In this article for 3D modelers, we will talk about sculpting programs. These programs are exactly what they sound like. They work with a mass that you, with the use of different tools, shape, take away, smooth, roughen, add to it and so on. It depends on the complexity of the program. Some of the well known are Zbrush and Cinema4D ver. 17. These are paid. If you’re looking for a free option, then there is Meshmixer, Sculptris and Blender. These programs are great for 3D printing since they work with just one mass and because of that, your models will be always closed. The issue is that they often don’t count with the ratio and you have to know something about sizing and ratios yourself. Sculpting programs are for people who know a bit more about proportions and space. If you are someone who likes real-life sculpting from clay or such, you will most likely enjoy this type of sculpting as well. On the other hand, if you know that you can’t draw a stick figure, this might not be the right thing for you. Talented sculptors create amazing 3D models.
You can learn it however. You’ll have to read something about the basic rules and steps, then it may take some time, but after a few weeks of trying, you might see yourself buying a graphic tablet to work wonders without experiencing any pain after hours of using a mouse.
So let’s start with the number one for sculpting, Zbrush. There is most likely no other program that would have the particular tools that this program has. It costs $895, but it’s unique tools are worth the price in our opinion!
Sculptris is like a starter pack before buying Zbrush. It has limited imports and only one mass to use. It is designed for you to try it out and most likely to move on.
Blender and Cinema 4D
Since there is already an article about these, we are just going to quickly summarize it. These are not intended only for sculpting so they don’t have as many functions dedicated to it and they are not built from the ground up for sculpting. But both can do the job and you don’t have to convert your files from one program into another. With the combination of parametric or geometric modeling basics, it is a fine addition to these programs. Blender has the great advantage of being open source so there’s no need to pay for a license.
Good luck with sculpting!