Join Nick Kloski for an in-depth discussion in this video Basic overview of sculpting tools, part of Meshmixer Essential Training.
- [Instructor] This video will give a very brief overview of all the different ways that you can sculpt with digital clay in Meshmixer. When you first start Meshmixer, you just start it with the icon and not by double-clicking on some existing 3-D model. It gives you some options here. To import a bunny, a sphere, or a plane, all of those will work, and will be a good basis for you to start sculpting, but I'm going to start with a plane. This plane comes in as a flat object, as, you know from other videos in this series, Meshmixer is a shell-based modeling tool.
So this is the front and this is the back. If we had imported something like the sphere, the sphere is all facing outside, and we would actually have to cut into the sphere to see the inside. But I want to show you what this looks like with the different sculpting tools, to be able to see what they look like from the front and the back. So we start off with the plane here, if you press the W key, W for "Wire frame," you can see that it's a nice, good mesh that we can use.
So I'm going to keep wire frame on. And I'm going to click here on Sculpt, on the left hand side. We have two different options at the top: Volume and Surface. You click on it to toggle from one to the other. Volume has effects on the volume of the mesh, so what that means is, under Depth here, you can actually set the area of the sculpting tool's effect away or towards you. You can't do that with the Surface tool.
The Surface tool only works on the surface of the mesh itself. Now you have some different options under Volume. You have a good number of brushes. Under Surface, you have less brushes. But under Surface, you have stencil tools that you don't have under Volume. So they kind of do different things. So under Brushes, we're going to start off with Volume. We have Drag, Draw, and Draw2.
So these are some of the main ones that you will use to create shapes on your mesh. Drag works as this, I'm going to turn wire frame off. Drag moves the mesh, and you can see right at the top that the mesh is not really changing. I'm dragging it out. I'm going to go back in, I'm going to click on Draw. Draw builds up the mesh, and would be like you were adding materials to it.
The same thing with Draw2, except Draw2 comes to a very fine point. So instead of creating these rolling hills, it creates kind of pointy mountains. I also invite you to go look at the reference section, if you want to know what each one of these tools do. But I just want to go very quickly over these tools in this video, to give you a good starting point to create designs. Generally, you'll be wanting to use the Draw tool to create different shapes on your mesh.
It's always influenced by the strength slider right here. So you see I'm holding down my mouse button. I'll talk about these options in another video, what Flow does, and Strength in Properties. But this is generally the way that you're going to be building up kind of clay on your 3-D model. We want to look at Falloff too. I'm going to undo this a few times to get back to my default plane.
You want to look at Falloff, so if we do a Draw tool with this Falloff, it starts to draw like this, but if we do with the very pointy one, it starts to create very pointy type effects. We can see this really well in the Surface tools when we're doing something like a Draw3 command, where the Falloff says use the entire tool, or the Falloff use a pointy tool. So that is the same tool, but with different Falloffs.
So you can get a lot more precise with this. This is a linear falloff, a gradient, and then to using most of the brush. So the falloff is certainly there. I'll talk about color in a different video. Color is only for color 3-D printing and showing these online to other people who can see color. Surface works only on the surface of the mesh. So if you look at this volume, you see that the brush is a kind of sphere here.
It will affect everything on the mesh. So if this sphere goes across, let's zoom in a little bit. If this sphere goes across these two areas, it will affect both of these. If you see that I switched to Surface, you have this disc that kind of rotates based on where the mouse pointer is, and allows you to really, really accurately work on very specific parts of your mesh without acting on the volume of it, which is why this is called Surface.
So a lot of times, Surface is a very useful mode to be in, because it acts more like what you would want. If you're under Volume and you're using a Draw tool, it's as if you're dropping a large amount of clay onto the mesh. Whereas Surface is you're building up just where you're clicking, in one direction. So they're certainly different tools, and one acts more like an additive, and one works more like you are kind of changing and augmenting what is already there, instead of creating brand new shapes on the mesh.
So I'll talk more about these modifiers in a different video, but generally, this is how you're going to start. Not necessarily with a plane, I'm going to go into File, to Import Sphere, and it asks me if I want to append or replace. I'm just going to replace the plane with a sphere. So you can see here, the sphere, we can start to go onto Sculpt. I can use Surface if I want, a Draw3 maybe, and start really modifying this.
Now this will obviously be affected tremendously by what you have on the Properties settings, the Size settings, that gives you kind of a good starting place to start adding material to your mesh with both the Volume tools as well as the Surface tools.
This course was recorded and produced by HoneyPoint3D. We're pleased to host this training in our library.
- Evaluating and fixing online models
- Working with multiple objects in Meshmixer
- Using the measurement tools to analyze objects
- Using CAD models in Meshmixer
- Evaluating model orientation
- Generating and editing supports
- Creating multiple supports types
- Creating and fixing 3D scans
- Importing your photo as a stencil into Meshmixer