Santa in Space

Experimenting with Nomad Sculpt for Christmas 2023

It’s been a while since I’ve devoted some time to playing around with Nomad Sculpt for iPad, and I’d forgotten how much fun it is.

More than any other 3D tool I’ve used, it’s very intuitive, forgiving of mistakes, and seems designed for translating your intention into 3D instead of making you force what’s in your head into “proper” topology and such. Plus it’s got a ton of post-processing effects built in that feel like cheating; it almost seems like I know what I’m doing.

Here’s a model for Christmas 2023: Santa in Space. He’s so excited to deliver gifts to the ISS that he didn’t check whether his sack could survive the explosive decompression.1So to speak. The original intent was to give him a big glass space hemet (with his hat on top, of course), but I found out halfway through that Nomad doesn’t support transparent materials, as far as I’m aware.

Edit: Nomad does support transparent materials; they’re just not where I expected them to be (since it’s not where you set all other material properties). You can change them in the top-level material menu when you have an object selected, choose “blending” or “additive,” and set a transparency value. It does everything except auto-fit a globe around a long beard, which is why I haven’t updated the image.

I’d still rank myself as very much an amateur — I have trouble with getting sharp details without its turning into a big, lumpy mess — but I can already tell I’ve improved since the last time I played with the software. I think modeling cartoonish, chubby, white-bearded guys is playing to my strengths, since I always have a model at the ready.

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates!

Edit 2: Because it was bugging me, I went back in and gave Space Santa a helmet. (And tweaked a couple of other things like his teeth). Merry Christmas, Space Santa!

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    So to speak.