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Best Free Sculptris Tutorials For Beginners

Resources3D Written by Josh Petty Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Our recommendations are not purely influenced by commissions(learn more)

Sculptris is a fun and easy-to-learn program for creating 3D models.

While there are many 3D modelling programs out there, Sculptris was designed for beginners making it an excellent starting point for those with little to no experience in the 3D world.

To help you get started we’ve compiled a list of the best tutorials to show you the ropes so you can start making your very own 3D artwork.

Sculptris Digital Sculpting Tutorial

In this brief introduction to Sculptris artist Ryan Kittleson teaches the basics necessary to get started sculpting your very own models.

He covers importing a reference image, navigating the environment, configuring the program settings, and using the various sculpting brushes to create a gnarly monster.

There is in-depth discussion on the many tools available and demonstrations on how they work.

In addition, Kittleson offers some helpful tips on the general workflow of bringing your concepts to life, such as not getting bogged down by detail too early in the process and maintaining a focus on the overall shape and concept of the design.

Following this twenty minutes tutorial you’ll get a good impression of what Sculptris is capable of and what makes it such a popular choice for digital artists.

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Sculptris Basics

Here John Maksym introduces all of the tools and brushes available within Sculptris.

He examines the details of every tool explaining how they work, what they’re used for, and how to customize them for greater flexibility and control.

This is an excellent starting point for those looking for a general overview of all the features available in Sculptris. Maksym introduces each brush and provides a demonstration for their application.

After some simple sculpting he teaches the ins-and-outs of painting your model too.

Unlike some other introductory tutorials, this one deals solely with the technical aspects of Sculptris and avoids general art concepts, making it a perfect choice for those who have a background in art and just want to get straight into the program.

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3D Creature For Beginners

Here you’ll learn the basics of Sculptris by shaping a snow creature from digital clay.

The main tools and features are explained and accompanied by a detailed demonstration. You can easily discover the workflow of the software and pick up some useful tips on how to model figures by starting with the big shapes and working down to the smallest details.

The video also discusses the importance of stopping and moving around your model to examine it as a whole.

While not as technically oriented as other videos, this tutorial really highlights the importance of getting a solid foundation to your model.

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Model A Cube

With this video you can learn how to manipulate a sphere using the grab tool to create a simple cube-like shape that can be used as a primitive either for a future Sculptris project or perhaps for use in another program, such as a game engine.

This serves as a good exercise for familiarizing yourself with the core features of Sculptris and the art of shaping digital clay.

As the saying goes: you must learn to walk before you can run.

In 3D sculpting you must learn to make a cube before you can make a dragon.

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How To Create Brushes

In this extremely helpful tutorial artist Johnny Bevo explains how to create custom brushes for use in Sculptris and Blender using the open source image-editing software GIMP.

The process is quite simple but highly versatile.

Creating custom brushes is important for achieving unique textures that can add style and contrast to your work. There’s no limit to what you can do by combining custom brushes, so it’s a good idea to experiment and have fun.

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Combine Objects In Sculptris

Combining objects is a useful technique for composing more elaborate 3D models.

It is often faster than extrapolating from a single primitive too. This tutorial shows you how to add multiple objects to a scene and combine them so they can be sculpted simultaneously.

This method works for primitives as well as compound shapes.

In this way, complex scenes can be constructed from any number of objects. The only limits are the artist’s imagination and the processing power of their computer.

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Make A Female Head

Underground Education begins this tutorial by introducing a powerful feature of Sculptris: dynamic tessellation, or a dynamic level-of-detail.

This feature lets the user increase or decrease the number of vertices in the model while maintaining the geometric structure (also known as the topology).

This short demonstration reveals the plasticity, or pliability, of the Sculptris workflow.

While the audio quality of this video isn’t the greatest, the skills highlighted are excellent practice for transitioning into intermediate sculpting.

If you’re interested in learning character art I would recommend practicing the human head often as it will be an integral feature to most of your models.

Figure modelling is some of the most difficult work to get right and a budding 3D artist really can’t get enough practice in this area.

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3D Modeling with Sculptris

This is another high-quality tutorial that offers an in-depth look and demonstration of every tool in Sculptris.

The artist walks you through the step-by-step creation of several objects, including a horned creature’s head, a female bust, and a small dragon.

The instructions are slow-paced and easy to follow. Whether you’re a complete beginner or just want to brush up on your 3D sculpting skills, this video will be an excellent guide.

The instructors are both informative and certainly entertaining.

There is also some Q&A with the audience that’s pretty helpful. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing tutorial that will guide you through the entire process of creating a creature-like 3D model, this is the video for you.

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Spider Hair in Sculptris

Sculpting hair can be a real pain.

Lucky for you artist Borodante is here to walk you through the process in this informative and hilarious tutorial.

