Zbrush is a unique sculpting package as much unlike other 3D packages, Zbrush works on a canvas rather than 3D space, making Zbrush 2.5D rather than fully 3D.
Zbrush features a wide range of brushes to manipulate the tools imported into the package, being one of the most in-depth and detailed sculpting packages. Because of the in-depth nature of the package, the user interface can be daunting for anyone new to sculpting or 3D modelling, working differently to packages such as Maya or Sculptris.
The models brought into Zbrush are referred to as “Tools”, rather than models, which is one of the most common mistakes made by anyone who would be a new user to the package. If one of the tools would be edited in any way, it must be saved via the tools menu, rather than saving what would be on the canvas.
The importance of saving correctly:
If the scene was saved without the tool being saved, the canvas is the only thing that is saved, meaning that the final product would be a picture and the model would be lost.
Saving a tool will save the file to be imported back into Maya, or saved to be edited at a later date.
The main difference between packages such as Sculptris and Zbrush is the fact that Sculptris would add polygons automatically as the artist would sculpt, while within Zbrush the artist would need to create more polygons themselves in order to increase the detail. The way that this would be accomplished would be by selecting the geometry tab in the tools menu, then selecting divide, this can also be accomplished by using the shortcut command “CTRL+D”.
Levels of detail and polycount:
As you can see, increasing the amount of detail to a model has a great impact whilst sculpting, at the cost of adding more polygons, which is not always desirable.