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Do you prefer sculpting or zmodeling ?

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Posts: 33
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Hello everyone

Good afternoon (or maybe night in your country 🙂 )

I just started learning sculpting and I'm excited to know which one of zmodeling(or polygon modeling I'm not sure ? ) and sculpting do you prefer ??

Or maybe zmodeling for some kind of objects and sculpting for other (I don't know ? )

so I opened this general discussion.

I hope it will get enough attention ? .


Posted : 14/01/2021 4:42 am
Posts: 33
Eminent Member

Honestly it depends. I like both workflows but obviously in some cases it's easier to sculpt then retopo and in others it's easier to just polymodel from the get go. 

Say you have to make a staff/wand i'd start polymodeling and just sculpt at the end to bake a displacement map out of the sculpt on to the already polymodeled mesh. If you have to do something that requires both making design choices as well as figuring out proper topology for say animation then the best bet is sculpting and retopo. 

But in a void i'd say sculpting and then figuring out topology is by far the most fun way of doing things, for me of course. I'd rather sculpt, which is a more "natural/intuitive/artistic" process than polymodeling.

Obviously for lowpoly models it's best to just stick to polymodeling and just go in to sculpt mode to readjust vertices if needed when you already finished the model as a whole and just need to move things around a bit because of scale/proportions. 

Posted : 14/01/2021 7:39 am
Posts: 33
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Topic starter


thanks for your reply

I think your method is so good ? 

but the problem of sculpting then retopo is the time, it takes longer time than polymodel but if the object you want to model is deserve so take the longer but better way


thx again


Posted : 14/01/2021 10:00 am
Jesse Draper reacted
Posts: 33
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Not really, as i said. Depends on the object. 

For example say you have a character that needs to be in a game and you have all the orthographic views you might need to make this character. As per the requirements of such a thing you have a polycount to respect and also certain loop placements in order to properly animate it for a game. It's much faster sculpting it first because you gain the following:

- surface detail of which you can bake normals and other goodies for free just because you sculpted it

- the 3d object itself that acts as a guide to where you need to place loops and and it's easier to determine how many polygons you need in places along the mesh.


If you start polymodeling you'll have to consider things that the previous step takes care off or makes life easier like :

- you have to guess some things or draw from experience, but even if you're highly experienced you can still make mistakes, of where to place polygons to both take care of the proper form you're trying to model.

- you need to sculpt in details either way at some point in order to bake some textures/maps or things you deem useful, or if you don't do that you have to generate them manually through other means.

- at the same time you have to go through the model multiple times in order to reach the desired poly count where as after sculpt you already have to form layed out and it's easier to make the primary loops and just connect them afterwards and after that's over you can just remove or add loops to reach the poly count. 

- certain things from a 2d concept don't go well with 3d modeling, so you'll have to make design decisions of changing certain aspects while you're also trying to make the form in 3d ( sculpting here has the advantage of experimentation and dealing with the proper topology later, which as i said before it's faster to make proper topology from an already made 3d mesh than it is to both tackle topology and at the same time answering the question " does it look as good in 3d as it does in 2d )

I think there are more arguments to be made here but right now i have a really pounding head ache so i'll just boil it down. 

Depending on the complexity of the model it's better to sculpt then retopo. If it's a relatively simple model that just requires surface detail that would be otherwise harder to generate through other means just sculpt them in and bake them. I'd say it's best to use both workflows, the only thing that depends here is the experience of knowing when to you use one over the other. 

This post was modified 3 years ago by Victor
Posted : 14/01/2021 10:26 am