LightCap® System

LightCap® is a new way to create both Materials or Matcap® in real-time by directly manipulating the lights they simulate.

Using the LightCap Designer is simple and really powerful, even it is important to take in consideration that some difference exists between a Material and a Matcap, which have an impact on how you are using both with the LightCap:


A Matcap is a Material with light information baked in as an image, as soon as it is created, you can’t change the light information in Matcap, while a Standard Material can be affected by the scene light. The LightCap Designer lets you manipulate light information at creation time, but as soon as you change to another ZBrush project or restart ZBrush, you will not be able to change the Matcap light information. You can however individually save your LightCap in its own file format.

Also, another difference is the settings available for both Materials and Matcaps: Materials let you tweak and modify a large amount of settings and mix difference shaders together through the Shader Mixer, while a Matcap can be more globally manipulated through the textures in which it was composed of Matcaps interact with the model geometry, mainly through the cavity information.

A LightCap can be created directly from the background texture that is loaded into the Background sub-palette. By analyzing the background’s high and low intensity values and their colors, lights will automatically be created at correct positions and accurate intensity of lights with shadows turned on for lights above the horizon line. This one click operation can create most if not all of your lights ready to be edited in the LightCap Designer system. Please read the Background section for more information about creating a LightCap from a background image.