Fundamentals of Digital Sculpting with Blender

Kent Trammell

What is Digital Sculpting?

Digital sculpting is a form of 3D modeling that aims to emulate traditional clay sculpting. Compared to polygon modeling, which is sometimes referred to as “pushing and pulling vertices”, sculpting is far more artistically intuitive. This makes it an ideal technique for creating organic models, be it characters in blender or creatures.

Blender's Sculpt Mode

In this course you will learn how to sculpt in blender, master all the essential sculpting tools and features of Blender 2.8 and higher.

We’ll overview each brush, each menu, masking tools, posing tools, stroke methods, brush falloff, symmetry and tiling, matcaps, dynamic topology, remeshing, blender key shortcuts...Yes, it’s a LOT but along the way, I will be emphasizing the most important things to know for someone getting started with Sculpting with Blender. Once we learn what Blender can do, we'll move on to the most fun part: sculpting something awesome! So yes, not your usual short blender sculpting tutorial.

Sculpting a 3D Shark 🦈

Together, we'll apply what we’ve learned by sculpting a shark. From a digital ball of clay to an authentic 3D representation of 2D concept art. We'll be using a shark concept by artist Alyssa Veysey. If you're wondering, we won't be getting into retopology this time around or doing any character rigging.

What you'll Learn (Plus, an Exercise)

At the end of this course, you will be able to independently sculpt anything in Blender. And while sculpting, like any other technique, takes practice, you will have the toolset to go on creating on your own.

Speaking of practice...I've prepared an exercise for you to show me what you learned!

Once you've completed the course, head over to the exercise page and take on my friendly challenge. Each submission will receive feedback on 3 different criteria...and I expect to see your best work!

Who is this Blender Course for?

This Blender course, or Blender tutorial, is excellent if...

  1. You're just getting started with digital sculpting and have no idea what to do,
  2. You have some experience but need more practice, in which case you can jump to Chapter 3 of the course
  3. You've done tons of sculpting but want to refresh the basics (which is always a good idea!) or overall need a reminder on how to create 3d models.

Do I need a Drawing Tablet for Digital Sculpting?

The pen and tablet is highly recommended for digital artists, including sculptors. While you can sculpt with a mouse, the tablet is far superior for its artistic intuitiveness and pressure sensitivity. There are many affordable options out there (we recommend these ones). If you want to make the most of your digital sculpting journey, consider purchasing one. 

Recommended Next Steps!

 Modeling, Texturing and Shading a Treasure Chest in Blender

From 3D modeling to texture creation to shading and lighting, this video course teaches it all. The best part: everything you learn here can be applied to countless Blender projects.  Watch the trailer.

Shading, Lighting, and Rendering an Underwater Shark Scene with Eevee

Follow up the shark sculpting workflow by presenting your sculpt in the best light! Learn about harnessing Eevee to create a stylish under-water scene.

Get this course and 261 others by joining CG Cookie

Awarded upon completion:
100xp +
Course Curriculum
8 Reviews
  • A
    AhtfulDodja ·

    I really enjoyed this course. It really helped me understand the fundamentals of 3D sculpting (with no prior experience to speak of), and while truthfully I struggled somewhat with the concepts of sculpting formats, I followed through to the end and now I feel like I can tackle my next character sculpt with confidence. I'll echo what others have said about Blender versions, in that it wasn't an issue for me at all to follow along in Blender 4.1 -- especially since they include helpful on-screen callouts to note interface changes and updates, where applicable. It was really fun to bring this toothy fella to life, and I ended up with a pretty cool character to show off to family and friends, so I'm pumped! I'm eager to dive into my next fundamentals course, but I really want to finish Tito (yes, I've named him) with some texturing and lighting. Thanks so much for this awesome resource!

  • Mohamed Al Khalifa(Moe) ·

    As a budding 3D artist, I embarked on Kent Trammell’s course with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Sculpting had always seemed like an arcane art, a realm reserved for the chosen few who possessed innate talent. But oh, how wrong I was!

    Kent’s instruction is nothing short of magical. He wields his expertise like a wizard, unraveling the complexities of digital sculpting with finesse. What once felt intimidating now feels like a delightful dance—a pas de deux between creativity and technique. Kent Trammell’s course isn’t just about sculpting—it’s about self-discovery, joy, and the thrill of creation. If you’re ready to unlock your inner sculptor, grab your stylus and enroll. You won’t regret it. 

    Thank you, Kent, for making this journey unforgettable. You’ve transformed a skeptic into a sculpting devotee. 

    Disclaimer: This review is purely based on my personal experience and passion for sculpting. Kent Trammell did not bribe me with virtual cookies to write this. 😄

    • author Kent Trammell(theluthier) ·

      My goodness, this means so much to me. Thank you for sharing! 🥹🙏

  • c
    coolrunning343 ·

    I had a great time with this tutorial. I needed a refresher on digital sculpting and this tutorial was perfect and well structure for beginners.

  • Nathi Tappan(nathitappan) ·

    This is my first sculpture experience and I'm beyond stoked! This was just so much fun I might come back and sculpt all of the sharks from the artwork. Such a blast!

    Truth be told I just did this class because I wanted to get a grasp on all things that can be done in Blender, but I wasn't looking forward to it. I did not think I would enjoy sculpting this much!  I'm a sculpt convert! Loved it!

    This is a very approachable course, that teaches the fundamentals as well as practical tips that gear us to model anything that comes to mind! Easy to follow, fun! Can't recommend it enough.

    Ps. The way this was taught makes it almost irrelevant of Blender versions. There are a few differences to 4.1 (what I used) but it's all addressed in the comments sections of lessons.

  • G
    'Guest' ·

    I came into this course with 0 experience with sculpting and the tools that surround it and I'm happy to say that I came out of it with 2 sculpts that I'm very happy with. 

    Highly recommend this for any people with an interest in the sculpting workflow and character/animal creation

  • jammingammon ·

    This course guided me on my first completed sculpt a little over a year ago, and I haven't looked back since. Digital sculpting can be a bit intimidating, and even frustrating to get used to with all the brushes and settings, but Kent does a great job at explaining things, and chooses a simple but cool model that you can be proud of when you're finished. 

  • Martin Aversa(cgtin) ·

    Very poorly until my hand and eye get good at it, but I sure got soooo much info, tooltips, and knowledge from this course. I started it with 0 experience and I could follow it easily because it is so well explained.

    Now it is a matter of practise! Thanks a lot


    I have just finished this course and love the great quality of the presentation and the awesomeness of Kent Trammell! CG Cookie subscription has been one of the best learning materials on the Internet I've ever seen. (I also have finished the intro course by Jonathan Lampel, another incredible course!)

    Thank you.

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