Sculpting Basics

Learn the basics of sculpting, and tool selection in Medium.

With features like pinch and zoom, and the ability to move and rotate your sculpt, Medium makes it easy to intuitively create organic shapes, complex characters, abstract art, and anything in between.

Add Clay

The Clay tool is selected by default when you start Medium. Follow the below steps to add some clay to your scene:

Add clay to your scene


  1. Squeeze the Tool hand trigger and move your hand. As you move your Tool hand, clay applies from the tool.
  2. Release the trigger to stop applying clay.
  3. Squeeze your Support hand grip button to move or rotate your sculpt and see it from different angles.

Undo and Redo

As you add clay (or perform other operations with different tools), you might inevitably make some mistakes. To step backward and forward through your actions:

  • Undo: Move the Support hand thumbstick left to undo the previous action.
  • Redo: Move the Support hand thumbstick right to reverse the previous undo action.

You can undo and redo multiple actions by repeating the gestures described above.

Original sculpt

Use the Move tool

Move Support hand thumbstick left to undo

Move and Rotate sculpt

As you work in Medium, you get used to grabbing your model and adjusting its position and orientation relative to the camera. The action makes it easier to:

  • See the clarity of sculpt silhouette and edge contours. As you work, it is a good idea to constantly move your sculpt to see its shape.
  • Use a more natural stroke direction (that is, going from left to right or right to left) when you are sculpting. In the same way, an artist moves their sketch pad while sketching in 2D, moving your sculpt makes it possible to use a consistent, comfortable stroke.
  • Orient your model so that the current tool has the desired effect. Some tools (like Smooth) need a direct "line of sight" to the surface of the sculpt. Reposition your sculpt if the area you want to work on “line of sight” for the current tool is obscured by an intervening volume of clay.
  • Move your sculpt in and out of the area of effect of the current tool (as you might move a marshmallow in and out of the flames of a campfire).

To adjust the position or orientation of your sculpt:

  1. Squeeze and hold the grip button on either hand.
  2. Move or rotate your hands in any direction while continuing to hold down the grip button.
  3. Release one or more grip buttons when the sculpt is where you want it.

Pinch and Zoom

You can also use pinch and zoom motion to move the camera closer or further from your sculpt. 

To get a broader view of your model and add detail, zoom out, or zoom in on an area:

  • Zoom in: Squeeze both of the grip buttons and move the controllers away from each other to zoom in on your sculpt, pulling it closer.
  • Zoom out: Squeeze both of the grip buttons and move the controllers toward each other to zoom out your sculpt, pushing it further away.

Your tool size changes relative to your pinch and zoom actions, so you do not have to resize your tool every time you adjust your point of view.

Select Your Tool

While each session starts with the Clay tool selected, Medium features an entire palette of tools. To select a different tool:

Tool Panel


  1. Push your Support hand thumbstick forward to open the Tool Tray.
  2. Aim the Tool hand at the pie-shaped wedge that holds the tool you want to use.
  3. Squeeze the trigger on your Tool hand to select the tool.

The rectangular  Sculpting Modes menu below the Tool Tray is described later. 

The tool preview changes to let you know that you’ve selected the new tool. Each tool has a unique tool preview. You’ll get familiar with what each tool looks like the more you use Medium. 

Clay tool

Smooth tool

Paint tool

Switch to Tool Mode

Some sculpting tools have multiple modes. For example, if you select the Clay tool, you can switch between modes that let you either add or subtract clay.

Gear button


To switch between modes for the current tool:

  • Double tap the Gear button on your Tool hand.

If there are multiple modes, the Tool preview changes for each mode. For example, if you are adding clay, the preview is green, while if you are removing clay, it is red.

Remove Clay

You can use the Clay tool in subtractive mode to remove, or erase clay. To use the Clay tool in subtractive mode:

  1. Select the Clay tool.

  2. Add some clay to your scene.

  3. Double tap the Gear button on the Tool hand to switch modes. The Tool preview changes to a red color.

  4. Squeeze the trigger on the Tool hand and move the tool over part of your sculpt to remove it.

    The tool preview in red color.

    Remove sculpt


Not all tools have multiple modes. If there is only one mode for a tool, the double tap gesture has no effect. See the Medium Tools section for more information on alternate modes for specific tools.

Resize Your Tool

You can change the size of your tool to better fit the scale of the sculpt or the action you want to perform. For example, you might want to increase the size of the Clay tool when you’re blocking in the volume of a sculpt, then decrease its size when adding finer detail.

There are two gestures for resizing the current tool.

Dynamic Resize by Pushing the Tool Hand Thumbstick Forward/Back

After selecting your tool, follow the below steps:

Resize your tool


  1. Push the Tool hand thumbstick forward to make the tool larger or backward to make the tool smaller. A green scale appears over your tool hand, indicating the tool’s relative size (min and max range). 
  2. Release the thumbstick to set the new tool size.

Precise Resize by Pushing the Tool Hand Thumbstick Left/Right

For some tools (Clay, Move, Swirl, and Flatten), you can also resize the tool precisely. For more precise (but less dynamic) way of sizing the tool:

  1. Move the Tool hand thumbstick left or right and hold while you move your hand toward or away from the starting position.

  2. You will see the tool size preview change as you move your hand.

  3. Release the thumbstick to set the new tool size to what you see in the preview.

    Move the tool thumbstick left or right, and hold it there.

    Move the tool hand to adjust the size.

What's Next?

Now that you have learned about Sculpting Basics in Medium, check out Tool Settings Menu next.

Have a Question or Idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Medium Discord Community. We would love to hear from you. 


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