Updated May 14th 2023 ─ Added a basic explanation of SDF modeling.
An exciting Signed Distance Fields (SDF) editor is being developed by the skilled creator of MagicaVoxel: MagicaCSG (initially named SDF Edit).
SDF modeling, also referred to as CSG (Constructive Solid Geometry) is based on 3D math functions, and offers complete modeling freedom without any concerns about topology / mesh structure. There’s real-time blending, real-time Booleans and beveling of forms and (vertex) colors. Every element, even every color, is non-destructive and can be adjusted at any time. Once you’re done the result can be meshed and exported.
This is interesting. What is this technique about? How does this compare to the sculpting we have now in Blender? Does it give better performance? What about sculpting small and medium or even micro details? Or is this in the conceptual stage like when using dynotopo, voxel remesher?
I also saw a vid of sdf used for texturing using very low res textures. Thats actually cool.
Signed Distance Fields is a volumetric technique, similar to voxels and point clouds. Cinema 4D already includes it for a number of years, but their implementation starts to slow down as soon as a scene becomes a little complex.
This new editor looks very promising. Looking at the brilliance of the MagicaVoxel editor from the same developer, I’ve got high expectations of this new SDF editor. Love the speed and versatility of the implementation, including the automatic adoption of the material from an added or subtracted shape.
Looks like a nice toolset. Some of the work I’ve seen with his MagicaVoxel is quite brilliant. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing hard-surface in VR in Medium lately. I never really used voxels before in my workflow, but I would love to see SDF tech in Medium. Hard-Surface concepting/sketching in Medium(and voxels in general, with the right tools) has huge potential.
I hope the new SDF editor (and a possible implementation in Medium and/or Blender) will also be useful for organic modeling. It should at least be useful for basemeshes, and cartoony / toy character models.
I guess Blender sculpt will have to get sort of ballon like quick bloc kout feature.
Let’s stay on track with signed distance field modeling
Modeling with primitive and signe distance fields matters if you can use that in 3D real time engine like PS4 game Dreams for example.
Otherwise for sculpting only why not using simple Voxels with sculpting tools instead ?
More powerfull and unlimited, no primitives constraint.
So voxels better than signed distance field, what advantage about using primitives only with signed distance field ?
When you can’t use that primitives modeling in a game engine like Clayxels or PS4 Dreams ?
I guess modeling with primitives and signed distance fields is perhaps faster block out, while allowing details, and lot more friendly for non modeler users and new comers to modeling.
Interesting, but in the end it will still be internally converted to polygons, or not? Like NURBS: infinitely smooth surfaces, but they need to be meshed, and quad-polygons still exist of triangles underneath the surface.
In this case rather not, and generally the answer may often be also no, there exist different rendering approaches for datastructures or surfacedescriptions, having the nurbs definition and deciding how you render them could be done in different ways. Dreams is utilizing pointclouds and point cloud rendering may again fall back to rendering polygons, but that is not the case here as far as I know. Its just a multistepped pure point cloud rendering. Including subclouds for parts near to the camera. Generally, there very well different rendering approaches possible, that don’t really rely on triangles for rendering, metaballs for example should not get confused with blenders metaball meshes, they can be completely rendered without utilizing triangles.