Add Sculptris to your toolbox!
Sculptris is a free 3D sculpting application from Dr. Tomas Pettersson, a 27 year-old Computer Science/Technology student in Sweden.
“This is a work-in-progress sculpting tool that I've been developing since early December 2009. Its main feature is dynamic mesh tessellation that will provide additional detail where necessary, without the user needing to worry about it.” – dr.petter
I gave the program a try last week and was blown away. After just a few hours I was already pretty comfortable and able to do some fairly neat stuff:
Rat – Sculpted in just 30 minutes
Vamp – Sculpted in about 2hrs
Dog - Sculpted in about 3hrs
By Peters own admission the program is a little buggy and crashes fairly often. So, I recommend you save regularly. However, even if it does crash the program will try to auto-recover. So, you shouldn’t lose too much of your work.
Sculptris probably isn’t the tool you will want to use to create low poly meshes but for adding that extra detail, free sculpting or even painting textures and bump maps it’s amazing.
It’s pretty easy to end up with a model in excess of a million pollies but the mesh optimisation tools are pretty good. So, with just a few clicks you can bump this back down to a far more manageable and even game-worthy level.
With a little bit of smoothing here and there I was able to reduce my dog down from nearly 2 million pollies to just under 20,000 and in literally 30 seconds:
You can import and export .objs so should be able to open them up in any package and use your high-res models to generate the normal maps for your low-res mesh.
Sculptris has all of the right features in all of the right places and nothing more. For me this highly focused design made it one of the easiest 3D art packages I’ve used and luckily it looks like things will stay that way:
“Sculptris will stay small and focused at its main task, which is sculpting and painting models. There is no point in expanding it to cover all the things advanced users can do in ZBrush, Blender, Maya and all the other big shot apps.” – dr.petter
I could go on an on about the features but instead I’ll recommend you download it and give it a try. I for one will definitely be using it for a long time to come! If you want to see how it works before you try it, there are plenty of videos available on youtube:
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