Introduction to Dynamic Topology Sculpting in Blender

Learn how to use Dynamic Topology Sculpting in Blender

The dynamic topology system in Blender allows for a much more organic, creative sculpting process. It gives you much more flexibility in not only how, but what you sculpt by not limiting you to the original starting basemesh.

When working with dynamic topology, Blender will automatically tessellate the mesh under your brush stroke to account for the detail needed. This gives you the ability to add detail anywhere you wish, create new forms, and work with a much more optimized polycount since the tessellations are localized.

Check out CG Cookie Citizen for more sculpting training

To learn more about using dynamic topology in your workflow and creating finished sculptures I recommend you check out Kent Trammell’s training series on Creature Modeling For Production, and his Citizen course on Hard-Surface Sci-Fi Weapon Sculpting.

creaturemodeling weaponsculpting

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53 Responses to “Introduction to Dynamic Topology Sculpting in Blender”
  1. Posts: 3
    Tom Berglund says:

    HELP! I somehow accidentally deleted the smooth brush in the middle of making a hound-creature! What do I do?

    • Posts: 4176

      Hey Tom,

      Simply press the + button next to a brush to duplicate the existing one. Then change the sculpt tool via the viewport menu Brush > Sculpt Tool > Smooth.

  2. Posts: 56

    Thank you for tutorial. I have learned a lot about dynamic topology today and its tools. Now, I am ready to do some sculpting.

  3. Posts: 5

    I was wondering why I couldn’t seem to get any detail in dynamic topology sculpting. It turns out in Blender 2.71 (currently in testbuild) dynamic topology has a new option for detail: you can choose between relative and constant detail. Relative detail works the same as described here, where your detail is based on screen-pixel size. Constant detail, however, works on percentage of one blender unit, which is useful if you don’t want your detail level to be affected by zooming in and out, but depending on the scale you’ve chosen (1 metre to 1 blender unit seems common), you might want to set that percentage very low.

  4. Posts: 1
    brambo says:

    Dear Jonathan, can you please tell me where i can get the sculpting tools ?

  5. Posts: 9
    Charles says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    I just finished up your low poly character creation in blender for unity series and was wondering if you could explain how the advent of dynamic topology might modify the workflow. For instance, could/would I dynamically sculpt a high resolution mesh from the base mesh to get the normal/ambient occlusion maps?


  6. Posts: 1
    richie_c says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    I was working on the tutorial for intro to character modeling and I could not get the smoothness you seem to get with the tools on the mesh. instead I have big triangles and blocky looking mesh, so I decided to try this one out and still have same result. I am using as close to the setting you are using ( I think) for brush size, strength and detail size, am I missing a step? I am using v2.71


    • Posts: 4176

      Hey richie_c, sorry for the late reply. For smoothing the mesh just be sure to adjust the detail size. This will determine how small the edges are that dynamic topology adds.

  7. Posts: 23

    Hi Jonathan. I’ve mainly worked with architectural scenes but want to get into sculpting. You mentioned 2 courses in the video. There is also the Pedro and pilot courses mentioned above. Could you give me an indication of what order you would suggest I follow these 4 courses or if there are any others. Does the creature course give the most complete a-z overview? Thanks in advance

  8. Posts: 3
    abedd says:

    Hi Jonathan, for some reason I can’t tell the difference between smooth brush and polish brush, Kent seems to rely mainly on the latter in the sci-fi Helmet tut, can you please tell me the difference in functionality? thank you.

    • Posts: 4176

      Hey abedd,

      The smooth brush reduces the difference between adjacent vertices, while mostly retaining the surface shape; allowing you to “smooth” out details and such. The polish brush is similar, but it acts a bit more like a scraper, in that it both smooths and flattens the area under the brush.

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