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Digital sculpting for dummies (written by a dummy)

Discussion in 'Digis - Digital Miniatures 3D Modeling' started by pokrad, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. pokrad A Fixture

    Gordy suggested that I make list of digital sculpting resources, so I'm concentrating on the free software in this post:

    DAZ Studio 4 (Free for a limited time)
    Not going to write too much about it as I did not tried it, but if I understand well, only this version is free to download and use for a limited time.
    Never installed it, so I do not have any personal impressions about it.

    Sculptris (Free to download and use - Current version alpha 6):
    Homepage and download:http://www.pixologic.com/sculptris/
    Official forum: http://www.zbrushcentral.com/forumdisplay.php?110-Sculptris-Main-Forum
    Personal impressions:
    Great software for "organic" sculpting, simple and intuitive interface, sculpting process similar to sculpting in clay - therefore
    easy to get started but powerful enough to pull pretty complicated sculpts. Not usable for modeling non-organic objects.
    Does not have any other functionality, except for texture painting which is pretty irrelevant for miniature sculptors.
    So it does only "organic" sculpting, but it does it so good !

    Blender (open source - current version 2.6):
    Main page: http://www.blender.org/
    Download: http://www.blender.org/download/get-blender/
    Current (2.6) Manual: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual
    Various Blender resources: http://www.blender.org/community/user-community/
    Fantastic tutorials, very professionally done (except the fact that English is a bit "distorted") : http://www.blendtuts.com/
    Tons of tutorials on YouTube (keep in mind that UI changed radically since version 2.4, so tutorials for the 2.4 do not help too much).
    Personal impressions:
    The complete studio for digital modeling. It has so many functionalities, very complex piece of software. Hard to get started, as you have to remember whole bunch of
    keyboard shortcuts. At first I was frustrated with that interface, but with time I began to understand why it works that way - once you know the "critical mass" of the keyboard shortcuts,
    you can work very fast ! I only used certain functionalities from the Blender (and believe me, it has many more): "bones and posing", "object modeling" and "sculpting".
    Bone (skeleton creation) is simple, but connecting the bones to your sculpt is a bit more complicated. Sure, there is "automatic" way that computer does for you, but very often (almost every time),
    computer does it wrong in certain places (for example if I pose the head to the right, and whole head leans right - but nose stays in the place, same thing often happens with fingers etc...).
    There is a way to correct it, but You have to be prepared to learn.
    Object creation is simple and powerful (once you know the shortcuts).
    Sculpting mode is simpler than the rest of the interface, but somehow it misses that simplicity and workflow of Sculptris. Still, if someone "steal" Sculptris from me, I would use it with no major problems ;)

    Wings 3D (Open source current version 1.4.1)
    Main page: http://www.wings3d.com/
    Download: http://wings3d.com/wiki.php?title=Downloads
    Personal impression:
    Object modeling tool, a bit simpler than the Blender, but also with less functionality - did not work with it too much as I concluded that Blender is more suitable for my needs.

    Homepage and download: http://www.meshmixer.com/
    Simple tool for combining different meshes. Sure it can be done in real 3D modeling software, but this is "simple and fast" way to do it.

    Feel free to fill the list with the resources you know about...
    NeilW, theBaron, Diegoff and 4 others like this.
  2. pokrad A Fixture

    Sorry for the error in the thread title ("for dummyes" with an "Y" :( ) hope Gordy will fix it soon ;)
  3. RKapuaala Active Member

    HA,,, You should have left it,,, it would of looked intentional ;)
  4. Meehan34 A Fixture

    nice list sir. Thanks for sharing your research.
  5. gordy Well-Known Member

    Nice work Darko, the list has been stickied! ;)
  6. redhorse Active Member

    Very good to have this available here, thanks!
  7. Jamie Stokes Well-Known Member

    Thanks Darko,
    I think this is the start of a new medium!

    Digital Clay!

