general:sculpt_workspace:voxel_mode:voxels

Starting with empty space or starting with a volume of some sort are both options within the Voxel environment.
Everything you add or subtract is done as you would expect when dealing with real materials like clay, wax, wood or stone.

What is more extraordinary are those tools and functions which actually create or subtract more volume from an object as you use them, like the Move or the Grow tool.

Appendages can be added and automatically joined to a base shape just by dragging or painting in real 3D space, without going through a series of complex commands and maneuvers.

Accurate organic and mechanical shapes can be created with the aid of splines and curves.
This tool set is an artist’s dream.

The picture above illustrates the very important visual and technical difference between surface and voxel sculpting.


But of course you should know some limitations of this technology, surface can’t be too thin in voxel representation. If you want to make too thin surface you should increase resolution of scene or use the “Surface mode”.
This can be done by clicking on the V icon next the the particular layer you would like to work the surface of, and it will change to a S. Represents this “Surface mode”.

So what are these voxels anyway?
They are values [0..1] placed in a cubic grid. The surface is placed on the isosurface where value is equal 0.5.

Simply put: Voxels are points in 3D space that contain information on volume and color.

This unique method of sculpting voxels is akin to traditional clay sculpting. If you need to sculpt on an ear, simply start sculpting the ear. Same thing goes with arms, or legs, or anything else for that matter. If you need it, sculpt it.

Voxels are the 3D version of pixels, in a nutshell. A pixel is represented by a square, having the same height and width - and having a specific size.

Given any 2 dimensional area, this area can only contain a set number of pixels.

Voxel is a new word that really stands for “volumetric pixel”, since it has depth, as well as height and width.
Mathematically, voxels are numerical values [0..1] placed in a cubic grid. The object’s surface is located where the value is equal to 0.5.

Like pixels, voxels have the same width and height - but also have dimension along the typically “z” axis - which is the same as the distance for its height and width - in essence, a voxel is a cube - floating in an invisible mass of voxels which occupy an infinite volume of space.

For any given 3 dimensional volume, there can only be a set number of voxels occupying this space.
In a black and white painting program, “paint” is applied to a given area by giving any number of invisible pixels, occupying that area, a value of black or white - (a pixel is either “on” or “off”) - thus making it appear that some of the area is “empty” while other parts are painted - like black paint on white paper.

In a voxel program, painted “volume” is applied to empty space by giving any number of invisible voxel cubes an “on” or “off” value, which produces the impression of a 3 dimensional shape floating in empty space some cubes are turned “on” while others are turned “off” (some represent occupied space and some represent empty space).

An additional benefit of voxels in 3D-Coat is their ability to be assigned a color and a “material” or “shader” (giving the additional illusion of some real world or “other wordly” substance).

For the user, this experience simulates working with a solid or semi-solid material (like clay or molten wax) by means of functions that mimic the use of real world sculpting tools.

Nearly every other 3D-sculpting program is polygon based, which means that they work only with the surface of 3D objects – they manipulate a “skin” which has no thickness. But voxel-based sculpting programs work with the volume of 3D objects – they manipulate a kind of cubic array or “solid mass”.

This approach lets you sculpt without any topological constraints: it lets you build up complex objects from “nothing” and to endlessly add and subtract volume “mass” – and easily punch holes in the objects. This approach gives you total freedom in your 3D sculpting.

With voxels, you can work like an old-fashioned, real-world, clay-based sculptor – one who never needs to think about dreary technical things like polygons and topology and who, therefore, can just freely and easily express himself.
If you need to sculpt an ear, an arm, or a leg, simply start putting together lumps of digital clay!
As fantastic as voxels are, you should also understand some of the limitations of this technology. For instance, objects can’t be extremely thin in a voxel form. If you want to make a very thin surface, like cloth, you need to increase the resolution of the voxel object to avoid the appearance of 3D “jaggies”.

A more convenient way to work with very thin layers is to use the new “Surface Mode” for voxels. This can be done by clicking on the Cube icon next to the particular Voxel Layer you would like to work on – and cube icon will then change to a wavy line.

The S icon tells you that you have entered the Surface mode

At first, 3DCoat uses CUDA acceleration for voxel sculpting only.

Voxel sculpting requires more computing resources because it handles pictures in volume. So we decided to use CUDA to speed up operations in volume.

CUDA is supported by all the recent NVidia cards starting from 8-series. However the acceleration is hugely dependent on the number of processors available on the card. The real advantage of CUDA over a 8-core CPU can be achieved only if GPU has more then 128 processors, otherwise the 8-Core CPU will yield better speed.

Acceleration speed is dependent on cores number and memory bandwidth. CUDA gives best advantage if you are applying masks and materials over voxel sculpture using big brushes. The advantage depends considerably on the tool used.

  • general/sculpt_workspace/voxel_mode/voxels.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/10/13 23:28
  • by carlosan