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Tocpe
04-06-2005, 01:14 PM
I thought I'd start a thread to help gather & share resources such as books, videos, websites, etc that 3D artists who have *not* been traditionally trained in art can use to begin to teach themselves the basics of traditional art skills. Stuff like composition, color theory, anatomy, and all the things that would be covered in a intro level art classes.

Think of it as a way for us to "catch up". :)

First off I guess we should discuss what are the kinds of subjects covered in a typical intro level art class?

Lunatique
04-07-2005, 03:30 AM
The problem is, what 3D artist needs to catch up with ARE traditional art knowledge. There is no shortcut, or alternatives. All art theories are "traditional."

Fardak
04-07-2005, 05:05 AM
BH

All art theories, all aspects of art theory, are "traditional" because they are a fundamental part of creating art. I don't think Tocpe is asking for a shortcut - just a list of suggested reading material for those of us not lucky enough to be in schools where this is on the curriculum. I second the request. Being "self-taught", and a beginner at that, a list like that would help me enormously.

Good call, Tocpe! :buttrock:

I don't know if you have to limit the list to entry level, introductory type books, I'm sure people of all levels of proficiency would like to read up on the different topics. I would suggest just noting the skill level which a particular book (or website etc) targets. That way people that are a bit more advanced won't have to wade through all the basics, and conversely, newbies won't be left scratching their heads trying to figure out more advanced stuff.

Lunatique
04-07-2005, 05:14 AM
Have you guys checked the sticky in this forum? There is a sticky made especially for this.

Fardak
04-07-2005, 05:22 AM
BH

*laughs* Woooops! My bad... I sort of vaguely saw those stickies and glossed right over them because I don't have enough time to surf around right now, then when I saw this thread, I thought "Wow! Great Idea.."

Anyway, thanks for the pre-emptive sticky... :buttrock:
Will get to it when I can. :rolleyes:

edit: Come to think of it, I think Tocpe's idea is a bit broader than the scope of that sticky. A list of books we can buy would still be helpful, because although online resources are great alot more info will be available offline in books. Also, an open thread where people would post things *they* have found helpful has potential a locked thread by definition does not. There is something to be said for hearing the experience, advice, and suggestions of as many people as possible.

Tocpe
04-07-2005, 01:13 PM
Hmmm, I musta have missed that sticky too. My bad. :)

Maybe we can open this thread's scope to materials that artists have found as valuable resources that have aided in their techniques development from a pure technical 3D artist to one with a more developed traditional art knowledge.

Sort of a list of "Hey, I found this book/dvd/websie/etc and it helped me develop my [insert skill here] better." Something self-taught folks could use for an Amazon-like specialized resouce for non-biases reviews and shopping/wishlists.

jmBoekestein
04-07-2005, 01:20 PM
mathematics is a language and therefore an art can be construed from it, a poetic one. It would not be a traditional artform.

Lunatique
04-07-2005, 02:00 PM
One thing I always stress and hopefully get people to understand is:

You are an artist, PERIOD. You're not a 3D artist. You're not a 2D artist, You're not a CG artist, and you're not a traditional artist. You are AN ARTIST, and that's it. No distinctions and categorization necessary. All artists need to know exactly the same foundation to be an artist, and that foundation consists of composition, values, colors, perspective, anatomy, design..etc, along with creative thinking that's not only clever, but also profound. Notice I didn't say drawing or painting? Drawing and painting are just ways to express your art. You can use paper cutouts or colored pebbles and still create great works of art if you have your foundation as an artist. 3D is just another way to express your art too. But you gotta have that foundation.

What is a "purely technical 3D artist?" How is that different from just being "an artist?" Are "purely technical 3D artists" people who have absolutely no interest in art, and only care about rigging, particles, softbody deformations, hair/cloth simulations..etc? I would find it hard to believe that there are people who only care about these technical aspects of 3D and don't bother with anything that has to do with "art." If there are people like that, I would assume they probably don't bother calling themselves artists anyway. I'm not saying technical aspects can't be creative, as programmers can be very creative too. But I don't know any programmers going around calling themselves artists.

Tocpe - We should probably have a sticky thread called "Helpful books, DVD's, websites..etc." Feel free to start one and I'll make it a sticky.

Tocpe
04-07-2005, 03:09 PM
hmmm, pehaps 3D artist isn't the right term then. :) I'm not sure what the term should be then. I was thinking the thread would be aimed at folks who had zero to very little of an art background (i.e. 4th grade art class) who picked up a 3D program and started to build scenes, but now want to learn how to create better looking and more moving pieces. And thus are now looking to teach themselves what makes "great art so great". :)

Lunatique
04-07-2005, 03:19 PM
hmmm, pehaps 3D artist isn't the right term then. :) I'm not sure what the term should be then. I was thinking the thread would be aimed at folks who had zero to very little of an art background (i.e. 4th grade art class) who picked up a 3D program and started to build scenes, but now want to learn how to create better looking and more moving pieces. And thus are now looking to teach themselves what makes "great art so great". :)

Ahh, in that case, the Art Theory Links sticky thread is PRECISELY what you need. Even just reading through a few of the Andrew Loomis books listed in that thread will equal a degree in an art school. Thing is, you really have to read them cover to cover, digest the information, apply them to your work, and then go back and reread them again to gain new insights. Really grasping and applying an entire book's worth of learning material such as Loomis's Creative Illustration could take you at least a year, and most likely a lot longer than that to be able to use that knowledge and wield it at command.

It is really surprising to me that with such wonderful and powerful learning material available for free online, people aren't utilizing them to their full potential. But I do understand that self-learning isn't something everyone's good at. Seriously, those Andrew Loomis books can save your tens and thousands of dollars in artschool education.

Milho
04-07-2005, 03:56 PM
hmmm, pehaps 3D artist isn't the right term then. :) I'm not sure what the term should be then. I was thinking the thread would be aimed at folks who had zero to very little of an art background (i.e. 4th grade art class) who picked up a 3D program and started to build scenes, but now want to learn how to create better looking and more moving pieces. And thus are now looking to teach themselves what makes "great art so great". :)

I can feel you, it's really a shame when you realize one day, that only by clicking some buttons and learning a software (you dont even know that youll be using it in future) you won't be able to create good "art". Then you see yourself goiing back some steps and learn the basic but from another perspective (can I have the years back I lost?).

I'm in this situation right now, trying to get better in traditional media/theorie, and it's just starting to get better (sometimes ;) ). It's nice starting understand the stuff that is described in all this tutorials and book instead of just reading through it. But still "learning art" is nothing you can do easily by reading books and learning theories by hard. There's nothing but a lot of practise (Sounds like im practising alot, haha but im still too lazy and accordingly my work lacks) Even though it's really like magic when you see that other stuff, like 3d really gets better the more you understand the concepts behind traditional art. Also it was a great suprise when I for the first time went outside and analized colors in nature. I mean you'll say "Yeah I read everything about it!" but when you really just focus on it for real you realize how much our mind gets tricked. E.g. there are not green leaves and brown trunks. Also shadows and lights make such incredible things to the colors.....

Sorry what I wanted to say is: It really works, and thats why a forum like this in a "cg" community is more than important. But don't expect to find a "learn art in 24h crashcourse" somewhere. There is NO TUTORIAL that can teach you actually. It's only like theory or examples, but you have to get the stuff working on your own. You say you want to "learn art" so expect hours, days and month of reading, watchin, analizing the masters and trying. It may sound crucial but in the end it works. You dont have a "art-statusbar" which tells you how good you are (would be cool though, im at 3,24% haha) . But still you will see that you take advance when people start to say you make better stuff.

Fardak
04-07-2005, 04:22 PM
Tocpe - We should probably have a sticky thread called "Helpful books, DVD's, websites..etc." Feel free to start one and I'll make it a sticky.

:buttrock:
Loomis is great, I just found those books and will be studying them. However, there is a wealth of information out there waiting to be found which focuses on specific aspects of art theory, and from many different perspectives. I think a list like that would be beneficial to all, even those with a background or education in art. One persons work, no matter how impressive or comprehensive can always be complemented by the work of others.

edit: I was about to start that thread when it occured to me that it might work better if the first post was constantly updated so people would only have to page through it to read the comments and chatter while the actual list would be compiled in the first post. I think a mod has to do that... So what'll it be? Should I start it, or will one of the mods, or what?

tAstyBITs
04-07-2005, 06:23 PM
I've learned a lot from using 3d software about lighting, gi, reflections, sub surface scattering etc. I've learned even more from setting up materials to match real life settings. Making something look natural from the render can teach you a lot about lighting, materials, and material properties and set up. The thing I really like about 3d is that the Render engines use practical mathematical interpolation of light which provides more of a universal understanding of light, which for me has been easier to understand than artists who each have their individual understanding and interpolation/vocabulary of light. But in the end it's all learning whether it is from a traditional classical sense or from 3d software.

The books that I've bought for 3d rendering have been disappointing. If they are written more than two years ago they are most likely outdated. If there was a book that focused on material setups then that one could be worth getting. I think finding tutorial links for the specific programs your using is a good way to learn.


3d stuff is a big field, 2d traditionl work, 3d sculpting, lighting, animation, and even programming are inlcuded in this field.

Tocpe
04-07-2005, 07:29 PM
Ahh, in that case, the Art Theory Links sticky thread is PRECISELY what you need. Even just reading through a few of the Andrew Loomis books listed in that thread will equal a degree in an art school.

You know, I think you're right. Hmmm maybe this thread isn't needed after all. :) You can kill it if you'd like Lunatique. :)

I've read through some of Loomis's books, awesome stuff.

tAstyBITs
04-08-2005, 05:46 AM
3d Art Theory is a bit to a lot different. Theres a lot here that can be used for traditional art.

resourses (http://www.debevec.org/#Resources)

Very cool links but not really for a beginners.

ashakarc
04-08-2005, 06:46 AM
Folks, Art Theories have little to do with training tools and traditional art skills. There is a wealth of literature concerning art theories whether in psychology, philosophy, culture studies, etc.. This might be an interesting topic to you, but it is mildly related to the intended repository for 3D art.

However, if you are an artist with a keen interest in theory and how it applies to your art, then I am sure you have a library of your own by now.

Another mix-up in terminology is when we refer to intro level class in art as basics. In fact these classes provide the foundation knowledge of art in terms of aesthetics, perception, art evolution. The basics that are referred to might be related to technique, more precisely the "How to".
The sticky mentioned above is a good place to serve as a repository as such.

best,
ashakarc

tAstyBITs
04-08-2005, 06:02 PM
3d Art or computer generated 3d is roughly a decade old and it's a advancment of tools more than theory. However the heart of 3d CG is the science as far as I believe, any one who truely loves 3d will understand this. I'd also like to say that 2d CG is not the same as the 3d CG world.

3d GC is a broad area which includes traditional art theory and even computer science. I don't think the topic of 3d art theory is trying to take away from the thousands of years of Art history and theory, but whith the advancement of science things change. I think there should be a 3d art Theory now that computer have established themselfs of life changing devices that effect everybody life on all sorts of level. So saying you just need to know traditional art theory is to sell yourself short as a 3d artist. I think there are alot of traditional artist who may feel threatened by this concept but they shouldn't. People should understand that programing is now a new art form and traditional art doesn't cover that.

tAstyBITs
04-08-2005, 07:30 PM
The wierd thing for me is that after about 10 years of doing CG3d I don't think of light in a traditional art theory way. The term "highlights" or "rimlights" have been replaced with "specular" light. The term "local color" has been replaced with "diffuse color". 3d has taught me a lot about raytracing, global illumination, normals and angle of incident of the normal to the eye and how it effect a surface. You really need to understand how light behaves in the software and you have to understand the terminology of that science to be a 3d artist. You have to undetstand how render engines are set up to deal with specular, gi, raytraceing etc, to make things work in that medium. It's stange but I've learned more art theory from 3d software than I have from artists books.

If you love 3d then all this stuff might the coolist stuff in the world.

ashakarc
04-08-2005, 08:36 PM
Well, I could agree on this. But, this is not what the original post had in mind.

In terms of Computer Graphics theories a.k.a. CG, there are some treasures out there if you are interested. The Computer Graphics revolution started 4 decades ago not 10 years ago, and the discourse on the future of this field pretty much adopted most of what we know today as CG. The distinction between two dimensional computer graphics and three dimensional is just a commercial distinction. There is no real boundary between both. Having said that, the majority of research in computer graphics were about the development of more efficient algorithms to calculate.

I would recommend visiting Jim Blinn's (http://www.research.microsoft.com/~blinn/)site (a pioneer in Computer Graphics) were he has some very interesting papers published on the topic. Here is an excerpt:

"As more and more becomes known about the imaging process, better simulations can be performed without brute force application of current techniques. The non-real time images of today will become the real time images of tomorrow." Realism in Computer Graphics 1979

best,
ashakarc

tAstyBITs
04-08-2005, 10:16 PM
I would agree with almost everything. I think these papers that I linked have linkes to there sources etc.

I don't see how you think there's no separation between 2d and 3d. I can say that the end result is 2d, but working in 3d is different than 2d. It would be like saying there's no seperation between drawing and sculpting.?

I think you can define Art Theory for 3d Artist as having it's roots defined by people like Jim Blinn. Maybe the post had something different in mind but I was thinking something else when I clicked on the thread. I think it's a interesting topic, "3d Art Theory".

ashakarc
04-09-2005, 12:36 AM
Yeh, I'm not really concerned much if there is a theory that defines distinctly 3DCG as much as I am interested in the experimental part of it. The bulk of 3DCG out there is concerned about depicting reality simulating what a camera could do but with a tinge of fantasy, or vice versa.

Few artists and designers are actually experimenting with this medium, the rest are more into highly techno-temporal issues in CG i.e. skin absorbance of light, car shaders, and realistic motion and special effects. You don't need a theory for that stuff because it is ever changing with technology. In the near future you won't need to do a lot of manipulation and light studies to get the realistic effects, but what lasts is the quality and meaning of work, the innovation that pushes the envelope and provide an Avant Garde headway for the rest to inspire from. People like John Maeda (http://www.maedastudio.com/index.php), Hiroshi Ishii (http://web.media.mit.edu/~ishii/), and many others who are leading a real Avant Garde movement in 2D, 3D, and robotics.

