How many 3D artists in general do original work (Original designs, characters etc.) without supporting it with 2D art skills?
This might be from my limited experience but, as far as I can gather, outside of sculpting it's pretty difficult to create new designs in 3D from scratch without planning them out in 2D first.
>it's hard to make something without first having an idea of what I want to make
No shit. This is just fundamental to design; even (good) authors "sketch" their ideas (outlines, stream of consciousness, rough drafts of story ideas, characters, settings, etc) before they set out to write a novel.
If you can't draw 2D, get good references
If you sketch in graphite and render a finished image on top of that with paint or whatever it is you like to use, you're still starting and finishing in 2D.
Anyway, I'm a painter first and 3D artist second, I was just wondering if anyone outside of 3D sculptors got away with making original works with a completely 3D workflow since I meet so many 3D artists through college who don't produce any original work at all and just create stuff purely from referencing other people's work.
I started out not knowing how to draw by hand very well. I got to a point where I was collecting a million different references when it finally dawned on me:
I didn't know how to draw.
Fast forward a bit; I've been practicing drawing at a very leisurely pace over the past few years, usually to kill time at work. I find that whenever I get better drawing by hand, it GREATLY increases my performance using 2D/3D programs.
I've noticed that I'm able to comprehend shapes better & as a result I actually understand reference images better as well.
IMO I think the trap that comes with learning 3D is forgetting that you still need to know... anatomy for example.
And lastly unless you're trying to emulate art that doesn't take perspective/depth into account, you're never really not thinking in 3D. If you're drawing a head, the lines you draw are representations of the "lines" you would see if that head existed in the 3rd dimension.