Introduction to Digital Sculpting
Digital Sculpting is sculpting 3d form using computer programs. By sculpting we mean interactive and free form manipulation of form.

Different types
Can be broadly classified into Surface based and Polygon based. Surface based sculpting is mainly used when accuracy is of paramount importance, such as when used for manufacture of Cars, white goods, toys to name a few. Polygon based sculpting is used for Animation, Visualization, Computer Games etc. A 3d form can be described by a contiguous set of polygons, by triangulation. So polygonal models can be automatically generated from 3d scan data or 3d CMM data.

Polygon model of a car. Note that the shape can be made using a single poly mesh

On the other hand, it is very difficult to describe complex forms using single mathematical surfaces. Inherently all valid surfaces should have 4 edges of finite length. Complex forms will have to be made by a number of surfaces, attached together based on the manufacturing requirements. We shall revisit the topology of surfaces in greater detail in later.

Set of B-spline surfaces (will have four sides) trimmed and joined to form a shape.

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