by Status451_CG in Scripts and Addons

What is SplineSculpt?

In a nutshell, SplineSculpt is an add-on for Blender sculpting that allows you to draw along a 3D curve. Everything happens entirely in 3D space.

Curves are standard Blender curve objects that can be created in any way you wish, and (optionally) prepped for drawing via the tools provided in ScplineSculpt.

Being able to draw along curves allows you to make precise strokes to create unique designs that would not be possible by freehand alone (or not with my shaky hands anyway...). Being able to re-use and refine curves using all of Blender’s standard toolset means you can create complex designs with total precision.

Key Features:

  • easily draw panel lines and similar surface features – perfect for hard surface sculpting;
  • everything happens entirely in 3D space;
  • use standard Blender modelling methods and tools (e.g. the Array Modifier) to create and edit curves, or use SplineSculpt’s own quick curve creator to easily create a curve right from sculpt mode; and
  • vary the resolution of your curve stroke to easily create repeating patterns.

But wait, doesn’t Blender already have Paint Curves as a stroke option?:

You're right! It does, however, Paint Curves have serious limitations:

  • awkward to create, using a limited interface that doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of Blender’s controls;
  • not re-usable. You cannot take an existing, regular curve object and make it into a paint curve (or vice versa). Paint Curves simply don’t exist in the 3D world of your scene; and
  • created in 2D space (as if they were stuck to your computer screen). You can not, for example, create a Paint Curve that wraps around the back of your model. Also, if you move either your model or your view, the Paint Curve will no longer line up with your model.

Limitations and future plans

  • The biggest limitation for me is that the “rake” option is ignored. This is a limitation of Blender that means, while you can use brush textures, that texture will not follow the direction of the stroke in the same way as it would when making the stroke freehand and with “rake” enabled. I really hope to be able to fix this in future, as it is one of the key goals I had for this add-on.
  • The quick curve function is a bit rough at the moment. I hope the improve the options and interactivity of this in time.
  • This is my first add-on, so there are likely to be bugs and issues that I will need to resolve when known.