Voxel sculpting

Voxel sculpting allows you sculpt without any topological constraints and create complex details out of thin air! You can dynamically change your sculpture, fundamentally, without worrying about topology. This approach gives you an absolute feeling of freedom in sculpting. It is not based on surface deformation but on volume building and filling. Feel like a true artist here, don't think about polygons and structure, just express yourself as an artist!


1. Traditional and Volumetric sculpting comparison

- Traditional sculpting can result in stretched polygons.
- Larger alterations to the topology can be difficult, (if not impossible), with traditional sculpting tools.

2. A True Artist's Tool

- Artists want to draw, to sculpt, to create - the last thing they want to think about is the geometry of an object. 
- They want to focus more of their time on form and texture, and less on polygons and edge flow. 
- They want to feel like an Artist, rather than an engineer.

3. Volumetric Sculpting Principles

- Voxels are dots in space with a value between 0 and 1
- A marching cubes algorithm allows you to modify the actual volume of an object rather than just the surface.

4. Voxel Operations Examples:


Voxel operations (video examples):


5. Example: Coral Reef

- Using “Move”
- Cutting holes
- Merging objects

- Pay particular attention to the moray eel and the tentacles on the jelly fish
- 3D-Coat has a powerful system of curve manipulation

6. Example:

- You can use any closed OBJ file as a profile
- You can create basic forms very quickly
- You can put details on objects (chains, hoses, stitches, rivets, buckles, etc.)


7. Hair Example:

- Hair is also made using curves.

- Curves can be merged at the pen location or be positioned arbitrarily in space.


8. Tools

- In addition to voxel operations, there are a full set of tools that are familiar to ZB/MB users.

- Surface deformation with masking, fine detailing, etc.

- Transpose – Adjusting the object's position, local rotation, translation, and scaling.

9. Technical Considerations

- Manipulating hundreds of millions of voxels require a highly organized dataflow.

- Our voxel optimization routines allow a complex voxel model to be created with the same amount of RAM as a similarly structured polygonal model.

- 20 million voxel polygons can easily be manipulated, even without hardware acceleration, (CUDA).

10. Using CUDA

- NVidia CUDA is supported as an option for voxel calculation acceleration.

- NVidia 8, 9, 2 series
- Even an inexpensive NVidia graphics card (120$ - 220$) can increase acceleration 4-7 times

11. Prospects

- Release of v3.0 will be in the first quarter of 2009
- Essential improvements to functionality – volumetric layers, several primitives for fast creation of 3D sketches, hundreds of millions of voxels

12. Render

- Realtime (up to 50 million triangles)?
- User created shaders
- Offline rendering


A sculpture can be easily retopologized and textured:


This is a short video demonstration of Voxel Sculpting: