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Top Of The Best Sculpting & Modeling Tools Reviewed In 2018Last Updated October 1, 2018
№1 – Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Shapers Fondant Cake Decorating Unique Tools, for Sugarcraft, Gum Paste, Modeling Chocolate (Pack of 6), Firm Tip, Regular
№2 – Pro Cake Tool | Incredible 4pcs Double Ended Cake Decoration/Sculpting Tool | Comfort Steady Easy Grip | Suitable For Sugarcraft, Gum Paste/Marzipan | Blue | 1129
№3 – 12 Pieces Plastic Clay Tools Modeling Tools Ceramic Pottery Tool Kit for Shaping and Sculpting pink
Creative Bloq Staff
We select the best sculpting apps on the market to bring your imagination to life.
This article is produced in association with Masters of CG, a contest for creatives in partnership with HP, Nvidia, and 2000 AD. Check out the shortlisted entries here.
Among the highlights of the ZBrush Summit 201were a series of demos of the new hard-surface modelling tools in ZBrush 4R– yet another free update coming to version later this year. So it seemed to us like a good time to review the current state of sculpting tools in general.
Which apps are worth checking out right now? We’ve picked out seven that you should definitely be investigating…
Courtesy of brand
Maybelline New York FaceStudio Master Contour & Highlight V-Shape Duo Stick
In a rush? This two-in-one stick makes contouring a fast affair. You don’t even need to switch products when you’re ready for the next step. All you have to do is flip to the other side of the stick—no additional uncapping required.
M.A.C. QuikTrik Stick
This double-ended stick features a supercreamy formula that makes blending a dream, even for the newest of newbies. Plus, the shades are subtle on the first swipe, so you can build up the intensity as you get more comfortable with contouring.
The ‘Sculpt’ Action
When you select Sculpt from the action menu, your Sim makes a random sculpture from the huge available pool. This is the only way to learn to make new sculptures. You’ll eventually know so much that it’s easy to get frustrated seeing the same things over and over as you try to discover more. There are many dozens of sculptures to learn.
Sims Sculpture List
A couple of email submissions led to the publishing of this list. It’s believed to be all the available scupltures Sims can make. There are two exceptions: The Immoderate Water Fountain and Sculptor’s Gnome. Both of these will only appear at random when using the sculpt action. As such, they’ll never appear on your Sculptor’s list. Sorry, you can’t easily make an army of gnomes.
Not all of these sculptures are new, but rather stone, ice, clay or wood varieties of things already in the game (exception being topiaries and metal sculptures, of course). Some of these are only available with World Adventures installed. Unfortunately, I cannot at this time sort through which are which.
You unlock the ability to make Ice Sim Sculptures at Level 6.
How cool is that? Your very furniture can gather 2% interest per day, as opposed to the depreciation of the store-bought stuff. Each piece of furniture you unlock helps a lot!
Topiaries seem to offer the highest per hour earnings when things go smoothly and they churn out at hours a pop. Focus on one type and the cash will get better and better. I recommend the Dragon
First, a little about the multipliers below. When dealing with all but of the sculptures available, you can make them in Clay, Wood, Ice, or Stone. The others are under Metal and Topiary. When dealing with these four primary types of materials, the big differences lie in the completion time and how many times better than clay they are for the average piece.
Masterpieces and Brilliant Scupltures are a little wacky in how much the multiplier fluctuates. It can be 5x higher or less than double. Nevertheless, the mechanics always leave you feeling rewarded when you pull out one of these rarities. They just may not go as high as you’d like.
Note the Values Change: While a particular piece will start about 5x higher in stone, this wanes to 2.or 3x higher when you get a lot better at one sculpture type. Ice falls to only about 50% better, but still has a better time-money ratio. Wood gets forgotten throughout all this. I found this most surprising during the tests I conducted for this article. At one point, wood sculptures became equal to clay in value while taking more time.
