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"Unlimited Clay" soon in Blender?


From the developer that spearheaded Blender's volumetrics (among other new features) comes the great hope of Sculpting Dynamic Subdivision.

Raúl Fernández Hernández (aka farsthary) writes:

The first time I saw voxel sculpting in 3D Coat I said to myself: I hope one day we have in Blender Voxel Sculpting! But at that time I hadn´t the necessary skills to start the project, so I pushed it to my todo list. What captivates me more about Voxel sculpting, is the “Unlimited Clay” freedom, you don´t have to worry anymore for polygon stretching and instead you can focus on the art itself.


Then , suddenly, Sculptris came to the scene, a very small and well designed application with an incredible feature: Sculpting tessellation or subdivision on the fly! it was not voxel based at all
but provides similar freedom: unlimited clay to sculpt!

...the algorithm proves to be not difficult at all. ...a Blenderartist thread wake up my sleeped interest in Sculpting Dynamic Subdivision: and after two sleepless nights I have a working prototype!!!!!

The video will show you the true power of it, is very difficult from some stills to get the idea.

For more details, visit the developer's website.


  1. holy moley that took less than a week since the sculptris post. I love the rapid implementation time of new features in open source software :D

    farsthary is a blender-god among blender-men.

  2. Dave Heinemann on

    Actually it's not too hard to see the effect from the stills - all the polys are pretty close to the same size on screen, which is technically referred to as @#$^$ing cool! About as optimal as it gets.

  3. If he's reading this, you need a tool to be able to just "pull" on the clay relative to screen, so you can quickly create limbs and fingers, toes etc... Also, Posing would be nice... :-)
    (worked briefly on sculptris with DrPetter) and his first version is now available for download btw.

    This will revolutionize the speed at which we can "prototype" models. I'm excited.

  4. Blender`s sculpting has fundamental precision issues, I do not think that increasing resolution or adding new sculpting methods would improve the sculpting experience. Also there are design flaws in the usability of the current sculpt tools.

    I personally welcome the development but I prefer that the issues surrounding smooth and precise sculpting in Blender resolved first. Now everything is built around half working sculpting system.

    In all fairness, I totally understand the hardness and tediousness of software development, these people are doing great work but that should not stop users from pointing out problems.

  5. comeinandburn on

    farsthary, you have my utmost gratitude for all you've contributed to Blender's development (as do all the developers).

    When I show off all the features that are in Blender to my friends that use commercial software, they're blown away.

    thanks again!!!!!

    What an awesome example of what can be accomplished within a community.... go opensource!!

  6. John Niblick on

    If there are no strange artifacts and deformations like I have seen in Sculptris this will be the bomb

  7. This is such a great feature, will help so much. Will help allot, one can just start from a cube and sculpt everything :o)

    One question does it inc the amount of polygons where needed? like if I wanna do more detail on a nose or what ever, does it inc the amount of polygons around that area? would save tremendous amount of data to not subdivide the hole model

  8. Yes, yes! Great and awesome! Blabla ...
    But the dreat disadvantage is the triangulation in the sculpted areas!
    Only quads would be much better!

  9. Nice dude.

    Yeah, the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that was 3DCoat (Im one of the users ;)
    Pretty cool to see this feature now working in blender and its even better that its not voxel based.

    Really cool, please go on with the nice work.

  10. I believe that all sculpting packages will offer a free-sculpt/retopo workflow in a few years, including ZBrush (as a companion to ZSphere sculpting). It would be nice if Blender would be the on the forefront of it.

  11. The video might be more informative, if you showed the topology changing while sculpting (as at 00:56).
    Great Work :-)

  12. I have been amazed by the ability of Blender to aquire new features within ~1 month after the siggraph presentation.

    It has never happened in 3 days. I'm impressed.

  13. Just a mention to those wanting to play with this now.

    Truespace had a great implementation of this a decade ago, and is of course it's still in the last (free version) before MS buried Truespace.

  14. That will be a great feature for prototypes and 3d sketches. Combined with retopo will be very, very powerfull. Blender 3d is really growing fast in terms of possibilities and tools. We've used it along with Zbrush in all of our projects at Sleepwalker Games, and the software proved to be simply better than Maya or 3d Max. In my opinion the main problem of Blender 3d is lack of FBX importer (the FBX exporter works perfectly). With this little importer the software would be very easy to use with other packages, and therefore it would be more interesting for game developers.

  15. I think this is totally awesome! I have loved Blender since is NaN days. The consistent innovation is always making blender more and more useful!

    Maybe Ton, B@rt, and DrPetter should get together and have a beer (or three) one day!

    WiKKiDWidgets: AKA Sculptris Forum Administrator

  16. Hi all :)

    WOW! thanks for the warm wellcome of this project :)
    I soon will release or integrate into my experimental trunk the code, and will publish the algorithm of it, is quite simple ;)

    I will upload soon a new and more visually pleasant video

    Cheers Farsthary

  17. Awesome!!!!!! Since there is no Mac Version of Scultris I would really love to have this in blender!!!! Keep it up!!

  18. That looks awesome. One thing, though - what is that long green thing? Maybe that pic isn't the best demo pic to use... Or maybe it is. I dunno.

  19. triangles are not a problem... the biggest advantage of this kind of sculpting is just forgetting about all the technical requirements like poly flow and topology and quads or ngons or triangles.

    you get to work EXACTLY as if this is a ball of clay and you really do have an infinite amount of additional clay to keep adding to your sculpture without limit or constraint.

    only after you've nailed down the design do you have to even think about the technical requirements but these days, retopologizing and rebaking detail into normal and/or displacement maps is standard operating procedure.

    just really really really fantastic work.... just when you think blender's got everything it can possibly get, somebody goes in and sticks more on....

    infinite clay indeed!

    thank you, rock on.


    p.s. LOOoooooove the name by the way "infinite clay"... perfect!

  20. rgdfhdfhdryerztetz on

    A brilliant solution!!

    This combines the advantages of voxels and meshes.

    This avoids the problem of huge amount of little blocks from big volumes with voxels (very resource, memory consuming) while at the same time avoiding the issue of deformation of working on a point cloud by just making more points to go along with it.
    This will rock! I can see this from here already.

    Please merge it, this is an awesome thing, it's strange that this hasn't happened earlier.

    Keep up Blender, you're doing great!

  21. Awesome! Now when are we going to see this fully implemented? ;-)

    It's great to see how quickly things are happening! The new 2.5 API must be much easier to work with than the old 2.4x one.

  22. Can't wait to try this out. With this and retopo when it's reimplimented it will be much easier to create eerie creatures for animation and for games.

  23. Tom Shadyach on

    not really understand the blender development community...copying what's already existent is not ''ethical development'' in my book...why not innovate rather than re-producing what sculptris developer has already done?

  24. A lot of the development in Blender (and other apps) is driven by public domain research papers. So, there's no copying, only inspiration. The Sculptris developer didn't invent this, and the Blender developer used a different approach.

  25. AllNamesAreRegistered on

    @Tom Shadyach
    So exactly what is innovation if one cannot build on what is already existent? Reproducing and improving features are part of the process.
    If you still do not understand the Blender community, I suggest you do some research on "open source" and "creative commons" noob.

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