3 answers · asked · Lesson: Gestural Sculpting with Blender

Is there some benefit to working on a single mesh?

Hey there! I decided to do this exercise for at least about an hour every morning; I've just started and I've already ran into the issue of areas that are in close proximity to each other being really hard to edit. I know that some people start their sculpt off with separate meshes for each body part, posing them, and only joining them together afterwards (and even then keeping some parts separate). For the purpose of gestural sculpting however, is there some kind of philosophy to keeping it all one piece or is that just a personal choice?


  • crew

    First of all, I really like that you're disciplined to do this exercise for an hour every morning! At that rate you will be a skilled sculptor in a month or two. I can already tell you're well on your way.

    There's not a particular philosophy behind or benefit to keeping your sculptures a single piece. In some cases, as you've pointed out, a single mesh is definitely a hindrance. In these situations, separating your sculpture into parts is perfectly fine.

    When gestural sculpting I tend sculpt as much as I can in a single mesh until it becomes a problem. Chopping into pieces adds slight complexity to the workflow because switching between pieces is not very intuitive with Blender. But over all it's a small inconvenience.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! Switching between body parts is indeed a tad slow, but I feel that it's possible to minimize the cost. I've already done gesture drawings in the past, so doing it in 3D feels pretty familiar. I'd say the most noteable difference for me is that it's easier in 2D to keep myself to simple lines and shapes. In 3D I tend to get these so-called 'muscle monsters' as I try to apply the proper form using the ref + my existing knowledge. I'll print out some useful anatomy pictures to keep as reference moving forward.

      These are some quite old, random gesture drawings (from imagination) which aren't particularly great but I like these because it's much more about motion and action lines, rather than any actual musculature or anatomy. I would also like to explore how to make sculptures with this kind of feeling.

      Thanks for the feedback! :)

    • crew

      Great work with those sketches too. Heh I know what you mean about muscle monsters. 3D sketching takes a surprising amount of restraint to keep things simple and gestural.