Ok so let me specify my situation:
I don’t use my ipad for much, to be honest it’s cumbersome to me, a bit old and if I have access to it then I probably have access to my far superior 3D suite on my Laptop or PC. However, I have been literally looking for over 5 years for an app that will let me do 3D work reliably on my phone. I have an XS Max and the screen real estate is huge, it is beyond me why no one really profits from this. I’ve tried pretty much every app out there looking for this. From Verto Studio and Super D to Forger, Putty and so.
After buying Sculptura (last time I checked the app store for apps like these, was over a year ago, so I was pretty suprised to find a new one), I downloaded it immediately. I was suprised by the very low cost of 3 dollars.
At that moment, it all seemed fantastic. Played with the app for 20 minutes and that was enough for me to realize that this would be taking over on my sculpting workflow. I even wrote a huge review about the potential I saw here… I had to change this later. I have to clarify that the problems with at least the pocket version are merely on functionality (in comparison to iPad version), the voxel engine is sweet and does an amazing job of sculpting, can’t deny that.
This app as it is right now is perfect to define the basic sculpt (Forger does a terrible job since it’s poly based and therefore one needs to constantly remesh their sculpt to get the definition to work with. Even then, it usually isn’t smooth or good enough (the remeshing)). Voxel sculpting is amazing and I’m glad we finally have something like this on iOS. It makes me feel like I’m Z-brushing on my phone.
The app is certainly missing a competent move/grab tool, as the “deform tool” works more like a brush to delicately push or pull. THIS is needed, as stated on the only review I saw (that isn’t mine) on the iphone app page. I would have gladly let go of this little issue if some things were present:
1 - Why does the iPhone version not support importing of ANY kind of mesh? Honestly, I even read the iPad app has OBJ import. This is something BASIC for a sculpting app. I honestly don’t know how I even missed this when I first reviewed the app out of the excitement I had after playing around for a few minutes with the engine (I guess I was sure the feature would be there, just hadn’t seen it). If this was a thing, I could easily rely on Forger’s move tool to fix the issues that I CAN’T fix directly in Sculptura, then re-import into Sculptura Pocket and keep working from there. I guess I’m out of luck cause I’m running the iPhone version.
2 - To be clear, why is the iPhone version ANY different than the iPad? I am partially a programmer, and I find it hard to understand as this is probably WAY more work than simply building a universal app and accounting for the changes that need to occur depending on the platform of the user.
Would it be because of performance? I don’t know…This excuse to me, is not good enough. I get the fact that iPhone < iPad in terms of performance, but let’s be realisitic; iPhone XS Max has 4 gigs of ram, the best iphone processor, and is by far a more competent device than the iPad I have that certainly lets me run the “good” sculptura version. I just won’t buy it because, I DON’T WANT THE IPAD VERSION… I don’t want to come off as rude, but I really just don’t need an iPad sculpting app. I have a Veikk Monitor and pro 3D Software on my laptop, i cannot fit this in my pocket but neither can i fit an iPad so what’s the difference ? If I’m gonna have to bring a bag to carry my workstation, why would I go for the iPad then?
This is my main problem with “iPhone” apps. they are usually watered down versions of the actual thing, when really no one wants the watered down version: I want the functionality of the real thing, just on my pocket - regardless of what anybody can say about “working on an iPhone screen” - I can decide that part for myself.
I can work on an iPhone screen just fine, the only thing i’m missing is “the opportunity”. Pretending an iPad is portable is honestly a bit disingenous. It really is, but it’s nowhere as portable as a Phone and will always require for your to carry something extra just to carry it with you. I don’t want this. Especially not if it’s only to run the one or two apps that my phone can’t run because “… it’s an iPhone” (that is better than my iPad).
3 - Now I’m gonna emphasize for the third time, another feature that is missing from the iPhone version that is active on the iPad version and that is PRESSURE SENSITIVITY. Why can’t we get 3D Touch support for pressure on the iPhone version? 3D touch has been around for over 5 years now and I’m amazed by how little it is utilized, no wonder Apple is doing the stupid ass move of removing it from its future devices (actually ensuring I won’t ever be buying another iphone after this one, nor updating to that stupid iOS 13). We don’t have an apple pencil that works on iPhone, it would be quite natural in my impression for a developer to realize that the alternative is… 3D touch.
