Introduction: 3d Modeling Swords
Hi there! This instructable was created to provide you a basic understanding of modeling in sculptris! In order to do this we will be creating: A Sword! In case if you don't yet have it: Here's a download link to sculptris. Feel free to leave any comments or questions! When complete you will be able to 3d print your sword or use it for other digital purposes (Import to maya for animation, implementation in games, etc) Ready? Your limit is your imagination, so... Let's start modeling!
Nota Bene: Included with this instructable are seven models of swords. I do plan to add updates with more swords so please tune in! Feel free to use them however you want! Also even though my instructions are complete, their may be an easier way. Once again feel free to leave comments! As a younger (I'm 13) and newer member of this site I highly encourage criticism!
Step 1: Inserting a Picture Into Sculptris
First, you need to discover a picture of a sword on Google images. If its your first time modeling in sculptris make sure its not too elaborate, however it should still look decent. For ease of use, I usually search "sword clip art". This will give you a black and white image--That's undoubtedly easier to work with. Save the picture to a file you'll remember.
Nota Bene: Make a folder specifically for images to import inside sculptris. This will improve efficiency and organization in the future!
Next, open up sculptris. Look Something happened! :) Ignore the other buttons for now, and click on "options" (If you can't locate it look at my picture) Then click on "background". Find your folder and select your image! You should see it appear behind the sphere. Don't worry if it looks squished right now. We will scale our object later. Congrats! Your on your way!
Most times you don't actually need an image to work off of! If you can't find an image, or you don't think you need it that's okay, just go to the next step.
Step 2: An Outline of Creating Outlines.
Some Info on Sculptris
Ok Get ready we will be covering a lot this step. We will be creating the base of are sword by using the "grab tool" The tools are displayed by the upper-left of the screen, (Look at my pictures above) Hovering over each tool for an extended time will display the tool name, and a hotkey(more on this in the Nota Bene). This is a great fallback for beginners. Also, pay very close attention to the top of the window. There are several options to influence the affect your brush. For most tools these include: size, strength, and detail, all of which are fairly self-explanatory.
Nota Bene: Need quicker access to your tool settings? Sculptris has a hot-key system to let you access those settings without even moving your mouse! Simply press "space" when you want to edit your tool settings. Each tool also has a hotkey! Hovering of each tool will display that hotkey, and pressing that hotkey will switch to the tool. Its a solution to get used to, and it saves countless hours.
Your sphere currently also has a faint grey line on it. This shows that two sides will be symmetrical. We are going to leave this option on so that our sword will be symmetrical (surprised?)
Let's get started!
That was all nice, but now let's move on to creating our sword. Select the "grab" tool. Then hover your cursor of the sphere. Notice an orange circle on the sphere. This portrays the area your tool will be affecting. Generally, orange in Sculptris means you are selecting something.
Ok now with the "grab" tool still selected click a part of your sphere and then drag it towards a border of your sword. The part of the sphere you "grabbed" should move with the cursor. Continue dragging parts of the sphere by the edges until a very rough sword shape is completed. Then work with a smaller brush size to finish those edges. You now have a very nice base of your very dangerous masterpiece!
Nota bene: Once Again: look at my first picture in this step as a guide for tools!
Step 3: Tweaking Your Object
Your sword probably looks a little... Well literally squashed (technical terms here). Click on the "scale" tool. It is the one directly above "grab." Again once an orange veil covers the button it means its selected. Press the "G" key to switch to editing objects globally. This makes it so instead of editing one part of the object you edit it as a whole.
(e.x. instead of grabbing and dragging part of the object you will grab, you will move the whole object.)
Nota Bene: Just remember play-doh and you'll be fine :)
Click on the sword an drag it upwards. It will stretch, and scale depending on how you drag. In this case it will scale to be longer. Do that until it meets your liking. Next use the "smooth" tool to fix any weird formations, and edges. Use the "flatten" tool on the blade a couple of times.
The handle is the part that really defines your sword. The two tools you should use on the handle are the "grab" and the "crease" tools. "Crease" makes a small indent where the orange circles is. Use these two tools to get the shape (grab) and design (crease) you desire.
Nota bene: In case if you didn't catch that we will be using the "Crease" tool for patterns on the handle.
Step 4: Printing Your Sword
Okay we've created our weapon, but what fun is it unless you get to swing it around? No worries, there are ways you can print this masterpiece. First open the sword you want print in sculptris. Then press "reduce selected". The bottom-left corner of the screen tells you how many triangles are being used to define your object. You want to reduce this to the lowest number possible with your object still looking impeccable. When you feel this has been accomplished press the "export" button. Name your object something you'll remember, and make sure that its being saved as a wave front obj. File.
Nota Bene: Please note that none of my objects have been optimized for printing, nor have they been tested (as I don't have a 3d printer) You may need to edit the object to permit the printing process to be smoother. (the alternative to a great big pile of melted plastic)
If your 3d printing application can use .obj files then you're good to go. If not, download autodesk meshmixer. When its finished downloading, launch the application. Then press import. Locate your object and click on it. You can print it directly in meshmixer. They do support select 3d printers including Dremel. However if you don't have one of the supported printers, you can click on the "export" button on the left side of the screen, and export it as an .stl or numerous other file types.
Sit back, and watch you object come to life--One piece at a time.
Step 5: What Now?
You're a now officially a prestigious sword modeler!
If you desire you can now choose to paint your object. Either in real-life or in sculprtis, or Both! In sculptris this is accomplished by selecting the paint option, and it is very easy to understand from there. If you want both sides to have your design I'd import two copies into autodesk meshmixer and mirror one. In the future instead of creating the sword and then scaling it, you could scale a sphere and then add on the sword parts you want from scratch- I personally prefer this method but it is up to you.
Nota Bene: Included are 6 models of demo-swords I have created, each with a different style. Feel free to use these as a base, inspiration, or 3d print.
Use what you've learned to create more swords, or sculpts in general! Thank you for your time, and congratulations on your accomplishments. I genuinely hope you enjoyed this insctructable!
Sincerely and with utmost repsect,
"Always Be Professional"
Nota Bene: You're limited only be you imagination: Nurture it.