Introduction to Sculptris

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Introduction to Sculptris What is Sculptris? 2 What Can I Design in Sculptris? 2 Basic Controls 2 Brush Controls 2 Toolbars 2 Sculpt Brushes 2 Brush Controls 3 Brush Details 3 Other Tools 7 Quick Access
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Introduction to Sculptris What is Sculptris? 2 What Can I Design in Sculptris? 2 Basic Controls 2 Brush Controls 2 Toolbars 2 Sculpt Brushes 2 Brush Controls 3 Brush Details 3 Other Tools 7 Quick Access Toolbar 7 Tessellation 8 Making your Model an.stl File 9 Step 1: Export as an.obj File 9 Step 2: Convert.OBJ File to.stl File 10 Practice Exercises 11 What is Sculptris? Sculptris is free 3D modelling software that can be used to create organic models. Conceptually, creating a model in Sculptris is similar to creating a clay model by hand. What Can I Design in Sculptris? Sculptris is best used for creating organic models, that is a model of something that is (or based on) a living thing. Examples of an organic model is a person, plant or animal. Conversely, a non-organic model is based on a non-living thing, like a chair or a fork. Basic Controls Hold Right Mouse Button: Orbits the object. Hold ALT and Right Mouse Button: Moves object up, down, left, right. Scroll Mouse Wheel: Zooms in and out. Hold CTRL and Right Mouse Button: Zooms in and out. CTRL + Z: Undo Brush Controls Hold Left Mouse Button: Sculpt Hold CTRL and Left Mouse Button: Sculpt inversed. Hold SHIFT and Left Mouse Button: Smooth Hold Spacebar: Quick access brush controls Toolbars Sculpt Brushes Rotate Crease Scale Draw Grab Inflate Smooth Flatten Pinch The brush is represented by the circle on your object. The brush that you select from the toolbar will determine how you sculpt your object. The options you have with that brush are represented in the upper toolbar. Brush Controls Continuously applies selected tool as you brush Brush drags behind cursor Brush strength Increase/decrease tessellation while sculpting Change sculpting material Brush size Brush selected Sculpt options Add new brushes/brush sets Switch to paint mode Brush Details Crease: The opposite of draw, this brush cuts into the clay leaving an indentation. Can be used to create wrinkles or to sharply define part of the model. Draw: A commonly-used brush that builds up clay in a smooth manner. For more subtle building with a flatter stroke that is limited in height, enable the clay. The soft option is a variation of clay with smoother edges. in the brush toolbar. Flatten: Creates a flat edge to part of the model. Use it to polish and finesse the shapes on model. Use the lock plane option to use the orientation of where you start with the brush to bring pull the surrounding clay to that same orientation. Enabling angle falloff prevents the flatten tool from distorting the surface that s on the other side of the corner. Pinch: Takes an existing edge and brings the two adjoining surfaces together in a sharp edge incrementally. Smooth: Is the opposite of pinch, smooths edges and ridges to create a softer look. The shortcut to this brush is SHIFT + Left click. Inflate: Inflates area by giving volume to areas on the model. Good for creating overhang on edges, such as on ears, nostrils and lips. Grab: Allows you to pull clay out from the model and push and pull features on the model in different directions. Enable limit in the brush options toolbar to prevent over-pulling the clay or to create a thicker extrusion. Using the global option allows you to move an entire object, which is useful if you have more than one sphere/object in your model. Rotate: Allows you to twist a feature on the model based on a starting point of your choosing. Masking: A mask is an area on the model that is immune from editing. A mask is indicated by a dark colour on the model. Masking allows you to select areas you don t want affected by a brush. The shortcut key for masking is pressing CTRL + Left click. To clear a mask, press CTRL + Left click and drag outside of the model. To invert a mask, press CTRL + Left click outside of the model. Scale: Allows you to increase or decrease the size of the features on the model. Use the global option to scale the entire object. Disabling XYZ means you can scale only the x, y or z axis of a particular feature instead of scaling across all axes. Other Tools Symmetry By default, there is a line of symmetry in the middle of the model. This means that whatever sculpting takes place on one side of the line will take place on the other side of the line as well, automatically. Symmetry can be turned off, but once it has been disabled it cannot be re-enabled within a project. New Sphere Create a new scene (start afresh) or add another sphere to an existing project by clicking on New Sphere. You will be prompted to either create a new scene or add another sphere. New Plane Similar to new sphere, new plane allows you to start a new scene but instead of the scene starting with a sphere it starts with a flat plane. You can also add a plane to an existing scene, similar to adding a sphere. Quick Access Toolbar Press the Spacebar to bring up a small control wheel that has quick-access sliders for size, strength and detail as well as a toggle for turning the brush alpha off and on. Click and drag any of the circles to adjust the brush option. Tessellation By definition, tessellation is created when a geometric shape is repeated and covers a plane without any gaps or overlaps. In Sculptris, your object is tessellated with polygons (triangles), and as you sculpt Sculptris uses dynamic tessellation to ensure that your brushstroke leaves a smooth finish. In other words, Sculptris automatically increases the number of polygons in your object to ensure that your object does not look bumpy when you brushstroke. Figure 1 The grab tool showing low tessellation on the right and high tessellation on the left. You can manually increase or decrease the amount of tessellation permitted when sculpting using the detail slider in the upper toolbar. Slide the button to the left to decrease tessellation and to the right to increase tessellation. More tessellation will occur with your brushstrokes the more zoomed-in to your model you are. You can see the level of tessellation in your model by enabling the wireframe view. However, while a higher level of tessellation will result in smoother brushstrokes, too much tessellation results in a model with a very high level of resolution, which some 3D printers cannot handle. A very highly tessellated model also results in a large file size, which can slow down computer performance. There are two tools you can use to decrease the number of polygons in your model. Reduce Selected will decrease the polygon count of the entire model, but it is smart enough to leave a higher level of tessellation in places with more surface detail. The other tool you can use is the Reduce Brush, which works similar to other brushes, and allows you to manually choose the area in which you d like to reduce tessellation. Reduce Brush Reduce Selected To increase the polygon count of the entire model, use the Subdivide All tool. Subdivide All Making your Model an.stl File Unfortunately, Sculptris does not allow you to save your model as a.stl file directly from the software. To make a Sculptris model a.stl file is a two-step process. Step 1: Export as an.obj File Sculptris does allow you to export your model as an.obj file, which can then be converted into a.stl file. To export your model in.obj format, click on the OBJ button with the down arrow. The export dialogue box will pop up, in which you save your object file like you would any other file. Step 2: Convert.OBJ File to.stl File One of the easiest ways to convert your.obj file to an.stl file is to use the free Makerbot Desktop software. Download the software for free at and then open your file in the software. Within the Makerbot Desktop program you can scale your object larger or smaller and rotate it to minimize the number of supports required to print your object. To convert the.obj file to an.stl file, simply save the file in the Makerbot Desktop software. When the Save Dialogue box opens, it will by default give you the option to save your file with the.thing extension. Make sure you choose one of the.stl options (either one will do). This will convert your object to an.stl. Practice Exercises Practicing your modelling skills in Sculptris is integral to becoming more comfortable with the software. If you need some inspiration on what to create as a model, just look around you! There are lots of things on your desk, kitchen table and around the house that you can use as an object to replicate in Sculptris. Some other ideas: Search Google images for soapstone carvings. These models don t have a lot of detail and are great as reference images for modelling beginners. Search Google images for cartoon plush toys. These models have more detail than a soapstone figure, but are still fairly simple and there s lots of room for error. Use simple vegetables and fruits as model references such as a: o Pumpkin o Apple o Banana o Strawberry o Green pepper
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