Autodesk has launched 123D Creature, the latest in its family of consumer iPad apps. The tool enables users to sculpt and pose 3D characters using a basic skeletal system, paint the models and export them for 3D printing.
Work in 123D Creature begins with a “simple skeleton creator” – it isn’t quite a character rig, although the video above does show joints being manipulated with standard controls – with which users can set up a basic pose.
The character can then be sculpted with multi-touch gestures similar to those used in sister app 123D Sculpt, and painted using 123D Creature’s airbrush tools.
(There is mention of “fur and feathers” on the App Store listing, but as far as we can tell, that just means that you can projection paint a photo of fur or feathers onto the model’s surface rather than anything more complex.)
The completed creature can then be displayed in the app’s render room, which includes a range of customisable lighting presets and filters and the option to import background photos.
The app features built-in integration with Sculpteo’s 3D printing service, but presumably you can use any 3D printer you like: the website shows a 123D Creature model being printed with a MakerBot Replicator.
According to Autodesk: “Artists can also enhance their characters in other Autodesk software including Maya and 3ds Max” – although we can’t yet find any information on the site as to which file formats the app exports.
Updated: A thread on the Luxology forum says you can export OBJs, though the meshes are “rather dense”.
Overall, 123D Sculpt seems aimed at people who’ve enjoyed tools like Spore’s creature creator and would like to own a 3D print of their creations, rather than any kind of professional work – but it looks a lot of fun to play with.
It is comparatively pricey for a consumer app, though: the recommended price is $7.99, although you can currently pick it up at a launch price of $1.99. You’ll need an iPad running iOS 6.0 or higher to use it.