Thanks for following up!

best,
ashakarc

Kanga
04-09-2005, 01:20 AM
Ok all artists are artists.
Someone said 3D artists have catching up to do, I think there are a couple of reasons for this. 3D is infinately more work than 2D. 3D must use all aspects of 2D (which are hard enough) and much much more, add to deep 2D understanding, motion, 360 degree integrity, a story line, rigging oh on and on and on. You can diversify and make your own films or just specialise and make only textures for a living.

The second thing is that 3D has a building block appeal so many people produce stuff (alot of stuff) without having any background 2D knowledge and you can see it. It is a young technology and not many accomplished illustrators have stepped over to 3D yet.

Ok I feel that much 3D art misses 2D skill in general. There are always exceptions. The market is flooded with really great drawing and basic art principle books you will find hundreds in your local art store. Try resist running before you can walk. With so many great tools available thats hard to do. It will save you time and grief in the end though.

Stahlberg
04-09-2005, 03:01 AM
Huge confusion here as to exactly what we mean by "Art Theory". I think when we set up this forum we were defining it as "Art School 101" or something like that. Not so much the philosophy behind it, or the science behind the new digital medium, or whatever.

I think there should be a 3d art Theory now that computer have established themselfs of life changing devices that effect everybody life on all sorts of level. So saying you just need to know traditional art theory is to sell yourself short as a 3d artist.
But who said that? "All you need to know is traditional art theory"... everyone knows it takes a lot of work to master 3d software.
According to my definition above there's no need for a specific "3d Art Theory". Only for art training, plus software training. The easy part is the second, that's why we're only talking about the first one here. It's like getting a pilot's certificate, or learning how to drive a big rig; almost anyone motivated enough can do it, it just takes a few weeks or months. The art part though... completely different story. I've been practising my art skills for over 40 years, and I still feel like a beginner.


People should understand that programing is now a new art form and traditional art doesn't cover that.

Debatable. I see it as a science, a discipline, a craft, and it can from time to time create or result in art; programmers can be artists, and artists can be programmers, but programming itself can't be an "art form" - that would make ALL programmers artists...

However that may be - traditional art training does indeed cover it. Such training is only concerned with the result of the program, not the program. This result would still have to communicate something to an audience; and doing that well is what art training is all about.

Lunatique
04-09-2005, 03:23 AM
tAsty BITs - You're talking about the tech, not the art. Rendering algorithms, materials, and all the tech stuff will not give you a worthwhile piece of art. What will, is understanding traditional art theories. All that tech will only give you tools you can use, but what good are those tools if you don't know what to do with them? It's like the big budget Holywood garbage we see too often--all that amazing tech, but no heart, no soul, no creativity, and no integrity.

You can know your specular and sub-surface scattering and GI and HDRI and all that jazz, but what good are they if you have no understanding of composition, color theory, values, and the aesthetic principles of what makes an engaging image? What good are they if you have nothing to say as a creative person--no emotions to express, no stories to tell, and no personal statements to make? It'll be like someone who knows how to program all these cool sounds with synthesizers and samplers, but have no idea how to actually compose a beautiful piece of music that moves the listener with those sounds.

eggs-in-wisconsin
04-09-2005, 03:25 AM
Art is what you make with your own hands,
that is more than functional. Something that pleases
the eye, and does something, even if it just covers a
bare spot on the wall, or the computer screen.
Art is something you do, to please someone special,
or a group, or just your self.
Art can be provacative, or art can be just like everybody elses
idea of a nice thing.
Art is that concrete driveway, you just poured and finished.
Art is the stack of 100,000 sheets of 4 color, 2 sided, 4-up brouchures ready for the bindery.
It's the restoration/refinishing of a fine piece of furniture.
It's that scripting I did to create a scrollbar in swishmax,
and the 3d diddies in swishmax (http://www.the-verybest.com/designXchange/icosahedron_001.html), I've been doing over the years.
The only thing I know about art, is what my 103 year old Grandmother taught me.
I'm 45 years old, and just starting to get back to school, and I am learning that Grandma
was pretty right on the money, bless her heart! :)

ashakarc
04-09-2005, 03:54 AM
Good points! Theoretical studies are left to academics and scholars not artists, unless she/he chooses to do so.
It is good though that the new generation of artists have a little taste of it. What I mean by that, the foundation of art knowledge and where it came from.
On a slightly off topic, my art is part of my existence, not a pro not a hobbyist. It is part of my life just like design, architecture, human behaviour, music, guitar, my offsprings, etc..My theoretical background which I acquired since the age of 12 and for 26 years already have helped me tremendously adjusting myself to this crazy thing they call "art".

If you choose to go further, Why not?

best,
ashakarc
-------------------------
"Little knowledge is a dangrous thing." Alexander Pope

JA-forreal
04-09-2005, 04:23 AM
The problem is, what 3D artist needs to catch up with ARE traditional art knowledge. There is no shortcut, or alternatives. All art theories are "traditional."



Along with those concepts I also try to find ways to let the technology of 3d add it's own imprint on my work. In 3d you have two forces at work, first those that are driven by our understanding of art concepts and our goals.

Then you have the force of your 3d software's behavior and imitation of what it is designed to render as light or as water, etc. Often these forces are very driven by science. Much of your work as a 3d artist is tweaking this science to fit your artistic goals. At times you can let the science of 3d software work for you and see what it has to offer as a solution to getting the look that you want.

But at no time can we let this process take over. I see many new 3d artist just using sky lighting and base materials and praising the rendering engine for the results. This is not a good habit to have as a 3d artist.

Even with all of these powerful features at our disposal we have to treat 3d like one big robotic paintbrush.

3d artist are often of a different mind than other more traditional artist. You have more creative production power. Much of our reasoning on matters of light and materials is more on the realism side than most artist who work with ink and paint to create worlds.


Concepts in 3d of perspective, object shapes, textures and light are controlled by our working environment in which we add our ideas. Modern visual technology methods from film and photo production and rapid object manufacturing processes can also be applied our everyday workflow. Logic is our carving tool, paintbrush, dance step and we learn to live and work with it.


We can use classic painting methods to decorate our worlds, or a mix of these techniques along with photo editing and video editing. We are what art is to become in the future and at the same time what it has always been about in the past. 3d software was designed to do another modern thing, aid artist in manufacturing their art. So much is often expected of 3d artist and much more is often delivered.


3d IS modern day art at it's highest level. So lets make it, but like any good machine, lets not break it.



Have fun!

Kanga
04-09-2005, 04:54 AM
I guess in this forum we better try avoid the what is art question. Though interesting in itself it tends to turn to mud and the original post gets forgotten.

Stahlberg
04-09-2005, 05:50 AM
Well, for practical purposes since this is called the "ART" discussion forum, we may have to define it, even if just roughly, temporarily, and locally. So, how about "created, on purpose, by someone, for the purpose of communicating something to someone"? Because here, in this forum, we're not concerned with accidental or found art, like a concrete highway; we're not concerned with art that is never shown to anyone else... see what I mean? Just trying to be pragmatic. :)

And btw, I do agree that 3d has taught me a lot about light, materials, anatomy and shapes in general. A lot, and I would probably never have learned these things without 3d. Still, as Lunatique said, this knowledge would have been useless without my prior art training.

JA-forreal
04-09-2005, 07:22 AM
Actually a 3d designer can approach 3d software as an engineer of sorts and not as an artist. The way a geneticist approaches creating new flower breeds or an architect approaches creating living structures. 3d software performs well as a tool for producing visually simulated functional and functionally artistic media.

3d art is based on planned logical art creation production and project asset management. You have to plan out many parts of your work and understand how your software technology can help you to complete the task. So the use concept drawings and project data gathering are not uncommon.

There are other forms of computer media production such as web development in which the tech is planned out first and then a visual design is wrapped around the tech. Art design promotes the function of the tech.

In the case of a cg film making, art may work as the concept drawing to setup a plan for the production shots, filming, etc and then the technical aspects of film making are structured. Then you're back to applying the art to the film making process.

In 3d game design the tech often supercedes the art like web design in order to create a framework of logical interactive environments for the artwork. This software tech for one 3d art concept can be reused with other art concepts to drive many different types of 3d environments and make use of entirely different designed 3d art assets. The same is true with the software A.I. tech that is used in 3d films and for 3d TV ad production.

I think that more traditional styles of "art" were presented by the TV, film and game industries first and these great concepts spread to every level of 3d design in media. These are great concepts but are not the rule for 3d art as they are not practical for every 3d art function.

I imagine some current art schools attempt to supply a more traditional "artistic" method to teaching 3d art that is not so techincal. But most of the technology behind 3d art has nothing to do with traditional art theory and everything to do with fast, accurate scientific image replication production for real world industrial strength visualization tasks.

When you watch a film a lot of logical, non artistic technical stuff is at work in the set structures, lighting, camera work, etc. That's why most studios are more appt to use 3d for these purposes for stuff like effects and mates, cg stunts, etc. and less likely for cg character work. 3d performs better as a production tool for this kind of work, but things like complex character 3d animation still has many production issues that keep it out of some cg productions. But things are changing now and artistic 3d animation is getting easier for most traditional artist and producers to use in their productions. So we are seeing more 3d character animation used in films. But I feel that the 3d game industry folks have a real good foothold in 3d art so their production concepts can looked to by all 3d artist as guides.

I think some of the traditionally art trained 3d cg art school folks try to downplay the 3d cg software "machine" concept. Some new artists even wince at the thought of replication of 3d cg assets and scripting. You just can't. It's the way that 3d software is designed to work to replicate cg art for speedy perspective change shots and environment building that make a brush irrelevant for this kind of motion creation work. That's why we have 3d software like Zbrush that works to demystify the 3d cg process for more traditionally minded less technical non-production engineer minded artist. But to master 3d art you have to get technical at some point if only for production management purposes

We have enterprise level 3d apps like XSI and Maya that are designs for large companies housing 3d artist. And we have mid size company in single pro 3d apps like 3d Max , Cinema 4d and Lightwave. Then we have opensource 3d apps like Blender and renderers for anything else we can come up with as 3d artist and developers.

3d has so many complex operations that 3d artist can specialize in just one. For modelers Zbrush is a great time saver over the machine driven approach to organic 3d modeling and Modo and Wings3d are some other tools we use for industrial strength 3d production. 3d animation adds another element to 3d that is new but is still based on traditional concepts. 3d artists have to be open to computer science principles and learning complex software features because it drives 3d development the fastest.

When you work with 3d cg remember that most of the features are designed to make your life as a 3d production artist easier. Learn to build objects in parts using duplication and merging techniques. Learn to script simple functions for animation. Don't stick to easy methods that are slow and unproductive. Learn advanced modeling concepts like edge looping theory. Learn advanced UV texturing methods like LSCM mapping. Use as many of the automatic features that your software has in performing everyday task. Don't be left behind, read up on new production methods and features and apply them to your workflow.

Even if you are doing projects for yourself the key is not to spend more time on a project than you have to. Remember that any of your old pieces and parts from other older projects can be merged and reshaped onto new projects. The power behind 3d is understanding how to produce art using the best features of the machinery of your 3d software.

3d software's goal is to help designers process their designs into reality as fast as possible on a computer. So shortcuts are the order of the day and anything goes.

Art is the heart of our 3d cg tin man. So respect art and learn how to automate the process of creating great art with 3d cg.



Have fun!

tAstyBITs
04-09-2005, 09:12 AM
Wow some reallly cool comments. JA-forreal, you really layed it out.

It' makes me sad...I really like playing around with my copy of finalRender playing with the shaders, setting up some of the characters I've made to have more natural skin tones, to make the cloth interact with light in the right way. I've put alot a practice and thought into how computer generated light work and how it's different form real light, and when I discover one thing I always want to discover more. I think that's why I feel sad when I see that people think 3d software is just a tool when I can learn so much from it. For me if people start talking about Sub surface scattering, High Dynamic Range Images, phong, blinn, zauner, gi, raytraceing,I feel like it's Art Theory for 3d artist. Maybe there isn't enough ingredients in the 3d recipe to make a good brew of 3d art with out adding some traditional stuff in there, but I have a feeling these computer scientest are going to lay down some pretty cool ingredients in the years to come provided their muse's are good.

Lunatique
04-09-2005, 10:00 AM
Wow some reallly cool comments. JA-forreal, you really layed it out.

It' makes me sad...I really like playing around with my copy of finalRender playing with the shaders, setting up some of the characters I've made to have more natural skin tones, to make the cloth interact with light in the right way. I've put alot a practice and thought into how computer generated light work and how it's different form real light, and when I discover one thing I always want to discover more. I think that's why I feel sad when I see that people think 3d software is just a tool when I can learn so much from it. For me if people start talking about Sub surface scattering, High Dynamic Range Images, phong, blinn, zauner, gi, raytraceing,I feel like it's Art Theory for 3d artist. Maybe there isn't enough ingredients in the 3d recipe to make a good brew of 3d art with out adding some traditional stuff in there, but I have a feeling these computer scientest are going to lay down some pretty cool ingredients in the years to come provided their muse's are good.

What you're giddy about is "how to operate the tool." And yes, learning how to operate a tool can be a lot of fun. I have tons of fun just trying to design cool sounds with synthesizers--tweaking the filters, envelops, oscillators, layers different sounds, making samples sound more life-like..etc. But, at the end of the day, all of that knowledge means nothing unless I can actually compose and arrange great music with it.

You can learn your rendering software inside out, know every little trick. Hell, you can learn to code your very own rendering algorithm. But then what? You've become a techie, not an artist. Unless you combine art knowledge with your software knowledge, you'll always be a software user, not an artist.

It's no secret that 3D art in general lacks compared to 2D. Just about every single Forum Leader, admin, manager..etc at cgtalk has commented on this. We've observed time and time again, from entries submitted to the Expose books, to the CG Choice galleries, to the CG Challenge entries..etc. EVERY SINGLE TIME, the 2D artists annihilate the 3D artists in terms of creativity and sheer artistic quality--no contest. Now, why do you think that is? It's because many 3D guys mistakenly think that learning how to use software = being an artist. Being able to model, texture, rig, skin, render..etc are software skills. You learn the right buttons to push, and any reasonably intelligent human would be able to render out a pretty decent image. But does that image have any true artistic quality beyond demonstrating that you know how to operate a 3D software package?