There is sometimes variation in finish times. Sometimes your Sim will lop off the top of a block quickly, and other times they may piddle for hours without making any progress. This is most noticable in Topiaries, which typically take 2-hours but I have seen take or more.
Listed hours to completion are fully upgraded estimates. Note that all costs are eliminated with Prolific Sculptor skill challenge completion.
This starting material is not a bad choice for learning new types of sculptures as it’s the fastest of the four ‘main’ materials. I feel it loses out to ice because you can make a ton more money along the way to finding those sculptures you want access to. It can be handy for training your Sim in one sculpture type to try to get a really high value sculpture to set a record.
Metal: Level 1, Scrap – Hours. About 4x higher values than clay (comparatively)
Head to the Junk Yard to get scrap, unless your Sim is a real Da
Vinci and has an Inventor’s Scraptronic Workbench and you want to buy them that way. Metal has its own types of objects, and there are types to discover: a chair, a SimBot statue, a metal Sim, a horse and the ‘shapely conundrum’. Your Sim can catch fire, and it happens quite a lot so hopefully there’s a shower near your work area! Metal are not the best type for this reason, and that nothing about it really shines. Get the statues for the cool factor and move on.
The only times I’d mess with wood sculpting would be when I want something with that particular look.
Ice is just so much better for money making. It blows Wood away in value and time.
Until you get the Ice Personality challenge done, you’ll want to sell these quickly. They melt after a few days. Ice is good for unlocking new types of sculptures and making money at the same time. It may also be a good training medium for improving your Sim’s skill in one type of sculpture.
Monster clay has become popular lately which I haven’t had a chance to play with. It’s quite expensive and is a sulphur free oil/wax based clay, so you use it a lot like the oil based clay, heating it up to soften it, and cooling it to down to harden it.
Pixologic Zbrush is a great digital sculpting and painting software widely used in game and film industry by many professionals. It has numerous amounts of features like Dynamesh to generate base mesh, ZRemesher for retopologizing, FiberMesh to create hair-fur stuff and much more which makes Zbrush a complete Professional tool for sculptors.
Sculptris is a free sculpting and painting tool created by Pixologic. It has very simple and clutter free user interface with two navigation methods (Sculptris original navigation controls and Zbrush navigation controls) that can be toggled any time.
It has wide variety of tools like Automatic UV creation, Projection Painting, Dynamic Tessellation control which make sculpting process much easier. If you are new to sculpting then Sculptris is a great tool to start with.
Geomagic Freeform is a great sculpting program with the ability to perform wire cuts, loft and sweep operations. It has great tools for voxel, polygonal, SubD and NURBS modeling and can also measure mass properties like surface area, volume, piece density with piece-to-piece fit, intersections and thickness analysis.
You can paint textures over your model and even render it with the Mental ray rendering engine inside this great tool.
I done some sculpts in zbrush with the help of youtube mainly. And now I want to excel and get better at sculpting. I wonder now how to do this without spending money on online courses etc(In a perfect world I would do that but…The reason is that I’m studying engineering and dont have too much spare money left). This makes it hard for me to decide how to continue my zbrush learning I feel overwhelmed of where to start and what to do.
So is there any good tutorials online to follow for sculpting? (not basics for ex. how to sculpt instead tutorials on objects Being sculpted)
Or is it just to pick objects and getting reference images then trying to get as close as possible? And in this case where/with what should one start?
Like polymer clay, plasticine is synthetic clay. Unlike either clay or polymer clay, however, this clay type is oil-based so it doesn’t dry out but it definitely can’t be fired. Because it’s a permanently soft mixture, it’s a great choice for kids to play with and popular for making clay figures featured in stop-motion animations.
Some inventors prefer to use cardboard, toothpicks and glue to create quick prototypes. It works too, but getting some cheap clay that never dries and can be used multiple times will be a great addition to your prototyping toolbox and might even become your number one prototyping material.
