So I was cleaning up my hard drive and I found my copy pasta of what used to be the board sticky.
/3/'s Official README.TXT
If you're reading this, you probably got this linked to you because you posted a
question that has already been asked many many times. Read ahead, and find
Scroll to the bottom for useful resource links.
1.) "How do I get started in 3D?"
There are many ways to get started, the quickest way is to actually start
with a 3D program. There are many to choose from, such as:
-Blender 3D (Free!)
Once you obtain one the next step is to start with tutorials. There are many
on the net, they range from text and image tutorials to video tutorials. You
aren't going to find a tutorial for everything out there, but most will explain
techniques that you need to adapt in order for you to achieve whatever final
result you want.
2.) "Wow! That's a lot of programs! Which one is best? I heard ______ is best."
You heard wrong, there is no one program that is better than the rest, it has
and always will be the skill level of the artist. Which program you choose is
solely dependent on your own personal taste and which aspect of the 3D industry
you want to be involved in.
Max and Maya are the most hyped and so therefore the most used,
they have the most available documentation online. The interfaces have
a steep learning curve, but there isn't any 3D program you can't learn if you take
the time to use it and follow some tutorials. Go with a generalized package, not a
3.) "Whoah, Generalized vs Specialized? How do I know?"
A generalised package like Maya, Max, Softimage are packages that let you model, render,
animate, texture, and create dynamics all within the same application. They don't require third party plugins
or applications to add another basic feature, like a renderer or animation tools.
However you can get plugins for these apps to enhance their features.
There are several Specialized applications out there that cater to a specific skill.
Animation: Motion Builder, Messiah 3D.
Modeling: Modo, Wings3D, Silo 3D
CAD: Autocad, Sketchup, SolidWorks
Detailing: Zbrush, Mudbox, 3DCoat
4.) "Ooooo Zbrush, I see so much awesome shit from that, I'm gonna start there!"
No, you're getting ahead of yourself. You should start learning about basic modeling and
topology before jumping into Zbrush. Zbrush is a great program for advanced users to add
detail to their existing models, or to prototype models quickly by sculpting them out. It
is not a good idea to get into Zbrush when you're not very familiar with general 3D concepts
5) "Ok, I see I'm not very good at this stuff, can you model ______ for me?"
No, anybody with any decent skill on this board does this work for a living or for some kind
of gain. Some of those just starting out may pick up the project but don't expect Miets Meier
level of work. You get what you pay for.
6.) "But it's too haaaaaaaaard, isn't there any easy button?"
No, like all things it takes time and effort to master a program, practice makes perfect and
playing around with the interface will get the shortcuts ingrained into your muscle memory.
7.) "So which program is the easiest to learn?"
You shouldn't learn a program, you should learn techniques. When you master a technique the program
becomes nothing more than a tool. As said before Max and Maya have the most documentation but you
should look at learning how to model and the right techniques instead of 'what button does X'. You
can get UI information from the program's help files. F1 and Google are your friends.
8.) "So, what do studios look for when hiring if I don't know program ______ won't I get turned down?"
When a studio judges your demo reel and resume they have an order of priority.
1-Quality of Work
9.) "So studios don't care what program I use? Why do they care about versatility?"
Except for Animators who are pretty much exempt from most rules of 3D, most studios want people who
can perform multiple tasks instead of just a specialised one. They want modelers who can also texture,
they want riggers who can also do dynamics, they want lighters who can also texture. It's ok to be
specialised in one area, but it doesn't hurt to be versatile, it will always keep you employed.
When a studio looks at your program skills they do often look to see if you have experience in their
preferred in house package, but MANY times you're going to get a studio that has added their own tools
and pipeline so it wouldn't matter what program you know as long as your skills are good. If you know
techniques you can pretty much pickup any 3D package in a matter of days. Of course there are some that
are hard set that you know program ________ but for the most part what package you know is not that
important (yes even you Blender fags can get a job in a studio if you know good techniques.)
10.) "What about gaming?"
