Plenty of character modeling tutorials, not enough hard surface ones?

polycounter lvl 2
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ambelamba polycounter lvl 2
 Eh, I signed up for a intro modeling with Maya class at a community college this Fall but might have to drop out because of my background actor gig throughout the rest of the year. And I am not sure if I am missing a lot because AFAIK they teach some basic character modeling, and not much of the hard surface modeling even in their intermediate and advanced modeling classes. 

 Come to think of it, there are relatively fewer tutorials handling hard surface models, I think. And to make things worse I use Modo, which has relatively smaller number of learning resources than others. 

 I was told that (constantly) I should be concentrating on one specific field of modeling than going for a generalist approach. Well, I do have some radically different interests: hard surface vehicle/mech & stylized characters. So far I did some practices with hard surface stuff but I never did any character modeling at all. I don't know. I am more interested in concept modeling for vehicle/mech than characters. 

 I don't think I can pull off production-ready model anytime soon. And concept modeling is a field that is very new. Growing number of studios use 3D for concept design, but the field is still very small. I don't want to worry about polygon counts, nGons, and whatnot. But I rarely see design-focused modeling tutorials geared toward concept artists. Yes, I know that there are plenty of hard surface sculpting tutorials for Zbrush, but I barely dipped the toe into it. 

 See, this is why I am saving up money to take a Modo class at Art Center in Pasadena. (They do offer an independent class or two about modeling with Modo.) Since most of the students are designers rather than modelers, maybe I can share some insight on approaches with other students. 

 I once spoke with an admission counselor at Gnomon, and he agreed that 3D is becoming more common in concept design field. (sadly the VA refused to pay for Gnomon.) 

 I really want to see a solid curriculum geared toward hard surface modeling for designers. I guess a lot of designers want to employ 3D but the pressure to build production-ready models probably scare them away...?

P.S. I know that the whole forums are dedicated to game art, where technical competence is really crucial. I guess I am in the minority among all the Polycount members.

P.S. I sincerely hope I am not repeating the same thing over and over again.


  • pior
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    pior hero character
    You are over complicating the issue, and probably misunderstanding the bits of information you hear here and there.

    Sure, a design task can be helped by some 3d.
    Sure, many talented designers do that.

    To learn how to do it, they mostly figure out the 3d part on their own because the tools they need from a 3d package are very rudimentary anyways. As a matter of fact, the way it goes is : 

    > A skilled designer has a long track record of traditional concept art, on paper and in Photoshop.
    > Designer faces a task for which 3d would be useful. For instance a tricky perspective, or some complex forms.
    > Designer picks up a 3d package (Don't pay for one btw. Get Blender) and throws primitives together - because, as a trained designer, he/she knows that everything derives from cubes, spheres, cylinders and cones.
    > And then the next tasks become opportunities to learn more tools : how to add bevels, how to subdivide surfaces, how to place lights and apply materials, and so on. There's usually no rush to learn all that right from the start because a good product designer knows how to render materials in Photoshop in a few seconds anyways.

    From what I have observed a good designer usually picks up a 3d package in a matter of a week or two by simply watching the usual introduction tutorials. Because, again,
    all that's needed at first is basic primitive placement and simple rendering.

    - - - - -

    TLDR : you're putting the cart before the horse. Want to be a concept artist ? Do things in order and pick up a pencil and sketchpad. The good thing is that it will only cost you about $5 :D

    And when the time comes to add 3d to one's arsenal, the only thing a designer needs is, at most, an introduction course to a 3d package - to cover the very basics mentioned above.

    (And no point bringing up examples like V. Bulgarov or anyone using high end 3D in their design pipeline - these guys have more than a decade of production experience behind them, so what they can achieve is completely irrelevant to a beginner).
  • sacboi
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    sacboi greentooth

    Wondering whether HS asset generation implementing Modo by Tor Frick is something worthwhile for you too look into. I think I'd linked a couple of tutorial sets authored by him in one of your previous threads.

  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
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  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi ngon master
    You know what might be better than a tutorial?

    Feedback on something you're working on.

    There's some major imbalence going on here.  MAKE SOMETHING.  WE KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.  WE BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY TO DO IT.

  • sacboi
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    sacboi greentooth

    ambelamba said:

    P.S. I sincerely hope I am not repeating the same thing over and over again.

    This might come as a shock...?!

    ...but...YOU ARE!!!

    C'mon dude let's get real, this recalcitrant behaviour has really gotta stop. You've already been offered a thesaurus worth of info from which too build a knowledge base upon. Generating post after post repeating your embedded 'concerns' on this or that issue up to this point isn't at all beneficial and actually to be brutally honest a complete waste of everyones time that've made an effort pointing you in the most optimal direction going forward. If you choose to ignore any or all recommendations provided thus far, then cool you're most certainly entitled to do so, but please cease and desist typing yet further repetitive justifications as to why you've indeed chosen too.

    Now either act on the guidance people have counselled or...sorry, find another creative avenue that'll suit. Because it's more than likely evident IMHO you're probably just not cut out to be a CG Artist of any description.

    Over and Out.          

  • aryarie
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    aryarie triangle
    I've read all your threads and I just don't understand why you haven't posted some art already? You've already been given a ton of advice and help. The only thing you can do now is make stuff, it's the only way you will make any progress. You don't need to wait or save up money for a class - all the information you need is already available to you either for completely free or significantly less than going on one of these courses.

    I started 3D as a total beginner a few months ago and I know it's not easy and it can seem overwhelming as there's a lot to cover but you won't go anywhere until you start making art. It's the best way to learn and it's really fun! You're over-complicating it and coming up with a lot of reasons as to why you can't do things. Perhaps you need to think about whether you're really interested in this field at all in the first place?
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