Let's say you managed to create a nice human character, with beautiful skin shader, natural looking deformation, skillfully rigged..etc(actually, some of these already require art skills--for example, painting textures, or knowing anatomy, or understanding how skin reflects light..etc). Now it's time to actually create a piece of "art" with that character. Whether it's going to be a piece of animation, or a still image--you're going to need that traditional art knowledge, because if you don't have it, your animation or your still image will have bad composition, bad lighting, unnatural looking poses, and that character, after all the effort you put into it, will be sterile, hollow, and souless.

Now, you can argue that the character itself IS a piece of art, because you put time and effort into it, and maybe you are right. But think about this example though--a violin maker, who made a beautiful violin, but can't play it or make music with it--would you consider that violin maker a composer or a musician?

See, this is not to belittle the technical side of CG. This is to help people understand that if they want to be "artists," they need to go beyond operating a software. Sure, you can spend your life making CG characters, but can't do anything WITH those characters. So, you just go on making one character after another after another, but never use these characters to tell stories, express emotions..etc? You see what I'm getting at here?

tAstyBITs
04-09-2005, 11:35 AM
You can learn your rendering software inside out, know every little trick. Hell, you can learn to code your very own rendering algorithm. But then what? You've become a techie, not an artist. Unless you combine art knowledge with your software knowledge, you'll always be a software user, not an artist.



This works the other way to, you can know art theory inside and out but what does that matter if you can't make anything. Looking at 3d artist as just button pushers is kinda lame, and not a fair comparision, anybody can pick up camera take a picture and trace it with a pencil. It can be like that with any medium someone can make something in 2 seconds.

If I see something I like I don't care how it was made.


Art is very subjective. I'd imagine people come up with Theory's about art so they can improve how they do art. It's just I think Traditional art Theory is more for traditioal art. Most people edit their renders in photoshop cuz that can't get it to render right. This is because most people don't have a strong understanding 3d art Theory and quickly give up. And they give up because there arn't any Rembrandts of Rending to fall back on. I'd say it's to new for there to be much about 3d rendering theory.

AndrewStyons
04-09-2005, 01:22 PM
Looking at 3d artist as just button pushers is kinda lame, and not a fair comparision, anybody can pick up camera take a picture and trace it with a pencil.
No one is saying that 3d art is easy. On the contrary, we're saying that producing high quality 3d art is harder than many 3d artists think it is. But it's not just a question of knowing the tools and how to get them to do what you want. I know how to type, I can use Word, but I'm not a world class writer. I can make Word do exactly what I want, but I don't know enough about writing a story to write something that people would buy.

Just like learning the tools of Word doesn't teach me how to make characters that people care about, learning the tools of a 3d program won't teach anyone composition, color theory, etc.

It's just I think Traditional art Theory is more for traditioal art. Most people edit their renders in photoshop cuz that can't get it to render right. This is because most people don't have a strong understanding 3d art Theory and quickly give up.
Sin City, both the comic and the movie, are visually stimulating because of Miller's understanding of art theory. In order to make his visions come to life, someone had to know how to use the tools to get the effect that Millers wanted. But the beauty didn't come from Miller's knowledge of how to use ink, or from the FX guy's knowledge of how to desaturate film. The visuals are so strong because of Miller's masterful use of composition, color theory, and all the other things that are art theory. He could make good art on a sidewalk with a bottle of ketchup not because he knows exactly how ketchup will dry in the sun, but because of art theory.

Lunatique
04-09-2005, 01:29 PM
This works the other way to, you can know art theory inside and out but what does that matter if you can't make anything. Looking at 3d artist as just button pushers is kinda lame, and not a fair comparision, anybody can pick up camera take a picture and trace it with a pencil. It can be like that with any medium someone can make something in 2 seconds.

If I see something I like I don't care how it was made.


Art is very subjective. I'd imagine people come up with Theory's about art so they can improve how they do art. It's just I think Traditional art Theory is more for traditioal art. Most people edit their renders in photoshop cuz that can't get it to render right. This is because most people don't have a strong understanding 3d art Theory and quickly give up. And they give up because there arn't any Rembrandts of Rending to fall back on. I'd say it's to new for there to be much about 3d rendering theory.

Well, anyone who trace a photo and "make something in 2 seconds" won't be taken seriously by anyone anyway." :D

I didn't say "3D artists" are nothing but button pushers. What I was talking about are the guys who do 3D, but never bothered to educate themselves on traditional art knowledge. It's like people who tweak and fiddle with knobs on a synthesizer, but never bothered to learn to compose a piece of music, or play any piece of music with their hands--people like that I wouldn't call musicians either.

Seriously, I've seen your work. You're definitely someone who has taken time and studied traditional art theory. I don't know any professional concept artist who hasn't. Can you say that your knowledge and experience in drawing/painting/traditonal art had no impact in your 3D stuff? And what kind of 3d stuff would you be producing if you woke up tomorrow and all of your traditional art knowledge/skill/experience vanished, and you are only left with software operating knowledge in a 3D package? Do you think that would dramatically reduce the quality of your 3D stuff?

ashakarc
04-09-2005, 04:13 PM
An artist with good understanding of the foundation knowledge of art is not necessarily a good one, neither an artist without traditional education is necessarily a bad one. Creativity has something to do with education, but a lot to do with the human being her/him-self. So, whether you get the education or not, it is not going to take you a leap unless you are a natural born talent. You will improve a lot in your arts, but for the elite, it is a whole different criteria.

tAstyBITs
04-09-2005, 04:36 PM
Good Morning,

Yes I've got a very traditional understanding of drawning, it help me tremendously with 3d stuff. (But it's hard doing both professionally at least for me, no life, no kids etc.) I never really learned how to paint traditionally, I found teachers frustrating because everybody was so different with how they taught painting even art books which made it seem so simple but never really clicked with me. Computers layed things out is such a logical and basic way it made it easy for me to get it. Now as things go on I'm doing stuff with rendering shader set ups and I'm finding myself theorizing things like surfaces have different reflective quallity depending on their normal's angle etc so I can get things to look better, these things are very important to me as a 3d artist. HDRI stuff where the color white can have a light emmiting value or a brighter that white value. I constanly complain to my friends that render's need to have a camera apature and more realistict use of photometric light values so that they can set up day and night shot and have lens flares be more of a automatic procedure. I would call this stuff 3d art Theory.

I know how to draw because I do it all the time and every year I get better and better. But that is a skill just like knowing how to use a 3d package. The skill of rendering is something I use to make art with and I'm learning it's something to be mastered.

I don't really think I could say someone needs to learn art in a traditional way to be a good artist. If someone has talent then it will show. But the concept of 3d Art Theory is valid. It's just so new there's are no great masters of it to set a example of what it can do or look like. That's why I think you'd be selling yourself short as a 3d artist if you just study traditional art theory. Old skool theory was developed for old skool art, I believe tradition can hold back the development of 3d's potiental. Think about it, computers are so do dam powerful it's the closest thing to working with a medium that is like the minds eye. Just think if people forget that a paint brush dosen't have to be a paint brush then something unique to art might emerge, something that might make the history books.

Shoeless
04-09-2005, 05:28 PM
Here's a quarter that you might not have expected an opinion from, but I'm going to give it anyway. I too am an artist with ideas on what constitutes art theory.

But my medium is words. I'm a writer.

I think the funky thing about writing as an art is that it's the single easiest one to get into. All you need is a word processor. Or, getting more analog, a pencil and paper. And yet despite the fact that it has probably the lowest requirements of any art form and is the cheapest to get into, with basic "training" provided right from the earliest years of education, continuing on for a DECADE or more, people, en masse, are not producing award winning novels, plays or scripts by the truckload.

Why is that?

Quite simply it is because despite the fact that the tools and training are provided, that is simply not enough. They are essential, but they are only part of the complete equation. In order to make that jump from being able to write a memo to the office that is understood by all, and creating a story and a character that moves people and burns itself into their fondest memories, there needs to be a desire, a determination and a talent to take 26 letters and turn them into an experience that touches other people. A writer must go from having a grasp of the mechanics of grammar and punctuation to having an understanding of the putting those words into a STORY. A writer must know their Ps and Qs, but they must also understand narrative structure, characterization, dialogue, plotting and the rules of story telling. They must also know when to break those rules if it makes the story more engaging or effective.

In recent years, there have been programs, such as Final Draft that even incorporate basic story telling elements into the program and aid would be writers in seeing where the deficiencies in their writing may appear, but despite even that technical advance, simply buying Final Draft and dutifully following the suggestions to will not guarantee a script that gets greenlit and turned into a Hollywood summer blockbuster or Oscar Nominee. Orson Welles wrote [i]Citizen Kane without ever having access to a program that gave him advantages such as cut n' paste or a delete key, or even telling him his story should now move into the climax and yet despite not having access to all that technical wizardry, he STILL wrote what is considered one of the seminal movies of cinematic history.

Now obviously what I am trying to say doesn't apply in fine technical details to Art Theory for visual artists, but the general principles are the same.

An artist, of any sort is an alchemist. Instead of taking raw matter and chemicals and transforming them from lead into gold, they take a technical understanding of their craft, fuse it with whatever muse drives their talent, and the resulting reaction is a work of art that touches, engages and moves the audience, whether it is a dance, a sculpture, a painting, a film, a play, a novel or yes, a computer generated work. There is no denying that there is a craft to art. You MUST know your fundamentals, you MUST know your tools, you MUST understand how to use the principles and equipment of your discipline. But ASIDE from that, you must also understand what WORKS with those tools, what DOESN'T work with those tools and how sometimes doing something deliberately stupid/foolish/insane can result in genius.

As many people know, CG is in its infancy. I only have a theoretical/layman's view of the art, but I see many parallels in CG to the history of traditional art. For the longest time, traditional art was also about realism. Michalangelo, Rembrandt, so many others were wrestling with the same issues that CG artists do now, "How do I create realistic skin tones?" "How do I create believable cloth?" and they worked, honed and polished their craft. They pushed their pigments and brushes as far as they would go and produced some magnificent work. However, with the invention of the photographic camera, the goal had been realized; now you could get "photo-real" simply by aiming a lens and pressing a button, it no longer took hours of work and thought to achieve the result, and consequently, artists moved into other areas. Modernism was born, expressionism, surrealism, abstractionism; artists found that in order to keep art alive in the wake of photography, it could not simply strive for realistic depictions and had to concentrate doing what the camera had great difficulty doing, capturing the inner workings of the human heart and condition.

For all anyone knows, there may come a time when the Poser program can crank out photo-real humans complete with rigs and animation routines that will allow ANYONE to simply use the existing models and easily create photo-real CG humans in animated sequences. If that should happen, then what will happen to the artists that have worked so hard to do it the hard way, from the ground up?

This is where the theory comes in. Art Theory is not the exclusive realm of 2D artists. Art Theory is understanding how to use the tools at hand to realize an inner vision in a way that surpasses the potential of the tools and expresses the potential of the PERSON USING THEM. An artist treads a difficult path of having to be part craftsman (Understanding the tools) and part dreamer (having the courage to express we think and feel) and creating a work that people respond to. You cannot do this with only technical expertise and you cannot do this by only day dreaming.

You must do BOTH. And you must do them WELL.

That's my extremely verbose two cents...

And sorry about commenting even though I'm not a CG artist, but I feel that all artists in all mediums wrestle with these issues...

Stahlberg
04-09-2005, 06:07 PM
I think Traditional art Theory is more for traditioal art.
I really don't know what to answer to this, it's like saying "I think drawing skills are more for people who draw on real paper, not people who draw digitally on tablets". :eek:

Most people edit their renders in photoshop cuz that can't get it to render right. This is because most people don't have a strong understanding 3d art Theory and quickly give up.
I almost always edit mine in Photoshop, does that mean I have a weak understanding of what you're calling "3d art theory"?


Think about it, computers are so do dam powerful it's the closest thing to working with a medium that is like the minds eye.

LOL yea right. I thought so too... about 10 years ago. Then I gradually came to realise there is no more frustrating tool in the history of man than this. Promising so much, delivering so much less, wasting so much of my time...

Just think if people forget that a paint brush dosen't have to be a paint brush then something unique to art might emerge, something that might make the history books.

Our minds may have changed more than usual during this last century, but our brains are still essentially the same as when we were strolling across the savannah looking for food and the next watering hole. On average we're more complex, a little smarter, a little more enlightened, and more stressed out, but we can still only see with 2 eyes, in a certain narrow range of wavelength and brightness, with a certain level of detail. Only certain things interest us, and we're extremely picky. You can bring on holograms and smellovision, but we can still only process a certain amount and type of information per second.
And you have to be communicating something that people are interested in. And what is that? Same things as always. Other people, compelling characters in compelling situations or stories. This will never change, as long as we're still human.
People who dream of a new art movement fail to see that everything in the visual arts has already been tried, at least once. Well, except maybe satin pillows embroidered with eskimo hentai motifs (wouldn't surprise me if that's been done too though)... still. If an artwork doesn't communicate using rules researched during thousands of years of art history, it will fail. You think that's me being a closeminded old fool, you'll learn different one day... like I did. :)

JA-forreal
04-09-2005, 07:28 PM
...............



LOL yea right. I thought so too... about 10 years ago. Then I gradually came to realise there is no more frustrating tool in the history of man than this. Promising so much, delivering so much less, wasting so much of my time...





As a web developer I was so feed up with my experience at trying to create more complex web content using over the counter remedies that I sought out other alternatives. I was talking to a web developer on a forum and he told me that he had been where I was and that sometimes the only solution to a problem is handling it yourself. So I decided to learn how to create more dynamic web content on my own using php code based tech.

I find that many 3d developers have made use of many different types of production tech that although useful were designed for more mainstream compliance. I think that that's why so many facilities are starting use their own propriety software more and more.

Computers and software are just input and output data management consoles with storage, data recovery, and data processing capacity. We can accept what's available or try to find our own solution to a problem using software that is specifically designed for a given task or trying to come up with our own solutions of software or learning new methods of use of our current software. We can use scripts to extend our 3d software's features or search out scripts that will help us to do this.

You have been using 3d software for a while Steven and know just about every development option that is available. I know some 3d software developers that would love to chat with you for your experience alone in this area. 3d software is going through major changes from many different development angles. It needs to for the reasons that you have stated and for the reasons that many traditional artist mention all of the time. But time will only tell.

Fact: 3d software developers need direct input from their user base in order to make the right development decisions. Its not one size fits all anymore. User's perspectives are muddled by many software choices and no single software solution is perfect anymore. 3d artist are technical artist who can quickly adapt to anything that works. We are not easily satisfied with an "AOL" approach to a 3d workflow. We are not button pushers who just want a good render. We want to control the process and refine the process as easily as a traditional artist uses a paintbrush. But we want a "text mode" console to tweak the process. Hehe.

I think that we 3d artist work hard to do task like organic modeling, uv mapping, advanced material management, advanced lighting, particles, dynamics, asset management, character rigging and animation. These processes frustrate us because there should be a more artistic approach. We can't do anything about this ourselves so we moan and just use what life has dealt us.

When I see specialty 3d software apps like Zbrush, Wings3d and Modo I applaud them for their ingenuity and efforts to aid 3d artist workflows. And I hope that these types of software tools stay as they are and leave our main 3d workflow apps to develop better overall 3d workflow methods.

I know that companies will compete with these apps but I would prefer if 3d project development workflow software's work on more important things like more advanced material systems, better lighting systems, better camera systems, better animation systems, more powerful UV editing systems, more powerful dynamics systems, better import/export capabilities, better communication with external renders, better UI's, better asset management, etc. I think that rendering solutions like Finalrender, Renderman and many opensource solutions will offer us specialized rendering options that can never be matched by our main 3d workflow apps. Rendering software development is a great task in its own right.

3d artist often worry about these matters more than most other digital artist I think because we are concerned about getting better overall 3d workflow development tools and sleeping at night.

It looks like 3d software developments are looking at things in ways of specialization, workflow enhancement and integration now more than ever so things look good. I hope that they keep it up. It looks like we need a CG media development OS that will work with all of our chosen 3d development apps better also. Wouldn't it be cool if one of our basic tabbed menu program options at startup was a button to connect to our render farm?



"The road is long……..."



Have fun!

JA-forreal
04-09-2005, 07:43 PM
Wow some reallly cool comments. JA-forreal, you really layed it out.

..........

Thanks! I was just trying to bring out some of the often overlooked processes that are behind this 3d stuff. Once you understand 3d arts working concepts you can work at it a lot better.

JA-forreal
04-09-2005, 07:59 PM
Now we need some "dreamers", animators, modelers, texture pros, lighting folks, render farmers, etc. to lay down their theories on 3d artistic ideals and workflow methods. They can help us see how imagination, art and design development comes to play when converting ideas into art with the 3d production machine. Some of us became 3d artist after we messed a bit with 3d software so our perspectives are bound to be different from artists who have gone to CG school to learn 3d art.

ashakarc
04-09-2005, 09:58 PM
Are we on the verge of a theory to unveil here?

Postscript: I am so impressed by your different views on the matter, and I think it is a very healthy discussion as long as you don't become dogmatic about your world view.

Keep it up!

ashakarc
04-09-2005, 10:18 PM
Here is a personal story of how I got into 3D, feel free to skip:

In 1987, 3rd year Architecture-undergrad, I saw this mesmerizing 3D wireframe on the cover of L'Architecture D'Aujourdhui. I didn't have access to CAD program then, but I decided to imitate the effect. Pencil of Canson paper was all I needed. Next day at school, the work is on the wall, and I had professors telling me that : You have cheated! you can't use a computer to draw!!
I loved that moment, as it gave me great momentum and determination to learn 3D and teach it to the in-between generation. 10 years later, I am professing to a class of post grads while me being the yougest among them.

The point here, I could still be a 3D artist, well I refuse this title as I am a designer, but I don't use traditional art so called theories. These theories which I learned in my first year are there as a guideline to understand the generality in art. There is more than traditional theories into this type of work.

So, yes, Now I can make a distinction between a general art theory, and a special one, but not one that is focused solely on techniques, rather on ideas and meaning combined with craftsmanship.

best,
ashakarc

Stahlberg
04-10-2005, 07:14 AM
I don't use traditional art so called theories. These theories which I learned in my first year are there as a guideline to understand the generality in art. There is more than traditional theories into this type of work.

I think we're talking past each other. There's a misunderstanding about definitions and terms. The title of the thread is "An introduction to art theory for the 3d artist". This is a misnomer, since in the first post we find that what he was really looking for was simply links or books etc to help him become a better 3d artist - not strictly "theories" per se. Anyway, we can't seem to agree what either "art" or "art theory" is. (It doesn't help that our sticky thread with links for training yourself in the traditional art basics is also called "Art Theory Links".)

Can we please just forget about the word "theory" in this context? There is nothing of more PRACTICAL use and REAL value to the 3d artist than those links I mentioned. They are selected from the best of the best - please check them, go through them, carefully, read them, before you guys post any more about whether it's important or not to learn this stuff. :)

ashakarc
04-10-2005, 07:33 AM
we can't seem to agree what either "art" or "art theory" is.

I don't think you mean we need to agree!! Surely, there is a confusion towards the original intent of the poster, and I addressed it previously like others did, but the discussion has drifted away into a real discourse of a real value. And I agree, we don't need to go into a loop of unnecessary back and forth on meaningless terminology. You can move the discussion into more appropriate area if you wish, but why asking to refrain from posting?

tAstyBITs
04-10-2005, 08:41 AM
I almost always edit mine in Photoshop, does that mean I have a weak understanding of what you're calling "3d art theory"?


Your not getting my point. I'm saying if someone has photoshop it makes it easier to not have to learn more about 3d rendering. Let say from the beginning of man cameras grew on trees, the the concept of drawing a sketch of someone on paper with a pencil to get a likeness would not make sense to anyone cuz you can just take a picture. Hense the development of drawing masters would be stunted because no know would think it would be worth the time to learn how to draw like a master. This idea is just a concept. I've already learned from this forum that the concept of "3d art theory" is out of the box thinking.

tAstyBITs
04-10-2005, 08:52 AM
When I see specialty 3d software apps like Zbrush, Wings3d and Modo I applaud them for their ingenuity and efforts to aid 3d artist workflows. And I hope that these types of software tools stay as they are and leave our main 3d workflow apps to develop better overall 3d workflow methods.


I do to.


I think you get what I'm thinking.

plus the other comments have been inspiring.

JA-forreal
04-11-2005, 04:41 AM
3d art theories are probably all based on planning, producing and managing functional image output in some way or another.

If someone told a 2 dimensional digital artist to “make” them a picture of water dropping on a leaf a traditional artist may proceed by sketching out a illustration of this concept. Then they use thier drawing app to add more details, tones to represent light, colors that represent iridescence and hues and shape variation, etc. They may use color palates, layers, compositing effects, custom bushes, etc. All they have to do is jump into the work tweaking their strokes in line with applying their trained art design ideals to complete a finished 2d image. Job done. If the image doesn't work from one angle of view, they will have to start over again drawing the water drop at another angle.


If you asked a 3d artist to “make” a picture of water dropping on a leaf, the 3d artist may proceed by drawing a sketch to plan this work out. But.. they are “more” likely to gather photographic image data on the subject or video references to prepare to perform this task. Then they may scribble out a story board or concept sketch or not.

They will plan out whether to use one kind of a modeling process like subD's or nurbs, deformers, particles, metaballs, fluid dynamics, ambient occlusion lighting, three point lighting, colored lights or radiosity, environmental maps or raytraced reflection for the water, HDRI. non linear or key framed animation, bones or object deformers, etc. Finally, they must decide what collected production workflow methods will produce the water drop image still or animation render the fastest. They will probably want to set this work up as an animation so that they can toggle through the frames to find the best final render shot point later. Ya know, if they want to play with the shot a bit and “scratch” it into a framed shot, not just render it out. They may tweak lights or animation with a script or code to refine that a bit.

Likely, they will tweak their final render frames in a 2d compositing/video app for more effects like, adjusting colors, adding some sounds of water dropping, add a title animation, credits, etc. The art just happens whether they will it or the software creates it. As you tweak out the dynamic effects, lighting, camera angles, compositing effects, etc. art happens, realtime, on the fly. I you like a render, you keep it. They could look a some painting or film dropping water effects like in “Hero” or what not. But chances are, they will own this moment by going with what they feel. Then they render out maybe 20 or so camera perspective looks of the water drop scene and let you pick your favorite shot.

To the 3d artist, art can be a little more hip hop DJ than Monet. They often work on the fly and are very aware of the creative power that 3d software hands them. The wise artist learn as much as possible about all forms of art from paint to film. Any shape or subject can be used whether old or original. They know how to manipulate realistic lighting, artistic or creative lighting, materials and texture channel, motions and colors at their whims. They may feel that comic books are real art and that it would be cool if they mixed in some Shakespeare or Picaso with those comic book concepts.

3d artist are very modern, microwave cooking, cellphone using, pc coding, Bruce Lee DVD collecting folks who know that computer science is cool and that it makes great sub surface scattering skin materials on hot 3d female characters.

3d art is very modern so it calls for modern thinking to use it to the full. But we can still learn from art in the past. But like Techno music and online computer chatting, there ain't no real drums and no one is actually talking face to face, but it's still music and its still conversation. 3D is "the" modern computer art.

I think that some people forget that 3d works like this most of the time. Sorry if I went a bit wild on this one. Hehehe.

But I really don't think that modern cg 3d artist have to validate their place in the art world by representing the best art concepts that traditional art has to offer all of the time. I do feel that learning anything artistic from painting, glass blowing, sculpture, acting, photography, cooking, writing, etc. will enrich creative people. But then creative people have to grow beyond this and explore many new options or invent them as they go along.

I can understand certain media industries holding on to the belief of relying on more traditional concepts of art. They don't want to appear too different to the masses and risk not selling to the masses. But a far as individual 3d artist/companies and their projects, they can go in any direction they choose as long as their audience accepts it. I think that majority of successful 3d art producers know this already.

I say this because reading books on classic art and studying art only help you to get some general working ideas of good art structure and practice in your mind. It won't help you master 3d art in order to produce a perfect render of those fine art ideas. You have to learn to operate logically based, not always artistic, technical 3d art software production systems to do this.

It's a fun long road to take for the love of 3d art with many benefits at the end. When you arrive there, show your love for good art and pump out great art. Your art will define what 3d art is.




Have fun!

Tocpe
04-11-2005, 02:24 PM
Wow, how my little thread has grown and morphed into an new and interesting discussion. :)

Steven or Lunatique, if you'd like to change the original title of the thread to something more fittting of the new discussion, by all means please do. I see it caused some confusion. If you'd like to add a note to my 1st post to clear things up for new readers, that's cool too. :)

As for myself, I've decided that the Art Theory Links sticky is more along the lines of what I needed. I just need to learn the basics of traditional art so I can call myself an artist, 3D or whatever. Until then I'm just a 3D, hmmm, what is the term for someone who operates 3D software but without art training?

hmmm...I think I may have just thrown more gas on the fire... :D

Lunatique
04-11-2005, 02:45 PM
Tocpe - Yeah, you're right. I went ahead and changed the thread title to something more fitting.

I just noticed your "My mom over-medicates me" title. Made me laugh. :D

Stahlberg
04-11-2005, 03:09 PM
hmmm, what is the term for someone who operates 3D software but without art training?


"Unemployed"?

sorry j/k :)

Tocpe
04-11-2005, 03:37 PM
lol! Good one. :p

I've been lucky in that my CG jobs have been technical in their execution, and didn't rely on an artistic flavor, so I can rely on my pre-CG training for those skills. I'd be screwed if I had to do what you or Robert have to do though. :)

Stahlberg
04-11-2005, 04:35 PM
Tocpe, don't be hard on yourself, you don't have the training? - if you say so, but you could have fooled me, so you must have something. Also, you're willing to search for it, and acquire it, which is more than can be said for many other 3d artists.

Tocpe
04-11-2005, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the kind words there Steven. :) Yup, it's taken lots of hard work to get where I am right now, but I still thurst for more knowledge. :)

lol Guess that makes me a knowledge junkie. :D ;)

ashakarc
04-11-2005, 04:56 PM
Thanks for adjusting the title of the thread Lunatique! This will take us out of the loop into more focused discussion, I hope.

Many of you have presented valid arguments. The quest for a theory in 3D needs a specific scope to work with. Like most theories, a hypothesis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis) is the foundation of that theory. In order to build that hypothesis, we will need to define our scope. We have two main domains in 3D that requires distinction:

Process

How is the process in 3D production different from 2D and/or similar to 2D?

Identifying the principles and the underpinnings of the process unique to 3D and 2D i.e. aesthetics
What is involved in that process? The pipeline from the initial double click to delivery.
The output from a representational view point.


Methods

This is a survey of current typological models in 3D methodologies. i.e.Various methods of building character geometry, Radiosity vs. FG/GI
Techniques by which these methods are applied and carried through. i.e. NURBS vs. SubD

As the scope is defined (if accepted), then we need to define the methodology of how to carry this research. This part of the theory is the most dynamic one. Each one of us is able to devise her/his own methodology and presents it as WIP hypothesis.

As you can see, the door is wide open for brain crunching..

Your thoughts

best,
ashakarc

dynamic duotone
04-11-2005, 07:24 PM
Well here is a list of design principles that I find many 3D artists do not understand fully yet.
http://www.graphicdesignbasics.com/article1043.html

Proportion seems to be the biggest stumper from what I've seen on CGTalk - but "form-blindness" is a curable disease. I went to college for Industrial Design and basically most of my sophomore year was spent being taught these basic principles. It seemed basic at the time, but now I find I use them all the time - especially when I have to explain why I did something graphically to my boss.

I would highly recommend learning these principles and then taking a few marker rendering classes to learn shadow and highlights (like the gnomon DVD's under Concept Design - Analog Series). I didn't take any myself, but looking back I would have loved to added a Photographic Lighting class or two to my list. I'll probably do that soon though, just as a nice refresher on real life application.

