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Old 04-06-2005, 01:14 PM   #1
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Art Theory for 3D Artists?

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?
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:30 AM   #2
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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."
 
Old 04-07-2005, 05:05 AM   #3
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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!

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.

Last edited by Fardak : 04-07-2005 at 05:15 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 05:14 AM   #4
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Have you guys checked the sticky in this forum? There is a sticky made especially for this.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 05:22 AM   #5
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*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...
Will get to it when I can.

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.

Last edited by Fardak : 04-07-2005 at 05:28 AM.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 01:13 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:20 PM   #7
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mathematics is a language and therefore an art can be construed from it, a poetic one. It would not be a traditional artform.
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Old 04-07-2005, 02:00 PM   #8
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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.

Last edited by Lunatique : 04-07-2005 at 02:05 PM.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
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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".
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Old 04-07-2005, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tocpe
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.

Last edited by Lunatique : 04-07-2005 at 03:23 PM.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 03:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tocpe
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.
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Old 04-07-2005, 04:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
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.



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?

Last edited by Fardak : 04-07-2005 at 04:26 PM.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 06:23 PM   #13
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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.
 
Old 04-07-2005, 07:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunatique
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.
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Old 04-08-2005, 05:46 AM   #15
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3d Art Theory is a bit to a lot different. Theres a lot here that can be used for traditional art.

resourses

Very cool links but not really for a beginners.
 
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