Blender has its own sculpt mode. Clicking on the 3D Editor’s Mode Selection Icon
and selecting Sculpt Mode bring up its own set of tools in the Tool Shelf.
Panes include Brush, Texture, Stroke, Curve and Dyntopo. “Dyntopo” – what the… ?
Actually, Sculpt Mode is very similar to Edit Mode in that it is used to shape a
model. But, instead of altering the position of individual vertices, edges and faces,
in Sculpt Mode an area of the model is altered using a “brush”, of which there are
several types to choose from.
To use Sculpt Mode the model has to have a substantial geometry (number of faces)
to alter, so what you are really doing is creating a detailed mesh.
Five levels of subdivide added with the Multiresolution Modifier turns the Default
Cube in to a sphere, seen here in Wireframe Mode.
This still works for creating low-poly models for Trainz because there are ways to
convert the detailed mesh into a low-poly mesh.
One is to use a Multiresolution Modifier with increased levels of subdivision (e.g., 5
or 6) to sculpt the high-poly mesh then baking the high-poly mesh to a low-ploy
mesh. The technique is elegantly demonstrated in this Zero Brush tutorial (Simple
Game Assets Zero Brush).
Using Sculpt Mode and a Multi-Resolution Modifier in Zero Brush, this high-poly mesh
(98,305 faces) was baked onto this low-poly mesh (97 faces) to create this rock
(Simple Game Assets Zero Brush).
Another method of converting a high-poly mesh to a low-poly is to use a the
Shrinkwrap Modifier. This technique is neatly demonstrated in Darrin Lile’s series of
tutorials on Blender Character Retopology.