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3D sculpting and 3D printing?

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Greetings everyone!


So for a long time I have been thinking about starting to sculpt, however I have always hated working with green stuff and all the other materials. So today I was thinking... maybe it would be a waste to start learning to sculpt with all that, maybe the best thing would be to start learning 3D sculpting, and later (in some years) do some 3D printing.


I have wanted to buy a Wacom Cintiq anyway to do some drawing, and I guess that would be perfect for 3D sculpting as well?


However I have never done anything like this, so do any of you have some tips?

- like what program do I use, and are there any guides out there etc?



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Sculptris is (I think) what I picked up to play with, as it's a free version of Zbrush. That's pretty good to get started with. You can always go on from there. And make sure you have the best graphics card you can (had this chat recently with a friend that does digital sculpts). It's a bit of a rip, but the "professional" cards have a few lines of code that make rendering much more efficient and stable. And cost several times as much as an identical card that doesn't have that code, of course...

In terms of digital or putty, I reckon they'll both have their place for a while yet, so it really does come down to what you want it for and which you enjoy - which in this case would seem to definitely be digital!

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I'd imagine it'll handle it at the start, you may find there's a limit to what you can do though. If in doubt, give it a shot with the mouse and free software - that way you don't have to spend a load of cash to find out how it'll handle it!

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I had a leg up on 3d sculpting (I'm an engineer that already knew how to draft in 2D CAD) when I started.  I made the mistake of learning on a program called Blender.  It's free and a very powerful program, but it was developed for animators and was very non-intuitive.  It's very well documented with many  tutorials and videos but I don't recommend it for starting off.


When my son started to learn 3D sculpting he used a web tool called Tinkercad


It's not very powerful but it is free and is intuitive for a novice learning the basics.

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From what I can see Zbrush is pretty much becoming the industry standard. It's not to expensive compared to other 3D packages and if you are planning on getting a Cintiq, Zbrush would be perfect since it is a 2D/3D program. an you would literally be "drawing" your sculpt. 


The added bonuses of zbrush are that you don't need a super-duper graphics card as it runs using your Ram. The old versions (4r6 and older) were 32 bit and could use only up to 4 Gb but they have just released 4r7 which is 64 bit and AWESOME! Also, once you own it, you get free up dates for life. so when they release zbrush 5 or 6 or 7 you don't have to pay anything which I think is pretty unique in the computer industry.


It allows you to do both organic sculpting well and combined with a new improved hard edge box modelling side. its really is well worth learning. I learning to use it at the moment and I'm a traditional sculptor.



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