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How long to get really good at 3d sculpting

I'm really enjoying 3d sculpting, I feel like it's something I can see myself doing for a long time and maybe even turn it into a career. I'm teaching myself trying to do an hour a day. How long do you think it'd take before I can produce something of the likes I see on this forum? My guess is 10 years? Any tips for faster progression would be great too :)

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  • Ruz
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    Ruz sublime tool
    I would say 10 years to be excellent( ish) I thiink i started in about 2006 with an early version of zbrush. some people pick it up insanely quick though
  • kanga
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    kanga sublime tool
    ... I'm teaching myself trying to do an hour a day... 
    You have found your calling when you have to force yourself to do something else.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycount lvl 666
    "Greatness doesn't come from some secret knowledge or inborn talent."

    Back in the day like 500 - 600 years ago, dudes born with an innate ability carving masterpieces outta marble were practically hounded all over Europe by rich mucky muck elites for the sole purpose of bestowing patronage upon low born master artisans...just say'n.

    Anyway, imo there's something to be said for the naturally gifted, who seem blessed with aptitude in spades, otherwise for the rest of us it's a veritable step by step journey (...however long it takes) toward proficiency 

    Although this:

    "Just learn to love the exercise. It's a process we do for joy, not for penitence."      

    I do wholeheartedly agree with.
  • Firebert
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    Firebert polycounter lvl 12
    Absolutely everything @Alex_J said.  Where can I buy some of them Wisdom O's™ you ate for breakfast?

    Working to enhance your skills/powers of observation while not digitally sculpting will aid tremendously.  If you don't have much experience in life drawing, this could really benefit that skill set.  A lot of positions rely on your ability to translate a 2D concept/image into a 3D model, and the more experience you gain in that process, the stronger your sculpts will become.  Still life setups are a great place to start if you've never been much of a doodler, but if you are able to get into a live model drawing course in your area, do it.  Same goes for getting your hands all up into traditional sculpting.  The extra practice really helps through the process of exercising the old squishy CPU. 

    If you find you're truly passionate about sculpting, it naturally becomes a lifestyle that you put more and more time into all for the sake of improving.  It's your happy place.
  • StrobingThunder
    Alex_J said:
    Do more than one hour a day. Two hours and you double your rate, right? 

    There is a point of diminishing returns. More than eight hours a day probably becomes counter-productive at some point. Nothing wrong with staying up all night because you are really excited about some work but I think it's bad habit to get into working yourself to death all the time. Besides your health it will probably be counter-productive to producing actual results.

    Some people get good fast (like a few years), others take longer, and some stay the same and never improve. If you really love digital sculpting, just focus on it for a year or two. Then you'll have better idea about if its something you see yourself doing long term, how much aptitude you have for it, and so on. 

    Greatness doesn't come from some secret knowledge or inborn talent. It's just process of iteration. Every piece of art looks like doodoo for a long time before it gets all it's makeup on for its big social media reveal. 

    I think as a beginner it is hard to understand that and have faith in the process. So you diddle too long on parts that aren't important, then don't have energy to spend when it is important. To get through that valley of not knowing where to put the energy, it's probably best to make lots of finished pieces with focus on learning, not measuring your greatness.

    It's like losing weight - don't get on the scale everyday. Just learn to love exercise. It's a process we do for joy, not for penitence.

    Think that's great advice - i'd love to do more than an hour a day (I do where possible), but life stuff unfortunately gets in the way! Thanks for your post :) 
  • StrobingThunder
    Firebert said:
    Absolutely everything @Alex_J said.  Where can I buy some of them Wisdom O's™ you ate for breakfast?

    Working to enhance your skills/powers of observation while not digitally sculpting will aid tremendously.  If you don't have much experience in life drawing, this could really benefit that skill set.  A lot of positions rely on your ability to translate a 2D concept/image into a 3D model, and the more experience you gain in that process, the stronger your sculpts will become.  Still life setups are a great place to start if you've never been much of a doodler, but if you are able to get into a live model drawing course in your area, do it.  Same goes for getting your hands all up into traditional sculpting.  The extra practice really helps through the process of exercising the old squishy CPU. 

