Voxel and Surface Modes

Probably the most unique set of tools and functions found in the 3D sculpting venue reside in this “workspace”.

In essence, The Sculpt workspace is composed of 2 working modes: Pure Voxels and Surface Mode.

Pure Voxels create models with modifiable volume, and Surface Mode allows you to work with only a “skin” (which can either be stretched and re-skinned or expanded and contracted with an adaptive subdivision mesh (Liveclay) adding extra geometry only when you desire, and which you control the density of.

You can choose to begin in Pure Voxels and eventually move your sculpture into Surface Mode (for increased performance, memory preservation and very fine detail work), or start from the beginning working with “Surfaces”.

Many of the Voxel Tools lend themselves to freeform “Brush-Based” sculpting operations, giving the artist the freedom of building with the equivalents of clay, wax, wood, stone and paint. 3DCcoat also makes full use of your graphics tablet’s abilities.

Other tools provide for precision required in constructing mechanical model forms. Notable among these are those tools found in the “E” Panel, a selection of spline and polygon based drawing tools which can be positioned and altered as you work.

Both varieties of tools give the user the fastest, most fluid and accurate ways of constructing any type of model you might conceive.

Since the Sculpt environment is based largely on the use of Brushes, it is important to grasp their nature and composition for it relates to many other areas and Workspaces found within the 3DCoat application.

Brushes consist primarily of the form of the Brush as defined by Brush Alphas found in the main Brush Panel, as well as their corresponding “Options” found in the Brush Options Panel.

Sculpt Brushes can be adjusted on the fly by means of the “Right Mouse Button” and horizontal or vertical gestures within the 3D Viewport.

Corresponding slider settings can be found within the Brush Parameters Panel, which show and augment the Mouse-Based parameters and are found at the top of the 3DCoat interface.

Brush strokes can also be modified by using functions from the “Materials, Stencils, Strips, Models and Splines Panels, when the context is appropriate.

Since Voxels are, by nature, memory and processor intensive it is important to think of them as a beginning to the total range of steps needed to finalize a model initiated within 3DCoat for final production and publishing to an external application. So, it is most practical to start sculpting in Voxels with the least amount of resolution required to capture the most basic form of the overall model.

Once basic form and structure are achieved, you can Resample or use the “Res+” tool to advance to a higher level of detail.

If you’d like to preserve the different stages of modeling as represented by resolution (from low to high) simply duplicate a layer before applying “Res+” (Resampling) and proceeding with your sculpting operations.

The wonderful thing about Surface Mode Tools is that you can work with incredible speed and accuracy, and if some polygons begin to become stretched, you may “Re-Skin” the whole model (affecting only your latest revisions), by simply pressing the “Enter” key replacing these stretched areas with a very consistent and organized, triangulated mesh structure.

At any time during your Surface Sculpting session, you may either return to pure Voxel Space, or move directly to the Retopology Workspace, by means of Auto Retopo functions or to perform all of your Manual Retopo operations.

Use the Voxel Layers Panel to store different versions of your sculpture, as well as parts of the model that need different and separate features and detail. These can all be transferred into different Retopo Groups for adding unique topology to each, and ultimately to the Paint Workspace for final displacement, bump and color texture creation.

By Right-Clicking on any Voxel Layer, you obtain access to the most frequently used functions that deal with Voxels. More functions can be found in the main Sculpt Menu at the top of the interface.

Autopick feature in the Sculpt workspace is enabled by default and allows the user to begin sculpting on a new object immediately, without having to first select the layer in the Voxel Layers Panel.

To view the current statistics of your Voxel Sculpture, or to obtain “Tool Tips” in expanded form, just look at the “Statistics” Panel located at the bottom left of the interface.

Use the “File” menu to access all Import functions for bringing in external creations into the Sculpt Workspace, and use Export functions for producing various direct Polygonal and Raw Voxel versions of your sculpture - to be used and modified in external CAD and 3D printing applications.

Top Bar Tool Parameters Panel
The Top Tool Bar menu contains toggles for functions and is customized according to which workspace you are working on.

Technical Information

Voxel and Surface Modes

Quick Tips for Experimenting in Sculpt Workspace

Extrusion Tools and Techniques: This video series demonstrates various tools and techniques one can use to extrude Hard Surface shapes from a model.

Creating Tiled Textures: This video demonstrates one method available to users of 3DCoat, to create their own seamless tiled textures.

Transform VoxTree Layer Objects Separately

3D Stroke Mode w/ the Pose Tool: This video is a quick demonstration of the new ability to use the 3D Stroke Draw Mode with the Pose Tool.

Ghost Mode: This video is a demonstration of the new “Ghost Mode” feature addition to the Voxel Sculpting/Modeling toolset of 3DCoat.

Modelling Examples

From Voxel to Surface Mode Sculpting: This video series show the walkthrough of the sculpting tools.

3DCoat Game Character Series: Thanks to Greg Whedon for this comprehensive series that guides the user through a standard (Voxel to Texture Painting) workflow for creating a low-poly Game Character.
For anyone new to 3DCoat, this is simply a MUST WATCH series.
Starting from scratch, within 3DCoat's Voxel Sculpting Workspace….using some of it's construction tools to build the model. Then Retopologizing the character, quickly laying out the UV's, and on to Texture Painting.
He adds a final section for Lightwave users, by exporting the model to Ligthwave and sets up a quick rig. The viewer should come away with a good grasp of the toolset in 3DCoat, and be able to start creating on their own, from start to finish.
This video includes the introduction and starts off the project by modeling the game character's hat within 3DCoat's Voxel Workspace, and then moves on to Retopologizing it, within the Retopo workspace.

Rat From Scratch: Creation of cartoon-like Rat with voxels.

Creating Chainmail: This video show the early process of creating a Base mesh for Chainmail, using the torso and arms of the default Mannequin in 3DCoat, as a base object. Then Auto-Retopo is used to generate an all-quads, low-poly mesh from it.

Creating a Rock Kitbash Collection

Using Tinker Pack Models: This video continues the demonstration of the Kitbashing tools, in 3DCoat by showing how to download and use the Tinker Models Pack within the application. It is an especially helpful library of models for Sci-Fi style projects.

Rock sculpting & texturing: Quick tutorial on sculpting, autopo'ing and texturing a simple rock object. By Psionic Games.

Sculpting a rocky floor: Sculpting a simple rocky floor or wall using the build brush, scrape brush and some simple texturing. By Psionic Games.

  • general/sculpt_workspace.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/10/17 14:11
  • by carlosan