What about it?
11.) "How do I make my own game? How do I program shaders or a video game?"
This is a 3D board not a programming board! Do you want to make 3D game assets or
do you want to be a programmer?
13.) If you want to get into game asset creating, your three primary focus of interests are:
Low poly modeling is an art in itself, trying to get as much detail with as few polys as possible
takes some practice, there is no formula for this. You create a low poly model and use techniques
such as good UV textures and normal maps to enhance the look of the model in the game engine.
Two great places to start for game asset creation:
Animating for games is pretty much the same as for movies, except that your model has a higher chance
of deforming badly and you may not have as much control over your rig. Still the basic concepts of
animation will always apply.
14.) "So got any links?"
Specific Starter Tutorials:
http://www.3dtotal.com/ffa/tutorials/max/joanofarc/joanmenu.php : 3DS Max Character Modeling tutorial - Best you'll find
http://www.poopinmymouth.com/tutorial/tutorial.htm : Great introduction to basic game character modeling
http://newtek.com/lightwave/training.php : Free Lightwave 3D training videos
-UVMapping and Texturing
http://racer445.com/ : Intro to texture concepts and normal mapping
http://cgtextures.com/ : Best free texture resource
http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4678 : Introduction to texture concepts
http://www.psbrushes.net/ : Brushes can be used to create textures
http://cg.tutsplus.com/tutorials/texturing-a-human-face-day-1-the-uvw-unwrap/ : UV Unwrapping in Max
http://download.autodesk.com/media/3dsmax/peltmap_max8_380k.mov : Demo of pelt unwrap feature in Max
-Game Character Creation
-Game creation resources
http://www.3dartspace.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=304 Meats Meier Intro to Zbrush, free, informative, highly recommend.
Softimage Mod Tool:
Underage b&s and College fags who can get discount software:
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/holt_karl/syntheyes.php : Introduction to Matchmove with Syntheyes.
http://ae.tutsplus.com/articles/roundup/26-tracking-and-3d-matchmoving-plus-after-effects-tutorials/ : 26 great Camera tracking and Matchmove tutorials
-MoCap libraries (free and none free)
AND THAT IS ALL
>4.) "Ooooo Zbrush, I see so much awesome shit from that, I'm gonna start there!"
>No, you're getting ahead of yourself. You should start learning about basic modeling and
>topology before jumping into Zbrush. Zbrush is a great program for advanced users to add
>detail to their existing models, or to prototype models quickly by sculpting them out. It
>is not a good idea to get into Zbrush when you're not very familiar with general 3D concepts
I see this, but, every site like DT, gnomon, eat3d etc has all their organic related tutorials done in zbrush, what gives
the reason for that answer is so new users understand topology. it is true you could jump into zbrushand create awesome looking shit, the problem would be getting it back out again for animation. often one has to import a low poly mesh, create a higher poly version then bake the detail back to the lower poly mesh.
or alternatively, retopologise your hi poly mesh for export and animation.
you need to understand thge basics of subdivision modeling in order to create good topology that deforms well.
In truth, its because new tools come out all the time that make our lives easier and change our workflows, and certain artists who learned to do things the older way want to feel smug about it. It's the equivalint of your grandfather walking 4miles to school barefoot in the winter, and thinking your grandkids should too despite whatever advances in technology or clothing may have been made. The reason the professional artists at gnomon/etc teach the way they do is because they're mature enough to know that things change, and the way they may have worked 10 years ago is not the same way they work now. These tools have become part of their workflow, and learning them first is just as valid so long as you learn.
You'll hear people say it's important to learn good topology (and it is), but really it wont matter if you learn that through box-modeling, plane-by-plane, or by retopologizing a sculpt. Either way you have to spend time learning about good edgeflow, looking at professional models to see what works, and perhaps even try rigging and animating yourself to see how your own edges hold up. But thats that.
So worry about the art first and save the technical for last. Learn how to make good looking models, learn how to create them quickly, learn how to make them work.