ZBrush Keyboard Shortcuts

ZBrush sets the industry standard for digital sculpting. Its features enable you to use customizable brushes to shape, texture and paint virtual clay in a real-time environment that provides instant feedback. When you use ZBrush you’ll be working with the same tools used by film studios, game developers, toy/collectible makers, jewelry designers, automotive/aviation designers, illustrators and artists the world over



1 General Shortcuts (Hotkeys)

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 – Spacebar or Right Mouse click

Show/hide floating palettes – TAB

Show item description (when Popup Info is switched on) – Ctrl+cursor over item

Show alternative item description – Ctrl+Alt+cursor over item

Assign custom hotkey – Ctrl+Alt+click on item (store hotkeys in Preferences> Hotkeys submenu)

Projection Master – G



2 Lightbox and Spotlight

Show/hide Lightbox – , [comma key]

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



3 Edit mode Navigation

with a 3D mesh in Edit mode –

Free Rotate – Click & drag Background

Move – Alt+Click & drag Background

Constrain to 90-degree rotation – Click+drag, press Shift

Scale – Alt+Click, Release Alt, drag Background

Rotate around Z-axis – Shift, Click, release Shift, drag

(For best results turn off RightClick Navigation in the Preferences>Interface menu.)


3.1 Right-Click Navigation

(Turn on RightClick Navigation in the Preferences>Interface menu.)

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)



4 Transpose
  • with a 3D mesh in Edit mode, click W, E, R and 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

To move action line while drawing – hold Spacebar

To move action line after drawing – click+drag orange line or center orange ring

To change action line end point position – click+drag orange end ring

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


4.1 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.

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)



5 Sculpting and Painting

Draw Size – S

Focal Shift – O

RGB Intensity – I

Z Intensity – U

Increase Draw Size by set units – ]

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 (hold down)


5.1 Sculpting Brushes

Show Brush pop-up – B

Standard Brush – B – S – T

Smooth Stronger – B – S – S

Move Elastic – B – M – E

MPolish – B – M – P

ClipCurve – B – C – C

ClayLine – B – C – L


5.1.1 InsertMultiMesh brushes

show all meshes in brush – M


5.1.2 Changing the Brush hotkeys (pop-up palette)

Here is what you have to do:

  • Click B to bring up the brush palette.
  • Then click the letter that you want to narrow down to, in this example click C.
  • With C clicked all you will see is the brushes that start with C. This is when 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.


5.2 Color

Select Color under cursor – C

Switch Color – V


5.3 Stroke

Lazy mouse – L

Replay Last Stroke – 1

Record Stroke – 3

Replay All Recorded Strokes – 2


5.3.1 Curves

Smooth curve – 6

Snapshot curve – 5

Delete a curve – Alt + draw across curve



6 3D Models

Save Tool – Shift+Ctrl+T

Fit Mesh to view – F

Perspective – 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


6.1 SubTools

List all SubTools – N

Alt+click on SubTool – select that SubTool

Shift+Alt+click on selected SubTool – frame that SubTool (Note this option can be set in the Preferences > Edit > Enable Auto Center slider; 0 = off; 1 = Alt+click; 2 = Shift+Alt+click)

Click on paintbrush icon – toggle Polypaint Colorize

Shift+click on paintbrush icon – toggle Polypaint Colorize for all SubTools


6.2 Geometry

Divide – Ctrl+D

Lower Res – Shift+D

Higher Res – D

Edge Loop – Ctrl+E (partially hidden mesh)



6.3 Dynamesh

Remesh Dynamesh sculpt – in Edit > Draw mode Ctrl+Drag Background


6.4 HD Geometry

Toggle in/out of HD Sculpting mode – A (cursor over mesh)

Render all HD Geometry – A (cursor over background)


6.5 Masking

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

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

Sharpen mask – Ctrl+Alt+Click on mesh


6.6 Topological Masking

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


6.7 Polygroups

Group Masked and Clear Mask – Ctrl+W


6.8 Partial Mesh Visibility & Clip Brushes

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 Spacebar 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 – click Alt once

ClipCurve add sharp direction change – click Alt twice

reverse clip area – Alt (hold down)


6.9 Stencil

Stencil On – Alt+H

Hide/Show Stencil – Ctrl+H

Coin Controller – Spacebar



7 ZSpheres

Preview Adaptive Skin – A

7.1 Draw mode

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

with Tool>Adaptive Skin>Use ClassicSkinning on:

Sphere Define magnet/ break mesh – Alt+Click Link-Sphere

7.2 Move mode

Move ZSphere – drag ZSphere

Pose (Natural-linked move) – drag Link-Sphere

Move Chain – Alt+drag Link-Sphere

7.3 Scale mode

Scale Zsphere – drag ZSphere

Inflate/deflate chain – Alt+drag Link-Sphere

Scale chain – drag Link-Sphere

7.4 Rotate mode

Spin chain – drag ZSphere

Control twist – Alt+drag Link-Sphere

Rotate chain – drag Link-Sphere



8 ZSketch

Activate ZSketch Edit mode – Shift+A (with a ZSphere armature in Edit mode)

Preview Unified Skin – A



9 Canvas and 2.5D

Reverse 2.5D brush effect – Alt (hold down)

Crop And Fill – Shift+Ctrl+F

Grab Texture From Document – Shift+Ctrl+G


9.1 Document Layers

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)


9.2 Markers

  • Markers will only show when Edit is turned off

Remove Marker – Ctrl+M


9.3 Canvas Zoom

Actual Size – 0 [zero]

Antialiased Half Size – Ctrl+0

Zoom In – + [plus sign]

Zoom Out –  [minus sign]



10 Timeline

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 (will play as a loop) – Shift+click on the Timeline cursor

Stop the Timeline playing – click Esc

Record Timeline as a Movie – Shift+Ctrl+click on the Timeline cursor

(set the cursor to the start first using the LEFT ARROW)

10.1 Movie

Snapshot to Movie– Ctrl+ Shift+! (US) Shift+Ctrl+PageUp (UK)



11 Render

Best Preview Render (BPR) – Shift+R

Render All – Shift+Ctrl+R

Cursor Selective Render – Ctrl+R



12 Custom UI and Configuration

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


13 ZScripts

Load ZScript – Shift+Ctrl+L

Reload ZScript – Ctrl+U

Show/Hide ZScript window – H


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