In this post, we continue from Part 1 and look at ways to become an awesome 3D modeler. Without wasting any more time, let’s look at some tips!
This is one of the most powerful ways of learning 3D modeling and one that I highly recommend. You can accelerate your learning by seeing how others create their models and replicate it yourself under their guidance. There are two types of tutorials; text-based tutorials and video tutorials.
Text-based tutorials are sites that show you step-by-step how to create something. This is not only limited to websites and blogs. It could also be paper-based or PDFs. A book can also be a kind of tutorial. A mega-tutorial if I may. Text-based tutorials are best utilized by having the tutorial partially available on your screen (or desk if using paper-based), with the 3D software you regular use covering the remaining part of your screen. This way, you can refer to the tutorial while attempt to create the 3D model. Windows 8 users can use the split screen feature of Windows to partially open different screens at the same time. If you have a dual-monitor setup, you can use one screen for the tutorial and the other to work on your 3D model. Text-based tutorials that utilize screenshots tend to be far more popular since a screenshot is generally the equivalent of a thousand words.
Video-based tutorials are those where the instructor shows you step-by-step how to create a 3D model. This gives you confidence that you will also be able to do the same thing if you copy what the instructor did. You can’t split the screen here (unless you have a dual-monitor setup or another tablet beside you). You’ll just have to keep switching back and forth with your 3D software and also keep pressing the pause button a lot. The main advantage compared to text-based tutorials, is that you get to see first-hand the 3D model being created. A text-based tutorial can tell you to press button A, but it won’t really help if you can’t find where button A is. With video tutorials, you see the instructor navigating to and pressing button A, so that you can easily identify where button A is. Now you may be thinking, this is clearly first-world problems. But it really does get annoying after a while. There has been many times I’ve followed a text-based tutorial and I’ve been left frustrated not knowing where to click and what will happen if I click it. Honestly, it’s like a feeling that if I accidentally press the wrong button, I will somehow set off Windows 10 and make my computer burn on fire. Video tutorials makes life a whole lot easier in this regards as you get to see first-hand the instructor doing it, so you can be left confident that you won’t set off some secret Windows 10 fire command.
Especially for a visual craft like 3D modeling, video tutorials are always going to be far more popular and far more helpful. It’s just a lot easier to show a vertex being added to a specific part of a human ear compared to the nightmare of reading some complicated text about it.
This is perhaps a more modern day approach. The idea is to collect any helpful infographics related to 3D modeling. If you don’t know what an infographic is, it’s basically what it sounds like. It’s a graphic image with information on it that can help you. Infographics are quite popular nowadays and big websites and bloggers utilize them since a lot of people download and consume them like hot cakes. Infographics can show you how to do something or teach you some useful facts in a visually nice looking way. As they say, a picture speaks a 1000 words. People tend to learn better by looking at an image and interpreting it rather than just reading plain words all day. Your journey to mastering 3D modeling can be sped up through infographics as you’ll find you are better able to process the information then reading of book or tutorial for example.
There are plenty of infographics all over the Internet in relation to 3D modeling. They can show you how to model something as simple as a soccer ball to something as complex as a high-detailed cinematic character. They can teach you the process of becoming a 3D modeler and some useful tips and shortcuts you can use during 3D modeling. There are many places you can go to find helpful infographics. Places like Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest are littered with a whole bunch of infographics related to 3D modeling. If you subscribe or follow those 3D profiles, you can get regular feeds full of awesome eye-catchy infographics. I, myself regularly put out infographics on my website from time to time. You can find them on ThilakanathanStudios.com. I don’t think I was that subtle there with the self-promotion of my site.
My best advice is to subscribe to wherever you can get helpful infographics on 3D modeling and download as much infographics as you find useful. This way, when you check out your regular feeds, you get the added bonus of learning new things. Facebook friend feeds can get boring after a while. You just get the same old pictures of the same old holidays they went to or the same old parties they attended, pulling the same old poses over and over again. With regular infographics feeds in between, you at the very least get to develop more understanding and grow your knowledge base. If you have friends that like 3D modeling, you can share the infographics with them too, making you look all knowledgeable and smart.
Another bit of advice which I may recommend, is to print out all the most important infographics you find. The ones where you will regularly refer to again and again. Once you’ve printed these out, stick them on your wall or keep them beside your bed table or wherever you work. That way, you can quickly refer to them as needed. I actually keep an infographic showing the modeling of a basic human as well as the right way to model a human face. Of course, I may not always remember this process of modeling the human off the top of my head. I may forget as I move onto other things like other aspects of production.
You can actually just download a copy and store it in a folder somewhere. But I find that whenever you need to refer, you need to open the folder and find the infographic. It hurts my finger muscles. Whereas, with a printed version, I just turn my head and eyes slightly and it’s right there. Also, switching back and forth is a lot smoother with the printed version. Again, maybe first-world problems, but it really does make the experience of 3D modeling quite enjoyable when you can refer easily. You may also feel more confident when modeling knowing that you have everything you need right there beside you.
Continue onto Part 2 –> (Coming Shortly)
Or go back to Part 1.