Good luck to everyone,
DD

JA-forreal
04-11-2005, 08:13 PM
Well here is a list of design principles that I find many 3D artists do not understand fully yet.
http://www.graphicdesignbasics.com/article1043.html

Proportion seems to be the biggest stumper from what I've seen on CGTalk - but "form-blindness" is a curable disease. I went to college for Industrial Design and basically most of my sophomore year was spent being taught these basic principles. It seemed basic at the time, but now I find I use them all the time - especially when I have to explain why I did something graphically to my boss.

...........................
Good luck to everyone,
DD

In 3d to get proper proportion you can model objects that are properly sized in a correct size/distance relationship to other objects. It you model a chair and a character to size these two objects in a scene right you have to make sure that their sizes match, then the character must fit into the chair. You can use math or just line stuff up with your grid line, reference images, drawings and eyeball it.

Most 3d software's use cameras. You have to treat these cameras like real world cameras and not like binoculars, windows or a picture frame canvas. You have to get technical. Read up on how to adjust proper camera settings in photography books, film making books etc. Then when you master the usage of sizing and working your cameras in your 3d software you can apply some type of artistic perspective methodology to your 3d scene perspectives. You just have to choose a 50mm or 70mm lens, etc.

You will only have Alice and Wonderland sized scenes if you want them after you “eat” or “drink” down some healthy information on the usage of cameras as far as setting up your 3d scene perspectives.

Imagination and visual technology can work together just fine. And your boss or client will understand your explanations on 3d perspective if you "show" them the live scenes with different camera angles and distances, different sized object relationships, etc. 3d software allows you to show people your beautifully simulated sets in realtime. People can more easily understand what they see than any 3d tech or artistic jargon we could throw at them. We have to reserve the jargon for the stage when we want to impress them with the deep stuff. You can even let them hit the render button.

Have fun!

JA-forreal
04-11-2005, 09:51 PM
"Unemployed"?

sorry j/k :)

I just want to add some more to this.


Back in the day, many of the original 3d software users never saw the inside of an art school and many of those folks are still in business today. Drawing and art are not "only possible" through art school training. People are naturally creative.

Some people need guides to develop their creativity into something great and others do not. That's why we have self trained 3d art masters who are mostly entrepreneurs, and a growing base of well trained 3d art students who are able to work for these innovative 3d self starters 3d media companies. 3d artist who have gone to art school and graduated also project a good sign that they are dedicated to the task of creating 3d art. If their demo reel can back up their skill, all the better.

3d self starters are usually very academic and read and learn about everything. Some of these folks are from other development industries in which they applied 2d art such as web design. Then these folks discovered 3d software as a demo app or on a store shelf. Later after many weekends and years of trial and success, they have yet another viable visual computer media tool, 3d software to work with. I have been around before the 3d scene had the luxury of countless art schools when your only training came from a class that offered instruction on the basic usage of 3d software, a book and the web. Most of the early 3d artist did stuff like make animated logos and still logos for promotions. Many other created game companies or moded game levels ans content and later worked for game companies.

As I said before, TV and film companies begin to focus on more traditional artist methodologies and "standards" for 3d art to keep things more exclusive. But in reality, anybody and their dog can do 3d art. 2d software art is more manual in it's approach to developing art. This can allow for simple line drawing art or very complex traditional art fine styles. The results are more predictable and immediate than 3d art.

3d art is based on more automated goal driven principals for artistic development that are only realized when you render your scene. You don't have to understand stuff like shadow perspectives, shadows are rendered with shadow enabled scene lamps and shadows fall away from light sources much as they do in the real world. You do have to understand how 3d software works. An understanding of traditional art will aid your design development greatly but your visual observation method application of what you see in the world around you can be just as powerful for 3d art development.

So 3d gives the artist, that is anybody and their dog, who are working to create something that is visually enticing, an opportunity to be a artist and create something visual. But as with anything technical and artistic on a computer only a few who can endure learning 3d enough to master it on their own. Only a few will become the amazing self starting 3d artist without any former art training. The rest will have to head to art school to learn how to refine themselves or to think visually as an artist.

Your employment and businessare opportunities are only as good as your ability to persuade your audience visually with the end result of your artwork. I hope that with this forum all of us will find ways to work toward this goal technically and artistically.

JA-forreal
04-11-2005, 10:11 PM
If I were just starting out in 3d art now I would download every 3d software demo from Maya to XSI or open source apps like Wings3d, Blender and Yafray. I would buy the CG talk sponsored books, Gnomon DVD's, check out books at the library and book stores on cg. Then I would learn the basics of 3d software to see if I could get the hang of it on my own. If not, I would enroll in a class or cg school some place and get busy.

I would watch and analyze every 3d cg film and TV show that I could to see 3d cg in action.

Above all I would hang out here on CGtalk and talk with some of the 3d art masters who write the books on 3d cg and inspire the craft daily.

Have fun!

Stahlberg
04-12-2005, 03:23 AM
ashakarc, I like the methodical approach.
How is the process in 3D production different from 2D and/or similar to 2D?
As I've stated before, imo not very different. It carries elements of older processes such as sculpture, collage, photography, film making, model making etc. On occasion any or all of these may be useful: architectural design, fashion design, industrial design - maybe even storytelling skills, such as creative writing. The only real difference is all those elements can be combined into one process now... (and that certain parts of it have been sped up tremendously.)

About the methods, again as I've said, imo they're largely irrelevant. They've changed an extreme amount since the birth of cg - much more than in any other field, like for instance film (which is still using similar technology from when it was invented over 100 years ago). And it will change even more. It changes every year, as old methods become obsolete, and new ones enter the mainstream. The trend seems to be towards making it more and more transparent to the user, so he/she can focus more on the creative flow, instead of having to run diagnostics, consulting the manual and calling the help line.

Lunatique
04-12-2005, 04:26 AM
The trend seems to be towards making it more and more transparent to the user, so he/she can focus more on the creative flow, instead of having to run diagnostics, consulting the manual and calling the help line.

And to expand on Steven's point. What do you think is going to happen in the future when 3D softwares become so intuitive and easy to use, that all the complex, frustrating aspects become a thing of the past? What's going to happen to people that only concentrated on how to operate the software?

And I still disagree that 3D has it's only art theory seperate from the traditional ones. There is no such thing. All art theories are traditional--there are only composition, color theory, anatomy, perspective..etc. All the stuff some of you have been talking about--the understanding of various rendering options, particle effects, soft/hard body dynamics, hair/cloth simulation, deformation, rigging...etc--all of them are ways to operate the software. They differ from one software package to another, and if you switched to a different package, you'd have to relearn the entire workflow. That, in itself, is the strongest argument that there is no such thing as 3D art theories. Art theories shouldn't change just because you changed softwares. Art theories are the eternal foundations for any creative visual person--including 3D artists. The idea that 3D artists play by a different set of rules and don't need to place emphasis on traditional art theories is very dangerous--in fact, downright reckless and ignorant. That is why the 3D entries to the Challenges and Exposes are always inferior to the 2D entries.

If you list the 3D artists that have gained world-wide recognition, respect, and interviewed them, I bet an overwhelming majority of them will agree with what Steven and I have been saying in this thread.

Ryan-B
04-12-2005, 05:54 AM
Art theories are the eternal foundations for any creative visual person--including 3D artists.

I can't think of a single "eternal" art theory. They vary greatly among cultures and periods in history. Just think of all the different colour theories, for example.

I believe modern vision science is a more objective source of information for artists.

JA-forreal
04-12-2005, 06:07 AM
........What's going to happen to people that only concentrated on how to operate the software?

And I still disagree that 3D has it's only art theory seperate from the traditional ones. There is no such thing. All art theories are traditional--there are only composition, color theory, anatomy, perspective..etc. All the stuff some of you have been talking about--the understanding of various rendering options, particle effects, soft/hard body dynamics, hair/cloth simulation, deformation, rigging...etc--al.....

If you list the 3D artists that have gained world-wide recognition, respect, and interviewed them, I bet an overwhelming majority of them will agree with what Steven and I have been saying in this thread.

Good points. After all of my struggles to learn use 3d software in a productive way over the years just to complete the goal of rendering out my stuff, I see that the main problem all along in this issue has been the fact that I have to learn someone else's workflow and software ideologies. Some elements of 3d software like modeling, lighting, etc. are basically the same now.

3d The only difference is in the features that one app offers over another. Then you have your 3d production workflow solutions. A small time coder could use open source software to create their own customized 3d workflow solutions. I need my own software and workflow ideology. Every time some new 3d tech comes out I have to seek it out to add it to my workflow. I believe that this is where open source software comes in for 3d developers who need basic solutions but do not what to make a career out of developing software. These developers could even hire open source coders to create apps for their 3d systems. This way they can develop customized software solutions for their company. And advanced 3d developers have these options now.

If we work it out we can hook up technology to our own 3d software systems and support or inspire open source computer developers to form communities that produce software technology that supports independent development of customized 3d software.

But if something is so good that it would be stupid to try to put together the resources to develop it yourself like Modo or Zbrush, it would be a of waste time trying to recreate it.

I don't know, to me success is getting my 3d art working seamlessly within various media solutions as promotional tools to push technology or sales offers. I try hard to do my best at this even if to most users of the technology my art is a just part of an overall media package. I look forward to working with other 3d artist and coders to expand these concepts further. I'm not looking to get my name in the spotlight, only in the credits as a producer of great 3d art media content.

I see that 3d tech has just started and it has barely arrived enough to make any definite predictions as to where it's headed. Obviously it's goals are to achieve levels of dimensional realism that we could have never dreamed of before computers. And there's nothing wrong with struggling with 3d in it's rough stages now.

Years ago, you used to have to use command line based word processors to write computer reports. Now word processing apps are easy to use. But it still doesn't mean that the ideas that you write down will transform into a best selling novel. Work is work no matter how easy the software becomes to operate.

I can only imagine writing out a script for a 3d story as my 3d software automatically builds each mentioned character, environment, rigs, lighting, etc. It's only a matter of time. Yeah people can get that good.

3d software users and developers are pushing tech on and on. I hope that we 3d artist never lose our taste for more computer innovation.
And anything is possible.

Now let me go compile a daily build of Blender. This action is not a big step for most coders but epic for us general 3d artist.

Have fun!

leigh
04-12-2005, 06:15 AM
Good points. After all of my struggles to learn use 3d software in a productive way over the years just to complete the goal of rendering out my stuff, I see that the main problem all along in this issue has been the fact that I have to learn someone else's workflow and software ideologies. Some elements of 3d software like modeling, lighting, etc. are basically the same now.

3d The only difference is in the features that one app offers over another. Then you have your 3d production workflow solutions. A small time coder could use open source software to create their own customized 3d workflow solutions. I need my own software and workflow ideology. Every time some new 3d tech comes out I have to seek it out to add it to my workflow. I believe that this is where open source software comes in for 3d developers who need basic solutions but do not what to make a career out of developing software. These developers could even hire open source coders to create apps for their 3d systems. This way they can develop customized software solutions for their company. And advanced 3d developers have these options now.

If we work it out we can hook up technology to our own 3d software systems and support or inspire open source computer developers to form communities that produce software technology that supports independent development of customized 3d software.

But if something is so good that it would be stupid to try to put together the resources to develop it yourself like Modo or Zbrush, it would be a of waste time trying to recreate it.

I don't know, to me success is getting my 3d art working seamlessly within various media solutions as promotional tools to push technology or sales offers. I try hard to do my best at this even if to most users of the technology my art is a just part of an overall media package. I look forward to working with other 3d artist and coders to expand these concepts further. I'm not looking to get my name in the spotlight, only in the credits as a producer of great 3d art media content.

I see that 3d tech has just started and it has barely arrived enough to make any definite predictions as to where it's headed. Obviously it's goals are to achieve levels of dimensional realism that we could have never dreamed of before computers. And there's nothing wrong with struggling with 3d in it's rough stages now.

Years ago, you used to have to use command line based word processors to write computer reports. Now word processing apps are easy to use. But it still doesn't mean that the ideas that you write down will transform into a best selling novel. Work is work no matter how easy the software becomes to operate.

I can only imagine writing out a script for a 3d story as my 3d software automatically builds each mentioned character, environment, rigs, lighting, etc. It's only a matter of time. Yeah people can get that good.

3d software users and developers are pushing tech on and on. I hope that we 3d artist never lose our taste for more computer innovation.
And anything is possible.

Now let me go compile a daily build of Blender. This action not a big step for most coders but for epic for us general 3d artist.

Have fun!

:surprised

JA-forreal
04-12-2005, 06:23 AM
What Leigh?

ashakarc
04-12-2005, 06:54 AM
OK, here is a friendly advice, No need to be dogmatic. I am not innocent off that either, as it is the natural tendency to be so.

But, let me here present you with an empirical example accompanied by my humble understanding of things.

One of the earlies lessons in art classes is the sketching of a still life composition. We study composition, proportions, angle of vision etc..A step further, we get into the understanding of light, shades, shadows, and reflections. One more, and we start experimenting with color and detail. The higher steps we take, the more options we have and the more complex the process becomes. Now, the great thing about this is that it is a progressive process. Meaning, the skills build up from line art towards fully fledged painting. You cannot skip any step as it is crucial to the wholeness of the outcome. The wholeness is the summation of its parts. This is why the classical theories of art and painting are of great value.

Let's switch from the Easle to the PC and try to build a still life composition.

Suppose we go with the "traditional" 3D pipeline, modeling the composition first. Things to look for are pretty much the same as if we are using a pencil, we have to control the precise look in terms of proportions, scale but technically, we have to observe the geometry of the model mesh, and think ahead of how it is going to be carried through with regard to light, texture, etc.. as you all know.
I won't go through the process, as most of you have mastered it. Most importantly here, is that the process of building that still life compostion is largely computational. Our artistic intervention, when we manipulate the input to get the desired output is where the craftsmanship part comes in place. Beyond that, it is highly an unpredictable process because of the default parameters that are built in. "The process of the whole is not the summation of its parts" (Gestalt theory)!

From an artistic point of view, it is unfair to call it simulation, but it is; unfortunately. Realism is in demand most of the times. The general perception here by non-artists is that computers do all the work and it as we all know untrue!

