January 24, 2008
Check out the work of a long time GSculpt user, Gaal Greg Gergely. A WIP Gallery.
January 16, 2008
I’m a graphic designer. I design visual communication material, websites and corporate films and such like. My interest in 3D is more of a hobby, because it does not feature all that much in my work.Not hardcore 3D anyway. I follow 3D software and technology because I enjoy it.
About two years ago I discovered Wings3D a stand alone open source modeler. I was impressed by it’s power, simplicity and speed. Modeling paradise apparently had just one problem, updates were far between. There was hardly any development on the software. Since I also teach at the local university, I tried introducing wings to some of my students and designer friends. I realized that even with software like Wings, beginners found 3D too complicated and technical. In retrospect I realize that it was the terminology and work flow. It was alien to them, unlike Painter or Photoshop which was far more intuitive. These programs were mimicking real world processes. Also no software allowed them to revisit their work flow so the only way to memorize a process was to work on several 3d models before you got the hang of it. Perhaps the only software that came close to some way of visually depicting the mesh building process was 3DSMax with it’s object stack. But at a price tag of a lakh and something ($3500 or so) it’s not exactly easy to lay your hands on a copy.
I looked around to see if there was anything easier.
Through sheer luck (I was forum surfing) I came across GSculpt. For some reason Geoffrey French, the author of the software just played it low key. In fact the only thing I know about Mr.Meanie AkA Britefury AKA Mr.French is that he is a modeler in the architectural visualization industry and in his own few words…
“I obtained a 1st class degree in computing science from the University of East Anglia. After graduating, I spent 18 months working on gSculpt full time. I then spent 18 months working in the games industry. I now work at the Urban Modelling Group at the School of Computing at UEA, as a 3D modeler / artist.”
In any case, GSculpt wasn’t exactly being trumpeted on rooftops. I downloaded the innocuous looking software and after holding my nose at the way the interface looked, started fooling around. By the end of about 20 minutes I had a completed mesh model of a little alien fella, I kid you not. This ugly duckling had somehow neatly bridged the gap between alien software to a useful tool in my design tool box in minutes. I had learned the software, in fact by the evening I was something of a GSculpt modeling whiz. It’s that easy.
Anyway, I saw that the interface though initially uninspiring was actually superbly laid out. The objective was to make all options visible yet categorized to their space in the work flow. This coupled with Gsculpt’s unique mesh build stack allows the beginner to create an easy mental model of the build process. I tested it out, and it worked. Though there was jargon to be learned, beginners quickly figured out the mesh components system (Vertices, edges, faces…) and were building in minutes.
I looked around for some documentation that I could hand out, and there wasn’t much. So here we are. This site will fill the gap for Gsculpt documentation until a community takes over somewhere. If you have compiled any Gsculpt information yourself do drop me a comment.