Sculptris Pro – Digital clay to the next level
Sculptris Pro is a global editing mode for ZBrush that provides unique behavior for multiple sculpting and painting brushes. When Sculptris Pro is enabled, brushes will modify the topology of your model on the fly to ensure that the brush shape is accurately maintained. You can grow parts, add fine details or erase parts of the model without worrying about the underlying topology. As you sculpt, ZBrush will add or remove polygons as necessary based on your brush size. With this mode, you can focus on the visual aspect of your model with no need to worry about polygon resolution or other technical constraints.
When Sculptris Pro mode is off, ZBrush sculpting relies on the existing vertices of the model to produce the deformation. With Sculptris Pro mode, ZBrush creates any necessary vertices where they are needed before moving them. This means that you can sculpt fine details even when your model may not otherwise have enough polygons to support them.
The intent of Sculptris Pro mode is to provide another layer of creativity and artistic freedom within ZBrush. As with all ZBrush features, Sculptris Pro mode can be mixed with DynaMesh, imported models and scan data, ZSphere adaptive skins or decimated models. It can even be used on models that have been output from the Live Boolean system or which will serve as Live Boolean operators to create new meshes.
The Technology of Sculptris Pro Mode
Inherited from our Sculptris application, this mode provides automatic triangulation (also known as tessellation) of the model as you draw your brush strokes. It generates polygons on the fly to support details sculpted in the mesh.
By default, this triangulation density is relative to the Draw Size of the brush. A small brush size will produce dense triangulation in order to support fine details. A large brush will produce minimal triangulation, allowing broad deformations of the surface.
In addition to performing this tessellation, Sculptris Pro will also apply decimation to the model in real-time. This means that ZBrush will analyze the current stroke in order to remove unnecessary vertices, providing a more optimized result.
When using Sculptris Pro mode with Smoothing brushes they will function to relax the surface of the model. They will also apply real-time decimation to remove any unnecessary polygons.
This combination of both tessellation and decimation is referred to as “Tessimation.” It is the technology powering the Sculptris Pro mode, making it different from the original dynamic topology technology found in our Sculptris software.
Uses for Sculptris Pro
Sculptris Pro mode is a great art feature that can be used in a variety of ways. Because it is deeply integrated within ZBrush it can be combined before or after other ZBrush operations, allowing this mode to be added to your existing pipelines in a variety of ways.
Here are a few of the many ways in which Sculptris Pro can benefit you:
For most artists, creating concepts will be the most common use for Sculptris Pro. It is ideal for starting with a simple shape (such as a Sphere3D Polymesh or basic ZModeler shape) which you then push and pull into shape, mixing brush sizes and adding major or minor details on the fly with no worries about the underlying topology.
Sculptris Pro can of course be combined with DynaMesh, using the latter to mix multiple primitives and brushes to create quick shapes and volumes before switching to Sculptris Pro mode for your medium-to-small shapes and details.
As explained in the Concept section above, the Sculptris Pro mode is a great tool to add medium and small size details. When working on a model you may find that you need to add some details or just modify part of an existing model, but the current topology doesn’t allow what you have in mind. One such example would be adding a horn to a low-resolution head.
So long as your model does not have subdivision levels you can use Sculptris Pro to simply reshape the portion of the model that is a problem. This is very different from the way that DynaMesh rebuilds the entire model’s topology. Instead, Sculptris Pro will only modify the topology where you are currently working, without affecting the entire model.
Working on Boolean Mesh Results
ZBrush is well known for how its powerful Boolean operations can combine very high resolution meshes with low resolution models. But if you want to refine or rework some parts of your model after the Boolean operation, you may find yourself challenged by the topology at the Boolean intersections. You may also find that the variation in density prevents you from adding the quality of details you are looking for.
With Sculptris Pro you won’t need to DynaMesh the model or recreate the topology. Simply sculpt where you like — even on the intersection areas. ZBrush will refine the topology on the fly.
Working with Scan Data or 3D Print Files
Scan data and ready-to-print files are often models with non-optimized topology. With Sculptris Pro you will be able to clean scan data without doing a retopology. For 3D print files you will be able to do quick fixes such as contrasting details or even add new details, without the need to reproduce the model from scratch.
Working with CAD Files
Another great benefit of Sculptris Pro is to edit, sculpt or modify models coming from CAD software. These meshes are usually NURBS/Solid meshes before being converted to polygons, and the result of this tends to be topology that is not suitable for subdivision sculpting. Before Sculptris Pro it was necessary to convert these models to DynaMesh or create new topology with systems like ZRemesher.
With Sculptris Pro you can freely sculpt these models without any constraints, using the best aspects of both the CAD world and the digital sculpting world.