There’s a ton of useful tips and tricks to learn here, some pertaining to the general art of 3D sculpting while others are explicit to the Sculptris workflow.

One thing to keep in mind is the importance of keeping your objects separate as it is much easier to sculpt things like hair or clothing as separate meshes.

Borodante isn’t afraid to make mistakes which I think is helpful to beginners. It highlights some of the trial and error that all artists go through as they develop their skills. Learning to fix mistakes is itself a useful skill.

Be sure to check out the information section below the video too. Borodante has a link to some free custom brushes and tool presets that could be a big help for those trying to emulate his technique.

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Piggy Bank in Sculptris

This fun tutorial shows you how to create your very own 3D piggy bank!

The pig is cute and the skills shown will apply to any quadrupedal creature.

After a brief modeling demonstration the artist creates a texture map and paints the model using the tools and materials available in Sculptris.

As a bonus, this video walks you through the process of exporting your newly minted piggy bank into Unity3D.

Those of you interested in game design and game asset creation won’t want to miss this!

Finally we learn how to customize Unity’s standard shader so that our model matches what we’ve created in Sculptris. This is an excellent example of how easy it can be to create your own game models and bring them into the world’s popular indie game engine.

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Sculptris to ZBrush Basics

Here’s an essential video for anyone who wants to learn how to bring their models from Scluptris into ZBrush.

There are some necessary steps to take when converting your model for editing in ZBrush. You’ll need to split the object into parts if the model contains multiple objects and then use the DynaMesh tool to convert the object’s triangles to quads.

This tutorial is quite technical and geared to those who are familiar with ZBrush, but are interested in the easy & minimalist interface of Sculptris.

As part of the demonstration we learn some of the key differences between sculpting in ZBrush and Sculptris, plus why even ZBrush gurus may want to take advantage of some of the Sculptris features for creating their base models.

The second half of the tutorial is dedicated to a new feature in ZBrush known as QRemesher.

This tool servers as an alternative to DynaMesh and creates smoother geometry that the artist may prefer.

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Texture Painting A Monster Concept

3D sculpting can be a difficult process. There’s really no way around it.

Pulling an idea from your imagination and bringing it to life in three dimensions is hard work even for a skilled artist. It takes time and patience to arrive at something that you can be proud of.

Unfortunately it’s not enough to sculpt the model, it needs a paint job to really come to life.

The good news is that texture painting is a much easier process than either sculpting or modeling.

Anyone who has painted miniatures for board games like Dungeons and Dragons or Warhammer will feel right at home painting 3D models.

And this speedpaint video will give you a good idea of the workflow necessary to achieve a detailed paint job. The painting process is pretty much the same in every 3D sculpting program.

The trick is to start with an opaque base coat and then work towards the details.

Using a variety of brushes with different levels of opacity can add exciting textures that will make your models pop off the screen.

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Texturing & Texture Painting

John Maksym offers yet another excellent introduction to creating game assets in Sculptris.

After a short sculpting demo, John shows you how to use a variety of pre-made textures to create a layered effect on your model. By playing with opacity and brush size its easy to get a detailed and realistic appearance for your objects.

After exporting the object and texture map from Sculptris, John shows you how to import the assets into Unity3D and add them to a scene for a mobile game.

Lastly we learn how to adjust the look of our assets within Unity by playing with the camera, the lighting, and the standard shader.

This is a fantastic guide for those artists itching to get into game design and full asset creation.

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Sculpt John F. Kennedy

Watching this video by Richard Kapuaala is an excellent way of learning the methods and workflows of a professional digital sculptor.

Notice how the artist works from the general to the more specific, concentrating on the large shapes and proportions before moving into the details.

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make with portraits is believing that the specific details of the head are what give a likeness. But the overall shape of the skull and placement of the features is much more important for obtaining an accurate representation.

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Sculpt Tangled’s Pascal

Fans of Disney’s Tangled won’t want to miss this magical Sculptris tutorial.

It runs like a speedpaint but you can follow along once you get a little familiar with the Sculptris interface.

Pascal is not only a fun character to recreate, but also one that’s super easy to sculpt. Practicing models like this is a great way to sharpen your skills as both a digital sculptor and a character designer.

Copying the work of better artists is a time-honored tradition within the art world. So don’t be afraid to learn by emulating.

As a side note, I really love the music in the video! Listening to good tunes is a great way to relax and focus while working on your artwork.

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Author: Josh Petty

Josh is an artist and game developer who specializes in sci-fi, fantasy, and abstract art. His work employs vibrant colors and combines elements of glitch art, outrun, retro-gamming, neo-geo, and conceptual art. He trained as an oil painter before picking up 3D modeling, animation, and programming. He now runs Brain Jar, a small game development studio that focuses on experimental, narrative-driven content. You can learn more on the website or on Twitter @brainjargames.