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Useful links for 3D sculpting BJDs

Aug 12, 2023

It's no secret that Blender is a huge and versatile app. It has a ton of various functions, and you won't be using all of those for making your BJDs.

So here is the stuff I found useful:

Donut making from Blender Guru. This is an absolute classic. I'd dare to say that majority of those who decided to study Blender begin from there.
You'll need parts 1-5 only.

Chair modelling tutorial, also from Blender Guru. The basics of low poly modeling are explained, loops, bevels, editing voxels, edges and so on.

I watched it till part 5 or 6, don't remember exactly, then started doing my first doll, and purposefully searched answers to my questions on Youtube and in Google.
My advice is to watch those two, then to create some spheres and go into Sculpting mode and have fun creating your doll.

This tutorial is very good and covers the sculpting basics.

Though I prefer to Remesh through this menu:
I prefer to do a lot of things through menus, so I can precisely scale, move, rotate and so on with exact values.
You can set the voxel size just as you need it and then Remesh.

I rarely use Dyntopo mode, and only if I have to add a lot of geometry in a certain places.
Loved this tutorial on sculpting as well:

After you created your doll it's time to do the joints.

You'll need:
- understanding of Boolean operations:

- mirror modifier:

- cursor movement:

- snapping:

- understanding origins:

I usually snap cursor to the joint, then I set origin of a doll part that has to be rotated around this joint, and test the movement. Like this:
Making raccoon in Blender: the knees

I developed the workflow in which any part of the BJD is created through a set of Boolean operations.

I keep the basic uncut objects and all supporting objects in a single file. So I can resculpt a leg, or a head, at any stage, then do a set of Boolean operations and have the upper leg part, the joint and the lower leg part, or the front and back of the head.

As it takes at least several tries to make nicely moving joints, this approach allows to easily correct mistakes and make changes to the joints.

Low poly modeling helps greatly to create supporting objects, such as slits, cylinders, cuts, hollowing objects, and so on.

More useful stuff:

You'll need this after you start making joints:

This tutorial helped me greatly to better understand low poly modeling:

How to select parts of the object in Editing mode:

This video is very helpful for low poly objects with Subdivision Surface modifier, when you have to make edges sharp:

I used this when I had to make a double knee joint, connecting two spheres. Because I couldn't do just Boolean but had to modify the resulting object.

You'll 100% need this after you'll do Remesh to your joints:

Sometimes Boolean works the wrong way and does Difference instead of Union.
Wrong normals direction can be the case. Understanding Face orientation and fixing the issues:

Making a demon head from scratch by a fellow BJD sculptor:

Tutorial for those who would like to create doll props, armor, weapons and so on. If your final result is a printed prop you don't need too much precision.

And this tutorial allows to add intricate patterns onto your armor and weapons:

That's all for now.
I'm doing my first steps in 3D printing my dolls, and after I'll have enough knowledge I'll make a post on printing doll parts tips & tricks.

If you have your fav tutorials on Blender useful for BJD sculpting, please share the links in the comments!

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