ZBrush keyboard shortcuts

My notes on ZBrush keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys) and control. This page is derived largely from the ZBrush 4R7 and ZBrush Core Online Documentation, © 2016 by Pixologic, Inc. I have reproduced much of the Keyboard Shortcut documentation here for the purpose of personal study and with the hope of adding additional notes that may be helpful to others who, like me, are new to the software.

Contents

General shortcuts

Action Key(s) Notes
Open Project CTRL + O
Save Project CTRL + S
Undo CTRL + Z
Redo SHIFT + CTRL + Z
Popup selection (on PC only)
  • Tools – F1
  • Brushes – F2
  • Strokes – F3
  • Alphas – F4
  • Textures – F5
  • Materials – F6 (with cursor off canvas area)
Show QuickMenu SPACE or right-click
Show/hide floating palettes TAB
Show item description CTRL + cursor over item When Popup Info is switched on.
Show alternative item description CTRL + ALT + cursor over item
Assign custom hotkey CTRL+ ALT + click on item Stores hotkeys in Preferences > Hotkeys submenu
Projection Master G

Lightbox and Spotlight

Action Key(s) Notes
Show/hide Lightbox ,
load selected item double-click on Lightbox thumbnail Texture / Alphas will be loaded into Spotlight if it is active.
Turn on/off Spotlight SHIFT + Z
Show/hide Spotlight Dial Z

Right-Click Navigation

Turn on RightClick Navigation in the Preferences > Interface menu.

Action Key(s) Notes
Move ALT + right-click & drag (can be over the model)
Scale CTRL + right-click & drag (can be over the model)
Rotate right-click & drag (can be over the model)

Transpose

  • With a 3D mesh in Edit mode, press W (Move), E (Scale), or R (Rotate), then click and drag to draw the orange action line.
  • Click on the mesh to reposition the action line aligned to the surface normal.
  • To align to an axis, click the end of the red, green or blue axis line.
Action Key(s) Notes
Move action line while drawing Hold SPACE
Move action line after drawing click + drag orange line or center orange ring
Change action line end point position click + drag orange end ring
Toggle between the Transpose line and Gizmo 3D Y while in Move, Scale, or Rotate mode

Quick tip: in Move/Scale mode, ALT + click + drag on the mesh (not on action line) to move or scale mesh

Inner (red/white) ring actions

These actions apply to the inner red or white rings of the action line. The terms center or end refer to the position on the line.

Action Key(s) Notes
Move mode – W
Move click + drag center
Duplicate mesh CTRL + click + drag center
Bend mesh ALT + click + drag center or end point
Stretch mesh drag end point furthest from mesh
Flatten mesh drag end point next to mesh
Inflate right-click + drag end ring furthest from mesh
Create Edgeloop & extrude with partially masked mesh, hold CTRL and click + drag center point
Scale – E
Scale click + drag end point in line direction
Scale along axis click + drag center point
Create Edgeloop and deflate / inflate with partially masked mesh, hold
CTRL and click + drag center point
Rotate – R
Rotate around end point click + drag other end point
Rotate around action line click + drag center
Joint bend ALT + click + drag end point (rotation around same point)

Sculpting and Painting

Action Key(s) Notes
Draw Size S
Focal Shift O
RGB Intensity I
Z Intensity U
Increase Draw Size by set units ] (set increment in the Zplugin > Misc Utilities > Brush Increment slider)
Decrease Draw Size by set units [ (set increment in the Zplugin > Misc Utilities >Brush Increment slider)
Edit mode on/off T
Draw Q
Move W
Scale E
Rotate R
Toggle ZAdd and ZSub ALT While brushing on a model, hold down ALT to toggle from ZAdd to ZSub.

Sculpting Brushes

Each brush has its own keyboard shortcut combo. You can learn them by pressing B to bring up the brush palette, then a letter like C (to filter by all brushes starting with C), and then the letter indicated in the top left of the brush icon in to brush palette.

Action Key Sequence
Show Brush pop-up B
Clay Buildup B + C + D
Damien Standard (dam std) B + D + S
Inflate B + I + N
Move B + M + V
Spiral B + S + A Hold down ALT to spiral in the opposite direction.
ZModeler B + Z + M

InsertMultiMesh brushes

Action Key(s) Notes
Show all meshes in brush M

Changing the Brush hotkeys (pop-up palette)

Here is what you have to do:

  • Press B to bring up the brush palette.
  • Then click or press the letter that you want to narrow down to, in this example press C.
  • With C selected all you will see is the brushes that start with C. You will see the next letter that selects the brush.
  • At this point you can hold CTRL + ALT to change the shortcut to whatever you want by just clicking on the brush and then click your new shortcut.

NOTE: Keep in mind that when you do this ZBrush automatically replaces the shortcut of another brush if you select a shortcut that is already assigned.

