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MatthewWhite
10-16-2009, 01:17 PM
Hi,

My name is Matt and I'm an aspiring 3D character artist with a lot to learn. I was wondering if anyone can help me create a list of what I need to learn in order to create a full character. Right now I am working with 3Ds Max and Mudbox. I have sculpted my son's head for practice and is obviously too heavy in polygons. So right now I'm trying to learn normal maps and such. My goal is to try to create a solid workflow that mimics that of a professional 3D character artist.


Thanks ahead of time.

Matt

MrPositive
10-20-2009, 05:54 AM
Honestly, I think you would receive far more feedback by posting your head model in the 3D WIP section of cgtalk. But for starters, I'd say take a couple clay figure sculpture courses first. Most areas have local courses that are very affordable (I've taken at least five myself in the past few years and all for under 250 bucks). You really need to get grounded in some of the traditional aspects of sculpture, because in the end, those sound sculptural fundamentals (proportions, form, anatomy, line of action, etc.) translate to any tool at hand (clay or digital).

majiX123
10-20-2009, 07:04 AM
Hey Matt, you basically have two tracks that you need to follow together. first is the traditional timeless knowledge of anatomy and sculpting principles. second the technical know-how of your software.

for the first track you may try anatomy books and drawing lessons like Glen Vilppu's, even if you don't want to go drawing all the way but it is very beneficial to learn the concepts and basics.

have also as many reference images of human or Greek/Roman statues they they will help a lot in understanding the anatomy of body movements and posing.

for the technical part; start always with low poly and add geometry as you go and as you need it. don't overwhelm your scene with many polys and go dive into a big sea of vertex to fix and move. and for better results with character modeling you may need to learn some zbrush too ... it is very intuitive software and will help big time.

on another front, you may benefit from reading about how writers think of their characters, storytelling and similar subjects on casual basis. just for general knowledge.

good luck

MatthewWhite
10-20-2009, 01:03 PM
Thanks a bunch. This is very useful information. I seem to be a lot more open to the artistic side of it. I feel that with a lot of practice, this will all fall into place with photoshop, painter and mudbox/zbrush. I feel a bit of resistance when I delve into 3ds max tho, cuz there is a lot you can do. So basically what I am trying to achieve is to create a checklist of things I should learn (such as normal maps and such) so that I do not derail from my goal too much. For example, I know that I need to model my character (which is a hurdle in itself). Then after that I would like to add clothing, then hair, then textures. I still need to understand what UV unwrapping means and normal maps. All I know right now is that they are important.

Anyways, I can't wait to provide the rest of you guys with amazing eye candy as the others are doing!

Till next time.

Matt

Maestro99
10-21-2009, 03:06 AM
I asked a similier question to yours in another thread and got very different responses, 3 pages of them, for some reason it wont let me post the link but it was under CG General discusson and was called, Your core skills as a 3D artist,

maybe if you search it should come up

MrPositive
10-21-2009, 06:26 AM
You are asking a ton of technical questions, which you are going to need some type of training to expedite the process (or you can toil away on your comp for a very long time). So what does that leave you with? Well, you can grab a character creation disc from Gnomon (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/153/Character-Modeling-for-Production) (very high quality but many times are just overviews) or Digital Tutors (http://www.digitaltutors.com/09/training.php?cid=107&pid=3581) (far less quality but much easier to garner the technical concepts), or both, or take an online class. Jon Rush just started his Modern Game Character Workshop for cgtalk but it now says class commenced ( http://workshops.cgsociety.org/ ) I believe it just started yesterday, so you might be able to convince him to still let you in. It will teach all the technical concepts you are asking about and is in Max. I actually would have taken this class, but I've not been in Max in 8 years and felt it would be a tad of a struggle using Maya. Here's his information, so you could try PMing him to see if you can still get in.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?userid=2534

leigh
10-21-2009, 09:08 AM
Thanks a bunch. This is very useful information. I seem to be a lot more open to the artistic side of it. I feel that with a lot of practice, this will all fall into place with photoshop, painter and mudbox/zbrush. I feel a bit of resistance when I delve into 3ds max tho, cuz there is a lot you can do. So basically what I am trying to achieve is to create a checklist of things I should learn (such as normal maps and such) so that I do not derail from my goal too much. For example, I know that I need to model my character (which is a hurdle in itself). Then after that I would like to add clothing, then hair, then textures. I still need to understand what UV unwrapping means and normal maps. All I know right now is that they are important.

Anyways, I can't wait to provide the rest of you guys with amazing eye candy as the others are doing!

Till next time.

Matt

Take things one at a time. Stop worrying about ZBrush and UV mapping and all that stuff right now. Focus on developing your core modelling skills. Focus on that until you've mastered all the fundamentals and are comfortable with your abilities in that area. Then move onto the other stuff.

MatthewWhite
10-21-2009, 01:09 PM
You are asking a ton of technical questions, which you are going to need some type of training to expedite the process (or you can toil away on your comp for a very long time). So what does that leave you with? Well, you can grab a character creation disc from Gnomon (http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/153/Character-Modeling-for-Production) (very high quality but many times are just overviews) or Digital Tutors (http://www.digitaltutors.com/09/training.php?cid=107&pid=3581) (far less quality but much easier to garner the technical concepts), or both, or take an online class. Jon Rush just started his Modern Game Character Workshop for cgtalk but it now says class commenced ( http://workshops.cgsociety.org/ ) I believe it just started yesterday, so you might be able to convince him to still let you in. It will teach all the technical concepts you are asking about and is in Max. I actually would have taken this class, but I've not been in Max in 8 years and felt it would be a tad of a struggle using Maya. Here's his information, so you could try PMing him to see if you can still get in.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?userid=2534 (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?
userid=2534)


Hey thanks for the info! I did check out the course that you mentioned, unfortunately, it is a bit too expensive right now. I am currently enrolled in a video game intensive course online yet it does not really get into the specifics of creating a character and is costing me a hefty amount. What I have found so far is a tutorial on creating a swordmaster (searched in google) and I am working on that. Hopefully after this tutorial I will be able to create my own characters from A to Z. My goal is to be proficient until it reaches rigging. As for digital tutors, they require a subscription that is a bit out of my budget range as well in order to receive the good tutorials.

Thanks again for the info, it is greatly appreciated.

Matt

MatthewWhite
10-21-2009, 01:11 PM
Take things one at a time. Stop worrying about ZBrush and UV mapping and all that stuff right now. Focus on developing your core modelling skills. Focus on that until you've mastered all the fundamentals and are comfortable with your abilities in that area. Then move onto the other stuff.

Thank you! You are absolutely right. I often find myself looking too much at the big picture and overwhelms me sometimes.

Matt

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