Sculptris Models: Design a printable 3D file

We be using a T-Rex head as an example of texture and modeling techniques for this tutorial.

1.1. Modeling your object

As mentioned previously, with Sculptris, each modeling starts with a predefined shape that can be molded to your liking.

We start with a spherical shape to shape a jaw at first, and then we will add details. The key is to always define the overall shape first. In the case of the creation of a human body, for example, it is much better to start with a model of the bust and limbs before addressing more minute details.


Keyboard shortcuts allow you to move faster and more efficiently, allowing you to view the picture from different angles, to go back and to change the characteristics of tools, etc.

  • Shifting tool: G
  • Wireframe View: W
  • Camera Rotation: Left Click + Alt
  • Zoom: Mouse Roller OR +/- on the numpad
  • Lateral Camera Displacement: Left Click + Shift + Alt
  • Undo: Ctrl + Z
  • Scale tool: T
  • Rotation Tool: R
  • Smooth Tool: Touch B / Hold Shift while using another tool
  • Save As: Ctrl + Shift + S
  • Increase / decrease the thickness of the brush: Ctrl + Mousewheel (or +/- on the numpad)

sculptris_2_tFQQorW.jpg sculptris_3_f1nJzsc.jpg sculptris_4_qEixUOL.jpg sculptris_5A_oH9fo8d.jpg

Once the overall shape is created, you can begin to carve. This may involve digging (the skin of the T-REX) or making protrusions (such as teeth).

  • Draw Tool: D
  • Enlarge Tool: C
  • Carve Tool: E
  • Flatten Tool: F
  • Pinch Tool: V

sculptris_5B_OP8ljpS.jpg sculptris_5C_zvy64bo.jpg

It is possible to reduce the size of the brush for more precision. To do this, hold Shift and the mouse wheel (or the +/- keys on the numpad)


To create the eyes, we should start by making the eye sockets. They don't need to be perfect, the actual eye will mask the flaws.

Then, create a new sphere and select the tools "Scale & grab" to give it the desired size. Finally, place it in the socket.

sculptris_5E_mqsZpd1.jpg sculptris_5F_DJf5Vpl.jpg

The number of triangles may rise considerably as you model is adjusted. You can keep track of this in the bottom left of the screen. The more triangles, the larger the file. Larger files will influence exporting and transferring processes.

For highly detailed models (like figurines), 300 000 à 400 000 triangles are amply sufficient to obtain a good quality 3D print. Beyond that, your file will be extremely heavy and there will not be a noticeable difference in the print.

For more information on print resolutions and constraints to be considered based on the printing material, we invite you to visit our Material Page.


Once the sphere placed in its socket, it is possible to continue working on the rest of the model.

Below is the final shape of the head.


1.2. Adding Texture and Color to your 3D model

Once the form is shaped, it's possible to create a texture from an image to add reliefs and make a more realistic form.

To create reliefs, open a texture image in the "Bump" menu and spread it on the selected surface.

sculptris_5I_MeSveOs.jpg sculptris_5J_rLkfqKN.jpg

Then you can paint the 3D model by selecting the "Paint" mode. Once you've chosen a color, cover areas as you choose. In the same way as the rest, the brush can be shrunk or expanded depending on the area.

Caution! Activating "Paint" mode is irreversible. It will not be possible to change the model geometry after activating the texture change mode. We recommend that you make a backup beforehand and create a new file containing color.

sculptris_5K_NTjyX8a.jpg sculptris_5L_Hf8cZsB.jpg

Be sure to paint the entire surface of the model and that no portion is left textureless. For this, we advise to first paint the entire surface a single, solid color, then superimpose other colors.


Once your model is painted, it's ready to be exported.