    If you find you're truly passionate about sculpting, it naturally becomes a lifestyle that you put more and more time into all for the sake of improving.  It's your happy place.
    I have been drawing a fair bit before hand, I guess i'm trying to find the medium which I naturally lean to. I'm a programmer / tech consultant so digital sculpting feels much more like that. I'll for sure keep the drawing up as much as I can - I think you're right for sure will book onto some life drawing too! Thanks for your post and great advice :) 
  • StrobingThunder
    oglu said:
    You will never feel good thats part of the deal. There is always something to improve. 
    This feeling sucks - always disappointed by something I've done that isn't exactly right. 
  • StrobingThunder
    Ruz said:
    I would say 10 years to be excellent( ish) I thiink i started in about 2006 with an early version of zbrush. some people pick it up insanely quick though
    What would you say had been your biggest 'breakthrough' or eureka moment? Something that you thought instantly made everything you did look or feel better? 
  • Ruz
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    Ruz sublime tool
    @StrobingThunder   -  for me  it was realising that I can't use the standard brush all  the time , it became a case of using, for example the clay brush, then smooth, standard brush, the smooth out,dam standard then smooth and so on
    then I realised i had a bit more control over the prcess. - almost like sub d with the abilty to add more subtle shapes

    so yeah the smooth is my friend, but i  just use it carefullly, not just erase all the stokes i have just made

    My latest thing is to blcok out stuff using the dam standard, to get nice hard edges shapes, lines so i have a definite structure
    I obviously then dial it back with smooth
    Also i try not to work for more then an hour at a time, so i can still see if it looks good
  • Dihemi
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    Dihemi polygon
    I'm really enjoying 3d sculpting, I feel like it's something I can see myself doing for a long time and maybe even turn it into a career. I'm teaching myself trying to do an hour a day.
    If you're serious about turning it into a career you might want to crank those numbers up. I obviously can't tell you how to spend your time but people I would consider really good sculptors live and breathe ZBrush, easily clocking 5 to 8+ hours a day (Like others mentioned above, that counts for literally everything if you want to get really good at it).
     Any tips for faster progression would be great too :)
    Study anatomy. It is paramount. Look at reference. Most beginners' bad work has more to do with lack of anatomy knowledge than not knowing how to use ZBrush imo. You can make great sculpts with only the most basic brushes. Same for other artistic aspects like shapes, composition, etc.

    And like Firebert said earlier; drawing works complementary. Especially for understanding anatomy. People good at drawing adapt faster to ZBrush in my experience. I've seen 2D artist become proficient in ZBrush with little effort.
  • starcow
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    starcow Polycount Sponsor
    oglu said:
    You will never feel good thats part of the deal. There is always something to improve. 
    If that applies to you, it's sad.
    That certainly doesn't apply to every artist. In such a case you should work on your attitude. Achieving a result that is not perfect in all aspects (in your own eyes) does not have to be a contradiction in terms with a high level of satisfaction. Those who are only satisfied and happy when they think they achieve the perfect result should work on their work ethic.
  • DavidCruz
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    DavidCruz interpolator
    My guess is 10 years? Any tips for faster progression would be great too :)
    Didn't read all thread.(might later)
    Tips, some people's profiles have guides tips tut's you might find useful instead of stumbling upon a technique you worked into while you are learning.

    Basically learning very useful things at the start are probably more beneficial than learning brush strokes on a highly subdivided mesh.  As an example a useful thing would be since everything is made up of shapes, you should learn how to merge shapes in the best way possible, which in my mind is the quickest way to results.  (Learning that from going from 3D to 2D, proved to be helpful to make, sharing it maybe it will be helpful to others)

    Idk if the new thing is to just learn makehuman stuff i.e. editors and completely negate all the rough stuff.  Those people exist so, maybe you find that to be a better route for you if speedy results is a concern.

    Edited:
    For 3D:
    1 week, if you do not care about status, being labeled a "phony", and all that other name calling (bby,b.s.) 
    Free 3D sites or materials posted about across the net,
    DAZ3D, do a few changes to each bit you want to pose as your own art.
    Boom, you are a pro now...
    For 2D:
    Steal other peoples stuff, take photo's and run filters on it, scan books/any irl arts, change 20% of it, boom you are now also amazing at 2D.
    LMFAO these people exist btw.(and i think those ^ should get the injection everyone is boasting about.)
  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage
    If you push weekends hard for a few months you be able to make decent stuff especially in cartoony/stylized area Probably need few years to learn all the specificity and to reach the quality bar Its depends entirely of you and the path you choose, learning fundamentals early on will shorten it significantly
  • Ruz
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    Ruz sublime tool
    Hey DavidCruz, don't knock appying filters to stuff, i have made several works of art with the photoshop oil paint filter :)
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