When comparing Blender vs ZBrush, the Slant community recommends Blender for most people. In the question“What is the best 3D modeling software?” Blender is ranked 1st while ZBrush is ranked 3rd. The most important reason people chose Blender is:
Blender is licensed under the GPL.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and open source
Blender is licensed under the GPL.
Pro Python extensibility
Blender embeds Python 3, which can be used to write add-ons, tools, extend the interface, rig characters and automate tasks.
Pro Powerful animation suite
Blender provides a full rigging system, and automates animation by interpolating between keyframe positions.
Pro Wide import and export format support
Support lots of modern 3D formats including DAE and FBX - ideal for game developers.
Pro Supports both low-poly and hi-poly modeling
Pro Regular release schedule
Releases are made every ~3 months.
Pro Has a good rendering engine
Blender runs the Cycles path tracing engine under the hood. Cycles is a very powerful rendering engine capable of full path tracing (light fall off, caustics, volumetrics). It is mostly compatible with OpenCL and CUDA rendering, and is implementing mycropolygon displacement features.
Pro Keyboard shortcuts
Good keyboard shortcuts for everything. Keep your left hand on the keyboard and your right hand on the mouse.
Pro It has sculpting and 3D painting features
Although blenders 3d painting and sculpting tools (mostly painting) are not at par with specialized software like Substance painter, z brush, or mari; it is more than capable of getting most jobs done if the user takes the time to learn and understand it.
Pro Includes video editing & compositing tools
Blender's node-based compositor has comprehensive video sequencing and post-processing features.
Pro Node based modeling support
Pro Very useful for a freelancer
It offers a round solution (it covers many areas and professional fields) for a freelancer, for free, constantly updated, very polished, and allowing high quality results that clients do require. After some learning, it becomes very useful for professional work.
Pro Coherent and streamlined workflow / internal use logic
The trick with Blender is to get used to its usage philosophy, as it keeps consistent through all the application. Once you get it, every feature or addition is learnt naturally, almost effortlessly.
Pro Powerful brush system allows for lots of creativity
ZBrush lets the user sculpt an object in fine detail with customizable 3D brushes.
Pro Best for hi-poly modeling
Due to the nature of the program and how it uses high poly mesh sculpting it is best to consider this app when wanting high poly models, as that is what it aims to do best.
Pro Can easily simplify mesh topology
Meshes sculpted with ZBrush can contain billions of polygons, but tools are provided to cleanly reduce the poly count.
Pro Has low poly modelling tools with 4r7 version
Pro Always evolving and innovating
Every iteration of Zbrush has evolved beyond the last and has kept all other 3D package devs on their toes consistently.
Pro Best support
No other 3D package has had continued support from their parent company or community like ZBrush has had since inception.
Pro Plays well with others
Can transfer work between other packages via AppLink and/or Bridge seamlessly.
Con Steep learning curve
Blender is not a very intuitive 3D modeling software. It has its own ways of doing things, and it is often hard to guess how to achieve simple tasks.
Con Poor particle system
The Blender particle system can at times be a little limiting and finicky (and buggy) to get working. Even if it can get most straight forward jobs done, it is far from the most advanced system, and could benefit largely from advancements.
A single-user license for ZBrush costs $795.
But, Pixologic has not charged a penny for upgrades to licensed users since inception. Anyone who has purchased Zbrush has not been left behind.
Con UI is far from user friendly
Though, it's fully customizable. Like for any software, there is a learning curve.
Con An odd perspective view
Does not lend itself to cinematic or artistic renderings due to a strange perspective system found nowhere else in 3D which warps according to the relationships between models and rendering viewpoint - there is no real 'camera'.
It is sufficient for rendering your work on a sculptural piece or industrial design, but KeyShot Pro or any other PBR rendering program that uses a camera are recommended for scene rendering, at least in 4R7.
Con Hi-poly only
Not, the case as there is now the Zmodeller Brush system which has a full suite of polygon Modelling options.