3D apps (ZBrush, Maya)


I am digging the combination. I do agree though that I am unable to input text into input parameters in software in general. This is a big hindrance because I can use it for beyond sketching. We even have some great custom apps that can utilize astropad. I just got the Smart Cover for the iPad thinking maybe because it’s hardware based instead othe virtual on screen keyboard it would work but it didn’t. So that was disappointing but I’ve contacted support about it. The pencil has been a joy to use and even with astropad the experience is joyful so far. I can also confirm the dedicated modifiers, shit, alt and control not working with the 3D apps. But the scroll did work (however the pinch, pan all behaved the same)

I would say in the future

  • support of keyboard input, virtual or physical
  • I would love to be able to log into this Ala VNC at some point remotely

Thanks for the hard work, I do love how easy it is to setup and get going. I was navigating MODOs interactive renderer and changing parameters, as well as painting on 3D models. And that a great experience sitting on couch while doing that, then switching to iOS while the render progressed. Love it.

Edit: regarding the pencil, your best bet is talking to an apple business unit or specialist and asking them to give you a call when a shipment is coming into the store. Or an approximate window of delivery time. They get shipments on a daily basis.


Anyone else having issues with shortcuts in brush? Undo, redo, new canvas… Anything that uses more than one key for short cut is not working for me. Any suggestions?


I don’t know if your question has been answered, but in terms of ZBrush, or even Mudbox, it is a great tool, even if you have to use a keyboard to jump in when the shortcut keys aren’t enough. I use a 2015 MBP, and i’ve been able to use it to absolutely help my sculpting workflow. But, it is still a product in its infancy, and hopefully will get the necessary updates for the 3d community. In terms of Maya, this app would be perfect, if their was someway to add a middle mouse button click. (Like you can with a wacom)


thanks for the reply. I am using an old 2010 MBP, and I get pixelated when I tumble my object or scene. I wonder if it is an issue with my mac being so old? or if anyone with a newer mac is also experiencing pixelation all the time as well? and I mean, even if it is a webpage scrolling down it gets pixelated. Also the resolution is not as good as in my mac, granted my mac is not retina display either…


Yeah, pixilation is an issue even on my top-end quad-core iMac. There’s some things you can do to lessen it in Photoshop, but any app that refreshes the entire screen (like ZBrush) is going to pixelate.

The Astropad guys are promising some further speed optimizations, and all of us with iPad Pros are waiting for Apple to finally release a USB3-A to lightning connector.

We’ll just have to wait and see.


Thanks for the info. I guess the update on the USB port means updating to a new Mac once Apple decides to go with it… As of now, I can still sculpt. :slight_smile:


I’m going to take back what I said about ZBrush. I just installed it yesterday, and it works great. There’s a bit of pixilation when I tumble the view, but the sculpting itself is quite smooth. No pixilation at all!

Need color calibration though!


Yes, color is a bit off by default but that wouldn’t bother me since I can always trust the monitor for color (if work is done close to it). Real state is my new concern as now I am getting used to how Astro pad crops vs my software layout. Also… I wish Astro pad would match resolution.


You can create a custom mac resolution using SwitchResX that would make your OSX UI full-screen on your iPad. There’s a couple of posts on it here in the forums.

I used to use it on my MacBook Pro, where my iPadPro resolution was higher. But on my new Retina iMac I prefer to just work on the image within the Astropad box and change tools using the keyboard or mouse, since the iPadPro at max resolution is only about 1/3 of the screen.


No pixelation at all?? Really?? :grinning: I think Astropad is a great app, but for Zbrush, I think it´s ok to block your model, but for the details I still prefer a wacom. I’m sure that the Astropad team is working on it. But I think that we can’t say that there is not pixelation at all…


I think the level of pixellation depends on what Mac you pair with what iPad. I’m probably the best-case scenario.

My setup is the 12" IPadPro with a late 2015 Retina iMac that has the quad-core 4Ghz i7, 4GB Radion video hardware, and 24GB of RAM.

I can paint in Photoshop, and get no pixellation, except when selections are visible (marching ants), or I’m using the Liquify tool for more than a few strokes (because it updates the entire image with each change).

I can sculpt in ZBrush with no pixellation, unless I’m rotating/scaling the entire model, and even then the pixellation resolves in under a second. This is under WiFi.

Sure, there’s plenty of room for improvement in speed and other features, but the experience is functional enough that my Wacom Cintiq is sitting on the shelf. I find the lack of video and drawing resolution on the Cintiq more annoying than the pixellation and color drift in Astropad. At least when I draw a straight line it doesn’t wobble as you get closer to the edges of screen.


Ok. I don’t think that astropad works well only if you have the best mac. I’m agree with you, on photoshop works fine. But with 3d packs like zbrush or maya could be better, and I’m sure it will. But if you have to buy an iPad pro or a Wacom for 3d TODAY I think that may be the iPad is not the best solution.
I start my zbrush work from my bed, with the iPad pro, wireless, without burning my legs, without noise… And it’s great, but when I need to get into details, I prefer the Wacom. I’ve choose the iPad pro and astropad because it let me work from my bed. With a companion it would be impossible…noise, temperature… I guess each one can have his own opinion…


Yeah, I agree that if you really need a professional Photoshop/3D solution today, then a Wacom is the way to go.

Sculpting fine details in ZBrush works fine in Astropad, but there’s so many features of that program that just demand a faster refresh. I did have to finally pull the old Wacom back out (grumble grumble…) when it came time to make a new model instead of tweaking an old one.


I definitely would disagree with recommending a Cintiq over an iPad Pro!! Think about what you get with the iPad pro outside of using it in 3d apps, then compare the prices of either the pad pro or the Cintiq! That point alone should make that decision for you! and ok, if the time comes that you need any wacom functionality you could then choose to get a wacom as well…hell if its hover you want so badly, (which by the way i see next to ZERO need for on an on-screen creation tablet, yes, coming from someone who uses C4D, Maya AND ZBrush as well as the trusty Adobe suite), then go ahead and get a second hand intuos on ebay!

I mean really, sit there and write out everything you get for the money with either an iPad Pro or a Cintiq and compare the length of your lists side by side…once again apple has ushered in a new era for a product that it wasn’t even really in the market of before, man you gotta love 'em!

And you Astropad guys, ya gotta love you too!

Just beautiful…


It comes down to whether you need a professional solution or not. The iPad Pro can do all sorts of other amazing things, but if you make your living drawing and sculpting on a Mac (rather than the iPad itself), then a solution with an instant refresh will more than pay for itself in time and a lack of frustration.

As a professional who sometimes has to do those things, I find that Astropad works ok 85% of the time. But when you need that last 15%, nothing but a dedicated solution is going to cut it.


Did you get the command button/zoom function to work with zbrush?

Using Ipad pro and adonis pixel pen. Works great, except the zoom function.


@hdcel Is the command key from the on screen quick keys not working?
Or entering a command in the sidebar?

Touch gesture zooming is not compatible with ZBrush, unfortunately.


Well, it’s 2018 and I have to say that Astropad has improved a lot. At least working on Zbrush via usb connection, I think it can be used as a pro. Today I prefer to use Astropad before an Intuos Pro.

I miss the wacom radio menu a lot. It is still a fundamental piece in my workflow, and not having it makes my work noticeably slower with Astropad. I think it would be a great advance to provide Astropad with a function like that.

Thank you guys for your job.