Best program for son with Autism


I have an adult son with Autism; he loves to draw characters on paper and I think he is ready to try his creations on a computer. He has beginner-level computer knowledge.

Would anybody have any suggestions as to how to get him started on this?

What program would you recommend? Zbrush or any other?

Do you know of a place where I can purchase a discounted license (or get a free one) to get him started? It does not matter if it is not the latest version; I just want to get him started.



  • Options
    If you are looking to get him started sculpting on a computer, ZBrush would be your best bet.  You may be able to get him a student license:  http://store.pixologic.com/ZBrush-4R6-Academic-and-Educational-License/

    A good knowledge of practical sculpting (in clay, wax, etc) is also helpful when working in applications like ZBrush, so you may also want to consider starting him out with some clay and basic sculpting tools.  (which can be very inexpensive)

    Though it depends on what you end goal is.  Are you looking for another challenging creative outlet for him, or do you want to help him develop his computer skills in the process?

    ZBrush has the added challenge of needing to learn how the application works and what all the individual tools/settings do before you can start sculpting, and it can be very procedural.    While sculpting with clay also involves learning how to use different tools, it is much more straight forward.  And having a physical object at the end of the day is a great added benefit.

    If his focus is on creating characters, which you mention he is currently drawing on paper, you will likely want to get him working with something like photoshop as well.  ZBrush would give him a 3D model, but to produce a finished character would require texture painting and finishing work.

    For learning sculpting techniques there are a lot of great lessons on this here: https://www.stanwinstonschool.com/tutorials (just select "Sculpture" from the Categories dropdown) that would be very helpful for him, including both practical and ZBrush sculpting.

    Video tutorials are great for those on the autism spectrum as it puts the pace of learning in their hands. Allowing them to pause when they start to feel overstimulated or repeat things as needed.  

    Best of luck!


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