3D Sculpting

I am looking for a way to implement some powerful 3D sculpting into my pipeline. Does anyone have any advice as to weather I should use Zbrush, Mudbox, or just stick with Blender’s internal sculpting tools. It’s partially a matter of what the package can do, and it’s also how well it will talk to Blender.

You should try each option out, you have to be happy with the feel of the software and only you can answer that. Blender is easy to get and there are demos for both zbrush (not the latest version but suitable to show you its sculpting capability) and mudbox.
Blender to be is lacking tools, I’ve found the sculpting buggy and the whole feel I don’t like.
Mudbox has good viewport filters and rendering but you’ll need good hardware (check the validated hardware list), an dmay work best as part of a whole pipeline.
Zbrush, not reliant on hardware, goor toolset. Some very nice tools in latest version and all updates have been free (zbrush is 10 years old this year)
3dcoat, inexpensive with lots of tools, good retopoly, very quick development. Ask the developer for something and you may well get it.
You can import/export between each package in obj format. Mudbox handles fbx but not sure how capable the blender import/export is.

Eeveryone here will have their own preconceived ideas on which is best. The most important thing is you try them as your view is the most important for you. When you get down to it, all probably will give you good results, dependant on you own ability.

What are you trying to do with sculpting?


Some Character modeling. The people that I am working with are all classically trained figure sculptors. I am looking for a way of modeling which is a bit closer to sculpting with clay, and that way we can use the techniques we have learned in our traditional art classes and bring them to the computer.

Price could also be a factor. ZBrush is the cheaper app (but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse), Mudbox is more $$.

But try them out like is said. For the small sculpting I do, Blender & Sculptris are more then what I need.

Does mudbox hare re-topology tools? That could make a big difference in my decision.

Try 3D Coat, it uses voxels for sculpting with which give a really smooth surface and mean that you can extrude areas with creating strange looking quads. It feels very natural when adding lumps of clay (voxel).
Does retopolgy, uv mapping and you can paint surfaces with colour and bumps. Everything can be exported back into Blender. The downside is that it needs a really fast machine to use it. Take a look at the gallery and you will see some good examples of figures and traditional sculpture.

I’d experiment with all three, and give the Blender tools a try by the end of summer.

Currently ZBrush and Mudbox are both excellent at sculpting and have high poly counts. Blender has a reasonably high poly count but its sculpting brushes are weak, it lacks layers, masking, and hiding, but by the end of summer they should be comparable in breadth and quality to Mudbox and ZBrush for the most part.

You can’t really use 3D Coat as a sculpting finishing tool. It does however have excellent retopology tools.

Mudbox and 3D Coat both have good painting tools particularly they both support layers, and multilayer/multichannel painting.

ZBrush only has single layer painting and single channel painting.


Why would ou not use 3d coat as a sculpting tool, it feels very intuative for sculpting with
if you are used to adding lumps of clay etc.
It seems that people often use both ZBrush and 3D Coat ogether to get the best from both.

I’m gonna test drive 3D coat. Sadly the computers that we are working on are getting a little long in the tooth. I’ll see if it can stand up to what is needed.

I won’t be able to wait until the end of the summer since this project needs to be in post by the end of July. I wanted to use Zbrush just because it’s industry standard, but I can’t figure out a good work flow for doing re-topology with Blender.

Perhaps they’ll get GoZ to work with Blender, but I doubt that will happen any time soon. The options I am left with are certainly not idea, which include modeling in a proprietary app (Maya) and exporting models to Blender. Price aside, Blender to my knowledge still does not handle Ngons and in my experience is the most intuitive modeler out there, so I would hate to have to learn another program.

I suspect in the end we will just end up using Blender for the whole pipeline and not bother to integrate any other software into it for now.

GoZ is just an automated way of doing something you can already do manually. Zbrush and blender can work fine in combination as far I’ve seen.

In addition, last I saw, GoZ was a Mac only solution…

it still is but more than half of our house is on mac.

I would highly recommend Sculptris. Available to the general public right now is Alpha 3.

I have been in the Beta program for Sculptris and let me tell you, when the Beta goes live. People will be blown away with DrPetter’s accomplishments with this software



Thanks A LOT for the recommendation. It’s astonishing how easy sculptris lets you do things like wrinkles and little details in general. The flatten tool works a lot better than in Blender, too.
I’m so looking forward for the beta. But even though it’s still only in alpha, I deeply recommend everybody who likes to sculpt to take a look at it.
Tesselation+crease tool=Win.

Is it any more responsive with the beta version? i personally couldn’t stand being constrained by the slow “designed for mouse” “airbrush” style buildup… that’s why my graphics tablet is pressure sensitive after all! so i can do fast stokes and control intensity with pressure… but if that’s fixed I’ll certainly be taking another look.

That’s where z-brush wins outright, they seem to have put an awful lot of attention to feel when designing their brush system… (and have a breadth and depth that few compete with)

it’ll be exciting to see how the blender SOC projects hold up! I really enjoy blender sculpting now that it’s fast, and if I’m feeling lucky the clay brush works great! (and of course it’s nice to not have to switch apps all the time!

I take it back, just gave the alpha version of sculptris another go and this time it just clicked a lot more…

I foundthe adaptive subdivision to be genius!

will be very interested to see where it goes…