Sneak peek: the Deform Stack in Otoy’s Sculptron
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Sneak Peek: The Deform Stack in Otoys Sculptron

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

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

The video shows a ripple deformer being applied to a model. However, Grandi notes that this is only the first of many new Deformers to be added to the software currently available for free in public alpha.

A simple GPU-based tool for shaping animation caches
Originally announced late last year, Sculptron is a new GPU-based tool for modeling static models or mesh caches, as well as importing and exporting files in OBJ and MDD formats.

In his forum post announcing the first alpha build, Otoy noted that it is "not a replacement for ZBrush" or any other special sculpting tools and is primarily intended for animation workflows.

Possible use cases are editing simulation caches to remove unwanted items without having to run the entire sim again, or fixing artifacts in character animations.

Sculptron is pretty bare-bones right now, offering a basic set of 3D modeling brushes including push / pull, smoothing, flattening, tone and puffing, as well as parameters for brush radius, hardness, and strength.

There's also support for 3D layers as well as a basic animation key editor and – starting with Alpha 2 – a new toon shading material and wireframe overlay.

In addition to 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 Deform Stack applies procedural deformations to dense meshes in real time
To this end, Otoy is now adding a batch of deformation modifiers designed to allow artists to make major procedural changes to a mesh.

The demo video by Lino Grandi shows the Ripple deformer used in the new Deform Stack, which generates animated deformations of high-poly objects in almost real time: the nets shown contain 1,000,000 and 800,000 polygons.

According to the information attached to the video, the Ripple Deformer is "the first of many" in development.

Updated: Otoy just tweeted that the new functionality will be "in the hands of users" next month.

Pricing and system requirements
Sculptron is currently only available in Alpha for Windows. Otoy has not disclosed a final release date or pricing information.

For more information on Sculptron 1.0 Alpha 2, visit Otoy's forum
(Includes download link)

Tags: 3D Sculpture, Alpha, Alpha 2, Animation Cache, Deform Stack, Digital Sculpture, Download, Free, GPU Based, Lino Grandi, MDD, Modifier Stack, New Features, OBJ, OpenVDB, Otoy, Preview, procedural deformation, release date, ripple deformer, sculptor brush, sculptron, simulation cache, sneak peek, system requirements, toon shading, volume, wireframe

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