Comparatively, both processes are bound to look different unless the artist chooses to make a cross-over in technique, as in building a digital mass model and using it as a reference for the painting. Or choosing to paint a texture and use it in the 3D process instead of the procedural ones. This is where boundaries between 2D and 3D become blurred.

That is why, Stahlberg is right. The process with him is synergetic between 2D and 3D. An artist of his caliber could not be constrained by mere tools.

This, however does not mean one theory fits all.

Theories are not only outcomes, they are devices. The function of the device is inherently related to the medium it operates under.

I am sorry if I don't make sense, and I am sorry if I do!

leigh
04-12-2005, 06:59 AM
What Leigh?

My brain hurts from setting up render passes all day and your post was just too long. I just can't quite figure out what your post has to do with art theory though.

Back in college, art theory was about composition, colour, perspective, anatomy, etc... and now this discussion has taken a strange turn. I find it strange that your posts always focus on the whole technical side of everything - as an artist, of course innovation is something that is important to me, but there is only so much I can sit around talking about my pencils and paint.

Personally, I think that the majority of commercial 3D packages available today are intuitive and fun to use. It's gotten to the point where I don't have to think about what tools I am using - I just do my stuff. I create. I don't have to think about my tools at all.

To be honest, I am not really sure that I understand what your post was actually saying. We can sit around all day talking about "processes" and "workflows" and all that, but hey... at the end of the day, if you're not actually sitting behind the machine and creating something cool, then what's the point of all the verbal waffle? Over-analyzing and intellectualising the entire process from a technical standpoint just takes the fun out of it.

I see that 3d tech has just started and it has barely arrived enough to make any definite predictions as to where it's headed.

Ce qui? Why make predictions? I work in the here and now. Every day I go to work and work on cool stuff. The software we use provides us with all the necessary tools I need to do my work efficiently. Looking to the future and dreaming of tools is a way of procrastinating and excusing ones efforts right now. I know that's definitely not my own style.

And there's nothing wrong with struggling with 3d in it's rough stages now.

Struggling with its rough stages? ILM and other places have been producing photorealistic CG since the early 90's. As a professional visual effects artist, I certainly wouldn't describe my average work day as a struggle.

Just my 2c.

tAstyBITs
04-12-2005, 07:32 AM
Some artist I don't want to study Traditional Art Theory I wouldn't want them the be infected by it ;) . I don't know much about the Southpark guys artistic backgrounds but I get the feeling they might have passed up a few art classes on their way up.

I don't think it matters, I'm a big advocate of free will. If you want to learn traditional art theory I think you should, there is a ton of stuff to learn even modern art all that stuff. If you want to risk being unemployed then passing it up might be for you. But if your not afraid and believe in yourself I trust you'll follow that beating thing in your chest and you'll do alright. hehe before I wanted to be a artist I wanted to race the Tour'de France but that didn't quite work out.

In the end when I do something all I concern myself with is wether or not I like it, mostly I don't which is why keep trying.

I've got a few more links things that I've been looking into as a 3d artist. I've really been enjoying learning more about how computers understand light. Today I spent several hours just talking about diffuse and specular light, the two most basic behavors of light.

I haven't read this yet but my art director sent me the link when he overheard me discussing light.
Light (http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm)

here a study done at cornell univeristy it's a neat comparison of a real vs cg environment called the Cornell Box. A programmer gave me the tip on this one.

Cornell Box Comparison (http://www.graphics.cornell.edu/online/box/compare.html)

tAstyBITs
04-12-2005, 07:56 AM
Everybody has been making really good points.

Follow what you love...

JA-forreal
04-12-2005, 09:13 AM
My brain hurts from setting up render passes all day and your post was just too long. I just can't quite figure out what your post has to do with art theory though.

.........To be honest, I am not really sure that I understand what your post was actually saying. We can sit around all day talking about "processes" and "workflows" and all that, but hey... at the end of the day, if you're not actually sitting behind the machine and creating something cool, then what's the point of all the verbal waffle? Over-analyzing and intellectualising the entire process from a technical standpoint just takes the fun out of it.
.....................



...........................
Struggling with its rough stages? ILM and other places have been producing photorealistic CG since the early 90's. As a professional visual effects artist, I certainly wouldn't describe my average work day as a struggle.

Just my 2c.

BTW welcome to Cali Liegh! How to you like it so far?

Anyway. I too am teched out. I hardly do much 3d modeling these days as most of my work has been literary and techie stuff. At least I can watch Farscape DVD's while I work. I'm working on my first official 3d tutorial in between stuff. It was hard to prepare it in a way that anybody with access to a pc, mac and a modem can understand. Hopefully folks will like it.

I've always had this love/hate realtionship with 3d probably because I expect it to do stuff when it's really not smart enough yet. That account for the code stuff. Evil words for artist to talk but it brings great things to life.

3d artist and gamers are into tech. They build it, mod it, talk about it, do it, you know. I've seen long drawn out post about actual information on one 3d technical process like setting up a render farm, etc. That stuff can be boring but it's useful. There is so much stuff in 3d that is useful and fun to do once you know how to do it. But to talk about it in detail it's boring. I've learned to read between the lines so I love that sort of stuff now.

"Ahhh, sweet the new Nvidia white papers! Let me get some milk and cookies." Hehehe. I'm not that far gone..yet.

I think I covered all the tech stuff so now I can only comment on injecting the art into the 3d machine.

I was thinking of myself and other one person setups who make ends meet with way less than the power of cg studio team efforts. I took the time to set up a sql server based intranet last year at my office to get my "team" in line with our goals. Thats as close as I can get to teamwork, hehe.

ILM, pure jedi mind tricks. Not really, hehe. they have skills.

Well some of the coders I've connected with say stuff like this about mentions of advanced render tech and what not from the big boys. I'm kind of inclined to wonder about that too as most stuff is scanline/hybrid raytraced rendered using secret, powerful shader tech and composited it taste. And lot's of mind tricks. A lot of coders are saying that rib export of scenes to enhanced renderman based tech will let us all in on this fun. I use little ole' Blender so....Hehehe. I know, anyone can edit s rib file to make use of the tech. If they are crazy enough to try. Hehehe. It's worth the effort.So they say..

Lunatique is wise, it's all way too complex. We need to rework the concepts of 3d to make it more artistic. UV mapping, just one artistic 3d concept that has nothing to do with real art. I think that it should be completely replaced with a more advance process and eliminated from the the 3d software workflow. I really loathed uv mapping until got into LSCM mapping. I still am not ready to marry uv mapping. It's fun but it still so freaky.

I wouldn't want anyone who visits CGtalk and come away from this thread thinking that using 3d is as simple as thinking like an artist and pressing button to render cool stuff. Fat chance of that now eh'?

Have fun folks.

JA-forreal
04-12-2005, 09:54 AM
I think that this could be a 3d art theory of sorts. Passionate colored lighting.

I feel that many 3d scenes can benefit from using more soft colored lighting as this approach to lighting can be very artistic. I have limited experience with using sub surface scattering but I can see that it too can enhance 3d scenes in a more dramatic way as far as object materials in use with colored lighting techniques.

Try aiming soft or area “fill” lights in from various angles focusing on a single point in a scene at various vertical offsets and strengths to create interesting colored bouncing shadows. Using colored lighting like an equal mix of blue and violet as fill lighting. Or over enhance one type of object color in your scene with these lights to make the color of that one object penetrate the depth of the scene. Focus these light upward or to the floor. These are just some ideas that are not about accuracy or has to have a reason. Colors can create feeling. In 3d software well placed colored lights can be used to create feeling or focus feeling on a primary object element in a scene.

Maybe we could explore some radiosity effects with this concept to mix some of our scene objects colors with the light colors.

Others have mentioned how 3d art is not always artistic or as passionate as 2d art. Often the overall lighting colors in 3d art are plain and unimaginative when compared to lighting in 2d art compositions. We don't have to be 3d masters to play with colored lighting.

We can study many different styles of painted artworks and photographed works to explore this concept or just place some lights arrange them and see what we can render up.

Have fun!

tAstyBITs
04-12-2005, 09:56 AM
lol,

I just tell people, "I want my million dollars" so I can go home and relax. but no, there's always more work.

the thing about complex is it will aways be complex, if it was easy..... well you know. I wonder that about video games. Soon people will be able to press a button and make high quality games from downloaded art and engines. But with some hard work.... we can always keep things complex. Have you ever heard of the Red Queen Principle?

What's LSCM mapping?

tAstyBITs
04-12-2005, 10:11 AM
interesting lighting ideas.

I've always thought the more people try to make something look realistic, say a standing figure the more it looks like a miniture doll. Funny when someone makes a miniture doll or toy look realistic, it looks very realistic I guess the compute works best for that at the moment. It's seems to be a dead end to me, and I've often wondered about mixing realizm and toon shading, but I have yet to play with it. For the game I've been working on we are doing a level that looks like a old black and white movie, I think it looks beautiful. For some reason the greys look dam good in a video game. Everyone at work seems to agree. It seems to hide the the things that kill the feeling of realizm or something, but it has a overall nice feel.

it's aways one thing that leads to another.

Lunatique
04-12-2005, 01:44 PM
JA-forreal - All the lighting stuff you're talking about, has been fully explored in photography. Pick up some good books on commercial studio photography, and you'll have all the knowledge you need about lighting.

JA-forreal
04-12-2005, 05:29 PM
JA-forreal - All the lighting stuff you're talking about, has been fully explored in photography. Pick up some good books on commercial studio photography, and you'll have all the knowledge you need about lighting.

I know, photography knowledge comes in handy when you work with your 3d scenes.

tAstyBITs
04-12-2005, 09:26 PM
Here's another link that talks about light and 3d, by Neil Blevins.

http://www.neilblevins.com/cg_education/metal_and_refs/metal_and_refs.htm


My big question about diffuse and specular light is why doese specular light have the color of the light source and not the color of the objects surface it bounced off. My guess is that a surface can't absorb all the light that hits it and the more light that hits a surface the less light is affected by the surface it bounces off, but that's just my guess.

My other thing is in a low light situation you see less of a diffuse light and more specular light. I'm trying to understand this as a theory so I can figure how a diffuse falloff curve and specular curve are affected. I suspect that the curves might change depending on the amount of light in a scene. But what messes all this up is the lack of a apature in a 3d camera... er I ponder so.

Unlike photography 3d artists can control material properties in potentially very creative ways.

Stahlberg
04-13-2005, 01:41 AM
My big question about diffuse and specular light is why doese specular light have the color of the light source and not the color of the objects surface it bounced off. My guess is the more light that hits a surface the less light is affected by the surface it bounces off Yes, that's true. Except with colored metals (Neil has a good example of that).

My other thing is in a low light situation you see less of a diffuse light and more specular light. I'm trying to understand this as a theory so I can figure how a diffuse falloff curve and specular curve are affected.
The reason for this is that our eyes, and video and film, capture a much higher dynamic range than the standard 24 bit RGB system the software normally uses to calculate with. Recently the hdri (High Dynamic Range Image) format adresses some of this, check it out for instance at debevec.org

But imo these issues are not part of any kind of "3d art theory", they're simply goofs and shortcuts by the programmers. The programmers, not having traditional art training, haven't really based their programming off what they could observe in the real world. They have made lots of 'mistakes' like this (and still keep making them), which we the users are now paying for.

JA-forreal
04-13-2005, 02:58 AM
.........The reason for this is that our eyes, and video and film, capture a much higher dynamic range than the standard 24 bit RGB system the software normally uses to calculate with. Recently the hdri (High Dynamic Range Image) format adresses some of this, check it out for instance at debevec.org

But imo these issues are not part of any kind of "3d art theory", they're simply goofs and shortcuts by the programmers. The programmers, not having traditional art training, haven't really based their programming off what they could observe in the real world. They have made lots of 'mistakes' like this (and still keep making them), which we the users are now paying for.

Interesting observation. For centuries pigment chemist who are scientist much like computer scientist and programmers today, have developed chemical processes that would enable artist to use pigments to simulate realistic color. From the the days of the first oil based paints to modern day acrylic paints, chemical scientist have worked hard to recreate the colors of the natural universe.

Now take a productive comparison and observe the quality and quantity of artistic output that an average computer artist can achieve with a computer, a digital camera, 3d software, 2d software, video software, DVD media, website media or 3d PC game titles, we digital artist come out on top. It would be way more expensive and even impossible to create this volume and quality of art using traditional methods.

Todays digital artist are viewed as valuable six figure earning digital media developers. In the past many of us would have been thought of as useless dreamers.

You could say that art development on a $500 PC has achieved an ease of output that really works the best. Compared this to what you can easily expect to achieve in an affordable way and realistically with physical paints, physical media or a camera and a film processing lab. And you don't even have an undo button.

Modern thinking calls for application of technology that helps you get the job done no matter what. We walk for health now and drive cars to get places. Why shouldn't we think the same way about creating art productively to get places? Maybe traditional art is more of an exercise of art in modern computer art times? Imagine, when digital printing, digital photography, 3d printing and digital video make more advancements that traditional concepts of art may make more room for modern art ideals.

The idea of a programmer, an academic mechanic, engineer, scientist, you name it as viewed as they are in modern times with no connection to roles that match in the past is interesting. Their fields my cover science, mathematics, engineering, psychology, art, manufacturing, management, demographics and more in one classification. Yet some of us may think of them today much as we do an auto mechanic or plummer. But in reality they are way more cool than that. This only shows that we are comfortable with their complex place in our world today. We are people living in the digital age.

Maybe the next step for art will create computer artist that are as complex as computer programmers in their execution of their craft. Even when a computer task is easy, due the nature of the complex mix of software apps that are used to perform one artistic task that is growing every day, computer art already seems to be headed toward even more complexity.

The funny thing is that many of us don't even notice it and we are living it.


Have fun!

Stahlberg
04-13-2005, 05:13 AM
Hm, a lot of words... couldn't see if you were agreeing or disagreeing with me until the end of your post:

The idea of a programmer, an academic mechanic, engineer, scientist, you name it as viewed as they are in modern times with no connection to roles that match in the past is interesting. Their fields my cover science, mathematics, engineering, psychology, art, manufacturing, management, demographics and more in one classification. Yet some of us may think of them today much as we do an auto mechanic or plummer. But in reality they are way more cool than that. This only shows that we are comfortable with their complex place in our world today. We are people living in the digital age.