But hey, I don’t really “blame Sculptura” for this, at least not Sculptura alone. Procreate took forever to implement 3D Touch, and honestly it is beyond my understanding how a painting or sculpting app on the iPhone can get away with NOT implementing 3D Touch. it’s precisely because of things like these that “consumers don’t use the feature”… yeah, when it’s use is most evidently benefitial, it is often omited anyway. Regardless, after a few years, most serious painting apps on iphone HAD 3D touch support for pressure sensitivity. One would imagine this same trend would translate to sculpting apps… but it didn’t.
I for one cannot understand why the only sculpting app supporting 3d touch, is Putty (which is by far the worst 3d sculpting app on the iphone - I don’t want to even be on the same room as that horrible thing). It now even sounds stupid to request 3D touch from a developer, but seriously how could I not request such thing on an app that would TREMENDOUSLY benefit from it? this alone would give the app 1 to 2 more stars.
I use an Adonit Jot stylus on my phone (which used to be pressure sensitive and used to work on my iPad before the iPen was a thing) that is amazing because of it’s precision (transparent disk that allows you to see exactly where you are touching the screen). These type of capacitative styli can be acquired for less than 15 dollars, and on an iPhone, they react as if they offered pressure sensitivity even when they are not connected to the device THANKS to 3D Touch. I just wish there was a sculpting app (not Putty) that would support this. After all, there are still 5 generations of old iphones that are currently incorporating the technology. I for one would NOT update iOS if it meant I could keep the feature, but there’s also not much point in keeping a feature that isn’t being utilized (although I will as my painting apps DO support it, I just wish I could say the same about the sculpting apps).
4 - And now to my final, and actually the most important complaint. This app glitches TERRIBLY out of nowhere. I bought this 3 days ago, and after investing over 5-6 hours getting used to it I decided to embark in the creation of a Minotaur. After 10-12 hours, the thing was looking TIGHT AF. I was so happy with the results (even without pressure sensitivity which really would trim those hours down). I even made sure to back this file up into 3 separate files.
Out of nowhere, after returning to the “recent tab” from the sculpting view, I simply lost ALL of my Sculptura files. 12 hours down the drain. I couldn’t really care about the projects that i started to “get used” to the app, but his one was literally 90% done, about to be exported to an OBJ to bring it into Forger and get into detailed sculpting. I am SO ANNOYED. I honestly am not even sure If I should even try to use the app again - I’m afraid the same thing will happen again and I can’t be wasting time like that when I actually get paid for doing 3D content. Perhaps I would be less annoyed if this was just my hobby, but since it isn’t this does hit hard.
I need to stress that once my files were deleted randomly (and I know i didn’t delete them myself, it happened out of nowhere without a single pop-up even occurring), the recent tab glitched HARD.
I’d create a new project, do a few strokes, and then go back to the recent tab, only to find that my “recent files” were STILL nowhere to be found. It would NOT SAVE MY SCULPTS aNYMORE! I deleted the app and downloaded it again. STILL THE SAME THING… WHAT?!
I finally went out of my way, opened a preset, exported it as OBJ and made sure to put it in the Sculptura folder that is automatically generated by the app (sometiems I guess, since evidently it didn’t before which lead to the deletion of my files), and ONLY then was I able to use the file browser on Sculptura, to find THIS specific folder (which did not exist until I exported the OBJ to it), and only there, be able to create a new Sculptura file that would ACTUALLY show up on my recent tab.
As of now, I’ve decided that I will simply have to not only back up my files several times, but also in several locations (Drive, cloud, and device itself). This is not only impractical, but simply should NOT be thing. The fact that the app itself does not create a Sculptura folder when installing or launching for the first time is a huge problem which clearly lead to the deletion of my files after some weird occurence.
