Join Ryan Kittleson for an in-depth discussion in this video Starting from scratch, part of Sculptris Essential Training.
So far in this course, I've been showing individual techniques or discussing individual topics. But for this chapter, I'm going to bring it all together in a whole project. I'll show you everything I do from start to finish, so that you can see the way I work on a real project. I'm going to be sculpting this caricatured bust of a friendly old man. I'll talk about the tools and techniques that I am using as well as my thought process as I work. Here we go. So just like any other sculpture, I'm going to start out with a sphere and then use the Grab tool to just kind bang the overall proportions into shape.
And I'm looking at a print out of my reference on a piece of paper next to my monitor, so I can look back and forth between the reference and my sculpt and just make sure everything is looking alright. A lot of times I'll have dual monitors set up. So I'll have my reference in one monitor and then be working in one of the others. And you can see I just kind of switch back and forth between a couple of different tools. Sometimes I'll use the Grab tool. Sometimes I'll smooth out lumps. Sometimes I'll use Inflate to sculpt the shape a little bit. So it's not like I go in order of like one tool at one point and a different tool in a different point.
I'm just kind of jumping to whatever tool is useful at the moment. So now that I have the really big shapes in place, I want to get some of the secondary shapes as well like the nose. I'm not trying to get it perfect and I'm not trying to shape it exactly correct. What I'm trying to do at this point is get the positions and the sizes of these different shapes accurate. Sometimes I'll sculpt shapes on and sometimes I'll use Grab to pull them out. It's really just up to your preference how you want to do it. I just go back and forth, so there are lots of ways to do it.
Sometimes, it can take a little back and forth to get the right shapes. Sometimes, I'll sculpt them a little bit and find that not really liking how it shaped, so well, you erase that or smooth it out and try sculpting it again. It's really just kind of a back and forth process, trying to find the right shapes. One of the challenges in doing a kind of cartoony or a caricature sculpt like this is that you're not trying to get perfect anatomy. You're trying to balance something that looks believable with something that looks appealing.
So, I'll have in the back of my mind, kind of a sense of what the anatomy should look like in a real person, but also balance that with something that just looks fun and appealing for the character. So, as I try to hollow out the mouth, sometimes I run into problems with the polygons kind of crunching in on themselves. I might turn down the detail so that it doesn't create too many polygons while I'm sculpting. I'm being careful not to get into any fine details at this point. I'm really trying to look for the major shapes and the divisions between those shapes.
Once you get good at eyeballing these kinds of relationships between shapes, you'll rarely need to use image plane reference images. You can just train your eyes to observe the relative sizes and shapes between objects, get the intermediate shapes created and just kind of sculpt harder edges into it. So I'm using the Crease tool right now to kind of define the corners and the edges and the divisions between shapes. So, I'm just sculpting out the shape a little bit more. I'm trying to get a nice appealing overall curve to the head.
We want to work fast here. You don't want to get bogged down in trying to make it exact and perfect. There's going to be plenty of time for that later. So now that I've got the eye socket done, I want to come in and get some of the more specific shapes for the eyes. I'm just going to sculpt in like fine tuned eye details like the shape of the eyelids. So, one thing I'm noticing is that my proportions are a little bit off. I think my eyes are little too far apart and I think maybe they need to come down on the head a little bit.
So, before I get into any fine details, I want to make sure that I'm adjusting all of these proportions, making sure that they're not too far off. If I had put a lot of fine details in and then I tried to adjust that, those fine details could get ruined. So, I'm not even going to put the time and effort into things until I know that my proportions are correct and that my secondary details are accurate. The mouth is always tricky. I usually have to do a lot of re- sculpting on the mouth to get it just right. That looks like some polygons have gotten kind of pinched up or crunched together.
Sometimes you need to smooth it up before the Reduce tool will work. Since this is a cartoony model, I don't need to really spend too much time on the inside of the mouth, and most of it is going to be blocked by the teeth, that I'll make eventually anyway. So I just basically need to make a hollow space. It doesn't need to look particularly refined or special. So after I make any adjustments, I like to zoom out a little bit and just kind of get an overall sense of how everything is looking. It looks like there are some large scale adjustments to be made all over the face.
Again, I'm trying to mix realistic anatomy with something that's stylized and cartoony. It's not really about the tools you use exactly; it's the way you're thinking about how this character is made, what his underlying structure is and how he might move if he were animated.
- Loading and saving a model
- Sculpting with the Draw and Inflate brushes
- Sculpting creases
- Flattening and exaggerating detail
- Duplicating objects
- Posing models
- Importing reference images
- Painting with textures