import_export:importing_into_the_sculpt_workspace

Import: This tool lets you import polygonal meshes to convert into voxels. Let us first go over some of the basic functions of this tool:

  • Select mesh: Selects a mesh stored on your hard drive.
  • Pick from retopo: If you have something retopologized in the Retopo Room, then you can use the mesh to merge to voxels.
  • On pen: Turns any merged mesh into a “Merge on the Fly” tool, which allows you to merge any object at the cursor position (respecting the base object’s normals and intrusion into or extrusion above the base object). Adjust the merged object’s size by Rightclick dragging left or right, and adjust its intrusion or extrusion by Rightclick dragging up or down.
  • Subdivide: Subdivides your un-merged mesh, giving it more initial resolution before merging.
  • Transform: Allows you to position any merged object with the aid of a “Transform widget”.
  • Shift (X, Y & Z): Shifts the un-merged mesh along the selected axis inside a bounding box in local space.
  • Presets: This tool has a number of presets, you are encouraged to explore them.
  • Merge separate volumes: Merges each “sub-object” to its own, unique volume.
  • Respect negative volumes: If an un-merged object has “_negative” listed in its name - (indicating a subtractive sub-object inside the file), this function will subtract this volume when merging it with other sub- objects. You should know in advance when you are going to use this feature, as a “negative” or subtractive boolean object. This function is great for creating greebles and nurnies.


The bottom line is that when you import an external model as Voxel you are essentially changing its nature into a 3DCoat volume-based “Sculpture” - unique to the 3DCoat environment.
Most imported 3D objects are polygon-based, and because of this need to be translated into a Voxel volume of a given “Resolution”. This kind of resolution is directly dependent on the scale that you specify for this object upon import.
External objects enter the Voxel Room either by way of the “Opening Dialogs”, the “File/Import” menu or by “Merging” operations.
In all 3 cases, your object is introduced into the Voxel Room surrounded by the “Transform Widget/Gizmo”. You can provide your imported model with the resolution it needs by visually scaling it up in the Viewport, or by numerical entry. Once the proper Scale/Resolution is obtained - press “Enter” to make it valid and permanent.
When you “Import for voxelizing” or when you “Import” an external object - there is the interesting and useful function called “On pen” which allows you to interactively place instances of your imported mesh with any scale, orientation and penetration depth (if another object already exists in a Voxel Layer) - all “on-the-fly” - and by means of the Mouse.

Dragging with the Right button down:
from right to left - resizes the Merged object, up or down - changes the “penetration” depth of the Merged object into whatever object may already be present on a Voxel Layer.

If you have an object which exists in the “Models” Panel and you wish to add this to a Voxel Layer you can do this by simply clicking on its icon in the Panel and you will presented with standard “Import” dialog which will allow you to deal with it as you would any external model.

You can also import directly into Surface Mode through the Opening Dialog.

Surface Mode is a subset of the Voxel Room but works entirely on surfaces (without volume). Surface Mode provides an adjustable triangular mesh skin representation of your imported model, which behaves similarly to voxels.

Once your imported model is in the Surface Mode workspace, you can also use LiveClay, our implementation of “Dynamic Subdivision” (localized subdivision). Using this method for sculpting adds resolution only where needed (locally) conserving software and hardware resources.


Importing low-poly mesh into Sculpt room: This video demonstrates some issues one may encounter when importing low-poly meshes into 3DCoat's Sculpting workspace..especially in Surface mode…and how to handle them correctly.

Import with Flat Subdivision: This video demonstrates a recent Import option in the Sculpt workspace of 3DCoat, to use Flat Subdivision, rather than Catmull Clark Subdivision. It subdivides without smoothing the object. It helps eliminate the need to spend extra time to “prep” a model for normal subdivision, prior to Importing into 3DCoat's High-Poly/Voxel sculpting environment.

Quick Tip: Fixing Low Polygon Mesh Imports:.

  • import_export/importing_into_the_sculpt_workspace.txt
  • Last modified: 2019/10/12 23:45
  • by carlosan