Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sculptris

I've tried several different sculpting/modeling programs. Z-Brush, Mudbox, etc. They all were really clunky for me and I was never able to get them to play nice with my animator brain. No matter how hard I tried I always just made tumors. Something about those programs was just.... I dunno. Not something I could handle.

Then I'd heard about this small, free sculpting tool called Sculptris. The price was right so I figured, what the heck? I'll try it. And wow!-- It is easy and super friendly to use. The interface is extremely slim and unintimidating. The program isn't bogged down with a million different modes or tools. There are maybe 8-10 different hot-keys and two modes- sculpting and painting. And that's pretty much it. I was impressed with how it automatically adds tessellation when the sculpting needs it and you don't even need to think about how that works. It just does it. But it also lets you paint to reduce the topology if the mesh gets to be too dense to deal with. You'd still need to re-topologize the model to get a rig-able/animatable mesh from this, but then you need to do that with the other more expensive tools, too. Here's the first character head I made with Sculptris. I whipped this up in a couple hours today....



And a screen grab of the entire interface. This is literally it- no other windows, menus or tabs. Simplicity personified....


I had an absolute blast making this. (I wish CG animation was as simple and fun) It's not a great sculpt, but then I harbor no delusions of grandeur regarding my sculpting skills. But for someone who has never been able to make anything more than a lumpy potato in Z-brush or Mudbox, I think this is a bit of a breakthrough. If you've tried the other sculpting tools and felt overwhelmed by them, maybe you should give Sculptris a go. At a slim 3.2 mb download it's smaller than an MP3 from iTunes. And you can't beat the price (there is a donation button on the site, though. For something so cool I just had to drop them a little cash).

16 comments:

lowlight said...

Right on! I'm glad you found something that works for you in this regard...although I personally like lumpy potatoes myself...

Herman G said...

Impressive Keith, great sculpt. Same issue with those programs as well, will try this out. Thanks

mattanimation said...

yeah I tried this out a couple week ago at work and it was really quick and actually fun to make stuff, the down side from a technical standpoint is the way it smoothes out in tris and not quads, but if your just sculpting for fun this beats the big boys hands down with how easy it is. plus the dude made it during a summer break! insane

Martin J said...

Thank you Keith for letting me know about this application. Like you, I find Zbrush and Mudbox too be "too much" and this is just what I needed for simple sculpting on my characters :)

Thanks again and I hope the guy who developed this application gets the credit he deserves.

The 3D-Freelancer said...

Gave Zbrush a go a while back and felt much the same as you. might just go back to the drawing board and try this. Have tonnes of traditional art pieces i'd love to turn into 3D.

Jais Bredsted said...

Looks great. Maybe one should have a look at that Sculptris.

Anh Trinh said...

Awesome! Thanks Keith! I'll give it a shot.

JP said...

thanks Keith. This looks great!

Virgil said...

Awesome! :) I just started using Sculptris too, amazing little program. And you know what, you can do a lot of things with it, and you don't have to worry so much about retopo, as long as you don't try to do very clean, pixarish 3D. I'm using Sculptris and 3Dcoat to do simple organic 3D objects, some-sort-of-like-clay-like stuff... :P and I can rig them and deform them like crazy. as long as an object has enough rez (not a lot anyway), and especially evenly distributed topology, the object can be deformed pretty well, especially with very smooth deformers. also, you can down rez the Sculptris model a lot, and quadrangulate it, and you have a low poly object that retains the features of the high poly really well. But anyway, it takes a different mind set, different from the usual, "normal" 3D approach... it's not ideal to apply a face-machine type rig to this kind of geometry I mean... but more like a boring3d type of thinking, if you know the site (which is one of my favorite sites ever btw).

Ariel said...

Hi Keith, i discover this little piece of software the other day, its great to know that an awesome dude like you is using it. Personally i found it great, it's simple and fun, but i missed more options to work with multiple objects, so i started learning zbrush, but i can say that Sculptris kind of push me into learning zbrush, which is something i'll always be greatful. Now i'm fighting my way trough zbrush, but every now and then y open sculptris to have some fun :D

Marcus Ng said...

sculptris is going to be part of zbrush

Samantha Weitzel said...

I really like your model! He's very charming, and seems to be both a lovable and laughable character. You seem to have a natural talent for sculpting, so don't doubt yourself. :o)

Thanks for telling us about this free software too. I am starting to learn the free 3d software Blender and I am loving the simple interface design too.

Jesse said...

I'm so glad you found a sculpting tool that fits you Keith! As a ZB brutha, I feel the urge to try this Sculptris out and see what it can do for my pipe. From what I'm reading everywhere, it's really freeing, even more than ZB (esp for new users). btw, I think your sculpt looks very nice so give yourself a little credit bud. ;)

Anonymous said...

It seems easy to use, created many objects, but the drawback is pretty important. You have to work on your object non-stop even if it takes 250 hours, because once you exit the program, and reopen it on a later date, your object is nowhere to be found.

Keith Lango said...

@Anon:
Huh? I'm able to save and re-open my files without any problem at all. I just opened this model again months later. The files get saved in the same directory as the sculptris.exe bin. Of course that's not a preferred place for a working file, but it does save them.

Unknown said...

My kids and I have just discovered Scuptris - and your blog. It's so much fun! I'm a painter, but I always wanted to do sculpture. This way I don't have to store it all in my house, just in my computer. :)

We had the same issue with opening each others' files. Open the file, and select "new scene." If it asks you to go to paint, select "yes." The screen will be dark. Then just click on the material box and choose the default material. The object will show up painted and everything!