Introduction to SculptGL, a free 3D sculpting tool

In this article, I introduce an online free 3D sculpting tool ‘SculptGL’, showing the UI, basic operations and how to sculpt a model with it.

After sculpting a model, we will import it into Sketchfab to check the final state.

What is SculptGL?

SculptGL is a free 3D sculpting tool that can be used in the browser.

No registration or download is required to use it, and anyone can easily sculpt a model by simply accessing the URL of SculptGL.

This software allows you to sculpt an object with brushes, add creases on and paint. In addition, it supports pressure-sensitive tablets.

You can access the official website from here.

SculptGL – A WebGL sculpting app – stephaneginier
https://stephaneginier.com/sculptgl/

SculptGL

 

UI and basic operations of SculptGL

You operate SculptGL with the mouse, so prepare it in advance.

SculptGL UI

How to switch languages

You can display language by selecting ‘Language’ in the top menu.

Switch languages

 

Scene tab

On the Scene tab, a scene is generated when creating an object.

You can delete the generated scene by selecting ‘Clear scene’.

Please be aware that you cannot restore it with ‘undo (Ctrl+Z)’ after you execute this ‘Clear scene’ command.

Below ‘Add (object)’ options, there are options required for sculpting, such as ‘Show contour’, ‘Show grid’, ‘Show mirror line’.

Scene tab

 

History tab

On the History tab, you can ‘undo’ or ‘redo’.

The shortcuts keys are available on Windows, but macOS doesn’t seem to support them (I tried ‘Command+Z’ and ‘Command+Y’, and found they didn’t work).
So, you need to click the commands on this History tab when using SculptGL on macOS.

By the way, you can control how many times you can undo operations by changing the ‘Max Stack’ value at the bottom of the History tab. In the example below, you can undo 15 operations.

Undo & Redo

 

Camera tab

On the Camera tab, you can change the appearance of the scene.

You can switch views with the ‘View’ buttons. You can easily access them with their shortcuts.

Although it’s not shown in the screenshot below, you can display wireframe on the entire object by pressing the ‘W’ key, and the translate tool by pressing the ‘E’ key.

Camera tab

 

Extra UI tab

In the ‘Extra UI’ tab, you can change the colour of the entire window. Be aware that you can change it just temporarily, so you cannot save the colour setting.

Extra UI tab

 

Tablet pressure tab

In the ‘Tablet pressure’ tab, you can adjust the pressure sensitivity of your pen tablet.
When you don’t have a tablet connected, the parameters on this tab do nothing. So, in that case, set up the brush by adjusting the radius etc. on the ‘SCULPTING & PAINTING’ tab on the right.

Tablet pressure tab

 

Background tab

On the Background tab, you can change the background of the scene. You can import an image file by selecting ‘Image’.

Background tab

 

How to navigate in SculptGL

  • Scale > scroll the middle button
  • Pan > drag with the middle button
  • Tumble > drag with the right button

Those are all you need to navigate in SculptGL, basically.

Now, let’s start sculpting.

 

Let’s sculpture with SculptGL

Please be aware that what I will show this time is just for a beginner, so please try creating your original work if you already have some experience.

 

Sculpt modelling

Before starting to sculpt, check ‘Show mirror line’ on the Scene tab and check ‘Symmetry’ highlighted in the red box in the following screenshot.

Tool: Drag
Radius: 80

We model the ears of a rabbit. If the shape gets distorted, correct it by using ‘Smooth’ and ‘Flatten’ alternately.

※Please be aware that all the captured screens have the ‘Smooth’ tool selected as it’s selected automatically every time I captured the screen. So, in this regard, please follow the text, not the image.

‘Symmetry’

 

Create the face of the rabbit.
Tool: Brush
Radius: 12

Draw the eyes with this brush. Then, uncheck ‘Symmetry’ and draw the nose.

Next, draw the mouth.
Tool: Crease
Radius: 20
Intensity: 30

The face of the rabbit

 

Next, create the tail of the rabbit.
Tool: Brush
Radius: 30
Intensity: 15

Adjust the shape with ‘Smooth’ and ‘Flatten’ on demand.

The tail of the rabbit

 

Create the arms of the rabbit.
Tool: Drag
Radius: 40

Let’s create the legs with the same setting as the arms.

The arms and legs of the rabbit

 

Let’s colour the rabbit.
Tool: Paint
Radius: 224
Intensity: 75
Albedo: #e8c6c6 (Or any your favourite colour)

Paint the rabbit #1

 

Colour the face, mouth and etc. in the same way.

Paint the rabbit #2

Now, you completed the sculpt modelling.

 

Export the model

 

Select ‘Files (import/export) > Save .obj’ to export the model.
And, you can save the data file by selecting ‘Files (import/export) > Save .sgi (SculptGL)’.

Conversely, you can import the ScluptGL data by accessing SculptGL and selecting ‘Files (import/export) > Add (obj, sgi, ply, stl)’. I found the colour information was also imported correctly in this way.
※Select ‘Clear scene’ before importing the ScluptGL data.

Export the model

 

Now, you have exported the model.

Check the created sculpt model in Sketchfab

Go to Sketchfab

Select ‘Files (import/export) > Go to Sketchfab’.

It exports the model to Sketchfab.

‘Go to Sketchfab’

 

Access Sketchfab and go to ‘My Page’.

You can access Sketchfab from here.
https://sketchfab.com/feed

Sketch fab – My Page

 

The colour information is also applied properly. Adjust the lighting in Sketchfab and then finish the task by selecting ‘Exit’. Now, the model has been exported to Sketchfab.

Check the model on Sketchfab

Please read the following article to upload a 3D model in Sketchfab to STYLY.

How did you find this tutorial?

I am impressed that this free software has such good usability and supports many functions such as the import of the texture image, the in-application login to Sketchfab. Please be aware that there are some bugs when using it on macOS.

But, in my view, it is still a useful tool for people without paid software (such as Zbrush) to get used to digital sculpting.