Another Beginner

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  09 September 2012
Cool Another Beginner

Hello CG Society,

First of all, I would like to congratulate you guys for building such a great online society. Thanks to Google, I found this forum just a couple of hours ago and man... wow! So much information, lessons, courses, advices, showcases etc! Bravo, bravo and ... bravo again!

That has been told, now please let me tell you my story and why I am posting here.

When I was a kid, about 6-10 y old (can't exactly remember my age back then) I was amazed by comics and video games. I used to play Super Mario all night long till my eyes turned red, scaled to monitor aspect ratio:P I used to draw and sketch comics, like Donald, Asterix & Obelix, Marvel heroes and such stuff. But somehow, someday, unknown reasons, I quit drawing.

Computers, programming, automation, hacking, guitar, piano, football, etc became my new hobbies and work. Thus, today (23y old) I want to come back to that, but man... wow! Computer Graphics!

I can combine:
  1. Art
  2. Computers
Unfortunately, I am complete noob in CG domain. I mean, I know some basic Photoshop but just that. I can only sketch stuff using a pencil and paper. So, how am I supposed to "translate" the classic way into Computer? I don't know...

I really would like to start and learn how to draw 2D and 3D models, but there are too many links and links inside those links and links nested in these links of links, that it's not helpful :( Even more, I don't know basic terminology, what's a mesh, what's sculpt, texturing, anatomy, pipeline etc So how can I search for something that I don't even know its name scheme...

I would like some help here, some guidance to make my first steps in to CG world. My goal is to create game characters. That's my dream! Next to that, take these characters and implement a videogame.

However I think this can be quite difficult for a novice to start with. So, I guess 2D will be much easier to start.

What equipment should I need? I think a Wacom tablet is must-have tool, am I right?

What books should I read ? From where to start ? Maybe a general introductory into CG world ?

Just show me the path, and I will follow.
May the force by with you! Always!
  10 October 2012
Welcome to the community,

Your perspective is a bit too broad which is why your finding all the information overwhelming. A key aspect in choosing what your next move is would be knowing whether your intentions are to find a professional career out of your personal development or if this is more of a hobby for you.

In general your best approach would be to heavily dig into traditional art techniques and soak in as much knowledge as possible from that area of CGS

After you have a better understanding of traditional skills and fundamentals you will have a strong ability to express yourself in designs that are appealing and well executed. From what you have mentioned it sounds like your path would be something such as a concept artists if you want to create characters, the 3d and other portions of a project are simply further developing the solid image established by the original concept.
  10 October 2012
Thanks very much for your answer

It's an undeniable truth that I am a little bit confused about that. I mean, I like sketching and being able to create 2/3D characters, but working in that domain it's an entire different perspective I can't think of myself right now. I suppose I have to study the forum link you gave me, and then (after a couple of months) practicing and spending time 'n effort in, I guess it would be clear enough whether I want to create characters as a job or hobby. So, just to make sure we're in the same page, for the time being sketching 2D or 3D, is nothing more but a hobby to me, like a help stone to find what's creativity is hidden within me. Next ? Who knows...

I guess a Wacom tablet should be a must-have device in order to be able to draw in PC. Mouse-wise arghhh I can't, I prefer using a pen as it is more comfortable and the natural. I have a Macbook Air, with Photoshop CS6 installed.

However, there is something that still puzzles me a little: "I have never been taught by anyone how to draw:. I am just observing a sketch and then trying to copy/duplicate it in my perspective. Shouldn't I need to take designing lessons, art school or something ? Are there are books that can teach myself the basics, like how to design the face, a landscape etc. I was looking at the Amazon, and I found " ". Any ideas upon the matter ?

Thanks again,
really appreciate your time answering to my queries

Last edited by drpaneas : 10 October 2012 at 08:28 AM.
  10 October 2012
Don't get too tied up in the technology side of things if your going to focus on developing traditional skills, if your sure you want to get familiar with a tablet you might start out on something like a Wacom Bamboo depending on what work area you feel comfortable with. Books like the one you shared can be useful though if you intend to utilize creativity to create characters from scratch dig into figure drawing and life drawing.

For starting to brush off your drawing skills I suggest getting a set of graphite or charcoal pencils, a sketchbook you can take with you and maybe one of these books:

Each has simple assignments to work though that will greatly help your personal progress if you dedicate the time to them. In a sense you train your eyes to see in ways you don't usually think about like how you would represent the vast array of colors you see on a subject into a black-white scale. Also during your progress it can help to post what your doing in the forum relating to it and see what other artists suggest or think about your work, good luck and have fun.
  10 October 2012
Thanks for answering, including books recommendations!!!

I have already purchased the first book from Amazon and I am currently waiting for shipping. I will practise on 2D sketches at first, and then I suppose I could move on to 3D models.

How about 3D Modelling? Do you have any similar books in mind ?
  10 October 2012
when I learned 3d I started in 3ds max by reading through and practicing personal goals while referencing the 3ds max bible (2010 though newer versions are out)

After I felt decent with max I learned Maya using the Learning Autodesk Maya 2010 set

They are more project based and cover pieces of the film "Roadside Romeo" such as modeling a set, individual objects on the set, texturing, characters, rigging, animating, lighting, rendering etc. Everything touches on the surface while giving enough depth to understand the concepts. I am sure there are more recent books out for new versions but I haven't used any so I personally don't know what to recommend. I don't have any specific recommendations for just solely modeling unless your looking more into zbrush which I wouldn't recommend as a beginner until you know fundamentals like topology.

Just get a brushthrough of everything from start to finish and practice often, make your own concepts, model sheets, models, texture them and maybe rig, animate and render out as well. This gives you an understanding of the whole process. When you know this it helps you understand why topology is important or why you do things a certain way, maybe it isn't as important for a still render for an ad but if animation will be used it can be essential.
  10 October 2012
I always though Maya and 3DSMax are the same or they are used for the same task. I guess I was wrong and they both are different applications.

Thanks for your most valuable help Andrew!
  10 October 2012
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