Wow...
Programmers put their pants on one leg at a time just like you or me. Some of them look down on artists as airy-fairy dreamers and hippies (I know because I've met such people). Some of them are mediochre wannabees who think like you (that they're SO cool), some of them are great guys, and some are geniuses. Some of them are even good at art too. Unfortunately these are VERY few, and at the dawn of cg none of those worked on the major apps, and we saw the result, we still live with the aftermath today. Today it's a little better, but not great. For instance, we have a great example now of what happens when a software company asks a great artist for advice - the Taron and Messiah collaboration.

I saw what was missing immediately after learning my main app, 94-95, most of it wasn't adressed until well into the new millenium. Some of it still sucks. They fix something, and something else breaks, or when adding a new feature the next step in the process is missing. Programmers keep building bridges that stop halfway, or 3/4 across the river. Then it's up to the artist to either find a way across from there, or find a better bridge.

For still images, there's nothing I can do in 3d that I can't do better in 2d (Photoshop or Painter). But lots of things I can do in 2d that I can't even approach in 3d. Now what does that say about 3d apps? That they're not there yet. They have a LONG way to go.

This is the process the average team of programmers follows to create a new feature.
1. Look at what other programmers are doing in other apps
2. Look at existing research, pick the algorithm that THEY think will be best
3. Implement it, usually with a terrible interface, then adjust it later to a better one, after complaints from the users.
Note that there's no input from the users until it's too late to make basic changes in the philosophy and approach.

JA-forreal
04-13-2005, 07:02 AM
Wow...
Programmers put their pants on one leg at a time just like you or me. Some of them look down on artists as airy-fairy dreamers and hippies ..............................
I saw what was missing immediately after learning my main app, 94-95, most of it wasn't adressed until well into the new millenium. Some of it still sucks. They fix something, and something else breaks, or when adding a new feature the next step in the process is missing. Programmers keep building bridges that stop halfway, or 3/4 across the river. Then it's up to the artist to either find a way across from there, or find a better bridge.

For still images, there's nothing I can do in 3d that I can't do better in 2d (Photoshop or Painter). But lots of things I can do in 2d that I can't even approach in 3d. Now what does that say about 3d apps? That they're not there yet. They have a LONG way to go.

This is the process the average team of programmers follows to create a new feature.
1. Look at what other programmers are doing in other apps
2. Look at existing research, pick the algorithm that THEY think will be best
3. Implement it, usually with a terrible interface, then adjust it later to a better one, after complaints from the users.
..........

I have learned to see things on both sides of the issue in discussions with programmers and artist in open source 3d and other development online communities. Some of the programmers even admitted that they totally overlook a designers artistic approach on many occasions. And even though some programmers may think that the grass grows when their feet touch the ground, artist bring out points that show their total and complete reliance on the needs of artist.

If we just shut up as artist and used whatever software was dished out to us where would we be today? We have to associate with developers or even become developers of the tools of our craft. This aspect about most forms of craftsmanship is classic. And I'm not talking about the contact that we only have with developers at trade shows.

Many 3d artist got involved in the software side because of the benefits of it. But we can't let things slack and not question our wise developers to make all of the choices for us.

It's good to see software companies working with 3d artist even more and the current range of products show that this method of collaboration is starting to be effective.

Programmers are scientist and engineers so they should be given room to work out technical matters that result in good 3d software products. As we see great products from those efforts we should give them props even if the implementation for the tech is shaky. I even attempt to make limited usage of beta software test it in my own workflow.

As I move along in my open source 3d connection, I want to show how 3d artist can make use of freshly coded tech in a productive manner. This encourages coders to keep coding and it shows our appreciation for their efforts when money is not the goal just 3d software advancement. Coders are people too, and even if we do buy useful tools from them, they still need encouragement.

I would love to see a forum for seamless 3d “workflow” discussions between artist and coders. Much of the discussions could based on 3d project management issues and there is no need for programmers to divulge any trade secrets. Any 3d software developer could post their viewpoints. Maybe we would find that nulls are not as effective as coders thought they were and they could start working on other tech to improve those features. I don't know. It works for open source..

Right now we are testing out a sub surface mesh algorithm that is so much more faster than the old one. I almost missed it's inclusion in the new software sources build because a builder used the term "subsurface algo".

I'm from California living in the bay area so.. there are some hippie like folks among us. I admit that I drink soy milk regularly. It gives you wings, hehehe.

I just use 2d apps for some texturing, effects and layout work now. Steven I know that you don't need 3d. You are that good.

I need the logic that 3d brings to digital art. I can set work up and serve it out like fast food. I try to give it a fine food look though. This let's me work productively with other non- 3d software based tasks. My movement from just a digital artist to media developer is aimed at having more opportunities to explore 3d art while I monitor/manage web traffic.

Have fun!

JA-forreal
04-13-2005, 08:11 AM
Getting back to 3d theory, I was thinking of the when and why of 3d physical effects phenomena art.

I have not made use of 3d particles or cloth dynamics in most of my 3d art. I often wonder how other artist feel about using them. We have the full realization of the technical hurdles that use of these elements can bring up. I know that many artist avoid using these elements if they can. They often composite in lightening or fog particles, etc.

As far as cloth effects, many artist use lattices, bones and deformers to simulate cloth. I know that effects can take on another range with various levels of artistic options to tell viewers what we can't say with a sound track or a title.

It is easier to work with effects live than try to plan their usage in 3d software. But this in itself is riddled with options. Are their any do's or don'ts as far as our approach to this stage of 3d art? I have always wanted to discuss this in a way that is outside of the 3d software looking at this from another perspective as a pure observer of the artistic methodologies behind the action of the application. We know what the tech does, lets just focus on the art of the matter.

We can explore so many concepts from the use of rain, waves, wind, dust, snow, etc. Wind can bust open a window and at the same point, cold snow crystals blow in putting out a candle on a table. This can go down in a million ways. The trajectory path of the snow, the stage at which the snow comes into the frame, the lighting, the candle characteristics, sub details like wax dripping, etc. just give us more information to work with.

This brings up images of passages from my favorite books, movies scenes, etc. What is so special about that moment? Is it the surprise of the snow and cold wind bursting into the room? Of is it the sudden darkness as the candle flame goes out? As we work out or particle setups, modeling, lighting setup, what main aspects of these sequences drives our tweaks and edits? What are we trying to achieve with a task like this?

We could even play with a thought like this further and stage something unpredictable. We could have the window burst open, the wind could knock over the candle, the candle could fall off of a table into a fireplace of fresh dry wood and ignite the wood resulting in a blaze of fire in the fireplace. The wind could get stronger and papers could blow off of the table and spin in a circle in the middle of the room.

We could go on and on with the art of this concept and continue to tell a story just by using wind, snow and fire effects.

We could render this out as a still image but wouldn't too many details be left out? We could write a few words to make up for that but would that one frame really work as a still? And if so what what be the best frame to capture to tell this story?

Art brings up many solutions but a whole lot more of hard choices. When are working on a project that must be completed right away I think that we may miss getting the right frame for a render or two. Sometime the best track on a cd is number three but we sold the cd with track number ten.

I feel that if people like the shot that it is right and it works as a 3d artist who works with still shots. Animation inspires us so much as 3d artist I think, because we don't have to pick one shot we get to show a lot more of our work. As we see how the work is moving along and we are saying "cut" over and over disqualifying or accepting our actions.

How do we know when the art is set for frames of action enough to move on to the next tweaks of action frames in effects work? What concepts do 3d artist follow who work with particle effects and dynamics?

Lunatique
04-14-2005, 02:54 AM
JA-forreal - you might want to think carefully and summarize your points before you post, because some of us find your posts often incoherent and off-tangent, and in some cases, misinformed and misguided.

I think the artists with traditional art theory knowledge that posted in this thread has made their points more than clear. Part of the reason we created the Art Discussion forum was to help 3D artists who are missing traditonal art theory knowledge, and also to open their eyes to the fact that they desperately need it if they don't have it. Someone like Steven Stahlberg, who excels in both 3D and 2D art, and is respectedly globally, is quite rare. If you choose not to heed his advice and tips that are the result of decades of experience, then do so at your own risk of traveling down a misguided road.

We're only here to help. We could all just keep to ourselves and spend our time working on our own creative works, instead of trying to communicate and help the CG community. We choose to be involved and dedicate our time and energy, because we hope that others could benefit from it. When we were young and just started learning, we didn't have the internet and we didn't have mentors or people to help us--we did it alone and it was hard as hell. This is our way of giving back to the younger generation. Whether members choose to take our advice or not is up to them.

Going on and on and trying to debate that 3D works on a different set of art theory is just pointless, because we've already pointed out that there is no such thing. There is one set of art theory, and that's the only one in existence--the study of composition, color theory, values, lighting, edges, design, anatomy, perspective, mother nature, and the more profound apsects like symbolism, expression, body language..etc, are the ETERNAL TRUTHS for artists of all disciplines and fields. They might be modified over time as new scientific discoveries are made, but for the most part they don't change much and has been mostly the same for the last century.

All the points raised in this thread about lighting and rendering algorithms, particles, materials, textures..etc are tools created to let the artist express what he wants. They are software solutions, not art theories. Saying they are art theory is like saying studying how Corel Painter's brush rendering algorithms works is art theory. There is nothing about these tools that hasn't already been covered in the study of photography, painting, and in mother nature herself. The study of how light behaves in the real world IS part of traditional art theory, and always has been since the birth of art. What you learn about 3D rendering is just the programmer's way of providing tools to mimic mother nature.

If you fancy yourself as some kind of modern techie CG maverick who doesn't care too much about traditional art theories, then you've got a rude awakening waiting for you somewhere down the line in your life. You will discover one day that you should've been studying traditional art theories and have wasted a lot of time not studying it. This isn't some kind of close-minded, elitist mentality--it's simply the universal truth that's been the proud heritage of artists worldwide. If you want to turn your back on that heritage which is your birthright as someone who decided to be an artist, then that is your choice, and the gravest mistake you will ever make in your life as an artist.

ashakarc
04-14-2005, 03:42 AM
I second Lunatique!
----------------------

Before you dismantle any tradition, you need to have an alternative. The history of knowledge tells us that knowledge is accumulative. The need for a theory by itself is hypothetical, that is why I laid out earlier a method of testing this hypothesis. Alterations and additions to the theory is very normal progression.

It is highly applaudable to investigate methods and discourses, you might come up with new perspectives and outlooks. I, personally do not think about traditional "art theory" anymore, as it is part of my embeded knowledge that is subconsciously trancending into the work I do. However, there is a lot more than principles and tools to the work of art and creativity.

A good read in the subject of art and technology will be "Martin Heidegger"

best,
ashakarc

gaspedalo
04-14-2005, 05:01 AM
I think that there ain't no CG Art. There is CG Visualization and CG Animation.

I agree that there are a lot of great CG Artists and CG pieces done already, but they all have not contributed to CG as an unique medium of art. So there ain't no Art that is simply unique to CG, not yet. I see several references in architecture, where all the CG potential is used to form a new kind of architecture (gregg lynn, nox, marcus novak). That is because that field uses the CG medium not in a traditional way.

But on the other side I disagree to myself. There is a lot of art in CG. There is graphics happening since the development of flash, that no nevil brody could have imagined before. There are paintings made that no one has ever made before (Ray Caesar). There are even sculptures made that overrun their historian rolemodels (zaha hadid). BUT, the references are still the same. Traditional art that is hanging in or galleries.

So there has to be developed a new origin of CG Art! Because computer can do much more than just simule traditional art forms. So stop painting and start freaking!

JA-forreal
04-14-2005, 06:54 AM
Well I didn't to get into anything that bordered on the line of theoretical artistic conviction, I was simply trying to elaborate on our artistic perspective of 3d software.



I can understand your thinking Lunatique but I thought that everything that I said previously was obvious.

I wasn't even talking about a 3d artist chances of success do a belief that selling anything visual is a direct result of their application of artistic theory in their artistic work.

I was talking about the structure of 3d as it is one software device composed of many mechanisms of which creative people can use to express themselves. I also stated clearly that 3d art is used by artist like myself an element of media that works with other forms of commercial media.

I think any person that thinks a theory can support their entire career as an artist will be in for a rude awakening. The principals that house the use of art in media are market driven entities and art is their crop, product, merchandise, whatever you want to call it.

Often media uses fashionable, trendy methods to capture an audiences attention. Traditional art in itself is not enough of a solid foundation to support most marketable media models. Psychology, science, demographic research and target market positioning and branding have a lot more to do with success in selling anything that it media oriented.

Art can be used to convince or entice people that one media model is speaking to their age group, their sex, their race, etc. Art is a powerful and often subtle device for media marketing efforts. We can identify with what we see and if it is delivered in a form that is tailored to our interest on many levels. If the art that we see motivates us emotionally we are often attracted to it. We may even act on the message of this art or even be drawn to have deep feelings about the message.

Art is is a tool in media, a very powerful tool. 3D art lets developers make art more realistic and thus art in this form is even more powerful than say a painting of a character vs. a digital actor like Gollum.

What group of young men would not stop in their tracks and stare as drawing of a beautiful pinup bikini girl? Now replace that drawing with a TV screen and a group of 3d dimensional digital characters playing volleyball bouncing up and down with jiggling sweaty dripping flesh that glistens in the sun. This concept would be relatively easy to sell as a device for selling a video game or a soft drink brand.

3d artist could easily focus on a developing a media product like this using only modern day concepts of ideas as to what physical aspects about a womans physic make them attractive to men. They could use mens magazine articles and "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model" editions references from years back as image and commentary R&D for this 3d project.

A large part of the attraction of 3d art by media developers is this powerful development factor. Now I doubt if classic artist could even imagine a TV screen full of artistically created bikini clad dynamically animated 3d female characters. Probably not, because this image is totally modern. But they wouldn't even doubt this artworks value as an tool for visual attraction.

