Trouble learning

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Bluestemos polycounter lvl 4
Hi all,
So I've been doing 3D modeling (and some animation etc.) on and off as a hobby for the last 4 years, but recently I wanted to start actually learning it and getting something done instead of just messing around. However, I keep having problems learning new things of the whole field of 3D.

Whenever I try to work on a project, either the model looks weird or just out of place, the textures don't fit the actual model or the normal map is a horrible mess. I've actually gotten to a point where I've failed doing normal maps so many times I've pretty much started to hate normal mapping, which isn't good as I feel they are required for a good looking model in this day and age (I recently spent a few days trying to get a good normal map out of xNormal for a relatively simple model without success, and I ended up trashing the whole project).

I feel like I should just go back to the basics and make simple models with just a diffuse map and maybe a spec map, and without anything else. If I recall correctly, I might 've skipped that phase completely and tried moving from below average modeling skills to using PBR and normal mapping. :neutral: 

If anyone has some tips or pointers on how I should approach this, I'd be glad to hear them! :smile: 

Replies

  • RogerP
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    RogerP polycounter
    Sound like you might just need to look up some basic tutorials on normal mapping/texturing. There are plenty of videos on it even free ones on youtube as well. Just make sure you don't jump the gun and try to run before you can crawl. Also don't give up, even if you do decide on scrapping a model. Make a new one and try again!
  • BagelHero
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    BagelHero polycounter lvl 6
    Also worth posting here for feedback. Maybe you're approaching something from the wrong angle, and it's good to give outside perspectives the chance to jump in and stop you before you scrap something!
  • Bluestemos
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    Bluestemos polycounter lvl 4
    RogerP said:
    Sound like you might just need to look up some basic tutorials on normal mapping/texturing. There are plenty of videos on it even free ones on youtube as well. Just make sure you don't jump the gun and try to run before you can crawl. Also don't give up, even if you do decide on scrapping a model. Make a new one and try again!
    Thanks for the tip, I'll check out Youtube for some tuts. The only problem with it just that the tutorials on Youtube can be a bit low quality and may not really teach anything, but I'll give it a chance.

    BagelHero said:
    Also worth posting here for feedback. Maybe you're approaching something from the wrong angle, and it's good to give outside perspectives the chance to jump in and stop you before you scrap something!
    You're right, I'll try to put something together and ask for feedback. I tend to be extremely critical about my work so having someone else give me feedback would be great.

  • kanga
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    kanga interpolator
    I was in your position a few years ago. I had gotten to grips with uvs and displacement mapping but game textures and the hi-lo poly thing was a mystery. Making good game textures is still quite a process, so I took an online workshop and that fixed me right up :)  I have gotten all my 3d info from tutorials, and with all other areas: lighting, rigging, animation it went fine, but game textures (and also making good low poly cages) was more difficult because tutorials seem to focus on separate parts of the process and the info seemed fragmented making it hard to see the whole picture.

    I noticed that Gnomon and Eat3D have some really high quality dvds that take you through the whole method. The thing I found great about the workshop was the instructor could point out our mistakes very quickly which was a real time saver.

    Cheerio
  • Moltar
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    Moltar polycounter lvl 4
    Been in this position also.  I remember trying to remove AO caused by floaters... oh boy... those were the days.  Like Kanga I also went done the self taught/tutorial route and learn't almost everything from Digital Tutors and 3Dmotive.  I really struggled with normals and AO but after some simple UV guides and demonstrations on how to separate your model logically for baking, I was flying, now I have very little issues.

    I suggest watching Alec Moody's tutorial on normal maps at 3dmotive.com
  • Bluestemos
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    Bluestemos polycounter lvl 4
    kanga said:
    I was in your position a few years ago. I had gotten to grips with uvs and displacement mapping but game textures and the hi-lo poly thing was a mystery. Making good game textures is still quite a process, so I took an online workshop and that fixed me right up :)  I have gotten all my 3d info from tutorials, and with all other areas: lighting, rigging, animation it went fine, but game textures (and also making good low poly cages) was more difficult because tutorials seem to focus on separate parts of the process and the info seemed fragmented making it hard to see the whole picture.

    I noticed that Gnomon and Eat3D have some really high quality dvds that take you through the whole method. The thing I found great about the workshop was the instructor could point out our mistakes very quickly which was a real time saver.

    Cheerio
    I've also tried to watch as many tutorials as possible, but many of them actually skip the parts that are critical for me, do them differently or just in a way that I can't (with another software for example).

    Eat3D and Gnomon are a bit too expensive for me, as I'm just a student without income, so investing 60$ in a tutorial that may or may not help me is something I really have to think twice about.

    Moltar said:
    Been in this position also.  I remember trying to remove AO caused by floaters... oh boy... those were the days.  Like Kanga I also went done the self taught/tutorial route and learn't almost everything from Digital Tutors and 3Dmotive.  I really struggled with normals and AO but after some simple UV guides and demonstrations on how to separate your model logically for baking, I was flying, now I have very little issues.

    I suggest watching Alec Moody's tutorial on normal maps at 3dmotive.com
    Thanks for the reply, I checked out Alec's normal map tutorial, and I think I might buy it as a download to have permanent access to it, since it's quite cheap. Digital Tutors is good, but I've noticed that they don't have many tutorials on Cinema 4D, which is my current 3D package.

    The main problem I have with tutorials is that even though the methods usually apply to most 3D software, most game art tutorials are for 3ds Max or Maya which I don't have, and I'll have to figure out how to do the things they show on the video in my 3D package. I've been thinking about getting the student version of MODO, since it should fit my purpose better than C4D, which is not that great for game art - but I'm not sure if there are too many tutorials for MODO.

    Thanks
  • Tidal Blast
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    Tidal Blast polycounter lvl 5
    For Modo, tutorials aren't too hard to find.


    Documents
    Modo for game art - Free document
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1H4Mv-9Zryg-Vn-5cA2g7eqIwLbiJD5ELHcjgGcPN1so/edit?pli=1

    Modeling game assets in Modo - Free document
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/234152844/The Foundry/Modo/Modeling game assets in Modo_v1.00.pdf

    Scripts
    A whole bunch of Modo Scripts
    http://community.thefoundry.co.uk/discussion/topic.aspx?f=4&t=86889

    Modo - Boolean scripts
    http://community.thefoundry.co.uk/discussion/topic.aspx?f=36&t=94894

    Vertex Normal Toolkit and much more...
    http://www.farfarer.com/resources.htm#

    Videos
    Modopedia - Free website, lot of videos
    http://www.modopedia.com/

    Modo 701 - Essentials - Lynda.com
    http://www.lynda.com/MODO-tutorials/MODO-701-Essential-Training/137885-6.html?seo_popover=true

    Creating game interiors using Modo & Substance Designer - Digital Tutors
    http://www.digitaltutors.com/tutorial/2061-Creating-Game-Interiors-using-Modo-and-Substance-Designer

    UDK Modular Masterclass - Efficiently Creating and Entire Scene with Tor Frick
    http://eat3d.com/udk_modular

    Tor Frick - Gumroad Tutorials
    https://gumroad.com/snefer


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