Industrial design clays for prototyping or the cheaper AMACO
Design of the Renault Twizy made of clay. Credit photo: Renault Twizy as seen in Car Body Design
Pourable silicone rubber mold
The pourable version works by building a box around the object and pouring the liquid silicone rubber on it. The liquid is usually a mix of two products that you have to do yourself. After about 4minutes, the silicone starts to be cured and can de-mold after a few hours. Pourable silicone rubber can also be brushed on flat objects, like a glove.
Cast of Sketchbot figurine made with an epoxy clay. Credit photo and design: Steve Talkowsky
For more precise parts, you can also use moldable plastics as casting or molding material by applying it on an existing mould or object. Main brands of moldable plastics are Shapelock and InstaMorph. Shapelock is the historical brand but InstaMorph
I also put the famous Sugru in this category because it is specifically designed for repairing and connecting things, even though it works more like a polymer clay. Sugru comes in small one-use packages, as a very sticky paste. It cures in the air and becomes a very strong waterproof slightly flexible material. Sugru can be of great help for prototyping if you need to connect two parts, create a joint or solidify a fragile piece.
Prosthetic Sculpting Basics
I wrote this as an intended post originally, then decided to do a series of videos based on it instead ( ), so consider this post a summary of the tutorials. Reading and watching the information helps retain it and also can be printed out as a handy guide.
This is an economical way of learning, as well as building up a portfolio of sculpts which you can review later and seek advice without cluttering up your home with dozens of delicate sculptures.
If possible, use reference which is as close to the look you want first and use this to inform your sculpt. Getting a general feel for what you want before you pick up any clay is usually time well spent. It will get your juices flowing and inform your brain as to what shapes you should be looking at. The more you look, the more you will see.
If you are creating a sculpture that uses wrinkles or another sculptural device (horns, warts, scales etc), it pays to vary them in intensity and regularity. If they are too similar and all over the sculpt, they will have less impact than a few good, well placed ones.
Start by putting small blobs of plastiline onto the surface and be sure to press them firmly to the surface and making them flat. It is usually a good idea to keep a minimum thickness of 2-3mm and flattening the blobs like this as you go will ensure that this thickness is maintained. You can always carve in or add more later.
Often it is desirable to retain the position of the original wrinkle in the skin underneath as this is the natural place for the skin to compress. Doing so will ensure that the appliance folds in the same way and works with the skin better, creating more natural movement.
Once the bulk of the shape is there, it is time to refine the form and surface. For this, I like to use serrated tools such as a griffon hook or loop tool.
The serrated tools work best as they gradually shave small amounts of material without drastic scoops being hacked away. By varying the pressure, you can shave down the edges to a natural taper, so they arrive at the skin at an angle which does not suddenly shift from one to the other.
Using lamps and light
It is crucial to have a strong source of light such as a lamp nearby to throw strong contrast over the surface. This will reveal lumpy or unintentional unevenness in the surface in a way that ambient light will not. If the sculpt is small enough, move it around and take it into different lights and even outside if possible.
Look at it in a mirror
Another good thing is to look at the reflection of the sculpt in a mirror, especially if you are making something symmetrical. Errors in symmetry can evade your detection as you become accustomed to looking at your sculpt. By viewing it in reverse you may be surprised to see just how out you are.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Sculpting & Modeling Tools wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Sculpting & Modeling Tools
- №1 — Innovative Sugarworks Sugar Shapers Fondant Cake Decorating Unique Tools, for Sugarcraft, Gum Paste, Modeling Chocolate (Pack of 6), Firm Tip, Regular
- №2 — Pro Cake Tool | Incredible 4pcs Double Ended Cake Decoration/Sculpting Tool | Comfort Steady Easy Grip | Suitable For Sugarcraft, Gum Paste/Marzipan | Blue | 1129
- №3 — 12 Pieces Plastic Clay Tools Modeling Tools Ceramic Pottery Tool Kit for Shaping and Sculpting pink