3D modelling is the process of creating a virtual 3D object using specialised software (“3D Modeling: Creating 3D Objects”, n.d.). There are multiple ways one can go about 3D modelling. There’s Box modelling, edge modelling, spline modelling, digital sculpting, procedural modelling etc but in this blog, I’ll be talking about one of the relative newer 3D modelling techniques, Digital Sculpting.
3D sculpting is a disruptive technology as it was innovative to the point it changes the very way we think about how we can reach from point a to b and achieve a certain goal. 3D sculpting is fundamentally different than more traditional modelling techniques like box modelling because it allows you to push and pull, mould and shape your model almost in the way you would imagine doing it in real life with actual clay rather than taking a 3d box model and extruding and pulling around vertices till you get the shape you want (Slick, 2017).
3D sculpting can be said to free modeller from the constraints of topology and edge flow especially when it comes to character modelling it can really help you with very intricate highly detailed models but would it be practical to abandon 3ds max or Maya and have 3D sculpting be your main technique of 3D modelling?
Unless you plan on only ever modelling organic objects likely not. While 3D sculpting is generally accepted and used by the industry and some may even say it is the future of 3D modelling (“Importance of 3D sculpting and industries that rely on”, n.d.) but rather than a replacement its an extension to the traditional modelling workflow as it also has its limitations for example while 3D sculpting is very good for organic modelling it can lack the precision you need for hard surface modelling as you can interact with your model at a vertex level and while there are tools out there to help with that, it can hard to capture sharp and hard corners or edges using this technique and it would generally be easier to create objects like that using more traditional methods, another problem with sculpting is if your model isn’t going to be something akin to a statue and will have to move, the mesh you end up with will likely not be sufficient for animation so if you want to use a sculpted model for animation the model will have to undergo retopoligization before it can be used (Taylor, 2016).
with or without its flaws 3D sculpting is a groundbreaking innovation to 3D modelling and has become the norm in the 3D industry. Having skill and experience with programs like Zbrush or Mudbox, and knowing how to use them to increase the quality of your models has even become something of a requirement to recruiting and it really is something for aspiring 3D modellers to look into (“Do I Need to Know How to Sculpt as a 3D Modeler?”, 2014) .
3D Modeling: Creating 3D Objects. Retrieved from https://www.sculpteo.com/en/glossary/3d-modeling-definition/
Do I Need to Know How to Sculpt as a 3D Modeler?. (2014). Retrieved from https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/need-know-sculpt-3d-modeler
Importance of 3D sculpting and industries that rely on. Retrieved from https://mapsystemsindia.com/resources/importance-of-3d-sculpting-and-industries-that-rely-on.html
Slick, J. (2017). 7 Common Modeling Techniques for Film and Games. Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/common-modeling-techniques-for-film-1953
Taylor, J. (2016). MODELING vs SCULPTING: how do you know which to use?. Retrieved from https://www.methodj.com/modeling-vs-sculpting/