The Comprehensive list of Nomad Sculpt Tools you must know to master 3D Sculpt

The Comprehensive list of Nomad Sculpt Tools you must know for 3D Digital Sculpt

Nomad Sculpt is an Android and iOS software for 3D modeling, texturing, and rendering.

As if modeling clay, you may create models with as many as millions of polygons in Nomad Sculpt.

It uses vertex painting & a PPBR-based texturing approach and can render in real time.

The Former Sketch fab developer Stéphane Ginier has developed and released Nomad, a highly promising new digital sculpting app for iPads and Android tablets.

This $14.99 app enables artists to sculpt and paint organic characters on the move, then export the results in OBJ,STL or glTF format to refine in other DCC software.

In this Blog, I will be covering all the Tools that you need to use Nomad Sculpt Effectively..

Quick Guide

Nomad Sculpt is a sculpting app available for both iPad and Android. If you have an iPad, you’ll have to purchase it to download it.

On Android, however, you can download it for free and unlock the tools via in-app purchases. (let me tell you all the free version has limited features.)

The full set of features includes several brushes, primitive shapes, polygon cutting tools, and loops; the tools are also sensitive to pencil pressure.

You can separate your modifications into different layers to easily go back and forth, and avoid damaging certain areas.

Nomad Sculpt: Brush

Traditional sculpt use a set of tools for carving and sculpting. We have complimentary brush tools in the digital medium in software like Nomad and others to do a similar job.

In addition to this, we also need a move tool and drag tool in the digital medium as replacements for traditional artist fingers. Also, another dis-similarity is stretching. During sculpting, you may stretch the 3d mesh by dragging or moving.

Once this occurs it will not give the desired result when you are sculpting.

This doesn’t occur in traditional sculpting with clay.

In order to fix this stretch you will need to ‘Re-Mesh’

It will uniform your 3d mesh so you can continue working on the same.

In beginning usually, the digital artist moves the sculpt often followed by re-mesh often to get the desired shape and form before sculpting. its also called Re-Topologise

Brush/Tools

Following are the default brush collections in Nomad Sculpt.

01. Move – To move the form

02. Drag – Pulls the form. Creates sharper movement compared to the move tool.

Difference between Move & Drag: If you have a Cluster of Objects for Instance “chain” merge via the ” simple Merge” Option. The move tool will Move each Object within the cluster. While the drag tool will move the entire cluster.

03. Clay – Adds more build on your Sculpt.

04.  A standard brush. Adds more Build but has more control than clay Brush  and also has smooth clay distribution compared to clay brush

05. Inflate- To add more clay and more baloony. Exaggerated standard brush.

06. Flatten – Flatten the area

07. Smooth – To smoothen the edges and for a smoother surface

08. Crease – Crease tools can be useful to sculpt small cuts or dents.

09. Pinch – This tool can be used to sharpen edges. It brings the Vertices closer. Normally, used to sharpen the edges or Create hard edges.

10. Nudge – Move points along the stroke.

11. Stamp – Its brush type that creates an impression based on the alpha used. ( Alphas discussed in detail later in the Blog)

Following are the default brushes in Nomad Sculpt.

12. Layers – This is just like photoshop layers. You can preserve your changes in layers and later adjust their strength by adjusting the opacity of the layer.

13. Trim – The Trim tool works by removing a chunk of your mesh and then filling the hole. (If fill hole option is active)

14. Project – The Project tool will project the points on a shape that you draw, but unlike the Trim tool, the topology is kept intact.

Trim tool Vs project Tool: When the Trim tool is used with the fill Option to Trim the shapes, the Resulting shape has an irregular filled area. The  Project Tool is used to trim the shapes, where the resulting shape has voxelated /regular area.

15. Split -Similar to the Trim tool, except that it produces two different objects instead of one.

16. Insert: Add primitives at the desired location of the existing mesh

17. Paint and Smudge tool – Covered in Vertex Painting.

18. View: Once you hit view all objects in your sculpt is visible else only the object you are actively working on is visible rest are greyed. Mostly Used for rendering.

Most of these brushes/tools come with positive and negative feedback.

For instance, the Crease tool default creates sharp dents and when used as negative will create dents in the opposite direction. Tools to switch negative and positive brushes are called ‘Local’ on the left.

19. Masking

Masking is a very important tool in sculpting. You mask the area on your object using the mask tool.

It gives you a lot of control during sculpting if you don’t want some areas to get affected and also when used in combination with Gizmo, & trim brush

This tool is mostly similar to the Masking tool, the main difference is that you don’t use strokes to paint the mask, but instead use the shape selector.

If you go into the tool settings, you can also perform other operations on the mask. Like sharpen, blur, invert and clear.

Another important feature of masking is extraction. Crucial for creating hair, clothing, etc. you will find it in tool settings. It will extract the shape as per the mask applied and creates a separate object. that can be further sculpted.

This tool lets you mask points. Masked vertices can’t be sculpted or painted afterward, this is a way to “protect” some areas.

If you go into the tool settings, you can also perform other operations on the mask

20.GizMo

Another critical tool. It lets you translate, rotate and scale your mesh with a single tool.

It can be used in combination with the ‘Symmetry box ‘ . Default Symmetry is checked ‘ No’ .

