Exercises for Tech Artists?

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So Ive become increasingly bored with no side project to do and Ive basically attempted to come with a plan for mucking about doing what I like which are the following


But heres where it where it gets difficult, Im not a great modeler Ill be the first to admit that. I typically become sidetracked trying to make something that the guys would consider "polycount good" which is like highpoly subd modeling every single prop piece, modular piece etc. I find it hard to step back and be like "wo dude, thats way too much attention to something that you dont like to do anyway."

So heres where Id like to pick your brain - what kind of environment, or projects would be the best to approach when trying to be shy on the modeling side and really make things interesting when it comes to the above particulars.


How do you it approach modeling in a way that changes your mindset from "polycount good" to "get it done to do the fun shit"

Which do you think is better, a large scope environment or small exercises of like a muzzle flash or something?

Thought we could possibly bounce some ideas or thoughts around and maybe you guys will get some inspiration also.


  • mikhga
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    mikhga polycounter lvl 7
    Maybe a holographic, underwater, outer space or really minimalistic sci-fi environment could fit the description of what you would like to do.

    About the modelling mindset thing, maybe you just need to iterate your models more, and instead of beginning with a high-poly model you just do detailed blockouts and export those to your scene. That way, when the scene begins to come together you'll see all your models in context and notice how much detail each and every piece will need to read as believable.

    Hope that helps!
  • Butthair
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    Butthair polycounter lvl 6
    You need to get yourself into the mode of not caring about polycount. There is no reason to make a poly perfect model first time around.

    If you want to communicate that you know how to make shaders and textures, in the way a tech artist would, then show that. Don't try to hit all bases first go. Do the stuff you love and be smart about it.

    As a tech artist myself, everything that is 3D art is technical in it's approach. And modelling especially can be handled in a way that is more than just pushing verts around.

    Thaigo has a good tutorial on modularity and the texture sheet and modelling are extremely minimal. What makes the scene look great is the lighting and shaders set up.


    Give it a read, maybe it'll give you some ideas.

    Lastly, my experience with making projects is to handle scope. Think too big and you've got a lot of things you need to make and address. Think small and you'll have only a couple things to make. Even if that sounds easy or not worthwhile, I would say go for it. It's motivating to see progress with a product - the sooner the better. Besides it's not about quantity of models but quality of those effects.

    To make a shader for something better show you know how to make the sexiest metal or skin or plastic or holographic or whatever material.

    To make FX should show rigging and particle knowledge, as most FX things are dynamic. And I mean rigging hard surface.

    To show you're good at lighting is a hard, lighting is either good or it's bad. Lighting is about adding mood and personality. This goes back to color theory and psychology - blue is calm, red is intensity, etc.

    To communicate good texturing varies, as a tech artist you have quality and modularity to consider. Quality means more texture pages; modularity means less texture pages. That's up to you. In either case, think how a tech artist would go about these, not just an artist.

    These are only my opinions. I'm a tech artist myself and these are what I've come to in determining why I would go down these paths.

    My site my help you, plus I can post my site :D
    The projects I worked on had similar focuses, some about modularity others about really high quality shader work.
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