My Learning Process In How to Sculpt in 3D

Hey, what’s up everyone? I am so excited to share with you that I have just started learning a new art medium in 3D sculpting. So, if you’re like me and have always been interested in learning how to create awesome looking 3D models, but were afraid because it looked super challenging, didn’t know where to begin, or that the cost for a great 3D program is going to cost you an arm and a leg to afford, then read on, because I have only been learning how to sculpt for about a week or so and am totally blown away by my own results, and I am positive that if I can do this, then you definitely can do this too!

When I first learned about 3D modelling, I was just starting to make the jump from drawing on pencil and paper to learning how to draw and paint digitally, and that’s when I saw all the possibilities that digital art had to offer, including the big bad world of wonderful art of 3D modelling.

I was mesmerized by all of the cool and awesome things people were able to make out of a simple cube or sphere into a super complex looking character, creature or environment. I thought to myself that there has to be a way for me to be able to learn this awesome craft and be able to create cool and highly detailed characters, creatures and environments of my own, but when I started to shop around for the best 3D programs, I learned very fast the hard truth about 3D, and that the big programs, such as Maya, 3DS MAX, Zbrush, etc, were insanely expensive, and that there is no way in Hades I could afford such programs.

So, feeling a bit discouraged, I did what I think most people would do in this situation (and not look for pirated software, mind you) and look for cheap or free alternative programs, and that’s how I discovered two great FREE alternatives: Blender and Sculptris. There are several others out there, but these were the two that I found myself most interested in and offered everything that I was interested in being able to learn.

Once I had those two awesome programs downloaded to my computer, I then proceeded to the magical worlds of YouTube and Google to find as many tutorials that I could to start learning how to make cool stuff in 3D. Well, long story short, I learned very quickly that things were going to much more challenging than I originally thought, and way more confusing that I had originally thought. In many of the tutorials that I found, it seemed like the tutors already assumed I had some kind of modelling experience, because they would use terms such as polygons (which, honestly was the easiest thing to understand), topology, retopology, UV’s, UV mapping, etc. My mind went blank, because I had no idea what any of these things even meant. I looked up the terminologies on Google, and even though it cleared up a few things, I was then introduced to a whole new set of questions, such as, what do I need to learn first in order to start creating stuff in 3D.

After doing a bit more research, I fortunately found some awesome resources that helped me learn how to navigate in each program and how to create some basic models.

Note: some of these resources are free and some you do have to pay for. The paid one’s aren’t too expensive, and most are like $10 and you get to keep forever.

The resources that I found that have helped me out in learning how to begin creating cool 3D objects are listed below:

  1. (Sculptris Tutorial: Free) from Pixologic, a great place to begin learning how to sculpt
  2. (Sculptris Tutorials Free Resources) from Concept Art Empire
  3. (Blender Tutorial: Free) From Blenders official Website, great place to begin learning all that Blender has to offer
  4. (Blender Tutorial: Free) from Blender Guru, a great resource to further your learning
  5. (Blender Tutorial: Free) from Creativebloq, another great resource to learn all that Blender has to offer
  6. (Blender Tutorial: Paid) from Udemy. There is a plethora of information you can learn from the basics to more advanced techniques to create really a variety of awesome 3D subjects, such as characters, creatures and environments.

The above list are the various websites that I like to use when trying to learn how to create stuff in 3D. I am by no means an expert, and am still a beginner myself, which is why I am writing this blog, because as a beginner, writing to beginners or even intermediate 3D artists, I wanted to share with you all the resources that I like to use to learn how to create my 3D creations, and feel like you will get the most out of if you are serious in learning.

One other thing that I highly recommend which has helped me the most, and I purposefully left it out of the above list is to simply practice and experiment on your own. I implore you to go in blind and just mess with stuff, play with everything and see what it does. That is how I actually learned the most is to just see what does what and then go explore the tutorials to learn the proper ways of using each tool, and then playing around with the program again on your own, but this time utilizing the knowledge you’ve gained and put it into practice. I think that the biggest part in why I stopped learning 3D for the longest time is that I didn’t give myself a chance to just relax, and have fun with the programs.

For example, below are a couple of models that I have created using Sculptris. I decided that I am wanting to learn how to create organic looking creatures, but was always afraid to start because I had no idea what I was doing. Here is a progression of how I have improved just by mostly playing around with the program, and when I felt I didn’t know something, I referred to the above list to try and learn what I could and then went back to my project and applied it.

I hope that this short article has helped you, even if it was just a little encouragement. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, which is why this article was not aimed to be a tutorial by me showing you how to make something in 3D, but to show you the available resources out there that you can utilize to learn how to create your own 3D creations, and to give you encouragement to go out there, have fun, and not to take things too seriously. Always remember, no matter what medium you are using to create art with, art is meant to be fun, it is an expression of yourself and your ideas. Have fun with your craft, be patient and over time you WILL get better, I promise. And if you don’t believe me, then I hope that the below examples of what I’ve managed to create below from the last week in Sculptris will convince you otherwise. Till the next time, I hope you all have a great day, and a wonderful week! 🙂

My first real attempt at Sculptris (No Tutorials)

My Second real attempt at Sculptris (Tutorial: Watching a speed paint… seriously lol)

My Third Attempt, Same As Before.

My Most Current Attempt, Watched a couple tutorials from Sculptris’s website, plus some YouTube Speed Sculpting (Slowed Down the Video to take in certain tools and settings). I also painted the colors in Photoshop, just so you know the colored stuff wasn’t done in Sculptris.