I don't doubt the usefulness of learning traditional art. I have books on art and art theory as most graphic designers to. But we live in a fast paced world of sellers and buyers. A commercially minded artist has to be aware of more that just impressionistic theory to make it in todays digital media marketplace.

All the books, classes, etc on art theory are just guides, it's up to us to take out what we feel is of value when we weight that information against our our artist goals and options.

3d artist who have goals of working i for mainstream entertainment know that any art training that they have has to be duplicated on the fly into a commercial mainstream functionary application of art. The greater that your knowledge is of colors, textures, perspectives, adds to their palette of design methods.

If you are a 3d artist you can draw from life and what you see and add any traditional art theory element to you work if they apply.

Humm, I wonder how folks created powerful music developments like the Blues in the southern US states when their only reference for this art was in their culture? As I recall , many of these greats like John Lee Hooker had no former traditional institutionalized artistic music training.

The point is that an artist is the best judge for the direction that they want to take to create their artwork. If you have a strong creative culture you may not need to rely on outside sources of artistic theory to create great art. I have aways wondered why some people feel that everybody has the same needs for educational development as everyone else in every case?

The nature of 3d software is technical and most people are not accustomed to 3d software even if they are very artistic without it. I do feel that the ideas behind the way a 3d artist views the usage of their software to create visual looks such as a realtime animation of wave dynamics is very different from a painter who is just trying to capture the"moment" of a wave curl with their brush. The thought process of a 3d artist is different in this case but just as artistic a painter who is deciding how much titanium white to use to create a foamy wave effect on a canvas.

I was attempting to get some ideas on how 3d artist theorize when dealing with the simulated functions that represent physical forces in3d art image developments.

I was hoping to get past the obvious art concepts that deal with more two dimensional concepts of design preparation and focus on our live realtime working theories behind our 3d artistic choices. I hope that we can move on to this.

I just read the notice, wow this is not good news. Now I'm worried about CGtalk.

Lunatique
04-14-2005, 10:35 AM
Now I doubt if classic artist could even imagine a TV screen full of artistically created bikini clad dynamically animated 3d female characters. Probably not, because this image is totally modern. But they wouldn't even doubt this artworks value as an tool for visual attraction.


Sex has been used to sell products for far, far longer than 3D has existed. What do you think pinup artists lke Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas..etc did? That was their job--to sell products with paintings of scantily clad women. And you think bikini clad girls on the TV screen is invented by 3D artists? Ever heard of Marilyn Monroe? Brigitte Bardot? Raquel Welch? Jane Mansfield?


I think any person that thinks a theory can support their entire career as an artist will be in for a rude awakening. The principals that house the use of art in media are market driven entities and art is their crop, product, merchandise, whatever you want to call it.

Often media uses fashionable, trendy methods to capture an audiences attention. Traditional art in itself is not enough of a solid foundation to support most marketable media models. Psychology, science, demographic research and target market positioning and branding have a lot more to do with success in selling anything that it media oriented.

You are talking about marketing and the entertainment industry. Do you still remember what the title of this thread was?


The nature of 3d software is technical and most people are not accustomed to 3d software even if they are very artistic without it. I do feel that the ideas behind the way a 3d artist views the usage of their software to create visual looks such as a realtime animation of wave dynamics is very different from a painter who is just trying to capture the"moment" of a wave curl with their brush. The thought process of a 3d artist is different in this case but just as artistic a painter who is deciding how much titanium white to use to create a foamy wave effect on a canvas.

You are once again talking about the tools. Foundation knowledge of art theory does not change no matter what tools you use. Anatomy doesn't just mutate because you changed your tools, and neither does perspective, composition, color theory..etc.

I was attempting to get some ideas on how 3d artist theorize when dealing with the simulated functions that represent physical forces in3d art image developments.


You are still talking about mathematical algorithms. Programmers are the ones who design those simulation tools. The artists have no say in it, except in the form of providing feedback during beta testing, or demanding for upcoming bug fixes. Even if you are an artist that knows how to code, the study of how hair, cloth, water..etc behave are still part of traditional art theories--traditional animators have been studying that stuff ever since the birth of animation.

I was hoping to get past the obvious art concepts that deal with more two dimensional concepts of design preparation and focus on our live realtime working theories behind our 3d artistic choices. I hope that we can move on to this.

Then why not start a seperate thread about 3D dynamic simulations in the appropriate forum? You do realize we have whole forums at cgtalk devoted to lighting & rendering, and special effects? Those are the forums you go to for that kind of discussion.

Stahlberg
04-14-2005, 02:54 PM
Now I doubt if classic artist could even imagine a TV screen full of artistically created bikini clad dynamically animated 3d female characters.

first example that comes to me is Ingres' "The Turkish Bath" - an image packed full of realistic naked women. They aren't animated of course, but I'm sure Ingres had no problem imagining them moving. After all, that's what real women do. They're fatter than the ideal of today, but this has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
You give the old masters way too little credit.

As I recall , many of these greats like John Lee Hooker had no former traditional institutionalized artistic music training
The comparison lacks logic. We're not advocating institutionalized training, just plain training. Practising the basics. JLH could play his instrument right? Which meant thousands of hours of practise in the basics, like scales. Maybe he even knew how to read music. What you seem to be saying elsewhere is that he didn't need to know how to play or sing or read music, as long as he could whip up some cool samples and synthesized sounds.

dynamic duotone
04-14-2005, 04:08 PM
JA-forreal, do people ever tell you that you over-think or over-complicate things? After reading all your previous posts, I find myself getting very dizzy from circular form of debate.

Look, at least from this last post, you seem to be wanting to discuss theory on how to use a tool, while at the same time confusing the debate by integrating a discussion on the theory of marketing of products through psychology. So, while art and psychology can merge when it comes to producing commercial art for marketing purposes, it really doesn’t matter what tool you use or how you use it as long as the concept you produce expresses a comforting/discomforting emotional recall in the FEELINGS of the consumer.

3D art is not better than other older forms of artistic expression, it’s just different. Art, no matter how it’s produced; is an expression of feelings, visual symbol(s) used to communicate an internal emotional stirring, if you will. You can use psychology and science to give you a direction in which you want the drawing or 3D concept to go, but there are no guarantees that everyone is going to interpret it the same way; i.e. it is perfectly obvious to you that you are being clear about your discussion, but everyone else is thinking…WTF!

That being said, as I have interpreted what you have written, you want to use this thread to discuss the theory of the mechanics behind producing the artwork. This is like me making up some pointless theory on the mechanics of how to use a hammer to build a house. While I will use a hammer in building the house, the architect who is designing it doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I use a hammer, a high-powered air gun, or rivets to put the damn thing together.

Commercial art is usually a collaborative effort that involves more than just one artist coming up with the marketing angle and doing the work. As much as we sometimes dislike working with a project manager or art director, they help keep the focus of the final concept. There are theory’s on both sides of the fence, be it art or psychology, I feel you are trying to complicate things by trying to make the connection that 3D art programs somehow magically connect the two disciplines.

This whole thread was designed to help other artists find resources and get expert advice on what would be the best angle for them to catch up on current art theory that they may have missed in their past training. Instead of them just making art and when their boss says, why did you do that…you have more of a reason than “Because this tool I’m using makes it look soooo damn cool!” They don’t buy that reason believe me, what’s “cool” is a subjective response, different to each person’s opinion.

Current art theory is based upon scientific concepts on how the human brain interprets what it likes and what it dislikes. It does this based on math believe it or not. Math helps us simplify what we view around us as chaos, into acceptable patterns. The brain can deal with patterns so it likes them…art theory as it stands today, is used as a guide for professional artists to check their artwork against tried and true aspects that trigger visually appealing patterns the human brain will be comfortable with.

On the flip side, these theories do not cover what personal FEELINGS that a piece of artwork will invoke when someone views the entire work. Each person is exposed to different things as the grow up so they end up building their own emotional triggers when exposed to certain patterns, be it color, smell, taste, size, etc…Some people like blue, so a piece of art with their favorite shade of blue will appeal to them on an emotional level, especially if it recalls a memory of a beautiful spring sky on a day they were the happiest they have ever felt. Most ad firms use SEX because it appeals to the highest percentage of people on an emotional level. So an artist may have hit it perfectly in representing the form of a beautifully sexy naked female who’s proportions are visually acceptable to the brain, but people, who have been abused sexually, usually do not respond well to this type of art.

So as I see it, you are searching for some Rosetta Stone theory on what a brain finds appealing, what is emotionally appealing to 100% of the population, and how 3D art tools can be used as the magic wand to manifest this perfect piece of art work. Is this correct?

Ahhhhhh! Someone help me… I think my post just became as confusing as JA-forreal’s!

Sorry it’s so long guys…did I make any sense?

DD

JA-forreal
04-14-2005, 06:06 PM
"The following are some of the best links on the internet we have found, that contain insightful, practical, and helpful information on various aspects of creating representational art (some of it applies to any type of grahics design).
If you have links you'd like to submit, please PM or email one of the Forum Leaders (Kai, Steven Stahlberg, Enalya, Lunatique, Cicinimo) , and once we have checked the links, they will be added here."

Come on folks. Am I the only one who is trying to be specific here? This quote is from Stevens "sticky" thread in this forum on "general art theory"- "Art theory links". We were attempting to discuss 3d art theory in this thread.

If we wanted to discuss "general" art theory that can relate to any form of art from visual, written, to philosophical art theories, this thread would have been titled as such. But it's titled, "Art Theory for 3D Artists?"

"______COLOR THEORIES____
The Good, the Bad and the Useless



Although the use of color is not without pitfalls, unlike
drawing or pictorial composition, it is the most flexible and
tolerant of individual taste of all the aspects of painting. While
many of us a seem to born with the ability to draw, few of us are
born colorists simply because good color can be achieved only
through an intelligent approach born of proper study. "

An excerpt from Stevens link to an article on "Color Theory" .

Now why can't we discuss 3d art theories some of which may involve mentions of software tech that are not "specific to any one particular 3d art app but common to all 3d art apps?

"We could start out with something say like...."3d Material and Shader theory". 3D materials can be either complex in their nature or simple of a simple structure. They are one of the more flexible aspects of 3d colorization. We can adjust them to our taste by tweaking the settings to our liking or by making use of specialized programed shaders. We do not have to be that familiar with 3d software to use them effectively in our work. But we can produce some amazing uses of 3d materials and shaders.."

Another clip from the linked article on color theory,

"Itten's book, The Art of Color, attempted to validate his
theories through a clever technique well known in advertising
agencies. By juxtaposing his color charts next to the work of
great painters he hoped to add credence to his theories. "

We could say,

"3d film makers and 3d professionals have sought to validate the use of almost photographic 3d realism in their studios as a replacement for staged production sets and real life objects. By applying lighting concepts of the great painters and photographers they have sought to gain more acceptance of their use of simulated rocks, skin, grass, etc......"

This talk of hey " drop any mention of tech when talking about 3d art theory is kind of like a " twilight zone episode"... Hehehe. Wow.

In a discussion you often bring up things that are reliant to your points to back them up.

We all brought up points. Some of which were not as focused on the actual subject be cause we got caught in the classic forum debate of trying to defend our statements.

That's all cool. But we could just get back to the topic eventually. No ones mad or anything we just want to talk about 3d art theory or at least what that means to us.

I mentioned 3d dynamics as it is 3d specific. 3d art theory for simulating visual phenomena, and no other art form can match in it's procedure or practice in the what that I was presenting it. And I'm not talking about effects which are in relationship to 2d compositing apps. Those are cheats anyway.. 3d dynamic effects can be used as the the light sources of a scene or just as a physical effect like wind and on and on...

I remember watching a program on educational TV about the ""Greatful Dead" band and how they had once tried to make use of the "wind" in one particular song. Real life wind. It was apparent that they where using of some "other" scientific forces.

We 3d artist don't need to use "purple haze" tech to add the forces of nature to our artwork. Hehehe. We all are 3d artist right? Or am I missing something?

Let's try to have fun with this please folks?

ashakarc
04-14-2005, 06:28 PM
I remember watching a program on educational TV about the ""Greatful Dead" band and how they had once tried to make use of the "wind" in one particular song. Real life wind. It was apparent that they where using of some "other" scientific forces.

We 3d artist do need to use "purple haze" tech to ad the forces of nature to our artwork. Hehehe. We all are 3d artist right? Or am I missing something?

Let's try to have fun with this please folks?

I am having difficulty comprehending your view on the matter. This is not even a rhetoric, rather it is Sophism. Sorry for that, but Socrates preferred to take poison than acknowledging Sophists. It's no fun!

JA-forreal
04-14-2005, 07:11 PM
I am having difficulty comprehending your view on the matter. This is not even a rhetoric, rather it is Sophism. Sorry for that, but Socrates preferred to take poison than acknowledging Sophists. It's no fun!

"We 3d artist 'don't ' need to use "purple haze" tech to 'add' the forces of nature to our artwork. Hehehe. We all are 3d artist right? Or am I missing something?"- I will let you investigate this one.


Have fun!

ambient-whisper
04-14-2005, 07:35 PM
ill let you limit yourself to being a 3d artist.:). ill keep working in all sorts of different mediums to keep the whole art thing interesting to me.

JA-forreal
04-14-2005, 08:14 PM
ill let you limit yourself to being a 3d artist.:). ill keep working in all sorts of different mediums to keep the whole art thing interesting to me.


You could say that 3d arts goal is to involve everything visual, audible, emotional, scientific, etc into it's concepts. Everything from creating digital actors for films with powerful personalities to rag doll in game physics shows evidence of this. I won't ever lose interest in being a 3d artist. I wonder what medium 3d art will cover next?

Has anyone thought of bringing Beethoven's symphony experience back to life in a realtime photo-real 3d technology simulation? You know, with the "Man" of the hour, the visual environments of the period, the sounds, etc?

It would something to sit back and watch and pan the symphony hall to check out the details of this experience as the concerto proceeds. Wouldn't it be cool to have total control over this experience, have the options of picking the order of instruments that are used in a piece, etc? Then we could hear how the music changes after our alterations.

Who said that classical art is dead?

We 3d are just getting our feet wet with 3d design media, games and films. What's next? I will leave that up to the tech folks. We want to discuss the art here.
Have fun!

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