Sculpey Nuru

Are you a 3D artist? If so, you've probably wished for models of those things you create most frequently. Especially anatomy. Modeling faces and other complex body parts are the worst, and most of the truly good anatomical models you see on Amazon look like something that belong in a biology class, or else – well, that's not for a G-rated article. If you don't mind getting your hands a little messy with traditional media or creating your own physical models, Sculpey is a good, cheap pick for making one model, smashing it when you're finished with it, and creating a new one.

What I Like To Do With Sculpey

These are just some of my favorites. You might think of other uses for it once you've worked with it for a while.

  • Make faces. Faces are THE worst if you want them to look at all realistic in your virtual 3D world. So I like to keep a few models of basic face shapes around. (And I sometimes really do have them “make faces” so I get expressions exactly right.)

  • Get the anatomy right. Are you creating a muscle man? If so, you want to make sure all the muscles in the right place so it doesn't look fake. Modeling with Sculpey is a good way to get the hang of the anatomy without having to waste hours and days redoing all your work in Blender a few zillion times.

  • Create complex objects. It does depend on how far you want to go with Sculpey. If I need to sculpt a tree and then do the exact same thing in Blender, I might as well buy a few good potted Bonsai trees to use as reference and save myself some time. Seriously, though, creating your own models can work for anything complex that you don't want to keep flipping between your 3D program and pictures you find on the Internet for.

  • Use it to plan my approach. Sometimes when I have a particular object in mind but I haven't decided exactly what it's going to look like, I use Sculpey and my imagination to plan out the details. It saves me the trouble of creating the whole thing in my virtual 3D world, deciding I don't like it, and having to change the whole thing.

  • Pound models I know longer need into a ball for my next model. Yep, this is my favorite. When I can roll my models up into a ball, it means I successfully nailed the object in Blender.

Can Sculpey Work For You?

For the talented 3D artist, Sculpey becomes one of many tools in his arsenal. Like most tools, it becomes what you do with it. So use it often to get the hang of it and model the objects that you create most often in your 3D program. If you want to make your models permanent, they can be baked at home in your oven. Look for directions on this; unlike clay, your “kiln” doesn't need to be as hot as a cool star! So have some fun with it and, if Sculpey works for you, be sure to let us know what you made with it.