAND PURCHASES:  The ZBrushCore software bundled with the Intuos 3D tablet is licensed to the person who registers the tablet and redeems the CD Code.  Once that CD code has been redeemed, the license is no longer able to be transferred to anyone else except where required by law.  See our License Transfer policy.  This means that if you have purchased an Intuos 3D tablet second hand, you most likely will not be able to receive ZBrushCore as that license is still owned by the original purchaser of the tablet.

Thank you!

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Sours: https://support.pixologic.com/article/251-wacom-bundle-how-to-get-the-copy-of-zbrushcore
Sculpting with Wacom Intuos 3D and ZBrush Core
3d sculpt beast m

Model, sculpt and paint with precision

Unlike other art forms, games are interactive and rely on real-time rendering to respond to the imagination of each of player.  Creating a low polygon 3D model in Autodesk® Maya® lets you quickly explore how your superhero will walk, run, jump, and fly in any environment.  This makes refining your model fast and easy, compared to using a mouse.  With your pressure-sensitive pen, you can use the sculpt geometry tool or 3D texturing tool to mold and shape your character with incredible detail, like you’re working with clay.  Change head size, body density, and muscle features, or add a futuristic look to your character for life-like results.

3d sculpt monster face f

Discover a new level of detail

With the basic shape, structure, and refinements in place, you can digitally sculpt and texture your combat superhero with a new level of surface detail, adding in splines and patches to make it more realistic.  With an extensive array of sculpting tools, Autodesk Maya takes advantage of the pressure sensitivity delivered in the Wacom pen, so you can add in subtle wrinkles and intense facial expressions with light pressure, or introduce battle scars and big muscles with more pressure.  Whatever you decide to do, you’ll have intuitive control every step of the way.

3d sculpt monster creation f

Animate easily, with a new level of control and comfort

Visually appealing and smoothly animated 3D characters are one of the most important aspects of today's popular video games. With a creative pen display and cutting-edge 3D paint tools, like Pixologic ZBrush, you can use your brush of choice to color and add detail to clothes, skin, hair, or muscle. Apply bulging veins or introduce subtle color changes to your character's flak jacket. With the intuitivity of the pressure-sensitive pen and the natural feel of creating directly on-screen, you can stay focused on your creations for a more efficient workflow.

3d sculpt woman crouching f

Improve rendering speed for a more efficient workflow

In 3D sculpting and animation, high-speed rendering is crucial to the success of any character and game.  You may have the most amazing-looking combat hero, but if rendering speeds are too slow, movements will appear clunky and unnatural.  With V-Ray®, you can easily adjust the lightingand shading and render your 3D assets at incredibly fast speeds.  With the speed and connectivity of a creative pen display, you can collaborate with concept artists, riggers, and animators in real-time, getting it right the first time.  Work smarter and faster in several programs at once, with the freedom to use what you want when you want.

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Sours: https://www.wacom.com/en-th/discovery/draw/3d-sculpting-and-modeling

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