  8. meshmixer New Member

    You might check out the newer versions of meshmixer, I've put quite a bit of other stuff in beyond the initial mesh drag-and-drop tool. For example it has an extensive set of dynamic-mesh sculpting tools, and you can go up to 5-10 million triangles. And Booleans, hard-edge tools, etc. Have a look at these videos:


    People on the forum are making things like this with it:
    theBaron, Diegoff and gordy like this.
  9. RKapuaala Active Member

    Thats one thing I haven't found in the tools for sculptris is Booleans. Very handy, but sometimes causes a big problem when you send an object for printing.
  10. gordy Well-Known Member

    Impressive work and software (y)
  11. meshmixer New Member

    Well, one nice thing about meshmixer's Booleans is that if they fail, they are just going to leave some small holes at the join region. And you can fix those holes with...the hole filling tool in meshmixer! =)

    There is also a tool called the Inspector that will point out all your holes and problem areas, so that you can clean them up for fabrication.

    If you have questions don't hesitate to post on the meshmixer forum, we are happy to help. (I didn't know this miniatures community existed until a few hours ago - very cool!)
    Scotty, Jamie Stokes and gordy like this.
  12. gordy Well-Known Member

    Clever! =)

    We're glad to have you on board (especially with your expertise) although we're mostly 99% traditional figurists our art is merely different mediums the same fundamentals and physics apply (to the human form anyway ;) )

    A growing number of artists here are showing more and more interest into digis and any help is certainly welcome.

    Welcome aboard!
  13. Jim Patrick Active Member

    OK, can someone please explain "digital sculpting" to me? Maybe I missed the boat, but I really don't understand this. What is the end statement when using this? Can you "sculpt" intricate folds, patterns and uniform details? Then what comes next after you "sculpted" a figure?

    Pardon my ignorance but an old sergeant once told me, "Private! The only stupid question is the one not asked!". So there, I asked....even if I am a dummy......

    Jim Patrick
  14. pokrad A Fixture

    Thx Rayan for the info !!! I'll try never version, and it looks like it could be put in a good use for "finishing touches" before printing : cleaning, hollowing etc...
    I'm sorry if I did not make the justice to the software, but that is why I put "writen by a dummy" in the thread title, and why I stated "Personal impression", so feel free to correct me any time ;)

    [USER=2175]Jim Patrick[/USER]: Check out here:


    You will see a sculpted female body(naked), then put in two different poses, and then sculpted two different type of clothes.Sure, the clothes are simple ones, but that was intentional cause I'm yet learning. So, yes, uniforms and military equipement could be done, and that is exactly what I'll do in my next project-I'll post all the steps here.
    After the sculpt is finished it could be printed into real object (master), you can make mold from it, and continue to produce it in traditional way: making resin copies.
    You can also paint the printed piece, if you have no intention to make copies...

    BTW: traffic starts to rise in this forum, I like it !!!!
    gordy likes this.
  15. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Very interesting....

    To me? It looks as if it will hard to pull a lot of details on uniforms or armor. Still, this looks promising...

    Jim Patrick
  16. pokrad A Fixture

    It looks that way cause I'm a begginer (as I said), but there are very good sculptors that are using it already. I think that "Zvezda" scale model kit manufacturer already started with comercial kits in 1/72 that are sculpted this way...in fact think that all new figure sets from that manufacturer are digital sculpts !
    Check this link for example:


    and You will see that there are images that are actually computer renders (not the images of the plastic) ;)

    You can also check their website and you will find a lot of images that are looking similar to this one:

  17. pokrad A Fixture

    Mark DeDecker likes this.
  18. pokrad A Fixture

  19. RKapuaala Active Member

    Darko, I've tried Meshlab. It certainly has a lot of features and looks cool, but it crashes on my computer on the simplest meshes performing the simlest tasks.
  20. pokrad A Fixture

    Interesting, did not have a single crash on my comp o_O

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