Color

Action Key(s) Notes
Select Color under cursor C
Switch Color V

Stroke

Action Key(s) Notes
Lazy mouse L Toggles the lazy mouse mode.
Replay Last Stroke 1 This is very handy to use after pressing CTRL, and moving a subtool to duplicate it. Pressing 1 will create yet another duplicate, moving it the same distance on the same axis as before. So, this is a great way to create an array of equally spaced duplicates.
Record Stroke 3
Replay All Recorded Strokes 2

Curves

Action Key(s) Notes
Smooth curve 6
Snapshot curve 5
Delete a curve ALT + draw across curve

3D Models

Action Key(s) Notes
Save Tool SHIFT + CTRL + T
Frame (Fit Mesh To view) F (You may need to press it twice.)
Dynamic Persp (Perspective Distortion) P
Floor Grid SHIFT + P
Activate Symmetry X
Show/hide Polyframe & polygroups SHIFT + F
Point Selection Mode SHIFT + CTRL + P
Set Pivot Point CTRL + P
Clear Pivot Point SHIFT + P
Snapshot a version to canvas SHIFT + S

Edit mode Navigation

The following actions apply when in Edit Object (Key: T) mode.

Note: For best results turn off RightClick Navigation in the Preferences > Interface menu.

Action Key(s) Notes
Frame (Fit Mesh to View) F
Move (Move Edited Object) ALT + click and drag Background
Zoom3D (Scale Edited Object) ALT + click on background, release ALT, then drag
Free Rotate click + drag on background
Constrain to 90-degree rotation click + drag on background and then press SHIFT
Rotate around Z-axis SHIFT, click on background, release SHIFT, drag
Scale ALT + click, release ALT, drag Background

SubTools

Action Key(s) Notes
List all subtools N
Select SubTool ALT + click on SubTool
Frame SubTool SHIFT + ALT + click on selected SubTool Note this option can be set in the Preferences > Edit > Enable Auto Center slider; 0 = off; 1 = Alt + click; 2 = SHIFT + Alt + click
Show SubTool Pop-up List N

Polypaint

Action Key(s) Notes
Toggle Polypaint Colorize Click on paintbrush icon
Toggle Polypaint Colorize for all SubTools SHIFT + click on paintbrush icon

Geometry

Action Key(s) Notes
Divide CTRL + D
Lower Res SHIFT + D
Higher Res D
Edge Loop CTRL + E (partially hidden mesh)

Dynamesh

Remesh Dynamesh sculpt – in Edit > Draw mode CTRL + drag Background

HD Geometry

Action Key(s) Notes
Toggle in/out of HD Sculpting mode A (cursor over mesh)
Render all HD Geometry A (cursor over background)

Masking

Action Key(s) Notes
View mask CTRL + H
Invert mask CTRL + I
Mask all CTRL + A
Select masking Brush hold CTRL while selecting brush from popup
Paint mask on object (alphas/strokes can be used) CTRL (hold down)
Delete or paint reverse mask CTRL + ALT (hold down)
Reverse mask CTRL + click background a.k.a. Flip Mask, Invert Mask
Clear mask CTRL + click + drag background
Constant-intensity mask CTRL + click, release CTRL, drag (starting off mesh)
Alpha-intensity mask (using MaskPen or MaskRect brush) CTRL + click & drag (select alpha while holding CTRL)
Blur mask CTRL + click on mesh When a mask has been drawn on a mesh, this action blurs (softens) the edges of the mask.
Sharpen mask CTRL + ALT + click on mesh

Topological Masking

in Move, Scale or Rotate mode – CTRL + click + drag the action line on the model

Polygroups

Action Key(s)
Group Masked and Clear Mask CTRL +
W
This is super handy! Basically, it turns anything you have masked into a polygroup and then clears the mask. In other words, if you want to turn the currently masked area into a polygroup, press CTRL + W.
Make all polygroups into one CTRL +
W
In addition to the above, this key combination can also be used to apply a single polygroup to the active subtool. For example – if a subtool has several polygroups and you want only one.