You can also move the pivot of the gizmo tool by unlocking the option in the left It usually affects rotation, not transformation.

Under the tool “settings”, you will find a few important options under Action – Move origin, Reset and bake.

21. Transform

Translate, rotate and scale the model by using two fingers. The interaction is more or less similar to the camera movement.

  • Panning will translate the model
  • Pinching will scale the model
  • Twisting will rotate the model

You can disable each of these movements separately, for example, if you disable Scaling you will only be able to translate and rotate at the same time.

22. Insert

Insert an object in the scene. When the insertion takes place, Nomad switches automatically to the Transform tool for quick adjustment and then switches back to the Insert tool when you release your fingers.

23. Alphas

Alphas are a very important tool in 3d Sculpting.

An Alpha is a grayscale intensity map. It can be used to represent intensity, masking, and similar things. They usually look like this.

It is usually used in conjunction with brushes.

It changes the tip of the brush.

But if you want to make an impression from the brush exactly in the shape of the alphas you are using you will need to change the stroke type to Grab-Dynamic radius from the default Dot.

This will prevent continuous brush strokes and you will be able to create the Alpha impression of your desired size by dragging the bush on the surface of your object.

Another setting you will need to tweak is fall off.

Change it to custom and drag the graph by tapping anywhere on the line of the graph and dragging it to the corner. It should look like this.

24. Stamp

Stamp: This is simply the Brush tool with a stroke type set to Grab – dynamic radius.

Steps:

  • Select Alpha( Greyscale)
  • Select fall off
  • Grab Dynamic
  • The resolution of the Stamp depends on the Resolution/density of the mesh!

25. Vertext paint

Vertex Paint: Painting on 3D mesh could be more complex than you think. Vertex painting is used when need to paint on 3d mesh as it is. While industrial painting software like Substance Painter ( Also Mobile Devices App – Procreate) utilizes UV texturing.

So you basically sort out your mesh by unwrapping UVs within Maya or Blender before painting on it). If you want to use vertex paint, you can do it within Nomad, export it to Blender, and even move the vertex paint to the UV maps once the model has been unwrapped and rendered.\

This Basic vertex painting tool in Nomad will let you achieve already amazing results.

26. Export

Once you created your sculpt you obviously want to either take 2d pictures of it in different views or would like to export it out say for 3d printing or bring it to another software for further improvising.

3d: Nomad Supports – GLB, OBJ, and STL formats. OBJ is the most common and most of the 3d software and 3D Printers support it.

2d: Supports PNG format since you have the option to even export your file with you without background. PNG is ideal for the same.

27. Nomad Sculpt Special Tools

Lathe: Create a revolution surface by drawing a curve first. So you draw a curve.

Edit it points to get the desired curve shape and hit the green dot to see it revolve around to make a shape. . Ideal for cylindrical or pot-like shapes.

Triplannar: This is a very unusual tool. More like an Easter egg.

It will help you create unusual shapes depending on your blocking around three axes. You have to try it yourself. Play around and unravel the mystery.

Tube: Creates tube along the points of drawing.

This can further be edited to curve the tube as desired and also to change radius of the tube curve points.

They can be used in many creative ways.

Are you ready for Nomad 1.66 update coming this Oct 2022?

Update: the Nomas Sculpt 1.66 Update has been Implemented in OCT 2022

Here is a summary of the top features to embrace.

More Flexibility

Ability to group and scene hierarchy. Play around with parent-child rotation, pose and be get organized with multiple objects.
Instances option to create multiple copies in one click!
Brand new Snap control on interphase for gizmo allowing value dragging in gizmo menu for better snap control.

Addition of rotation option for alphas (and the option to lock brush rotation). Super handy feature.

Now you can protect the masked area if the flip mode is activated. A handy feature for trim.

  • Touchpad and mouse scroll support for ios and mouse scroll support for android.
  • Can now import bigger files for Andriod.
  • Addition of Object-ID color shading mode.
  • Add new met cap from Blender and in general overall improvement on the quality of metcap.

Texturing & Rendering:

Subsurface Scattering Features for semi-transparent objects for light penetration for more realistic effects like skin, and waxy materials.  A game changer!

Addition of reflectance slider for nonmetallic materials.
Flexibility to exploit the alpha channel of the color texture as transparency.

Metcap mode now uses alpha and normal textures in the new upcoming update.

Addition of shadow softener and contact shadow feature.
Roughness and Metalness textures are correctly saved when imported from Procreate.

Unlit mode now uses color and alpha textures
Better rendering screenshot with transparent background. Channel masking can now be used with layers (e.g.paint only roughness, etc)

Fast Workflow Features

Brand new ‘Selection Tool’  to select multiple objects by creating lasso selection on objects with the stylus.

Very handy for a fast workflow.
New touch controls for masking.

No need to hold shortcuts to trigger sharp and blurring shortcuts (simply tap on the masked area). Hold finger to trigger lasso masking

New touch controls on undo for faster workflow. Long press 2 fingers to undo continuously. Long press 3 fingers to redo continuously
The stylus is ignored when dealing with multi-touch gestures (for accidental undo)
Synchronize environment exposure when switching between them
Addition of reload(preset) option for tool preset.

And last but not least much less memory to avoid crashes during voxel.
Base Face mesh primitive and tap on handlers for manual input