3D Sculpting – what exactly is it? Is it a necessity dictated by the requirements of new technological era or just a passing tendency that can be dismissed? After all, there are so many other tools at hand, efficient and time-proven. And yet, an increasing number of companies incorporate 3D sculpting in their workflow. To add to this, more and more people say that 3D sculpting is the future of the 3D industry.

The interest to 3D sculpting is provoked by the fact that it gives the visualizers the opportunities unseen before. Like creating highly detailed volume 3D models – up to hundreds millions of polygons- using specialized computer software. That level of precision is unachievable with usual 3D modeling toolset. The method used is close to carving of a sculpture or sculpting with clay, which is highly unusual.

The resentment towards 3D sculpting shown by many artists is understandable. It can be explained by the fact that the process has a steep learning curve. The only people who will have an advantage at this are those who learned the real sculpture. Other than that, there can be no shortcuts in learning. The principle of 3D sculpting is totally different from that of the traditional  methods for 3D modeling services. So, the forums are inundated with questions genre: “Is 3D sculpting worthwhile? And should I spend my money on software?”

To answer this question, let’s understand better the 3D sculpting process and the benefits it gives.

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3D sculpting mainly consists of the deformation of parts of the given model with a virtual brush. First, you start with the basics – build the shape, proportions of the model to create the silhouette. You can do it in special 3D Sculpting Software or using traditional 3D modeling tools, which can be easier. Then, you can also add and remove layers, or choose a more detailed polygon mesh to work on a particular area. As well as that, it’s possible to freeze certain areas of the object in order not to affect them while working on the others.

All these and many other functions allow the artist to create highly realistic objects. That is why 3D sculpting is a method of choice when it comes to creation of photoreal 3D scenes and models.

Moreover, 3D sculpting is here to help when one needs to improve a ready low-poly models. For example, to make the characters and scenes in computer and video games more realistic. That can be done by using Diffuse, Normal and Displacement mapping.

The process of 3D Sculpting is specifically designed to enable the artist to create complex objects in finest details. Obviously, it cannot replace the traditional 3D modeling techniques, as 3D Sculpting works for very specific purposes. Not every 3D model will need that level of detail, of course. It should only supplement the existing workflow, being a stage of the work on the model.

Nevertheless, we can safely say that certain industries simply cannot function without 3D sculpting nowadays. They are getting more and more in demand in rendering companies, as well as in 3D models stocks.  Let’s have a look at some of them.

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The success of a modern movie is not only in a good script or cast. Modern audience is incredibly tough to impress, let alone to please. In order to be a success, the movie needs to immerse the spectators into the reality it presents. For that, fantastic cities of the future, aliens, spaceships, dragons – whatever’s needed – should look as real as possible. 3D sculpting is what allows to recreate the success of Lumiere Brothers’ show, when people got scared of a train moving towards them. Every object and creature of the movie can be shown in incredible detail, making the audience believe in what is on the screen.

Games Industry

For games, 3D sculpting is critical. Unlike movies, games cannot be pre-rendered. Otherwise, it’d take ages for the character to do the easiest movement. So, visualizers must work with low-poly models. Owing to this fact, the number of polygons a model can contain is limited. To achieve the desired level of precision, modelers rely on 3D sculpting and the texture maps its tools offer. Sure, the specialist can reduce the quantity of polygons without affecting the general quality of a model. But for that high level of detail you’ll have to continue with 3D sculpting anyway. That gives you two choices: to create the model from scratch by sculpting, for instance, in ZBrush, or to make a mesh first in a 3D modeling tool to sculpt on, like 3Ds Max.

3D Printing Industry

High precision in 3D printing is a must. To print such complex objects as intricate mechanical systems or human organs, or even just toys, the level of detail must be really high. One small flaw – and the object won’t be able to fulfill its purpose. 3D sculpting tools offer the modeler such an opportunity. The mesh can be as dense, as the artist needs, the details – as fine and pronounced as the task requires.


3D models of the highest quality and precision have a huge advantage over cheaper analogues. They always catch the eye of the consumer. With 3D sculpting, the product can be made to look amazingly realistic and so attractive! Looking at these, say, chips one goes hungry even after hearty meal.

Product Design

3D sculpting, due to the high precision it allows is an invaluable tool when it comes to creation of, for example, jewelry. Besides from detailing, sculpting tools usually offer a lot of opportunities for creation of unconventional design solutions with all kinds of shapes and curves that will look unique, even hand-made.

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As you can see, 3D sculpting is a must for detailed 3D models creation. It gives the artist  opportunities and allows to create entire worlds on the screen, as well as bring the unbelievable things into reality via 3D printing. If you are not ready to invest your time into mastering the complex and sophisticated 3D sculpting software  – simply outsource it. ArchiCGI rendering company will gladly deal with the task for you – whether it implies creating model from scratch or adapting the existing one to fit your requirements. Our specialists work with the best 3D modeling software – 3Ds Max, Z-Brush, Cinema4D, Blender, SketchUp, Solidworks, Marvelous Designer and many others. Start working with us today – use our Test Drive service!

May 3D models bring your project an instant success!

Irma Prus
Content Writer, Copywriter

Irma writes articles and marketing copy for ArchiCGI. Her dream is that more people discover the power of CGI for architecture. Irma is into neuromarketing, ruby chocolate and Doctor Who series.