Partial Mesh Visibility & Clip Brushes

Action Key(s)
Select Selection or Clip Brush hold SHIFT + CTRL while selecting brush from popup
Show mesh portion SHIFT + CTRL + click, release keys & drag (green selection area)
Hide mesh portion SHIFT + CTRL + click, release keys & drag – press Alt (red selection area)
Grow mesh portion CTRL + SHIFT + X
Shrink mesh portion CTRL + SHIFT + S
Grow all mesh portion CTRL + SHIFT + A
Outer Ring visibility CTRL + SHIFT + O
Move selection or clip area press SPACE without releasing mouse/pen
Show entire mesh SHIFT + CTRL + click background
Show only selected Polygroup (on fully visible mesh) SHIFT + CTRL + click
Hide selected Polygroup (on fully visible mesh) SHIFT + CTRL + click twice
Hide selected Polygroup (on partially visible mesh) SHIFT + CTRL + click
Reverse visibility SHIFT + CTRL + click & drag background
Hide edge loop with Lasso option selected, SHIFT + CTRL + click on edge that crosses loop
ClipCurve add soft direction change press ALT once
ClipCurve add sharp direction change press ALT twice
reverse clip area ALT (hold down)

Stencil

Action Key(s) Notes
Stencil On ALT + H
Hide/Show Stencil CTRL + H
Coin Controller SPACE

ZSpheres

Action Key(s) Notes
Preview Adaptive Skin A

ZSpheres – Draw mode

Action Key(s) Notes
Add a child ZSphere drag ZSphere
Delete ZSphere ALT + click ZSphere
Add a child ZSphere at same size click + drag, press SHIFT
Add a child ZSphere and scale Link Spheres click + drag to size new ZSphere, press CTRL + drag
Insert ZSphere click Link-Sphere
Sphere Define magnet/ break meshio ALT + click Link-Sphere (with Tool > Adaptive Skin > Use ClassicSkinning on)

ZSpheres – Move mode

Action Key(s)
Move ZSphere drag ZSphere
Pose (Natural-linked move) drag Link-Sphere
Move Chain Alt + drag Link-Sphere

ZSpheres – Scale mode

Action Key(s)
Scale Zsphere drag ZSphere
Inflate/deflate chain ALT + drag Link-Sphere
Scale chain drag Link-Sphere

ZSpheres – Rotate mode

Action Key(s)
Spin chain drag ZSphere
Control twist ALT + drag Link-Sphere
Rotate chain drag Link-Sphere

ZSpheres – ZSketch

Action Key(s)
Activate ZSketch Edit mode SHIFT + A (with a ZSphere armature in Edit mode)
Preview Unified Skin A

Canvas and 2.5D

Action Key(s)
Reverse 2.5D brush effect ALT (hold down)
Crop And Fill SHIFT + CTRL + F
Grab Texture From Document SHIFT + CTRL + G

Document Layers

Action Key(s)
Clear Layer CTRL + N
Fill Layer CTRL + F
Bake Layer CTRL + B
On Layer thumbnail, toggle all layers on/off SHIFT + CLICK
Select layer on which clicked pixol resides ~ + click canvas (US)
@ + click canvas (UK)
Move layer contents up/down/sideways (X & Y) ~ + drag (US) @ + drag (UK)

Markers

Markers will only show when Edit is turned off

Action Key(s)
Remove Marker CTRL + M

Canvas Zoom

Action Key(s) Notes
Actual Size 0
Antialiased Half Size CTRL + 0
Zoom In +
Zoom Out -

Timeline

Action Key(s) Notes
Place a new key frame click on the Timeline
Select an existing key frame click on the key frame dot
Zoom Timeline in/out click on selected key frame dot
Move selected key frame click + drag dot to new position (dragging off end will delete)
Store new data in existing key frame SHIFT + CTRL + click on the key frame dot
Delete a key frame click + drag dot off the Timeline
Copy selected key frame SHIFT + click on the Timeline at the point where you want the copy
Copy multiple key frames SHIFT + click on all the key frames dots to be copied, then SHIFT + click the Timeline at the point where you want the copies
Create Transition key frame CTRL + click on an existing key frame dot
Create Rigid key frame ALT + click on an existing key frame dot
Go to Previous Camera key frame LEFT ARROW
Go to Next Camera key frame RIGHT ARROW
Play the Timeline SHIFT+click on the Timeline cursor (will play as a loop)
Stop the Timeline playing ESC
Record Timeline as a Movie SHIFT + CTRL + click on the Timeline cursor (set the cursor to the start first using the LEFT ARROW)

Movie

Action Key(s)
Snapshot to Movie CTRL + SHIFT + ! (US)
SHIFT + CTRL + PageUp (UK)

Render

Action Key(s)
Best Preview Render (BPR) SHIFT + R
Render All SHIFT + CTRL + R
Cursor Selective Render CTRL + R

Custom UI and Configuration

Action Key(s) Notes
Move item to custom interface position CTRL + ALT + drag  (when Enable Customize is switched on)
Remove item from custom interface position CTRL + ALT + drag to Canvas (when Enable Customize is on)
Store Configuration File SHIFT + CTRL + I
Load User Interface Configuration File CTRL + L
Save User Interface Configuration File SHIFT + CTRL + ALT + I

ZScripts

Action Keys
Load ZScript SHIFT + CTRL + L
Reload ZScript CTRL + U
Show/Hide ZScript window H

Reference Resources