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Introduction to Sculptris

by Margaret Penney | May 13, 2016

If you like sculpting and are interested in exploring 3D, Sculptris provides a fun and easy way to learn how to create this style of digital art.

Sculptris requires no previous knowledge of working in 3D and is available as a free download from the creators of Z Brush, a more advanced digital sculpting application.

The shapes within Sculptris respond like clay making the experience creating artwork quite realistic. It’s simple to find and apply textures and also import your own. The interface is reduced compared to other 3D applications and offers a carefully curated set of essential tools. The pared down toolset reduces the complexity of the app making it easier to make art quickly.

Made with Sculptris

Made with Sculptris

Even though Sculptris is fairly simple, it’s also pretty useful and versatile and it is possible to create digital sculptures with intricacy and detail.

Sculptris is a favorite among many types of artists, both novice and advanced, for these reasons.To get an idea of what’s possible with Sculptris, take a look at these projects on Instagram and the Pixologic gallery or check out this piece created by yours truly:

Digital art I made with Sculptris

Future Transactions. Digital Print. 2015.

Sculptris also can be used as a kind of maquette or digital sketchpad for artists to explore and try out creative concepts. Here is an example of an artist using Sculptris to create a maquette. Once the concept is made artists will often take the work into another more robust program like ZBrush or use the model to create real world sculptures.


Maquette made with Sculptris

Sculptris can also be used to create models for 3D printing. At Shapeways, you can see projects of this type—take a look at the lovable Ella and cute Kenny.


Ella at Shapeways

Sculptris provides files that are easy to import and use within other applications. So if you are creating an illustration with some 3D elements, Sculptris is also useful as a way to create and import these elements quickly.

3D Model made with Sculptris

3D Model made with Sculptris

Hope you have enjoyed this introduction, to learn more about Sculptris take a look at the videos on Sculptris’ website and for inspiration check out this interview with artist Hiroshi Yoshii.


Margaret Penney is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Margaret is a teacher, designer, writer and new media artist and founder of Hello Creative Co.


Are you interested in exploring 3D modeling? Sessions College offers a range of online digital arts courses for students at all levels. Contact Admissions for more information.

This blog is powered by Sessions College, the leading online school of visual arts.

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