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Living In 3D – Part 4

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Free Downloads

In  in part 1 and part 2 of this article I introduced you to Google SketchUp, a free 3D program.  I part 3 introduced you to Sculptris, an amazing and free 3D sculpting program that will allow you create incredible images. So far, we’ve looked at the basics of Sculptris. In this article, we’ll check out the tools at your disposal for sculpting.

Let’s have a look to what they can do. Keep in mind the adjustment panel, where you may set the tool’s behavior.

Crease button – creates a ridge. Shortcut key is E.


Rotate button – you won’t use this much. It manipulates the objects in global mode. Shortcut key is R.

Scale button – used to scale a specific area based on the tool’s size and strength. Shortcut key is T.


Draw button – grabs a smaller area (unlike the “grab” button, which I tell you about below) based on the tool’s size and strength. Shortcut key D.


 Flatten button – flattens a previously modeled area, making it smoother. Shortcut key F.


 Grab button – grabs a larger area, unlike “draw” button that I told you about. I can guarantee you this is the button you will use the most. Shortcut key is G.


 Inflate button – acts similar to “draw” button, but smoother. Shortcut key is C.


 Pinch button – sharpens a previously modeled area. Shortcut key is V.


Smooth button – as it says, makes a previous modeled area smoother. Shortcut key is B.


These are all the buttons you need to bring your model to life, effectively sculpting a raw sphere. The next set of buttons helps you to fine tune in-depth model by revealing its hidden wireframe and letting you modify the polygon count and symmetry.


 Reduce brush button – reduces the polygon count according to the tool’s size and strength. Pressing this button will automatically activate the “wireframe” button. The shortcut key is Y.


Have you noticed the difference between the two images? The second one has much less hidden triangles after I used the “reduce brush” tool.

 Reduce selected – reduces the poly count globally on the entire selected object. Sometimes you will work with more than one sphere. In this case, selecting one or more of them and pressing the “reduce selected” button will decrease the number of polygons globally, unlike “reduce brush” tool, which only works on the area within the brush size. It has no shortcut key.


 Subdivide all – increase the poly count for the selected object by dividing the existing polygons. It doesn’t have a shortcut key.


 Mask button – “marks” an area based on the size and strength of the tool, so that you may do a fine modeling on that area without affecting the rest of the model. The shortcut key is M.

 Wireframe button – shows or hides the object’s wireframe. The short key is W.

 Symmetry button – a very interesting tool. Lets you model the sphere symmetrically or not. For example, with symmetry on, if you draw on half of sphere will get the same result on the other half, like this:


On the other hand, if you take out the symmetry, the result will be as follows:


It’s like a freehand drawing.

Finally, the last set of buttons lets you save, import or export files, add a new sphere or plane.


The “GoZ” button lets you export the model in ZBrush format. ZBrush is Sculptris’ big brother, a much more complex and commercial version.

After your model is done, most likely you will wish to paint it. You may do that either using predefined materials or creating your own brush.


NOTE: once you start painting the model you can’t go back to sculpting. So make sure you finish your work before you start.

I took the above freehand draw example and added a gold material. Here is the result.


Interesting, isn’t it?

If you need to know more or have some questions, please feel free to comment.

~ Adrian

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One Response to “Living In 3D – Part 4”

  1. John says:

    What a great article. I added a new wrinkle to my brain – in 3-D no less.

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