Friday, July 17th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Otoy ships Sculptron Alpha 2

Otoy has released Alpha 2 of Sculptron, its GPU-based tool for sculpting animation caches and for converting mesh sequences to volumes. The software is currently available free during early development.

The update reworks Sculptron’s user interface, makes playback and sculpting “about 10 times faster”, and introduces a readymade new toon material.

The forum post listing the new features is actually dated 10 January 2020, but Otoy has just tweeted to say that this is a new release.

A simple GPU-based tool for sculpting animation caches
Orginally announced late last year, Sculptron is a new GPU-based tool for sculpting static models or mesh caches, importing and exporting files in OBJ and MDD format.

In its forum post announcing the first alpha build, Otoy commented that it is “not a replacement for ZBrush” or other dedicated sculpting tools, being intended primarily for animation workflows.

Potential use cases include editing simulation caches to remove unwanted elements without having to re-run the entire sim, or fixing artefacts in character animations.

That puts it in the same sector of the market as NewTek’s ChronoSculpt – released in 2013, but not really updated since – and newer alternatives like Mush3D.

Sculptron is currently fairly bare-bones, featuring a basic set of 3D sculpting brushes, including Push/Pull, Smooth, Flatten, Clay and Inflate, plus brush radius, hardness and strength parameters.

There is also support for 3D layers, plus a basic animation key editor.

As well as exporting geometry in OBJ format and animation caches in MDD format, users can also convert meshes to volumes and export them in OpenVDB format.

New in Alpha 2: reworked UI, improved interactivity and a new toon material
According to Otoy, in Alpha 2, the software’s UI has been “deeply reworked in both design and functionality”, including a “totally reorganised” timeline; while sculpting and playback are now “about 10 times faster”.

Other changes include a new wireframe overlay for the OpenGL preview and a new toon-shaded MatCap material, shown in the screenshot above.

Pricing and system requirements
Sculptron is currently available in alpha for Windows only. Otoy hasn’t announced a final release date or pricing information.

Read more about Sculptron 1.0 Alpha 2 on Otoy’s forum