Did you ever paint miniatures when you were kid? Or as my mother called them, “toy soldiers,” even though they were obviously space marines and orcs. Did you ever wish you could also design the plastic or lead models underneath your amazing ink-wash and dry-brushing technique?
Then – if you also dreamed of never getting a lick of paint on your thumb ever again – I have just the app for you. It’s from the awesome boffins at Sketchbook, and it’s called 123D Creature.
Just $2 – less than a pot of paint or a fine sable brush – 123D Creature lets you sculpt a 3-D animal from the skeleton up. Add bones and joints, then push and pull the flesh on those bones as if it were clay, then paint colors and textures on top. The whole app is so intuitive even I was able to make a (admittedly crappy) creature in a few minutes.
What’s more, you can even place your creation into one of your photos at the rendering stage, and dick around with the lighting so it matches. Here’s your chance to replace your over-tall and creepy butler in the family Christmas portrait with a digital model of Lurch.
There’s a cloud/community aspect to the app, which means you can save and share your creature creations, but also torment yourself by browsing the monsters made by people more talented than you (unless you are one of those people, in which case I curse you). You can even download and deface… uh.. edit their files.
Not bad, huh? Oh, and I missed one tiny bit. You can order a 3-D printed version of your model straight from the app. This is, to me anyway, amazing. Now I can design a goblin or troll with slightly too-long legs and a weird nose, “print” it and then paint it at home, with real paints. That’s pretty neat.
Go grab the app now. It’s more entertaining than yet another round of Letterpress, and right now it’ll only cost you $2.