Wednesday, October 28th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peek: the Deform Stack in Otoy’s Sculptron

Otoy 3D artist Lino Grandi has posted a preview video of the new Deform Stack in Sculptron, the firm’s GPU-based tool for sculpting static models or animation caches.

The video shows a ripple deformer being applied to a model, but Grandi comments that it is just “the first of many” new deformers being added to the software, which is currently available free in public alpha.

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.

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, and – as of Alpha 2 – a new toon-shaded material and wireframe overlay.

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

New Deform Stack applies procedural deformation to dense meshes in real time
To that, Otoy is now adding a stack of deformation modifiers, which should enable artists to make larger overall procedural modifications to a mesh.

Lino Grandi’s demo video shows the new Deform Stack’s ripple deformer in use, creating near-real-time animated deformations of high-poly objects: the meshes shown contain 1,000,000 and 800,000 polygons.

According to the info accompanying the video, the ripple deformer is “the first of many” in development.

Updated: Otoy has just tweeted that the new functionality will be “in users’ hands next month”.

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
(Includes download link)