Tip: High Poly Sculpting

This quick Blender tip video how to reach high levels of polygons while sculpting in Blender 2.5, such as how it is important to start from a base mesh, versus the default cube.

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36 Responses to “Tip: High Poly Sculpting”
  1. Posts: 12
    mikh3x4 says:

    My computer can t go higher then 32 million (total unresponsive). tried to go to 120 million but blender stopped responding

  2. Posts: 5
    CamJ says:

    Why can blender not increase the res in a localized area around the brush, leaving the base mesh alone? I guess you’d call it localized subdividing to increase rez for eyes, mouth. Similar to Sculptirs.

  3. Posts: 16
    klesus says:

    Is there some additional settings that need to be done before hand? This tip is almost 2 years old, and now I’m using the official 2.65 and I can’t get sculpting fluent beyond 1 million polys. And this is on my 3.7 Ghz Intel i7 with 8 GB ram. Both my OS (Win 7) and Blender are 64 bits. If there’s no bug that’s causing this, then I have no idea why I can’t get a higher poly count.

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      you need to enable VBO’s, disable double sided on the object you are sculpting. Then it will work a lot faster.

      • Posts: 16
        Klesus says:

        Thank you. I already had VBO’s enabled, didn’t think double sided would have that much of an effect. But alas, after I disabled it, I could effortlessly work on a whopping 25 million polygons, a huge improvement from the meager 1 million that barely was doable before.
        This should’ve been mentioned in the tip though, since it obviously is at least as important as using a base mesh.

    • Posts: 491
      Metalix says:

      Yep, it stops blender lighting the inside of the mesh, this is an old tip and noone really knew about the performance hit of double sided lighting back when this was recorded.

  4. Posts: 61
    dolores 74 says:

    Did both, double sided and VBO’s. Goes a lot faster now but my Blender does not support muliresolution in sculpture mode. Where to click this time ?

      • Posts: 61
        dolores 74 says:

        The modifier tab shows a warning, “not supported in sculpt mode”. It is also not possible to sculpture anymore, I have to delete the modifier.
        I got this far making me rhino.


        I started with box modeling. Then with the snake hook and dynamics enabled pulling and dragging. Than sculpturing until my viewport was slowing so much down that I tried the multires modifier.


        Something odd is going on over here. At the end of video two of Kent’s tut on sculpturing a realistic human head he ends up with more than 2.5 mil verts. I got stucked at a poorly 400.000.

        I’ve also seen your tutorial on sculpturing a male head. It goes all so easy with you guys.

        Also, your ocean final file renders in 6 sec with 1.000 samples. When I render something alike I’m sitting here waiting for minutes. It is your file on my PC in the same Blender so something’s wrong with me over here. I do have to take the time to figure out why. I have your file, I have to check all the settings.

        Btw, have you noticed ? I have collected 28 flags on my Dolores page, man, that’s a major support to keep on going. They all came from cgcookie, no one else knows about it. All the way down at the bottom.


      • Posts: 4186

        Ah I see, you can’t mix Dynamic Topology with Multires. You need to choose one or the other.

        Also, the “Not Supported in Sculpt Mode” should disappear once you subdivide once.

        As for the ocean scene, in that tutorial I was rendering on a GTX 580 CUDA card, so the rendering was much faster. When rendering on a CPU it’ll generally be much slower.

      • Posts: 61
        dolores 74 says:

        OK, thanks for that.

        I mean it is rendering over here so fast, here on my PC. 6.26 sec on CPU and 6.17 sec in GPU Compute. I’ll figure it out. Didn’t made it till the end of the tutorial yet.

  5. Posts: 15
    blenderbutt says:

    Is there any way you can make an “updated” version of this tutorial? And can you break it down for those of us with NVIDIA versus AMD cards? And can you answer the following: 1) Why enable VOBs? 2) Why and when to choose Subdivision Surface over Multires? 3) Why and when to choose Multires over Dynamic Topology and vice versa?

    It’s very confusing to watch tutorials where we are taught specific procedures only to find out on our own there are lots of exceptions and instances where the procedures would not be applicable. Thanks if you can. If not, everyone’s still doing great work there.

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