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Dan Allender

Newbie - How to get better at modeling?

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Hello all, I am a new user of 3DCoat, and love it. My question is what do you think is the best way to get better. I have already watched a ton of tutorials. Do you think it is better to just start sculpting away and see what I come up with, or would it be better to try to create a real object, like a chair, a glass, a hammer, etc. I originally got 3DCoat, so I could create my own clothing for Poser figures, but from doing tutorials, I have discovered I really enjoy the sculpting. Just not very good at it. Thanks for all of you have taken time to make such wonderful tutorials.

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I would say start small. Work on very basic subject matter. Go with a purpose, assuming that you've learned the tools well enough. Getting better at modeling, like just about anything, requires practice. It's tempting, however to go overly complex. Learn hard and soft edges, organic vs hard surface modeling. Do simple things for a while in each. Learn the process of getting your subject matter to scale, and join them into a scene. After that, comes a ton of practice and moving into texturing, lighting, and a whole bunch of other stuff that goes along with getting your models to look even better.

As far as organic modeling it's often helpful to learn anatomy. Even if you're not planning on making a human, just the practice of modeling the bones, muscles, etc. can help with something else you may want to work on.

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Totally agree, start small. You can end up trying to learn too much and forgetting what tut you watched earlier in the week if you take in too much information at once.

One little crazy tip on getting better at modelling, and not just a 3DCoat example really, is to look around you at everyday things and think, how would I model that, break them down into hard modelling v organic modelling. Then when you're happy with your modelling techniques and your modelling speed, look at breaking down the items' textures, how are they made, what are their properties, how much light do they reflex (and why) here's a good set of tuts (I seem to remember some of the basic tuts are free - http://online.cg-masters.com/videos/software/12). Then look into placing the item in a scene and setting up lights for a final render.

I've started using the sculpting processes in 3DC for organic modelling. I have always used 3DC for UV map creation and texture painting; using Lightwave for hard surface modelling, lighting, animation and rendering. But that's just my pipeline.

If you're into books, William Vaughan's 'Digital Modelling' book is excellent - with a breakdown of all the processes in a production pipeline, from the point of a modeler.

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Agreed. You'll find yourself looking at things in real life in ways you never realized could be seen that way. The other thing I've found, as I've been going down the game modeling route for a while now, is that games and movies don't look the same anymore. It's kind of a spoiler, but you start to realize that everything that was so amazingly realistic looking now has some issues you would rather critique. It's a bit of a downer, but then you also start to see how hard it is to make games, movies, etc.

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Agreed. You'll find yourself looking at things in real life in ways you never realized could be seen that way. The other thing I've found, as I've been going down the game modeling route for a while now, is that games and movies don't look the same anymore. It's kind of a spoiler, but you start to realize that everything that was so amazingly realistic looking now has some issues you would rather critique. It's a bit of a downer, but then you also start to see how hard it is to make games, movies, etc.

Lol... or as my wife refers to it "spoiling the magic".

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thank you for the tips, I do like books. I will look for it, I am sure it is on Amazon.

I believe you can get the Digital version too.

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Skulls are a lot more complex than I would suggest starting with, but when it comes to sculpting/modeling creatures and/or humans, etc. that is definitely a good place to start. It forces a knowledge of anatomy that makes your models more believable and proportionate. Until I studied anatomy and started sculpting bones, etc. my models were much worse.

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I personally started out by modeling swords after i got really good with that i moved on from swords to other things never was good with characters but follow some tutorials learn about proper edge flow and work on how to break down parts of the mesh you want to build in to edge loops and how to connect them together properly youll find it easy to get into. for animation good edge loops are a must.

alternatively you can just get 3d coat and learn to sculpt and tell 3d coat to retopo the mesh for you and bango no need to learn to model at all but i suggest you learn with blender I have used max for10+ years and after getting comfortable with the interface prefer blender above all other modeling/animation/rendering programs though i can honestly say cycles is a kick ass renderer.

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If you're into books, William Vaughan's 'Digital Modelling' book is excellent - with a breakdown of all the processes in a production pipeline, from the point of a modeler.

thank you for recommending this book. I am enjoying it immensely and learning a lot of good concepts.

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Do you think it is better to just start sculpting away and see what I come up with,

Yes.

or would it be better to try to create a real object, like a chair, a glass, a hammer, etc.

No.

I have discovered I really enjoy the sculpting. Just not very good at it.

Then do that. You'll get better.

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thank you for recommending this book. I am enjoying it immensely and learning a lot of good concepts.

Not a problem. William is one of the most unselfish people I know (in the 3D community). He has been passing on his methods and wisdom via free videos and tutorials for as long as I've been using 3D programs. So when he produced a book, it was a no-brainer.

Glad you're liking it.

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