To be clear, these files cannot even be found on the “recently deleted files”. I have no backup of my phone that would include such sculpt, therefore extracting the sculpt from a backup is not possible. There is simply no way of undermining this glitch, as it really is a total deal breaker.
1 - I insist, I’d rather pay 10 dollars for a universal app that I can use WHEREVER I decide, even if the UI isn’t as nice on the phone… than having a phone version that literally cannot do 50% of the things the iPad version can. If I have to buy the iPhone version separately, FINE! I’ll do it, but at least make it the same app.
2 - A quick google search pointed out that:
iPad supports OBJ export, layers (or at least will support them soon once the Voxel Engine gets rewritten to allow for it, perhaps it already does but simply isn’t performant enough), and it also seems to have more tools such as resizing the sculpt and stuff like that, also has pressure sensitivity with at least the damned iPen.
iPhone version: supports ALL THE DIFFICULT things to support from the iPad version, but misses ALL THE TRIVIAL STUFF that would actually make it as useful as it’s actually mobile counterpart.
Ultimately I must state that I am complaining this hard becuse the potential for this app is AMAZING. I am so frustrated, because this could really be a 3D professional tool on the go, but it misses the “trivial stuff” (don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s not trivial but it just does not compare to the task itself of building such a neat voxel engine for sculpting on iOS).
Things I LOVED about the app are:
obviously the voxel engine.
the square to rotate the view (HOLY HELL I had this idea myself when i though of eventually coding my own 3D app, I’m so glad I wasn’t alone on this thought, it just works brilliantly on iPhones as it allows you not to get on the way of your model while doing such tasks). However I must say, it’s a huge miss to skip the possibility of alternating between rotating the view and PANNING it. To be able to either have 2 smaller squares (as the square size doesn’t really matter) one for panning and one for rotating would be huge, alternatively having a single square that could alternate between these two functions would be amazing.
the cropping tool is simply wonderful and does a great job of simplifying the process of building up the shapes needed for the sculpt.
Ultimately, if the few, but massive glitch-issues this app has, were fixed, layers were added and 3d Touch support was implemented… this would be a no brainer. definitely worth the 10 dollars the app is worth for the iPad. As it is, it certainly fits the 3 dollar price just fine, but the lack of functionality in comparison to Forger or Sculptura on iPad simply does not make it as appealing.
A neat cherry on top would be, to deal with the UI issue of the square only affecting the rotation (please, consider using it for panning too, it would make everything much better on iPhones), and perhaps a tool selector that did NOT cover the whole screen. Let’s keep in mind that if the tool selector icon is at the bottom of the screen, but once clickec changes the whole screen to a list of options, one must bring the finger from all the way down to all the way up just to change tools. I know i have a “big” iphone, but realisitically no iphone is small enough anymore as for this UX to be practical : the tools should be easier to change and particularly shouldn’t take as long (removing the unecessary travel of the finger which on large phones can result in the need of holding the phone differently just to change tools, or utilizing your other hand to do so).
Anyway, I hope my tremendously large complaint/suggestion list/review is of use to you Sculptura Team. I really believe in what you’re building dispite how frustrated I am right now by my previous experience.
I also saw you were looking for contractors to do some sculpts for the iPhone version’s presets. I would love to send you a few of these and perhaps would even consider doing it for free if some of the requests I’ve made are taken into account. I’d also be willingly paying for an IAP to extend the functionality of the iPhone version so that it is equivalent to the iPad version (after all, I understand it is a cheaper version and it wouldn’t be fair to offer exactly the same if the price on iPhone will remain lower than on iPad).
Hopefully I don’t come off as the rudest client you’ve ever had, since I really don’t mean to offend. I just want to see this wonderful app grow to its full mobile potential so that I can actually use it in production.
If you read all the way through, thank you so much and I wish you the best, I hope to see Sculptura Pocket reach a stage where it is the BOMB that it seems to be on the first few minutes of usage (when the little details don’t really matter as one hasn’t noticed them). As said before, the potential is really there.